The Book of Mormon condemns polygamy

Just for the record, Mormons don’t practice polygamy. About 25-30%% of Mormons back around 1880 practiced polygamy. It hasn’t been practiced by Mormons for over 100 years. If you heard something on the news about Mormons practicing polygamy, either the news is mistaken and is accidentally calling someone who isn’t a Mormon a Mormon, or somebody is calling themselves a Mormon when they really aren’t. If a Mormon were caught practicing polygamy today they’d be excommunicated right away.

Ok, that said, some critics of the Mormon church try and say that parts of the Book of Mormon condemn polygamy, that therefore the LDS Church doesn’t even obey it’s own scriptures, and therefore Mormons are a bunch of sneaky monkeys who shouldn’t be trusted to manage your 401k.

For example, critics use the scriptures Jacob 1:15; 2:23,24,27,31;3:5; Mosiah 11:2,4; and Ether 10:5,7. But what do these scriptures say?

Jacob 1:15 – “And now it came to pass that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son.”

However, this scripture doesn’t actually condemn polygamy, but rather the “desiring of many wives and concubines…” Polygamy amongst Mormons was never intended to be a “Hey, I need more sex so I’m going to get me some more wives…” type of thing. Rather, it was God commanding men to take additional wives, which in many, if not most cases, the men were quite reluctant to do. Plural marriages were an assignment, not a personal choice or privilege. I know that’s hard to believe in our current sex-crazed culture, so you can believe that or not, but it’s true.

But in addition, this single verse of scripture needs to be taken in context with the scriptures around it and the situation in which these words were being delivered. They were being spoken by Jacob, a Book of Mormon prophet, who was rebuking his own people for their wickedness in committing adultery, unlawfully marrying additional wives, and justifying it by their misunderstandings about David and Solomon. Here are some follow up verses from the prophet Jacob which are part of the same rebuke (see Jacob 2:27-30).

27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;

28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.

29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.

30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

The key is verse 30. God is saying that if he wants to use polygamy to increase the population of his chosen people, then he will institute polygamy by way of commandment (with the understanding that commandments are delivered through a prophet, not directly to individuals). Otherwise, no polygamy.

Moving on, Jacob 3:5 states “Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not aforgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father-that they should have save it were bone wife, and cconcubines they should have none, and there should not be dwhoredoms committed among them.”

This verse does not condemn polygamy. It states that the Lord gave a commandment “unto our father” (Jacob’s father was Lehi) that they should not practice polygamy. Therefore it was against God’s commandment for the descendants of Lehi to practice polygamy, unless otherwise commanded as stated previously.

The same explanation can be applied to the scriptures in Mosiah. As for the verses in Ether, this is an entirely different people than the Nephites/Lamanites who were descendants of Lehi, therefore they were not subject to the same, specific commandments Lehi’s descendants were, but it can be assumed that, as in every other case we know of, polygamy was strictly forbidden unless God commands it, and that the condemnation of the practice is not a condemnation of polygamy itself, but a condemnation of practicing it incorrectly, in order to satisfy sexual desires rather than in obedience to God’s commands.

Comments

  1. I thought I would try to correct a few mistakes in your post. Brighamites are not the only ones that lay claim to Joseph Smith's church. Claiming that the term "Mormon" is reserved soley for Brighamites, is as silly as Protestants saying Mormon's are not Christians. The Brighamite branch of the LDS movement does not own the term "Mormon." Moreover, many "Mormons" from other branches of the LDS movement do claim that polygamy is a vital ordinance and so do not excommunicate members for engaging in the practice.

    I would agree with the passages that are cited to condemn polygamy, do allow wiggle room for God to make exceptions. So your explaination is valid, for the Brighamite Mormons only. Other Mormons contend the command from God is still in effect.

    Are you sure about that 6% participation rate in 1880? You assert that it was not widespread, but I am curious where you got your figures? Lastly, you again reassert the Brighamite Mormons have not practiced polygamy for over a hundred years, (after the 1890 manifesto?), but even your church records show that new polygamous marriages were performed decades after which makes the ban much less than a century old still.

    I'm not sure why you would create a site to explain Mormons, beliefs, and misconceptions, but be so flippant with your facts and explainations.

  2. Hi Ian, the Bible is nowhere near to clear on this matter. There is ample room for various interpretations of the words that are there, but there is no way, by appealing to the Bible only, to know God's will on this matter. All I can do is share the LDS perspective and logic on the Bible in light of the other scriptures and revelations we have been given that compliment our understanding of the Bible.

    The idea that David and Solomon may have strayed from God's law in having many wives is certainly within the realm of plausibility for all Bible readers, and is confirmed by LDS scripture. But we should remember that neither David nor Solomon were prophets of God, but rather rulers of the people of Israel. But what Abraham and Jacob? These were prophets of God, men to whom God spoke, men who had particular authority which David and Solomon did not, and to whom great promises were made. Should we assume they were adulterers, or might there be another explanation?

    It is true that God gave Adam only one wife (as far as we know–the Bible never says God didn't give Adam more wives later), but it's a bit of a leap to say that if polygamy, or plural marriage, were an eternal principle that God would have given Adam more than one wife. Maybe he would have and maybe he wouldn't have. Just because it's an eternal principle doesn't mean every man has to live it in this life. As seen in the scripture cited in the original post above, LDS doctrine states that there are times when God commands the practice of plural marriage, and there are times when he commands against it.

    For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things. – Jacob 2:30

    Likewise we can speculate that at a time when the Lord commands it, he might command certain people to participate, and command others to not participate. Such certainly was the practice in Joseph Smith's time. Men were not allowed to take multiple wives willy-nilly, but under commandment/assignment.

    Today the practice does not exist within the LDS Church and hasn't for over 100 years. This doesn't mean that it isn't an eternal principle, or something that exists in the next life, nor does it mean the Church or its members are under condemnation. The practice was stopped because of persecution leveled at the Church, not because Church members were disobeying God and simply didn't want to participate. God was the one who commanded that the practice stop, otherwise the members of the Church would have continued to practice it.

    I understand where you are coming from with your interpretation of Biblical scripture, although I think there is still that question of whether it makes sense to accuse Abraham and Jacob of adultery. Mormons have received further communication from God that helps us understand the Bible and interpret it differently than one might interpret it without such clarification, so we see things differently, and there is no way to use the Bible to prove our interpretation to be incorrect without making assumptions that are not based in fact.

    As for mankind neither marrying nor being given in marriage in the resurrection, this matter is addressed in a separate post here – Does the Bible teach there is no such thing as eternal marriage like the Mormons practice?.

  3. In the Old Testament we do read of various men (kings for instance) who had multiple wives, and the list is quite long – Solomon exceeding all of them as far as the record goes with 700 concubines and 300 wives. Did God rebuke all this practice of having multiple wives? It appears not. So then does His silence justify folks, today or of yesteryear such as in the 1800’s when Joseph Smith was around, in the sight of God for having multiple wives? NO! It does not. How so then? you ask. Isn’t that inconsistent of God? Well, let’s look at a few things BEFORE we make a judgment. And just keep in mind that the capacity we have to make judgments is one thing; our judgment will fade into insignificance when we stand before GOD’s final judgment. AND HE WILL HAVE THE LAST WORD.
    In the beginning, God made ONE MAN and for that one man he made ONE WIFE. If God had intended for it to be His will for a man to have multiple wives, He would have made AT LEAST 2 for that first man. Or 2 men plus for the one woman. Jesus highlights this very intent and purpose of His Father in Matt. 19:5 & 6. Jesus makes it VERY plain – one man and one woman, and that in holy marriage ‘they are no longer two, but one flesh’. Jesus doesn’t say, a man shall… be joined to his WIVES’, nor does He say ‘the 3 or 4 or MORE shall be one’.
    And just in case we miss it, the Holy Spirit has Mark record this SAME MESSAGE of one man and one woman – the 2 becoming one flesh, in Mark 10:7, 8. And just for those who wish to argue that Genesis ch.1 says ‘male and female’ which may allow for many males and females created at the beginning, Jesus clearly means a male and a female by that which He says afterwards in both gospels.
    Paul reiterates this message when he says by the Holy Spirit “I (and more importantly – God) want(s) you to know that Christ is the head of every (single) man, and the (single) man is the head of a (single) woman…” (1 Cor. 11:3). One man ‘head’ – (primary figure in the family, covering, responsible for) of one woman.
    Now, look at what Paul by the Holy Spirit says to the Athenians, and of course he is specifically addressing their idolatry, but what he says affects EVERY matter – “Truly, then, God overlooking the times of ignorance, now strictly commands all men everywhere to repent…” To WHAT? REPENT!! God commands us all to repent! Because Jesus will judge us all on the appointed day of Judgment. No repentance – No entrance into Heaven and the glorious and everlasting presence of GOD. (Lk. 13:3, etc)
    God now requires all men after Jesus Christ came to repent of all polygamy, of all lies, of all false prophesying, of all evil speaking, and hatred of mankind, and murder, and stealing, etc, etc, etc. He overlooked the ignorance of Solomon, of David, of all the other kings and so on, They seemed to get away with it. But nobody gets away with it now. NOBODY!
    Now, Joseph Smith said “”The same God that has thus far dictated me and directed me and strengthened me in this work, gave me this revelation and commandment on celestial and plural marriage, and the same God commanded me to obey it. He said to me that unless I accepted it, and introduced it, and practiced it, I, together with my people would be damned and cut off from this time henceforth. We have got to observe it. It is an eternal principle and was given by way of commandment and not by way of instruction.” – Prophet Joseph Smith, Contributor, Vol. 5, p. 259
    He clearly made it known that his God insisted that this was “an eternal principle and was given by way of commandment and not by way of instruction.” It had to be obeyed or he and his people would be damned (forever). Jesus’ words (He preached – ‘REPENT!’) and Paul’s word, and all the other passages that warn adulterers and fornicators that unless they repent – that is admit of their sin and turn away from it completely and run to Jesus who is totally holy and abide in His words, then they would never inherit the Kingdom of God but will find their souls and their bodies in eternal fire and torment. Of course some think that it is only mental torment. Don’t you believe it. Jesus has made it plain and He will send such to a literal hell and then finally into the literal Lake of Fire. You don’t believe it? You will in the end. But Heaven is much better. Prepare to go there instead.
    Now if you argue that the LSD church no longer believes that which J.S. said was “an eternal principle”, in that it is no longer practiced (and I suppose by that you also mean no longer preached), then you still have a problem. Joseph Smith said that the ‘same God’ that had got him ‘thus far’ gave him this revelation. If you believe that God had given him ALL that had come before this ‘eternal principle’, but you do not any longer preach what HE EQUALLY DECLARED to be God’s ‘revelation’, then you are disobeying the God he served. You can’t have it both ways. Either ALL that he claimed was from God, WAS from God or, non of it was. If you follow only part of his teaching which he claimed was from God Himself directly, or indirectly via angels, but don’t follow the other thing/s (e.g. polygamy) he equally says were from the very same God, then you are not faithful to that God he served and you are to be ‘damned’.
    If you say that ONLY SOME, (even if 95%) was truly from God, you are in effect charging prophet Smith with false claims regarding the other bits (5%) – though you could never say that of course; it would be against your LDS religion.
    God says REPENT OF ADULTERY (POLYGAMY – same thing) amongst other things – or else you WILL NOT COME INTO MY HOLY KINGDOM. NEVER!
    If you say that a Mormon would be excommunicated if caught practicing ‘polygamy’ – ADULTERY, then it leads me to the question – that surely would also include Joseph Smith and all his other prophets who likewise obeyed him in that charge. Am I reading you right, Joshua? Either JESUS was right or Joseph Smith was right. They contradict each other on this point alone. They can’t both be right. And if you are correct in your statement that only about 6% of all Mormons in the 1880 practiced polygamy, you forgot to mention that Joseph Smith was in that 6%. According to your figures, 94% disobeyed God and were damned according to J.Smith’s own words. If you no longer preach it because you say it is sin, not simply because it is against the law of the land, then you must renounce Joseph Smith’s teaching on this matter. But I guess to do THAT would opne up a can of worms that would only have one result.
    And one last point at this time, Joseph S. said it was not only an earthly commandment, but was a celestial principle (the Muslims have the same idea – same source??). But once again – this flies in the face of Jesus who said that mankind in the resurrection are ‘as the angels’ who neither marry nor are given in marriage; Matt.22:30; Mk. 12:25; Lk. 20:35. There you have it -“in the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses every word (of God) shall be established; Deut.19:15; Matt.18:16; 2 Cor. 13:1. LORD, open our eyes.

  4. Joshua, Let me draw your attention to your statement re David; "But we should remember that neither David nor Solomon were prophets of God, but rather rulers of the people of Israel."
    Have you not read what Peter the apostle says of David the King, son of Jesse? – "Men, brothers, it is permitted to say to you with plainness as to the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is among us until this day. BEING A PROPHET, then, and knowing that God swore with an oath to him of the fruit of his loin(s), as concerning flesh, to raise the Christ to sit on his throne, foreseeing, he spoke about the resurrection of the Christ…" (Acts 2:29 -31; emphasis added)
    The Greek word translated as 'prophet' is the same word used concerning Samuel and Moses, and Isaiah, etc. Were you not aware of this or do you deny this plain truth? David, son of Jesse, King of Israel was a prophet of the Most High God. I notice on the LDS web site regarding Old Testament Bible Prophets, David is not mentioned in that list of prophets from Adam to Malachi.
    It is quite a statement that you make about David not being a prophet of God whereas your church's teaching calls Adam (the first man) a prophet of God. I can find nothing in Scripture that testifies that Adam was a prophet of God, yet I can find Peter's statement saying by the Holy Ghost that David was prophet of God.
    When one reads Davids own words both in the Books that deal with his life and in the psalms, I see numerous prophecies of future events which he had spoken, thus he is without question a true prophet of God because they have come to pass, and especially that God calls him 'a man after My own heart'. (Acts 13:22). On this point of David alone I say, if you deny these witnesses about David in Scripture, you are denying God's own witness through the work of the Holy Spirit through His servants who wrote those words (in the original language of course). I counsel you to make sure that you are not be found calling God a liar on that last day of your life. If you said this in ignorance God will forgive you if you confess it before Him. But then you must believe the Scriptures for in them is life. There is no everlasting life in the book of Mormon Joshua.
    If you must hold to the LDS position on all matters, then you will get rewarded in the end by the Just and Holy God who will give every one according to what they deserve. Trust in God's word not in the wisdom of man. God holds you accountable for that which you believe and act on, as He does everyone.
    I did not accuse Abraham and Jacob of adultery in my entry. I made no mention of them. But the history in Scripture concerning the women in their lives cannot be disputed. Yet Paul says now that everyone must REPENT from their wickedness because Christ Jesus has come to be the Saviour of the world and He will come on the day appointed to Judge everyone as he shows in Acts 17:30,31.
    And just to make it plain to all – Biblical repentance means to have a change of heart and mind and a change of behaviour toward God and that which He says. It means to come right away from sin and cast it aside as vile and filthy and thus agree with God concerning what sin is and how He sees it, wanting nothing more to do with it, and come wholeheartedly to Jesus Christ and look to Him alone for cleansing, deliverance and security.
    Joshua. you say, " LDS doctrine states that there are times when God commands the practice of plural marriage, and there are times when he commands against it." Where in the Bible does God ever command plural marriages? And please don't use the argument that because it is not said therefore it might have been said. On what is this LDS notion of plural marriages validated?
    A god may well have said that to Joseph Smith or one of the other prophets you venerate, but Jesus makes it plain that God never did – 'But from the beginning it was not so". Don't you know that what God hates He hates? What God calls evil is evil – it is not good?
    When God says you shall not commit adultery, He wasn't mincing words. The soul that sins, he shall die – physically and spiritually. He is not a man to be mocked. He will hold everyone to account on the breaking of this command, as He did with David. David was not spared the heavy judgement of God because of his adulterous and murderous affair with Bathsheba. David confessed and repented before God and never committed those sins again.
    God is not fooled. God is not mocked. Do not be deceived. Let no man deceive you Joshua, not even those whom you admire in your church. Peter and the other apostles who were brought before the Jewish leaders told them bluntly that were going to OBEY GOD and not man, regardless of the repercussions. If you wish to live and believe according to LDS doctrine and practice – go ahead, enjoy it, delight in it, get more passionate about it, but let me say it again – when you stand before Jesus Christ the God-Man to be judged justly by Him (not by Joseph Smith or Moroni, or Gabriel, or some other creature), just remember that you were exhorted to leave off those words of man and devil that you tenaciously clung to. If you wish to believe your Jacob 2;30, then do so. May God have mercy on your soul. And may God Almighty cause your advice your enticing words to others to believe in the LDs doctrine to fall on deaf ears.
    You say Bible AND Book of Mormon. Roman Catholics say Bible AND Pope and Papacy and whatever they say. So many religions say Bible AND some other book. The Serpent in the Garden of Eden wanted Eve to see how 'good' the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good AND Evil was. God had said don't touch it! When she decided (in clear opposition to what God had said) that it was 'good' then she took it and ate it. She immediately came under a curse. Then she got Adam to eat it and he also immediately came under the same curse. That day they were sent away from the Tree of Life, away from the presence of God. That day they died spiritually.
    Adam was never a prophet of God. None of the writers of the Bible mention him as a prophet, nor are there any records of prophecies accredited to his name. The fruit of eating God's good word AND some other evil word from any evil source – man or demon will result in death – eternal separation from God.
    Eternal marriages? Unions of marriage made on earth between a man and a woman are temporal unions. There is no male gender or female gender in Heaven. Paul says that when the husband dies the law of the husband ceases concerning his wife (Rom. 7). Any relationship in Heaven is purely one on which we are all united in Christ and have been made sons of the living God. Search the Scriptures honestly without the guidance of false and dubious mixtures. Such a search will be of no profit to you. Jesus and only Jesus Christ is the Lord, God and Saviour. Wake up you who sleep and Christ Jesus shall give you light. His light is pure, unadulterated, full of eternal love and life.
    Moroni re Mormon doctrine allows for anything they want it to mean. 'Probably' can never become 'Absolutely' and thus it is laid as a foundation for some notion of truth. Many sincere men have used the word probably in their sermons and within half an hour or so the probably has become a certainty and is therefore a fact. Don't twist the words of Jesus. You may twist the words of the Jews but don't do so to the words of Jesus Christ. "Don't add to His words, that He not reprove you, and you be proven a liar." Proverbs 30:6.

    May all who love the Lord Jesus Christ love Him in deed and in truth.

  5. I apologize, allow me to clarify what I mean when I said David was not a prophet. For Mormons there are prophets and there are prophets, and there is the Prophet. Anyone who prophesies is a prophet, by definition. And yet there was a difference between David and Samuel. Samuel held special authority that David did not. Anyway, it's a bit beside the point. The point is should we assume that every prophet in the Bible who had multiple wives was an adulterer, or might there be another explanation?

    "I did not accuse Abraham and Jacob of adultery in my entry. I made no mention of them. But the history in Scripture concerning the women in their lives cannot be disputed."

    So…you didn't accuse them of such before, but are you doing so here? I'm still not clear on whether you believe Abraham and Jacob were adulterers or not.

    "Where in the Bible does God ever command plural marriages?"

    Nowhere.

    "On what is this LDS notion of plural marriages validated?"

    God's word delivered in these latter days. Modern-day revelation.

    "A god may well have said that to Joseph Smith or one of the other prophets you venerate, but Jesus makes it plain that God never did"

    I'm sorry, where exactly does the Bible say that no one can ever have more than one wife and it not be a sin?

    "Adam was never a prophet of God."

    What proof do you have for this statement?

    "None of the writers of the Bible mention him as a prophet, nor are there any records of prophecies accredited to his name."

    FYI, this is not proof. The Bible is not a comprehensive history. It's nowhere close. Adam lived to be 930 years old. What information does the Bible give us about what Adam did and said during those 930 years? Should we assume that Adam did nothing and prophesied nothing during those 930 years? Isn't that a bit of a leap of faith?

    "There is no male gender or female gender in Heaven."

    This is a new one for me. What's the Bible reference for this?

    "Paul says that when the husband dies the law of the husband ceases concerning his wife (Rom. 7)."

    Let's quote the exact scripture I believe you're referring to:

    2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

    3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

    What is "the law"? It is the law of Moses. Under the law of Moses if a woman's husband died, she could get remarried and it wasn't considered adultery. What does this have to do with eternal marriage? Nothing. I could say the same thing about our laws today. The laws of the United States, or the law of the state where you live, probably say something somewhere about a man or woman not being allowed to legally marry while one or the other is still legally married to someone else. Again, what does this have to do with eternal marriage? Nothing. Paul is not making a statement about our relationships in the next life, he is talking about marriage relationships in this temporal life, and is using this to help those he is talking to understand some other points of gospel doctrine. Marriage is not even the focus of this chapter.

    Here's a question for you. In Matthew 16:19 it reads "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

    Where does the Bible say that this power to bind things in heaven as well as on earth does not apply to marriage?

  6. The verse Matthew 16:19 is taken out of context. I could start my own religion by cherry picking verses to back up any claim! IT HAS NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH MARRIAGE. Please read a few verses before and after the verse and you will see what Jesus was talking about…matters of the church and between brethren, not marriage.

    You have to read the Bible in context! Ask, who was the verse directed to? Who was speaking? What/who/where was it talking about? And read at least a few verses before and a few verses after and then you will know the context. Shame on you, you explain away most of the controversial passages/quotes from Mormonism as being taken out of context, but then you cherry pick and do the same to the Bible.

    Mormons do not spend much time studying the Bible, they only look for verses they can take out of context to back up their Mormon doctrine. Joseph Smith took the same verse out of context and put it into his D&C 132 to back up his doctrine of eternal and plural marriage. He was making a case to present to his first wife Emma to get her on board with his polygamous marriages, which she wanted nothing to do with. Hence the "listen to my servant Joseph and forgive him or else you will be destroyed" bit. He actually broke his own doctrine by not getting Emma's permission before taking other wives. The LDS still have D&C 132 in scripture, so they believe you can only become a god if you have more than one wife. That is doctrine, and not biblical in the least. God never commanded plural marriage in order to live with Him. I am not saying it is a sin, just that God never commanded it or made it necessary for salvation (or exaltation in mormon speak). That is why he created Adam and Eve, it was His design for marriage. Or why Jesus is the bridegroom and the church his bride, not his "bride's".

  7. Additionally I'd like to know where you got the 6% number? Where are your references for that fact?

  8. Church historian Larry Logue's study indicated that in the 19th century, about 33% of Mormon households were polygamist. This included nearly all local and top church leaders and prominent Mormons in their communities.

  9. "The verse Matthew 16:19 is taken out of context. I could start my own religion by cherry picking verses to back up any claim! IT HAS NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH MARRIAGE. Please read a few verses before and after the verse and you will see what Jesus was talking about…matters of the church and between brethren, not marriage."

    I can see that the scripture doesn't directly reference marriage, but I ask the question again, where does the Bible say that this power to bind things in heaven as well as on earth does not apply to marriage? Mormons do not rely on the Bible alone for our interpretation. We know what we know because of additional scripture and revelation. If you are making the claim that our interpretation is incorrect, what proof do you have to back up your claim?

    "Shame on you, you explain away most of the controversial passages/quotes from Mormonism as being taken out of context, but then you cherry pick and do the same to the Bible."

    One can cherry pick and be correct, or cherry pick and be incorrect. Cherry picking is not incorrect in and of itself, but rather cherry picking while having an incorrect interpretation.

    "Mormons do not spend much time studying the Bible, they only look for verses they can take out of context to back up their Mormon doctrine."

    How do you define "much time"? What evidence do you have that we "only look for verses they can take out of context to back up their Mormon doctrine."? Or are these just assumptions you are making without any grounds? Have you done a scientific study to find out how much time every Mormon in the world spends studying the Bible?

    "Joseph Smith took the same verse out of context and put it into his D&C 132 to back up his doctrine of eternal and plural marriage. He was making a case to present to his first wife Emma to get her on board with his polygamous marriages, which she wanted nothing to do with."

    Or maybe he was just writing what God told him. If you are claiming this isn't the case where is the proof for your claim?

    "He actually broke his own doctrine by not getting Emma’s permission before taking other wives."

    Give me a reference for this and I'll look into it.

    "God never commanded plural marriage in order to live with Him."

    What proof do you have of this?

    "Additionally I’d like to know where you got the 6% number? Where are your references for that fact?"

    I think I heard it somewhere. That's why I said "As I understand it…" I've never looked into it. I just did and you appear to be correct that between 25-30% of LDS households were polygamist at one point. I've made a correction to the original post.

  10. I'd also like to add the 30% number included all the prophets and leaders/higher authorities in the church. It was not just a few families acting on their own. It was doctrine and still is in D&C 132. Joseph Smith himself practiced it! There are many quotes from the founders of the LDS religion testifying to it. I find it strange that LDS deny their very own doctrine just to be accepted in the world now.

    Read Todd Compton's "In Sacred Loneliness". He is LDS and explains all the 33 wives of Joseph Smith well documented from history. Emma did not consent to all of the wives, and the few she did consent to she immediately regretted and called for their dismissal by Joseph. He was duplicitous with his own wife just so he could acquire more wives. Some prophet you got there.

    As for God not commanding polygamy for you to live with Him, I can give the logical explanation that it is not commanded is His Word, the Bible, but you would argue that because you believe in extra-biblical writings. Since God DID command it in your Doctrine and Covenants, you would argue he did command it…but you say Mormons don't practice it?? Do you guys obey or disobey God then by not practicing it? Didn't he command you to?

    Now comes your argument that your God picks and chooses when, where, and whom follows which commandments. Your god changes his mind on whims, due to earthly circumstances. "I command polygamy for you right now, but not you over there! Maybe later if it's needed…"

    No thank you.

    As for the bible reading, it comes from my personal experiences of course. I was never encouraged as a child to read it, just the BOM. My family members when they "read their scriptures" it is always from the BOM or other works of LDS scripture. When my cousin started a scripture study at home with her kids, I told her to start with the Bible, her Mormon parents told her no, start with the BOM. Guess which one they are reading from? If you just look at Mormon doctrine, as all the ordinances listed above such as celestial marriage, they do not come from the Bible, they come from Mormon scripture…so am I not correct in assuming Mormons must read Mormon scripture more to understand their own beliefs? If you are looking for scientific data, that is not necessary when one can deduce from these extra-biblical teachings and beliefs in Mormonism that Mormons read more extra-biblical books?? Can you honestly say you read the Bible MORE than you read your other standard works? Honestly Joshua. Stereotypes, while annoying, usually have truth behind them rooted in some facts. In primary and in church the BOM is used MORE than the Bible. I will be attending a Mormon church this Sunday, so after I take a tally of how many times the BOM is cited as opposed to the Bible, I will give you my findings, along with how many times Joseph Smith is mentioned as opposed to Jesus. Maybe I will see some "proof" there.

    "I can see that the scripture doesn’t directly reference marriage, but I ask the question again, where does the Bible say that this power to bind things in heaven as well as on earth does not apply to marriage?"

    Again, using your logic, you could apply that teaching to ANYTHING and twist the Bible to fit your beliefs. How do we know it doesn't apply to homosexual marriage that is bound on earth? How? Because the Bible states in other places it is not of God! That is what is meant of your cherry picking, you have no other evidences from the Bible that that verse could be applied to marriage. You just take one verse out of context and apply it to what you want with no other biblical verses to back it up.

  11. I'd also like to point out that some of Smith's polygamous wives already had husbands! They were already married, and he wasn't the only Mormon leader stealing other mens' wives…Parley P. Pratt was murdered by a man whose wife he stole! I am not condoning murder in the least, but crimes of passion have to be expected when you go around marrying other men's wives. It is one of the bad fruits of polygamy, which is why God never commanded it. All the men in the Bible had problems because of it, it actually brought Solomon to ruin. So while God allowed polygamy it was not His design for marriage. He created Adam and Eve, one woman for one man. It's throughout the Bible, not just in one verse.

    What, exactly, is your excuse for these supposed holy prophets and men working for God, pray tell? How did polyandry and stealing other men's wives play into your god's plan?

  12. "I find it strange that LDS deny their very own doctrine just to be accepted in the world now."

    Can you give me an example of any Mormon denying the doctrine of plural marriage, separating the doctrine from the practice?

    "He was duplicitous with his own wife just so he could acquire more wives."

    Where is the evidence Joseph lied to Emma about other wives? It is true that Emma had great struggles with the doctrine and practice, as is quite understandable, but I'm not aware of Joseph lying to Emma about it.

    "As for God not commanding polygamy for you to live with Him, I can give the logical explanation that it is not commanded is His Word, the Bible, but you would argue that because you believe in extra-biblical writings. Since God DID command it in your Doctrine and Covenants, you would argue he did command it…but you say Mormons don’t practice it?? Do you guys obey or disobey God then by not practicing it? Didn’t he command you to?"

    Why don't you practice animal sacrifice? Do you obey or disobey God by not practicing it? Didn't he command his people to practice animal sacrifice?

    "If you just look at Mormon doctrine, as all the ordinances listed above such as celestial marriage, they do not come from the Bible, they come from Mormon scripture…so am I not correct in assuming Mormons must read Mormon scripture more to understand their own beliefs?"

    Mormons must read those scriptures that are unique to the LDS Church in order to understand differences between the LDS Church and other religions, but it's all part of the same gospel along with the Bible. The Bible is just as much "our own beliefs" as the Book of Mormon or D&C.

    "If you are looking for scientific data, that is not necessary when one can deduce from these extra-biblical teachings and beliefs in Mormonism that Mormons read more extra-biblical books??"

    So…science is not necessary when one is satisfied with assumptions based on extremely limited and personal evidence? Someone should tell the scientists of the world about this so they can stop wasting all that time doing research and experiments, not to mention all those journalists out there who research their stories before publishing them. Your way sounds a lot easier.

    "I will be attending a Mormon church this Sunday, so after I take a tally of how many times the BOM is cited as opposed to the Bible, I will give you my findings, along with how many times Joseph Smith is mentioned as opposed to Jesus. Maybe I will see some “proof” there."

    Ha! You should have attended last year. Of course you're going to hear a lot more of the BOM and Joseph Smith this year because with the new year we've switched to studying the BOM after two years of studying the Bible. There is a four-year rotation of study in the Church; Old Testament, New Testament, BOM, D&C. If you had attended Sunday school at an LDS Church last year you would have heard virtually nothing about the BOM or Joseph Smith, but you would have heard plenty about the Bible.

    "How do we know it doesn’t apply to homosexual marriage that is bound on earth? How? Because the Bible states in other places it is not of God!"

    Ok, let's apply that logic to my claim. Where does the Bible state in other places that there is no such thing as eternal marriage?

    I am not claiming that eternal marriage is a true doctrine because there's nothing in the Bible contradicting it. I am claiming it is a true doctrine based on modern-day revelation. I am saying there is nothing in the Bible to contradict such a doctrine. You are saying the doctrine is not true because it is not mentioned in the Bible. I am saying this is illogical, because if the Bible fails to mention something, this does not logically lead to the conclusion that that something does not exist. You are claiming that eternal marriage is not a true doctrine. I am merely asking you to provide proof for that claim. I would not ask you for proof if you were not making the claim. I would not argue with you if you were merely saying you don't believe it's a true doctrine, but only because you state it as fact. If it is a fact that can be proved, you will need more evidence than merely a lack of it being mentioned in the Bible.

    "I’d also like to point out that some of Smith’s polygamous wives already had husbands!"

    It would help us to make judgments about this practice, termed polyandry or the marriage of one woman to multiple men, if we had more information. The lack of information has been helpful to critics, to are able to make assumptions against which it is difficult to provide a defense, given that there is little to no information upon which to base a defense, not because the information available is indefensible so much as because there is hardly any information at all.

    One thing I will say is that "sealings" were not always seen as "marriages" in the way we see marriage today. There was teaching that the entire human race was to be networked or sealed together, and that Joseph's sealings to married women were not for the purpose of sexual intercourse, but rather a binding of two families together, and related in virtually no way to the normal concept of marriage.

    Mary Elizabeth Rollins seemed to recognize that later students of the period would not have the necessary information to understand her choices as a polyandrous wife: "[I] could explain some things in regard to my living with [my first husband] after becoming the Wife of Another [i.e., Joseph], which would throw light, on what now seems mysterious—and you would be perfectly satisfied with me. I write this; because I have heard that it had been commented on to my injury."

    For more information on Joseph Smith's marriages to married women, see here.

    "Parley P. Pratt was murdered by a man whose wife he stole!"

    Get the facts on the story of Parley P. Pratt's murder.

  13. I am not a Jew, I am a Gentile so I was never commanded to do animal sacrifice. I am under the new Covenant and not required to since Christ's sacrifice fulfilled all of the old Covenant.

    But you have D&C 132 still in your scripture commanding you to practice polygamy from your own prophet for THIS dispensation…not the same thing at all. So that doesn't answer the question.

  14. What is not answered by the content found here?

    My point is that doctrines don't change, but practices do. Animal sacrifice was a practice based on a doctrine. Plural marriage is a practice based on a doctrine. The practice may be started and stopped depending on the circumstances without the doctrine changing. God does not change, but men and the world do, and therefore the applications of particular doctrines may change as needed.

  15. "So…science is not necessary when one is satisfied with assumptions based on extremely limited and personal evidence? Someone should tell the scientists of the world about this so they can stop wasting all that time doing research and experiments, not to mention all those journalists out there who research their stories before publishing them. Your way sounds a lot easier."

    Haha! You got me there. But I did say it was my personal experience with Mormonism, naturally I apply that to my knowledge of the Mormon Church. I did attend for the first 20 years of my life ya know, and that was weekly attendance of all meetings. My mom made me until I left home. :)

    I also cracked up at your story that THIS year they would be in the BOM and Joseph Smith more. Oh, of course! Wink, wink! But seriously, I am going to attend a fast and testimony meeting in February too, so the baring of testimonies should not be affected one way or another by what is being taught in Sunday School. I hope I hear more testimonies of Jesus then of Joseph Smith or else you'll hear about it!

  16. Oh and I have been back in church several times over the last 15 years, just only sporadically. Last time I went was in 2009 for a play so it's time to attend a meeting and see what's changed.

  17. Joshua, Jesus made it perfectly plain that one man and one woman was God's intent, purpose and design in marriage. Jesus said 'a man' ('a' means one, not three or seven); Jesus said 'a man' shall be joined to his 'wife' (wife is singular and always means one not two or many wives); Jesus said the man (one) and the woman – wife (one) are no longer 'two' (He is not talking about two groups, but two individuals who have) become one flesh. "But answering, He said to them, Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning created them male and female. And He said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the tow shall become one flesh. So that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate." Matt. 19:4-6. Mark records very much the same message (10:6-9).
    Jesus said He spoke His Father's words in the power of the Holy Spirit. Both Father and Son and the Holy Spirit said one man and one woman. God did not mean one man and many wives. Nor did He mean one woman but many husbands. Your argument is not with me but with Jesus. Jesus said "Follow Me'. If you want to follow Jesus and Joseph Smith or whatever succeeding LDS prophet is in vogue go right ahead. If you want to interpret what Jesus said by J.F.S'mith's words go right ahead. I am not your Judge. Jesus is and will be and He will not pussy foot around.
    Paul tells us by the same Holy Spirit Jesus spoke by, that "For this, a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh." (Eph. 5:31). Paul understood quite well that one man and one woman joined in 'marriage' before the Most Holy God according to His rule, become one flesh.
    Then Paul adds "The mystery is great, but I speak as to Christ and to the Church" (v32). And for good measure lest we have missed God's point of one man and one woman, he says "However, you also, everyone, let each love his wife as himself, and the wife, that she give deference to her the husband". The language is very plain; it is singular.
    Deut. 12:32, Prov. 30:6, and Rev. 22:19 all testify against tampering with God's Word. Let us not be deceived; God is not mocked.
    If any one mixes truth (what is pure) with error (what is impure) and does not repent, they will receive their reward. If you mix a little mud with perfectly clean water, you do not have clean water. If you mix a little yeast with a lump of dough you will have the yeast spreading in the dough; the dough will no longer be unleavened. These are natural laws. Mix false teaching with pure doctrine for whatever reason, and you will have impure doctrine. This is a spiritual law. And nobody can change it. Jesus taught us that what we sow we will reap. No one is excluded from this law.
    The marriage of one man and one woman, represents the spiritual union between sinners made holy – saints, through Jesus Christ's glorious redemptive work and Jesus Christ Himself. All such saints are many members of one body. That body is called the Bride by the apostles of Christ. One bride joined to one Bridegroom – Husband, the Lord Jesus Christ. One Man and one woman – faithful, pure and true saints, disciples of Jesus Christ; in God, the two become one. Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob loved one wife – Israel; in God, the two become one.
    Add other contrary, impure ideas to this and one does so at their own peril. The Levites of old were to instruct Israel about what was clean IN GOD's eyes, and what was unclean IN GOD's eyes (read Leviticua). Teachers of God's word today are bound by the same rule. The natural law that teaches us if we mix an impure thing with a pure thing, we will get an impure result has its spiritual counterpart. John warns us in the last few words he writes 'The one acting unjustly, let him still act unjustly, and the filthy. let him be filthy, and the righteous, let him still be righteous, and the holy, let him still be holy." (Rev. 22:11). Neither Jesus or the Father will share their glory with the unclean. Jesus said that those who love a lie or make it will not be partaking of the Tree of life but will be outside of God's company, in the dark and hellish terrors of hell and finally the Lake of Fire which is the Second Death. The law had found me to be a liar and a murderer and a thief, and an adulterer, and a idolator, and an unclean soul who needed Jesus to wash me in His own blood so that I may be made clean in the Father's sight and accepted in the Beloved Jesus. This He has done. And now, I am required with His divine aid to obey Him as an act of love and unceasing gratitude. I will not mix His word with the words of men no matter who they are, when those words do not uphold, are contrary to the plain meaning of what He my God has already said.
    if you think you have the freedom to do that, do what you will. The fear of the Lord is clean and endures forever; it causes us to depart from evil. We need the fear of God in our hearts like the first apostles had it after the Holy Spirit was poured out on them. Do you have the fear of God upon your soul Joshua? I hope so. What you sow you will reap.

  18. Wouldn't these women being sealed to Joseph Smith mean they would be his wives in the afterlife? Wouldn't that give him the right to bring them with him if he becomes a god to his own planet and make spirit babies with her? Am I wrong about what it means to seal a wife to you? I was always told if a couple was sealed on earth, they were sealed together as husband and wife, in every way, for "time and all eternity." If this is the case, why would it matter if he had sex with them on earth or not, as if that makes him more noble? He was planning on it at some point. Besides there are affidavit's and testimonies of some of his wives who say the marriage was consummated. Some of those girls were teenagers, one was only 14 when JS was in his 30's. If I was that girls' mother, I would have tarred and feathered him where it mattered! And don't say people married younger back then, records show women on average married in their early 20's during that time. Just as I've been told polygamy was needed back then because there were more women than men, census information shows there were more men than women in JS's day.

  19. Researchers have tentatively identified eight children that Joseph Smith may have had by his plural wives. Besides Josephine Fisher and Oliver Buell, named as possible children of Joseph Smith by his plural wives are John R. Hancock, George A. Lightner, Orson W. Hyde, Frank H. Hyde, Moroni Pratt, and Zebulon Jacobs . ("Mormon Polygamy: A History" by LDS Historian Richard S. Van Wagoner, pages 44, 48- 49.)

  20. I'm not sure whether sealing was always seen as a husband/wife thing.

    As for marrying a 14-year old, it wasn't at all uncommon in that day and age for older men to marry young girls. If you want to judge Joseph Smith for that you'll have to also judge half the men in the United States of that time.

    I've looked into the children thing, and there is no DNA evidence to show that Joseph Smith ever had any children by anyone other than Emma. That doesn't rule it out, but nobody has yet been able to prove that anyone had children by Joseph other than Emma, which seems a bit strange since he was obviously fertile.

  21. Joshua, I wrote “Adam was never a prophet of God.” Big statement for sure. Let me qualify it. According to the Biblical record Adam was not numbered among the prophets of God. This is what I meant but did not write, so there it is now. But I hasten to say, Joshua, that David is declared to be a prophet which clearly means a prophet of God. David prophesied much about end times, the final judgments and the coming and sufferings of the Christ with great detail. His prophecies are far more numerous than those recorded from Samuel.

    Is this not worth considering as to your estimation of David as prophet.

    The Bible identifies three types of prophets: THE Prophet – Jesus Christ the Righteous; Holy prophets; and FALSE prophets. There has been and can be no greater prophet than Jesus Christ. It is God who declares who are His holy prophets; in this category except in one instance (Lk. 7:28) God doesn't make distinctions between His prophets; it is we who love to do that. Each prophet is known by their own fruit or their lifestyle, words and actions; and God judges about what is in the heart. Humans cannot judge another man's heart, but we have every right to make a judgement about what comes out of the heart in the form of words and actions. This is why Jesus said by their fruits you shall know them.

    Jesus prophesied by the power of the Holy Spirit. One way we know it was the Holy Spirit is because Jesus lived a Holy Life and was truly humble having come to serve. By His fruits we can know Him and by who He spoke.

    The Holy prophets of old spoke by the Holy spirit for their desire was for holiness and for the most part they lived exemplary lives, and were not after human praise or recognition. They were to be known by their fruits. Even the false prophet Balaam (Jude 1:11; Rev. 2:14) for a short time – while he was prophesying truth (Num. 22-24) refused any material gain, or acclamation by man.

    False prophets are also to be know by their fruits. They will seek after material gain; they will seek after acclamation – praise of men; they will seek after position and positions of power; they will not repent of their evil ways; they will mix truth with error; they will speak after the manner of their father – the father of lies Satan, that old Serpent, the Devil, that Deceiver. They will quickly compromise; they will not honour Jesus Christ as He should be honoured, but rather will seek honour for themselves; they will not humble themselves to serve others in very mundane even in menial ways; they will be angry not with a righteous anger but a selfish anger; they will be self indulgent. AND ALL OF THIS WILL BE DONE IN THE NAME OF GOD.- EVEN OF THE LORD. They will be deceived and will deceive others just as Satan did to Eve.

    Of course many people will hater false prophets and seek to destroy them or get rid of them. Many followers of false prophets will say this proves that their prophets are true prophets of God – LOOK HOW THEY TREAT GOD"S PROPHETS! But they are deceived.

    The purpose of true prophets: John said that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10). God appoints His prophets so that they will portray the life of Jesus in His humility and grace and uncompromising stand for holiness. They will quickly repent if they sin (see 2 Sam, 12).Their very words will point to Jesus. Their prophetic utterances will directly or indirectly point the hearer to Jesus. Their hearers will either fall in love with Jesus, or hate Jesus all the more. They will hate Jesus and so despise His HOLY prophets. True prophets will have the very cry of John the Baptizer "I must decrease, and Jesus must increase (Jn. 3:30). Jesus said that he who is greater among must be servant of all (Mk. 9:35; 10:44).

    These things all point to the Holy Spirit's work in the prophet life. Such fruits will honour Jesus. A prophet may speak in the name of the Lord and even get it all right, but if the fruit is not forthcoming then the prophet is not of the Lord. Balaam (Num., 22-24) prophesied remarkably and beautifully in the name of the Lord. But he later sought after the things that he at first refused (Jude 1:11; Rev. 2:14), money and position and men's praise. He was known not by his remarkable prophecies but by his later fruits, greed and fame, as well as the very thing that he had prophesied against, the destruction of Israel through deceit and treachery. Many in Israel fell into temptation because of Balaam's evil work and were slain.

    Speaking in the name of the Lord is no guarantee for acceptance by God. The content must be pure and that content issues from the heart out of which comes the very issues of life. Joseph Smith prophesied in the name of the Lord. This is a very sobering thing to do. It is important what he said. But it is more important by what spirit he spoke. And just because he spoke in the name of the Lord does not give us leave to automatically accept what he did say in the name of the Lord. Those who actually heard him speak or heard about this had a duty to test the spirit by which he spoke. Jesus says – to make sure that no man deceives us. To be deceived will destroy the one deceived unless repentance is forthcoming. Deception breeds deception. Deception can never breed truth. And undiluted truth will breed truth. Whatever the seed sown, that will determine the crop.

  22. A footnote on prophets; Acts 17:30 is the answer now for all prophets. It is no longer permissible to use old testament behaviour to excuse any behaviour of any prophet since the time of Christ, whether adultery, or taking people's lives , etc as we see in the O.T. God overlooked those times. In other words he was lenient toward them. Christ had not yet come. But now God has spoke to us through His Son (Heb. 1:1,2), by whom He has spoiken and by whom He will judge every man including prophets since His death, burial and resurrection, and will Judge by that same Man. Joseph Smith has been judged not by old testament standards but by Jesus Christ, The Prophet's own standard.

  23. re "Abraham and Jacob" etc.

    Paul clearly states by the Holy Spirit that although in ages past "God overlooked times of ignorance" God strictly commands every one everywhere to repent, because He will judge all by Jesus Christ whom He raised from the dead (Acts 17:30). The saints in the old testament did not have the light of the gospel that we have now since Christ Jesus was crucified, buried and rose from the dead.

    God spoke through His prophets to the fathers (OT), but now speaks to us through His Son (Heb. 1:1,2). Christ's coming and His good news surpasses all others for excellence and authority, and still does and will do for all time and eternity. No body can use old testament behaviour of the O.T. prophets in their lack in keeping of God's holy and glorious Word as an excuse for the similar behaviour. This includes marriage. Jesus made it plain as I have repeated in another link to your DNA site, that one man and one woman is what God commands in marriage and He will judge all by what He has said. How many times have you read the Scriptures, the Holy Bible ones? I don't want to know; I simply pose the question.

    There are those who are always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth says Paul (2 Tim. 3:7). Paul also writes that"they shall turn the ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables (2 Ti.4:4). But only those who are desperately seeking for the truth regardless of the cost will find it (Jer. 29:13) ; that truth is Jesus Christ Himself (Jn. 14:6). We need to make sure we fall into this latter category.

    I will say at this point that you and all of you dear souls out in ciber land, that you need to specifically ask the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who was the very God who appeared to Moses, or, to specifically ask the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to show you whether He really spoke to J.Smith or not, whether the Book of Mormon and the Holy Bible are both His Word, or, whether one and which one is His Word. If you are an earnest seeker of the truth and will only cleave to it whether you are shown to be wrong or right, I know that God Himself will show you. But keep in mind Jeremiah 42. Those Israelites asked from God with pleas but when the prophet gave them God's answer, they said we are not doing that – no way.

  24. The fairwiki article on polyandry is all conjecture, and he ends it by saying its all "speculative," so you guys really have no clue why there were polyandrous marriages. You have ideas, but JS did not give reason or a "thus saith the Lord" for it.

    I recognize the large amount of faith you have, to place your faith in JS being honest and to take his word takes the faith of epic proportions. Too bad it's misplaced. He was not trustworthy in his polygamous dealings. Nauvoo is where he really started to unravel from his hunger for power, like riding through the streets wearing military garb and being called "General." He even made a bid for the presidency of the U.S., but once he destroyed the printing press that was going to expose him and his polygamous shenanigans, he didn't stand a chance in the new country that revered freedom of press and speech.

  25. The fairwiki article gives no other reason for Pratt's murder, so I don't know what "facts" you were trying to reveal…the man went crazy because his wife and kids were being stolen from him, he didn't want her to join the Mormon church and rightly so, because when she did she married one of their leaders! Then she was trying to take his kids to Utah away from him and have them baptized! You think people didn't know then of the Mormons and their polygamous lifestyles? Hector knew what was going to happen once she got involved with them. The article sounds like it is trying to condone Pratt's behavior because Hector was an abusive husband…does that excuse Pratt marrying another man's wife while she's still married? Do 2 wrongs make a right in your religion? Or is it just to excuse the actions of your early church leaders? She never got divorced from Hector, they give conjecture that "she considered herself divorced". Really? That's the justification? Don't Mormons state they follow all the laws of the land? Polyandry and polygamy were illegal.

    I am not condoning Hector's treatment of her, his abuse, or his murdering, I am just stating the fact that Pratt was murdered by a guy whose wife he took and married while she was still married. That is the fact, and as I stated before, crimes of passion are a fruit of these types of behaviors. It happens, and some deal with it better than others…it was the undoing of Hector unfortunately and Pratt paid for his actions with his life.

  26. Here is a quote from your apostle George A. Smith in his defense of Mormon Howard Egan who murdered a man who seduced one of his polygamous wives:

    "I argue that in this territory it is a principle of mountain common law, that no man can seduce the wife of another without endangering his own life…The principle, the only one that beats and throbs through the heart of the entire inhabitants of this Territory, is simply this: The man who seduces his neighbor's wife must die, and her nearest relative must kill him!" (Journal of Discourses Vol. 1 p. 95-100.)

    Sounds like Mormons are a bit biased when it comes to their own, wouldn't you say? If a Mormon murders a man for stealing his wife, it's justified. If a non-Mormon murders a Mormon for stealing his wife, he was a mean abusive husband and didn't deserve her anyway and excuses are given why it was ok for him to steal her. Why isn't this thought applied to the case of Pratt?

  27. This article in LDS owned Deseret News says "Pratt was killed near Van Buren, Ark., in May 1857, by a small Arkansas band antagonistic toward his teachings." http://www.deseretnews.com/article/660211702/LDS-

    Mormon propaganda and lies! Deception! Pratt was killed as a result of his polygamous/polyandrous marriage to another man's wife! They know there are people like my mom who only read their publications like this one and Meridian magazine and they can say whatever they want undisputed because their followers won't question. Disgusting! They've got my own family, and it breaks my heart.

  28. "God doesn’t make distinctions between His prophets; it is we who love to do that."

    I recognize this as your opinion, Ian, but we Mormons believe differently. We believe there were distinct differences between the roles of Samuel and David. If you can find a scripture that says their roles were the same I'm happy to look into it.

    "It is no longer permissible to use old testament behaviour to excuse any behaviour of any prophet since the time of Christ, whether adultery, or taking people’s lives , etc as we see in the O.T. God overlooked those times."

    I guess we'll agree to disagree. I don't believe the OT prophets were committing adultery or murdering, at least not Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. David certainly did both of those things, but he was not excused by God for those sins. You have your interpretation and I have mine.

    "Jesus made it plain as I have repeated in another link to your DNA site, that one man and one woman is what God commands in marriage and He will judge all by what He has said. "

    As Leah says, you're cherry-picking scriptures and taking them out of context. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus condemn polygamy. Nowhere does he state that marriage is only between one man and one woman. Where he is talking about a marriage that involves one man and one woman he is merely using that as an example to teach a lesson about something else, he is not making a statement about what constitutes legitimate marriage.

    Leah, that's an interesting perspective on the fairwiki article about Parley P. Pratt. It's easy to believe whatever you want to believe if you reject anything that contradicts your opinions and only accept that which strengthens them. You can reject the abuse and say it was just an honest, nice guy trying to protect his family, you can reject that divorce didn't follow the same process then that it does now, and you can decide what you want to say is fact, and I'll believe differently. By the way, Pratt was killed in 1857 and polygamy wasn't made illegal until 1862.

    "Sounds like Mormons are a bit biased when it comes to their own, wouldn’t you say? If a Mormon murders a man for stealing his wife, it’s justified. If a non-Mormon murders a Mormon for stealing his wife, he was a mean abusive husband and didn’t deserve her anyway and excuses are given why it was ok for him to steal her. Why isn’t this thought applied to the case of Pratt?"

    Because we don't believe Pratt seduced anyone's wife. We believe he rescued a physically abused woman from a murderous and cruel husband. We think the cases are completely different in their facts. You can call it bias, but is it not bias to assume the Mormon versions of these stories are incorrect?

    BTW, a little sidenote on that question "Don’t Mormons state they follow all the laws of the land?" The "law of the land" is the Constitution, so yes, we Mormons believe in obeying the Constitution. However, there are many laws that have been passed that are unconstitutional, and we do not necessarily believe in following those because we do not recognize them as the law of the land.

  29. Ok, so what about destroying printing presses? I'm pretty sure that was illegal. Do you have an excuse for that too?

  30. And if polygamy was made illegal in 1862, what of all the Mormon polygamous marriages on record done after that date by leaders and the prophet of your church? Even some done after the 1890 Manifesto? How do you excuse that deception?

  31. Leah, I will pray about your family that they may know the Truth (John 14:6), also others.

  32. Joshua, As you should know, the old testament record unashamedly talks about 'what may be termed as 'killings', conducted by God's people in His name to eradicate those who were opposed to God and His commands, and His people Israel. It also exposes cold blooded murder by certain named individuals for selfish reasons. All of these I have lumped together by using the phrase 'taking people's lives' and I was being particularly careful how I phrased it.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ came to give His life a ransom for many, which He did, taking our sins and shame and guilt and condemnation upon Himself, He being the Lamb of God who completely and perfectly appeased the Father's wrath against all sins – secret and visible, of mankind and sinful nature in mankind. By so dying as He did, God's new covenant was ratified as the Book of Hebrews (ch.9) plainly tells; and this is the same for us who make our 'last will'; that will is not activated while the testator is living.

    The new covenant – testament is different to the old. This is why Paul says to the Athenians and the foreigners living among them that God overlooked the times of ignorance (concerning those living under the old covenant period), but now strictly commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30).

    Jesus from the onset of His preaching commanded men to Repent! because the kingdom of God, which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17) was at hand.

    Jesus instructed His disciples to proclaim the same message of repentance, as did John the Baptist. Peter continued this message (Acts 2:38) so did Paul.

    We are to put away all lying and deceit, all maliciousness, all murderers thoughts and hatred against our fellow man. In many places throughout the New Testament we read such injunctions – commands. We are to mortify all the works of the flesh by the (aid of the Holy) Spirit (Rom. 8:13), for Paul warns us that those who practice 'adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, and THINGS LIKE THESE, of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that those practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19-21) John gives a similar list (Revelation 22:15).

    If these things are not repented of my friends, then we will not enter in Heaven for there is no room for ANY amount of any sin in God's Holy Heaven. Hell is for the rebellious. We ought not go there. Sin must be washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Jn. 1:9; Rev. 7:14). There is no reason why any man or woman, boy or girl should not enter Heaven. However, Heaven is an eternal home for God's holy (proclaimed and made holy by God), obedient children.

    Jesus is coming soon. The Bridegroom will soon appear. He will quickly gather His prepared people, His children to Himself.

    The word 'repentance' occurs about 25 times in the N.T, and 'repent' occurs about 24 times. We must repent. All you dear LDS people, if you would for one year acquaint yourselves with all the Holy Bible and truly seek the God revealed therein, leaving aside your other valued literature, you would find satisfaction alone in Jesus, and you would find that all other 'scriptures' are burdensome. Don't believe me? Try it. You have nothing to lose.

    "Seek Jehovah while He may be found. Call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his ways and the man of vanity his thoughts, and let him return to Jehovah, and He will have mercy on him, for He will abundantly pardon. (Isa. 55:6)

    Testimonies abound of ardent Muslims who did just that and found Jesus Christ to be all sufficient for all their spiritual needs; they no longer need the Koran to prop themselves up. Get hold of their testimonies if you can – "Kahlil" is one.

  33. Thank you Ian!

    Joshua-DNA evidence is NOW important to you for proof? That's convenient. Let me get this straight…if DNA evidence will condemn any part of Mormonism it's not needed, but if it will help out Mormonism it IS needed. Got it.

  34. Joshua, when I said “God doesn’t make distinctions between His prophets; it is we who love to do that.”, it was with respect to our ideas of one being greater than another or, more important, or had better 'gifts' such as miracles and the like.

    By making this comment it was not my intent to deny the obvious, such as differences of style, or whether working of miracles were present or not or other like things. Clearly there are differences of this latter kind, but those do not make one greater or more important than another.

    Many early scholars made a distinction between a prophet's volume of words – calling some 'Minor' prophets and others "Major" prophets. That kind of labeling creates a false impression and demeans unintentionally no doubt the real value of those who had one brief message. No O.T. prophet of God was so described by God Himself – they were all His prophets; they were either faithful to what God gave them or they were unfaithful – except in the Bible reference I gave.

    Men have great difficulty in valuing things as God values them. Jesus said of the widow woman who gave all her living in to the Temple treasury in good faith as unto God that she gave more than those who gave 'huge' some of cash.

    Jesus said the 'last shall be first and the first last', and why in His parable about the workers who started at the beginning of the day and those who started at the end, that He considered them all worthy to get the same pay.

  35. I wish I lived during the days when you could have more than one wife. I'm sure the women were nicer to their husbands back then.

  36. Moroni Smith – "I'm sure the women were nicer to their husbands back then." You hope so, or as they say over here – In your dreams! And what about the men back then? Were they any "nicer" then than they are now? I hardly think so. And what do honourable women think today? Do decent women today wish that they could share a "nice" husband with a number of wives? Or what about many men sharing one woman? Is this REALLY the most satisfying relationship? And while we are on the questions – ask any honest child – would they want many mothers and one father, or many fathers and one mother? I hardly think so. Would such situations truly enrich the soul and spirit in the love and purity of God?

    When God looked upon the earth at the time of Noah before He revealed His plan to him, He "saw that the evil of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the day long." (Gen. 6:5). Jesus said "as it was in the days of Noah,…so also it will be in the days of the Son of Man" (Lk. 17:26; see also Matt. 24).

    Why would you want more than one wife? Don't answer me. I ask it so that you may examine your own heart. God knows your heart; He doesn't read it. He KNOWS IT ALL at one and the same time. Jesus told us that "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matt. 12:34)

    In Hebrews 4:12 we read that "the word of God is living and powerfully working, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge of the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Notice that it says thoughts of the heart, not of the mind.

    The Holy Spirit is telling us that our thoughts originate in our hearts. If our hearts are not subject to the authority and purity – holiness of Yahweh, the Living God and His eternal Word that is the Holy Bible, then we are in rebellion to Him, and we must repent while we can lest we be found naked and ashamed before Jesus at His coming (1 Thess. 3:13; 1 Jn. 2:28; Rev. 3:17). If we are found naked and ashamed spiritually at that time, it will be too late to fix our situation. We will never enter into God's pure and glorious Heavenly Home.

    Such thoughts – (even the thought of it) about having multiple wives is wishful thinking at best and pure rebellion against the Most glorious and Holy God at worst. The enemy of our souls, Satan is trying to deceive you into thinking that this is a lovely thought you have. But He wants to steal from you, to kill you, and destroy (Jn, 10:10) your soul in Hell. Jesus came to give us life but not according to our own evil desires but according to His good and faithful and holy desires.

  37. "…What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers." (History of the Church, vol 6, p. 411)

    Joseph Smith made this statement preaching from the stand to the Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo on Sunday May 26, 1844. At the time he had secretly taken at over 25 plural wives. He didn't just lie to Emma about his wives, to lied to everyone.

  38. "As for marrying a 14-year old, it wasn’t at all uncommon in that day and age for older men to marry young girls. If you want to judge Joseph Smith for that you’ll have to also judge half the men in the United States of that time."

    Was it normal for men to marry 14 year olds during JS's time? No. Sources include U.S. Census Bureau statistics.

    http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/Age.htm

    Here are a list of his wives, ages, and who they were already married too. The church does NOT tell you any of this. Resources include the LDS church owned familysearch.org.

    http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/

  39. "The church does NOT tell you any of this. Resources include the LDS church owned familysearch.org."

    Aren't these two sentences a bit of a contradiction? :)

    Anyway, my claim that half the men were married to young women was a bit tongue in cheek, the point being that it wasn't at all abnormal. Here's a thorough examination of the issue of the age of Joseph Smith's wives for those who care to get an accurate picture of things.

  40. LOL! Let me restate that…it is not a topic of any Sunday School class lesson or a talk in General Conference. Its not "Sacrament meeting material" is more accurate.

  41. Do you condone JS's polygamous and polyandrous relationships then, and him being secretive about them? Lying to his wife and others about them (I posted a quote above and there are many more of him denying his other marriages)? Even destroying a printing press (an act of tyranny) in order to protect his secrets of polygamy? Do you condone these behaviors? Just curious.

    • wow no response from Joshua??

  42. We all know that some early Prophets and Kings took on multiple wives, But It was never God’s will for them to do so, it was man’s lust and greed.on all of these occasions the men who took extra wives committed sins against God. Abraham fathered the Arab race with his second wife Haggar, Soloman turned away from God because he believed his wives and followed other Gods. David committed Murder because he wanted his Captains wife.

    • Where does the Bible tell us it was not God’s will for any of these men to have multiple wives?

  43. Gordon B. Hinckley on Larry King live. He outright denied that Plural Marriage was NOT DOCTRINAL!

    • Can you provide the quote along with the context?

      • CNN Transcript – Larry King Live: Gordon Hinckley: Distinguished Religious Leader of the Mormons

        • If you want a response you’ll need to post the content of what it is you’re referring to.

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            Interesting Gordon B. Hinckley Quote
            This quote was said during an interview with Larry King on the Larry King show. The entire transcript can be found at:

            CNN Transcript – Larry King Live: Gordon Hinckley: Distinguished Religious Leader of the Mormons

            This is just a clipping from the whole transcript:

            Larry King: Now the big story raging in Utah — before we get back to morals and morals, is — the big story, if you don’t know it, is polygamy in Utah; there’s been major charges. The governor, Mike Leavitt, says that there are legal reasons why the state of Utah has not prosecuted alleged polygamists. Leavitt said plural marriage may be protected by the First Amendment. He is the great-great-grandson — is the governor — of a polygamist. First tell me about the church and polygamy. When it started it allowed it?

            Gordon B. Hinckley: When our people came west they permitted it on a restricted scale.

            Larry King: You could have a certain amount of…

            Gordon B. Hinckley: The figures I have are from — between two percent and five percent of our people were involved in it. It was a very limited practice; carefully safeguarded. In 1890, that practice was discontinued. The president of the church, the man who occupied the position which I occupy today, went before the people, said he had, oh, prayed about it, worked on it, and had received from the Lord a revelation that it was time to stop, to discontinue it then. That’s 118 years ago. It’s behind us.

            Larry King: But when the word is mentioned, when you hear the word, you think Mormon, right?

            Gordon B. Hinckley: You do it mistakenly. They have no connection with us whatever. They don’t belong to the church. There are actually no Mormon fundamentalists.

            Larry King: Are you surprised that there’s, apparently, a lot of polygamy in Utah?

            Gordon B. Hinckley: I have seen the thing grow somewhat. I don’t know how much it is. I don’t know how pervasive it is.

            Larry King: Should there be arrests?

            Gordon B. Hinckley: It’s matter of civil procedure. The church can’t do anything. We have no authority in this matter, none whatever.

            Larry King: Would you like to see the state to clamp down on it?

            Gordon B. Hinckley: I think I leave that entirely in the hands of the civil officers. It’s a civil offense. It’s in violation of the law. We have nothing to do with it. We’re totally distanced from it. And if the state chooses to move on it, that’s a responsibility of civil officers.

            Larry King: President Hinckley, when the press pays attention to it, it does affect you, certainly, in a public relations sense?

            Gordon B. Hinckley: It does, because people mistakenly assume that this church has something to do with it. It has nothing whatever to do with it. It has had nothing to do with it for a very long time. It’s outside the realm of our responsibility. These people are not members. Any man or woman who becomes involved in it is excommunicated from the church.

            Larry King: Prosecutors in Utah are quoted as saying — they told “The Salt Lake Tribune” — that it’s difficult to prosecute polygamists because of a lack of evidence; that ex-wives and daughters rarely complain about it. Do you see that as a problem?

            Gordon B. Hinckley: Well, it’s secretive. There’s a certain element of secretiveness about it. I suppose they have some difficulty — they say they do, in gathering evidence.

            Larry King: Should the church be more forceful in speaking out? I mean, you’re forceful here tonight, but maybe — they’ve been saying that it’s rather than just a state matter, encouraging the state to prosecute.

            Gordon B. Hinckley: I don’t know. We’ll consider it.

            Larry King: I’m giving you an idea.

            Gordon B. Hinckley: Yes.

            Larry King: Would you look better if you were…

            Gordon B. Hinckley: I don’t know that we would or not. As far as I’m concerned, I have nothing to do with it. It belongs to the civil officers of the state.

            Larry King: You condemn it.

            Gordon B. Hinckley: I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal. It is not legal. And this church takes the position that we will abide by the law. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, magistrates in honoring, obeying and sustaining the law.

            The quote I find interesting is President Hinckley’s last, ” I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal.”

            I don’t think he is referring to fundamentalists having a “doctrinal right” to practice polygamy. They certainly do not. Is he referring to the practice in general?

            So it has me a bit perplexed.

          • I’m not sure what he means by the statement. It seems like he’s making a statement about the situation right now, not in the past. If he were stating that the practice were not doctrinal in any sense, then he would be condemning past prophets and members of the Church. I don’t believe that was his intent. If I had to guess, I would guess he’s simply saying that it is not a practice God promotes or permits today. There’s also a chance that’s not the word he would have used if he had a chance to restate things. I don’t think we can take an unprepared statement made in an interview and extrapolate Church doctrine from it. Doctrine is generally established over time, with many supporting statements.

          • I thought ‘Doctrines coming from GOD do not change. At least the Christian God that I worship does not change. Back in ancient Roman times the early Christians were being fed to the liones, they were being lid up like human torches, why Because they rejected the Roman gods. God could have told them to make believe to worship false gods, so they could save themselves.but he didn’t. To me it seems the Mormon god changes his mind to the will of man not the other way around.

          • God doesn’t change, but men do, and God gives into men according to that which they can handle. Good have the children of Israel certain rules, but when Christ came he said that old things were done away and that all things had become new. It’s kind of like how a parent allows a 15 year old to cook on the stove, whereas the same parent would never allow a 3 year old to do the same. Has the parent changed? No, but there are different rules for people at different stages of progression.

          • That’s what I’m saying If God who is unchangeable gave the Doctrine of Polygamy, who then changed it Man or God?

          • Has it been changed? There is a difference between doctrines, laws, commandments, rules, practices, etc. The doctrine of plural marriage may never change, while the commandment to practice it may.

  44. Joshua, I remember reading about Joseph Smith and the first Mormans, years ago. Am I wrong or was polygamy first practiced because the men were killed in battle. The surviving men married the women who were left alone with families. This was practiced to take care of the women and their families? I would love a response…Blessings!

    • I’ve never heard it taught from any official source that the purpose of plural marriage in the church was to take care of widows and their children. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been taught from an official source, but if it has been, I’m unaware of it.

      LDS apologist Jeff Lindsay on his website states “For some, polygamy operated in some cases almost like a welfare system to provide for widows and single women among the Saints, but that was almost certainly not why the practice was introduced.”

      FAIR states that taking care of widows and orphans is a “possible benefit” of polygamy. “Out on the frontier in 19th century life expectancy was low and women were not as economically independent as they are today. Therefore there were many widows (and orphans coming of age) that needed to be taken care of. Some women who joined the Church abroad immigrated without their husbands, leaving them without male financial support. Furthermore, Brigham Young instituted the most liberal divorce policy in the country so women (but not men!) could get out of unhappy marriages. Kathryn Daynes estimated that 30% of plural marriages came from married-before women.”

      So, were some polygamous marriages performed with the intention of caring for widows and orphans? Possibly. It certainly would have fulfilled that purpose in some situations. But this does not appear to be the fundamental reason for the practice according to anything I’ve read.

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