The Polygamy Issue (Almost Funny)

I decided to investigate the topic of polygamy in Mormonism, and it turned out to be even
more messed up than I had previously imagined. I just thought I’d share all my notes and
if anyone would like to comment and/or expand on this observation, feel free:

**MARRIAGE.**4…Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again.
-Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 Edition
Section 132 (Recorded July 12, 1843) 1…I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines
4…and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned;—
37…Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law;
38…David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.
-Doctrine and Covenants[INDENT] Evidence indicates that some of the principles
involved in this revelation were known by the
Prophet as early as 1831.
[/INDENT]**What Does the BOOK OF MORMON Say?**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.
-(Jacob 1:15) (Between 544 and 421 B.C.)

But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For
behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they
understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in
committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written
concerning David, and Solomon his son.
Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines,
which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.
-(Jacob 2:23-4) (Between 544 and 421 B.C.)

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;
-(Jacob 2:27) (Between 544 and 421 B.C.)

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 forgotten the commandment of the
Lord, which was given unto our father—that they should have save it were
one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be
whoredoms committed among them.
-(Jacob 3:5) (Between 544 and 421 B.C.)

For behold, he did not keep the commandments of God, but he did
walk after the desires of his own heart. And he had many wives and
concubines. And he did cause his people to commit sin, and do that
which was abominable in the sight of the Lord. Yea, and they did commit
whoredoms and all manner of wickedness.
-(Mosiah 11:2) (Between 160 and 150 B.C.)

And it came to pass that Riplakish did not do that which was right in the
sight of the Lord, for he did have many wives and concubines, and did lay
that upon men’s shoulders which was grievous to be borne; yea, he did
tax them with heavy taxes; and with the taxes he did build many spa-
cious buildings.
-(Ether 10:5) (Between 2320 and 1720 B.C.? [Based on])

More in my first one or two repl[size=6]ies:[/size]

What about Jesus?**
**(7–2 BC to 30–33 AD) Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt agreed with his contemporary when he wrote,
“One thing is certain, that there were several holy women that greatly
loved Jesus – such as Mary, and Martha her sister, and Mary
Magdalene; and Jesus greatly loved them, and associated with them
much; and when He arose from the dead, instead of showing Himself to
His chosen witnesses, the Apostles, He appeared first to these women,
or at least to one of them – namely, Mary Magdalene. Now it would be
natural for a husband in the resurrection to appear first to his own dear
wives, and afterwards show himself to his other friends. If all the acts of
Jesus were written, we no doubt should learn that these beloved women
were His wives.”
-(The Seer, p.159; 1853).

On July 22, 1883, Wilford Woodruff recorded the words of Joseph F.
Smith in his journal,
“Evening Meeting. Prayer By E Stephenson. Joseph F Smith spoke One
hour & 25 M. He spoke upon the Marriage in Cana at Galilee. He thought
Jesus was the Bridgegroom and Mary & Martha the brides. He also re-
fered to Luke 10 ch. 38 to 42 verse, Also John 11 ch. 2 & 5 vers John 12
Ch 3d vers, John 20 8 to 18. Joseph Smith spoke upon these passages
to show that Mary & Martha manifested much Closer relationship than
Merely A Believer which looks Consistet. He did not think that Jesus who
decended throug Poligamous families from Abraham down & who fulfilled
all the Law even baptism by immersion would have lived and died without
being married.”
-(Wilford Woodruff’s Journal 8:187, July 22, 1883, spelling left intact)."

Brigham Young’s nineteenth wife wrote,
Not content with bringing up “Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and David
and Solomon,” as their examples in the practice of polygamy, Brigham
Young, in one of his sermons, delivered during the intensest heat of the
excitement, declared that, “Jesus Christ was a practical polygamist;
Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, were his plural wives, and Mary
Magdalene was another. Also, the bridal feast at Cana of Galilee, where
Jesus turned the water into wine, was on the occasion of one of his own
-(Brigham Young, Wife Number 19)
What Do Mormon Leaders Say?“I had not been married scarcely five minutes, and made one proclamation of the Gospel, before it was reported that I had seven wives. I mean to live and proclaim the truth as long as I can. This new holy prophet [William Law] has gone to Carthage and swore that I had told him that I was guilty of adultery. This spiritual wifeism! Why, a man does not speak or wink, for fear of being accused of this…I wish the grand jury would tell me who they are - whether it will be a curse or blessing to me. I am quite tired of the fools asking me…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.”
-(Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 410-411)

“Yes, [polygamy is] one of the relics of Adam, of Enoch, of Noah,
of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, of Moses, David, Solomon, the
Prophets, of Jesus, and his apostles.”
-Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 11, p. 328

“…When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came in-
to it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him.”
-Journal of Discourses, Vol.1, p.51, Brigham Young, April 9, 1852

*f *you have in your hearts to say…”we will not, therefore, be polygamists lest we should fail in obtaining some earthly honor, character and office, etc,"-the man that has that in his heart, and will continue to persist in pursuing that policy, will come short of dwelling in the presence of the Father and the Son, in celestial glory. The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. Others attain unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the Father and the Son; but they cannot reign as kings in glory, because they had blessing offered unto them, and they refused to accept them. The Lord gave a revelation through Joseph Smith, His servant; and we have believed and practiced it.
-Journal of Discourses 11:269 (Aug. 19, 1866)

“Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and
continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned,”
(Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 266).
“The only men who become Gods, even the Sons
of God, are those who enter into polygamy,”
-(Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 269).

And as he (Joseph Smith) has here stated, as having come from the mouth of the Prophet, this doctrine of eternal union of husband and wife, and of plural marriage, is one of the most important doctrines ever revealed to man in any age of the world. Without it man would come to a full stop; without it we never could be exalted to associate with and become gods, neither could we attain to the power of eternal increase, or the blessings pronounced upon Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the fathers of the faithful.
-(Journal of Discourses 21:9, Joseph Fielding Smith, Dec. 7th, 1879)
Then, of course, we have the 1890 Manifesto and the Second Manifesto
forbidding polygamy, yet many Mormons still practiced it, even the man
who wrote out the 1890 Manifesto.

You have to also keep in mind that Mormons believe in continuing revelation, so they are not necessarily bound entirely to the Book of Mormon. After all, there are other scriptures such as the Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Abraham, the Pearl of Great Price, and countless statements and declarations made by Mormon prophets. It isn’t really as simple as what it says in the Book of Mormon.

This is why it is so comical. Mormon scriptures are teachings of leaders are all over the map, as illustrated so well by JudusThaddeus. Mormons believe the Book of Mormon is “the most correct book” ever written yet it condemns polygamy. It also does not contain any unique Mormon doctrines. The whole continuing revelation thing lets Mormon leaders make things up as they go along. I am not aware of any “revelations” shared publicly since Joseph F Smith’s dream of teaching the Mormon gospel to the dead which is in the Doctrine and Covenants. Some Mormons may say the Family Proclamation is a revelation, but it is not written as such. It is a statement, not a revelation.

Mormons cannot get away from how horrible the doctrine of polygamy is. It is still practiced today but in a round about way. A man can be sealed to another woman after is first wife dies. Because Mormons believe in eternal marriage, the man is still married to his first wife. He is therefore a polygamist. A woman cannot be sealed to another man after her husband dies. I also know some women whose ex - husbands are technically polygamists. They are legally divorced but have not have a cancellation of the sealing. The ex - husbands have remarried and sealed in the temple. The men are sealed to.two living women even though one is an ex-wife. These woman can get a cancellation of the sealing, but it is generally only granted if the woman finds a new husband she can be sealed to. If the second husband is not Mormon and cannot be sealed in the temple, she is out of luck. Her first sealing won’t be granted unless she is from a powerful Mormon family with connections.

And then there is the wife stealing that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young did. it is disgusting. Mormons cannot even reason their way out of that with their scriptures.

Keep in mind, polygamy is not dead…the PRACTICE of it is dead. It is STILL doctrine.

Also, Emma got upset. So, SHE wanted another man. So, js went to William Law and proposed a wife swapping deal. William Law was offended and went inactive. He went to publish the truth about polygamy and js had the press destroyed.

People got upset. js was violating the Constitution. js tried to run. Emma told him people were calling him a coward. So, js came back and was arrested. Went to jail. He was given a gun. Another illegal act. Instead of being a lamb as he claimed, he illegally had the gun. When the mob came, js fired the gun blindly, then ran to the window to escape, leaving his friends behind. He was shot as he tried to jump out of the window.

His death was directly related to the polygamy AND the wife swapping issue.

Oh I don’t know… there is actually a big mystery behind Smith’s death. Most common theory is that an angry mob came to kill Joseph, over of course poly-
gamy etc. Another possibility, which I proscribe (indefinitely) to , is that it was the Masons, for Joseph, 33 Degree Mason, had revealed various secret Free-
masonic rituals to non-Masons. There is even this hypothesis out there suggesting that it was actually Brigham Young who conspired to kill Joseph so that
he can take over.

Yeah there’s not definite conclusion concerning Joseph Smith’s death.

My husband and I would really like to see full-blown polygamy to return to the Mormon church so that the members, and my family specifically, would have to actually face polygamy instead of putting it on their mental shelf. It will never happen though.

Are you sure? Clearly, if single gender marriage is legal, there is no reasonable justification to legally prevent polygamy (among adults, of course). When that happens, and I have no doubt it will, the Mormon Church will have to face it and make a decision.


The recent Supreme Court decisions regarding same sex marriage make it much easier for polyamorous marriages to become legal. The Mormon church will have to face it someday, but the leadership does not want to. They know that polygamy disgusts many of the members and that many would leave if polygamy were brought back. If polygamy were to come back, I think many women (and their husbands) would leave. This would be devastating for the Mormon church because it is the women who keep it together and teach the new generation. For the leaders it is all about the tithing money the members give. They live high on the hog and the last thing they want to do is jeopardize that. They cannot force polygamy on the women like they could during the pioneer days. Many convert women were deceived and married missionaries only to find out when they got to Utah that they were wife #3 or #4. They were pretty much stuck. There are some Mormons who do want polygamy to return, and some would accept it and live by it, but it would be too devastating to the Mormon church in general. There is too much money at stake to bring polygamy back. With Mormon leadership, you always have to follow the money.

Joseph Smith’s first plural wife, Fanny Alger:

"Benjamin Johnson, a close friend of Joseph Smith, described Fanny as, “varry nice and comly, [to whom] everyone Seemed partial for the ameability of her character.” She is generally considered the first plural wife of Joseph Smith. Although undocumented, the marriage of Fanny and Joseph most likely took place in Kirtland, Ohio sometime in 1833. She would have been sixteen years old. At the time, Fanny was living in the Smith home, perhaps helping Emma with house work and the children. Ann Eliza Webb recalls, “Mrs. Smith had an adopted daughter, a very pretty, pleasing young girl, about seventeen years old. She was extremely fond of her; no mother could be more devoted, and their affection for each other was a constant object of remark, so absorbing and genuine did it seem”.

Joseph kept his marriage to Fanny out of the view of the public, and his wife Emma. Chauncey Webb recounts Emma’s later discovery of the relationship: “Emma was furious, and drove the girl, who was unable to conceal the consequences of her celestial relation with the prophet, out of her house”. Ann Eliza again recalls: “…it was felt that [Emma] certainly must have had some very good reason for her action. By degrees it became whispered about that Joseph’s love for his adopted daughter was by no means a paternal affection, and his wife, discovering the fact, at once took measures to place the girl beyond his reach…Since Emma refused decidedly to allow her to remain in her house…my mother offered to take her until she could be sent to her relatives…”

Book of Mormon witness, Oliver Cowdery, felt the relationship was something other than a marriage. He referred to it as “A dirty, nasty, filthy affair…” To calm rumors regarding Fanny’s relationship with Joseph, the church quickly adopted a “Chapter of Rules for Marriage among the Saints”, which declared, “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with…polygamy; we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife…” This “Article on Marriage” was canonized and published in the Doctrine & Covenants. In 1852, the doctrine of polygamy was publicly announced, thus ending eighteen years of secret practice. “The Article on Marriage” became obsolete and was later removed.


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