Polygamy vs the Book of Mormon

I have been doing a lot of studying and thinking about the issue of polygamy and this is what I have come up with. I have settled the issue in my mind and believe what the Book of Mormon teaches on the issue. So this is what I have concluded:

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.

What is Jacob telling us is a wicked practice here? And who is being portrayed as an example of someone involved in doing that wicked practice?

17 Wherefore I, Jacob, gave unto them these words as I taught them in the temple, having first obtained mine errand from the Lord.

Wow! Jacob teaches them after being told to do so by the Lord, polygamy is an abomination! And where is he teaching them this? From within the walls of the temple. How ironic is that? You think this is just a coincidence?

He continues here in:
Jacob 2: 23 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.

What is a grosser crime? A really bad one right? Like committing whoredoms and then attempting to justify them because of what David and Solomon did. And we learn here they did that because they DIDN’T understand the scriptures. So you are being told here if you think polygamy is commanded by God you DON’T understand the scriptures. Here are some relevant scriptures from the Bible:

David and Solomon did other things which displeased the Lord also, besides having many wives and concubines and David wasn’t allowed to build a temple because he had “shed much blood” in wars.(1 Chronicles 22:8)

JST 1 Kings 11:
4.For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, and it became as the heart of David his father.
5.For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
6.And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, as David his father, and went not fully after the Lord.

and in
JST 1 Kings 3:14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways to keep my statutes, and my commandments, then I will lengthen thy days, and thou shalt not walk in unrighteousness, as did thy father David.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

And now back to the actual words of God given through Jacob:

Jacob 2:24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

What is being labeled abominable here by the Lord? And what was the definition of that word as used in the time Joseph Smith used it? 1828 Websters says: ABOM’INABLE, a. [See Abominate. ] 1. Very hateful; detestable; lothesome. 2. This word is applicable to whatever is odious to the mind or offensive to the senses.

Pretty clear condemnation, I would say.

25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.

Why did God say He led Lehi and the people with him out of the land of Jerusalem to the promised land? So he could raise up a righteous branch(who are commanded not to practice polygamy) from the lineage of Joseph(who also did not come from a polygamous line). He did this without instituting the false doctrine that polygamy or plural marriage(as if there is any real difference) was required and in fact is stating just the opposite. He is telling us here in no uncertain terms, a righteous branch of His people, is one which DOES NOT practice polygamy!!

26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.

God is stating he will not allow this practice to continue within His people. These are his people and in order to remain “His people”, they will live according to a higher standard. Not only is he stating many wives and concubines is an abomination, in the next verse He even says having two wives is in violation of His commandment.

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;

No man(not the prophet, not the king, apostles, priests or leaders), shall have more than one wife or any concubines. There is no waffling in this statement or any exception granted to “any man.”

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.

It is clear here that God is equating polygamy with whoredoms. And He is saying it makes women who are involved in it unchaste. What does the 1828 Websters say a whoredom is? WHOREDOM, n. Horedom. 1. Lewdness; fornication; practice of unlawful commerce with the other sex. It is applied to either sex, and to any kind of illicit commerce.
So having more than one wife is unlawful and therefore when any other marriage is entered into and results in sexual intercourse, adultery is committed.
That is the exact same policy followed by the restored church with its Article on Marriage, instituted in the 1835 D&C(and later removed in 1876 by the polygamist Brigham Young) and was established as the “Law” of His church in 1831, by direct revelation as laid out in D&C in section 42:22, “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else” and again stated in D&C 49:16  “Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation; ”
This is the standard which will continue until the “earth might answer the end of its creation” which clearly hasn’t happened yet, has it?

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

Having only one wife is a commandment and those who break it will be cursed not blessed. One can go through the history of the restored church and also read about what happened to the Nephites and the Jaredites to see those breaking this commandment have been cursed, far more than blessed.

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.

Now this is the verse that gives people a lot of trouble and one which has been totally misinterpreted by pro-polygamists, desperate to find something in the BOM they can use to justify their whoredoms. Now think about this, we just read eight verses very clearly condemning the “abomination” and “whoredom” polygamy is in the eyes of God and how He will curse the land of the people who practice it and now we are supposed to think He says it is OK if He wants it to be? That’s what we should think this means? Seriously? Not!
If that is what you see here you are being blinded by the doctrines of men and you don’t understand the scriptures. Instead, we need to look at the one misinterpreted word used here by advocates of polygamy, which causes this verse to be confusing when it is taken out of the context it is clearly in. They claim this one word overrides all the verses before and all the verses after and and thus we find the following foolish claim made on an LDS apologist site, “The Book of Mormon makes it clear that the Lord may, under some circumstances, command the practice of plural marriage.” Huh? Makes it clear? Where? Certainly not in verse 30! If it is clear why is there any controversy over this issue which has been raging for generations?

This is ridiculous, completely false and is a blatant corruption of the word of God.
The word otherwise as used in 1828 had a different definition which was OTH’ERWISE, adv. [other and wise, manner. ] 1. In a different manner.  Thy father was a worthy prince, and merited, alas! a better fate; but heaven thought otherwise.
When that usage is applied here this verse takes on a much clearer meaning which fits logically and completely with the context it is in. It is crucial to use the correct meaning of the word otherwise here in this verse as it was understood and used in the time this was translated. Let’s try : 30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; in a different manner they shall hearken unto these things.

Just what manner of behavior is Jacob in the middle of expounding on and condemning here? The abominable manner of David and Solomon, right? And the abominable manner of the Nephites in misinterpreting the scriptures to justify committing “whoredoms” by having more than one wife. Isn’t this a type and shadow of what Latter Day Saints would later do? God is really reiterating here what he just stated in verse 25; When He chooses to raise up a righteous seed(branch) unto Him, He will give those people commandments to follow. And they will keep those commandments in a different manner than was done by “them of old”. Pretty straightforward. And we are being told here, one of the main and most important commandments given to them in order to be a righteous branch of His People, is they are to only have one wife. And this fact will even be made clearer by Him when we get to Jacob 3:6. So God is really stating here: IN A DIFFERENT MANNER than David and Solomon did of old, His people WILL hearken unto these things. What things(things condemned in verse 24)? His commandment to have only one wife.

This is also interesting:

Here is this verse straight from the original printing of the Book of Mormon in the 1830 edition which continued unchanged in the 1837, 1840 and 1841 editions all published while Joseph Smith was alive until it was changed in the 1849 edition published by the polygamist, Orson Pratt, probably under the direction of Brigham Young  : “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.”

Notice the different punctuation? See how it originally had a colon instead of a semicolon and a comma after the word otherwise? Why was this changed? By whose authority?  For what purpose? Maybe a little grammar lesson is in order here-  A colon is used to connect two sentences when the second sentence summarizes, sharpens, or explains the first. Both sentences should be complete, and their content should be very closely related.  NOT contradictory! A colon means “that is to say” or “here’s what I mean.” Colons and semicolons should never be used interchangeably. A colon instead of a semicolon may be used between independent clauses when the second sentence explains, illustrates, paraphrases, or expands on the first sentence.

This original punctuation more clearly shows God does not condone the way of David and Solomon, and commands His people to act in a different manner.  Again, what things are Jacob condemning here? The abominations and whoredoms of David and Solomon, by having many wives and concubines. He is telling all His people, if they are going to continue to be His people, they will have to act in another manner than David and Solomon did.
It is ridiculous to think God condemns something and then while in the middle of condemning it says “But if I feel like it I still might tell you to do this when I want you to.” God isn’t wishy-washy. He isn’t a flake. He is the “same God yesterday, today, and forever”(D&C 20:12).
Mormon also taught this great truth clearly, “For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?”(Mormon 9:9)
Again, this verse is NOT an exception, it is not a loophole, it is a reiteration of verse 25: Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.

And there is another perfectly logical interpretation of this verse which also condemns the practice of polygamy. Isn’t it far more likely that God is stating here that if he doesn’t command his people(His seed) NOT to practice polygamy they will use any excuse(the things written about David and Solomon) to engage in it?
God knows If he doesn’t tell them(US) NOT to, they will hearken(listen) to those who tell them it is o.k. and use any excuse, even corrupting the scriptures to justify it. Doesn’t that make a lot more sense here? It does to me. But then again I am not a polygamist searching for any excuse, no matter how ridiculous in order to justify my sin. I am not straining at a gnat so I can swallow a big, smelly, slobbering camel.

31 For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem, yea, and in all the lands of my people, because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands.

Why were His daughters sorrowful and mourning in Jerusalem and in “all the lands of His people”? What caused them to suffer and mourn? The wickedness and abominations of their HUSBANDS! And what were the husbands doing that was wicked and abominable? Taking more wives and concubines due to their lust and then trying to justify it by INCORRECTLY interpreting the scriptures. Don’t sinners frequently try to justify their sins? Don’t they use any means to try and do so?
What does Alma say about this in chapter 41:10 “Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.”
So how can this wickedness ever lead to happiness? Is God a liar?

32 And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people, which I have led out of the land of Jerusalem, shall come up unto me against the men of my people, saith the Lord of Hosts.

He loves all His children equally and the cries of His daughters do not go unheeded. God is stating He will not allow this practice to happen without consequences and in the next verse tells us what those consequences will be. Notice also how the men are the ones singled out here? The men are the cause of this wickedness. Women never come up with the idea of polygamy, do they?

33 For they shall not lead away captive the daughters of my people because of their tenderness, save I shall visit them with a sore curse, even unto destruction; for they shall not commit whoredoms, like unto them of old, saith the Lord of Hosts.

That is a very interesting phrase, “lead away captive,” isn’t it? The men play on the “tenderness” of the women to lead them into the captivity of sin to satisfy their own lusts and desire for power and control. The men misinterpret the scriptures and then use them to ‘sell’ the sin they want to engage in(with) to the women. Here’s a question: what practice nearly caused the complete destruction of the restored church, until they finally abandoned it? What practice split the church more than once? What practice is still a big problem for it? What practice created a culture of lying and deceit?

Nephi warned of this, “Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
So again, we get a clear condemnation of what David and Solomon did here and the harm it does to women. And one should naively and foolishly believe verse 30 granted an exception? A loophole? Come on, really?

“O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.”
Don’t you think we should heed the counsel offered in Acts 5:29?  “¶Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”

34 And now behold, my brethren, ye know that these commandments were given to our father, Lehi; wherefore, ye have known them before; and ye have come unto great condemnation; for ye have done these things which ye ought not to have done.

Crystal clear statement the commandment was given to Lehi and his people to live the law of one wife married to one husband. There is no commandment given to men, by GOD, in the Bible contradicting this law, either. Yes, Abraham and Jacob had more than one wife but God NEVER commanded them to do that. There was no law given commanding them to do so. Their first wives, as in the case of Sarai(not named Sarah until over 13 years after the fact- D&C 132), and chosen wife, Rachel, both lost faith that they would ever have children as promised, due to their age, and came up with the plan of their respective husbands taking another wife or concubine, in the hope of then having children. That wasn’t God’s plan and not what He commanded them to do. Just a result of their lack of faith. Besides, Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah whom he thought was Rachel. And good luck finding in the Bible where God commanded polyandry which was practiced by some of the women in the restored church. It isn’t there. Or secretly marrying other men’s wives.

35 Behold, ye have done greater iniquities than the Lamanites, our brethren. Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you. And because of the strictness(no loopholes) of the word of God, which cometh down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds.

Guilty of greater iniquities than the Lamanites? So how important is the commandment to only have one wife? If breaking that commandment breaks the tender hearts of the wives how could breaking that law ever become an act of righteousness? Jacob states here that this is a strict commandment which means no exceptions or loopholes. Websters 1828 says strictness is: exactness in the observance of rules, laws, rites and the like; rigorous accuracy; nice regularity or precision. Still think verse 30 means what the polygamists say it does? You going to put your trust in them?

Jacob 3: 5 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(Lehi)—that they should have save it were ONE wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them.

This is completely unequivocal in its condemnation of having more than one wife irregardless of what that process is called, be it polygamy, polyandry, plural marriage or the spiritual wife system. It is a commandment given to all of God’s people. Calling something by another name doesn’t change what it really is. You can call a rattlesnake a big earthworm but it is still a rattlesnake. Don’t be fooled into thinking ‘plural marriage’ is some new and special higher law just because the polygamists came up with a fancy new name for their sin. It isn’t. Remember, “wickedness never was happiness”.

6 And now, this commandment they observe to keep; wherefore, because of this observance, in keeping this commandment, the Lord God will not destroy them, but will be merciful unto them; and one day they shall become a blessed people.

Amazingly, we learn here, just the fact the Lamanites observed this commandment was enough to offset the punishment for all their other unrighteous acts, allowing them to be saved from total destruction, which the Nephites suffered. And then they are promised they will become a “blessed people” for keeping this commandment. This is Huge! Could it be any clearer how the Lord feels about the sanctity of marriage being between only ONE man and ONE woman? How many times and in how many ways must he say it?
And we should foolishly throw all this out the window because of the misunderstanding of the meaning of the word, ‘otherwise’ or some misplaced punctuation? You think God will give you a pass for that?
“Sorry God, I ignored everything else you revealed about this and common sense and logic because I thought you created a loophole for me with a single word.” Good luck with that. I’m betting that isn’t going to work out to well for you.

7 Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands; and their husbands and their wives love their children; and their unbelief and their hatred towards you is because of the iniquity of their fathers; wherefore, how much better are you than they, in the sight of your great Creator?

What did Paul teach us in Galations 1? “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” Did Paul ever teach the other gospel of plural marriage? How did Joseph Smith say he received the directive to practice polygamy? From an angel threatening him with a drawn sword, right?
Is it possible Joseph Smith was fooled by this angel and led the church(at least the elite of the church) astray? Do you think this prophecy in Malachi 2:14 (about JS?) is referring to this very thing happening?
“Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.”
Did Joseph really tell William Marks he had been deceived about the doctrine of polygamy as Marks stated? http://tinyurl.com/p4ozxr8

Did the other apostles or Jesus Christ preach the gospel of plural marriage? Did Enoch? Noah? Adam? Moses? Nephi? Did Abraham? Isaac, who was Abraham’s son didn’t practice it (contradicting another lie found in D&C 132 in verses 1 and 37). Isaac also didn’t come from it and Isaac and Rebekah never lost their faith, and patiently waited over 20 years, until the promise they would have a child was finally fulfilled. The Nephites and Lamanites were living under Mosaic law at this time and commanded not to practice polygamy so how could this have been a commandment sanctioned by Mosaic law? And even if it was sanctioned under Mosaic law what did Christ say when He appeared to the people in the BOM?                          3 Nephi 12:46 “Therefore those things which were of old time, which were under the law, in me are all fulfilled.

What is the purpose of the Book of Mormon? The Lord Himself has stated that the Book of Mormon contains the “fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (D&C 20:9). The Prophet Joseph Smith’s testified that “the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion.” The angel Moroni said, “there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang.” He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants;
If it is the most correct book of any book on earth, contains the fulness of the gospel and it condemns unequivocally the practice of having more than one wife should that condemnation be ignored or set aside? If it clearly states, which it does, that one who uses the scriptures to justify this practice does so in error, should that warning also be taken lightly and ignored?

Doesn’t it make sense to apply this directive here?  “But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils.”  (D&C 46:7)

Why has the church been under condemnation for so long for taking the Book of Mormon lightly, since at least September 22, 1832 as stated in D&C 84?

Verse 54 “And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—

55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.

57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments(D&C 19:25) which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—              Whoa!!

Does the Book of Mormon have anything else to say about how God feels about polygamy? Any other passages which might further clarify or reinforce how God feels about this practice?

Lets look in Mosiah and read about what God said about the practices of wicked king Noah:
Mosiah 11- Verse 2
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.

Interesting that we are told here wanting to have more than one wife was the “desire of his own heart”. Men are naturally attracted to women and lust leads them to covet more than one, yet in doing so we read one isn’t keeping the commandments of God. God knew this was an issue with the early saints and saw fit to warn them in 1829 in D&C 19:25 “And again, I command thee that thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife; nor seek thy neighbor’s life.” He knew this was going to be a ‘stumbling block’ for them and yet this commandment and warning was ignored and many coveted and then married their neighbors wives.

3 And he laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed, a fifth part of their gold and of their silver, and a fifth part of their ziff, and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also a fifth part of all their grain.(taxation which is theft is also condemned here)

4 And all this did he take to support himself, and his wives and his concubines; and also his priests, and their wives and their concubines; thus he had changed the affairs of the kingdom.

He robbed people to pay for his whoredoms and the whoredoms of his priests. Sounds like our rulers nowadays.

5 For he put down all the priests that had been consecrated by his father, and consecrated new ones in their stead, such as were lifted up in the pride of their hearts.

Obviously the good priests wanted nothing to do with his wickedness and abominations so he had to get new ones who liked that sort of thing.

6 Yea, and thus they were supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry, and in their whoredoms, by the taxes which king Noah had put upon his people; thus did the people labor exceedingly to support iniquity.

7 Yea, and they also became idolatrous, because they were deceived by the vain and flattering words of the king and priests; for they did speak flattering things unto them.

And the people followed their rulers into sinning just like them. The rulers lied to them and convinced them good was bad and bad was good. So here we find another clear condemnation regarding having more than one wife and of that practice comprising “whoredoms”.

And finally we go to Ether 10 for one more proof of God’s condemnation in the Book of Mormon, of this practice among the Jaredites, another group of people he initially chosen to be a righteous branch. Verses 5-7:

5 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 spacious buildings. (another condemnation of the theft known as taxation)

6 And he did erect him an exceedingly beautiful throne; and he did build many prisons, and whoso would not be subject unto taxes he did cast into prison; and whoso was not able to pay taxes he did cast into prison; and he did cause that they should labor continually for their support; and whoso refused to labor he did cause to be put to death.

7 Wherefore he did obtain all his fine work, yea, even his fine gold he did cause to be refined in prison; and all manner of fine workmanship he did cause to be wrought in prison. And it came to pass that he did afflict the people with his whoredoms and abominations.

He had many wives and concubines thus engaging in whoredoms and abominations, contrary to the commandments of God.

It is interesting that both the Jaredites and the Nephites, who at various times engaged in the condemned practice of having multiple wives and or concubines, were completely destroyed. Yet the Lamanites, who also engaged in other wicked practices done by the Nephites and Jaredites, but not polygamy, weren’t completely destroyed. Huh! And the reason given for them being spared was recorded in Jacob 3:6 “And now, this commandment they observe to keep; wherefore, because of this observance, in keeping this commandment, the Lord God will not destroy them, but will be merciful unto them; and one day they shall become a blessed people.”

Pretty powerful message and warning to the rest of the world and the Latter Day Saints out of the most correct book on earth, from three distinct groups of people, isn’t it?
Three clear witnesses warning us away from this unholy practice. The Book of Mormon, which was written explicitly for us and contains the fullness of the gospel, is absolutely clear on its condemnation of polygamy and the accompanying sin of misinterpreting the scriptures to justify it.

So I can apply this wise counsel from Joseph Fielding Smith:

“ It makes no difference what is written or what anyone has said, if what has
been said is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, we can set it aside.

My words, and the teachings of any other member of the Church, high or low, if
they do not square with the revelations, we need not accept them.

Let us have this matter clear. We have accepted the four standard works as the measuring yardsticks, or balances,
by which we measure every man’s doctrine.” (Joseph Fielding Smith Doctrines of Salvation, 3:203).

Polygamy and its counterpart, plural marriage is false doctrine. Of that I have no doubt. And just like the church has now rejected the racist doctrine of claiming blacks weren’t allowed to hold the priesthood, for all kinds of previously offered ridiculous reasons, the false doctrine of polygamy will also fall. God is not a polygamist. He isn’t married and He isn’t dependent on a female goddess letting Him use her womb in order for His will to be done. We are not going to be polygamists in the next life. All of that is abominable doctrine and an “other gospel” created by lecherous, old men trying to justify their whoredoms.

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38 thoughts on “Polygamy vs the Book of Mormon

  1. Greg, excellent post. I agree completely that they don’t understand the scriptures and worse, they twist them to cover their crimes. It’s interesting, like you said, there is no where in the scriptures where polygamy is used to raise up a righteous seed.
    This part is brilliant:
    “This is ridiculous, completely false and is a blatant corruption of the word of God.
    The word otherwise as used in 1828 had a different definition which was Oth”er*wise` (?), adv. [Other + wise manner.] In a different manner; in another way, or in other ways; differently; contrarily.
    When that usage is applied this verse takes a much different meaning which fits logically and completely with the context it is in. It is crucial to use the correct definition of the word otherwise here in this verse as it was understood and used in the time this was translated. Let’s try : 30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; in a different manner they shall hearken unto these things.”

    I didn’t know the 1828 of the word, “otherwise” but I alway thought that verse could be talking about something else, since it doesn’t say polygamy. And like you said, all the other verses plainly spell out a doctrine against polygamy. And boy, when it talks about …”I The Lord have seen the sorrow and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people,” that is no joke. Believe me the women and daughters mourned, and they still do today, the tens of thousands who are still being duped into that retched lifestyle, thinking their salvation depends on it. The suffering, neglect, abuse, and molesting/incest that goes on in those communities is an abomination. I agree with you, polygamy is a false doctrine, and always has been.

  2. You are right, polygamy is and always was an abomination in God’s eyes. There is no proof that D&C 132 was written by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young had every reason to lie and say Joseph wrote it. But it was added to the D&C long after Joseph died, and there is no proof that Joseph ever heard of D&C 132.

    And there is no proof that Joseph ever preached or practiced polygamy, only tons of hearsay mostly from those who had every reason to lie and pin their whoredoms on Joseph to try to justify them. But we have tons of proof that Joseph was completely against polygamy and that he knew it was adultery and one of the most vile evils and abuses of women.

    And no matter what anyone believes about Joseph Smith or Brigham Young, Jesus Christ trumps them all and he taught that polygamy (married men marrying a 2nd or more wives), was always adultery (Matt 19:9, etc.).

    Only those who haven’t studied or who don’t live Christ’s teachings fall for polygamy. True prophets and all righteous people are repulsed by polygamy and instantly know it’s evil and doesn’t stand up to the the Golden Rule either, let alone Christ’s other commandments of true exclusive eternal love between spouses.

    And Christ’s teachings also mean that God and Christ are married as all righteous people will be in the next life, for that is what it means to have eternal life. Christ would not have commanded people to stay married to their spouse no matter what their spouse is like if they weren’t going to be married & together in the next life. It would have made no sense and no one would do it. For the only reason to live Christ’s high laws is gain eternal marriage with the one you love. Otherwise everyone would be just fine without eternal life, if all were going to be single anyway. Eternal life means continuing to have children and create worlds with our spouse.

    I believe Christ was married to Mary, it’s very evident when you understand how true love looks. That is why Mary was the 1st one he appeared to and why according to ancient records he put Mary 1st above anyone, even his apostles, as all righteous men would, for no one comes before one’s spouse. I believe Christ probably had children also. Every righteous person desires a spouse and family.

    Though Joseph Smith taught many great and true things, like most false prophets do, he did not prove to have Charity or that he was a true disciple of Christ and did not live or preach according to Christ’s teachings. So Christ said to consider such men like Joseph as not true followers of him. But the adversary knows more truth then any of us and can teach false prophets many true and wonderful things that can make people think they are true prophets, just because they teach some truth.

    But Christ said we prove true prophets by what they ‘do’, not what they ‘say’. and Joseph did not live according to Christ’s teachings, he even preached and practiced against them.

    So D&C 132 is irrelevant, no matter who wrote it, for it is contrary to Christ.

      • Don’t you feel foolish for falling for the Church’s statements, when it has every reason to lie about Joseph Smith and polygamy? Especially since Joseph published his constant warnings and condemnation against all polygamy, both ancient and modern?

        Do you really think the Church would admit that Joseph was innocent of polygamy? And thus reveal that the Church is all a fraud? Not in this life they won’t.

        Bottom line though, It is apparent that someone is lying, either Joseph lied or BY and the Church today is lying, either way it proves the Church cannot be true, for Christ said true prophets don’t lie, they keep that commandment. This is not rocket science.

  3. Considering that the BOM was initially written without punctuation, Jacob 2:30 read:

    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.

    As you have clearly shown, in order for this verse to make any sense with the rest of Jacob 2 (not to mention all of the other scriptures existent at the time this verse was translated), I suggest the following punctuation:

    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.

    Here the meaning is clear. If the Lord will raise up seed, he will command the people otherwise (meaning in some way different from polygamy).

    Polygamy never has been a principle of the gospel. Joseph never taught or practiced it. It is an abomination and has blinded the LDS church since the days of Brigham Young.

    • I did a little research after reading your comment and it does appear the BOM was originally translated without punctuation, which was added before and during printing. We all know punctuation can completely change the meaning of a sentence. So I looked at the original printing for verse 30 and then compared it to the way it is now punctuated and it was changed. I added to my post regarding this. I agree with your use of punctuation as it would make this verse fit perfectly within the context it is found in. God doesn’t give us scripture to trick or confuse us. But men frequently use His words that way in order to justify their own evil designs and sin. Polygamy is not a principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

      • There is absolutely no proof that Joseph ever lived polygamy, or even preached it. Just lots of vile hearsay against Joseph. Why do you just believe whatever the Church says? They are never going to admit Joseph was innocent of polygamy even though they probably know it.

  4. Excellent post Greg! I agree with much of what you have written. i had already drawn big fat red and black X’s on most of the verses in section 132, I have now added more. 😉
    I do believe in the “Holy Spirit of Promise” as written about in: Ephesians 1:13, Doctrine and Covenants 76:53, Doctrine and Covenants 88:3, Doctrine and Covenants 124:124. Also I do believe that Christ and God have Eternal Spouses, part of the Elohim (Council of the Gods), the male and the female making the One God. This idea is found in the Kabbalah (Jewish writings). I am also open to Multiple mortal probabtions.

  5. One of the best discourses I’ve read on how the Book of Mormon condemns polygamy. There is also a Jaredite king who was recognized as a just ruler but did not have the spirit of God because he practiced polygamy.

    • Thanks Rock,

      Your blog is awesome and I have spent many, many hours reading your posts and thinking about them. Thank you for all your hard work in addressing these important issues so well.

  6. In Jacob 2:30, note the word “things” (“otherwise, they shall harken unto these things”). “Thing(s)” appears several times in the latter part of Jacob 2 and it always denotes whoredoms. Jacob 2:30 says that unless God leads his people out of the mire and instructs them properly, they will commit whoredoms. I suppose whoredoms are among the most certain things that the natural man will engage in, given the opportunity.

    Here’s how you can get the point across very simply: Get the text of Jacob 2:22-35 and make the text background green for verse 25 and the first part of verse 30, up to the semicolon. Those verses go together. Then, make the text background red for all instances of the word “thing(s)” and the latter part of verse 30, after the semicolon. It all jumps out then, clear as a bell. I don’t see how any Mormon interested in the truth could mistake God’s condemnation of polygamy when they see this presentation. What you’ll find out next is that most people just blow it off, since their thinking has already been done for them. Polygamy is not over!

    • Chip,

      Thanks for the suggestion. I followed it and you were right. The matching colors just jump out at you and make the obvious correct connection very plain. There are so many logical ways to interpret verse 30 as being a condemnation or a warning against polygamy it defies all reason to think it is a loophole allowing one to practice it. But evil and foolish people use any excuse, no matter how ridiculous to justify their sin and to trick others into joining them for the ride. You know the saying, “misery loves company.”
      The problem here is people obey men rather than God.
      Again, thanks for the good idea.

  7. This is a topic that can only be confirmed/rejected by the spirit.
    I urge those of you honestly seeking out the truth to pray unbiased for it and ask for an answer via the Holy Ghost.
    I could debate with you on this matter for hours and neither of us would get anywhere attempting to persuade the other.
    #DoubtYourDoubtsBeforeYouDoubtYourFaith

    • Rebecca,

      False revelation by false spirits or from the Adversary (or our own mind) is a continual dilemma for everyone. False inspiration makes us feel really good about very bad things and can also make us feel very bad about good & true things, especially if we don’t want to live or believe them.

      Few people ever like Christ’s very high laws, even some of his own Apostles couldn’t accept or live them.

      ‘The Spirit’ is not a reliable way to determine truth vs error, even though we can learn truth thru the right Spirit. But we must 1st make sure we are being taught by a good spirit and more importantly that what we are being taught is actually truth, that doesn’t contradict Christ’s teachings or the Golden Rule or love, which we all are born with & know deep down.

      Everyone, even all prophets as we have seen throughout history, are often deceived by false inspiration and revelation from false spirits or their own minds.

      Christ taught us to ‘try the spirits’ and to ‘prove all things 1st before believing them’, especially the ideas coming to us thru ‘the Spirit’, by comparing those ideas or precepts with his teachings.

      Polygamy is clearly not in harmony with Christ’s teachings, so if we get good feelings about polygamy Christ taught we can be sure that it’s either our own mind that likes the idea or the Adversary telling us that polygamy is good.

      Christ warned us about putting faith in anything or anyone before we prove that it is true by comparing it or them with the things He taught.

      Christ clearly repeatedly condemned all forms of polygamy, past, present and future, and thus taught that anyone preaching, practicing or believing in polygamy is not a true follower of Him.

  8. (p.s. Polygamy isn’t practiced any longer. Joseph Smith DID, in fact, practice polygamy, though he did not have sexual relations with his other wives. You cannot simply allow yourself to be blinded without the facts– you have to address them, legitimately, regardless of your viewpoint on the matter. You have to take into consideration ALL of the contributing factors and realize that the Book of Mormon was written both for us in our day as well as for the posterity of Lehi. We are not to practice polygamy, as the Nephites weren’t allowed to. Be sure that the literature you are producing is in harmony with the spirit. Read it again and try to feel the implications of it. Does it feel like it is of God? Remember also that Satan is a masterful counterfeiter….and all of us are great at being ethnocentric.)

  9. Oh, one thing I disagree with you about Greg isn’t mentioned until the very end: God was once married to one wife but the wife wanted to usurp His power and convinced 1/3 of the spirit children to rebel. Her name? Lucifer.

    Who else would have been able to convince that big a group to rebel in the interest of “saving” all of the children?

  10. It’s amazing what some will rationalize and justify in order to believe Joseph Smith didn’t practice polygamy or have sex with his wives. You are either choosing to ignore the historical records, or you haven’t thoroughly studied the historical records. Do you care about the truth?

    Joseph both instituted and practiced polygamy, and he had sex with his wives. Please stop spreading false information.

    • It really doesn’t matter if Joseph lived polygamy or not, for he proved he was a false prophet, as are all the church leaders who followed him, in so many other ways by preaching and practicing contrary to Christ. The LDS Church has never followed Christ and be a true Christian Church, let alone taught the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

      But if in fact we find out Joseph really did live polygamy, then it just sadly means he fell for whoredoms just like so many other true and false prophets before him thoughout history. Polygamy is such inticing whoredom to the natural man that even the best of men have a hard time not falling for.

      Few men there be that don’t desire it, fall for it or support it in some way. But then again, righteous men who have complete true & faithful love for their one wife for their whole life & eternity, have always been very rare.

  11. John,

    Where in this post did I say Joseph didn’t practice polygamy? My whole purpose in writing this was to show that polygamy/plural marriage was condemned by the Book of Mormon and that God didn’t command anybody anywhere to practice it. Whether or not Joseph practiced it is irrelevant to my position which is that it is a false doctrine.
    Just came across(11/21/14) a fantastic essay critiquing the polygamy essay recently put out by the church on LDS.org. Highly recommended reading. Here is the link: http://preview.tinyurl.com/qbspxez
    I don’t think this issue is going to go away anytime soon and the controversy is going to continue to build and deepen. Don’t be surprised if we get some ‘new revelation’ to manage this issue.

  12. John and many of the posters ignorance here is amazing. The fact is if God wants polygamy he will allow it as he did with Jacob of the Bible, etc. The reality is if Joseph Smith is a true prophet then God told him to do so. If he is not then it was wrong practice to many of you (would be interesting to know how many of you believe same sex marriage is wrong or not, marriage out of wedlock, etc.). Since I know he is a true Prophet of God then he was commanded to do so. It was not easy thing for him to do at first and it took an Angel with a flaming sword to make sure he followed God’s command. In the last days their will be stumbling blocks to divide the wheat from the Tares, and this and other so called issues are all of your stumbling blocks. Funny you John said you read the Book of Mormon but yet miss the point… Laman and Lemuel are instructed by Nephi to inquire of the Lord. So my question to you John and others here is after you did an unbiased study of this topic have you inquired of the Lord? I know I have and the Holy Ghost has confirmed Joseph Smith is a prophet of God!

    • The only instance of a “flaming sword” showing up in the scriptures is when God used one to prevent people from doing something- eating of the tree of life. No indication He ever used a flaming sword to MAKE somebody do something. God doesn’t try to force us to do anything, but satan does.

  13. Great post Greg… I totally agree with your conclusions.

    Since the Church did the essays on polygamy beginning November 2014:
    https://www.lds.org/topics/plural-marriage-in-kirtland-and-nauvoo?lang=eng
    https://www.lds.org/topics/plural-marriage-in-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints?lang=eng
    https://www.lds.org/topics/plural-marriage-and-families-in-early-utah?lang=eng
    It has caused me to consider what President Gordon B Hinckley said on the Larry King interview that aired September 8, 1998 saying, concerning polygamy:
    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.
    He said, “I think it is not doctrinal.” I was left to pray and ponder about that statement and search the scriptures that the Prophet Joseph had when he was on the earth and these are my best conclusions regarding polygamy personally without considering any second hand reports or opinions of others and why I came to this conclusion. This would have excluded section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants at that time, since it was put in 8 years after his death by Brigham Young, then acting president of the Church.
    We may assume this or that about “God” and how to worship Him. My greatest desire is to see things through “Gods” perspective and not my perspective. All I have right now for my foundation is the scriptures and my interpretation of them and what visions and dreams I have had that help me to understand His perspective. To me there is a huge difference between “believing in God” and “becoming like God.” I know many examples of people who say they “believe in God,” yet there actions show the “natural man” has taken over or is in control of their lifestyle. Some follow the “letter of the law” so rigidly that the “spirit of the law” has fled. The “form and structure” of any law, I believe is there to guide us into the “spirit of the law.” It is my belief that the “spirit of the law” ought to be our foundation back to God through “holiness” of a moral character.
    “Under the guidance of the Prophets it was seen that what distinguished Jehovah from the gods of the heathen was His personal character. The word holy therefore came to refer to moral character (Lev. 11:44; 19:2; 21:8; Isa. 6:3–8). Israel must be holy in character because the God of Israel was holy (Jer. 7:4–7; see also Matt. 5:48). The Law of Holiness (Lev. 17–26) shows how the attempt was made by means of ceremonial observances to secure this holiness of character. The attempt failed because the later Jews observed the letter and neglected the spirit; they attached more importance to the ceremonial than to the moral; and the result was a lapse into formalism. But in the writings of the Prophets it is clearly laid down that the value of worship in the eyes of God depends upon the personal character of the worshipper.” (See LDS Bible Dictionary, Holiness)

  14. Who Started Polygamy?

    It wasn’t until sin found its way into the mind of man (Gen. 4:15-23) that polygamy occurs. Cain was cursed, Lamech is a descendent of Cain and the first to practice polygamy as far as we know from the scriptures. The first time polygamous relationship is found in the Bible is with a thriving rebellious society in sin; when a murderer named “Lamech [a descendant of Cain] took for himself two wives” (Gen.4:19, 23).

    Who Will End Polygamy?

    The same Godly pattern of one man and one wife was lived by Noah and his family when the race of man was to start anew again. At the time of the Ark (Gen. 7:7), Noah took his one wife into the ark, all his son’s took one wife; God called Noah’s family righteous and pure. If polygamy were ordained of God, it would have made sense that Noah and his sons would have taken additional wives with them to repopulate the earth faster from the effects of the flood and cataclysm.

    It seems to me that polygamy is wrong and never has been “Gods” will from the beginning of creation. It is man in his fallen state who has corrupted the “law.” To me “God” is a moral God and teaches moral concepts, which began with Adam and Eve and then again with Noah.

    ¶ And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
    19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
    20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
    21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
    22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
    23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
    24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: (singular) and they shall be one flesh.

    (Old Testament | Genesis 2:18 – 24)

    Each person individually must decide to end the abomination of polygamy. The “spirit of the law” teaches me to be honest, true, chase, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all mankind. Indeed, I say, I follow the admonition of Paul, I believe all things, hope all things and have endured many things and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, I seek after these things (the 13th Article of Faith in the first person).

    My scriptural foundation for “God” is that He is the same yesterday, today and forever… we were created in His image so that we could become like Him in character and attributes.

    For he is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.
    19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.
    20 Therefore remember, O man, for all thy doings thou shalt be brought into judgment.
    21 Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment–seat of God; and no unclean thing can dwell with God; wherefore, ye must be cast off forever.
    22 And the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny them not.
    (Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 10:18 – 22).

  15. Typing with a 10 month old on my lap, forgive any incohesiveness here (is that a word?)

    Joseph F. Smith’s quote at the end of your piece is problematic for me.

    While I certainly don’t like the idea of polygamy, I was taught that it was required all during my childhood.
    It’s only recently as an adult that I find refuge in the idea that JS was wrongly accused of polygamy and that God won’t ask it of his children for eternity. Pres. Uchtdorf said once that God will not ask us to do anything that is degrading or demeaning (something like that). I believed at the time that that meant that once we make it to heaven and are involved with PM, we won’t feel degraded (as females) – that somehow it will all work out and we’ll love it. Now, however, I feel that what he may have been saying is that God will not ask us to practice PM because it would be degrading and God would never ask us to do anything that would be degrading.

    But, back to JFS’s quote:
    Polygamy is not of God.
    God is not married.

    So, let’s throw out section 132. With it, we will then have tossed the idea of eternal marriage and eternal families…which, we are taught, is the whole reason the earth was created.

    One of the biggest draws to our church is eternal families.
    Tossing section 132 out, also removes the draw for many converts.
    Yes, yes, I know that the draw should be the complete gospel, but you and I both know that no one really seems to know what the complete gospel is. And if you DO know, please tell me!!

    I know we complain that the GA’s quote each other and not the Savior. It’s a round robin of quoting.
    We see the same idea of finding just the right quote to support our ideas here in the bloggernacle.
    Dismissing one quote in favor of another that furthers the agenda.
    Why would BY’s quotes not be good, but JFS’ quote be just right?

    Here, you’ve found a quote that supports your idea of a non-doctrine of polygamy. I’m glad, but…with it, you’ve dismissed the idea that we will be married in eternity (sad for me since I desperately love my husband).

    I guess what I’m saying is…I still believe that we can be with our spouses forever…so while I want to hang onto JFS’ quote, I can’t…not if he tells me that God is not married…and since I believe that those who are married and reach the highest kingdom of heaven can create their own worlds, I have to politely decline JFS’s quote.

    Which is a shame, bc that quote could have tied up the whole argument.

    But then again…we are back to the question of “when is a man speaking the will of God?”
    What is the litmus test we use to know if a quote is valid?
    Why isn’t BY’s quotes on Adam-God valid? or on Negroes? or on blood atonement?
    Why are they wrong, but JFS’s quote is right?

    Anyway, thanks for taking time to write this piece. I appreciate very much what you have done.
    I love what Jacob says.
    I am open to God changing his mind from time to time to allow a special case law to be used … Nephi vs. Laban?

    • You asked the question… “When is a man speaking the will of God?” …

      “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
      20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

      (New Testament | Matthew 7:19 – 20)

      Polygamy never was a “moral act.” Look who started it? A descendant of Cain. Some of Israel got caught up in the abomination. God started out in the Garden of Eden with one man and one wife (Adam and Eve) and then after some time the world became corrupt and God started out again with Noah and his sons, each had “one” wife. That is the pattern “God” set up and fallen man has corrupted it through “lust” and adultery!

      The “will of God” is obvious to me regardless of who says, who says, who says. What “God” starts out with, He ends up with… its called morality, being morally strait, being virtuous!

      • Do you know, my son asked me about his SS lesson recently. They talked about JS having multiple wives. My son had not heard that before and was shocked at the accusations. I guess I failed to teach him some church history? 🙂 As an aside, he’s the kid who would wear a colored shirt to church and dare anyone to say anything to him about it when he passed the sacrament, and would often defend his choice by telling his peers that white shirts were not doctrine. What a kid!

        Anyway, he said, “Mom, I don’t believe what they were saying because we only ever hear about Emma Smith and no one else!”
        And so we talked a bit about polygamy and what my views were but that we could be open minded until things are settled if that made him feel better.
        During all of this, my 8yo daughter is listening and she says, “Mom, you know…Noah only brought ONE male and ONE female of each animal on his ark, so…. I think that the rule is one man and one wife.”
        Well said. 🙂

        And of course Lehi’s children all had just one spouse- enough to fill a nation. 🙂

  16. Also, am I missing something here?

    1- since when did the Lord use the 1838 version of Webster’s Dictionary?

    2-Moving punctuation around doesn’t change the meaning of verse 30 for me at all.

    Original:
    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.
    My modern translation: “Don’t practice polygamy. If I want you to have a lot of babies, I’ll tell you do practice polygamy; otherwise, read the warnings above and stay away from it.”

    That means that if the Lord wants to raise up seed, he will tell his people to do so. Otherwise, they will hearken to the counsel that polygamy is an abomination.

    Your Change:
    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.
    My Modern Translation of your punctuation change: “Don’t practice polygamy. If I want you to have a lot of babies, I’ll tell you do otherwise; but read the warnings above and stay away from it.”

    1- that is very, very poor grammar. I don’t think that “otherwise” is supposed to be a conjuctive adverb – or if it is, then there needs to be a comma after it in the original, so moving the word to be placed BEFORE the semi colon (or comma), you are then left with a complete sentence “they shall hearken…” that should really be on its own. Reading the verse with your punctuation, and putting in the hard pause after “otherwise” makes for awful reading.

    Either way, it still says that if the Lord wants to raise up seed, he will tell his people to do so. Otherwise, they will hearken to the counsel that polygamy is an abomination.

    I hope that makes sense.

    In the end, though – JS was translating from a language not his own. While I think he probably did a great job, he was trying to put new ideas into words that English speakers would understand and it’s entirely probable that he got some verses wrong. 🙂

    I mean, did Jacob REALLY use the word “otherwise” or did Jacob REALLY use semi colons?

    Just some thoughts.

  17. Sorry to post yet again, but I found something that makes wayyy more sense: http://www.defendingjoseph.com/2008/11/does-book-of-jacob-support-polygamy.html

    Basically, don’t take verse 30 out of context.

    Read the verses above verse 30:
    The Lord brought the people out of Jersualem so that they could raise up a righteous branch.
    Listen to the Lord and keep His commandments.
    He is commanding the people not to have more than one wife.
    Here is verse 30: Since He is raising up a righteous branch, he will give the people commandments. If he doesn’t give them commandments, then they will have more than one wife, and that would not be good.

    I see it as the Lord saying something like, “Hey, while we are chatting, I should probably lay down a few more rules for your people…one wife is the rule. Maybe I should have mentioned it before, but I really didn’t think that I would need to be so specific.”

    Maybe it’s something like case law in a new land??

  18. If God in the beginning started with the “one wife system” of morality and pronounced it “good” and that the two shall be “one” in holiness, virtue, honesty, love, patience, kindness and meekness, etc., it will end the same as well… for God is the same yesterday, today, and forever! To “love” as God loves is to be honest and not lie or do things in secret… The attributes of “falling away” (are dressed in lies, dishonesty and secrets) therefore it is obvious to see that polygamy in the early Church, practiced by a few, was wrong because it was done in secret and many lies were fabricated about the prophet Joseph Smith and his wife Emma! I maintain that the prophet Joseph Smith always taught against the practice of polygamy and that D&C 132 was a fabrication of Brigham Young’s conspiracy to insert his beliefs into the Church and justify it by saying Joseph Smith received the revelation, when he didn’t! I believe the angel with the sword was a fabrication as were many other lies told and histories re-written after the Prophet Joseph was dead. If I am wrong in my thinking then God will teach me face to face, for He alone knows the truth of it all. It is strange thing to me that when D&C 132 went into the scriptures, eight years after the death of Joseph, D&C 101 on Marriage in the 1835 edition went out of the scriptures. Here is what D&C 101 said:

    “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.” (D&C 101, 1835 edition).

    Would the “God” of Heaven and Earth “declare” to The Prophet Joseph Smith “one man” “one wife” and eight years later after Joseph was dead reveal to another prophet (Brigham Young) that polygamy is no longer an abomination but an exalting practice… sorry but that puts up big “red flags” and “God” would not be the “same yesterday, today and forever” the same moral being as He was in the beginning. Joseph Smith knew early on that some in the Church were secretly practicing polygamy and lying about their moral activities which was against the laws of godliness/holiness of character and an offence to God and all that He stands for.

  19. When we really believe in Christ and live his teachings above anyone else’s, we begin to see that only the ‘false prophets’ Christ warned of will preach or practice things like polygamy, for such is totally contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    No need to quote anyone else but Christ to see if polygamy is right or wrong. Other voices & scripture just clutter the issue. The buck stops with Christ on polygamy. Polygamy does not pass his Golden Rule test or the test of ‘love’ or his teachings on ‘marriage’.

  20. I agree completely…Lilli… God’s pattern from the beginning has been “one wife” system.

    The whole notion of a “plurality of wives” was never and has never been a commandment of God as stated in D&C 49: 16-17 from “before the world was made.”So where did the notion of having more than one wife come from? Answer: from the “carnal nature of man.” As far as the scriptures go the first mention of a “plurality of wives” came from the practice of a fallen people who had separated themselves from Gods true order and pattern for marriage. This people were descendants from the seed of Cain:

    16 ¶ And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
    17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
    18 And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
    19 ¶ And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
    20 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.
    21 And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
    22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
    23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.
    24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.(Old Testament | Genesis 4:16 – 24)

    Now search the scriptures and discover that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (New Testament | Matthew 18:16) God’s pattern of marriage has always been the same: “one man, one wife” from the beginning, it has never changed!

    Witness # 1: God established his pattern of moral integrity with Adam and Eve:

    ¶ And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
    19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
    20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
    21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
    22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
    23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
    24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.(Old Testament | Genesis 2:18 – 24)

    Witness # 2: God established his pattern of moral integrity with Noah and his sons:

    And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.
    6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
    7 ¶ And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. (Old Testament | Genesis 7:5 – 7)

    In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; (Old Testament | Genesis 7:13)

    Witness # 3: God establishedhis pattern of moral integrity with Lehi and his sons:

    1 AND now I would that ye might know, that after my father, Lehi, had made an end of prophesying concerning his seed, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto him again, saying that it was not meet for him, Lehi, that he should take his family into the wilderness alone; but that his sons should take daughters to wife, that they might raise up seed unto the Lord in the land of promise.(Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 7:1)

    And it came to pass that I, Nephi, took one of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also, my brethren took of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also Zoram took the eldest daughter of Ishmael to wife.
    8 And thus my father had fulfilled all the commandments of the Lord which had been given unto him. And also, I, Nephi, had been blessed of the Lord exceedingly. (Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 16:7 – 8)

    How does the Lord “raise up seed” “unto the Lord?” It can only happen “in righteousness,” “in holiness,” “in virtue,” which equates as moral integrity.

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