I have spent quite a bit of time reading and thinking about this. I think some of the stuff I point out is nit-picky but it all adds up to create some serious questions about this dubious “revelation.” And some of the issues and concerns I have with this, which I will point out, are very serious and major problems, IMHO. What do you think?
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant and the principle of plural marriage. Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, evidence(what evidence?) indicates that some of the principles involved in this revelation were known by the Prophet as early as 1831.
(When was this revealed to the general church, by whom and when was it canonized?)
See Official Declaration 1.
1–6, Exaltation is gained through the new and everlasting covenant; 7–14, The terms and conditions of that covenant are set forth; 15–20, Celestial marriage and a continuation of the family unit enable men to become gods; 21–25, The strait and narrow way leads to eternal lives; 26–27, The law is given relative to blasphemy against the Holy Ghost; 28–39, Promises of eternal increase and exaltation are made to prophets and Saints in all ages; 40–47, Joseph Smith is given the power to bind and seal on earth and in heaven; 48–50, The Lord seals upon him his exaltation; 51–57, Emma Smith is counseled(threatened) to be faithful and true; 58–66, Laws governing plural marriage are set forth.
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine(exactly when did it become a principle and doctrine?) of their having many wives and concubines—
When and why would Joseph Smith have inquired about this after he already translated the BOM, which gave three clear witnesses it was an abomination, with no equivocation? Why would he have even thought they were justified? Where would he have got that idea? By the way, Isaac only had one wife and no concubines. We have a real problem here.
2 Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter.
3 Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey(first use of this phrase in scripture) the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey(sounds like force) the same.
Everyone reading this now has it revealed to them and therefore MUST obey.
4 For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant(before this verse this phrase was associated with baptism. See D&C 22:1); and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.
Pretty harsh words for not complying. You would think God would try to sell the positives and not focus mainly on the negatives. Sounds more like a threat then a blessing. Once you know about this if you don’t do it you will be damned. Adam and Noah didn’t do this. Nor did Enoch and the city of Zion. Neither did Lehi, Nephi, Jacob or Alma. The original 12 apostles didn’t either. The following vision of JS, recorded in D&C 137 also contradicts this:
1 The heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell.
5 I saw Father Adam and Abraham(why not “Father” also); and my father and my mother; my brother Alvin, that has long since slept;
6 And marveled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins. (or yet sealed into this new and an everlasting covenant.)
7 Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God;
5 For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world.
“blessing at my hands” is a a weird phrase and the first and only time this appears in any scripture.
6 And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted(when?) for the fulness of my glory(sounds like satan’s words); and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.
Another threat. Sure seems to violate agency. Threats are an attempt to force which seems more in line with the plan of Satan. There is no mention of this in either the Bible or the Book or Mormon so when was it instituted?
7 And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: ALL covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise (first of 4 references in 132), of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.
Is the covenant of baptism sealed by the HSoP for time and all eternity? Of course not. Which means according to this it will be of no force in the next life. Hmmm. This verse is problematic in so many ways and defies logic and reason. It makes no sense. What about friendships? Friendships are “bonds, connections and associations”, right? Looks like they are going to disappear or evaporate somehow. According to this, nothing will last in the next life if not sealed by the HSoP.
And how can the church have so many temples operating and doing all kinds of sealings when there is “never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred” ? Clearly this has been ignored by the leaders. This verse raises so many red flags.
8 Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion.
Sure seems like God is lying to us here as there was and still is lots of confusion and disorder over polygamy even to this day which seems to be increasing.
9 Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name?
10 Or will I receive at your hands that which I have not appointed?
“receive at your hands” is another weird phrase appearing here for the first and only time in all scripture.
11 And will I appoint unto you, saith the Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my Father ordained unto you, before the world was?
Shouldn’t it be my “Father and I?” Jesus never put himself before the Father before in any other scripture. Also why is he talking about himself in the third person here?
12 I am the Lord thy God; and I give unto you this commandment—that no man shall come unto the Father but by me or by my word, which is my law, saith the Lord.
Third person again. Why does he have to say “saith the Lord” at the end of this when it is clear he is already speaking? Weird. Comes off as being a bit insecure.
13 And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name(what is this? first time appears in all scriptures), whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God.
Is this another HSoP reference? Nothing will last unless sealed up first? Why does the Lord feel the need to keep saying over and over he is the Lord? Seems to be trying to reassure himself or something.
14 For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed.
15 Therefore(finally after a long buildup he gets to the point), if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.
Marriage is a voluntary contract which is outside law. It isn’t enforced and the law isn’t what binds you together. A commitment to each other and a desire to be together does, which is what marriage really is. So God will force people who have agency, to no longer associate with past spouses? Really strange. How? Will it be illegal to have any contact or association with an earthly spouse? Will there be marriage cops(angels with swords?) in heaven who go around shocking and arresting people who act like they are married? Will they kidnap them and throw them in heavenly cages to keep them apart? Or will God just wipe out all the memories of couples who didn’t get that temple marriage?
16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed(you mean forced?) angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.
How is a person who is free, “given” in marriage in the first place? How can you legitimately and morally give another person to somebody else? Sounds like force and a loss of personal agency. Why would God take away our agency? Does this mean God will force all people to get a divorce in heaven? And if you want to be a ruler you must first get that special plural/celestial marriage. Seems like a noble goal right? After all how can you truly love your neighbor if you can’t force them to do what you say? What if I don’t want to be a ministering servant? Is God going to make me be one? What happens if I do a lousy job and don’t show the proper deference to my betters? Probably get sent to hell, right?
17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation(what does this mean? First time of 9 it appears in this section and the first time in ANY scripture), in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.
So now we learn angels are limited creatures and can’t advance. Look at the use of the word “henceforth” here. Makes no sense at all and seems to be a poor choice of words. It means “from this time forward.” Wouldn’t that mean they were gods to begin with? So they get changed from a god to an angel?
18 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him(remember only one guy can do this) whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force(weird phrase new to scripture) when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.
This just made it a lot less orderly. How can the angels be ministering servants to God and the other mighty, exalted ones if they can’t abide their glory? Pretty tough to be a servant if you can’t even be in the presence of your master.
19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him(only one guy) who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection(this is illogical as it just negated the previous statement), in the next resurrection; and shall inherit(from whom?) thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood(what is the significance of writing it in there?), and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods(so they become higher then the gods?), which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds(what are the seeds?) forever and ever.
This verse makes very little sense. Is it trying to say that if you marry by his law and don’t commit murder after that you can do anything else and still receive all things and better yet, exaltation? It sure seems so. This is definitely an “other gospel.” It also negates the atonement as it allows you to save yourself just by getting a celestial/plural marriage and by not shedding “innocent blood.” This is true blasphemy.
20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end(our spirits have no end so wouldn’t that already make us gods?); therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.
This is silly. Completely illogical. According to a literal interpretation of this, “then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them,” even God will be subject to these new gods who became gods due to this new special kind of marriage.
21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.
22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives(what? reincarnation?), and few there be that find it, because ye(shouldn’t this be ‘they’) receive me not in the world neither do ye(‘they’?) know me.
What does “continuation of the lives” mean?
23 But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.
24 This is eternal lives(what is this? first and only mention in all scriptures)—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.
How can a person or being have “eternal lives” ? If you have more than one eternal life you never had one in the first place? This is completely illogical.
25 Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the deaths (how many deaths are there?); and many there are that go in thereat, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law.
26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood(what about not so innocent blood?), yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.
Is this a clarification of verse 19 which was almost incomprehensible? So basically entering into this type of marriage is like getting a free pass to engage in any and all sin, except that of murdering an innocent person. But this also seems to leave the door open to murder people who aren’t so “innocent”.
Isn’t everybody going to be “destroyed in the flesh”. Isn’t that the definition of death? If not what does this mean?
According to this a person can also work out their own salvation(exalt oneself) merely by engaging in eternal/plural marriage. That sure seems to be a brand new gospel found in no other scriptures. I seem to remember Nephi warning against this belief . . . . . Oh yeah, here it is: 2 Nephi 28:8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
27 The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that bideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.
Still a loophole here for shedding blood that ISN’T innocent. Do I detect the influence of Brigham Young and his blood atonement doctrine? Could Brigham Young have been the real author of this mess?
28 I am the Lord thy God, and will give unto thee the law of my Holy Priesthood, as was ordained by me and my Father before the world was.
So now the Holy Priesthood is built around multiple wives? And again, only here do we find Jesus putting himself before the Father.
29 Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne.
He already received exaltation?
Where in the scriptures does it say he was commanded to marry Hagar? When did he gain exaltation? Who sealed him into the new and everlasting covenant?
30 Abraham received promises concerning his seed(but righteous ones came from Sarah and not through polygamy), and of the fruit of his loins—from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph—which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them.
All of the righteous seed of Abraham who received the greatest blessings came through the FIRST wife, Sarai, later called Sarah and not the polygamous ones. Christ Himself came from the lineage of the first wife(Sarai) as does Joseph so it kind of negates the argument for polygamous “seed” this verse makes.
31 This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law(what law?) is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorifieth himself.
So what about people who are not of the lineage of Abraham? Are they still included? It says all who have this revealed to them MUST obey in verse 3. Sure seems confusing. So without this law the works of His father can’t continue?
32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham(which are?); enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.
Seriously? Are we to infer the “works” of Abraham were to have more than one wife(he had three) and to have kids with them?
33 But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which he made unto Abraham.
What promise was made to Abraham regarding having more than one wife?
34 God commanded Abraham(to do what?), and Sarah(No, it was Sarai), gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law(where is that law written?); and from Hagar sprang many people(righteous people?). This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises.
Big problems with the claims made in this verse. First, where is the scriptural proof Abraham was commanded by GOD to take another wife? It doesn’t exist. Sarai, not Sarah, was old and even though promised she would bear a child, after many years lost faith and decided to take matters into her own hands. She, as Sarai, convinced Abraham to take a younger woman, her servant Hagar, as a wife so Abraham could father a child. Apparently Abraham had lost faith as well and also liked the idea of having a younger(more attractive?) wife and agreed to Sarai’s urging. Nowhere do the scriptures say this was commanded by God or that it was His plan.
Also Sarai didn’t become Sarah until 13 years after Abraham took Hagar as his second wife.
35 Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, commanded it.
Again, where is that commandment recorded in scripture? It doesn’t exist outside of the statement made here above.
36 Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless, it was written: Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.
But he DIDN’T kill him so by this logic if you were commanded to practice polygamy and were about to do it God would stop you and you would pass the test, without actually doing it. Bad logic. God sure doesn’t seem to be able to grasp simple logic here.
37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him(given by who?), and he abode in my law; as Isaac(can’t find ANY scripture or any statement offered by any scholar stating Isaac had a wife other than Rebekah. So this alone proves this is false doctrine) also and Jacob(Jacob got tricked into marrying Leah instead of Rachel whom he married later and then had 2 concubines given him by Rachel) did none other things than that which they were commanded(no commandments are in the Bible regarding this, NONE); and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.
So now we hear it is commanded to have concubines also, so why didn’t the saints have them too? Isaac had ONLY one wife and that was Rebekah and took no concubines. The scriptures show this and this is what you will find on the net. Other Biblical scholar and researchers agree. So if in fact Isaac only had one wife this whole thing falls apart right here and now. Isaac and Rebekah had faith and patiently waited over 20 years before they were blessed with a child as promised. They did not resort to polygamy as did Abraham and Sarai in order to try and fulfill God’s promise.
Websters 1828 dictionary defines a concubine like this:
CONCUBINE, n. [L., to lie together, to lie down.]
1. A woman who cohabits with a man, without the authority of a legal marriage; a woman kept for lewd purposes; a kept mistress.
2. A wife of inferior condition; a lawful wife, but not united to the man by the usual ceremonies, and of inferior condition. Such were Hagar and Keturah, the concubines of Abraham; and such concubines were allowed by the Roman laws.
38 David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses[no scriptural proof Moses had a wife other than Zipporah and if he did that he was married to both at the same time, which isn’t polygamy. Some scholars think he divorced Zipporah. There is a reference to his wife being ethiopian or cushan which could mean black(meaning Zipporah might have been black) but there is a lot of controversy on the net over this. There is no convincing proof he was married to more than one woman, let alone two at the same time.] my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation(not Adam and Eve so here is another red flag this is false doctrine) until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.
Not what BOM teaches or the Bible teaches. David was not allowed to build a temple because of his other sin:
1 Chronicles 22: 8. But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. 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.
And as for Solomon: 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.
39 David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin(this completely contradicts the BOM Jacob 2:24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.) against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.
What other prophets living at the time of Nathan had the keys of this power and where did they get it from? Who did Nathan get it from? Remember only one can have it at a time on the earth according to verse 7. Who sealed up Solomon’s 1000 wives and concubines to him?
What, are they like cows to be given to whomever the Lord feels like giving them to? Do they have any choice in the matter? This whole section seems to be the work of a misogynist.
He fell from his exaltation? That means he had it in the first place otherwise how could he have fallen from it?
40 I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and restore all things(so polygamy is a restoration?). Ask what ye will, and it shall be given unto you according to my word.
What other Old Testament practices are going to have to be restored? Stoning adulterers?
41 And as ye have asked concerning adultery(I thought he was asking about the many wives of David and Solomon. Do you consider that as adultery?), verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and(this would be a lot less confusing if ‘whom’ replaced “and” assuming that is the meaning here ) I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed.
This is written sooo poorly it is hard to follow. Sounds like she could also be sealed to another man other than her original husband. Just how is she going to be “destroyed” and what were some examples of where this actually happened?
42 If she be not in the new and everlasting covenant(even if she is married to him?), and she be with another man, she has committed adultery.
What’s the difference with the previous verse?
So even if married normally it will be adultery? Sounds like the author of this is trying to say that this new and everlasting covenant is so special and wonderful that normal marriage is almost like adultery or even considered as such?
43 And if her husband be with another woman, and he was under a vow(what vow), he hath broken his vow and hath committed adultery.
And?? what about the shall get “destroyed” threat? Is vow another term for the special new and everlasting covenant?
44 And if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many.
Wait a minute. So her husband cheats on her and she gets passed around? And being married in this way makes a man a ruler of women? Nice. Women, you must love this, right. Can’t you just feel the love the author of this has for you?
45 For I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood, wherein I restore all things(all things? What about Zion and the law of consecration?), and make known unto you all things in due time.
46 And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever(this verse is only instance in all scripture of this awkward word being used) sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.
So JS has power to forgive all sins now? Where is the scriptural precedence for that? No man has or ever had the power to remit another person’s sins. They can only forgive another person’s sin but not absolve them from it. That only comes through the atonement.
47 And again, verily I say, whomsoever you(joseph?) bless I will bless, and whomsoever you curse I will curse(who was Joseph cursing?), saith the Lord; for I, the Lord, am thy God.
So Jesus is making himself subservient to JS here? Odd.
48 And again, verily I say unto you, my servant Joseph, that whatsoever you give on earth, and to whomsoever you give any one(give people to other people?) on earth, by my word and according to my law, it shall be visited with blessings and not cursings, and with my power, saith the Lord, and shall be without condemnation on earth and in heaven.
Sure was a ton of blessings which came out of polygamy. Not! Way more cursings. And it has been condemned on earth even to this day.
49 For I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation(if it was sealed on him HERE he no longer had to do anything in order to receive it, including practicing polygamy), and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father.
How many times in this section does God have to reiterate that He is God? Sounds like he is feeling a little insecure about it. Way to throw another reference to Abraham in here. How is Abraham his father?
50 Behold, I have seen your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sins; I have seen your sacrifices in obedience to that which I have told you. Go, therefore, and I make a way for your escape(escape from what?), as I accepted the offering of Abraham of his son Isaac.
So he doesn’t need to to this after all, just as Abraham was granted a reprieve? And what is the point of forgiving his sins as he already was sealed up to exaltation? Kind of redundant, right?
Emma Verses 51-56
The first time I ever read this it really bothered me the way Jesus(?) talks to Emma in this section. And the more I read, study and ponder it the more it seems completely out of character and UN-Christ-like. I just can’t picture Jesus speaking to her like this. But if Brigham Young wrote this, like I think he did, it makes a lot more sense.
Lets look at how Jesus addresses her in D&C 25(we know BY didn’t write this):
Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, while I speak unto you, Emma Smith, my daughter; for verily I say unto you, all those who receive my gospel are sons and daughters in my kingdom.
A revelation I give unto you concerning my will; and if thou art faithful and walk in the paths of virtue before me, I will preserve thy life, and thou shalt receive an inheritance in Zion.
Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady, whom I have called.
(is this also telling her her calling and election is made sure?)
Obviously He loves her and holds her in high esteem here. Now lets compare how she is addressed quite differently in D&C 132 by him(?) :
51. Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice.
Notice she is “mine handmaid”(which means servant) and not “my daughter”. Also why does Jesus feel the need to tell JS, Emma is his wife? Does he think JS doesn’t know that? Does anybody else in the church not know that? What is the point of including that in this ‘revelation’? The tone of this is as if whoever is writing it is blaming Joseph’s “wife” for causing trouble or something. How did Jesus give Emma to JS? Emma used her agency to choose to marry him, right? So how was she “given” to him? And just what was she commanded to do which she is now told not to “partake” of? It sounds like it was a test similar to the one Abraham had, which she passed. So if she passed then she didn’t have to do what she was told(only offered) to do and she no longer, like Abraham needs to, right?
52. And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.
It sounds like this ‘revelation’ is after the fact(so where is and when was the first revelation about this given?) as “those” women have already been given to JS, including some women who were not “virtuous and pure” who shall have to be “destroyed”. Oops! Somebody obviously screwed up the “giving” part. So who was it? Who gave him bad women? Couldn’t have been Jesus as he is perfect. And who were those bad women who married JS and then got destroyed? Notice it says shall be destroyed not might and Jesus doesn’t lie. I don’t recall any of Joseph’s supposed wives getting destroyed.
53. For I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice; and I give unto my servant Joseph that he shall be made ruler over many things(women are things?); for he hath been faithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him.
YE SHALL OBEY! Shall means will, right? What ever happened to the principle of agency? And if you tell somebody they shall obey and they don’t, what does that say about your power to make them obey? Oops again! Why doesn’t the Lord just tell her what he expects and what the reward will be for being faithful like he did to her in D&C 25:2 above? This verse also implies JS is to rule over her and over many things(women?).
54 And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.
Wasn’t she already doing this? I haven’t heard of any rumors claiming she was having an affair. And then it says if she doesn’t abide this commandment(cleave unto Joseph and none else she SHALL BE DESTROYED not once but twice in the same verse!) That is pretty harsh and the only time in all the scriptures a woman is told by name she will be destroyed for not “abiding and cleaving” to her husband when she was already doing so or for any other reason. So why the big threat? Why can’t she just divorce him and go her way if she doesn’t want to put up with this? No forgiveness for her? Just destruction? Really? If you look at verse 53 above, she is already told she will obey(shall) so why is she now being threatened if she doesn’t obey? Doesn’t make sense. Also who ended up getting “destroyed” less than a year later? Wasn’t Emma was it?
55. But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundred-fold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds.
What did Joseph say he was going to do for(to?) her if she disobeyed this commandment? How does one get an “hundred-fold” of fathers and mothers? And just how many crowns of eternal lives can one have? You can only have one eternal life right? Why would you need a hundred houses? A hundred wives? This blessing is completely illogical. JS sure didn’t receive any of those blessings before he died, in this world. Surely Jesus is much smarter than this. I know he is.
56. And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses; and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she has trespassed against me; and I, the Lord thy God, will bless her, and multiply her, and make her heart to rejoice.
Doesn’t seem like Jesus is to fond of Emma anymore with all these threats and commands to obey or be destroyed. Jesus always treated women much better than this and always showed them a great deal of love and respect before this. Even adulterers weren’t threatened or condemned, but forgiven, while Emma is guilty of no major sin here, yet told she will be destroyed. When Jesus says he will “multiply her” which I find to be an odd statement, this is the only instance in all scripture this occurs. Then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she has trespassed against me; and I, the Lord thy God, will bless her, and multiply her(how would she get multiplied?), and make her heart to rejoice. How did she trespass against God?
57 And again, I say, let not my servant Joseph put his property out of his hands, lest an enemy come and destroy him; for Satan seeketh to destroy; for I am the Lord thy God(how many times does Jesus have to say he is god in one passage?), and he is my servant; and behold, and lo, I am with him, as I was with Abraham, thy father, even unto his exaltation and glory.
How many times does the name of Abraham have to be dropped here? If Abraham is his father why isn’t it also pointed out just as many times Sarah is also his mother? Maybe because she wasn’t the polygamous wife?
58 Now, as touching the law of the priesthood, there are many things pertaining thereunto.
59 Verily, if a man be called of my Father, as was Aaron(Aaron only had the aaronic priesthood which is much less priesthood than what Jesus has), by mine own voice, and by the voice of him that sent me, and I have endowed him with the keys of the power of this priesthood(what priesthood? This seems to be a reference to the Melchizedek priesthood), if he do anything in my name, and according to my law and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him.
How many times and ways does Jesus need to justify and explain his commandment to practice polygamy here? Why does He even feel the need to justify it once let alone over and over? Just command it and be done with it. You are God, right? Sounding more and more desperate, pathetic even.
60 Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph; for I will justify him; for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God.
So now polygamy is a sacrifice required to atone for past transgressions? But wait . . . he was already forgiven of his sins and sealed up his exaltation(see verse 49). Remember? So why does he still have to sacrifice for his past transgressions? This is sure confusing. Make up your mind, God.
61 And again(we get it), as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another(virgin?), and the first give her consent(and if she doesn’t she gets destroyed, right?), and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins(wait, do they have to be virgins?), and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that(what a derogatory term to use for a woman) that belongeth unto him(don’t the women, like men own themselves?) and to no one else.
How do all you women feel about being referred to as a “that”? And how come you have to be a virgin but your husband doesn’t have to be one? And how do you feel about being the belonging of a man? If I was a woman reading this I would be insulted and feel demeaned. I certainly wouldn’t feel my Savior loved me after reading this garbage.
62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him(given by whom?Again what about their agency?); therefore is he justified.
Who cares if you commit adultery anyway, as you already said in verse 26 as long as they don’t commit murder they will gain exaltation. Does this mean the plural wives must be virgins? Sure likes throwing around the term. Seems like that should be clarified here.
63 But if one or either(aren’t these redundant terms) of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed(so if a women commits adultery she gets destroyed? Why not the man?); for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth(why didn’t Joseph have any children by these marriages then?), according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men(not women? Pretty sexist here); for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.
SO, the stated purpose of this ‘law’ is to “multiply and replenish the earth” yet so far it has been proven JS only had children with Emma. If he kept the ‘law’ by marrying all those other women why wasn’t his obedience to that ‘law’ blessed and its purpose fulfilled? Seems like there is plenty of multiplying and replenishing the earth going on without polygamy. Also getting pretty sick of hearing the newly introduced term “exaltation” over and over.
64 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power(how does she hold the keys? If she says no she gets destroyed. Some keys.), and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe(what just because he says so? No confirmation from the spirit for her first?) and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.
This whole thing sure sounds like an attempt to threaten and bully women into doing this with no attendant blessings in it for them and with no similar threats given in turn to men. The tone seems to be one of instilling fear into women as to what terrible punishment they will face for not complying. God sure seems to love threatening to “destroy” women. Yet we learn in 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
65 Therefore, it shall be lawful in me(isn’t he above the laws so why does it have to lawful?), if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor(so if a woman doesn’t break her marriage vows and let her husband take more wives she is a sinner?); and he is exempt from the law of Sarah ( the law of Sarah? Is this a joke? And again, her name was Sarai at the time) , who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham(where is that law found in the scriptures? Oh, only here of course) to take Hagar to wife.
This is the only mention in all the scriptures of the new and wonderful “law of Sarah”, another ‘first’ in this wonderful revelation. It gives women a Hobson’s Choice where they lose either way. It doesn’t say anywhere in the account of Abraham, God commanded him to take Hagar to wife. But it does say Sarai was old and had lost faith she could or would have a child, as promised by the Lord, and so convinced Abraham to take Hagar as a wife so he could have a child, period. She messed up, as later she was blessed with the child she had been promised with. It was her lack of faith and Abraham’s willingness to succumb to temptation and take a much younger( and attractive?) woman to wife. There was no law given and kept here.
66 And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you, hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen.
Finally we get an end to this wonderful “revelation”. Whew!!
But we are still left waiting for that further revelation, aren’t we?
Oh wait, it destroyed families and many, many lives and ripped apart the church into various factions. The church almost suffered total destruction by the state because of it, which it was supposed to rule over and instead bowed to and became a subject of. The church violated its own articles of faith requiring it to be subject to the state which declared polygamy illegal. It created an atmosphere of lying and deception for generations within the church due to the illegality and risk of practicing it. To this day it is a stumbling block and a source of contention. Some blessing that revelation was.
“But verily I say unto you, that I have decreed a decree which my people shall realize, inasmuch as they hearken from this very hour unto the counsel which I, the Lord their God, shall give unto them. Behold they shall, for I have decreed it, begin to prevail against mine enemies from this very hour. And by hearkening to observe all the words which I the Lord their God shall speak unto them, they shall never cease to prevail until the kingdoms of the world are subdued under my feet, and the earth is given to the saints, to possess it forever and ever.
“But inasmuch as they keep not my commandments, and hearken not to observe all my words, the kingdoms of the world shall prevail against them. For they were set to be a light unto the world, and to be the savior of men; and inasmuch as they are not the saviors of men, they are as salt that has lost its savor and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under the foot of men. ’ “(D&C 103:5-10 February 24, 1834)
Who is prevailing over whom?
Five times the saints are ordered to obey this. Seems kind of desperate.
Ten threats of damnation or destruction for not complying with this edict.
Men only threatened with damnation but the women who refuse to do it or who commit adultery after doing it are told they will be destroyed. So women get the harshest penalty for not complying. Seems real fair to me.
Thirty one times Jesus says he is God or the Lord in this section(must be a record). WHY? Maybe the author seems to think if he tells a lie enough times it will be made true?. “I am”, “I”, “me”, “my”. Sounds like obama. Also sounds like he has an inferiority complex. He also talks about it being done for his glory and not the glory of his father. I find the whole tone pathetic and tyrannical and arguments supporting it illogical, with many contradictions and outright falsehoods.
No real discussion offered as to what blessing or benefits would come from this. Which would seem logical given the obvious lack of benefits to women and children. Although we do hear about a new super, highest degree of glory offered as a reward, called “exaltation,” which is introduced for the first time here and supported nowhere else in all the scriptures.
Why does the author try so hard to explain it as being his law and the way it has been done in the past? If you are God why do you have to justify or explain yourself? And the so-called proof offered certainly isn’t very convincing and some of it seems to be completely false. He also jumps around in the flow. Back and forth rehashing the same stuff and re-arguing it it even seems.
Particularly noteworthy is that this is the first time we hear of the term exaltation as being the highest glory attainable. Interesting that in Moses 1:39 we learn: For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. But, what about exaltation? If that is the highest attainable glory why did God ignore it in this verse? Lots of other scriptures in the standard works talk about immortality and eternal life but none address the concept of exaltation. If exaltation is the pinnacle why wasn’t it mentioned in Moses or anywhere else in the scriptures? I find that odd. Note – the word exaltation is used once in section 124 but it clearly has a different meaning and use than what we find it used for in section 132.
Doctrine and Covenants 22:2 says, “Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times it availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works.” Since the only examples mentioned here of the ‘law’ of polygamy being practiced, were in the Old Testament, under the law of Moses, why wasn’t this ‘law’ then done away with when Christ came. There are no New Testament examples cited in this ‘revelation’ nor is this practice condoned in the New Testament or in the BOM where it is absolutely condemned: https://gregstocks.wordpress.com/
Matthew 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain 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.
Why didn’t JS when translating the Bible, change any verses to show polygamy was ordained of God?
It has been said JS had to restore all things. So if polygamy was an Old Testament law which needed restoring, why not some of the other laws of Moses which demanded an eye for an eye also? How about killing kids who dishonor their father and mother? Should we also start stoning adulterers? Sacrificing animals? No more eating bacon or babyback ribs? Why was this the only ‘law’ which needed restoring? Also if this was a part of Mosaic law why were the Nephites and Lamanites, who were also living under Mosaic law commanded NOT to practice it? That makes no sense. Or does it?
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 branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.
Out of all the standard works we have all kinds of new doctrine, many weird phrases and word usages and an “other gospel” being introduced only here and not backed up anywhere else in scripture. And the provenance on this is very sketchy. Joseph allegedly received it, didn’t record it until 12 years later and never made it public while he was alive? In public he preached against this while at the same time he preached and practiced it in secret with the elect and elite. It wasn’t made public until 8 years after he was dead, half the church was in Utah, and many were and had been practicing polygamy for years. Pretty odd.
The language is really weird here with new words and phrases(13 by my count) introduced that had never been used by JS in any other revelations. And also some words were introduced not found in any other scripture at all. Again, quite odd. This sure seems to be the “other gospel” Paul warned against in Galatians 1.
Reading this section is also very strange. It doesn’t sound like previous revelations and it really sounds like a bad imitation of them compared to the way and manner God spoke in other revelations. It is really disjointed and confusing. To me it sounds like Satan, with lots of statements of how powerful he is, blustering and bullying with the whole thing coming off as a threat. The author resorts to using fear to force compliance with this great law. Ask yourself this? Why all the threats? What other gospel principle is taught with so much threatening? Can’t think of one can you? Remember this statement found in 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. And yet “exaltation” is supposedly the greatest glory there is.
It is also critically important to understand that the Lord endorsed the Doctrine and Covenants when it categorically condemned the spiritual wife doctrine and contained the Article on Marriage found in section 101. In 1876 one year before his death, Brigham removed the Article on Marriage and replaced it with section 132. Before the significant changes made in 1876 the Doctrine and Covenants contained three sections(three witnesses) forbidding polygamy/plural marriage and declaring monogamy as the marital law of the Gospel; sections 42, 49, and 101(the Article on Marriage). It did however, also include this prophetic warning in Section 124 verse 120, ” For that which is more or less than this cometh of evil, and shall be attended with cursings and not blessings, saith the Lord your God. Even so. Amen.” In 1921 The Lectures on Faith were removed from the Doctrine and Covenants which they had been the “Doctrine” part of for over 86 years probably because they also contradicted the “other gospel” contained in Section 132 and it was causing to many problems for the official LDS 132 narrative.
Section 132 is false doctrine. It is an entirely new gospel created by lecherous old men who loved to dominate, control and exploit women. It is refuted in scripture over and over again. The Book of Mormon absolutely destroys this pack of lies. It was an attempt by polygamists to sell others on accepting and participating in their sin by twisting the scriptures and misinterpreting them. Jacob totally condemned this. In order to do so they craftily created a special, new type of marriage, which can’t be found anywhere else in the scriptures and called it eternal or celestial marriage. They they intertwined this with polygamy, which they renamed ‘plural marriage’ and said both are only for the most righteous and faithful. Pretty slick, huh? Typical elitist strategy used to fool the masses. The two new marriages created here are like Siamese twins and thus you can’t have one without the other. Why is there not one word in the Bible or the Book of Mormon about eternal marriage or celestial marriage ? Don’t you think that is a big problem?
If you believe this came from God then how do you explain the errors and inconsistencies in it? Is God an idiot? Can’t He craft something that makes a lot more sense? Does He lie? Can He think logically? Or does He just think we are idiots? Do you think God hates women and thinks they are just chattel to be passed around and used by men as they see fit? I sure don’t. Yet this section is the most misogynist teaching in all scripture. What woman would consent to being an eternal child-bearing machine so some man can use her womb for his own purposes and glory? How does one reconcile that idea with D&C 93:33?
“For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;”
Think about what this says. Pregnancy and birthing a child won’t even be possible according to this after we are resurrected.
If after carefully studying this ‘doctrine’, thinking about it and pondering and praying about it, you still think it came from God, then that is your decision, as you have agency to believe whatever you want. As for me, I want nothing to do with it and reject it totally and completely as false doctrine. Will be interesting to see how long this stands now that so much information undermining it is available.