The main LDS church STILL practices polygamy

This is the third installment in a series on the polygamist past of the LDS church. What if I told you it isn’t really past at all, but very much a current doctrine condoned by the highest ranking leaders? Would you believe me?

First lets consider eternity vs this life. Which of them is more eternal?

A little math as pointed out by redditor on a thread about the previous post on this topic1 shows exactly what this means.

1 lifetime/eternity = essentially 0 

Yep in the big scheme of things, this lifetime isn’t much at all. That is why we needed the everlasting covenant According to Joe Smith. So we could bind together all these things on earth and not deal with that ’till death do you part’ malarkey all those other churches do in marriage. After all who wouldn’t want to be with their spouse forever? Or in Joe’s case several spouses in this life…

That’s where it gets interesting. You see The LDS church considers a temple sealing to be an eternal marriage. It’s taught to every daughter of Zion to yearn for marriage in the temple. They seek out the prince that will take them to his Mormon castle for that magical moment they have been taught to crave. For only a true and just man will marry them forever instead of just for now.

But there is a doctrine that isn’t talked about much yet is followed over and over again by the LDS faith. In the case of death of the first wife the man can be sealed to a second wife. Yes, you heard me right. A man can be sealed for eternity to a second wife after the first is gone. How this can’t be considered eternal polygamy is beyond me. Not given the fact the the church thinks the rules of marriage are so rigidly defined by their God that any non sanctioned form of union requires a person to be kicked off the celestial kingdom path to forever.

Celestial marriage = celestial polygamy. It says as much in D&C132 canonized scripture currently used today in the church.

 For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; 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.

 And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.

 37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; 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.

 38 David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.

 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 against me save in the case of Uriahand 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.

 40 I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and restore all things. Ask what ye will, and it shall be given unto you according to my word.

According LDS conon, the idea of polygamy was part and parcel of the restoration of all things. Now I realize you might have a hard time believing this. If so I suggest you take it to your stake president or local area authority and ask him. 2 I suspect you will get an answer along these lines when the members in Sweden asked church leaders if we believe in polygamy.

But wait, there’s more! If you are finally convinced that the LDS doctrine supports and even likely encourages the idea of eternal polygamy there is something else you should know. The Mormon church (the main one, not the FLDS Warren Jeffs version) believes in polygamy right here, right now, with living women. I realized this when a good friend of mine went through a divorce from her husband. A sealing in a Mormon temple isn’t dissolved just because some legal mortal men said a person got divorced. As is clearly evidenced by the churches actions toward other types of marriage the leaders confidently believe God defines what an eternal union is. Not man.

A temple sealing continues to be in force until the first presidency says otherwise. This is expounded on very clearly in the handbook given to all local leaders of the church. Here is a screen shot to save you some time digging for it:

 

My friend told me one day that she was now an eternal polygamist. The reason is spelled out right there ^^^ in book one. Her previous husband had just been sealed in the temple to his new wife. She wasn’t allowed to dissolve their eternal sealing, while by policy and doctrine it was totally ok for him to be eternally sealed to two women at a time. Even when both of them are still alive.

So does Eternal sealing = Eternal Marriage? That is the question right? And if the answer is yes, then it is pretty clear that the LDS church here and now promotes polygamy of it’s own Celestial variety even as it denies monogamous couples that same right if they happen to have the same genitalia. It is obviously unfair and unjust and more than a little embarrassing as well as hypocritical to most people. Maybe that is the reason when it comes to polygamy the LDS church keeps lying… or maybe should I say careful wording about it.

  1. Click here for part 1 and part 2.
  2. There is no her to ask… after the answer you get you might realize why.

But Polygamy was a Commandment!

Last post we discussed the normality of young brides and polygamous unions in the 19th century. Once the difficulty of lying about it is pointed out to the Mormon faithful most will retreat to the final bastion of all religious when pressed with assessing their faiths morality. They will say something like, ‘it was a commandment’ justifying it because God said so.

In fact apologists are fond of pointing out this quote from Joe the prophet himself implying this defense:

That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. God said, ‘Thou shalt not kill’; at another time He said, ‘Thou shalt utterly destroy.’ This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire. – Official History of the Church, Vol. 5, p.134-136

When you think of Abraham and Issac or and how God flooded the whole planet killing babies, this sort of makes sense. The believer tells himself, ‘sometimes God does stuff I’m just too stupid to understand.’ And that makes it ok to shelve the thoughts that are causing cognitive dissonance.

In fact when your own spiritual feelings are screaming wrong, wrong, wrong to you, what is the counsel of LDS leaders? Just shelve it. 1

Wait a minute! Wut? Aren’t those very feelings the ones we are supposed to use to find truth? Apparently not if they are telling you the LDS church isn’t the #onetruechurchonthefaceoftheearth

Convenient isn’t it?

But moving on. I think there is some merit to revealing exactly the situation in which Joseph Smith said these words.


You see Joe was trying to get Nancy Rigdon to be yet another of his wives and she was not at all interested in the idea. In fact it lead to a blow up over the whole situation where Nancy said:

“if she ever got married she would marry a single man or none at all.” Grabbing her bonnet, she ordered the door opened or she would “raise the neighbors.” She then stormed out of the Hyde-Richards residence. (Sidney Rigdon Biography by Richard S. Van Wagoner, p.295)

So did you know that it was specifically to get under the skirts of a reluctant woman in Nauvoo that the idea of God commanded, it so it must be ok was such a core teaching?

Eh, maybe now that I think about it that is the underlying assumption right? So what is different between Joe and Warren then?

  • They both pushed young girls into doing things that are abhorrent to most people then and now.
  • They both assured their victims or faithful (depending on your perspective of the whole deal) that God said to do it and that was why these young teen girls should submit to their leaders and do as they were told.

Imagine for a minute that you were a bride of Warren Jeffs. Imagine if your family and church leaders all pressured you to do this thing that felt so wrong. Imagine then if you were told not to doubt the leadership of Warren the prophet. To stay in the boat. That if you bail on this religion that you are risking eternity with your family and that you’d never see them again. That if you stood up and said no, this isn’t right you were a taffy puller and not capable of commitment.

Can you see how hard it would be to leave the FLDS faith? Can you see how even today there are followers that are so sure they are doing what God wants (even if in their heart they find it abhorrent) that they still comply?

If so you can see exactly how religion can mislead you. It promises amazing things for compliance and terrible consequences for not doing EXACTLY what you are told no matter how bad it feels.

The hardest question to ask though is this:  What if is has already happened to me?

  1. Did you catch that even GA Turley tried to claim it was ‘normal’ for a 14 year old to get married implying a poly marriage to a 37 year old man was ‘you know what they did back then’ and one of the swedes called him out on that poor comparison?

If Polygamy Was Normal, Why Lie About It?

One apologetic response you are guaranteed to get if you bring up Joseph Smith’s polygamy and the 14 year old girls1 he wed is this idea that getting married at that age was normal for the time. I get that this is very commonly taught in the hallways of church as a way to help members shelve their doubts and just keep on believing. But was it really normal?

This justification even made it into the hard to find LDS essay on the topic that seemed to be very carefully worded in an effort to keep people in the boat after finding all this stuff out. After all it did mention that getting married at ‘almost 15’ years old wasn’t illegal at the time. But that really isn’t the whole story is it? Helen Mar honestly wasn’t keen at all on the idea of marring a 37 year old guy as his 20th plus bride. But that alone doesn’t make it abnormal nor illegal. I mean sure a girl could legally get married at age 14, but it it turns out it was in fact completely illegal to do it as a polygamous bride. 2

Which is probably why Joe the prophet lied about it to over 300 recent converts that had just showed up in town and heard the rumors of polygamy that would soon make the first and only printing of the Nauvoo Expositor’s paper. Only printing because surprise, surprise the press would soon be ordered destroyed as a public nuisance by the Mayor of Nauvoo, also known as Joseph Smith, self proclaimed prophet of God.

Don’t believe me? Go read about it for yourself in the LDS history books here.3 The prophet clearly indicated he had only one wife to this group of saints and carefully worded it might be it, was as least as deceitful as Bill Clinton’s claim he didn’t have sexual intercourse with Monica.

 

So even if you ignore census evidence that shows this age of marriage wasn’t at all normal. The most obvious and least asked question in this profet’s opinion is simply this:

If it was normal for the time and place for a 37 year old man to wed a 14 year old girl…. Then why did Joseph lie about it?

  1. Yes there was more than one! Google it if you need to find out more!
  2. Sneaky how they used the word illegal to imply it was normal for the time wasn’t it?
  3. For more on the destroying the press you can start here and then do some googling on your own. See if you can discover how that act led directly to his arrest and incarceration before he was killed.

Remember To Have Tolerance And Love For Our Mormon Neighbors

I just read this announcement from the LDS church in regards to the gay marriage stuff. I’d been thinking about an appropriate response when I stumbled onto this nearly perfectly made point on social media.1 The Fridge works in mysterious ways and we are often inspired unexpectedly so enjoy the light of the open door and feast on the sustenance therein:2

I just need to clear something up. I don’t hate Mormons nor am I bigoted. I love all living creatures and believe that Mormons should be treated with kindness and compassion. I do not support violence against Mormons or discrimination of any kind. However, I also believe in science and as such I cannot support Mormons’ “rights” to marry and raise children. Science has shown us that this is detrimental to both the children involved and society at large and I cannot pick and choose which scientific evidence to believe.

Science has shown us that Mormon children are much more likely than average to be depressed in their lifetime. Utah boasts the highest suicide rate in the nation among 18-24 year old men and has one of the highest rates of overall depression. LGBT youth raised in Mormon homes tend to fare especially poorly and often bear lifelong psychological scars. Also, girls raised in Mormon homes are far less likely to complete college or achieve financial independence than their non-Mormon counterparts.

Conversely, there is empirical evidence that other demographic groups tend to raise children who fare better than average- same sex couples, secularists, Asians, etc. Because I support science, I believe that such groups are the only people who should be permitted to parent in America.

Plus there’s the fact that the Mormon temple ceremony is degrading to women and that the sealing was created with the specific purpose of propagating polygamy, polyandry, and even child marriage for Mormon church leaders. Pioneer journals show us that these marriages were often coerced and that the girls and women who entered them suffered horribly. While Mormons are not currently advocating for the reinstatement of these practices, by allowing Mormon marriages, we are embarking on a slippery slope that opens the door to this possibility. How can we in good conscience allow this?

Again, I have absolutely nothing against Mormons and am not judging them for their lifestyle. I understand that many of them were born into their faith and did not totally choose it. And I am very accepting of Mormons provided they commit to lifelong celibacy as that is the only way to guarantee they will not reproduce. There’s nothing hateful or bigoted about supporting what science has declared is best for society.

SmithNauvoo marriage

  1. Sarcasmness is next to godliness, thus saith the Fridge
  2. Shared with permission and desired anonymity. I added the links and did a little formatting is all.