Building off the previous episode that reviewed what the scriptures say and don’t say about polygamy, in this episode we test the doctrine espoused in Section 132 against the rest of the scriptures.
Thank you for the scripture references they helped a lot.
2 N. 9:41 is the where the Lord doesn’t appoint a servant at the gate.
I believe you’re SO right in saying that so much of the modern LDS church rests on D&C 132.
The current temple endowment and temple sealing language is so similar as well. As if they may have had the same author. Hmm.
Here’s a very eye opening study as to who the author of D&C 132 was.
Hint, the author of 132 is also the same author of D&C 136 AND the King Follett discourse!!
Thank you for your thoughts regarding this divisive topic and section.
Recently I have found a particular aspect of section 132… intriguing. In 1 John 4:1 and 1 Thessalonians 5:21 we are counseled to ‘try the spirits’ and ‘prove all things’. In John 7:17 Jesus declares ” If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself”.
Section 132 declares that once this law is revealed we are then obligated to live it or we are damned. I am not aware of any other commandment or invitation where if we are to apply John 7:17 to ‘do his will’ we risk commiting a gross sin. Admittedly, we can simply ‘try’ doctrine against other revealed words of God, as you have done very well. If we are to plant the seed (Alma 32) of section 132, however, there is an argument that we must do it in order to know the fruit. This brings to mind the cliche: “damned if I do and damned if I don’t”. That is not God’s way.
On a side-note: at the 45 minute mark of the podcast I believe a scripture is paraphrased incorrectly by saying ‘why have ye transfigured the word of God’. I believe the scripture being referenced would be Mormon 8:38 which declares “why have ye polluted the holy church of God?”. Perhaps I am wrong in assuming this is the scripture paraphrased. If I am, I apologize. I just thought I would mention it.
Thank you again for everything you are doing with this podcast!
It’s verse 33. That whole chapter (Mormon 8) is fantastically poignant for our time. I wish more people (Mormons) would take it seriously by applying it to themselves, rather than assuming it is about other groups/churches/peoples; Moroni was writing to those in the future who would be reading the Book of Mormon.
Indeed, as a people we are completely blinded to the condemnations in the Book of Mormon concerning us. We think they apply to someone else. Another Scripture comes to mind: 2 Nephi 28:14
“They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abomination, and whoredoms, they have ALL GONE ASTRAY saive it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that IN MANY INSTANCES THEY DO ERR BECAUSE THEY ARE TAUGHT BY THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.
I think that mormons sitting in the pews each Sunday are completely blinded that it is talking about them……
Thank you! I am embarrassed that I jumped right to the scripture I am more familiar with rather than reading the entire chapter.
Do you have the reference for Joseph’s advances on Sidney Rigdon’s daughter? How contemporaneous is it?
I don’t recall what podcast this was in or who brought the subject up, but the following links (one anti-Mormon and the other apologetic) provide references to the books that contain the historical sources and claims-
Interesting. Looks like the main two sources of this information are 1) John C. Bennett and 2) Willard Richards…
Not the most trustworthy sources, and they don’t look very contemporaneous.
The history is certainly very murky, and Joseph being a fallen prophet and sinning is a plausible theory, but I think we should be cautious about pinning polygamy and propositioning of women on Joseph, at least without presenting equally the other side, namely that he was against it by all accounts existing during his lifetime and that polygamy, polyandry, and spiritual wifery had it’s roots in the Cochranite religion and the Twelve (which allowed it to incubate during their missions across the sea).
Greetings brothers. I am pleased you all have formed a fellowship of sorts, and I find your shared insights to be generally enlightening– a source of liberation from the echo-chamber of many false Brighamite traditions. Some statements on this particular episode lead me to conclude you all do not subscribe to the deification (little “g”) of man, or a prior mortal messianic mission of the Father (similarly manifesting the power of self-resurrection and “life in himself” as demonstrated in the mission of Jesus). I am considering the 1835 ed. of the Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 91, Verse 5 (https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/doctrine-and-covenants-1835/236) – our current Section 76—and also John 5:19-21,25-26 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/5.18-27?lang=eng&clang=eng#p20). Please advise, as I respect your scripturally-based study and commentary. Yours in mutual pursuit of truth.
I believe we should not set stakes in the ground as far as what the eternal nature of our progression entails. The mysteries of godliness and of the plan of redemption “are laid under a strict command” and are only understood by those who have sacrificed sufficiently to have them revealed to them by the most High God. This, I believe, means we should never believe any matter is settled. What we currently know is either incomplete or incorrect. We should always be open to expanded understanding and light and never assume we’ve got it figured out. I question everything and try to seek the Lord. As for my personal beliefs, I believe a form of multiple probationary multiple condescension model to be very plausible and backed by scripture.
I agree that we should not “set up stakes”.. and that the mysteries pertaining to God and countless other things have not fully been revealed. Obviously our understanding is incomplete and incorrect. Obviously we should always be open to “expanded understanding” and light.
HOWEVER, I believe Joseph Smith was inspired and correct when he said that new revelation that is true NEVER contradicts previous revelation that is true.
One of the problems with the modern church is that their form of “progressive revelation” allows for new revelations to contradict previous revelations. That is a very slippery slope.
Eternal truth does not change.
The scriptures that we have been given are incredibly consistent when read in the spirit and they provide a foundation from which to build upon. As soon as we disrespect, doubt, disbelieve, and deviate from the truth that has already been revealed, we open ourselves up to even greater deception than we were previously laboring under.
This is exactly what happened to the restoration saints after they rejected the fulness. That is why the Lord withdrew his spirit and largely closed the heavens after the fulness was rejected.
Many if not most of the foundational narratives that sprang forth from the scriptures that Joseph Smith was instrumental in bringing forth have now been distorted and/or fully discarded by modern branches of the restoration. Much of the false traditions of our fathers that we have inherited came about from the desire to have an “expanded understanding” of things without staying in conformity with God’s word.
This is why Isaiah exclaimed as he saw our dilemma that ” all tables are full of vomit, so that there is not place clean“.
John observed our time and exclaimed that Satan has deceived the whole world.
One great example of “expanded thinking” that is not congruent with what had already been revealed, is how an entire theology of the nature of God (once being a mortal man) was created from just one or two misinterpreted passages of scripture despite the overwhelming amount of scriptural evidence to the contrary.
To the extent that your speculations about multiple probations on multiple earths is in conformity with God’s holy word and the plan of salvation that has been revealed, you may be on safe ground. To the extent that it is in conflict with it, you not on safe ground.
I personally find the doctrine to be extremely problematic and in conflict with God’s word and the plan of salvation that has been revealed. The evidence against it is overwhelming in my opinion.
The opinions that we share in this podcast are only to provide food for thought. Ultimately, the purpose of this podcast is to stimulate thought and encourage people to search the scriptures themselves to determine what is true.
Joseph’s interpretation of John 5 in the King Follett discourse is quite problematic. He takes a short phrase “the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do” and expands it into far more than the text suggests – that God once wasn’t God. There is nothing to connect seeing what the Father does with the Father having previously been a fallen, sinful man. There is also nothing in the scriptures to indicate that God was never God. Quite the opposite.
Psalm 90:2: Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
From Lecture 3:
14 Second, that he is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness, and that he was so from everlasting, and will be to everlasting.
15 Third, that he changes not, neither is there variableness with him; but that he is the same from everlasting to everlasting, being the same yesterday today and forever; and that his course is one eternal round, without variation.
16 Fourth, that he is a God of truth and cannot lie.
Which is reiterated in the Question section:
12What things do we learn in the revelations of God respecting his character?
We learn the six following things: First, that he was God before the world was created, and the same God that he was after it was created. Second, that he is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness, and that he was so from everlasting, and will be so to everlasting. Third, that he changes not, neither is there variableness with him, and that his course is one eternal round. Fourth, that he is a God of truth and cannot lie. Fifth, that he is no respecter of persons; and sixth, that he is love (Lecture 3:12–18).
As for us, the scriptures make it clear that our reward for following Christ in this life is that we become joint-heirs with Christ. We inherit what he inherits.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
If we have to go do more mortalities to eventually become like Christ, then the scriptures contain falsehoods, because they say we will be glorified together, joint heirs with Christ, and when he comes we shall be made like him.
Thanks for your responses Anthony, Watcher, and MD. I am inclined to regard the unchanging perfections and mission of Christ as being fully emblematicof those of the Father–Who himself would have been a pre-mortal God and the sinless Redeemer with “life in himself” to judge the totality of the creation “authored and finished” by himself. I find the interpretation repugnant (as many in the church suggest) that our ETERNAL God was ever a sinful, polluted man as we are. But that he was once as his perfect Firstborn Heir now is? This I can accept. It seems clear from D&C 76 that the redeemed little “g” gods claimed by the intercession of their big “G” redeemer are received as his inheritance from the Father. The Firstborn is glorified by those given to Him (John 17), He being their eternal head and the only God whom their own spiritual offspring should direct their worship, prayers, etc. No one is praying to the little “g’s” in eternity, and only the Firstborn inherits a Godhead by right. My thoughts on the matter.
I just happened upon another scripture from the Book of Mormon which supports Jacob chapter two as another witness. Since Brother Joseph went through this translation word by word and certainly seeking spiritual understanding at all times he would not have missed this one. Ether chapter 10 verse 5 says ” And it came to pass that Riplakish did not do that which was right in the sight of the Lord, for he had many wives and concubines” and he was oppressive in taxation and built many spacious buildings. The many wives was first on the list of what was not right with him in the sight of the Lord. Just as a point of interest, I noticed that Coriantum’s wife died when she was 102 so he ” took to wife in his old age, a young maid,” (in Ether 9:24) so Coriantum who was a good man as noted in Ether 9:23 was a monogamist it appears. Just shifting to the New Testament it certainly seems that Zacharius and Elizabeth were a monogamous team. All this is just to support your statement that Brother Joseph would not feel a need to ask a question which was clearly answered already.
So guess what my next assignment is….RS lesson on “Come Follow Me” GenCon April 2019, Nelson. His talk is entirely based on Section 132, which I’ve clearly labeled in my personal set of scriptures as “not a revelation”. Guess I’ll have my coming out of the closet moment soon! Any suggestions? I’m thinking of focusing my entire lesson on just the title of his talk and pretend he didn’t say anything else.
One of the best I’ve ever come across on the subject for a long time, thank you. Add this episode to
I was re-listening to this podcast and thought to myself you guys should write a book called “Putting D&C 132 to the Test” with footnotes and all. It will open many eyes. Luis
Thanks for your redo of these two 132/polygamy podcasts. I came to Iron rod somewhat recently so I had missed out on these insights that have added another nail to the coffin of this confusing, damaging doctrine of multiple wives.
I also found this enlightening explanation of church history that reinforces much of what you guys prove with scriptures, but adds some additional things to consider. Among them is another possibility for the interpretation of Jacob 2:30. To paraphrase: For if I will, saith the Lord of hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people to get out of a polluted polygamous place (like I did with Lehi); otherwise, they shall harken unto these things and have one wife.
Here is my scripture-based approach to understanding Jacob 2:30.
For if I will…raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.
The LDS interpretation is that if the Lord wants to raise up seed unto himself, he will command polygamy. Let’s see what the Lord did in the Book of Mormon.
27 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;
34 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.
God commanded Lehi to practice monogamy. Which, by the LDS interpretation, means that God did not want to raise up righteous seed through Lehi. Yet God says he did want to raise up seed through Lehi:
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.
1 Nephi 7:1
1 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.
What did Lehi and his family do?
1 Nephi 16:7-8
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. And thus my father had fulfilled all the commandments of the Lord which had been given unto him.
The boys each took one woman to wife. No polygamy. Nephi reiterates that this monogamy was in response to the commandment of God to raise up seed in the promised land. God commanded monogamy to raise up seed, not polygamy.
Jacob himself teaches that Lehi was commanded to practice monogamy:
the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them.
So Jacob himself, the person who said the Lord would command his people if he wanted to raise up seed, clearly teaches that the Lord commanded them to practice monogamy. The LDS interpretation requires that Jacob knew what he was talking about in 2:30, but didn’t know what he was talking about in 3:5. I find that hard to believe. Nowhere in the scriptures does God command anyone to practice polygamy.