The Iron Rod Podcast
The Iron Rod Podcast
Iron Rod 175 - D&C 132 from a woman's perspective

Having already covered D&C 132 in episodes 10 and 11, we are joined this week by Kathy Bence to get a female perspective. If you’d like to get more of Kathy’s thoughts on the subject, visit

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5 comments on “Iron Rod 175 – D&C 132 from a woman’s perspective

  1. If it wasn’t already clear the polygamy is false doctrine, maybe mormons should read the new testament and realize that “celestial marriage/sealing” is also false doctrine. The official chapter heading in the modern lds version says this: Jesus gives the parable of the wicked husbandmen—He speaks of paying taxes, celestial marriage, the two great commandments, the divine sonship of Christ, and the widow’s mites.
    Mark 12 jst version:
    23 Master, Moses wrote unto us in his law, If a man’s brother die, and leave a wife, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seen unto his brother.
    24 Now there were seven brethren; the first took a wife, and dying left no seed.
    25 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed; and the third likewise.
    26 And the seven had her, and left no seed; last of all the woman died also.
    27 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them, for the seven had her to wife?
    28 And Jesus answering said unto them, Ye do err therefore, because ye know not, and understand not the scriptures, neither the power of God.
    29 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels of God who are in heaven.

    So they claim in the chapter heading that this chapter talked about celestial marriage when jesus literally says there is no marriage in heaven but that you will be like the angels. Or maybe they were just disturbed that it was a woman with seven husbands instead of a man with seven wives.

  2. Rebekah Apr 29, 2022

    I wish I had found a podcast like this years ago. This “doctrine” has haunted me for a long time. I appreciate the emphasis of the early saints having to push aside their initially dread–they, too, knew it was wrong. If only we could listen to that still, small voice (or in my case: loud obnoxious voice). Unfortunately, as members I think we sometimes are taught to discount our intuition. Why look inward and up toward God when prophets, apostles, stake presidents, and bishops will tell you all you need to know?

    This was a great conversation. Although I have been told by church leaders to “put this topic on a shelf” I was glad to take it down and revisit in this context. I especially appreciated hearing a woman’s take on this and the guest had some great points.

  3. Ranae May 3, 2022

    I agree with Kathy’s perspective about uncertainty whether Joseph actually practiced polygamy or not. I lean toward not because his worth as a witness of Christ would be shot to pieces if he were the liar he is portrayed to be by publicly denouncing polygamy and privately teaching and practicing it. Also, Emma was not ignorant of what was going on in Nauvoo. Helping women so they would not fall victim to the polygamy scam seemed to be a primary focus of the Relief Society she organized. To believe that she was either ignorant of her husband’s activities while rumors were circulating or that she actually knew and lied about it seems against her character. From what I have seen, it is more consistent to me that Joseph was not practicing polygamy as we think of it, but he might have been giving his associates enough rope to hang themselves with. Brigham himself said he couldn’t understand the system of sealings that Joseph had been involved with. Wasn’t that after he had married some of Joseph’s supposed plural wives? Maybe because he saw what he wanted to see from Joseph’s example and never asked anything deeper.

    I can’t find the scripture now, so maybe someone can help me. Isn’t there something along the line of if someone asks God to give them a revelation (permission) regarding something they should know is wrong because their hearts are wrong that he will give them according to their hearts? By the 1840s the church had already rejected (broken) their covenant with God. Some of the missionaries had spent time with groups that practiced polygamy/wife sharing/open marriage and had probably heard enough about its “benefits” to be enticed despite the warnings clearly given in scripture. At this stage when God is turning them over to Satan, and they were relying too much on Joseph for guidance despite him telling them not to it makes sense to me that if they came to him asking for a revelation regarding polygamy and why it was okay for the Old Testament prophets that Joseph would give them according to their desires. Mix in a little Freemasonry which they were also partial to, and those who wanted permission were off and running (stealthily). It is quite possible that the revelation Joseph gave was enough for them to justify acting on their desires (if they didn’t desire it why ask?) but not enough to persuade the skeptics who would be reading it years after the fact. That would be reason enough to embellish the original revelation. The fact that 132 is blatantly contrary to the Book of Mormon on the topic of polygamy should have been a warning, but those who were relying on Joseph instead of the Spirit were going to be tested.

    I think we can learn a lot from this period of time about not relying on someone else’s light. On the day of judgment it won’t matter how many other people were doing something or who gave permission, we will have to account for our own choices. Divorce was very common in those days, despite the disadvantage to the woman. Maybe some people learned quickly from their mistakes and others learned from staying in very trying circumstances. Both paths, for the women at least, could lead to humility and trusting in God, not to mention the broken heart the scriptures say is necessary. i can’t speak to what the men might have learned because even today men seem to talk about it as something they are naturally inclined toward. As you mentioned, the women didn’t have much negotiating room in those relationships. If they caused a fuss they were in a position to make their situation even worse.

    One final point to share is that some of us grew up in families where our polygamous ancestry was not hidden, the people were praised. It wasn’t a point whether or not Joseph started it. It was just how things were with the assumption that it would still be happening if the government hadn’t gotten in the way and was definitely the order of the celestial kingdom. (Highest degree of course.) I wonder sometimes if these assumptions lead to a disconnect in relationships. Even if a husband never remarries, you know he isn’t really yours. Instead of working to have an ideal relationship, a husband can fantasize about other wives who will be better suited to his needs or nature. Does the implicit understanding that polygamy is condoned by God lead to unfaithful thoughts? I don’t know the answer to that. Maybe some of the male listeners can chime in on whether polygamy might contribute to a rationale for pornography. However, I do think the church would do better to renounce polygamy once and for all. Unfortunately, I don’t see that ever happening.

  4. Harry May 4, 2022

    I ran across this channel on youtube:
    A sister, Michelle Stone, decided to research the scriptures on polygamy after her husband confided in her that he believed polygamy is not of God.
    She presents her findings in an informative and enlightening way.
    MD and Searcher, I know you believe that Joseph Smith taught and practised polygamy in order to fulfill a role as an intercessor for the saints at the time but, why did Moses only have to smite a rock whereas you believe that Joseph Smith had to be guilty of all sorts of sin? I understand what Moses did and why God condemned him. Why seemingly require so much more of Joseph Smith?

    • I don’t think Joseph taught and practiced polygamy in order to make intercession for the people, I think a result of his intercession was that he lost the spirit and started teaching and practicing polygamy and other false doctrines. God didn’t make Cain kill Able to he could be cursed by God, Cain was cursed by God because he killed Able.