Questions from Mormons
Question: Joseph Smith is said to have received revelation on this matter as early as 1830, and it is well documented that he began the practice shortly thereafter, accumulating many plural wives before he died. However — he also kept the matter very “hush-hush” (it wasn’t revealed to the body of the church until 1852). Why? Was it fear of persecution … or something more. Joseph has been quoted as saying that he was deceived (about this revelation), and that he could see that it should be stopped at once — that unless it was, the church would be forced to leave the country (which was pretty much the case by the 1880’s). What is your read on this whole thing?
JJ: It is interesting that many who were called prophets made the claim that God told them to practice plural marriage, from Abraham to David, Solomon and later Mohammed and finally Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.
It is interesting that Djwhal Khul stated that the Master Jesus overshadowed Mohammed, who also practiced plural marriage, and Joseph also claimed to receive revelation from him.
There is a time and place for everything and it is possible that some teachers have been told to take plural wives to prepare bodies for an enlightened seed, yet in each case average people joined in the practice and overall the progeny of polygamists are no more children of light than the so-called non believers.
I sought an answer on this principle and I’ll relate it to you to run by your soul.
Both the beginning and the end of plural marriage in the Mormon Church was not correct. Joseph picked up through revelation the basic principles of the Molecular Relationship. Unfortunately they did not even know what molecules and atoms were in those days and he organized it according to the thoughtform of the time and called it “the New and Everlasting Order of Marriage.” Through the encouragement of Brigham Young and others he incorporated plural relationships into the order, which thing he began to regret near the end of his life, especially the physical side.
Brigham Young, after the death of Joseph, went ahead full steam with the principle, having 27 wives for himself and encouraging it among the brethren.
As you know the U.S. government became morally outraged by the practice and made laws against it and began to jail and persecute the leadership of the church. In 1890 the leadership under Wilford Woodruff gave into the pressure and not only discontinued it but outlawed it among the members.
After this the persecution ceased and the church has had a fairly easy coast in growth since that time.
What was wrong with discontinuing it if it was a mistake to begin with?
Because they did it for the wrong reason. The government attempted to take away their constitutional right to practice their religion and they yielded to it. They had an opportunity to stand it for freedom of thought and religion and that would have helped to establish a greater foothold for freedom than we have today.
It should have been discontinued because of a higher clarifying revelation rather than government pressure.
Yielding a principle they believed in to government pressure caused a loss of light among the leadership and from that point on the church began to lose the little light they had on many principles.
Unfortunately most spiritual organizations go through something like this.
Question: Many have said that the Mormon church is different than the church Joseph established. What are the key differences you see?
There are many but I’ll name three: (1) Loss of revelation. The church today claims to get revelation but hasn’t produced on for 100 years or so. (2) Loss of free agency. Even though free agency is still preached a lot, members are only free to speak “approved” words. If the authorities “frown” on your words or thoughts you will be excommunicated. (3) Loss of spiritual power and experiences. When you compare the spiritual experiences in the early church to those that occur today there is a tremendous difference in quantity and quality. Many of those who do have spiritual experiences are suspected to do so by the power of the devil. I have been accused of this myself.
Question: Do you see the Mormon church changing to become what the Lord’s church needs to be at the time Zion gets established? If not … what organization do you see being the focal point of leading the “saints” back to the New Jerusalem, building a temple there, and establishing (finally) Zion — prior to the grand 2nd coming of the Lord? John Z
JJ: Things may have worked out this way if Joseph would have lived. Even though it is reported he predicted an early death for himself, he was supposed to live. He was given a revelation to go west and escape his impending death, but he did not obey. Therefore his death changed many future events and altered some of the prophesies written in the Mormon scriptures.
The plans for the gathering are quite a bit different now than they were in that age and Jackson county will not be a gathering place in any immediate future. The whole Mormon experiment had many failures and the plans of the Christ were readjusted accordingly.
For some time to come the LDS church will crystallize and become rigid in their approach until they become less enlightened than many protestant churches. The challenge will come from members at the bottom of the totem pole who begin to thirst for higher knowledge and more and more small groups will begin to meet privately and discuss higher principles. How the leadership handles this situation as it amplifies will determine the fate of the church. (Written Nov 2001)
It is most likely that the leadership of the Mormon church will entirely miss out on the building of Zion and the establishment of the new age. They will be too busy protecting the church from heresy.
You ask about the Mormon doctrine of doing baptisms and ordinances on behalf of the dead.
It is possible for the living to help the dead through prayer and symbolic ordinances, especially if the people died in a state of guilt or the harboring of grievances. But it is quite useless to do such work for people who have died thousands, and often hundreds of years ago as they have moved on to higher realms or another earth life.
Joseph summed it up well when he said:
“A man may act as proxy for his own relatives; the ordinances of the Gospel which were laid out before the foundations of the world have thus been fulfilled by them, and we may be baptized for those whom we have much friendship for; but IT MUST FIRST BE REVEALED TO THE MAN OF GOD, LEST WE SHOULD RUN TOO FAR.” History of the Church, Vol.6, Ch.17, p.366
Today the church runs “too far” in attempting to do work for the dead clear back to Adam. Except in rare cases they do not work by revelation about the need of the dead as Joseph mentioned.
Paul was correct in advising us to cease from “endless genealogies.” (I Tim 1:4)
Copyright by J J Dewey
Nov 21`, 2001
JJ’s Amazon page HERE
Gather with JJ on Facebook HERE