The Polygamy Question

This entry is part 16 of 50 in the series 2011A


It is amazing indeed that the church which has these powerful words in their own scriptures condemning polygamy is famous for espousing the doctrine of plural wives.

A casual observer may be baffled by it and wonder how this could be justified. This is done in two ways.

(1) The above scripture vaguely gives what could be an exception for it says:

“For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.” Jacob 2:30

In other words, the scripture seems to be saying that polygamy is a horrible thing, comparable to running a house of prostitution. It brings untold grief to women, kills their hearts and brings a curse of destruction yet in the right circumstance – to raise up seed – God may command his people otherwise.

Isaiah talks of such a time. He writes of a future time of great destruction when there would be seven women to one man and because of such a shortage of men women would volunteer themselves as polygamous wives. That makes sense. If a civilization needed to be rebuilt then polygamy seem somewhat logical.

(2) The second way it was justified is it was presented as a mysterious doctrine that the common people were just not ready for. Polygamy was reserved for those who had a destiny to become gods and populate many worlds. A male god could father many more spirit children for these worlds with many wives than with just one wife.

Therefore, it was important for the spiritually advanced to obtain many wives, not only for the celestial future but to bring higher quality spirits to earth in mortal bodies.

There was a huge flaw in this second argument and that is, most of the people who have practiced polygamy have not been spiritual advanced. Many of them in the early church were tyrants ruling over their wives with an iron hand. You won’t read about this in church history but the are many accounts of the tyranny of polygamy which has survived. I’ll post several things shortly.

Now here is a true principle that could be a reason for polygamy to justifiably surface.

The quality of entity drawn to be born to a couple is influenced by the spiritual vibration of the two. A high combined vibration will attract an entity of high vibration for like attracts like. Therefore, it may be possible that the Spirit would guide a man to take a second wife, or maybe just impregnate a spiritual female to draw forth a highly evolved soul to be born. Now if this were done without the approval of the soul then the vibration of all would be lowered and divine purpose negated.

But here’s the problem. Even if the disciple is attempting to follow the direction of the Spirit yet other members of the group find out what their teacher is doing, they will also think that their spiritual vibration is plenty high also and want multiple wives as well.

As soon as word got out to the LDS males that plural marriage may be acceptable to God a lot of very ordinary, and in many cases carnal men, wanted to practice it.

Consequently most entities drawn as children were quite ordinary. How many direct children of polygamists do you know of that accomplished anything worthwhile?

There are about 40,000 polygamists today in Utah, many more than in the days of Brigham Young. I haven’t heard of any geniuses coming from any of these families.

It is indeed flawed reasoning to think that a plural wife system that has been identified by a Book of Mormon prophet to cause untold grief to women to suddenly turn into something that brings bliss in the next world.

That which makes us happy here will make us happy there and that which makes us unhappy here on earth will continue to make us unhappy if the location is changed.

Here’s is the key to discover the truth of all things. Look not at the black and white words of any teaching and do not consider that all black and white statements or commands of authorities are correct. Instead examine each teaching on its own merit and then run it by your soul.

Pretend you have never heard anything pro or con about polygamy and then run it by your soul and see what you feel. The inner voice must always be the greatest authority in the life of the disciple.
Copyright 2011 by J J Dewey

Series NavigationThe Gold Standard, Part 2Hell on Earth, Part 1

6 thoughts on “The Polygamy Question

  1. JJ I wanted to help with this statement:

    “There are about 40,000 polygamists today in Utah, many more than in the days of Brigham Young. I haven’t heard of any geniuses coming from any of these families.”

    Here’s one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Eyring.

    They are actually pretty easy to find. First, you need to research those who are the famous Mormons and then research their ancestry. Now that you have your list you just judge whether you think they are “geniuses” or not.

    Bear in mind this is a “skeleton in the closet” issue, so when making that list you may need to dig a little deeper.

    Also, I have never heard a celebrity Mormon announce, “Yes, I am a success and I owe it all to my polygamist ancestors.”

    For some reason I don’t think you can always judge the fruits of the fathers by the children. People like JFK, Laman, & Lemuel had some pretty different works than their fathers.

    1. I’m descended from Wilford Woodruff, a well known polygamist, but was raised in a very non religious atmosphere. My point was that kids raised in a polygamist situation are at a disadvantage and it’s unlikely that an advanced soul who has some choice in the matter would chose to be born in that situation. I’m sure there are a handful who have been raised in a polygamous compound situation that have made something positive of their lives, but I would bet that the percentage is a lot lower than kids in monogamous families.

  2. I have done much thinking about this whole polygamy situation. The one thing that I noticed about the Book of Mormon scriptures on “no polygamy for the Nephites” is that one must take a look at who the Lord gave as an example when he decided not to allow the Nephites to practice polygamy. He brought up two leaders.. David and Solomon. He did not bring up Abraham, or Jacob or any other family members that did practice it. Why? Both David and Solomon abused the term marriage. David we know committed adultery with his last wife and had her husband killed in battle so he could posses her. Coveting your neighbors wife was still one of the big ten. By the law.. David should have been stoned and certainly his last wife should have been.

    Next we have Solomon. And what was his crime. He married outside the covenant. The Queen of Sheba was not an Israelite and did not worship the God of Israel. She worshiped her pagan Gods. So it would be easy to say that God was certainly displeased with the decisions made by both of these men.

    Last.. polygamy was certainly used by the Lord to increase the seed he wanted raised up. The covenant he made with Abraham is most indicative of this. If you look at the land that Abraham inhabited.. he was in direct competition with other peoples. Look at the Nephite situation.. they were not. Reading 2 Ne 10:20.. Jacob, the brother of Nephi, has been explaining to his people a bit about the Jews and God’s past dealings with them. In part of this verse he reveals a bit about the land they are in. He says: “…… nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea.”

    They were upon an island.. completely surrounded by water. There was no contention or competition with other peoples. Everyone on that island all originated from two groups sent to that island.. the Lehites and the Mulekites. And of course the Jaredites 1500 years earlier. There was no need to “raise up a seed” with polygamy as they were all on this island.. there was no hurry. They were protected from outside influence. And as stated by the Lord and pointed out by JJ.. “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 righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.”

    As far as why polygamy in the 1800’s.. there could be several reasons for it. First I know and feel that it had to come to an end at some point as when the church started to grow to be world wide… polygamy could not go with it. Second.. for it to exist.. there had to be a better reason than just “raising up a seed”. It did happen for the Mormons.. but the real thing I see is that the Mormons had many problems before polygamy became an “issue”. So if the Mormons had not been practicing polygamy.. do you think that people would have just “left them alone” in the Salt Lake Valley? They had been pushed out of every place they had been and polygamy was not even in the picture. I think that because they were now openly practicing polygamy in the Salt Lake Valley.. this gave the people, the government and the enemies of the Church something to focus upon. It became the driving force of everyone back east. GET THE MORMONS TO STOP PRACTICING POLYGAMY. Polygamy was the focal point and the fight was not with the people so much.. as this one doctrine. The time it took for them to focus on this one problem.. left the Mormons to do others things. Like watching the right hand and missing what the left does. So in a way.. I believe that Polygamy saved the Mormons from a more extreme persecution than if polygamy had not been around.

  3. You wrote:

    “Even Jesus said the temple would be destroyed so not one stone would be left upon another, but there still exists a wailing wall.”

    There does exist a wall in Jerusalem that Jews started calling the “Wailing Wall” many centuries after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. However the testimony of eyewitnesses is that the Romans destroyed the Temple and dug it up to the foundations looking for gold that might have melted and run down into the cracks of the foundations (they had thousands of Jewish slaves captured in the war to do this for them). What Jews many generations later identified as the “Wailing Wall” might in fact be the remains of the Fortress Antonia, the fort used by the Romans in Jerusalem which was adjacent to the Temple before it was destroyed.

    This website http://www.askelm.com argues for this conclusion, in particular this article (link below):

    http://www.askelm.com/temple/t980504.htm

    So it may very well be that Jesus was 100% accurate in his prediction about the Temple being completely destroyed. It would be very ironic indeed if modern Jews were in fact worshipping at a wall of the fort used by the destoyers of Jerusalem.

    In regards to polygamy, it would seem to me that these verses you quoted should end any controversy as to whether or not polygamy is a spiritual doctrine. It might, as you said, be a practical doctrine after a war where many of the men died and it was simply necessary to repopulate a country. When I read the article “Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy” at the Restoration Bookstore some time ago that you referenced it struck me quite forcefully as containing much more real truth than the claim by LDS, led by Brigham Young, that Joseph taught polygamy. I personally believe that was a contrived and orchestrated lie after his death.

    lwk

  4. This is a principle I always use whenever I hear or read anything:

    “Pretend you have never heard anything pro or con about polygamy and then run it by your soul and see what you feel. The inner voice must always be the greatest authority in the life of the disciple.”

    Ruth

    By the say JJ, there is a typo : truth behind polygamy or any other doctrine you must rum……should be ‘run”

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