Celestial Polygamy

12 November

D&C 132:4-6, 32; “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. 5 For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world. 6 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. 32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.”

salt-lake-temple-2A few years ago Melissa wrote an article about Mormon women needing their husbands to be saved. In her look at the official Mormon doctrine on this subject she provided Mormon scriptural references to this damning doctrine and how it contradicts what our Lord has taught us in His word.

Today we’re taking a look at another side of this heretical teaching.

As most people already know, Mormonism is a works based faith. The harder you work, the greater your reward, but what most non-Mormons aren’t aware of is spiritual or celestial polygamy. Unfortunately, this time consuming busy work is alive and well in Mormon temples today.

Polygamy Then and Now

In 1890 the LDS Church publically announced they had stopped practicing polygamy, but as history has shown we know they lied.  Polygamous marriages were still being performed up to May 1904. We know this from countless testimonies of those participating in the practice and reading their 2ndManifesto (Official Declaration 1) they published in 1904 located in the Doctrine and Covenants.  

One example is from my own great-great grandfather who traveled to England and married two sisters in April 1904 to add to his other three wives in Utah. One of those two English sisters was my great-great grandmother. You’ll notice it was one month before they “officially” stopped practicing polygamy.

Even today the Church continues to be disingenuous about polygamy.  In a2007 news release while condemning the FLDS for publicly practicing the principle, they hid behind the large doors of their temples doing the same and continue to do so today.

Polygamy for salvation has been a foundational belief of Mormonism since the days of Joseph Smith.  While many people believe Brigham Young was the catalyst for mandatory polygamy, it’s very evident Smith proclaimed the Mormon god demanded this marital system as you can read about in D&C 132.

In addition to this, the Church has always maintained that true salvation means nothing short of godhood status, but this is a huge problem because it’s impossible to attain this level when you have to be a polygamist to become a god and polygamy is illegal. 

Today the Church’s way around this is spiritual polygamy, also known as celestial polygamy. While it’s illegal to have more than one wife here on earth, living a polygamous lifestyle in heaven is very much a part of the Mormon psyche today.

Here’s how it works –

If a male Mormon is obedient to all of the Church’s edicts this means he’s earned the opportunity to become a god who will organize and populate his own earth someday. The only way he’ll be able to populate this earth properly is by having plural wives in heaven that he was sealed to for eternity while on earth.

Resurrecting Goddess Wives

Mormon women are taught if they don’t live up to the standard of the Mormon gospel on earth they shouldn’t expect to see their families or children in heaven.

However, if she’s done all she can do at the end of time, she can be found anxiously waiting in her grave for the husband to call the secret name she received on earth during her endowment ceremony.

If the Mormon wife isn’t worthy of her husband’s call from the grave, the man has nothing to fear, but she certainly does. He can still become a god in the Mormon heaven because he’ll have other wives waiting for him to call out their name, whereas the woman will be forever separated from her family and children which is ultimately the worst thing that can happen for her.

As mentioned earlier, when/if his wife dies he’s legally allowed to remarry and most of them do just that. He can then be sealed for eternity to another living spouse while still being sealed for eternity to his deceased spouse/s.  A handful of LDS General Authorities have done just that.

20th & 21st Century Mormon Polygamy 

Mormon Apostle Dallin Oaks, speaking at a BYU devotional in Jan 29, 2002:

“When I was 66, my wife June died of cancer. Two years later–a year and a half ago–I married Kristen McMain, the eternal companion who now stands at my side.” 

Mormon Apostle Russell M. Nelson also married for the second time in 2006 in the temple after his first wife passed away in 2005. 

Tenth Mormon Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith (1970-1972) married Louise E, Shurtleff in 1898. She died in 1908. Later that year he married Ethel G. Reynolds who passed away in 1937. The following year (1938) he married Jessie Evans who died in 1971. All three women were sealed to him for eternity and all parties involved are expecting to live a polygamous lifestyle in the hereafter.  Smith confirmed as much in his series of teachings Doctrines of Salvation 2:67;

“We believe that the family will go on. I get a great deal of comfort out of the thought that if I am faithful and worthy of an exaltation…my children and my wives will be mine in eternity. I don’t know how some other people feel, but that is a glorious thought to me. That helps to keep me sober.” See Church News, May 6, 1939, p. 7.

Eleventh Mormon Prophet Harold B. Lee also remarried in the temple after his first wife’s death.  This indicates he was expecting to be a polygamous god in heaven.  He also confirmed his beliefs in a poem he wrote which appeared in the Deseret News 1974 Church Almanac, pg 17;

“My lovely Joan was sent to me:
So Joan joins Fern
That three might be, more fitted for eternity.
‘O Heavenly Father, my thanks to thee’”

Fourteenth Mormon Prophet Howard W. Hunter married Clara May Jeffs in 1931. She died in ’83. He married Bernice Egan in 1990 for time and all eternity. He stated that he looked forward to being reunited with his wives in heaven. 

Former Utah Senator Jake Garn lost his wife Hazel in 1976 and realizing he couldn’t be both parents to his young family, he remarried, albeit with some trepidation. However, LDS Prophet and Seer Spencer W. Kimball reassured Mr. Garn and the woman he began courting about the concerns they had of offending his first wife Hazel. The experience was published in an article “Uniting Blended Families”, Ensign, August 1997;

“Former Utah senator Jake Garn was reluctant to remarry following the death of his first wife, Hazel, in 1976, but he soon realized that he could not be both a father and a mother to his children. When he began dating Kathleen Brewerton, who would become his second wife, questions soon arose about how his first wife would feel should he become sealed to a second wife. The couple took their questions to President Spencer W. Kimball.

He said he did not know exactly how these relationships will be worked out, but he did know that through faithfulness all will be well and we will have much joy…” 

Another interesting item to note is what Mormons are doing in their temples with the names of deceased people.

Marriages for the Dead 

As pointed out a male Mormon can be sealed to more than one woman while he lives, but as I was doing research on past polygamist leaders I noticed a curious event in the Church files of people who had received endowments on their behalf long after their death.

For instance as I looked at the LDS paperwork I found that Willard Richards had been sealed to women almost two decades after he died. 

Joseph Fielding (1797-1863) lists his parents as having temple sealings performed in the Portland Temple in March 1994 and further sealings done for him and his second wife (Mary Ann Peake Fielding) in the same temple in February 1991 even though he was sealed to this wife in the Nauvoo Temple in 1843 or 1846 timeframe.  

Imagine, these are just two examples of all the thousands of names submitted for posthumous proxy work.  Each and every day temples are utilized only ten percent of the ceremonial activities that take place are for the living.

Conclusion

So what does all this mean? It means the Church has publicly stopped practicing polygamy outside; however, they’re far from denouncing it and still doing it inside.

They fully expect to live in polygamous families in heaven and when you ask any Mormon today about this they’ll probably give you an answer much like that of Spencer Kimball’s remarks to the former Utah Senator and Governor Jake Garn.  They’re not sure how it all works out, but they’ll do the ceremonies anyway.

As it is right now the Mormon today is faced with a huge problem.  While the majority of mainstream Mormons have come to reject any polygamous lifestyle their sacred cannon still proclaims that it’s the way of salvation. They’ve been taught/trained to honor and revere Joseph Smith, but the prophecies he produced stand as a bombed out building in a war zone. It’s there and visible for all to see, but no one uses it; at least not in public.

Researcher and author Helen Radkey recently published a great article on this subject that we posted  – you can read it here.

With Love in Christ;

Michelle

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