The Complicated Relationship of Mormon Polygamy

29 May

polygamy1The LDS Church has a few things in common with a rather obscure creature from the animal world; the chameleon.

The chameleon can change colors to blend in, and they’re usually solitary creatures unless they’re seen with a group of other female chameleons.

Historically speaking, the LDS Church has isolated itself from the Christian community, and it’s taken several different stances on polygamy. Another thing they have in common with a chameleon is how they’ve gone so far as to change the definition of a key element for Mormon salvation. Over time they’ve changed many things about themselves to look and sound more like Christians.

Here’s a short list of Mormonism and its history with polygamy –

From 1831 – 1904 the Church publicly lied at least 31 times about practicing polygamy beginning with Joseph Smith. See Mormon Polygamy Denials for more info.

Because of their past they felt they had to make more excuses for themselves and issued a statement in 1911 that only 3% of Mormons practiced polygamy. Today they further complicate matters by continuing to publish the Doctrine and Covenants which is their official canon declaring it’s mandatory for salvation.

Furthermore, they intermittently publish other works like Doctrines of Salvation, published in 1954, contradicting themselves yet again. Doctrines of Salvation declares polygamy (celestial marriage) is eternal, so which is it?

Is polygamy mandatory for heaven, or not?

If it isn’t needed for salvation why is it still part of the official canon?

Lastly, why hasn’t the Church told the truth about its past? We all know for a fact that more than 3% of the Mormon population was practicing polygamy. When leaders are standing at the pulpit declaring you have to do this, who’s going to say no?

Church Claims Only 3% Practiced Early Polygamy

Messages of the First Presidency 4:245, October 15 – November 4, 1911; “THE TRUTH ABOUT POLYGAMY The practice begun in Illinois was continued in Utah, though never at any time did more than 3 per cent of the Latter-day Saints engage in it. All, however, looked upon it as a divine institution, as the restored marriage system of the Hebrew patriarchs, and some of the best men and women in the community assumed its obligations and reared large families.”

Polygamy not Synonymous with Celestial Marriage

“Official Statement” published in the Deseret News of June 17, 1933, the First Presidency of the Church; “Celestial marriage–that is, marriage for time and eternity–and polygamous or plural marriage are not synonymous terms MONOGAMOUS marriages for time and eternity, solemnized in our temples in accordance with the word of the Lord and the laws of the Church, are Celestial marriages.”

The following all came from our section: 1,000 Reasons to Leave the Church

Polygamy, Those Who Oppose it Will go to Hell

Journal of Discourses 17:225, Orson Pratt, October 7, 1874, Salt Lake City

Polygamy, Speaking Against it is of the Devil

Journal of Discourses 5:204, Heber C. Kimball, October 12, 1856, Salt Lake City

Polygamy, Rome 1st to Outlaw

Journal of Discourses 12:262-263, Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, August 9, 1868

Polygamy is Solution to Adultery

The Seer, pp. 123-124, Orson Pratt

Polygamy is Salvation

Journal of Discourses 4:41, Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, August 31, 1856

Polygamy is Mandatory, Beneficial Effects of Polygamy

Journal of Discourses 11:269, Brigham Young, August 19, 1866, Salt Lake City

Polygamy is Salvation

D&C 131:1-4

Polygamy is Godhood

D&C 132:19-21; “…if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant…21 …Then shall they be gods…”

Polygamy is Eternal

Doctrines of Salvation 2:67 – Joseph Fielding Smith, 1954

No Forever Families without Polygamy

Millennial Star, Vol. 15, No. 15, April 9, 1853, pg 226

Deseret News, 14 November 1855; “If any of you will deny the plurality of wives and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned.” – Brigham Young

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