Mormon Dilemmas 15

21 June

Mormon Dilemmas 15

The ex-communication of Hyram Brown

It’s a problem when the Church practices one thing while preaching another.  On Thursday, February 1, 1844 the Times and Seasons published a notice declaring one of their adherents, Hyram Brown, had “been preaching polygamy and other false and corrupt doctrines…” (Times and Seasons vol. 5, pg. 423)

The punishment for his actions was swift and severe; immediate excommunication.

Why would Joseph Smith do such a thing when in fact he was the instigator of polygamy in the Mormon Church and at that point in time had at least 34 wives of his own?

Additionally by that time Smith had already received revelation and published the mandatory ordinance in Doctrine and Covenants 132.

Growing up in the Church I had the utmost respect for Joseph Smith and revered all of his teachings, believing that everything he taught was from God Himself.  I had never been taught he ex-communicated anyone for doing the very thing required for salvation and also found in Mormon scripture.  This should be a dilemma for every single member of the Church.

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2 Responses to “Mormon Dilemmas 15”

  1. shematwater June 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    There is not dilemma.

    First, Plural Marriage is not mandatory, and to claim such is to misunderstand D&C 132.
    Second, to engage in Plural marriage one must have authorization from the man holding the keys to that ordinance, which, at the time, was Joseph Smith.

    So, Hyram Brown was excommunicated not for simply practicing polygamy, but for doing so without authorized (along with other things not mentioned) and thus was in direct opposition to the Laws of God.

    It is like the state arresting a person for signing marriage licenses without authority (thus committing fraud).

  2. grindael December 28, 2015 at 3:56 am #

    Actually, all that Hyram Brown did was teach about polygamy and some other vague “false and corrupt doctrines”. So he was excommunicated for preaching polygamy. Since Smith had already privately shared his “revelation” on plural marriage in July, 1843, this was simply a political (public affairs) move by Smith. Brown was sacrificed so that Smith could keep the secrecy surrounding his own polygamous shenanigans.

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