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Thursday, May 17, 2012


Polygamy is a hot topic and stirs up a lot of ire against Joseph Smith.  I can’t say that I fully understand this subject.  I’m definitely grateful that my husband has only one wife.

The anti-Mormons use their perception of polygamy to throw out Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  The Mormons try to avoid the topic and don’t look favorably on this part of our history.

I personally think it would be very hard to live the law.  Here in this telestial world, we are so full of lust, jealousy, envy, resentment, and sexual perversion that we don’t even have the proper lenses to look at this ancient law and practice.

Most men and women can’t even handle marriage to one partner.  Look at the divorce rate.  Do you think a man that can’t get along with one woman would want to have four to handle?  Just ask Father Jacob. 

Jacob was in love and only wanted to marry Rachel.  How is it that he ended up with four wives?  I think Jacob would have been content with just Rachel, but more was required of him.  Did he think the drama of trying to keep four wives happy and living in peace with each other was fun?  Do you think he was a sex-crazed man?  Does it offend you that the Father of Israel was a polygamist? Genesis 30:1-24

I am not going to throw out the Bible because Father Abraham was a polygamist; neither do I believe Abraham to be an adulterous man because he had wives and concubines Genesis25:5-6, Genesis 25:12. Both the Jews and Christians look to Abraham as the father of many nations Genesis 17:4. It looks like God was pleased with Abraham’s obedience. 

Speaking to Isaac, the Lord said, “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Genesis 26:3-5 

I’m only a mortal.  Who am I to judge the things of God and call them evil? Isaiah 5:20-21 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:9.

It doesn’t make God wrong just because I don’t understand why He does what He does.  It might be wise to listen and learn before judging God and claiming that I have everything all figured out.  God doesn’t live in the box of my paradigms.  I shouldn’t expect him to conform to the beliefs I’ve created for him.  He still has much to reveal to his teachable children. He is a personal God and intimately involved in our lives, “Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?” Jeremiah 23:23

“Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God.” Jacob 4:8


  1. Polygamy/Polandry is a difficult topic to understand. I have spent considerable time and effort searching, studying and praying about this. I now believe that the Prophet Joseph never taught, supported or practiced polygamy. Emma was the only wife he ever had, and he was faithful to her throughout his life. This is consistent with everything we know the Prophet and Emma ever said or wrote. I believe what Joseph said, not what others said about him.

    I understand that according to both the LDS Church and anti-Moromons the idea that the Prophet Joseph fought against polygamy and never taught it as a doctrine of the gospel is considered ridiculous considering the "overwhelming" evidence "proving" that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy. Nevertheless, a critical and careful analysis of the documents and their authors that purportedly "prove" Joseph practiced polygamy fails to prove this supposition. Although there are numerous documents, a large number of false information doesn't make something true.

    Obviously the Church did teach and practice polygamy, so if this was contrary to what the Prophet Joseph (and the Lord) taught, where did this "doctrine" and practice come from? I believe Brigham Young is responsible for polygamy in the LDS Church.

    I don't believe polygamy ever has been, or ever will be, a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    1. Adam, I would be interested in seeing a copy of your research. Which original documents did you pull your information from?

      Do you believe there is evidence supporting the idea that Abraham and Jacob were polygamists? Where did they get the doctrine of polygamy? As polygamists, were Abraham and Jacob approved of God?

  2. I haven’t written anything describing my “research” on the topic of the Prophet Joseph and polygamy, but here’s the path I took to reach my conclusion. First, I read the piece on Alan Rock Waterman’s Pure Mormonism blog. (see http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-im-abandoning-polygamy.html). Since I had already awakened to the sad and disappointing realization that the “Faithful History” taught by the LDS Church didn’t necessarily represent the full truth, I didn’t immediately dismiss the idea that the Prophet Joseph didn’t teach or practice polygamy.

    I next read the information available on Richard and Pamela Price’s site (see http://restorationbookstore.org/jsfp-index.htm) and then ordered and read:

    > Price, Richard; Price, Pamela, "Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy", Restoration Bookstore (Price Publishing Company)

    > Price, Richard, "Joseph Smith: Innocent of Polygamy", Restoration Bookstore (Price Publishing Company)

    I found both books to be very sincere and credible. These books also caused me to reassess how I viewed Emma, the Prophet’s wife. I don’t know where my opinion came from (I was raised in the Church, so I assume it was the cumulative result of Primary, Mutual, Sunday School, Seminary, etc.), but I viewed Emma as basically an apostate who had lost her faith, since she failed to follow Brigham Young and the saints who went with him to Utah. However, it wasn’t just Emma who chose not to follow Brother Brigham. None of the Prophet’s family did, and in trying to find out why, it appears that they were opposed to Brigham Young’s teachings on and practices of polygamy. Regardless of the reason(s), there is the following statement by the Lord in Doctrine & Covenants 25:3:

    3 Behold, thy asins are forgiven thee, and thou art an belect clady, whom I have dcalled.

    Being referred to as part of the Lord’s “elect” puts Emma in some pretty good company. In fact, as far as I can find, she’s the only person in this dispensation who the Lord refers to as elect. What if Emma was telling the truth about Joseph and polygamy? I know many of the saints latter claimed things Emma did or said, but their claims are largely self-serving and frequently contradict either their own earlier statements or writings. However, Emma, like Joseph, was consistent in repeatedly testifying that Joseph fought against polygamy and that she was his only wife.

    I also found the information on a website called “In Defense of Joseph” (see http://www.defendingjoseph.com/) to be informative. Both the Prices and the author of “In Defense of Joseph” were members of the RLDS Church, which was consistent in defending the honor of the Prophet Joseph against the charges of polygamy and polyandry until it all but abandoned the restoration when it changed its name to the Community of Christ in 2001. Since that time, the Community of Christ has abandoned its defense of Joseph. Another informative work is a tract by Willard Smith (an Elder in the early RLDS Church) first published in 1899 called “Joseph Smith; Who Was He?”

    As I was searching and studying the above information, I was also reading “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith” (see http://www.boap.org/LDS/Joseph-Smith/Teachings/). Not surprisingly, “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith” doesn’t specifically mention polygamy; however, I found that as I read the Prophet Joseph’s words with the idea that he fought against polygamy and didn’t teach or practice it, his words took on added meaning; especially in some of his latter speeches just prior to his death.

  3. As for the practice of polygamy by the ancient patriarchs, I’m still studying and thinking about that. A few thoughts: (1) I have doubts on the source of Section 132. I question Brigham Young’s story on its origins; therefore, I don’t feel confident in the statements it contains claiming the Lord commanded Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and Solomon. (2) Jacob 2:23-28 is a clear condemnation of appealing to “them of old” and specifically David and Solomon to justify polygamy, which the Lord clearly considers a “whoredom” and “abomination.” Since the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever, I have a difficult time reconciling D&C 132 with Jacob 2. (3) In addition, I also have a difficult time reconciling Section 101 of the Book of Commandments with D&C 132. Section 101 was a Statement on Marriage as adopted by a conference of the church and contained the following text: “Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman but one husband, except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again.” Section 101 wasn’t removed until 1876, and it wasn’t done by common consent. (4) Finally, I know that “mainstream” Christianity doesn’t accept that the Old Testament ever teaches, commands or condones polygamy. I’d like to read more about that. I know Mormons think we have a monopoly on “truth,” but perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss other humble followers of Christ.

  4. I also believe polygamy was never part of the restored gospel as taught by Joseph Smith. Denver Snuffer has an excellent article (transcript of a talk) on Plural Marriage under his "papers and lectures" section on his website that is very informative and well-researched. Also, DNA testing has shown that he has no genetic decendants except for those through Emma. I, too, saw Emma in a whole new light after my own research. I don't blame her for not going; I wouldn't have wanted to go with Brigham Young, either, in her situation.


Thank you for posting