Tag Archives: Heaven

Little Known Propaganda: 6 – Plural Marriage in Heaven

9 Mar

This is my continuing responses to the list of “little known facts” referenced at the blog Sound Doctrine. On this blog the author presents the list along with responses to each from a F.A.I.R. Mormon scholar, known only as CleanCut. In addition the author of this blog, known as Damon, gives a response to CleanCut. As I said in my introduction blog, I am writing a response to each fact in a lengthy series. I will not, however, comment on what CleanCut or Damon said.

See also Fact #1, #2, #3, #4, #5

 

FACT #6. Mormons consider Polygamy a righteous principle which will be practiced in heaven.

Although there is nothing in the Bible that will support this thinking, current Mormon Scripture has this to say: “. . .if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery . . . . And if he have TEN VIRGINS given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery.” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:61, 62)

 

Well, before we continue, let us clarify the language. We refer to this doctrine as Plural Marriage, not polygamy. As it was never a practice for a woman to have multiple husbands, the appropriate term would be polygany. However, as the practice was, and should be, highly regulated, the doctrine of Plural Marriage is more restrictive than either of these terms suggest.

 

There are also other clarifications that need to be made regarding this doctrine. First is that it is not, nor was it ever a requirement for a man to have plural wives in order to attain exaltation. It is not a mandatory practice, but an acceptable practice. True, if God gives a man a direct command to take plural wives than that man in obligated to obey. But it is not a common commandment given to the general membership.

The author quotes from D&C 132, which is the most direct and complete explanation of this doctrine currently had. Little has been said regarding the doctrine since it was withdrawn from the saints in 1890. The leadership has simply focused on those things that actually matter in terms of our salvation. As it is not currently practiced there is no need for anyone to currently understand all the nuances and details of the doctrine.

However, there are a few things that should be noted in what we do know. First, as is quoted in D&C 132, for a man to take additional wives he must have the permission of his first wife. Truly, he must have the permission of all his current wives before he marries another.

It is also true that Plural Marriage is not the standing law. It is a law that God reserves for specific times and occasions. Thus, He can issue the command and retract the command as He chooses. This is made clear in the Book of Mormon where Jacob teaches if God “will…raise up seed unto [himself, He] will command” but we are to remain monogamous unless the command is given (Jacob 2: 30).

 

Now, let us look at what the Bible says. Of course, since no one else believes that marriage in any form will exist in heaven it is no surprise that they would not believe plural marriages exist. However, the claim that nothing in the Bible supports this is false. The real truth is that it all depends on how you interpret the Bible. If you interpret it the way most Christian do than you would never see this doctrine in the Bible. However, we do not interpret it as most Christians do, so we can see it all through the Bible. Granted many members seem to feel the need to deny the doctrine and will thus not see it in the Bible, but let me show you what I see.

First, I see a number of the greatest prophets to have ever lived living this practice. Abraham married Hagar when he was still married to Sarah (Genesis 16: 1-3), and then later married Keturah (25: 1) after the other two had died. Jacob had four wives (Genesis 29: 28; 30: 4, 9). Moses had two. How is it that such great men took many wives without God ever once chastising them for it?

Second, I see God revealing laws regarding the practice. For instance, if a man took a second wife he was still obligated to fulfill his duties to his first wife (Exodus 21: 10). Also, the rights of inheritance had to honored in the case of plural wives and their children (Deuteronomy 21: 15-17). Now, why would God give these laws if the practice was so horrible?

Of course, these show nothing regarding heaven, which is why I turn to my third observation; that God makes things for eternity. We read that “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it” (Ecclesiastes 3: 14) and that what God hath joined let no man put asunder (Matthew 19: 6; Mark 10: 9). We also read that what is bound on earth by proper authority is also bound in heaven (Matthew 16: 19; 18: 18). Paul tells us that “neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11: 11) Finally, Peter tells us that the husband and wife are “heirs together of the grace of life” (1 Peter 3: 7).

 

While I could site even more this is sufficient to show a clear Biblical doctrine. All of this testifies quite clearly that marriage is eternal; that as long as it is done through the proper authority it will stand forever. Since Plural marriage is an acceptable form of marriage, it too will stand when bound by the proper authority of God.

Response to CARM: Difficult questions, part 10

5 Sep

I have recently been pointed to a website called Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry as an excellent location to learn LDS doctrine. On this website they have many pages dedicated to what they call exposing the truth of Mormonism. Most of what they present is well thought out, and they use many quotes and documents to support it. When they are simply giving a list of quotes they don’t do too bad. When they try to interpret those quotes and explain doctrine they fail almost completely. So I am starting a new series in which I will address a selection of pages from that website.

This next page is titled “Difficult Questions For Mormons to Answer.” It is a series of questions that are supposed to stump members of the LDS church. There are 32 questions total. Most are followed by a few quotes that try to establish the subject in question. The first part of my response will be a comment on the quotes given, and this will be in green.

Now, since there are so many questions and responding to all of them will take a long time, I will be dividing this into many separate posts, each answering 1-3 questions.

 

Q. Why is the French word “adieu” in the book of Mormon in Jacob 7:27?

A. No quotes are given, and it is not needed to quote Jacob. We concede that the word is used.

Adieu carries a special connotation of fondness; it is a fond farewell. In the early to mid 1800’s it also took on the connotation of a final farewell. So, Jacob, who knew he was making his last record on the plates and would likely die soon, was bidding a final and fond farewell to the Nephites and to whomever would later read his record.

Again, this word would have been a logical choice to convey the meaning of Jacob’s words for the time in which Joseph Smith lived. It is simply a good translation.

Q. Why should I become a Mormon if when I die, I go to the middle level of heaven when that is where most Mormons will go anyway?

A. No quotes are given.

That is like asking why you should get a Masters degree when most people will only graduate with a bachelors. Yes, most people will only attain the Terrestrial World, but is that any reason not to strive for the greater rewards of the Celestial?

Q. If the veil is rent by God after Jesus was crucified (Matt. 27:51), why do the Mormons put it back in their temples?

A. No quotes are given, and I do not feel the need to quote the verse in the scripture. The veil in the temple was rent.

When I read the rending of the veil at Jerusalem, I see God’s rejection of the Jews and thus their temple. He would no longer dwell among them, and thus that structure was no longer sacred.

Also, we build the temples according to the commands of God. It may have been God that tore the veil in the temple of Jerusalem, but it was also God that commanded us to build temples with veils.

See my longer reponse to this question here.

The Book of Revelation; Chapter Seven – The Sixth Seal, part two

7 Jun

I am continuing on with Revelation. In this series I have been comparing John’s vision with books with similar prophecies, such as Daniel, as well as section 77 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which gives interpretations to a selected portion of the images of the Revelation. I also rely heavily on the Joseph Smith Translation (JST – given in red).

See also chapter one,  two, three, four, five, first five seals, Sixth Seal I

 144000

Chapter 7

This chapter continues the sixth seal. This chapter is also rather cryptic, but we will try to understand it. For this chapter there are, again, extensive explanations as to its meaning found in Doctrine and Covenants 77. In fact, it is from verse 10 of section 77 that we learn this chapter is to “be accomplished in the sixth thousand years” of the Earth’s temporal existence. However, some of the explanations only generate a lot more questions.

Verse 1

And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

We have an explanation for this. In D&C 77: 8 we are told “they are four angels sent forth from God, to whom is given power over the four parts of the earth, to save life and to destroy; these are they who have the everlasting gospel to commit to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; having power to shut up the heavens, to seal up unto life, or to cast down to the regions of darkness.”

I am not sure what this means, however. I find it hard to believe that there are literally four angels standing on the four corners of the Earth; and where do you find corners on a sphere anyway. However, what I think we can get from this is that there are four angels who stand in positions of power and authority in heaven. They are the ones that oversee the revealing of the gospel to men on earth and thus have power over the Earth.

Verse 2

And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and I heard him cry with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

Again, the explanation for this leaves a lot unexplained. We are told in D&C 77: 9 that this angel is “he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of Israel” and that he will seal “the servants of our God in their foreheads.” He is referred to as Elias who would restore all things. Who restored all things? We read the following in the D&C student manual.

At least the following have come: Moroni, John the Baptist, Peter, James and John, Moses, Elijah, Elias, Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael. Since it is apparent that no one messenger has carried the whole burden of the restoration…it becomes clear that Elias is a composite personage.”

https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-student-manual/section-101-109/section-107-the-organization-of-priesthood-quorums?lang=eng

So, the Angel ascending from the east is not a single individual, but a symbolic personage that represents all those who would assist in the restoration.

Now, this composite personage stops the four from hurting the Earth until 144,000 of the tribes of Israel are sealed to God, 12,000 from each tribe. It is interesting to note that in the list of the tribes Dan does not appear, though Joseph appears twice (once as himself and once through his son Manasseh). No one seems to know why this is.

But what are the 144,000? or who? In D&C 77: 11 we read “that those who are sealed are high priests, ordained unto the holy order of God, to administer the everlasting gospel” and they are “given power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn.”

And interesting quote from Joseph Smith says “If the first Seventy are all employed, and there is a call for more laborers, it will be the duty of the seven presidents of the first Seventy to call and ordain other Seventy and send them forth to labor in the vineyard, until, if needs be, they set apart seven times seventy, and even until there are one hundred and forty-four thousand thus set apart for the ministry” (History of the Church, 2:221).

https://byustudies.byu.edu/hc/hcpgs/hc.aspx

After the sealing of the 144,000 John then sees “a great multitude, which no man could number.” This multitude was made up of people from every nation and people. They were dressed in white robes, held palms, and worshiped God before the throne.

Then one of the 24 Elders from before asks John who they are. John says he doesn’t know and the Elder explains “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” (verse 14-15)

So, John is seeing the multitudes of those who have entered the Celestial glory and are there serving God. Why John saw this in connection with the sixth seal I am not sure. I think it would have been a comfort to him and his readers to know that so many have found the salvation of God and were, at that time, serving him. Set against the disasters described in chapter six and the foreshadowing of disaster that is to come after the sealing of the 144,000 it would be an even greater comfort. But I can see no other reason.