Polygamy: Will You Have to Share Your Husband With Other Women?

A few years ago I watched a you-tube video called “Emma Smith — Never Had an Ordinary Day ”. It emphasized several traumatic events from Emma’s life, with background music repeating the words “How much can one heart take?” This video didn’t mention what I believe was the most difficult thing Emma’s heart endured—the unfaithfulness of her husband!

Every woman should put themselves in Emma’s place. How would you feel if your husband told you he had received a revelation from God commanding plural marriage? He then “obeys” God by “marrying” several women and consummates those marriages. Imagine, lying alone at night knowing that the man you love is in another room, being sexually involved with a woman whom he claims was given to him by God. Would you believe him and submit to his priesthood authority? It appears Emma tried to object, but Joseph claimed God told her to “receive all those that have been given unto” him or she would be “destroyed” (D&C 132:52, 64).

The same year I watched the you-tube video I also followed along with the Relief Society Lessons as they studied the “Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith”. It was not easy for me to read Lesson 20 “A Heart Full of Love and Faith: The Prophet’s Letters to His Family”. It made me sick to my stomach to read Joseph’s love letters to Emma; knowing that at the same time, he was being sexually intimate with other women. It’s hard to understand how any man could declare his loyalty and love to his wife; while at the same time destroying that intimacy by giving it to other women. However, I know it happens because the man I married in the temple did this to me.

Since Emma believed her husband was a Prophet she must have been conflicted about what was truly right. If she would have just turned to scripture; she would have learned that Joseph was wrong, he was committing adultery! Nowhere does Heavenly Father command plural marriage. When we read Bible passages about men with multiple wives these are verses which merely describe what’s happening. They are called “descriptive” because they are merely describing an event. For example, God did not command men to have sex with harlots, even though scripture describes that Judah committed this sin, Genesis 38:15.)

What is God’s truth about plural marriage? The Apostle Paul instructed Bishops to be husbands of but one wife:

“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife…” (1 Timothy 3:1-2) “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God” (Titus 1:6-7) Also Deacons: “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.” (1 Timothy 3:12)

The Bible clearly shows the painful and natural consequences of the unnatural union of polygamy. Whenever women shared a husband we read of favoritism, rivalry and bitter jealousy. The sins of the father were “visited” upon his children and grandchildren through horrendous consequences including banishment, slavery, rape, betrayal, murder and rebellion. This was true for Abraham, Jacob, Hannah, David and Solomon’s families (Isaac and Moses did not have multiple wives).

Jesus testified that marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman, who become one flesh. They are no longer two, but one! (Matt 19:4-5- Mark 10:2-8) In addition, a marriage founded on God’s love is even more rewarding and awesome! It’s a lovingly intimate relationship where two people forgive each others faults because they have received this forgiveness from Jesus! When Christ is at the center of a marriage, that marriage flourishes!

As painful as Joseph’s revelation concerning plural marriage was to Emma, it is not his most damaging revelation about marriage. He revealed that to gain the highest kingdom of heaven one must be married and both the husband and wife must be worthy to enter. A single person or a person whose marriage partner falls short will spend eternity as a “ministering servant for those who are worthy of a far more” exceeding eternal glory.

God’s truth, is that all who have faith in Christ will dwell in the highest degree of heaven with Heavenly Father—no matter whether they were married or single. Don’t place your faith in LDS prophets who claim you must have a marriage relationship to dwell with God the Father. The only relationship that matters is your relationship with Jesus! Is He your Savior from the sins that entangle you — even the ones you can’t seem to forsake? Do you trust completely that His blood covers all your sins and leaves you spotless? Are you so grateful for everything Christ did for you, that everything you do is for Him?

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Biblical Truth:

Polygamy forbidden: Deut 17:17; Lev 18:18; Mal 2:14-15

Evil Effects of plural marriages:
Deut 21:15-17; Gen 16; Gen 21:9-16; Gen 29:30-34; Gen 30:1-23; 1 Samuel 1:4-7; 2 Chr 11:21; 1 Kings 11:4-8

Marriage is for earthly life, not eternity:
Matt 22:29, 30; Mark 12:24, 25

LDS Teachings regarding polygamy:

(Until the laws of the U.S. change and polygamy can be re-instated, LDS women today are protected from sharing their husbands with “sister wives”. Polygamy was abolished in 1890 when the US Government forced the LDS Church to end polygamy and abide by the laws of the land that it had been violating for many years. But in one way, polygamy is still practiced. Men can be married in the Temple to as many women as they choose. Women can be married in the Temple to only one husband, even if that husband dies within days of their marriage.)

D&C 132: (Heading) “Revelation given through Joseph Smith… relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, and also the plurality of wives… Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831.”

Verse 1: “…Joseph, that inasmuch as “you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, “as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines
[I’ve always wondered how poor Emma felt about these words. Here we see that God didn’t call Joseph to give him this command. Instead, it was Joseph who initiated the idea. In prayer he went to God, and asked why men of the Old Testament times were “justified” to have multiple wives.]

Verse 52: “And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph… and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.”

Verse 64: “…if any man have a wife…and he teaches unto her…as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, “or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her…”
Link to this LDS Scripture:

D&C Declaration 1, Manifesto: “The question is this: Which is the wisest course for the Latter-day Saints to pursue—to continue to attempt to practice plural marriage, with the laws of the nation against it and the opposition of sixty millions of people, and at the cost of the confiscation and loss of all the Temples, and the stopping of all the ordinances therein, both for the living and the dead, and the imprisonment of the First Presidency and Twelve and the heads of families in the Church, and the confiscation of personal property of the people (all of which of themselves would stop the practice); or, after doing and suffering what we have through our adherence to this principle to cease the practice and submit to the law, and through doing so leave the Prophets, Apostles and fathers at home, so that they can instruct the people and attend to the duties of the Church…”
Link to this LDS Scripture:

Lesson 31: “Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity”, Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, 176:
“At various times throughout biblical history, the Lord commanded people to practice plural marriage. For example, He gave this command to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon (D&C 132:1)… In this dispensation, the Lord commanded some of the early Saints to practice plural marriage. The Prophet Joseph Smith and those closest to him, including Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, were challenged by this command, but they obeyed it. Church leaders regulated the practice. Those entering into it had to be authorized to do so, and the marriages had to be performed through the sealing power of the priesthood.”
Link to Lesson: https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-and-church-history-gospel-doctrine-teachers-manual/lesson-31-sealed—for-time-and-for-all-eternity

LDS Scripture regarding those who do not marry in the Temple:

D&C 131:1-3: “In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.

D&C 132:16
“Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; “but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory. For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, “without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.”

Link to: “Emma Smith, A Woman of Faith: Never Had an Ordinary Day

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith Lesson 20 “A Heart Full of Love and Faith: The Prophet’s Letters to His Family
Link: https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-20?lang=eng

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26 Comments

  1. shematwater said,

    January 5, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    I do have to make a comment here.

    No where in the Bible is plural marriage condemned, despite the attempts made above, which I will address. In fact, a careful reading the Bible would show a support of it. No, there is no direct command, but there is considerable regulation (not forbiddance) and use of the practice.

    Frist, let me address the few references given.
    Duet 17: 17
    This is not forbidding plural marriage. What it is forbiding is the taking of wives as a form of tax (multiplying) or royal priviledge or for other government reasons. This is what Solomon is condemned for. The marrying of several wives for diplomatic reasons.

    Leviticus 18: 18
    This is not speaking of plural marriage, but of sleeping with more than one woman at the same time. Leviticus 18 lists many forms of incest which are wicked, but it does not list plural marriage.

    Mal 2: 14-15
    This speaks to adultery, not to plural marriage. If a man and a woman are married than they cannot commit adultery with each other, and thus this does not apply.

    Gen 16, 21: 9-16
    There is nothing in these references that shows anything wrong in Abraham taking a second wife. The problem was caused in how Hagar treated Sarah, and thus is the fault of Hagar and not the marriage.

    Gen 29:30-34, 30:1-23
    The story of Jacob also shows no great evil being caused by the marriages. Leah had some trouble with Jealousy because Jacob loved Rachel more, but then she knew this before she ever married him. She was a willing participant in the desception that got her her husband, and the difficulties she encountered were a direct result of this, not the marriage itself.
    Even with her desception Rueben still would have claimed the Birthright (being the eldest son of the first wife) if he hadn’t defiled his father’s bed. As such Jacob did full justice to Leah.

    Deut 21:15-17
    This is definitely not listing the evils of plural mariage, but a regulation regarding it. All this is saying is that no matter what the husbands personal feelings are towards his wives, his eldest son is still his eldest son and he is required to give him the inheritance as the Eldest. The term hated in these verses simply means less liked (such as in the case of Jacob and his wives, and explained above).

    1 Samuel 1: 4-7
    Again, it seems the problem is not in the marriage, but in how the wives act towards one another. The great evil is not the marriage, nor is it caused by the marriage. It is caused by the fact that Hannah had no children while the otehr wife did, much like Sarah and Hagar.

    1 Kings 11:4-8; 2 Chr 11:21
    Now, in Kings we do see what appears to be a great evil caused by plural marriage. However, in the reference given we get only part of the story. In verses 1-2 we read that the women that lead his heart away were non-Israelite women he married for diplomatic reasons (as warned againsts in Duet. 17: 17). He married heathen women who, as was warned, drew his heart away. It was not marrying many women that did this, but heathen women. (The Chronicles quote is the same story.)

    Now, as to LDS doctrine.

    First, it was not illegal to practice Plural marriage until well after it was begun by the church, despite what you seem to suggest. Now, it was ended to comply with the new law passed for the reasons you quote in the first Declaration: It was better to voluntarily leave the practice than to loose all our possessions, and thus be forced out.

    Now, as to the references, you have a very select way of quoting things.
    D&C 132: 64
    Now, if your intent was only to relate to Emma than this is fine. However, I would like to point out that this verse applies only to those who “Hold the keys” to this power of the priesthood, which there is never more than one of. I think this is important for the readers to know.
    In other words, if I teach this to my wife she can dismiss it all she wants, and even might have grounds for a divorce, as I do not hold the keys.

    Now, your last two references are somewhat misleading. You title that section “LDS Scripture regarding those who do not marry in the Temple.” While this is an accurate description for the verses listed, it is misleading in that the read of this article is concerning Plural Marriage, not simply Temple Marriage. There is a large difference.
    As these verses show, those who are not married in the Temple will be limited in the eternities. However, neither of these verses speak to Plural Marriage, as such is not a required practice. You blend two different topics together which causes the reader to think they are the same.

    Have fun.

  2. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    No where in the Bible is plural marriage condemned, despite the attempts made above, which I will address.

    Is Timothy in the Bible? What about Titus? How about Matthew and Mark?

    You must not have read the body of my post where I gave references from the Bible. The books of Timothy and Titus clearly condemn plural marriage:

    This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife” (1 Timothy 3:1-2)

    Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.” (1 Timothy 3:12)

    If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God” (Titus 1:6-7)

    The Apostle Paul here is speaking specifically to Bishops and to Deacons. Are you going to claim that this means it’s OK to practice polygamy if you aren’t a Bishop or a Deacon? If so, note how he equates being blameless with having only one wife.

    I also wrote: “Jesus testified that marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman, who become one flesh. They are no longer two, but one!

    I gave the Bible references, but did not give the passages themselves, so here they are:

    But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.” (Mark 10:6-8)

    And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19: 4-6)

    The very Son of God speaks of marriage as between one man and one woman. He did not say that three become one flesh. And notice, He quotes Old Testament scripture to prove His point. Clearly, one man and one woman—become one flesh!

  3. echoechoecho said,

    January 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    .
    LDS WOMAN,

    Here are a few more passages for you…

    Since a man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, how much more so a man who doesn’t divorce his wife and marries another…

    Mathew 19:19 “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    God made “a helper” for Adam. He didn’t make helpers…

    Genesis 2:18 “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

    United to his wife, not his wives…

    Genesis 2:24 ” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

  4. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Shem, you also wrote:

    First, it was not illegal to practice Plural marriage until well after it was begun by the church, despite what you seem to suggest.

    I think that you bring this up because I gave the D&C 132 heading which states:

    D&C 132: (Heading) “Revelation given through Joseph Smith… relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, and also the plurality of wives… Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831.”

    I think you have misunderstood why I referenced this. I was not claiming that it was illegal to practice Plural marriage before any certain point. I included this quote in my LDS references, proving that Joseph began his adulterous relationships early in his marriage to Emma. Specifically, he started having sex with multiple women during the time that he was writing his supposed “love” letters to Emma. (These letters were being studied by the Relief Society in “Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith”, Lesson 20 “A Heart Full of Love and Faith: The Prophet’s Letters to His Family”.)

  5. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Shem, you also wrote:

    Now, your last two references are somewhat misleading. You title that section “LDS Scripture regarding those who do not marry in the Temple.” While this is an accurate description for the verses listed, it is misleading in that the read of this article is concerning Plural Marriage, not simply Temple Marriage. There is a large difference. As these verses show, those who are not married in the Temple will be limited in the eternities. However, neither of these verses speak to Plural Marriage, as such is not a required practice. You blend two different topics together which causes the reader to think they are the same.

    Did you even read my post? The last two paragraphs clearly show my purpose for bringing up Temple Marriage. Here is what I wrote:

    As painful as Joseph’s revelation concerning plural marriage was to Emma; it is not his most damaging revelation about marriage. He revealed that to gain the highest kingdom of heaven one must be married and both the husband and wife must be worthy to enter. A single person or a person whose marriage partner falls short will spend eternity as a “ministering servant for those who are worthy of a far more” exceeding eternal glory.

    The truth is that all who have faith in Jesus will dwell in the highest degree of heaven with Heavenly Father—no matter whether they were married or single. Don’t place your faith in LDS prophets who claim you must have a marriage relationship to dwell with Heavenly Father. The only relationship that matters is your relationship with Jesus! Is He your Savior from the sins that entangle you — even the ones you can’t seem to forsake? Do you trust completely that His blood covers all your sins and leaves you spotless? Are you so grateful for everything Jesus did for you that everything you do is for Him?

  6. shematwater said,

    January 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    LDSWOMAN

    Yes, I read your entire post, but mine was getting long and I had little time to continue.

    As to Paul’s words, let us consider a few things. In Roman, like in the US, plural marriage was illegal (or at least discouraged). As it is true doctrine that we follow the laws of the land a truly blameless person would not have more than one wife when such is against the law. This is the reason for Paul’s words. This is not a condemnation of Plural Marriage, but a command to obey the local laws.

    As to the quotes of “one flesh” requiring no more than one man and one woman, I am sorry, but this is not the only meaning. No where in these verses does God say that this cannot apply to more than one wife. As such a man who marries a woman becomes one flesh with her, and if he marries a second she becomes one flesh with him as well, and they are all part of the same family. The verses do not necessitate what you are claiming.
    In all truth, these verses are dealing with the subject of Divorce, not marriage, and thus it is not surprising that a full understanding of marriage is not given.

    Now, refering to post #4, As to Joseph Smith having relations before the 1840’s, there is actually no proof of this. All that is proven is that he knew of the principal of plural marriage, not the he practiced it. If you actually read a little history you would know that he expressly taught that the time was not yet right for the institution of the practice int he 1830’s. As such, your stated intent in quoting the introduction to this section is unfounded.

    As to post #5, I also read this part, but it goes to the same thing. However, it is not as misleading as I originally thought, and I apologyze for saying such.
    However, since it is not, I will say something else.
    You said “A single person or a person whose marriage partner falls short will spend eternity as a “ministering servant for those who are worthy of a far more” exceeding eternal glory.”

    This is completely false. A single person is not barred from exaltation, and anyone who teachers otherwise is teaching false doctrine. They are only barred if they have the opportunity to enter into a Celestial Marriage and choose not to, as in so doing they are being dirrectly and knowingly in opposition to God, and thus cannot inherit his full glory.
    As to a married person, to say that the sins of the spouse can prevent the righteous man husband or wife from being exalted is offensive to the gospel of Christ. No where does it teach this. What it does teach is that if a person is unfaithful to the covenant they will loose thier exaltation, but their spouse will not.
    As such, what you say is not misleading, but simply wrong.

  7. catzgalore said,

    January 7, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Becki, from what I see the teachings of the early LDS church aren’t considered current revelations– that the only ones that count are from their current leaders. Apparently if I really want to understand the LDS church then I have to become LDS. Anything put out by a “secular” source could be LIES so must not be read or listened to. Anything historical not from LDS sources is suspect.

    Now from MY point of view these sound like silly excuses; but my LDS relatives and friends are very sincere and committed to the church. It is obvious that Shem is committed to the LDS church as well. They don’t seem to be bothered by inconsistencies; in fact, they deny that any inconsistency exists.

    What I have been doing is not bringing any of it up, but trying to connect in other ways. I am done discussing anything LDS with my family members. They, like Shem, are deeply entrenched and there is nothing I can say to make them change. Only God can do that.

    so… Praying right now for all who are involved in this blog– that God would give them the right words, and that He would open the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf…

  8. shematwater said,

    January 7, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    CATZ

    All revelation is scripture and is just as true as any other, regardless of when it was given. The difficulty comes in determining what words spoken by the prophets were actual revelation and not just opinion.

    And yes, I will stand by the statement that the actual dotrine of the LDS churchs holds no inconsistancies when understood in its fullness. However, I will also admit that to someone who does not have this understanding it is easy to see such inconsistancies.

    As to non-LDS sources, I think they are fine, when they are a source with no bias. The problem comes when people accept an obviously biased source as the final word.

  9. catzgalore said,

    January 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    All revelation is scripture and is just as true as any other, regardless of when it was given. The difficulty comes in determining what words spoken by the prophets were actual revelation and not just opinion.

    So who decides what is revelation and what is just opinion? It seems to me that would be impossible to know. Are you to just draw your own conclusions? If it is only opinion, does it matter? How do you know if it is “revelation” or if it is just “opinion”?
    For ME, if I hear something my church leader says and it agrees with scripture (the BIBLE only) then I can I can accept it as truth. Otherwise, it is only an opinion. In your religion, revelation is continuous, therefore, there can be no standard to be the TRUTH…
    If a leader suddenly went wacky and said that all followers should jump off a cliff, it would be obvious that the leader wasn’t speaking the truth. Most issues are not quite as obvious. A leader, or a group, could easily pull people astray if there is no standard. Your church seems to have no real standard or base– if revelation is continuous then it can change. And you admit it is not easy to tell what is revelation and what is opinion!
    And the truth is, people believe what they want to believe. All groups twist things to their advantage. That’s why we don’t put our final allegiance in any group, denomination or church and only trust JESUS, the Author and Finisher of our Faith.

    And I have a question… if a woman is widowed when she has one child, then remarries and has 6 more children, which husband is hers in eternity? If it is true that a woman can be sealed to only one man, what happens to the second family? and if the second family is the “sealed” family, what happens to the first husband? Doesn’t the first husband get to claim the woman as HIS ETERNAL WIFE and leave the second in the dust?? Of course then the second family COULDN’T be an ETERNAL family, because there can’t be two husbands…

    And no, I am not making up the scenario. It is part of my family. I have never had the heart to ask those questions of the people involved.

  10. shematwater said,

    January 13, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    CATZ

    The largest difficulty comes when we do not understand the personallity of the people speaking. If we understand the person we can generally tell opinion from doctrine.
    There are also little clues that help us out. The prophets frequently tell us when they are speaking their opinion.
    For example, a person once quoted a sermon by Brigham Young to prove that he taught Adam was God the Father. I found a copy of the sermon and read it in its entirety. In the very beginning of this sermon Brigham Young states that he is speculating, or simply letting the people know what he thinks, or what his opinion is. Yet people try to use this as proof of doctrine.
    It is also true that many times we can see opinion in the way something is worded, making an understanding of language very helpful.
    Example: Brigham Young once made the statement that there was life on the sun. His exact words were “I rather think there is. It was not created in vain.” So, was he teaching life on the son. No. he was teaching that all things were created for a purpose, as this was the only direct statement he made. In his opinion it was to support life, but that part (indicated by the “I think”) is opinion.

    As to a standard of truth, if you don’t think we have one you do not understand the LDS church. We have a very powerful standard of truth, called the Standard Works. This consists of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. This is our standard of truth, and a standard that all doctrines should be compared to. Any doctrine that contradicts what is taught in these scriptures is false, as God will not contradict himself.
    Now, just a note to this: Just because something is not directly confirmed by this standard does not make it false, as not confirming is not necesarily denying either. Though I will say that few actual doctrines that I know of are not confirmed by the scriptures.

    When all this is understood it is not difficult to tell doctrine from opinion. The really difficult part is learning how to.

    Now, you said “if revelation is continuous then it can change.”

    This is not true. Just because something continues does not mean it changes, not in essense anyway. Truth is truth, and no revelation from God will contradict one already given. The idea of continuous revelation is that God is always watching over his people, and guiding them. Considering that every age of the world is faced with different challenges and obsticles God is always ready to reveal the way to the faithful.
    The revelation concerning the Flood was only needed at the time of Noah, and he was given specific revelation concerning the Ark. Moses was given specific revelation to meet the challenges of ancient Israel. Things were revealed to Elijah that we needed in Elijah’s time. Angels ministered to various men through history when such men required in.
    Today we are faced with very different challenges. A global community of nations, new science, new philosophies. We need new revelation to deal with that which did not exist at other times in the Earth’s History.
    Example: Family Home Evening. This command was given at a time when the family was beginnning to weaken in ways not known before in history. It is a unique system to combat that deterioration, and subsequent damages that have occured throughout the last century.
    This is a simple example, but it shows my point. New Revelation does not mean new truth, but new guidance as what we are to be doing as a people.

  11. echoechoecho said,

    January 14, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Shem said: “Brigham Young states that he is speculating, or simply letting the people know what he thinks, or what his opinion is.”

    Why does he bother with what he “thinks” or what “his opinion is” or on “speculation” when he is supposedly a living prophet who recieves direct revelation from the Lord!

    No prophet who recieves direct revelation from the Lord has any need to let us know what he “thinks”, what his “opinion is” nor does he need to “speculate.”

    That’s absolutely ridiculous, after all, the Lord talks to him directly!!!

    Shem, he is a false prophet!

    You didn’t respond to Catz’s last question.

  12. shematwater said,

    January 15, 2011 at 12:59 am

    ECHO

    To think that a prophet knows everything is the rediculous thought. Name me one prophet in the Bible who claimed to know everything, or who didn’t claim to be ignorant and unworthy of the revelation he was receiving. No mortal mind can comprehend all things, and to demand that anyone be able to in order to be a prophet is to reject every prophet who ever lived.

    CATZ

    I didn’t answer your last question, as I was rushed again. However, I have no answer to the question. This is one area that I do not have a complete understanding in, nor do I know anyone who does. I have heard theories and rumors, but such things have no place in serious discussion.
    However, I can say this. God is just and merciful. To me the answer does not matter, as he will work it out when the time comes to the satisfaction of all those involved. I believe this with all my heart, and leave it in God’s hands.

  13. catzgalore said,

    January 15, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks for your honest answer, Shem. 🙂 I agree with you.

  14. echoechoecho said,

    January 16, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I would encourage everyone to read the Bible and discover for themsleves whether the prophets use speculation and personal thoughts and opinions and if so, what the conseqences of that were.

  15. rlofferdahl said,

    January 18, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Shem;

    I’m curious. Did the Prophets of the Old Testament deliver God’s messages (…thus says the Lord…)? Or did they give their own personal opinions on those messages (…and here’s what I think about it…)?

    The absurdity of your prophets (so-called) providing their own opinions on matters of the mormon faith certainly speaks volumes about that mormon faith. What’s the matter? Does your mormon god not speak clearly enough through his own revelations? He needs your prophets (so-called) to straighten things out by providing their own opinions?

    You said to Echo: “To think that a prophet knows everything is the rediculous thought…”

    …and so it is. Except that Echo never asserted such a thought.

    And then you went on to say, “…Name me one prophet in the Bible who claimed to know everything, or who didn’t claim to be ignorant and unworthy of the revelation he was receiving…”

    … nor did Echo ever assert any of this either. So why are you demanding Echo answer for statements, that in fact, Echo never made? Unless, of course, you are trying to drag a big fat stinky red herring across the path of your own weak and even stinkier line of reasoning toward the path of your deceptive straw-man argument.

    Gotta run, Shem. Don’t want to miss the mail carrier. I’d like to get his opinions on the mail he’s delivering to me today.

  16. catzgalore said,

    January 18, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Thought I should clarify something…
    Shem said…
    God is just and merciful. To me the answer does not matter, as he will work it out when the time comes to the satisfaction of all those involved. I believe this with all my heart, and leave it in God’s hands.
    I agree that God is just and merciful… NOT that we will be married in heaven, or sealed to our family, or any other specifically Mormon doctrine… but I know that God understands our hearts… and I know that when we see Jesus nothing else will matter.

  17. shematwater said,

    January 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    rlofferdahl

    Now you are just being silly.

    I have misunderstood ECHO, and I have re-read the post. I still think that the idea is absurd and is more a red herring than anything I have said.

    Let me explain things to you.
    It is not a frequent thing for any prophet to speak their speculation, and I never claimed this, which is what Echo was suggesting. Echo also suggested that everything the prophets say should be in perfect harmony with the Bible, which is just silly.
    A prophet is a man like anyone else, and like most men he wants to learn all he can about God. However, this is not always possible and so he speculates on those things that he cannot know. It is not an uncommon thing.
    Now, when he stand to deliver the word of God he generally does not speculate, but teaches the truths that he knows. But, on occasion, he enjoys letting people know his speculations and opinions, just like anyone else. This is most often in the form of a brief comment, like the example I gave of life on the sun. He was teaching correct truths, and let slip a little of his own thoughts in the process. It is very understandable, and I have no problem with it. On a rarer occasion one might actually give an entire sermon about his speculations, which Brigham Young did at least once. But he opened the discourse with an explanation that that was exactly what he was doing.

    Now, do I think the Old Testament prophets speculated? Yes, I do, because it is human nature. Can I prove it in the Bible? No, because the Bible is a collection of documents that were not written in speculation but as truth. They speculated like everyone else, and most likely shared those speculations with many people. But they’re speculations don’t matter, and so they were not preserved.
    However, with the better forms of communication (the printing press) and the recent nature of the words of the modern prophets we still have a record of their speculation. They still don’t matter a whole lot, except a historical documents.
    The problems comes when people try to assume that since all we have left of the ancient prophets’ records is true doctrine than all the writings of the modern prophets must also be doctrine (or even just the rumor of what they may have said at some time).
    To say that because a person voices their opinion on subjects that no man truly understands they can’t be a prophet is a silly notion.

  18. rlofferdahl said,

    January 21, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Shem says: “Now you are just being silly.”

    (“…because calling others silly adds so much to a discussion, don’t you think?”)

    Shem says, “To say that because a person voices their opinion on subjects that no man truly understands they can’t be a prophet is a silly notion.”

    Tragic, not silly, are so-called prophets who feel a need to go beyond what they claim the Lord has revealed to them.

    Questions for Shem:

    How many of the biblical prophets came from within the Jewish priestly hierarchy?

    Few, if any?

    How many of the so-called mormon prophets have come from within the mormon priestly hierarchy?

    Many, if not all?

    And you don’t see the cloud of suspicion this casts over so-called mormon prophets?

    So now, let me spell it out for you, Shem:

    Biblical prophets were “God-serving.”

    Mormon prophets are “self-serving.”

  19. echoechoecho said,

    January 22, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Shem said: “I have misunderstood ECHO, and I have re-read the post.

    You could try re-reading the posts before you comment since you often put words in my mouth that I didn’t say. I have told you this several times before and I have even given you a suggestion on how you might avoid that in the future but you haven’t heeded my advice. I suggested that you copy/paste what I said instead of putting words in my mouth. When does the time come for me to say to you: “Shem, now you’re are putting words in my mouth that I didn’t say and you’re doing it on purpose”? Isn’t NOW a good time to say you’re doing it on purpose since you have been shown this several times already?

    Shem said: “ I still think that the idea is absurd and is more a red herring than anything I have said.”

    What I said to you isn’t a red herring. It was in response to what you yourself said. What you said *IS* a red herring, you put words in my mouth that I didn’t say and in so doing , you distract attention away from what I said and away from you yourself having to respond to what I said.

    It is not a frequent thing for any prophet to speak their speculation, and I never claimed this, which is what Echo was suggesting.

    It’s just impossible for me to imagine you believe in exaltation by faith and works, since your sins, and some of them now willful, just keep piling up to the heavens. Sins that repeatedly get pointed out to you and that you continue to commit despite that fact. I NEVER suggested that speculation was a frequent thing as you claim I suggested here. You are lying. You are once again putting words in my mouth that I didn’t say. Something you have been told not to do a few times already. You are willfully sinning. The Bible says: “he who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, SINS”

    Shem said: “Echo also suggested that everything the prophets say should be in perfect harmony with the Bible, which is just silly.”

    You said this yourself! Here is what you said: “Any doctrine that contradicts what is taught in these scriptures is false, as God will not contradict himself.” (post 10)

    You contradict yourself! Now who, in your own words, looks: silly?

    Shem said: “Now, do I think the Old Testament prophets speculated? Yes, I do, because it is human nature. Can I prove it in the Bible? No, because the Bible is a collection of documents that were not written in speculation but as truth. They speculated like everyone else, and most likely shared those speculations with many people. But they’re speculations don’t matter, and so they were not preserved.

    Let the reader note: Shem is *speculating* that the prophets in the bible speculated about God. Nowhere in the Bible does God say that the prophets speculated. Shem’s speculation is just that: speculation which he himself deems as not “proof of doctrine”. Here is where he states this:

    Shem said “In the very beginning of this sermon Brigham Young states that he is speculating, or simply letting the people know what he thinks, or what his opinion is. Yet people try to use this as proof of doctrine.” (post 10)

    And Shem said above: “But they’re [sic] speculations don’t matter”

    This means that Shem’s speculation here that the prophets speculated about God, also doesn’t matter either.
    Speculation has no place in God’s truth. God’s truth is the measuring rod of all that is truth. And as Shem himself said: “the bible is a collection of documents that were NOT written in SPECULATION but as truth” (emphasis mine)

    Shem said: “To say that because a person voices their opinion on subjects that no man truly understands they can’t be a prophet is a silly notion.”

    A Prophet who must voice his opinion on something “NO MAN truly understands” is not a true prophet of God. A true prophet of God allows only God to speak on matters pertaining to God. This prophet’s opinions are just delusions of his own mind.

  20. shematwater said,

    January 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    rlofferdahl

    Q. How many of the biblical prophets came from within the Jewish priestly hierarchy?

    A. I would say all of them in all truth. At least the ones who exercised authority in rituals. I believe there is a line of leaders that can be traced, at least from Samuel to Jeremiah (we lack proper records for the time of the judges).
    Now, if you are speaking of the Levitical order than I would say we lack sufficient evidence, and we are not told what tribe most of the prophets are from. However, I do not believe that this was the only Priestly Hierarchy in existence. We read of a school of prophets in the days of Elijah and Elisha, as well as in the days of David (with Nathan being part of it). It seems clear to me that there were two separate priesthood hierarchies, one being the Levitical and one being the Higher. Most prophets who performed any of the ordinances came from one of these two.
    However, if you are concerned with those prophets who seem to have only prophesied without engaging in the ordinances than I would say it really doesn’t matter, as John tells us that a testimony of Christ is the spirit of revelation, and even at the time of Moses truly spiritual men were known to prophecy when they did not have the priesthood. Even women can prophecy, as Deborah or Miriam did.

    Now, you also said “Tragic, not silly, are so-called prophets who feel a need to go beyond what they claim the Lord has revealed to them.”

    When did I ever say this. I never once said they felt the need too, only that they had the desire to, like anyone else. There is never a need for speculation, but it is a pleasant pass time. And it is simply natural for the congregation of any church wonder what there leaders think on different topics, just as it is natural for those leaders to want to share their thoughts. There is nothing tragic in this, except for the fact that ignorant people try to use these harmless speculations to justify their misconceptions about the church.

    ECHO

    At least I am willing to admit my mistakes when I make them. I “might” have more than you, but I have yet to hear admit your error.

    As to your comment, it may have been said in response to what I said, but that does not make it any less of a diversionary tactic. I tried to explain simple facts about how we understand what early church leaders said. Instead of posting on my explanation of how to distinguish doctrine from opinion you simple come out and state that if there is opinion at all then the people can’t be prophets. Wonderful opinion, but it does nothing for the discussion except attempt to divert it away from its original topic to one that you are more comfortable talking about.
    Now, my response to what you said was also diversionary, but with the intent of re-diverting the discussion back onto the original topic. It was said with some misunderstandings and I apologize for it. But it was you who was trying to divert the conversation, not me, and thus it was you who had the red herring.

    Now, when I say that you implied something I am speaking as a reader. From your words (even after reading them twice) I got the impression that you thought I was saying they gave frequent speculation. It is a simple misunderstanding between writer and reader, and I may have been in error in the way I said it.

    Now, I will be very kind and give a direct quote from you, in which you quote me.
    ” Shem said: “Echo also suggested that everything the prophets say should be in perfect harmony with the Bible, which is just silly.”
    You said this yourself! Here is what you said: “Any doctrine that contradicts what is taught in these scriptures is false, as God will not contradict himself.” (post 10)
    You contradict yourself! Now who, in your own words, looks: silly?”

    Now, let us examine the misunderstanding you show concerning my words.
    I never said, as you claim, that everything a prophet says has to be in harmony with the Bible. I said that all doctrine must be in harmony, but not all spoken words. There is a huge difference in this. I am perfectly willing to let every man, including a prophet, speculate to his hearts content, as long as he does not teach such speculation as doctrine.
    I also never once placed the Bible by itself as the only standard, as you did. I included all available scripture.

    Now, I love the red herring you use at the end. It is very stylish. And you know what, in essence your right. It doesn’t matter if they speculated, and it doesn’t matter if I believe they did or you believe they didn’t. However, your belief that they didn’t is no less a speculation than is mine that they did, and so that can also be ignored as useless information.

    Now, your closing statement simply shows your lack of logical reasoning when it comes to religious matters, as well as your complete disregard for what I have said and meant (and you keep wanting to accuse me).
    You said “A Prophet who MUST voice his opinion on something “no man truly understands” is not a true prophet of God. A true prophet of God allows only God to speak on matters pertaining to God. This prophet’s opinions are just delusions of his own mind.” (emphasis added)

    First, I never once said that any prophet had to voice an opinion, as you claim. I only said that, being human, they choose to. There is a large difference here.
    Second, your assertion that a true prophet only lets God speak on matters of God is illogical. I would agree if he was going to be teaching something as being true, but this is not always the case. Why can’t a man simply say “I don’t really know the truth in this, but in all my studies I have come to this conclusion.” Why is this forbidden to a prophet? Why would God put such a restriction on him? There is no sense in the claim.

  21. echoechoecho said,

    January 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    ” Shem said: “Echo also suggested that everything the prophets say should be in perfect harmony with the Bible, which is just silly.”

    Where did I say this Shem? Post number please.

    Shem said: “Now, your closing statement simply shows your lack of logical reasoning when it comes to religious matters, as well as your complete disregard for what I have said and meant (and you keep wanting to accuse me).
    You said (Echo said) “A Prophet who MUST voice his opinion on something “no man truly understands” is not a true prophet of God. A true prophet of God allows only God to speak on matters pertaining to God. This prophet’s opinions are just delusions of his own mind.” (emphasis added)

    Shem also said: “First, I never once said that any prophet had to voice an opinion, as you claim.”

    And I never claimed that you said it did I. Your guilty of another false accusation against me.

    Now I could discuss every detail of your post with you but there is no point for obvious reasons such as these.

    Unfortunately, it’s impossible to have a discussion with you Shem as I am sure you would say likewise to me.

    Best wishes to you.

    .

  22. rlofferdahl said,

    January 24, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Shem;

    I’ve concluded there’s not much you say that inspires me enough to respond to you any longer. The gospel has been shared with you. How you choose to respond to that gospel is up to you. With your salvation in God’s hands, may he deal with you according to the level of trust and confidence you place in what his Son alone has done for you. My best to you in your quest for the truth.

    Robin

  23. shematwater said,

    January 26, 2011 at 8:44 am

    ECHO

    You again come with accusations and the wonderful red herrings.

    I gave the quote in which you indicated that I said prophets had to voice their opinion. Whether you meant it that way or not that is what you said. I will quote again.
    “A Prophet who MUST voice his opinion on something “no man truly understands” is not a true prophet of God.” Post 19, ending paragraph; emphasis added.
    Notice the term “Must” in this sentence. What does this word mean or indicate. Now, dictionary.com gives eight different definitions, but they all go along the same basic idea as the first: “to be obliged or bound to by an imperative requirement.”
    By using the term must you imply a compulsory requirement. As you are writing concerning what I said you are thus implying that this is what I meant. If this is not what you intended than you should be more careful about the words you select in your posts.

    “Where did I say this Shem? Post number please.”

    Post 11. In post 11 you say they have no need to give opinion, and the conclusion, considering that you only except the Bible as authoritative, is what I have said. However, I may have been mixing your comments with Catz from post 9. An honest mistake. Sorry.
    However, I do find it interesting that you didn’t try to deny that you said this when you thought you could use it against me, but then backed away from the idea when I showed your error.

    Now, I don’t think it impossible to have a discussion with you, as we have engaged in many entertaining threads. I will say that the constant accusations and diversions get a little annoying at times, but I still enjoy myself greatly in discussing with you. If I didn’t I would not come back as often as I do.

    rlofferdahl

    I am glad for your wishes, and I must say I have been enjoying the Light of the Gospel for the past 26 years, and plan to continue basking in it.

  24. echoechoecho said,

    January 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Shem said: “I gave the quote in which you indicated that I said prophets had to voice their opinion. Whether you meant it that way or not that is what you said. I will quote again.
    “A Prophet who MUST voice his opinion on something “no man truly understands” is not a true prophet of God.” Post 19, ending paragraph; emphasis added.”

    Yes I know “I”, that is “me”, that is “Echo” said: “A prophet who MUST give his opinion…” But where did I, that is “me” that is “Echo” say that YOU, that is Shem, said it????

    but I still enjoy myself greatly in discussing with you.

    Except we aren’t having a discussion. You engage in misquoting me, putting words in my mouth I didn’t say and making charges against me that aren’t true. And you do this repeatedly despite myself and others pointing it out to you. That’s not a discussion Shem, that is something else.

  25. shematwater said,

    January 26, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    ECHO

    You engage in misquoting me, putting words in my mouth I didn’t say and making charges against me that aren’t true. And you do this repeatedly despite myself pointing it out to you. That’s not a discussion ECHO, that is something else.

    Now, I am sure you will recognize this, as it is basically what you have said to me. It applies both ways. The only difference is that I have been perfectly willing to admit when I was in error and modify my comments accordingly, and you have not.

    As to your first part, the quote speaks for itself. The simple fact that gave this response implies that that is what I said. After all, if I did not say that then why would you say what you did? It is all very simple really, if you have an understanding of language and communication.
    I will explain a little.
    First; I say that a prophet is free to speculate on things we do not understand.
    Second; you respond by saying that “A Prophet who MUST voice his opinion on something “no man truly understands” is not a true prophet of God.”
    Conclusion: You either thought I referenced a requirement, as that is what you are doing, or you intentionally twisted my words to make them sound bad to you. Either way it is a misapplication of my words.

    So, let us conclude with this: Since I never claimed a prophet was forced to give opinion I will agree with your statement one who is cannot be a true prophet. In this way we no longer need to try and sort out the confusing intentions behind poor choice of words.

  26. echoechoecho said,

    January 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Shem, thank you for your comments.


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