Episode 95b: Doctrine and Covenants 132 for Dummies part 2

John Larsen is joined by Zilpha, Glenn and Tom to discuss D&C 132.
Episode 95b

63 comments on “Episode 95b: Doctrine and Covenants 132 for Dummies part 2”

  1. guest Reply

    This was a fascinating podcast! It’s refreshing to hear real insight into Emma and Joseph’s relationship, rather than the whitewashed version the church puts forth today. Anybody remember “Emma Smith: My Story”? There’s a scene toward the end the film where, when speaking about plural marriage, Emma’s adoptive daughter Julia asked if she would change anything. Emma’s character says, “Me. I would change me.”

    I about fell out of my chair. The absolute gall! It saddens me to hear my 6 year old niece declare she wants nothing more than to find a husband like Joseph Smith.

    • Bruce R. McHonkey Reply

      I felt the same way about that… did she ever actually say such a thing, these biographical films are so aweful about mixing propaganda and historical quotes, but putting historical quotes out of context… If Emma did say “I would change me” it seems awefully out of context (and sad that she would ever think to blame herself for how things turned out)… if she didn’t, it is an aweful thing for the film makers to put on her lips… and this whole conversation where she is said to validate plural marriage seems highly unlikely to me, because later in her life she denied that Joseph even practiced it (a puzzle for historians who know she knew otherwise)… earlier in her life she was pretty outspoken in her opposition to the practice, she doubted it was revealed by God. So to have her validating the practice as coming from God seems incredibly dishonest to me… unless i am missing something..

  2. Hiyafellas Reply

    I recently attended the Counterpoint Conference at the Univ. of Utah Union building where Anne Wilde was a speaker. I had heard the Mormon Stories podcasts featuring Anne and was very impressed, but had even more sympathetic feelings towards her beliefs after hearing her at this very feminist conference. I ABHORRED the notion of polygamy until I became acquainted with Anne and her story. She is a very smart, humorous, capable and articulate woman who strongly believes in the polygamist lifestyle as long as it is practiced only among consenting adults. I have had to re-examine my own bigotry and prejudice against polygamy in light of Anne and I have definitely come down on the side of decriminalization at the least. Although I can’t see myself ever choosing polygamy, I feel that if it is a choice, and not any sort of coercion, we should be respectful.

    • Joseph Reply

      I think there are probably morally responsible ways to practice polyamory (including polygamy). Historically, the Mormon way (lies, threats, more lies) has a bad track record, but folks like Anne Wilde might just give us a version that works. I wish her and those like her all the best (even as I remain a monogamist).

    • Joseph Reply

      I think there are probably morally responsible ways to practice polyamory (including polygamy). Historically, the Mormon way (lies, threats, more lies) has a bad track record, but folks like Anne Wilde might just give us a version that works. I wish her and those like her all the best (even as I remain a monogamist).

    • Glenn Reply

      If you are going to be liberal-minded enough to allow polygamy among consenting adults, then it would seem you would also need to allow those consenting adults the right to change their minds and opt out as well when/if the conditions of consent change and it just isn’t working for their best interests any more — of course you would hope they would be responsible for any children as a result of the relationships, right? You would also hope that they originally consented in equality.

      But D&C 132??? It is one thing for God to reveal it to Joseph because Joseph asked (and that is being generous, right?). But how many of these women asked for Joseph to reveal it to them? And the condition for having it revealed to them? Now you have a choice — follow it and be exalted as a God, or refuse it and be destroyed — not my words, God’s words — I wish it were different, my hands are really tied here — let’s just get through this together the best we can, shall we dear? And there’s no opting out of this one — you do and you are damned. Anne Wilde may have had the bestest most purest experience with polygamy in the whole entire world, but it still won’t change the way I look at D&C 132. How can it? It’s scripture.

      • Eric Reply

        Hey Glenn you seemed really upset as you tried to form words to describe your feelings around D&C132. After reading this and thinking about it a little more is this something that would push you completely out of the church?

  3. Wes Cauthers Reply

    Another great episode.

    I fully agree that D&C 132 is woefully dark and manipulative. Like Zilpha, I think there are scores of faithful Mormons who have never even read it. I also agree that polygamy is inherently a bad idea and that it inevitably leads to bad things. John and Tom mentioned some of them but the problems of polygamy are also evident in the Bible which Joseph Smith grossly misrepresents in D&C 132. I often hear Mormons defend polygamy by referring to its practice in the Bible, but if they actually read it, they would see that it is far from endorsed and never commanded.

    Genesis 2:24 clearly advocates monogamy (2:24) right off the bat and actually polygamy makes its first Biblical appearance when Cain’s descendant Lamech marries two women (Genesis 4:19). I think that is beyond ironic in light of Mormon teachings on the descendants of Cain. The next instance we see is the story of Abram and Sarai which was briefly mentioned near the end of the podcast.

    In Genesis 16:2-3 it says that Sarai

    “said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her. Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife.”

    This is quite different from what it says in D&C 132:34 –

    “God acommanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises.”

    Not only is the Mormon version in direct contradiction to Genesis, but the implications also go much further. God specifically establishes his covenant through Isaac (the name means he laughs because Abraham and Sarah initially laugh at the idea that they will have a child in their 90’s), the child “born as the result of promise [as opposed to the child] born in the oridnary way” (Galations 4:22). The point is that Abram and Sarai acted independently of God when they decided that it was a good idea to practice polygamy. They lacked faith and tried to make God’s promise happen on their own because they thought it would be impossible to conceive together at their age. It is also interesting to note that it was common practice in that culture for the husband of a barren wife to sleep with their maidservant to conceive. Thus, the verse in D&C has absolutely no relationship whatsoever to a Biblical understanding of God’s promise which is highly problematic in profound ways.

    While there are clearly other instances of polygamy in the Bible, they are never commanded by God. The Bible talks about many things that were common to the people/culture of the ancient near east. This does not mean God necessarily thinks those things were a good idea. We do have numerous instances in the Bible where polygamy is spoken against (Deuteronomy 17:17, 1 Timothy 3:2, 12 and Titus 1:6).

    Polygamy caused nothing but problems for those who practiced it in the Bible. From the conflict between Isaac and Ishamel (which is still going on today) to the very sad account of Rachael and Leah to the unfortunate effect of polygamy on Solomon it was never something beneficial. Fast forward to Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and even into modern day FLDS stuff and we still see nothing but disaster.

    • Aaron Lankford Reply

      I find it amazing that people referred to Emma staying with Joseph out of loyalty or belief that, after all the crap, he really was a prophet.

      Looking at the pattern of women who are abused, who’s husbands control and manipulate them. Joseph’s actions had caused their family to be dragged around the country, and had caused the death of some of their children.

      In short Emma’s actions of staying with Joseph is the same pattern as we see in todays abused women. She was controlled, abused and neglected, she was not going anywhere.

      • Anonymous Reply

        This would be a very interesting podcast. The ways in which Emma was a victim of abuse the same way the classic abused wife is a victim of abuse.

  4. Eric Reply

    Even though I would not practice polygamy I think that if it is among consenting adults I have no problem with it. In fact I think they should legalize it so that if there are bad things happening then authorities can be involved and help those who need it.

    I had never seriously read section 132 until a year ago. I had already been going through a major faith crisis at the time and so when I read this section I guess you could say it was the straw that broke the camels back. I think the thing that hurt me the most was the way that god was willing to treat his daughters. It made me sick to my stomach. I haven’t been back to church since and I must say my life is so much better for it.

    thanks for another great discussion.

  5. OuterBrightness Reply

    Great, great discussion. I think most members view polygamy as a black/white issue. God said it was OK, then he said it wasn’t OK, and everyone complied, end of story. Thank you for pointing out what D&C 132 really says. When I really re-read the section again a few months ago, I was blown away by how blatantly Joseph Smith acted against his own “revelation.” I also can’t believe how God just throws around the notion of destroying women.

    I wish these two hours could be played in place of normal Sunday School and Elders Quorum lessons.

  6. Jason Reply

    I’ve completed Part 1, and this has been pretty decent so far. But shame on you for not including Mike! I can’t think of a more perfect episode (other than the 14 Fundamentals) for Mike’s input. This podcast should not have gone forward without Mike’s participation.

    • Mike Tannehill Reply

      I was going to be on this one, but had to leave town for a job in Death Valley. They dont exactly have good wi-fi out there. It killed me to listen to this today.

      • Glenn Reply

        So what would you have said, Mike — would you have argued that “new and everlasting covenant” does not mean “plural marriage?” Do you think it is still a part of the plan of exaltation and part of the Abrahamic covenant that we are just not living because it is against the law of the land (but not against the law of God, as suggest by WW in the declaration #1?) — I know some people wanted to hear their Mike on this one, but I don’t know how anyone could really make D&C 132 anything other than what it is — even you, my faithful friend.

      • Anonymous Reply

        I agree that your presence here would have helped balance the vibe a bit and maybe even help pull poor Glenn out of some of his more depressed moments. Not to mention it would have been great for comic relief! Man, I sure miss you dude. I hope you can make up for it by sharing some comments here on the page.

        (Oh, I see you did, further down…)

      • Anonymous Reply

        I agree that your presence here would have helped balance the vibe a bit and maybe even help pull poor Glenn out of some of his more depressed moments. Not to mention it would have been great for comic relief! Man, I sure miss you dude. I hope you can make up for it by sharing some comments here on the page.

        (Oh, I see you did, further down…)

  7. cam Reply

    I would like to agree with John on a lot of points. As a girl and young woman growing up in the church, I was always bothered by the way females were treated. It flew in the face of my young sense of justice. I was the girl in the class who was always objecting that this wasn’t fair and asking questions. There were the obvious doctrines like polygamy that seemed unfair, and there were the subtle attitudes that I could feel but couldn’t articulate, like god “giving” women to men. I was pressured both overtly and covertly to accept my place. I never really could, and that part of me is what eventually lead me out of the church. But that doesn’t mean that all of that pressure and “teaching” was not damaging to me. I’ve been out of the church for many years and I still discover ways that my perceptions were/are misshaped. Women in the church aren’t more angry because of how deeply indoctrinated they are. ( I’m shocked at how difficult it has been to post this comment. ) To extend the indoctrination metaphor to the end of the spectrum, I look at the burka clad Taliban women who are essentially powerless. Power and sexuality have often been interwoven as an effective tool. Although the women wear burkas for “modesty”, socially the effect is to keep women controlled. And these women pass this belief on to their own daughters. Women have long been accomplices to their own injustices.

    Joseph Smith may have been charismatic, but more importantly I would characterize him as pathologically narcissistic. If he were alive today, he would definitely be the final survivor on the island.

  8. Chris Reply

    To go along with Aaron Lankford’s point about Emma staying with Joseph… What options would she have in leaving him? There weren’t options for women to divorce or own land or be much beyond social outcasts for heading out on their own in those times. Let alone the fact that Joseph was obviousy a threatening presence that she would not have been able to escape easily. She had no true option to leave.
    One of the main troubles people have interpretting the actions of followers back then is assuming their 19th century world, options, education and thoughts would have anything to do with our current paradigm. Giving Emma props for sticking by Joseph or using it as a talking point for his ‘good side” just seems ridiculous.

    • Jay Bryner Reply

      I think this speaks to why Emma’s father was so upset when Emma and Joseph eloped together. I remember hearing the story of Emma and Joseph leaving her family and getting married, and it was one of the early cracks in my view of church history. It didn’t fit the narrative at all.

      That place in the podcast where the conversation totally stopped – when someone commented that he felt bad for Emma. — Absolutely! What a nightmare scenario. It also makes me wonder what the deal was on the good side of the equation. She obviously was attracted to him in a lot of ways. I wonder what went into that.

  9. David Clark Reply

    John,

    I am always big on reading any text in the proper historical context. As far as I can recall, I have never heard of anyone attempting to read the specifics (practically verse by verse) of 132 in an historical context. So, I give you big kudos for doing this. Job well done.

    The thing I found really surprising is that when you read 132 in context it gets even worse than it is on a superficial reading. Usually with older documents the reverse happens. They tend to appear bad on the surface, but often there is some mitigating factor which makes the document more reasonable, at least for its time and place. D&C 132 seems to buck that trend.

  10. Gail Reply

    Great pod cast.

    In the church we often refer to the manifesto as a revelation, but when you read declaration 1 it does not even call it’s self a revelation.

    I believe the darkness in 132 is a result of the darkness reflected in the patriarchy it’s self. Polygamy is just one manafestation of the practice of patriarchy. I believe the patriarchy is domination. Yes the church attempts to soften it. But is that not what the temple talks about dominions, principalities, etc, etc, etc. No we are not to exsersize unrighteous dominion, but is dominion or domination ever righteous? In the proclamation it tells us that husband and wife should work as equal partners, but in the same paragraph it says that Fathers should preside in righteousness. In the dictionary every definition of preside uses the word control. How can a partnership be equal if on partner controls.

    I believe this whole idea of control or domination excuses violence. How many times have I set in Sunday school and heard genocide preformed by the children of Israel justified. Why would Mike believe it would be OK to drive a javilin through his wifes hart if she was caught in adultly if we were not taught that certain violence is fine?

  11. Brian Reply

    Loved the verse by verse analysis. While I am a disaffected member and agree with the tone of the podcast, I really wish the church point of view had been presented by someone knowledgeable. It would make for a more meaningful discussion. My favorite websites are those who have a moderate community with both sides being presented. I was disappointed when Mormon Matters went up in flames.

    Not a criticism. I love you guys.

  12. Joseph Reply

    Great discussion, as always. I think John really hit the ball out of the park when he pointed out the misogyny of the doctrine Joseph offered in section 132. For me, the fact that that mindset remains largely unaltered to this day is a very powerful incentive not to be quietly on board with modern LDS Mormonism. No matter what policies and procedures happen to apply at the moment, the fact of the matter is that righteous Mormon men “own” women (doctrinally at least), and that this creates all kinds of problems (for the women, who become second-class citizens in the church, and the men, who are in danger of turning into Plato’s tyrant and wrecking themselves and their families permanently). We should definitely de-canonize section 132.

  13. Joseph Reply

    Great discussion, as always. I think John really hit the ball out of the park when he pointed out the misogyny of the doctrine Joseph offered in section 132. For me, the fact that that mindset remains largely unaltered to this day is a very powerful incentive not to be quietly on board with modern LDS Mormonism. No matter what policies and procedures happen to apply at the moment, the fact of the matter is that righteous Mormon men “own” women (doctrinally at least), and that this creates all kinds of problems (for the women, who become second-class citizens in the church, and the men, who are in danger of turning into Plato’s tyrant and wrecking themselves and their families permanently). We should definitely de-canonize section 132.

  14. Fifth Columnist Reply

    You guys might be interested in this account by William Law:

    “What do you know about the revelation on polygamy?”
    “The way I heard of it was that Hyrum gave it to me to read. I was never in a High Council where it was read, all stories to the contrary notwithstanding. Hyrum gave it to me in his office, told me to take it home and read it and then be careful with it and bring it back again. I took it home, and read it and showed it to my wife. She and I were just turned upside down by it; we did not know what to do. I said to my wife, that I would take it over to Joseph and ask him about it. I did not believe that he would acknowledge it, and I said so to my wife. But she was not of my opinion. She felt perfectly sure that he would father it. When I came to Joseph and showed him the paper, he said: ‘Yes, that is a genuine revelation.’ I said to the prophet: ‘But in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants there is a revelation just the contrary of this.’ ‘Oh,’ said Joseph, ‘that was given when the church was in its infancy, then it was all right to feed the people on milk, but now it is necessary to give them strong meat’ We talked a long time about it, finally our discussion became very hot and we gave it up. From that time on the breach between us became more open and more decided every day, after having been prepared for a long time. But the revelation gave the finishing touch to my doubts and showed me clearly that he was a rascal. I took the revelation back to my wife and told her that Joseph had acknowledged it. ‘That is what I fully expected.’ said she. ‘What shall we do?’ said I. She advised me to keep still try to sell my property quietly for what I could get. But I did not follow her advice. My heart was burning. I wanted to tread upon the viper.”
    “You returned the revelation to Hyrum?”
    “Yes, I did. I was astonished to see in your book that the revelation was such a long document. I remember DISTINCTLY that the original given me by Hyrum was MUCH SHORTER. It covered not more than two or three pages of foolscap. The contents are substantially the same, but there was not that theological introduction. The thing consisted simply in the command of doing it, and that command was restricted to the High Priesthood and to virgins and widows. But as to Joseph, himself, the Lord’s chosen servant, it was restricted to virgins only, to clean vessels, from which to procure a pure seed to the Lord.”

    • Fifth Columnist Reply

      I found it very interesting that according to Law, the original revelation was much smaller than the current one. Is this another situation where the revelations were tampered with?

  15. Buffalo Reply

    Great podcast. I think I enjoy the “for dummies” podcasts the most. I remember reading section 132 as a teenager, and remember thinking that it totally looked like Joseph was making up a revelation to get himself out of trouble with Emma. That troubled me and I never read that one again. Funny the lengths we go to keep our faith, against all reason.

  16. Mike Tannehill Reply

    I took some notes while I listened, so I’ll go through them –

    1) The word Jon was looking for was Quartet, not quatro.

    2) The discussion mentions the Book of Mormon references and the question is asked as to whether it is an abomination or is justified. The answer is yes to both.

    Although the Law of Moses permitted wives and concubines, the Lord forbade the practice for the house of Joseph in the promised land. (Although it was practiced among the Jaredites – see Ether 6:20, 10:5-7, and 14:2)

    In saying that “whoredoms are an abomination before me” (Jacob 2:28), the Lord was not equating the principle of plural marriage with whoredoms or declaring that all such marriages – including those of Abraham, Isacc and Jacob – are abominable in his sight. He was denouncing the abuse of a sacred principle, not the principle itself.

    Jacobs people were seeking to introduce forbidden practices and to justify them by appealing to scriptural precedents, and they were clearly out of order in doing so. The Lords people are bound by the commandments given to them through the prophet of their day, not by those of an earlier time. They are accountable to the prophets they raise their hand to sustain. As President Benson said : “The living prophet is more important than a dead prophet… Beware of those who would pit the dead prophets against the living ones, for the living prophets always take precedence.”

    What is abominable to the Lord is any form of marriage where the relationship is motivated by lust, or when it robs one’s wife of her personhood and reduces her to the level of a thing to be used, mistreated, or whimsically abandoned. In that regard, some monogamous marriages among us are abominations.

    When wives are neglected, subjected to physical or verbal abuse, to emotional trauma, or to humiliating and degrading conduct by their husbands, the spirit of chastity in them is violated. Chastity is more than a sexual matter, it is also a state of mind, heart, and spirit toward one’s whole being. The very soul is at issue.

    Those who sought to “indulge themselves,” as Jacob expressed it, in plural wives were not motivated by a caring love and concern for these women, but rather by pride and lust in their hardened hearts (see Jacob 1:15-16). True polygamy is based on a desire to exalt ones family through Christlike living, not to decorate ones status among his peers.

    3) The questions are asked “Why do we need to be married in Heaven? Can we be together anyway? Whats to stop us from associating? Dont we have free will?”

    In answer to this we need only look around us. What does marriage mean to us in the here and now? What does it mean to be a member of a family? Is there a difference between a neighbors child walking into your house and getting food out of the refrigerator and your own child doing the same thing? Why?

    A family name gives a person identity, it expresses culture and rights and boundries. In the eternities to be part of the family of Christ will allow one to enter into the Holy City and be a part of the community. If a married couple has tied their name to the Father, they will be permitted into the Temple of the Father itself, and share in his authority and creative power. If a marriage is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, a couple will be cut off from those things and their progress damned for all eternity since they have shown themselves unwilling to be a part of that culture.

    4) Are we genderless in the heavens? No, our spirits are male and female and we will be resurrected as such. The creative power in the eternities will be a priesthood ordinance though, and those who do not have the authority will be unable to take part in it. There are things that blood does here that will have no part in the eternities as it is a mortal element.

    5) In regards to angels and servitude in heaven: Do we really suppose that any angel in heaven is there against their own will? Are we to suppose that free agency does not apply to angels and that both Seraphim and Cherubim are in fact slaves? There is far more going on in the eternities than the organization of spirits.

    6) Joseph Smith’s comment regarding the salvation of a family if a member of it is tied to him through Celestial Marrige is in fact a true doctrine. The Abrahamic Covenant is far reaching and binds a great deal of things together.

    7) Eternity boring? When is creation ever boring? Is anyone who has been a part of a large family ever bored? I dont believe anyone who is a part of a large social group can ever be bored.

    8) Is salvation guaranteed if you are a part of the New and Everlasting Covenant? Bruce R McConkie covered this in his Seven Deadly Heresies talk. The answer is no. A covenant is a contract, and anyone who acts in a way that drives the Spirit of the Lord from their marriage is in violation of that contract and loses their marriage in the eternities.

    9) When did the teaching that Man can become God start? In our dispensation: We would not be suprised to discover that it was discussed in Josephs First Vision, but we know that it was in fact discussed with Moronis vist when Joseph was 17.

    10) Are we to be ashamed of D&C 132? Hardly. It is in fact representative of the point of the entire gospel plan, and the main focus of the Atonement itself.

    • Anonymous Reply

      Awesome dude! You saved Glenn!!
      I only wish your point six weren’t true. Looks like I don’t have free will after all since I will be forced to be saved thanks to my parents’ faithfulness. Drat! o.O

    • Glenn Reply

      Mike, you clearly did not consult D&C 132 when writing your ten commandments here. As Zilpha told John in the podcast, “you are 1984’ing it.” Go back and try again. Stick to the text. I’m waiting.

      • Anonymous Reply

        No duh, but did you expect him to? His list is precisely what we all were hoping for and expecting from the one-&-only Mike.
        If he really does go back and READ it, and then reply, I am very anxious to read Mike’s response. So far it seems like he isn’t paying any attention AT ALL to the actual scripture.

      • Jay Bryner Reply

        I agree that Mike 1984’d the revelation. But aren’t we glad this is the spin put on the revelation now, rather than the spin put on it in say… 1850? All that is necessary is to look at the historical record to see that it was more about manipulation, control, and compliance.

        Let me quote Mike here:
        ***What is abominable to the Lord is any form of marriage where the relationship is motivated by lust, or when it robs one’s wife of her personhood and reduces her to the level of a thing to be used, mistreated, or whimsically abandoned. In that regard, some monogamous marriages among us are abominations.

        ***When wives are neglected, subjected to physical or verbal abuse, to emotional trauma, or to humiliating and degrading conduct by their husbands, the spirit of chastity in them is violated. Chastity is more than a sexual matter, it is also a state of mind, heart, and spirit toward one’s whole being. The very soul is at issue.

        ***Those who sought to “indulge themselves,” as Jacob expressed it, in plural wives were not motivated by a caring love and concern for these women, but rather by pride and lust in their hardened hearts (see Jacob 1:15-16). True polygamy is based on a desire to exalt ones family through Christlike living, not to decorate ones status among his peers.

        If I comment on this subject in Sunday school or whatever, this is exactly the spin I put on it. Even the light duty feminists can basically agree on most of that description.

        The most depressing thing to me is the reality that 1800’s polygamy doesn’t resemble modern, ‘consenting adults’ suburban polygamy. Nauvoo polygamy, on through for a hundred years, even persisting in some small clans today, resembles the unchaste, manipulative, commodified, coercive polygamy that just isn’t going to cut it.

        I look back on all the times when I defended Joseph Smith – Wilford Woodruff polygamy as ‘just like Abraham, Moses, Noah, David or Solomon’ and I’m ashamed that I was so naive.

    • Rich Rasmussen Reply

      “6) Joseph Smith’s comment regarding the salvation of a family if a member of it is tied to him through Celestial Marrige is in fact a true doctrine. The Abrahamic Covenant is far reaching and binds a great deal of things together.”

      I’ve always wanted this to be true because I am related to JS directly through Eliza. So, am I saved solely on this merit? Wahooo!

  17. Swearing Elder Reply

    Glenn asking about “wearing” D&C 132 gave me an idea. I’m gonna make up a prototype and send it to Glenn to wear to the ward Christmas party. Depending on how it goes, we can roll it out for full production. So, Glenn look for a t-shirt in your mailbox:

    On the front: “This is my D&C 132 Shirt.”

    On the back: “Got Wives?”

    Return and Report on how that goes.

    • Glenn Reply

      I like it. Just a few modifications:

      Put “got wives?” on the front in as close to the got milk font-set as you can make it, then add “D&C 132” in a smaller bolded ALL CAPS font beneath it.

      Then on the back of the shirt put:

      “The discussion continues at mormonexpression.com”

  18. Pingback: The Decem Co-Mike-ments | Mormon Expression Blogs

  19. Sam Andy Reply

    John, your comment about the futurity/eternity of free will is something I’ve considered before. What is to keep us from exercising our agency in the next realm? The only think I can think of is the amount of power we’ll have over ourselves in that state. That is the big question. Mormonism attempts to answer it, but the king-servant paradigm you all decried in the podcast doesn’t ring with me either.

    This was a great discussion. I can just imagine the suits on N. Temple listening to this and hoping that not too many members find it. I think it wouldn’t be a stretch for any one of us to prophesy that this section will make its way out of the canon within 20 – 30 years.

  20. JulieAnn Reply

    I sincerely appreciate this podcast and the opportunity to ponder and to express myself. I was a faithful, valiant Latter-Day Saint over 55 years. I was raised with positive feelings towards polygamy – my heritage. The B.F. Johnson family organization honors Benjamin and his 7 wives. Back when my children were young I read Benjamin’s autobiography titled My Life’s Review. He recorded his close relationship with Joseph Smith, he shared many faith promoting stories and the challenges of being persecuted for polygamy which gave me a sense of pride being part of this great family. But as I finished the book, I found myself questioning polygamy and my acceptance of being willing to live it because at the end of his life, Benjamin lived alone in a community where his wives lived independently. It did not seem like the kind of marriage I wanted.
    Much more recently, I read Wife No. 19 by Eliza Young. This book opened my eyes to the unjust behavior and suffering polygamy created. I had not previously realized that Eliza’s successful escape from Utah, writing her book and touring the U.S. sharing her personal experiences and views played a significant part instigating the persecution brought down upon polygamists. I now look on the persecution as rescuing future generations (many of us) even though it furthered the culture of secrecy and “lying for the Lord”.
    I am still in the process of recognizing and separating the many wonderful truths I experienced as a Latter-Day Saint from the errors of men and establishing a meaningful life style. Like John, I have never really been comfortable with the idea of heaven being filled with Kings and Priests and my potential as a ruler over kingdoms.
    My own journey away from total acceptance of LDS doctrine began as I consciously prayed and sought to be filled with charity – to see others as Christ, who loves us so much he willingly suffered for our sins and gave his life for us. I became more and more uncomfortable with the idea of people being condemned or destroyed because of “wickedness”. At the same time I started recognizing how judgmental my perspective had been and that I lived in fear even though I was confident I would make it to the Celestial Kingdom. I noticed that my beliefs caused me to push myself so hard I had times of nearly destroying my own health trying to please the Lord and prove myself worthy.
    As a parent I love each of my children regardless of their choices of how to live. I value their uniqueness and individuality. I want them to enjoy life and value themselves. Is this not teaching me something about our Creator’s love for us?
    I recently read both Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls by Michael Newton, PH.D. He is a hypnotherapist who unexpectedly found he could assist people in recalling their life between lives and their nature as an eternal soul. Through detailed questioning of 100’s of clients he unfolded a congruent picture. He is able to share accurate examples because he recorded every session. His findings make sense of how life really is. He confirms that our souls come from a place of unconditional love where deception is impossible. Our experiences in a mortal body have value to us as we each progress. We have freedom to explore and develop our unique interests and abilities. No one is destroyed or lost but we are held accountable for our choices. I am grateful for his many meaningful insights. Unlike Joseph Smith’s teachings, Newton’s findings are sensibly consistent and they confirm the individual worth of everyone. They have assisted my perceptions so I more easily have the Christ like love I am seeking – even for deceivers and tyrants like Joseph and Brigham.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  21. MJL Reply

    Good podcast and quite topical for in Canada at the moment there is a trial going on in British Columbia which has the potential to render Canada’s anti-bigamy and anti-polygamy laws as violations of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms [Canada’s “progressive” and leftist inspired (and flawed) constitution]. In other words polygamy, and bigamy and polyandry I imagine, might become legal in Canada.

    A brief background for those interested. Charles Ora Card, son in law of Brigham Young and great-grandfather of Orson Scott Card, was instructed by Church President John Taylor to lead a team of settlers into Canada to escape persecution because of the practice of plural marriage. They settled in what is now southern Alberta hence the relatively high concentration of Mormons in Alberta in relation to the rest of the nation. In fact Cardston, Alberta was named after Charles Ora Card.

    When the Church renounced polygamy so too did the members in Canada except for a break away faction intent on observing plural marriage. These members moved westward into British Columbia and settled in an area they named Bountiful. They became part of the Fundamentalist movement and continue plural marriage to this day. It is this group who is at the center of the current polygamy trials in British Columbia who feel their Charter protected freedom of religion is being violated by Canada’s anti-polygamy laws.

    They may very well win. They have the support of polyamorous organizations and the testimony of an expert legal witness. They have SSM as a legal precedent. They also have Canada’s “official state religion” of multiculturalism in their corner where Muslim immigrants’ practice of polygamy is something of an open secret.

    There is more to the cultural, historical, and legal context surrounding the polygamy trails in British Columbia but I write this to bring it to the attention of those who might be interested. If polygamy becomes legalized in Canada it will be interesting to see how the Church instructs its Canadian members.

  22. Anon Girl Reply

    I just found an alarming book on the internet that details the meaning of some of the difficult to understand verses in section 132. I quote from the book regarding polygamy and the meaning of celestial marriage.

    “The Crimes of the Latter Day Saints in Utah “
    Page 45 – Polygamy is next in order, and it becomes the duty of every man to obey the “Celestial Law,” by taking additional wives, and the women are taught that they must obey, under penalty of being “destroyed in the flesh.” All are assured that obedience thereto is a garuntee of salvation, even should the convert “commit all manner of sin except the shedding of innocent blood, and the sin against the Holy Ghost,” – the latter the “unpardonable sin” so much talked among the Mormon people.
    Page 46 – The “shedding of innocent blood” does not apply to the killing of a gentile or an apostate, as their blood is defined as “guilty,” so that murders of this kind have no influence against salvation, but to kill a brother Mormon without permission of the priesthood is the shedding of innocent blood.
    The “sin against the Holy Ghost,” the unpardonable sin, is the failure to obey the behests of the priesthood in any particular, and the divulging of the secrets of the Endowment House, or the betraying of a fellow Danite into the hands of the gentiles.”
    For these there is no pardon, and nothing but the “blood of the guilty one offered as a sacrifice before God,” can “save his or her soul from utter annihilation.”

    When I read this I was in utter shock, horror, and amazement that Section 132 has been ignored by a huge part of the membership (myself included).

    Source link – http://www.archive.org/stream/crimesoflatterda00mormrich#page/n3/mode/2up

  23. Ray Reply

    Great podcast. I wish someone would have mentioned Hincley’s comments from the Mike Wallace interview regarding polygamy: “I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal. ” Yet it remains in the D&C.

    Also, on a lighter note, someone mentioned how the appearance of BY’s wives was questionable and that maybe there wasn’t an emphasis placed on how the women looked. Regarding that, I love this quote:

    “Kimball always kept an eye out for romance. ‘Brethren,’ he instructed some departing missionaries, ‘I want you to understand that it is not to be as it has been heretofore. The brother missionaries have been in the habit of picking out the prettiest women for themselves before they get here, and bringing on the ugly ones for us; hereafter you have to bring them all here before taking any of them, and let us all have a fair shake.”

    – The Lion of the Lord, by Stanley P. Hirshon, pp. 129-130

  24. mark smith Reply

    Women are people!  (That’s crazy talk.)  Alright all kidding aside.  I just don’t understand why being different is a problem.  Why must conformism = happiness.  That is one of the things that annoyed me to no end with Mormonism. 

    My wife hyphenated her name when she married me.  I think part of the reason she did this was to keep her individuality in the marriage/society.  And in retrospect I actually wish she had never changed her name at all.  The weird thing is with her hyphenated name, is that Mormon men had no trouble with it, but some it drove some of the RS ladies nuts.  They would want to call her by my last name.

  25. Fred W. Anson Reply

    Wow Tierza what a phenomenally great post! This one just might be my all-time favorite (but I say that every time don’t I?)

    I had my “ah ha!” moment a few years back as a result of a divorce. It dawned on me (18-years too late) that I didn’t HAVE to be married to have value and worth – period. Further, I realized that there are some distinct advantages to NOT be married at all just as the Apostle Paul said:

    I Corinthians 7 (NLT)
    ” 7 But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. But God gives to some the gift of marriage, and to others the gift of singleness.
    8 So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am.

    32 I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. 33 But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.

    I realized that I didn’t HAVE to be married at all! AND (earth shaker here) I’m not a second class citizen for NOT marrying!
    (wow what a concept eh?)

    However, like you, I ultimately found someone that made it worth, “Thinking about my earthly responsibilities and how to please my wife.”

    Congratulations to you – no congratulations to us – for both realizing how utterly stupid our culture is in this regard AND for finding someone who made giving up the joys of singleness worth it!

    Again, great job.
    (and have I ever mentioned that I wish I could write one-tenth as well as you do?)

    • Tierza Reply

      Thanks for the kind words, Fred.  

      I forget sometimes that men face some of these issues as well.  My brother’s fiance died before they could marry and I was really shocked at how quickly his bishop was encouraging (ie — telling) him to start dating again.  As if he couldn’t guide himself in that decision.  And I have certainly seen the discomfort people have with an unmarried man in the church!  Yikes! 

      Marriage is a great thing, but I think our LDS view of what a “family” is is so limiting and so culturally limited.  One of the best times of my life was the two years I spent in my Masters degree when I happened to live next to my brother’s family.  I LOVED being an AUNT and think every child should have one or two of them on hand!

      One last story:  When my younger (by six years) sister got married before me I was nothing but happy for her.  But her wedding day, for me, was a series of relatives coming up to console me and promise that “we’ll find someone for you”.  HA.  I wanted to stand up at the reception and ask “do I look jealous?”  

  26. Ryan Reply

    As a 33 year-old male who has never married, I can relate to some of the things posted here.  I have definitely felt cultural pressure that suggested that there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t married.  My Bishop even suggested that perhaps I was so focused on my career that I didn’t make the effort to find a wife.  Here’s the thing, they are all right!  I love myself and I am absolutely thrilled to be who I am, but I have been emotionally unhealthy for years, and I am only now beginning to heal.  The interesting thing is that now that I see the psychological and emotional challenges that I’ve suffered from, I can see that people all around me in the church either struggle with them or they don’t.  I cannot discern any pattern in the church that doesn’t exist outside the church.  And when I trace the root of my problems, it really has very little, if anything to do with the church.  My problems with relationships have stemmed from family dynamics that exist outside the church just as often (and possibly more) than they do inside.  

    Obviously, there are pressures in the church that might be more formal and systemic to get married than exist in some other cultural circles.  But, is the church doing anything other than publicly holding to the position that a person is better off in a good marriage? The question should be whether or not this statement is true, not whether it conforms to societal trends.  While I agree that a person shouldn’t assume that marriage solves problems that are otherwise unaddressed, the fact is scientific studies suggest that those who are happily married are happier than those that are happily single.  Having sat in therapeutic groups where I was the only Mormon, I can confidently assert that the sense of loss, having spent a life pursuing other endeavors at the expense of marriage and family, is a feeling that exists just as powerfully outside the church.  

    • Richard of Norway Reply

      At the same time, a person who is UNHAPPILY married is most certainly less happy than a person who is unhappy and single. Contrary to the church’s message tot eh world, marriage is not the answer to all the worlds problems. Some people are in fact better off without it. Just like some people are better off with it. The church pretends there is only one way, one path to happiness, and that includes marriage and children. That is leaving out a lot of other choices in life that can be better for some people who are incompatible with marriage and having children.

    • Tierza Reply

      You make some good points.  Encouraging members to marry and to focus on having good marriages is not a bad thing.  If that were all the church was doing that would be fine.  But, at least in the case of young women, the church emphasizes marriage in a way that de-emphasizes the value of the women as individuals.  I strongly believe (being in one) that a good marriage is a fabulous thing.  But I also believe that my husband and I have a strong marriage because of what we bring to the marriage as individuals.  We both are capable of living (and have lived) on our own.  We have our own opinions, education, goals, ideals and we choose to combine those in an equal relationship.  My experience as a woman in the church is that the value of a woman as an individual is neglected . . . much to the detriment of the women and their marriages.

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