What is “Celestial Polygamy”?

The LDS Church is adamant about distancing itself from modern polygamists, but can it really distance itself entirely from the doctrine of plural marriage?

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13 Responses to What is “Celestial Polygamy”?

  1. Berean says:

    No, the modern LDS Church can’t really distance itself from the doctrine of plural marriage even though they try to. D&C 132 is something that the LDS Church is doing its best to ignore, but it’s still included in the standard work of D&C. In D&C 132 it states (verse 1) that “the principle and doctrine and of their having many wives and concubines”…(verse 3)”must obey”…(verse 4)”if ye abide not that covenant, then ye are damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.”

    Brigham Young made it clear that “the only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy.” (Journal of Discourses 11:266).

    I guess the modern LDS Church’s bail out on this is what is taught in “Mormon Doctrine” on page 578 where it states that the practice of polygamy will be begin after the return of Christ and go in to the Millennium. I guess then at that point all the Mormons who abandoned “the principle” will have a chance to redeem themselves and make up for lost time by engaging in polygamy. Having 1,000 years should give them enough time to obtain a few wives. If I was a Mormon I would worry about what the male-female ratio is going to be in the Millennium. If there aren’t enough women to go around I imagine there will be a problem. Maybe they will do what the FLDS does when there are too many males or young boys that threaten the “old pack”. They will just ditch them on the side of the road like garbage.

  2. Lautensack says:

    The link seems to be ….broken….


  3. Rick B says:

    It is a broken link for me also. rick b

  4. amanda says:

    The Brethren have distanced the church in modern times from the doctrine because it is not practiced- We don’t distance ourselves from our history-just as Evangelicals cannot distance themselves from biblical history- Abraham, a prophet/ polygamist…yet they don’t practice themselves…

    Polygamy is a practice that CHRISTIANS cannot distance themselves from.

    If LDS should be ashamed of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young for polygamy- so should evangelicals apologize for Abraham. Abraham was a prophet– How can evangelicals on this point reconcile this conflict? I find this double standard a bit glaring.

  5. Michael P says:

    Amanda– Abraham sinned for his polygamous relations. Did Joseph Smith?

  6. falcon says:

    Boy, do we have to keep going down this road with the Mormons? Let me try this approaach: Mormonism is suppose to be the restoration of first century Chirstianity as practiced by the “original apostles”. The original, initial, first century apostles and the Church DID NOT PRACTICE POLYGAMY!!!!!! (please provide any NT reference that even mentions it). It wasn’t even practiced by the Jews in Jesus’ time. Joseph Smith came up with a story that an angel with a sword appeared to him and threatened him with death if he didn’t take on more women…. to cover his blatant adultery. The guy was a lecherous sex maniac. He “married” other men’s wives and adolecent girls. But remember, it doesn’t matter. Don’t think about anything that might reflect negatively on your testimony. Deny it, ignore it, redefine it, alibi it, excuse it; it’s part of the grand tradition.

  7. Jeffrey says:

    Time and time again, LDS attempt to dig up polygamous relationships from the Bible and use that as an excuse for Joseph Smiths polygamy. Not to mention his Polyandry as well.

    What they neglect to say is where in the Bible God condones it. Because he doesn’t. Does he let it happen? Yes. People commit sins daily and God lets it happen. Where in the Bible, Amanda, does it say God condones polygamy?

    All the ancient prophets were sinners, just as we are, and do I feel sad that some of them fell into the sin of polygamy, yes. Just as I feel bad that Joseph Smith fell into that sin. I don’t expect perfection from a Prophet. I don’t expect perfection from our President either. I do expect a prophet to give true revelation and prophecy though. I hold them to the standard laid out in the Bible.

    Being sinful is not the issue here though is it. The issue is that Joseph Smith attempted and succeeded at introducing a doctrine of pure evil and put God’s stamp of approval on it, duping others to believing that that is what God wanted. The more people that did it, the more it covered up Joseph’s veracious appetite for multiple women and young girls. Period.

  8. Lancaster says:

    The article does not concern itself so much with HISTORICAL practice as with the rationalization of CURRENT doctrine.

    But to be fair, I don’t think the contemporary church fathers think too deeply about polygamy in those terms. This is the product of institutional momentum, not deep theological thought (a common error is to believe that Mormons–even high church officials–comprehend “Mormonism” any more than you do).

    The problem is, once you’ve wed yourself to this “sealing” concept literally, it’s hard to know where to draw the line without the whole house of cards falling down. Except that a woman can’t be sealed to more than one man because, well, just because (though it was funny in “Paint Your Wagon”).

  9. David says:

    What many (including our resident dissenter) forget to take into account is that Mormon polygamy is vastly different from the kind practiced in the Bible and elsewhere.

    Most people enter into polygamy for earthly reasons like companionship, political alliances, money, wanting many children, and yes sex. Some (many) kings in the ancient near east (like Solomon) had many wives as a sign of their strength and virility. However, Mormon polygamy takes the sex act and makes it into a requirement to dwell with Heavenly Father for all eternity. Being sealed in the temple (marriage) is required to attain the celestial kingdom. The Mormons of 1800’s would have said that plural marriage is necessary. This is something that none of the polygamist men in the Bible advocated. Plural marriage, in this life, is definitely something that Mormons want to distance themselves from, even though it is something their Heavenly Father practices.

    Let it be known that the reasons Abraham, Gideon, David, the Pharaohs, Muhammad, Chinese emperors, the Sultan of Brunei, and chief so-and-so at the nearest reservation practice(d) polygamy may be wrong but they do not amount to the wickedness that Joseph Smith introduced. In Mormon soteriology you must copulate to go to heaven.

  10. Ralph says:

    President Gordon B. Hinckley meant when he stated, “I wish to state categorically that this church has nothing whatsoever to do with those practicing polygamy,” he was not lying. However, what is not entirely true is the assumption that the Mormon Church has completely renounced the practice of plural marriage. How is the public to understand this seeming contradiction?

    What a ridiculous statement. There is no contradiction or any such like. We do not practise polygamy at this point in time, full stop. What may or may not happen in the future or in the Celestial Kingdom (if you wish to believe in it) is not happening right now. What happens in the Celestial Kingdom is up to God anyway, not us. Yes a man can be sealed to more than one woman once his wife has died, but a woman cannot be sealed to a second husband when her first dies, but that is common knowledge to all in the church and the woman has a choice in the matter. On the otherside, if a couple get a divorce, then the temple sealing needs to be annulled before either can be sealed to another spouse, so it doesn’t work in that respect.

    But really, if the church wanted to keep prectising polygamy, they could side-step the law by sealing them together without a legal marriage and so according to the law they are living together but according to the church they are married (as far as I know no country leagally recognises a temple sealing as marriage – Australia doesn’t). I would have thought that if it was all about sexual gratification then those involved would have thought of this and we would still be practising. But that’s not what God wanted, so He gave the revelation to cease practising for the time being.

  11. Bill McKeever says:

    Ralph, are the three Mormon apostles mentioned in my article currently sealed to two women a piece at this moment, or not? If so, then plural marriage is being practiced by them.

  12. lillym says:

    I just finished reading “Escape” by Carolyn Jessop.

    I never guessed at the depth of depravity that these people have sunk to, but I stayed up all night to finish it and can’t stop thinking about the hell these women and children live in. What total slavery.

    All throughout the book, so many of the teachings of their prophets were so similar to the LDS – all that “husband as priesthood head” stuff, about needing a husband to get to heaven, it’s just all the same.

    I can’t figure out how the LDS can say they are so much different/better than the FLDS, when they believe the same things – the LDS just don’t practice polygamy in order to exist in modern society and not be labeled cult. It’s just self preservation. The beliefs appear to be identical.

    I’m so saddened by this horror show that’s been allowed to carry on this way in Utah and Arizona. I’m praying that Texas has the guts to finish it off, once and for all. I’m thinking they will.

  13. Michael P says:

    A point was brought up in the article that I have asked the LDS ladies here and have not gotten an answer: what do you think of polygamy?

    I have only heard men speak of it, and am truly very curious your thoughts on the matter.

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