Raising the Bar: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

LDS missionary Jose Calzadillas finished his mission to Ohio last month (April 2009). When he tried to board a plane to head for home, he was arrested on the charge of being an undocumented immigrant.

Mr. Calzadillas, like all other Mormons, would have made certain covenants at the time of his baptism into the LDS Church. He would have covenanted to: 1. Stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all places; and 2. Serve God and keep his commandments.

Before heading out into the LDS mission field, Mr. Calzadillas, like all other male Mormon missionaries, would have received his endowments at an LDS temple. In order to gain a temple recommend, necessary for anyone wishing to enter a Mormon temple, Mr. Calzadillas would have been asked by his ecclesiastical leaders: “Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?” “Yes,” would have been the answer required in order for him to be considered worthy enough to enter a Mormon temple and receive his endowment.

After undergoing missionary training at an LDS facility and gaining the higher knowledge bestowed on worthy members in Mormon temples, Mr. Calzadillas began his missionary service to the LDS Church, in which capacity he served for two years before coming to the attention of Customs and Border Patrol officials in Ohio.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Mr. Calzadilla’s arrest,

“The Salt Lake City-based [Mormon] church has taken a don’t ask, don’t tell position on membership for undocumented residents. And it supported a 2005 federal law amendment that gives churches legal immunity for having undocumented immigrants do volunteer service, including serving missions.

“‘We do want to be as responsible, as helpful, and certainly always as legal as the church must be to make sure they can give their service, which the law provides, have a religious experience, and feel like they’re doing good,’ LDS apostle Jeffrey R. Holland said in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune last week. ‘We’re not agents of the immigration service and we don’t pretend to be, and we also won’t break the law.'”

Indeed, on a previous thread here at Mormon Coffee our LDS friends argued for the superiority of the LDS Church’s missionary efforts due, in part, to that church’s self-limitation of proselytizing only when and where the “laws of the land” allow it.

Here, in the case of immigrant Mormons in the United States illegally, the LDS Church seems quite intent on obeying the law of the land that grants churches immunity when pressing illegal immigrants into service. But it does not appear to hold members responsible for obeying the law of the land when it comes to immigration. Or, by extension, for obeying the law of God that requires (according to Mormonism) obeying the laws of the land.

The Salt Lake Tribune said,

“Some LDS members are seriously questioning their faith as the church continues to recognize undocumented immigrants as worthy of baptism, temple entrance and missionary work while one of the faith’s founding principles is to obey all laws, said Eli Cawley, chairman of the anti-illegal immigration Utah Minuteman Project.”

Mr. Cawley is not the first critic of the LDS Church’s immigration policies to bring this up, and he likely will not be the last, for it does raise questions. If the Mormon law of God states that one must be “worthy” to enter a Mormon temple, and Article 12 of the LDS Articles of Faith declares Mormons “believe in…obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law,” is it consistent to baptize an illegal immigrant and grant him a temple recommend? If the LDS Church has “raised the bar” for missionary service, as explained by Gordon B. Hinckley–

“‘The time has come when we must raise the standards of those who are called … as ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ. … We simply cannot permit those who have not qualified themselves as to worthiness to go into the world to speak the glad tidings of the gospel’ (‘Missionary Service,’ Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 11, 2003, 17).” (Quoted in Ensign, May 2005, 69. Ellipses in original)

–does someone who is in the United States illegally qualify to be an LDS missionary? Is the LDS Church putting a higher value on obeying the laws of the land than on obeying what the Church promotes as the commandments of God?

What do you think?

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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26 Responses to Raising the Bar: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

  1. Arthur Sido says:

    Romans 13 is clear that we are subject to governing authorities. Coupled with the internal regulations of mormonism and someone who is breaking the law intentionally has no business being an LDS missionary. If the gentlemen in question was a drug dealer, would we be having the conversation?

    The quote from the Salt Lake Tribune gets to a key issue. Something like this causes mormons to question their faith because their faith is in a church, in an organization, in men. When those men or that organization are exposed as corrupt, it shatters their faith.

  2. grindael says:

    The Mormon Church has been trying to have it both ways throughout their history. This is nothing new. The problem the Mormon Church is facing now is the flow of information. They can no longer keep secret their lies. In making thier prophets and general authorities spokesmen for God, they have placed themselves on a pedestal they cant possibly live up to. No matter what the intentions, a house built on sand will ultimately collapse. All the Authorities in the late 1800’s said that polygamy was an eternal doctrine that would never be changed. But when it came down to survival, they had a convienent revelation. When they could no longer tell if a white man had negro blood, they had a convienent revelation. How many half bloods actually held the priesthood before 1978? Who quailfied? It was racist from the start. Now they have all these foreign missionaries and less and less Americans being effective, so they have to have foreigners come here to preach to the Americans and they will break the law or have a “revelation” to change it. This does not surprise me at all. Again, all the references to Joseph Smith beer drinking, and tea drinking in his diaries was stricken out by the Mormons, on the one hand excommunicating those who did not follow it, but Joseph did not have to…. Look to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. It all stands or falls with them.

  3. mantis mutu says:

    I don’t know if this quote made me laugh more the first time I read it in the Trib, or this second time reading it as a highlight from you, Aaron:

    “Some LDS members are seriously questioning their faith as the church continues to recognize undocumented immigrants as worthy of baptism, temple entrance and missionary work while one of the faith’s founding principles is to obey all laws, said Eli Cawley, chairman of the anti-illegal immigration Utah Minuteman Project.”

    To those (numerous I gather??? HA!) Mormons we put the dominions and governments of man above the Kingdom of God, then I beacon them to the door for their exit.

    All men (and of course all women, too) are liberally invited into the waters of baptism to take the name of Christ upon them. Personally, I have enough problems with people being barred from entrance into the Lord’s kingdom because of pecadillas such as nicotine addiction.

    Aaron, I suggest a more significant blog along those lines. This Trib article was just plain stupid, and not worth highlighting. As a “biblical Christian” you should know better, Aaron.


  4. shematwater says:

    I think it is rather obvious why this happened, and really doesn’t reflect badly on the church, only on the members.

    When interviewing for baptism, or a Temple recomend, or Missionary service, the church does not do a background check. The church asks the questions, you answer. If the answers you give would make you worthy to be given what you are interviewing for, you are given it. If you lie in the interview, that is between you and God, and he will lay out the punishment. The partake in any ordinance of the church, knowing you are unworthy, is to partake in your own condemnation.

    This Elder obviously lied in the interview, or he didn’t see being illegal as being dihonest. Regardless, the church let him through, trusting that he was being honest, and justing God to judge if he wasn’t.

    As to the Bill to allow illegals to participate in religious service, I agree that it should be allowed. They do not get paid for this, and in some cases are paying their own way. It has no negetive effect on the economy, or the people who are here legally.
    However, the does not support illegals working outside the law, which is why they did support this law, as it would make this work legal for them.

  5. shematwater says:


    You really need to understand the doctrine of the church more fully before you start trying to explain it.

    Polygamy is still a doctrine of the church, and is still taught to be an eternal practice. It is understood that it will be practiced again, when the earthly government allows it. In the mean time, a man who is married to one wife who dies can still be married to a second, and both will be his wives in heaven, so the doctrine is still practiced, but within the contraints of the law.

    As to the black race, I agree that it is racist. However, even when Joseph Smith first taught this doctrine it was understood that it would not be in effect forever, but that God would retract it in due time. There are many reasons given for why it continued as long as it did, but why doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that the doctrine never changed.
    There were spirits in heaven who, during the war in heaven, did not fight on either side. Because they did not do that which was required they were sent to this earth under certain restrictions. At some point in the earth’s history all those under this restriction would be born, live, and die. Once these people were no longer on the earth the rest of the spirits in heaven were not menat to be under the restriction, so the restriction was lifted.

    As to illegals, the church does not encourage them to come here, but encourages them to remain in their own countries and work to be legal citizens. However, to help them partake in the spiritual blessings of the church we want the law to allow them this right if they are already here.

    There is no change in doctrine in any of the cases you sight. The only change is in the perseption of those who do not have an understanding of the doctrine.

  6. Mantis, I can’t take credit for this good blog post. Sharon wrote it.

    As I have written elsewhere, if Mormonism really values God over government, it should be more willing to lie to Chinese border agents to smuggle copies of the scriptures in the country than willing to lie about their theology to neighbors. Thus far, Mormonism boasts of submitting to the laws of many lands which prohibit evangelism, as though it is an honorable thing.

    In the hierarchy of morals and values, it can definitely be ethical to break the law or even lie sometimes. Where we are willing to do that says a lot about our particular value systems. When a government says not to preach the gospel, we should be breaking the law out of obedience to Jesus Christ. When a government says long-term non-citizen visitors to the country require visas, that doesn’t seem like an unreasonable or unbiblical thing to submit to. Mormonism especially gets itself into trouble by boasting of submitting to the laws of the land even when those laws prohibit things Jesus Christ explicitly commanded us to do. A lot has changed since the times Mormons were bold and defiant in practicing polygamy (something they considered to be God’s law) against the laws of the land.

  7. Ralph says:


    I will have to go home and look up the reference, but Brigham Young said that we will practice polygamy until God sees fit to stop it. That was BY, the second prophet of the LDS church. So yes it is an eternal principle but that does not mean that it has to be practised all the time here on earth – only when God wants it to be. For example circumcision was to be an eternal covenant but we know from the NT that we do not have to practise it now.

    As far as the article about illegal aliens, I know nothing about American policies so I can’t comment. In fact I know little about Australian policies except that they try and keep the boat people away from Australian soil until they can do a background check on the people.

  8. jeffrey b says:


    do you think you would be okay with multiple wives?

    Lets say you had 5 wives. Do you think you can fulfill all of their needs physically, spiritually, and emotionally? Do you think you can really, and i mean REALLY love more than one woman, let alone 5?

    Don’t you think it really hinders a woman’s desire to feel special?

    I dunno buddy.. for some of these FLDS women to say they feel loved and fulfilled makes my b.s. alarm go off.. Perhaps because its all they have known since they were kids. Brainwashed into being okay with not being the only woman her husband cleaves unto. I’m not even female and it makes me feel sorrow for them.. Ever read the book “In sacred loneliness?”

  9. Shem wrote “This Elder obviously lied…”

    Oh my gosh! I though the Mormon program would save a person from his sins! It obviously didn’t in this case. If the program didn’t work for Elder Calzadillas, or for Karen on another thread, who does it work for?

    Also… “Polygamy is still a doctrine of the church, and is still taught to be an eternal practice. It is understood that it will be practiced again, when the earthly government allows it. ”

    Understood by whom? The current bunch of apostates, perhaps? I don’t think Joseph Smith or Brigham Young had the idea that “if it doesn’t work out with the civil authorities, we’ll just put it on hold for an indefinite period”.

    Shem, what right have you got to re-work Joseph’s revelations?

  10. Ralph says:

    jeffery b,

    I have read a couple of article in the past in some ‘Women’s’ magazines while in the waiting room at doctors. Thes 2 articles described the conditions that 2 groups of people lived in. I can only remember the basics of one of the cases. It was about a man living in America who had 8 girl friends living with him at the same time (ie under the same roof) and some of them had children to him. This was legal because none of the women were married to him. All the women were there of their own accord, and none of them grew up in a polygamy environment. They just wanted it that way. The women all felt loved by and special to him. None of them were jealous of the others. The other is exactly the same, just a differeent number of women involved. So it can work out if the people involved want it that way.

    As for me, one mother-in-law is enough, I don’t want any more. But if it were something that God wanted me to do I would do it. Would you? Yes it iis a hypothetical question, but where does your faith lie? Would you do all that your God asks of you regardless of how you felt, or would you pick and choose?

  11. shematwater says:


    If you are honest the LDS faith can save you from your sins. It is not garunteed. You must do your part. If you do not do your part the system cannot help you.
    The doctrine is, or should be, understood by the vast majority of the members. It is an eternal practice. It is taught very directly in the D&C. Any member who reads the scriptures should know that it will be practiced again when it is needed.
    Now, I have not re-worked anything that Joseph Smith said. Joseph Smith never said that everyone was going to live polygamy, or that there would never be a time when it would not be actively practiced.
    If you care to read in the book fo Jacob chapter 2(BoM). Verse 30 says it very clearly, and this was given before anyone in the church practiced polygamy. “For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.” When God commands we are to live polygamy, but when he commands us not to, we are not to live polygamy. It seems very obvious.


    While Ralph did a very good job answering you, I don’t think he did it quite personally enough.
    For me, I believe a man could love more than one woman, and that all the women could be made to feel special. I know you will think this odd, but the idea of polygamy is frequently on my mind, and me and my wife of often discussed it. I would have no problem living that lifestyle. However, in order for me to take a second wife I have to have the permission of my first, and right now I doubt she would give it. Do I hold this against her? No. It is her choice.

    However, when you really think about it, Polygamy can solve many of the social problems we have today. It would reduce the number of divorces, the number of broken homes, or single parent homes. There is actually a lot to be said for the practice.

  12. Afton_RC says:

    Twas wondering….. there are lots of things in the Old Testment that aren’t clear to me in this time in history.
    Slavery, polygamy etc were practice long ago, but now what makes it illegal?
    Why is it that only men can have multiple wives, why can’t women have multiple husbands?
    If a woman obeys all the commandments, does good work, can she become a God and rule over her worlds?

  13. Shemawater,

    Could you explain the following.

    “the earthly government allows it”

    If some countries currently allow polygamy, and there have always been some nations that have since 1830, then how can it honestly be stated that the “earthly government” does not allow it? Is “the earthly government” the United States government and only the United States Government?

    I don’t want to sidetrack the thread, so here is another question for all. Couldn’t the Mormon church just requite some sort of proof of citizenship or legal residency before a person goes on his or her mission? If such a person cannot, it does not mean the church will rat him/her out to ICE, but it does mean that he or she would not service in this country until legal residency was established. I would think the Mormon church would want to do that as having a missionary get picked up by ICE while on a mission would not look too good.

  14. JesusFreek says:

    Back to the original post.

    I wouldn’t fault Jose Calzadillas in particular. Everybody that ever does a temple interview lies. If people answered the questions honestly they would never get their recommend.

    Romans 3:10

  15. Ralph says:


    Are you playing judge now? The questions for a temple recommend are the ‘easy’ things, like do you believe in God and Jesus; do you have a testimony of the restored gospel; do you have a testimony of JS as a prophet – the current prophet; do you have a testimony of the BoM; do you keep the WoW; do you keep the law of chastity; is there anything in your family relationships that you should not be doing; are you honest in your dealings with your fellowman; do you affiliate with or support a group that teaches contrary to the church; do you wear the garments in the proscribed manner; do you consider yourself worthy to enter the temple. There are probably one or two I have missed or paraphrased incorrectly but that’s the gist of it. I have always had a discussion about some of these questions to make sure I understand the question properly and to see if what I am doing is OK – for example I affiliate with this site. When asked if I am honest… I always say that I am trying to but I slip up now and then. I never lie in a temple interview and I have always received one. Apart from the first question about having a testimony og God and Jesus, its the final question that is the most important as this is you saying before God and 2 witnesses (Bishop and Stake Pres) that you consider yourself worthy. If you definately not worthy, you have lied to God, even if you receive your recommend because the human interviewing you cannot tell you lied, God knows and so do you and at the day of judgement that will come out in the open. So it may seem like you are getting away with it now but in fact you will be condemned worse for it in the future.

    So not everybody that does a temple recommend lies. I would say most dont. They have a chat about things and put it all out in the open for the Bishop or Stake Pres to decide.

  16. JesusFreek says:


    I honestly hope you won’t take offense to answering a few questions for me.

    Are you worthy? What makes you worthy? Personally I’m not worthy of anything. Everything given to me is by the grace of God.

    By what authority can any man (such as those conducting the interviews) judge us worthy?

    Do you eat meat only in times of winter, cold, or famine?

  17. Ralph says:

    Am I worthy? Of what? I believe that I am worthy to enter the temple based upon the questions in the recommend interview. Mainly because I have a testimony of God and Jesus Christ and from this testimony and faith I strive to live the life they have asked me to.

    Am I worthy of heaven or entering their presence – I would not know. I don’t feel it, I don’t think I am, but that answer is up to them not me.

    Am I worthy to be a father? Possibly. But I know that God has given me some very beautiful daughters so He thinks I am.

    Am I worthy to judge others? Definately not.

    The Bishop and Stake President have been given the calling from God to be judges over the church. That is their authority. But they are only human. They can only judge on what we tell them – and by what the Spirit tells them. They are there mainly as witnesses for or against us when we stand before God at judgement day. If we lied to them then we are lying to God. Even if they think at the time we are worthy, God knows better.

    As far as meat – D&C 89:12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly; And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

    Note the bold – it states to be used sparingly but it would be better if they were used only in times of winter, cold or famine. So that is most likely why it is not pushed as much as they negatives. I eat a small amount of meat for dinner each day but I know some people who eat meat at every meal and they usually have 2 or 3 steaks for dinner. Which is ‘sparingly’ me or my friend?

  18. JesusFreek says:


    I was hoping that you would say that your faith in Jesus Christ alone and the covering of his blood makes you worthy.

    You said, “Am I worthy of heaven or entering their presence – I would not know. I don’t feel it, I don’t think I am, but that answer is up to them not me.” Doesn’t that concern you that you don’t know if you are worthy of heaven?

    You are described a works based salvation… The problem with this is how do we ever know if we have done enough? If grace is a free gift aren’t we only required to accept the gift? Galatians 1:6, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:” The gospel is the “GOOD NEWS” and we can approach the throne of grace with boldness. Praise Jesus…

  19. Afton_RC asked “Slavery, polygamy etc were [practised] long ago, but now what makes it illegal?”

    My response is that the primary intent of the Bible is not to give us a rule book to live by. What I mean is, it is principally a revelation of God and, by extension, of humanity. Its not principally a revelation of a perfect religion and, by extension, law.

    Slavery was practiced in OT and NT times. The Bible recognizes it and even has commands that limit the excesses of the master-slave relationship (see Eph 6:5 and Eph 6:9, for example).

    Polygamy was also practiced, but (contrary to Joseph Smith’s assertions) it was never commanded. Indeed, apart from the produce of offspring, the polygamous families in the Biblical narrative were usually disasters in human relationships.

    You’ll know that murder, lying, deception were also practiced, but no-one is advancing the argument that we should do these things because the Israelites did them long ago.

    Of course, we have direct, unmistakable commands, like the ten words of Exodus 20:3-17.

    I know that some try to differentiate between different classes of law. For instance the Anglican Church’s 39 Articles refers to the “laws… touching upon ceremonies and rites” and “… Commandments which are called moral” (Article VII http://anglicansonline.org/basics/thirty-nine_articles.html). These articles argue that we are not bound by ceremonial law, but we are bound by moral law.

    Personally, I’m not convinced by this distinction because the text of the Bible doesn’t support it – the Bible treats all the law and the Prophets as one.

    The Bible also treats the law of God as a good thing (see Neh 9:13, Romans 7:12). I interpret the River of Life in Ezekiel 47:1-13 and Rev 22:1-2 to be a reference to the life-giving rule (or law) of God, flowing from His throne to the surrounding nations Consider how the perspective in the 10 commandments starts with the Heavenly King and ends with a man’s relationships with his neighbour


  20. Ctd..

    However, as our Calvinist friends will point out, the law does not bring life of itself. In fact, without faith, the law brings death (Romans 7:21-23). We can all point to examples within religion and without, when the carrying out of the law has brought about injustice and death (spiritual and actual).

    So, the law of the Bible flows from God, and it is based on whom He is. This is also how our present day laws must be framed. If I can use the term apolitically, God is incredibly “pro-life”, so our laws must also be life-bringing and liberating. The Biblical laws relating to slavery and polygamy brought a degree of liberation to the people living in these circumstances. Modern prohibitions on slavery and polygamy seek to prevent these circumstances altogether, but we need to acknowledge that forms of slavery and spouse-abuse persist despite these laws, and they always will.

    I am not convinced that modern laws are better or worse than ancient laws. In both cases, the power of the law is limited by human behavior, which tends to equalize them. So, you can’t get people to behave rightly just by passing the right legislation, though the right legislation can create a better environment for people to live in.

    I believe that the primary revelation of the Bible is not a law. It is that the renewal and liberation of humanity starts and ends as a work of God, by Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit.

  21. shematwater says:


    The church in all parts of the world must be unified. Therefore they all must be allowed to practice polygamy or none can be allowed. Since the church started in the United States, and is centered here, and the laws of this country forbid it, we do not practice it, and because we do not the rest of the church does not.
    Did you know that when Polygamy was discontinued it was originally only in the United States, and many of the saints moved to Canada and Mexico so they could continue to live this law. It was a decade or so later that it was banned in the entire church, as the division between the people who could and couldn’t was dangerous to the unity of the church.
    So, when I say the “Earthly Government” I do not mean any single government, but truly all governments. Or at least enough of them that it can justify the practice in the church.

  22. shematwater says:


    There is a difference between what you say and what Ralph says because of the diferent ideas of heaven. With your understanding I think me and Ralph could both say with complete and total confidence that we are worthy. With our understanding (that of the degrees) I think we could also tell you what of the three levels of heaven we are worthy of. However, I don’t think we could tell you what degree within that level we are worthy of.

    It is possible for us to know that we will be exhaulted as gods in heaven. This is known as having your “Calling and Election sure.” In 2 Peter chapter one this great prophet tells us what we must do to gain this knowledge. He also calls it the “More sure word of phophecy,” in the same chapter when speaking of himself and the other twelve. This is the goal, to gain the More sure word of prophecy that we have our calling and election made sure.

    Oh, and by the way, it is always winter in my Refrigerator.


    I find it rather interesting that you see polygamy as oppressive when the women who lived in Utah at the time were the strongest defenders of it. They didn’t seem to be oppressed, and often spoke of the great virtues of the practice.

    As to it being commanded, I have to disagree with you again. Let us take the law of the near kinsmen, as given by Moses (but also practiced at the time of Jacob). If a man dies, having no children, his brother (or nearest male relative) was to marry his wife, and the first child born to the two of them would be the child of the dead brother. Now, what would happen if the brother of the dead man was already married. According to the law of Moses it didn’t matter. He still had to marry his dead brother’s wife. Thus he was forced by law to live polygamy. It was a shameful thing to deny this law (though it was permitted). So, obviously, polygamy was prefered. (see Deut 25: 5-10)

  23. Shem,

    Your argument on polygamy joins some very widely spaced dots and ignores the space in between. I don’t think Joseph Smith’s justification for it refers in any way to dead relatives; rather he rests his argument on the behaviour of the Patriarchs, and I don’t recall any dead brothers in these stories. We’ve been here before and your position has been demonstrated to have no strong basis in scripture.

    As to the oppresssive nature of polygamy, I refer you to the testimonies of those women who have got out of it.

    You’re trying to get the Bible to support JS, but the only way you can do it is to torture it and force out of it the confession that you want to hear.

    I suggest that you stop water-boarding it, and start allowing it to speak the things it wants to say to you.

  24. JesusFreek says:

    Shem said, “It is possible for us to know that we will be exhaulted as gods in heaven. In 2 Peter chapter one this great prophet tells us what we must do to gain this knowledge.”

    The bible says nothing about being exhaulted as a god in heaven.

  25. shematwater says:


    The Bible says we will be joint-heirs with Christ. Joint-heir means that we receive the same thing he does. As he is a God, that means we will also be gods. Also, John tells us that when he comes we will be like him (1 John 3: 2). As He is a God we will also be gods, as if we weren’t we would not be like him.


    My argument in the last post was simply about the fact of them being commanded to in the Law of Moses, which I showed. It is all there in one chapter of Deut. I am not compining many verses or passages. I am taking one, and applying logic to it. If Polygamy was not a prefered practice there would not have been this stigma of shame for rejected the law of the Near kinsman. If it was not prefered there would have been a provision for a married man to bow out with honor. There is no provision, so the practice of Polygamy was prefered.
    This law is practiced at the time of Jacob as well. Judah had three sons. The first was married. He lived an evil life and killed by the lord, so Judah gave his wife to his second son. The second son did not want to bear children to his brother, so prevented pregnancy, for which he was killed. The third son was then promised to the wife, when he came of age. It is all in chapter 38 of genesis.

    As to the general practice, I have to say that what Joseph Smith said makes more sense than anything else. If Polygamy is so evil and oppressive why did God chose men who lived it? Why did he not rebuke them in the very least? He never rebukes Abraham or Jacob for having multiple wives. He only rebukes others for having strange wives, or wives who were not of Israel.
    No, it does not say directly in the Bible that Polygamy is of God, and that these men were commanded to live this practice. But it is illogical to think that it is not, and yet God never once mentioned it, and blessed these men long after they had taken multiple wives.

  26. grindael says:

    This is an update comment to answer that I don’t understand the doctrines of the Mormon Church. Shematwater gives the same tired explaination that all Mormons give, that anyone who disagrees with them are stupid and do not understand Mormon doctrine. As to blacks, Brigham Young was nothing more than a racist. How do you reconcile this comment with what happened with the 1978 revelation that blacks could hold the priesthood: “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110). Notice the “this will always be so” line at the end of the quote. I understand more than you know, I was a Mormon for 13 years, served a mission, and went to BYU. I left the Church because in those days, people were able to view records that are closed up now.This made up story about the war in heaven is just that. It came out of Joseph Smith’s fertile imagination. Why don’t YOU try and research and understand the doctrines of your own church and decide for yourself and stop believing the lies your general authorities keep telling you. In closing, Brigham Young also said this: “Some of you may ask, ‘Is there a single ordinance to be dispensed with? Is there one of the commandments that God has enjoined upon the people, that he will excuse them from obeying?’ Not one, no matter how trifling or small in our own estimation. No matter if we esteem them non-essential, or least or last of all the commandments of the house of God, we are under obligation to observe them.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 339). Polygamy was a law in the church and now it is not. Who is right? Who is the false prophet?

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