What’s Laughable about Mormonism?

On August 9, 2012 the Huffington Post posted a blog co-written by documentary filmmaker Helen Whitney and LDS author Gregory Prince. The Mormon Moment – Postponed suggests that Mormonism remains enigmatic despite the intense interest about the faith currently exhibited by the public and media alike.  The authors believe presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a unique opportunity to “clear away the fog that continues to obscure” the religion by answering several thoughtful questions that they pose in their article. The last of the nine questions seeks to lighten the mood a bit when the authors ask:

9. Of all the misconceptions surrounding your religion, which one has offended you the most? Or, to interject a lighter note, what misinformation or stereotype has caused you to roll your eyes and even laugh when you are with your Mormon friends?

Mr. Romney’s answer to this (and every other) question posed by Whitney and Prince would be interesting to read, but he has, to date, provided no response.

However, during the 2008 campaign Mr. Romney was asked a few questions about Mormon doctrine that did make him laugh a bit.

One question asked was about how Mr. Romney would handle it if God spoke to him (or spoke to a Mormon Church leader who subsequently spoke to Mr. Romney) asking him to do something that would conflict with his role as president. Mr. Romney laughed and said, “I don’t recall God speaking to me. I don’t know that He’s spoken to anyone since Moses and the bush…” Apparently this answer caused some consternation among Mormons because the idea of God speaking to people today is not a misconception, but rather a central tenet of Mormonism.

According to Mormonism’s first Prophet Joseph Smith, God spoke to him in 1820. This First Vision formed the foundation of the Mormon religion, a religion that recognizes continuing revelation as a pillar of the Church. Adult members of the Mormon Church are currently studying Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith. Chapter 11 is titled, “Revelation from God to His Children.” The manual relates a story George Albert Smith told (about an airplane flight) in an effort to teach “the importance of revelation.” Then,

[President Smith said,] Not only has the Lord given us the advice already recorded in the scriptures to guide us but he has placed a leader in this Church, one of his sons who has been chosen and ordained and set apart to be the President. He is our pilot and he will be directed by a voice that will enable him to lead us where we should go. If we are wise we will not set up our judgment against him but will be happy to honor him in his place as long as the Lord sustains him.

…The distinction between this great Church and that of all other churches from the beginning has been that we believe in divine revelation; we believe that our Father speaks to man today as he has done from the time of Adam….

It is unique these days to belong to a church, wherein those who are members believe that the Lord speaks through their leaders. When we are instructed by the President of this Church, we believe he tells us what the Lord would have us do. To us it is something more than just the advice of man. We believe that, and it searches our souls, and we are prompted to renew our determination to be what God would have us be.

We have had misguided souls in the Church who have, in their ignorance, opposed the advice of the [President of the Church], not sensing the fact that they were opposing the Lord and they have fallen into darkness and sorrow, and unless they repent they will not find a place in the celestial kingdom.

Let us remember that the President of this Church has been officially designated as the pilot of the Church here in mortality to represent the Master of heaven and earth.

Judy Woodruff on the Charlie Rose Show posed another apparently laughable question to Mr. Romney in June 2006. She suggested that there are some aspects of Mormonism that people might not understand, for example, “that Jesus Christ will appear again in the state of Missouri or that God has a material body, that He was fathered by another God.” Mr. Romney laughed while telling Ms. Woodruff that she didn’t exactly have those doctrines right and that she should “go talk to the Church” (beginning at 10:45 in the video). But she did have those doctrines right. All three of the doctrines Ms. Woodruff mentioned are teachings of the Mormon Church.

Gospel Principles, published by the Mormon Church as “a study guide and as a teacher’s manual” explains that Christ will return to Missouri:

Near the time of the coming of Jesus Christ, the faithful Saints will build a righteous city, a city of God, called the New Jerusalem. Jesus Christ Himself will rule there… The Lord said the city will be built in the state of Missouri in the United States… (255)

Mormon scripture clearly states that God the Father has a material body:

The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s. (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22)

Mormonism’s Prophet Joseph Smith was forthright in his teaching that God the Father was fathered by another God:

If Abraham reasoned thus—If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that He had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son? Whenever did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor? And everything comes in this way. Paul says that which is earthly is in the likeness of that which is heavenly, Hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also? I despise the idea of being scared to death at such a doctrine, for the Bible is full of it. (History of the Church 6:476)

Mitt Romney is not the only Mormon who tries to publicly distance himself from Mormon doctrines. In a 2007 interview Helen Whitney noted,

The question I constantly hear in the making of the film [The Mormons]… ‘Do Mormons tell us what they really believe?’…In truth in my own experience, talking to so many Mormons, both the ordinary folk and right up to the general authorities, it’s the rare experience for me, that I’m with a Mormon who will own…the big, bold ideas of Mormonism. (“Mormonism and American Politics: Mitt, Mormonism, and the Media,” Chapter 12: Secrecy, beginning at 2:00)

Mormons often complain that their religion is misunderstood. They protest the misconceptions people have about Mormonism. They express dismay over public misrepresentations of the teachings of their church. But the LDS Church itself — its spokespeople and its leaders, its celebrities and its members — are so reluctant to “own the big, bold ideas of Mormonism” that they end up being the biggest culprits, fostering misunderstandings, misconceptions, and misrepresentations along the way. The Bible says we reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7). The public voice of Mormonism sows prevarication; it shouldn’t surprise anyone when others are left wandering around in the fog.

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.
This entry was posted in Truth, Honesty, Prayer, and Inquiry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

85 Responses to What’s Laughable about Mormonism?

  1. shematwater says:


    I notice that you never once actually replied to what I said. You basic response is to say that since I actually believe in the LDS church I obviously can’t have a true understanding of the doctrine. Seems a bit arrogant, but I am not surprised by this. Your basic tactic in every post of yours that I have read is mainly to attempt to discredit anyone who disagrees with you, while at the same time praising yourself, and yet offering no actually proof to support either claim.
    So, please explain to me how your insistence on your own superiority proves what I said to be wrong? Or maybe you could actual try explaining why it is wrong.
    Rick seems to spend a lot of time railing against LDS about how they just leave when the going gets tough, which he takes as proof they just don’t know. Yet, here you are actually refusing to discuss something, side-stepping the posts of others. I have to say, I prefer those who just get fed up with your arrogance and leave rather than those who are too arrogant to even discuss something.

  2. shematwater says:

    let us now address the libel issue: You said “Example, You never addressed Heber and what He said”
    Let me explain: I did address it, in a post addressed specifically to you. However, since you did not give a reference for it, but did for a later quote from Brigham Young, I assume both quotes were from the same person. As such I addressed them as if they were. So don’t try to make it out to be me refusing to answer, as the mistake was your for giving incomplete information.
    Then you told Mike that ” I really get tired of giving detailed answers with sources” You may give the quote, but you lack the sources. You never once stated that what you quoted was from Heber C. Kimball until after I had replied. Your sources are thus faulty, and so maybe you need to fix that and you won’t be having as much trouble.

  3. shematwater says:

    I think you have hit things right on the head. I like your explanation of the doctrine as it is accurate. I understand that you don’t believe it, and I am not going to try to convince you otherwise. I have no intention of try to convince anyone here that they are wrong. My intention is to correct false understanding.
    ” While it’s true that a monogamist could receive exaltation if he would refrain from denying in his heart that polygamy was an important part of Jesus’ gospel , still the fact that Mormon leaders were teaching that the more wives a man had then the greater his glory, his reward and his kingdom would be after he died.”
    This is the very point I have been trying to make on this subject. Maybe Rick and Falcon will actually listen to you, seeing as you are not a member. I do find it sad that they will dismiss a member out of hat, though.

  4. Rick B says:

    Apostle Orson Pratt said J.O.D. vol 21, pg,296

    If plural marriage is not true or in other words, if a man has no divine right to marry two wives or more in this world, then marriage for eternity is NOT TRUE, and YOUR FAITH IS ALL IN VAIN, and all the sealing ordinances and powers, pertaining to marriages for eternity are in vain, worthless, good for nothing; for as sure as one is true the other must also be true.

    Shem said

    Plural marriage can only be authorized by the president of the church (read D&C 132 again), and only when God allows it.

    Shem I want to focus on the part where you said, And only when God allows it. So If God does not allow it them I must take that to mean, It is an abomination in His sight? Am I correct and thinking this way, and when He does allow it, it is no longer an Abomination in His sight? So God can change His mind on this issue at will and as He chooses?

    Because here is what your BoM says on this Issue,

    Jacob 2:24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.


    Jacob 3: 5 Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them.

    Your scriptures and Prophets and even your God cannot seem to agree.

  5. Mike R says:

    The Mormon people have an excellent opportunity to actually see whether they have
    joined the only true Church of Jesus or fallen for an organization created by religious
    men who claim to be directed by Jesus to preach His salvation message . When sincere
    LDS accepted the introduction of plural marriage as a vital ordinance in Jesus’
    gospel they fell victim to what Paul warned would happen [Gal 1:8] .
    My heart goes out to the Mormon women who struggled to live this aberrant
    doctrine because of their allegiance to the “living ” prophet . The N.T. and BofM
    mention much about Jesus’ gospel of salvation but polygamy was not a part .
    It became a vital doctrine for LDS simply because their living prophet declared it so,
    to doubt or criticize his counsel could be spiritually lethal so ignore the dead
    prophets ( Bible ;BofM) and follow the “living” prophet ! The gospel of salvation that
    B.Y. preached in 1832 as a missionary was different than the message which
    missionaries under him preached in the 1850’s , and that gospel message was again
    revised after 1890 . All this behavior points to a clear indication that Mormon leaders
    cannot be trusted to guide safety in some very important doctrinal matters . The way
    they have handled this episode in their history has been seen by many LDS today as
    unacceptable leadership and a part of why there has been so many LDS become
    inactive/leave recent years. The Mormon people deserve to hear the true gospel
    of salvation and not be influenced by their modern day apostles . The current
    version of the Mormon salvation message could very well be changed again
    next month at Conf . There is a better way for LDS–Rom1:16

  6. Rick B says:

    Shematwater said

    Let me explain: I did address it, in a post addressed specifically to you. However, since you did not give a reference for it, but did for a later quote from Brigham Young, I assume both quotes were from the same person

    I went back and looked this over, and unless I am missing something, my very first reply to you where I mention both Heber and BY, I quoted them both and stated it was quotes from them. So I did not make it seem as if it was only one and therefore causing any sort of confusion, So either you are mistaken, or you better direct me to where I did not address the quote correctly so I can see it.

  7. shematwater says:

    I went back and re-read the post, and you are right. You did give the reference. I do apologize for the accusation. I did not see it the first time I read the post, but assumed that it also from Brigham Young, which is why I replied to it in that manner. However, I was in error, and I am sorry.
    Speaking of Jacob chapter two, did you happen to read verse 30. “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.”
    In other words, if God feels the need to have the saints practice plural marriage, for the purpose of having more children, he has reserved the right to command them to do so. However, until that command is given they are not to seek it out, as such is not justified. There is no disagreement between what Jacob said and what Orson Pratt said. Jacob does not say that the practice is not a true doctrine and ordinance of the gospel. He merely states that unless given permission people are not to practice it. For this reason the Nephites at the time where guilty of whoredoms, while the Lamanites were not.
    So, I believe everything that Orson Pratt is quoted as saying (in your post) and I agree with what Jacob taught his brethren as recorded in the Book of Mormon. There is no contradiction between the two.

  8. shematwater says:

    I have to point out some error in what you say here. As I showed Rick, the Book of Mormon does mention plural marriage as part of the gospel, but an appendage to the saving ordinances that is not always allowed, depending on the circumstances of the saints at the time. Thus, the changes from not practicing it, to practicing, to again not practicing are in perfect agreement with what the Book of Mormon states.
    We get no further mention of plural marriage in the Book of Mormon because it was not practiced, and thus was unnecessary for the purpose of the record being kept.

    Also, if you look at history in full you will see that plural marriage was known to Joseph Smith as early as 1831, as well as to a few of the prominent members. The heading to section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants points this out. As the revelation was given in response to a question concerning Abraham and Jacob having plural wives we can also see that the timeline of 1831 matches with the time at which Joseph Smith was translating the Book of Genesis, which contains the accounts he was questioning.
    So, when Joseph Smith instituted the practice he was not altering anything received previous to this, but was merely instituting a practice that he already knew would be instituted at some point.

  9. shematwater says:

    Mike (continued)

    Add to this the fact that it was always taught that a single wife was sufficient to be exalted, we can see that the gospel of salvation, or those doctrines and ordinances which are required for entrance into the Celestial Kingdom and Exaltation have never been changed from the early days of the church. Now, I will admit that not all were known on the same day, but that they were revealed in progression, until all was known. But this is how God operates; He teaches line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, until in the end all things are revealed. Because He teaches His people in this manner he does not, nor has he ever held people accountable for that which has not yet been revealed.
    In other words, the means by which men are saved have always been the same, and these same things have always been taught. At times there has been more taught, and for those people who learned the greater truth there will be the greater judgment. However, the essentials have never changed, and never will.

  10. Rick B says:

    I dont agree, no surprise there Huh?
    Anyway, I dont believe God is going to say something is an abomination one minute because He does not commanded it or allow it, then later say, Ok, it is good, please do this, Then later go back and say, I no longer allow it so again it is wrong and an abomination.

    Then I would think the women would get a say in the matter, we have had many people post here saying, women do not like it and do not agree with it, yet are “forced” into it because God supposedly said so. Then if it as you say, for the purpose of raising up seed, then where are all the kids (Seed) that JS and BY raised up from 30 plus wives of BY and over 10 wives of JS? I dont see it.

    Add to that, you mean your god is so wimpy he must make women enter polygamy, yet the God I serve took One Man and one women and look how many people we have on the earth now.

    Please show me from the Bible One case of Polygamy that ended well? I dont mean some guy and his wives had many kids so it ended well. I look at all the cases of polygamy in the Bible and I see suffering, heartache, tears, bitterness, pain Etc.

    I dont see one case that ends well and everyone remembers and talks about saying, well were glad we committed polygamy. So if you can find it, please show it to me.

  11. shematwater says:


    God never once said that plural marriage is an abomination. He said the unauthorized use of it is. The reason this is true is because no faithful man would ever seek to go against the will of God. Those who do enter into plural marriages without his consent do so because of personal lusts and thus commit whoredoms (the seeking to justify sexual lusts). This is an abomination, and is to be avoided.
    However, what God commands cannot be evil, or an abomination. A man who is commanded to enter into plural marriage, who does so not to satisfy his own lusts, but to obey and honor his Heavenly Father, is not guilty of whoredoms, but is justified through his faith and obedience.

  12. shematwater says:

    As to women’s rights, if you read section 132 of the doctrine and covenants you will see that no man is permitted to take a second wife without the consent of the first; he is not allowed to take a third without the consent of the first two; and so on. No woman will ever be forced to enter into a plural marriage.
    Then we have the evidence of history. “Though Brigham Young disliked divorce and discouraged it, when women sought divorce he generally granted it. He felt that a woman trapped in an unworkable relationship with no alternatives deserved a chance to improve her life. But when a husband sought relief from his familial responsibilities, President Young consistently counseled him to do his duty and not seek divorce from any wife willing to put up with him.” (from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism; http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Plural_Marriage)
    No women was forced to enter or remain in a plural marriage if she didn’t want to.

  13. Rick B says:

    Shemawater said

    God never once said that plural marriage is an abomination. He said the unauthorized use of it is.


    Show me in the Bible where God commands plural marriage? I read about it in the Bible, but man choose to do it, not once in the Bible do we ever read God saying, I commanded you to take many wives. Men simply did it. Then you never explained why we never hear about all these children JS had and BY had. I thought according to you, or at least you claim your scripture says, the purpose is/was to raise up “seed” IE children. So where are they?

    Then as of yet you never showed me an example of any good thing resulting in plural marriage in the Bible. As I said, all I see is pain and suffering, one women fighting for the love of her husband who does not love her, but loves the other wife. I’m not saying polygamy does not exist or that it was not practiced in the Bible. I’m saying God never commanded it and your prophets did it for their own sexual pleasure and it was not of God.

    We read in the Bible God speaking of mans wife, singular, not mans wives, Plural.
    Gen 2:18,22-23 Duet 17:17 Matthew 19:5-6 Eph 5:31, 1Cor 7:2 1 Tim 3:2,12

    Heber c Kimbal said

    I have noticed that a man who has but one wife, and is inclined to that doctrine, soon begins to wither and dry up, while a man who goes into plurality look fresh, young and sprightly

    J.o.d. vol V pg 22.

    Sounds like he’s talking about all the sex.

  14. shematwater says:

    You said “Sounds like he’s talking about all the sex”
    You do realize that it has been proven that men who are sexually active live longer and healthier than those who are not?
    However, I highly doubt this is what he was talking of. It was most likely a part, but not all.

    Speaking of children, can you prove they didn’t have any? Anyways, you speak as if one family not having children dozens of children is proof against the practice. It is not. I mentioned the main reason for God to command the practice, not the only reason. However, to give a good example, as you asked about him specifically, Brigham Young had 56 children, with 46 living to adulthood. His descendents include politicians, novelists, athletes, and many others. So, what is the difficulty here?

    “Then as of yet you never showed me an example of any good thing resulting in plural marriage in the Bible.”
    First of all, I am not going to be able to respond to every little point that you want to bring into the conversation within seconds of you mentioning it. I have other things to do, and at this time my access to the internet and these blogs is limited. You continual insistence on immediate responses, and your denigrating comments when not provided, are truly rather irritating.

  15. shematwater says:


    Speaking of the Bible, much good came from the plural marriages mentioned. Yes, in most of them there was strife, generally caused by the iniquity of the women involved. However, good almost always resulted from them. For instance, if Jacob did not have four wives he would not have had his twelve sons, and thus the entire nation of Israel would have been severely affected. It was through his taking plural wives that the promises God made to him were fulfilled. We also read the story of Hannah, in which no bad thing came from her plural marriage. There was some distress in not baring children, but that ended with Samuel, and she had several more after. We hear of no other difficulties in her marriage.

    Now, you are right that the Bible frequently uses the term wife, a singular term. However, this does not mean the practice was not approved and instituted by God. It was merely a way of conveying that a man should treat all his wives equally.
    The Bible, more specifically, the Old Testament, has a number of references to God giving laws regarding plural marriage, and at no time is it ever condemned.
    Exodus 21: 10 regulates the rights of wives in plural marriage.
    Deuteronomy 21: 15-17 regulates inheritance in plural marriages.
    2 Samuel 12: 8 is God’s declaration that he gave unto David the wives of Saul (a plurality from Saul, to David).
    So, please point out in the Bible where it says a man is condemned for having more than one wife; or even where it says that such a practice is not of God.

  16. Mike R says:

    Shem, I’ve been busy and could not devote as much time to replying to your last response
    to me , so let me comment on some the things you stated . I mentioned that when Mormon
    leaders introduced polygamy into the gospel of Jesus Christ that altered the gospel message
    that Jesus’ apostles preached in the N.T. and also what He taught His followers in America
    after His resurrection [my mind was on 3Nephi 28:8, etc. ] I do not personally believe He came
    to America and I don’t see where He taught polygamy as part of His gospel of salvation to
    those He ministered to here, but I understand your position relative to Jacob 2:30 , but that
    proves nothing all it means is that God could anything IF He wanted to [ example-Lk 19:40].
    So could He allow polygamy ? Yes, BUT did He ? No , and that’s all that matters here
    otherwise we get into a, ” but what if ” type of rationale. Polygamy a “appendage” to the saving
    ordinances ? Not in Jesus’ gospel. His gospel of salvation revealed in the N.T. [Rom 1:16] is
    the gospel that saves —Matt 28; Col 1:23 ; and it is THAT very gospel which Mormon leaders
    claim was restored in 1830 . Unfortunately, what Mormons preached on receiving the highest
    reward, glory, and blessings that salvation offered , in 1831 etc, became revised to place
    polygamy as a means to those blessings . This was a huge shift and one that was defended with
    testimony of polygamy being as important and essential as baptism and being the religion of
    heaven. [cont]

  17. Mike R says:

    You mentioned that polygamy was known to J.S. as early as 1831. That appears to be the case.
    It seems that officials wanted everyone to think that Joseph received the Rev, on polygamy
    in July of 1843 , but once it became more known that he had begun inquiring into polygamy
    and especially with his collecting wives behind his wife’s back for quite some time , then it was
    printed in the heading to sec 132 that Joseph merely wrote down the Rev on july 12 1843.
    When B.Y. publicaly announced that the LDS were openly practicing polygamy at a Conf
    in Aug of 1852 , he had the Rev printed in it’s entirety under the Title : ” The Principle and
    Doctrine of Having Many Wives and Concubines , a Revelation to Joseph Smith jr July 12
    1843. [ Deseret News Extra Sept. 14 , 1852]. If I remember correctly Sec 132 was’nt a
    official practice until 1878 or 1880 . Sec 101 [ one man to one woman ] was still Church law
    until then ? You mentioned that polygamy was a gospel practice only when God gave permission
    etc,. But He never gave permission to J.S. to revise His Son’s gospel . Did He give church
    officials that practiced / facilitated polygamy after 1890 permission to violate Church law ?
    Worst of all , Emma Smith never gave her husband permission to romance other women
    secretly ( unfortunately she grew tired of fighting him and finally gave in ). So it seems that
    instead of permission coming from God , church leaders just give themselves the permission .

  18. shematwater says:


    I am not sure what history you are reading, but you don’t seem to have the facts strait.
    No one ever meant any kind of deception in publishing D&C 132 as being from 1843. That is the year it was first written, and thus that is the date the Joseph Smith gives in regards to it. However, it was known, not only to Joseph Smith, but to a number of members, which has been testified to by them. The change in the heading was made because many people tried to claim that it wasn’t revealed until this time, and the church was trying to set people strait.
    As to when it was officially practiced, this began with selected members in the 1840’s and was instituted church wide in 1852. In 1890 it was discontinued only in the United States, in order to comply with recent legislature. It was not discontinued church wide until 1904. So, until 1904 those outside the US that practiced it were not in violation of God’s law.
    Speaking of Emma and Joseph, there has never been any sustentative proof that he ever married secretly, or without Emma’s knowledge. Whether it was without her consent at times I do not fully know. However, Emma proved to be very unstable in her claims regarding the practice; at times giving permission, and later denying that he had other wives. Thus, her account of what she knew and whether she gave permission or not is highly suspect.

  19. shematwater says:


    As to everything else you say, it is an argument of Faith. You say the practice was never part of the gospel. I disagree, but believe it has always been a part, and always will. Neither of us can prove what we believe, and so to argue it is pointless.
    When I first started commenting on this thread I had no thought about debating whether the LDS or other Christians are right. I have never had this intention on any blog that I have commented on.
    Rather, my intention was to point out that what most people posting here think of the LDS church is in error. This I have shown, in the fact that people have claimed plural marriage is taught as being a required practice, when it is merely a required belief. You have actually agreed with me on this in a previous post.
    So, to me, for the purposes of this blog and my comments, the question is not “which is right- LDS or other Christians” but rather “Does the LDS church teach what is being claimed it teaches?” This is the question I will always address, and I will leave the other to a more conducive medium.

  20. shematwater says:


    I think you must be refering to a different verse, as 3 Nephi 28: 8 doesn’t seem on topic at all.

  21. Rick B says:

    I dont agree with you saying that the 12 tribes was a good thing that came from Polygamy. Your god might be so wimpy he needs to to that, But My God says, Nothing is impossible for Him, and He could have created the 12 tribes with just one man and one women. Also in the Bible, God NEVER COMMANDED polygamy. Shem said

    It was through his taking plural wives that the promises God made to him were fulfilled.

    You cannot prove this from the Bible, you can only assume that is the case. I look at Sarah and Abraham. God promised them children, Sarah could not wait, so she told her husband to go into her hand maid and fulfill Gods promise that way. Well now w e see that was both wrong to do, and as a result we have a middle east full of violence and Strife as a result.

    If Polygamy is and was of God as you say, Why did JS need to try and convince His wife Emma to the point that JS had to say, If you dont follow it, God will destroy you? Funny thing about that, it was shortly after that that JS was in fact destroyed.

  22. shematwater says:


    You are now arguing opinion.
    Could God have given Jacob 12 sons by one wife? Yes, and I never denied it.
    Did he do so? No.
    Why? Because he didn’t want to. Simple as that.

    You say that I am assuming that it was through plural marriage that the promises were fulfilled; yet you are assuming that it wasn’t through those promises.
    Let us take Abraham as an example: Yes, it was Sarah’s idea, but it was approved by God, and through it came a great nation, which increased Abraham’s posterity, and thus fulfilled the promises of God that his children would be as the sands of the sea. Nowhere does God chastise Abraham for taking a second wife. His only chastisement was in not having faith that Sarah would conceive.
    You can disagree with this all you want, but that is only your opinion, which you cannot prove.

    You do make the point that it is not recorded in the Bible that God commanded plural marriage. However, if you actually read the references I gave you would see that he does talk about it in a favorable way, and declares directly that he gave David many wives. I don’t need a direct command to know that the practice is approved of by God when God makes statements like this.

  23. shematwater says:

    Now, let me see if you can answer my challenge: Show me one place in the Bible where plural marriage is condemned.
    Deuteronomy 17: 16-17 does not say this.
    “But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
    Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.”
    What is being said here is that a king is not to demand wives, or marry women as part of his office (such as diplomatic marriages). The term multiply refers to a tax, or tribute that a king would have power to levy. It does not condemn the practice, but does forbid the king from using this power to get wives.

  24. Rick B says:

    Shematwater said

    Let us take Abraham as an example: Yes, it was Sarah’s idea, but it was approved by God, and through it came a great nation, which increased Abraham’s posterity, and thus fulfilled the promises of God that his children would be as the sands of the sea. Nowhere does God chastise Abraham for taking a second wife. His only chastisement was in not having faith that Sarah would conceive.
    You can disagree with this all you want, but that is only your opinion, which you cannot prove.

    I guess you need to go back and read the Bible. First off, After the Child was born, God sent Him away as he was not the child that God spoke of being Born, and that son was Abram and Sarah’s son. Second if you read the New testament it clearly talks about the two kids born to these to women. The Child born to Sarah is a free born Child, the Child born to Hagar is a son of Bondage. Read Gal chapter 4.

  25. Rick B says:

    Shem said

    Let us take Abraham as an example: Yes, it was Sarah’s idea, but it was approved by God

    You will not and cannot find any where in the Bible where it is Gods will or approved by God.
    In the Bible we have God declaring His will and then we have God simply allowing us to do things even though they are not His will.

    God says we cannot murder people, we are not to Lie, or steal, or take Gods name in vain. I can show you many things God tells us not to do, Yet we as Humans still do all these things. When we as Humans do these things, God does not step in and stop us from doing these things.

    Also if Polygamy is/was commanded from God as you believe, Why would God have to threaten Emma to be destroyed if she did not go along with it? Why did JS need to keep many of these women a secret if it was from God? Over all the issue of polygamy is the least of the problems Mormons have, and we can debate it till we die and never agree. But even if your right and it is ok with God, that still does not mean LDS have the true gospel of Jesus and Your gospel is still false and your still following a false prophet who is spending eternity being tormented until the final Judgment sends him along with everyone else into the lake of fire for creating a false Gospel that denies Jesus Christ.

  26. Mike R says:

    Shem, let me comment on some of what you responded to in my last post.
    Reguarding the heading of Sec 132 : You said: ” The change in the heading was made because
    many people tried to claim that it was’nt revealed until this time.” [ July 12 1843] . Some of those
    “many people ” were several Mormon apostles who felt that the Rev did not come until 1843
    another one understood that it to have first given on that date [ Apostles Pratt and Taylor ]. I
    think the reason why it was later taught that it was only “recorded ” on that date was to help
    smooth over the fact that more and more people were learning of Smith’s clandestine life of
    pursuing the lifestyle and then later entering it years before 1843 , and yes he did some of this
    without his wife’s knowledge /consent. She later relented after much turmoil and was never
    really the same emotionally after that . What’s really sad is that while Pres. of the Relief
    Society in 1842 she drafted a petition to sign that vouched for J.S. virtue . He was violating
    church law on marriage at the time , but few knew of it . Polygamy was officially denied during
    his entire lifetime .
    You said: ” In 1890 it was discontinued only in the U.S. in order to comply with recent legisl-
    ature. It was not discontinued church wide until 1904 . So until 1904 those outside the U.S.
    that practiced it were not in violation of God’s law.” As in J.S. days, what was “official” church
    law on marriage publically was secretly ignored , same after 1890.

  27. Mike R says:

    Was’nt co-habitation illegal as well? Joseph F. Smith pleaded guilty to such in 1906 , according
    to the Salt Lake Tribune [ Nov. 24, 1906 ] he admitted he was a law breaker. After 1890 U.S.
    Mormons broke not only State and Laws enacted by Congress , but church law on marriage
    It is said that if God reveals this law [ plural marriage] unto you then you should enter it .
    Mormon leaders sure applied a lot of pressure on LDS to consider entering it . I have to
    believe that produced guilt and peer pressure , since if God’s mouthpiece was giving counsel on this God was revealing it.At a priesthood meeting at Conf. 1n April of 1884 Pres.
    John Taylor asked for all monogamists serving in Ward Bishoprics or Stake Pres. to either
    make preparations to marry another wife or to offer their resignations ! There is so much
    aberrant teaching and behavior connected to it’s short history by Mormon officials
    that it serves as a textbook example of how religious men can feel that they’ve heard from
    God to introduce a doctrine and then attach it to Jesus’ gospel of salvation , but the Mormon
    people that endured all the teaching and maneuvering by their leaders are victims here,
    they are the victims of a broken trust . They relied on their apostles to be trustworthy guides
    in gospel preaching , and they were misdirected by these men . Altering Jesus’ gospel by
    inserting polygamy onto it is unacceptable , this rendered these men as unacceptable spiritual
    guides in these latter days–Matt 7:15

  28. Mike R says:

    I think a statement that sums all this up in my view is found , ironically , in the LDS
    Church News [ 4-27-1972]

    ” when the Gospel plan is changed to suit men’s notions it ceases to be the Gospel ”

    I think that Paul must having been thinking of the Mormon gospel message under
    Brigham Young and such , when he penned Gal. 1:8-9

  29. shematwater says:


    I will not reply to you again on this thread until you answer my challenge.

  30. shematwater says:


    Speaking of apostles and their knowledge of timelines, an actually reference would help. After all, the revelation was not revealed to the church at large until 1852, but was revealed to the leadership in 1843. While it was known to Joseph Smith and a few others before this it was not taught. As such, many references from the apostles can easily be simply referring to when it was first taught, and not when it was revealed.
    In other words, your conclusions that obviously make the accusation of concealment and manipulation may not, and are likely not supported by the evidence. This is the kind of thing I am talking about.

    As to all your allegations, I have yet to see any proof. I have never seen any proof of him marrying without Emma’s knowledge, and you have not offered any. As to it being a secret and denied his entire life; that is not true. In 1444 I believe it was that Emma had published a statement that Joseph Smith did not have any other wives. In response to this Joseph Smith got signed affidavits from his wives, and the witnesses to the marriages, and had them published to prove that he was, in fact, married to them. He did not deny it public, but he did not teach it publically either.

    As I said, I don’t think you have an accurate picture of history. I think it is distorted by your perceptions of the church, and thus you make things fit how you want them to. I do not think it is intentional, but I do think it happens.

  31. Rick B says:

    I told you already, God allows us to do certain things, But that does not mean it is his will to do them.
    So no you wont find polygamy being condemned by God in the Bible, But you also wont find commanding man to practice it either. If and when men did it, it is because they wanted to do it and are sinful men at heart. Like I said also, even if You could prove it was and is of God, God does not tell a women, either except it and allow your husband to have more than one wife, or I will destroy you.

    Also JS is still a false prophet, and the LDS have a false gospel. Polygamy is the least of the problems with in Mormonism.

  32. Mike R says:

    Shem, sorry it took so long to reply to your latest comments , since I’m having trouble
    keeping up with the threads the last several days this will be my last post on Mormon
    polygamy. As to evidence that there was courtship and even marriage by Joseph relating
    to other women without his wife Emma’s knowledge can be found by the following
    historians : Todd Compton [ In Sacred Loneliness, p.155 , 350 ] B. Carmon Hardy [ Doing
    the Works of Abraham p 50] ; Richard Van Wagner [ Mormon Polygamy p 48,52-54] ;
    George D. Smith [ Nauvoo Polygamy p. 134-136, 169, 178 193 ] ; Don Bradley [ Chapter 1 , in
    The Persistence of Polygamy , p.35-36 ] . This behavior of Smith’s was against the Church law
    on Marriage at that time . Joseph’s practice of polygamy was kept a secret from his flock
    ( except for a privileged “inner circle ” ) .
    Now I did’nt quite understand what you said in the second paragraph of your last post.
    I think you might have been referring to how years after Smith’s death that Joseph F. Smith
    in order to refute Emma’s denials of her husband’s polygamy got his wives to sign an affidavit
    admitting they were married to him . This whole episode of how Mormon leaders sanctioned
    polygamy as an important gospel ordinance was a mess , lying , turmoil , false teachings, all
    characterized it’s short history . It serves as a example of why Mormon apostles can’t
    be trusted to relay important truths from Jesus , who they claim guides them in running the
    church, as He never condoned that this practice be a vital part of His gospel .

  33. shematwater says:


    I notice that you make no comment on the three references I gave that show plural marriage was part of the Law God gave to Moses, and that God declares he gave David many wives. Can you make a comment on these?

    All you have is your opinion.

  34. Rick B says:

    Maybe I misunderstanding you, But I dont see God saying in the Law of Moses that Polygamy is commanded by God, or that God said, it is a law that must be obeyed.

    God knows as I have pointed out before, we will do stupid things, we will sin, the Bible says our hearts are deceitful and wicked. So God is being merciful and saying that if we do this things, then we must tack care of the women. If you notice it even says, if one women is not loved. She’s not loved because it is either a sexual thing, or back in those days, women were taken as property from war, or sometimes People gave their wives or sold them to avoid war or make friends.

    Then it is kind of funny, you quote Deu 17:17

    Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

    Notice it says in the former verse, that it is the King he is speaking of, and the King shall not multiply wives to himself, well if you ask me, more than one wife is breaking this commanded. Are you going to say, two or three wives is ok, but if you go above that, then 4-5 or more is then multiplying more wives?

    As far as David goes, yes it does say, God gave Him wives, but again, God allowed this, he did not commanded this, Just as God allowed King David to commit adultery with Bathsheba and allow her husband to be killed to cover His sin. The Bible even states this was a sin and God punished David for this, it says, the sword will never leave His house, and his family paid for it.

  35. shematwater says:


    Now you are just stretching.

    Since you are making the claim that God doesn’t really approve, but he is just allowing it, show me where the Bible supports this claim. I know it says a similar thing concerning divorce, but it never says anything to this effect about plural marriage.

    Also, your claim that God giving David wives was just him allowing it makes no sense. It doesn’t say “I let you have these wives.” It says “I gave you these wives.” It was not an action of allowance, but a blessing from the Lord to David. This is what the scripture says, and no amount of rationalizing and twisting the words is going to change the fact.

    Speaking of Deuteronomy 17: 17, did you even read what I wrote concerning it? It seems more that you saw the reference and then ignored everything else.
    I don’t care how many wives the king had. He could have five hundred and it would mean nothing; as long as he did not use his power as king to acquire them. In other words, as long as he did not make diplomatic marriages, or require marriage as part of the tax or tribute he levied (which is what the term multiply in the verse refers to) he is not in violation of this law. It is when he uses his authority as king to force marriages that he violates this.

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