Chapter Two: A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF SECTION 132
Since the 1890 Manifesto LDS Church writers seem to have shied away from plural marriage and any other controversial doctrine like Consecration, and disturbing historical incidents like the Mountain Meadows Massacre. They seem to take the position that the LDS Church has assimilated so firmly and successfully within mainstream society that the salient, controversial part of the Church’s past should be buried beyond resurrection.
Put another way, what possible good can come from opening old wounds, especially if it shakes the testimony of those who have come to love and trust the Church? The Church provides comfort, hope and a clean, sober lifestyle for its members. Its welfare program has received worldwide acclaim. No religious organization is more patriotic, and in the event of a natural disaster anywhere in the world, the Church is among the first to offer help. So why not leave the sordid past to the past and concentrate on the present? Why upset the proverbial applecart?
Here’s why! The revelation commanding Joseph, and according to Brigham Young, commanding all Mormons to become polygamists is still part of LDS scripture, which causes one to draw the following conclusion: The LDS Church still believes plural marriage is a correct principle but that the authority to live plural marriage has been “temporarily” withdrawn. I use the word “temporarily” because a sample inquiry of Church members reveals that many believe they will be required to live polygamy during the millennium and in the afterlife. And there are those who believe that if polygamy is decriminalized the Church might once again take up the practice of plural marriage, but I for one don’t think that will ever happen because Church membership would plummet. The LDS Church is a corporation and the objective of a corporation is to perpetuate itself. The Church will never bring back plural marriage as long as the women of the world oppose it. As we shall soon see, polygamy, particularly the Mormon brand of polygamy, when scrutinized, is beset with many problems that a clear thinking woman would find absolutely unacceptable.
But before examining Section 132 there is a noticeable difference between Christianity and Mormonism that you may find interesting. The Christian sects teach adherents that they are indebted to Jesus Christ as their Savior. Mormonism is a little different. Mormons believe Jesus died for our sins but they also believe Jesus gave the prophet power and authority to speak and act in His behalf. Section 132 makes the prophet a middle man between the people and God. Consequently, the people are indebted to the prophet and his priesthood because the prophet holds the keys to their exaltation. This is the basis for priesthood authority and is the instrument behind abuse of authority in Mormonism. In Apostolic United Brethren (AUB), they teach that people are literally indebted to the priesthood. Now let’s take a look as Section 132.
As mentioned in the Introduction, the Doctrine & Covenants, D&C, contains the revelations received by Joseph Smith and is considered sacred scripture. There are 136 Sections in the D&C, the last Section is a revelation Brigham Young allegedly received in 1847 when he took over leadership of the Church. The last entry is entitled “Official Declaration” and is generally known as the 1890 Manifesto – the declaration or revelation, it has been called both, is the document that was supposed to put an end to the practice of Mormon polygamy.
Each Section is preceded with a preface in italics, except for the Manifesto. The first sentence in the preface or preamble of Section 132 states: “Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives.”
Section 132 consists of 66 verses. I will only quote those verses that represent the substance of the revelation. The reader is encouraged to read the entire revelation for himself. The Doctrine & Covenants is easily accessible in any LDS bookstore or can be purchased via the Internet.
1. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant, Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines —
I get the impression that if Joseph hadn’t inquired the Lord would not have revealed what is referred to as the new and everlasting covenant. If Section 132 is as important as the Mormons attempt to make it, why didn’t God take the initiative instead of waiting for Joseph to ask? I will venture a guess. The way the revelation is presented it creates the impression that Joseph came upon plural marriage innocently. But the un-whitewashed history indicates otherwise.
2. Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter.
3. Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.
4. For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.
The second to last sentence in the Preface or Preamble states: “Plurality of wives acceptable only when commanded by the Lord.” However in Verse 3 it states that “all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same,” and Verse 4 states that if they don’t, “then are ye damned.” This is the position that the fundamentalists take, once the revelation is revealed you better live it! Once you are exposed to the law, live it or be damned. That means everyone reading this thesis better live it or be damned.
6. And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.
The words “must and shall” don’t leave any room for negotiation. And that is how it’s presented to the women fundamentalists want as plural wives.
There is one other phrase in that verse that has bothered me over the years and that is that “the everlasting covenant was instituted for the fulness of my (God’s) glory.” Hundreds of thousands of women have been abused, demeaned, treated like chattel and reduced to positions of servitude by the “everlasting covenant of plural marriage.” How on earth does that glorify God? I cannot bring myself to believe that the God of the New Testament glories in the abuse and subjection of women.
Verse 7 of the 132nd Section of the Doctrine & Covenants gives the prophet propriety over nearly all aspects of life:
7. And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law [plural marriage] are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.
God gives plenipotentiary authority to the prophet, consequently the people are beholden to him because he has control over their exaltation. The prophet is thus, in every sense of the word, a “surrogate god.”
God only recognizes those marriages sealed by his priesthood. Thus, Mormon men are free to pursue other men’s wives. Monogamous women are fair game. Going after another man’s wife is not uncommon among polygamists in AUB.
Today there are probably a dozen Mormon fundamentalist men who claim to be the “one man” mentioned in Verse 7. The rationale behind the claim is that in 1978, when the LDS Church granted African Americans the priesthood, the Church lost all its authority. AUB, the FLDS and TLC all claim that they now have all the authority the LDS Church once had. The fact of the matter is that the authority is not tangible but predicated on faith, so in essence the authority is up for grabs. It is a fact that some want-to-be fundamentalists shop around, looking for that authority that fits their particular needs.
The real significance of Verse 7 is that it gives authority to just one man so that the true believer becomes dependent upon that “one man.” In essence Verse 7 is the heart or nerve center of Section 132. The import of the revelation is the issue of authority. Section 132 is all about the authority to exalt, the authority to bind marriages in the afterlife, and the authority to take many wives. In conjunction with these authorities, Sections 64, 85 and 119 give the prophet authority to tithe- meaning the authority to collect money from those who desire plural wives.
In essence, Verse 7 is where every prophet in Mormonism claims authority which may be the reason Section 132 has never been be repealed.
From a secular view point, Section 132 uses women to induce men to submit to priesthood authority, and as Owen Allred once told a congregation of subordinate priesthood men, “The way to show your appreciation to the priesthood is through your pocket books.”
In verse 16 the Lord reminds the reader that there will be no marriages in heaven. If a man wants his wife sealed to him in heaven, then he must be married on earth by proper priesthood authority. This belief is a strong reason for conversion. It is only through priesthood authority that families can stay together in heaven.
Verse 20 states that all those who obey the law and are worthy will become gods.
In verse 24, the Lord reveals that he is Jesus Christ.
Verse 28 states that the law [plural marriage] “was ordained by me and my Father before the world was,” and verses 29 through 40 tell how the Lord commanded all the biblical patriarchs to live the “new and everlasting covenant.” You would think that a law as important as plural marriage would show up in the Bible.
Verse 32 states: Go, ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.” Mormon fundamentalists like to use this verse to justify the practice of polygamy. “I am only doing the works of Abraham.”
Verse 34. “God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises.” (Once again there is no mention of plural marriage being a commandment in the Bible.)
From verse 34 and verse 65 the independent fundamentalists preach the “law of Sarah,” suggesting that Sarah had the privilege of selecting and accepting a plural wife. The “law of Sarah” is sometimes shoved down a monogamous wife’s throat when she is reluctant to accept a plural wife. Actually, the “law of Sarah” is nothing more than an illusion and diversion because verse 65 says that if the monogamous wife rejects the new and everlasting covenant then she becomes the transgressor and he is no longer bound by the “law of Sarah.”
Mormon fundamentalists give much weight to notion that the biblical god appointing Abraham his favorite. Section 132 suggests that Mormons who do the work of Abraham will also be God’s favorite. But I see little resemblance in Genesis between the Abraham of Section 132 and the Abraham of Chapter 16 in Genesis..
If you recall, the Bible states that Sarah could not conceive so she gave Hagar to Abraham to raise up children for Sarah. But when Hagar conceived, Sarhi thought she could see that Hagar despised her. In verse 6 Abram tells Sarah, Hagar is in your hands, “do to her as it pleaseth thee.” Sarah sends Hagar into the desert where she and her son, Ishmael would have died if not rescued by an angel. I find it disappointing that Abraham did not lift a finger to help Hagar. I doubt that this is the type of “work” the author of Section 132 wants Mormon polygamists to do – yet it is done all the time. Many Mormon polygamists have no more compassion, love, or sincere concern for their plural wives than Abraham did for Hagar. They are not even treated with the tenderness of a mistress. All they are is a cook, a source of money if they have any, and an occasional bed partner.
The wording in Section 132 is often not clear, a case in point are the verses regarding adultery. If you read them [verses 41 to 44] you will see what I mean. But the way the fundamentalists interpret it, a promiscuous married women, either not bound or bound by the law, commits adultery. But a man under the law can chase women seven days of the week and does not commit adultery. The entire Section is one sided, fettering the free movement of the woman, while imposing only one rule on the man, and that is he must become a polygamist.
Verse 44 gives the prophet justification to take a wife from one man and give her to another. It is well documented that this occurs in the FLDS, AUB and TLC. Where AUB does it sparingly, the FLDS does it wholesale.
Verse 44 suggests that taking a wife from one man and giving her to another is done with the best interest of the woman in mind, but in practice, especially in the FLDS, women and children are taken from men perceived as a threat to the prophet, or if the husband does not sufficiently grovel before the prophet.
Associated with verse 44 is the tacit “doctrine of rescue” practiced by the TLC. Put in secular terms, it means that with the approval of the prophet a women can go from one family to another, or a husband with greater priesthood can take the wife of a man with a lesser priesthood. Again the rationale is looking out for the woman by making her exaltation more secure, but the real motive, especially on the part of the man, is often lust.
Now consider verses 46 and 47:
46. And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven: and whatsoever you bind on earth in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.
47. And again, verily I say, whomsoever you bless I will bless, and whomsoever you curse I will curse, saith the Lord; for I, the Lord, am thy God.
The power and authority of the prophet is so consequential that some fundamentalists have created the “Law of Introduction.” This means that those going to heaven will first have to get the approval and permission of the prophet over that dispensation before he can be introduced to Jesus Christ.
As it pertains to monogamous women we see very little charity, real caring, love or equity. The reason is, the monogamous wife is generally a hindrance to the man desiring plural wives. Emma, the monogamous wife of Joseph is the classic example. Contrary to Mormon apologetic books depicting Joseph and Emma as a monogamous love story based on virtue, the facts suggest otherwise. She was giving Joseph fits over his womanizing and Joseph needed to stop her from harassing him. Consider verse 51:
51. Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice.
Many historians and students of Mormonism have puzzled over this cryptic verse. What is Emma to “stay herself from partaking?” And what does the Lord mean when he said he was merely “proving?” Is he “proving” like he did Abraham when he instructed Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? And did he mean Emma or Joseph? The word “proving” is obviously synonymous to “test.” Was the Lord testing Emma the way Joseph tested Heber C. Kimball, when he told Kimball to give him his wife, Violate?
It has been speculated that Joseph was going to poison Emma. Apparently allegations of poisoning were not infrequent during the Nauvoo era. William Law, in an interview with Dr. Wyl* claimed that Joseph attempted to poison him. But then Law also told Wyl that Joseph was going to offer Emma as a: “substitute for him, by way of compensation for his neglect of her, on condition that she would forever stop her opposition to polygamy and permit him to enjoy his young wives in peace and keep some of them in her house and to be well treated, etc.
By “substitute” do you suppose Law meant that Joseph was going to provide Emma with some men friends? In any event, some scholars suspect that the primary purpose of the revelation was to put Emma in her place. T.B.H Stenhouse in his book The Rocky Mountain Saints, 1873, supports that theory. If so, then verse 54 may have had the desired effect because when Hyram showed Emma the revelation, although she tore it up in disgust, she did seem to back off.
54. And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed saith the Lord: for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.
Now let’s proceed to verses 64 and 65 where the author of Section 132, purporting to be the Lord Jesus Christ, attacks all monogamous wives.
64. And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.
65. Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receives not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife.
Verse 65 indicates that if for some reason she is not destroyed and won’t go along with plural marriage, the husband is free to leave her behind and seek out plural wives.
Unfortunately, what I have just described, since 1852, has been acted out in real life at least hundreds, if not thousands of times. There has been little to no publicity over the sacrificing of these monogamous wives and their children. All the publicity is showered on the supposedly happy plural wife.
The above verses pertaining to monogamous wives are clearly coercive which smacks hard at the Mormon fundamentalist claim that “celestial marriage” is consensual. In some fundamentalist groups the plural wife actually does consent, but in many cases, the threat of death and damnation taints the consent of a monogamous wife. Therefore, when I and others state that Section 132 is inherently coercive it is not an exaggeration.
The reader may want to contemplate, as I have done, just what kind of God would destroy a monogamous wife for objecting to her husband having plural wives. The entire motivation behind the commandment seems arbitrary and capricious. How on earth does coercing first wives into allowing their husbands to take plural wives glorify God? How does sharing your husband and assets with plural wives benefit the first wife? How does the Mormon brand of polygamy help the human race? Many advocates of polygamy rely upon the commandment, “multiply and replenish” as justification, but “multiplying and replenishing” the earth can be done just as efficiently, in fact more efficiently if each man has one wife, than a man with two or more. Put another way: Mother Nature, if left to her own designs has a way of balancing out the sexes. If we take 100 men and 100 women, they will be able to procreate more efficiently than one man and a hundred women. It stands to reason that one man will not keep those hundred women pregnant as efficiently as a hundred men. One does not have to be a priest, prophet or college professor to discern who Section 132 benefits the most, and that is primarily the prophet and those he allows to have plural wives. If we compare the Mormon Jesus to the Jesus of the New Testament, is there congruence?
Lets assume that Joseph is only pretending to receive a plural marriage revelation. What is his motive? Whatever his motive, he was obviously confident that many of his leading disciples would accept it as a revelation. Of course not all did, like William Law, but his leading men – Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor and Parley P. Pratt did.
Up until 1843 Joseph had received dozens of revelations and all who stayed loyal to him accepted them. Why then, did he not reveal it as he did the others in 1843? The answer is obvious. As the news of polygamy leaked out and Joseph was confronted, he lied because public opinion was dead set against polygamy. He must have realized that to declare polygamy as a religious tenet in 1843 would have been disastrous and could have been the ruination of his church. Why then did he continue to flirt and pursue plural wives, right up to his death? I contend it was his narcissistic and megalomaniac personality and his submission to the influence of his Y-chromosome. Conquest of women was more important than the animus it would ferment. Or was it the “illusion of invulnerability,” a form of arrogance that often comes with power.
Joseph Smith was not the only man with power who succumbed to the sex urge and risked his reputation. Consider the scandals involving Senator Larry E. Craig and his public restroom footsy game with an undercover police officer; Rep. Mark Foley and his controversial emails to Congressional Pages; the alleged cigar episode between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky; how about House Rep. Joseph Waggoner Jr. and Rep. Allen Turner Howe, both accused of solicitation of prostitutes; and what about Rev. Ted Haggard who confessed to sexual immorality and Pastor Jimmy Swaggart’s alleged solicitation of a prostitute and the many Catholic priests who’s penchant for children has cost the Vatican millions of dollars. Of all these scandals only Bill Clinton, nicknamed “Slick Willy,” has emerged smelling like a rose – the rest of those guys are history.
There are strong indications that Joseph was thinking about having sex with other women long before he reduced Section 132 to writing in 1843. In 1842 a man by the name of Udney Hay Jacob, published a dissertation entitled, The Peace Maker. Although Joseph Smith denied knowing anything about The Peace Maker it was published in Nauvoo on Joseph’s printing press. The pamphlet was circulated among the gentiles (non Mormons), and a copy was sent to President Martin Van Buren bearing the date, March 19, 1840, indicating that it had been written at least two years earlier than the 1842 date that appears on the pamphlet.
The Peace Maker claims to have the solution to all the evil in the world. The solution is none other than polygyny and the complete subjection of women, reducing her to no more than property, owned by her husband. Consider the following excerpts:
… The wife has no right to teach, admonish, reprove, rebuke, or to exercise any kind of dictation whatever. He is her head and she should be guided by the head, if the wife wants to know anything, let her ask her husband at home. She therefore, has the right of petition, and this is a right that all who are governed should possess.
…the law should confine her completely under the husband’s power, for good, but not for evil.
… I suffer not a woman to teach, or to usurp authority over the man but to be in subjection.
Although Joseph Smith denied having anything to do with authoring The Peace Maker, much of it is “coincidently” compatible with his revelation. The LDS Church supports Joseph’s claim of ignorance but Brigham Young’s adopted son, John D. Lee, had this to say in his Confessions:
During the winter  Joseph, the Prophet, set a man by the name of Sidney [sic] Hay Jacobs to select from the Old Bible scriptures as pertained to polygamy, or celestial marriage, to write it in pamphlet form, and to advocate that doctrine. This he did as a feeler among the people, to pave the way for celestial marriage.
According to Kenneth W. Godfrey, the author of “A New Look at the Alleged Little Known Discourse by Joseph Smith” when The Peace Maker stirred “negative” excitement among the people, Joseph issued the following statement in the church newspaper, Times and Seasons, dated December 1, 1842:
There was a book printed at my office, a short time since, written by Udney H. Jacob, on marriage, without my knowledge; and had I been apprised of it, I should not have printed it; not that I am opposed to any man enjoying his privileges; but I do not wish to have my name associated with the authors, in such an unmeaning rigmarole of nonsense, folly, and trash.
The reader can decide for himself. Was Joseph telling the truth or was The Peace Maker just another one of his deceptions?
Hundreds of thousands of lives have been impacted, many tragically, since Joseph Smith took his first plural wife in the early 1830s. As previously mentioned, in Utah, you can hardly find a person who will publically question the authenticity of Mormon polygamy. And it has been years since anyone with credibility has dissected the commandment and weighed its worth and import alongside our biological nature as well as biblical Christianity. In consideration of the many lives that have been turned upside down in just the last two decades, I would think that a thorough examination of the plural marriage revelation is long overdue.
Polygamy in Utah is a 3rd degree felony. The Utah Constitution stipulates that the practice of polygamy “shall be forever prohibited.” Yet, there are probably 25,000 practicing polygamist in Utah and the Utah Attorney General is trying to “break down barriers” and “build bridges” between the Mormon polygamists, government and society in general. (See “The Primer, Helping Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in Polygamous Communities,” a joint Arizona and Utah Attorney General Project, that can be found on the Internet)
In harmony with the Attorney General’s “controversial” polygamy objectives The Salt Lake Tribune has published articles that tend to subtly praise benign polygamy and some of its more active advocates like the ladies of Principle Voices.
Although the LDS Church excommunicates individuals who are suspected of practicing polygamy, since 1953 the Church has taken no known stand against the practice. In 1953 the polygamist town of Short Creek, now Colorado City, was raided by Arizona authorities. The LDS Church cooperated with authorities.
On March 7 1944, the FBI, U.S. Marshals, deputy sheriffs and city policeman “netted forty-six suspected Fundamentalists, thirty-four were indicted. The impetus behind the raid was Truth magazine, a fundamentalist publication edited by Joseph W. Musser, a polygamist leader. A Salt Lake Tribune article date March 8, 1944, stated that Truth:
“. . .obscene, lewd, lascivious, indecent and immoral in that sexual offenses against society, to-wit, plural marriages, were to be and were advocated and urged, thereby tending to deprave and corrupt the morals of those whose minds were and are open to such influences, and into whose hands said Truth might fall.”
The LDS Church First Presidency “applauded the arrests.” The Tribune reported on March 8th that same year that the first presidency had repeatedly warned the apostate groups against practicing polygamy and that law enforcement was correct in arresting those breaking the law. For some reason, the current authorities of the LDS Church don’t seem to want to take as firm a stance as their processors. The LDS Church is the most powerful institution in the State of Utah. I do not think it unreasonable to believe that a strong stance against polygamy would have influence on prosecutors, law enforcement, on the potential convert and the fundamentalist watching for an opportunity to exist the subculture. Many dissidents of Mormon fundamentalism who still have a testimony of Joseph Smith and Mormonism repent and make their way back into the good graces of the LDS Church.
The Torah, or first five books of the Old Testament has 630 rules in which true believers are to live by – in other words, regulating behavior here on earth. By comparison, Section 132 only has one rule – polygamy must be lived!
There is nothing in LDS scripture to regulate how polygamy should be lived. That insignificant matter is apparently left up to the prophet or individual. Therefore, there is no prohibition against who a man can marry – his half sister, biological daughter, stepdaughter, niece – all of which are not uncommon among Mormon polygamists. There is no prohibition as to how old the female must be, consequently men have married children as young as nine-years-old. The nurturing, feeding, sheltering and clothing the wives and the children is not addressed. As a consequence many women and children live in abject poverty. Nor does the revelation instruct the man how he is to go about obtaining plural wives. He can lie, cheat, coerce, seduce, use deception and even rape, all of which are routinely used. When Brain David Mitchell kidnapped Elizabeth Smart, as far as Section 132 is concerned, he did not sin. There is but one instruction, plural marriage must be lived, and the Lord, Mormon god, author, whoever, or whatever is the driving force behind Section 132, doesn’t care how the individual goes about it.
What has our examination of Section 132 revealed? Joseph Smith tells us the revelation came from Jesus Christ. Plural marriage is a law and all those who reject the law will be damned. Monogamous wives who reject the law may be destroyed, if for some reason they are not destroyed, she becomes a transgressor and the husband is free to chase plural wives. Only one man on earth at a time has the authority to act for god and perform plural marriages. Joseph Smith was the first man. The people are dependent upon that “one man,” the prophet, for their exaltation. Plural marriage must be lived in order for one to be exalted, there are no exceptions or alternatives, at least according to the fundamentalists who promote plural marriage.
The LDS Church has an alternative, it’s called, Celestial Marriage.
In Section 132 plural marriage is referred to as the “new and everlasting covenant.” Over the years the term, “celestial marriage” has been used interchangeably with the “new and everlasting covenant” along with plural marriage. In current Church parlance “celestial marriage” is the only term used to mean the “new and everlasting covenant,” which is defined as a “temple marriage by proper priesthood authority.”
Verse 19 of Section 132 seems to support the current Church explanation for “celestial marriage.” In other words, celestial marriage is the sealing ordinance performed in a temple by proper priesthood authority, and not determined by more than one wife. (See Mormon Doctrine, A Compendium of the Gospel, by Bruce R. McConkie, Bookcraft Inc., SLC, 1966.) Either way, the critical determiner is authority and it is the ordinance of sealing a woman to a man for “time and all eternity” that is the “carrot on the stick” that entices many men to submit to that authority.
I doubt that Brigham Young would support the current Church definition of celestial marriage as the Journal of Discourses are full of sermons by Brigham and his apostolic cronies declaring that plural marriage is the “only” gate to the celestial kingdom. Nevertheless, the current Church dictum has the capability of alleviating the fears of today’s Mormon women that they will “not” be required to share their husband with other women in the afterlife. The problem is, if I have interpreted it correctly, the Church has not made that dictum abundantly clear for there are many LDS women I know that still think they will be required to live polygamy in the celestial kingdom.
It is now time to illustrate why Mormon polygamy is a virus of the mind.
• Dr Wyl was a Journalist who wrote for the Salt Lake Tribune in 1886. His full name was Wilhelm Ritter von Wymetal, 1838 – 1896. He is the author of Mormon Portraits, Joseph Smith, Prophet, His family and his Friends. I have a copy of the book; however, it can be accessed on the Internet by Googling “Dr Wyl,” or “Joseph Smith’s History Vault.” If you are a true blue Mormon what you will find will not be complementary, so be prepared. Wyl’s interview of Sarah Pratt and others corroborates my findings that Joseph was a womanizer, which also tends to corroborate my thesis that his plural marriage revelation came from his Y-chromosome.