A child’s curiosity and natural desire to learn are like a tiny flame, easily extinguished unless it’s protected and given fuel. This book will help you as a parent both protect that flame of curiosity and supply it with the fuel necessary to make it burn bright throughout your child’s life. Let’s ignite our children’s natural love of learning!
December 20th, 2006
Do You Really Want the Rest of the Book of Mormon?
“Do You Really Want the Rest of the Book of Mormon?”
By W. Cleon Skousen
Published by Ensign Publishing Co., © 2000 W. Cleon Skousen
Have you ever wondered what was in the part of the Book of Mormon which Moroni was not allowed to include in the gold plates? Does it bother you that the Church was invited to become worthy to receive the rest of the Book of Mormon 168 years ago but it still hasn’t happened?
Is this because we haven’t asked?
We know that many parts of the Lord’s most precious scriptures are among those we have not yet received. For example, as Moroni came toward the end of his writings, he was just about to include a whole treasure of teachings which Jesus gave to his disciples at the end of his ministry to the Nephites.
But it never happened. Moroni says:
Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi [the large plates], but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will [first] try the faith of my people. (3 Nephi 26:11)
As a result of this restriction we only have the “lesser part” of the Book of Mormon. The prophet Mormon does not hesitate telling us how many “greater things” we are missing. He says:
But behold the plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he [Jesus] taught the people.
And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people [the future Lamanites], from the Gentiles [the modern members of the Church], according to the words which Jesus hath spoken.
And when they shall have received this [the lesser part], which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things [the lesser part] then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. (3 Nephi 26:7-9)
We have reason to believe that an important part of the “greater things” includes a complete manual of instruction on the procedure for setting up an ideal Zion Society.
We conclude this from the fact that immediately after Jesus completed his ministry among the Nephites, the twelve disciples organized the whole population into a gigantic Zion Society. Nowhere in scripture is there a revelation telling us exactly how to do this. But what Jesus gave the Nephites was so perfect and complete that their Zion Society lasted nearly 300 years.
We will need that manual of instruction in the near future because we must have it before we set up the New Jerusalem.
A Zion Society consists of a perfect order in which both crime and poverty are virtually eliminated. Unfortunately, we know just enough about a Zion Society to make us anxious for the scripture that will tell us how to set it up so that it will thrive in all its glory.
Why Our Present Book of Mormon is the “Lesser Part” of what Moroni Wanted to Give Us
One of the greatest gifts the Church has received since the restoration of the Gospel has been the Book of Mormon. However the greater part of the Book of Mormon has been withheld until we become worthy to receive the rest. Moroni says:
And if it so be that they [the modern gentile members of the Church] will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation. (3 Nephi 26:10)
Two years after the Church had received the Book of Mormon they found themselves in trouble with the Lord.
A group of missionaries discovered this when they returned from their labors and went to Joseph Smith to hear how the Lord felt about their missionary endeavors. They received a rather shocking revelation. Here is what the Lord said:
And your minds in times past [since the Book of Mormon was published] have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. (D&C 84:54-58)
What are Some of the Things We have Taken Lightly?
One of the most notable things we have taken lightly is the real meaning of the Atonement as explained by Amulek in Alma, chapter 34. We have discussed this extensively in tape #20 of our audio commentaries on the Book of Mormon.
Another things we have taken lightly is the brilliant promise that we can have the many magnificent scriptures the Lord has so far withheld. In a moment we will discuss some of these scriptures which we have NOT received—even a scrap. And the Lord makes it painfully clear that we will not receive these scriptural treasures until we plead for them and make ourselves sufficiently righteous to be worthy to receive them.
In our commentaries on the Book of Mormon we have mentioned scores of gospel truths we have taken lightly, which means we have neglected or ignored them. For example:
- What is the source of God’s power?
- Could he lose his power?
- If that happened, would he “cease to be God?”
- What steps has the Father taken to make certain this will never happen?
- What are the two scenarios of prophecy concerning the judgments of God in our day as set forth in 3 Nephi, chapter 21?
- Which one does the Church seem to be leaning toward at the present time?
- Why does the Lord say the prophecy of Micah does not have to be fulfilled?
- How can this be prevented?
The list includes upwards of a hundred important, identifiable things we have taken lightly, maybe even more.
In Spite of This, Many Feel All is Well in Zion
The modern members of the Church have accomplished some fantastic things during the 170 years since it was organized. Crossing the plains and establishing a commonwealth in the valleys of the mountains at a cost of burying around 6,000 loved ones in wilderness graves would be one of the foremost achievements. And it has become one of the fastest growing religions in the world. In my lifetime the Church has grown from 431,000 members worldwide to nearly eleven million.
We have bilt over 100 temples, set up over 2,300 stakes with more than 23,000 wards and branches. The Church has established over 325 missions which are serviced by around 60,000 volunteer missionaries. They have spread the influence of the Church across every continent of the planet. We have the largest building for conferences and religious worship in the United States. We have the largest private university in the nation with a vast network of seminaries and institutes supporting the educational standards of the members. We also have the largest resources for genealogical research in the entire world.
No doubt our Heavenly Father considers all of this tremendously commendable, and consequently marvelous blessings are being poured out on the members of the Church.
But we are still under condemnation.
In 2 Nephi, chapter 28, Nephi itemizes the perils which can be expected even when the Church is at the height of its success. In summary, he says:
And others will he [the devil] pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell. (2 Nephi 28:21)
Perhaps one of our greatest delinquencies is that we are being lulled to sleep with what scriptures we have, and are being cheated out of a vast legacy of sacred writings which the Lord promised the Church from its very beginning.
An Urgent Message from One of God’s Prophets
At a General Conference of the Church in October 1986, President Ezra Taft Benson devoted his entire talk to the specific task of getting the Church out from under the Lord’s cloud of condemnation. He quoted the revelation which defined the dimensions of our condemnation and then said:
The Book of Mormon is the keystone of testimony. Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. (Ensign, November 1986, p. 6)
In this same discourse, President Benson said:
Every Latter-Day Saint should make the study of this book a lifetime pursuit. Otherwise he is placing his soul in jeopardy and neglecting that which could give spiritual and intellectual unity to his whole life. There is a difference between a convert who is built on the rock of Christ through the Book of Mormon and stays hold of that iron rod, and one who is not.
What Are Some of the Scriptures Awaiting the Modern Saints?
The Book of Mormon makes specific reference to voluminous scriptures which Moroni spent twenty-five to thirty years carefully and precisely inscribing on the gold plates. It is almost unbelievable to contemplate the lonely vigil of Moroni as he tried to scrounge around for a little food while fearfully evading the predatory bands of Lamanites who wanted to find him and kill him. Yet during all those grim and terrifying circumstances, Moroni still managed to translate and record what turned out to be about two-thirds of the gold plates with the majority of his writings being included in the sealed portion.
We learn from the size of the sealed part of the Book of Mormon from a sermon given by Orson Pratt just eight years after the death of Joseph Smith and while many of the details were well known to the early members of the Church. Orson Pratt said:
You recollect that when the Book of Mormon was translated from the plates, about two-thirds were sealed up, and Joseph was commanded not to break the seal; that part of the record was hid up. The plates which were sealed contained an account of those great things shown unto the brother of Jared; and we are told that all those things are preserved to come forth in the due time of the Lord. (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 347)
From all of this we learn that when Joseph Smith received the gold plates, about one-third of these plates were written by Mormon and two-thirds were written by Moroni.
The Lord Wanted the Prophetic History of the World to Come Forth in Modern Times
We now know that the diamond core of scriptures in the gold plates—other than the one-third devoted to the Book of Mormon itself—was the complete prophetic history of the world from Adam to the end of the Millenium. The Brother of Jared received this fantastic vision on the shores of the great sea [around 2,000 B.C.] as he and his brother prepared to bring their families and friends across the wild waste of water enroute to the promised land.
Here is the way the Book of ether describes this marvelous revelation to the brother of Jared which covers everything from Adam to the end of the world.
And when the Lord had said these words, he showed unto the brother of Jared all the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and also all that would be; and he withheld them not from his sight, even unto the ends of the earth. (Ether 3:25)
The Lord then warned Ether that this vision must be hidden up until after the time when Jesus would come in the flesh. Nevertheless after his resurrection he commanded that this marvelous revelation should be translated from the Adamic tongue to the Hebrew and circulated among the Nephites. The scriptures says:
And after Christ truly had showed himself unto his people [in America] he commanded that they [the writings of the brother of Jared] should be made manifest. (Ether 4:2)
Of course, later on when both the Nephites and Lamanites had apostatized, Moroni was instructed to write this entire voluminous prophetic history on the gold plates in its Hebrew translation and this became the sealed portion of the gold plates. He says:
Wherefore the Lord hath commanded me to write them; and I have written them. And he commanded me that I should seal them up; and he also hath commanded that I should seal up the interpretation thereof; wherefore I have sealed up the interpreters, according to the commandment of the Lord. (Ether 4:5)
Then the Lord revealed to Moroni the conditions which must be satisfied before the Gentile members of the Church could have this precious record translated and published in the latter days. He says:
For the Lord said unto me: They shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord. (Ether 4:6)
In other words, genuinely appreciating the Book of Mormon and studying it profoundly, is the key to receiving these scriptures which the Lord has withheld.
The Lord also Wants Us to Have the Complete Writings of John the Revelator
It will be recalled that Nephi was allowed to see about 2,600 years of future history. This vision included a panorama of what will happen to the saints in modern times. However, the reader of the Book of Mormon is disappointed because just as Nephi was about to tell us what is going to happen in modern times, the angel said:
But the things which thou shalt see hereafter thou shalt not write; for the Lord God hath ordained the apostle of the Lamb of God that he should write them.
And I, Nephi, heard and bear record, that the name of the apostle of the Lamb was John, according to the word of the angel. (1 Nephi 14:25, 27)
Of course, the only book of prophecy by John is the Book of Revelation, but that is one of the most difficult and confusing books in the entire Bible. Certainly it contains no clear unfolding of what will happen to the wicked gentiles in the latter days of how the Lord will save the righteous.
Nevertheless, the Lord has revealed ina modern revelation that “the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed.” (D&C 93:6)
When we receive the fulness of John’s record we will know what Nephi saw.
In our audio commentary on 3 Nephi, chapters 30 and 31, we described the two latter-day scenarios which the resurrected Jesus outlined for the Nephites during his ministry. But it doesn’t say which of the two scenarios will come to pass. Nephi knew exactly which one will be fulfilled, but he wasn’t allowed to tell us.
Nevertheless, we are promised that the writings of John will be forthcoming when the modern saints are prepared to receive them. This suggests that we will get a more complete and much clearer revelation of the writings of John in the due time of the Lord. As Moroni wrote:
And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. (Ether 4:16)
The Lord Wants the World to Have the Brass Plates
When Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob, was sold into Egypt, he was raised up by the Lord to become the prime minister of Egypt. It is believed that it was under these prosperous circumstances that he undertook to write a scriptural history of God’s dealings with mankind from the days of Adam and Eve down to his own day. His descendants then kept the record up to date from Joseph down to the prophet Jeremiah in 600 B.C. (1 Nephi 5:10-13)
It will be recalled that this record fell into the hands of a wicked descendant of Joseph, named Laban, and it was necessary for the Lord to tell Nephi to decapitate Laban in order to get the Brass Plates and take them to the new promised land.
We have a description of the contents of the Plates of Brass (or Book of Joseph) and we learn that they were very similar to the Jewish Old Testament exact that the Jewish writings were “not so many” as the Plates of Brass. (1 Nephi 13:28)
One of the reasons why the contents of the Jewish Old Testament were “not so many” was because some of the most precious parts had been taken out. (1 Nephi 13:28)
The Plates of Brass Seen Along with the Gold Plates of Mormon
To gain a deeper appreciation of the tremendous significance of the Plates of Brass or Book of Joseph, we have the following statement by David Whitmer, one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon:
We not only saw the plates of the Book of Mormon, but also the plates of brass. (Preston Nibley, Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, p. 68)
This clearly signifies the supreme importance of the Plates of Brass in the eyes of the Lord. They were shown to the three witnesses right along with the Gold Plates of Mormon.
The Brass Plates Converted Thousands of Lamanites
The Brass Plates turned out to be a marvelous scriptural converter, particularly among the hostile Lamanites. Here is what Alma says in this connection:
Yea, I say unto you, were it not for these things that these records do contain, which are on these plates [the Plates of Brass of the Book of Joseph], Ammon and his brethren could not have convinced so many thousands of the Lamanites of the incorrect tradition of their fathers; yea, these records and their words brought them unto repentance; that is, they brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and to rejoice in Jesus Christ their Redeemer. (Alma 37:9)
When Father Lehi first examined the Book of Joseph of the Brass Plates, he received a revelation that they must go to all the world in modern times. Here is how Nephi describes it:
And now when my father saw all these things, he was filled with the Spirit, and began to prophesy concerning his seed—
That these plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who were of his seed.
Wherefore, he said that these plates of brass should never perish; neither should they be dimmed any more by time. And he prophesied many things concerning his seed. (1 Nephi 5:17-19; see also Alma 37:3-4)
If this important record is to go forth to all nations, it would seem to be the direct responsibility of the members of the Church to qualify themselves so that these scriptures can become available in our day and fulfill their divine destiny.
The Lord Wants Us to Have the “Greater Part” of the Book of Mormon Restored
As we pointed out in the beginning, the key to removing the condemnation of the Church by the Lord is in the comprehensive and in-depth appreciation of the Book of Mormon. Only then will the floodgates be opened to allow the treasure of hidden scripture to come forth—the scripture the Lord has been anxiously waiting to restore to the modern saints. As the Lord has said:
And they [the children of Zion] shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them. . . otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. (D&C 84:57-58)
As we mentioned earlier, it is thought that this “greater part” of the Book of Mormon includes the detailed description of how to set up a Zion Society, and this is knowledge the modern saints must have before they can build the New Jerusalem.
The Church has experimented with a variety of plans called the “United Order” and other ventures which attempted to practice what little is known about a Zion Society, but the brethren have acknowledged that we cannot set up all the ramifications of a Zion Society until we have the Lord’s complete revelation on the subject.
No doubt the revelation of the “greater part” of the Book of Mormon will contain the glorious revelation on the Zion Society and other scriptural treasures we should know.
The Age of Bread and Circuses
In the days of ancient Rome it was a common practice to prevent the people from revolting by providing them with bread and circuses. Satan uses the same combination to distract good people from participating in the dynamics of the second estate, such as the task of undertaking a profound study of the Book of Mormon.
We all know how this pattern works in our daily lives. The complex ferocity and lightning speed of modern living includes a heavy routine of bread and circuses. Far too often the neglect of intense gospel study and especially the Book of Mormon generates the breathless lamentation, “There just isn’t time!”
It is interesting that in the next life we are going to be judged in part by members of the Priesthood whom we respectfully refer to as the pioneers. To a remarkable extent these honored forebears not only knew the scriptures better than many of us today, but they milked cows night and morning and labored in the field from sunrise to sunset.
According to the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 88, verses 108-110, the Lord is going to provide a panoramic vision some day showing our individual lives except for the sins the Atonement has erased. As this great vision unfolds and our daily activities appear on the screen, how will any of us pretend that we didn’t have the time to remove the condemnation of the Lord by cherishing and studying the Book of Mormon? And what will we say when these venerable pioneers see us squandering whole weekends glued to a TV set or indulging ourselves in a continuous panorama of sports spectaculars?
Recreation is important, but in many cases we have allowed it to literally root out of our daily lives the study of the gospel and the scriptures. No doubt our challenge is not so much a lack of time as it is the perpetual rat race which smothers us under a virtual tidal wave of tantalizing trivia.
So what can we do to restructure our lifestyle and replace much of the circus trivia with the Lord’s lifestyle of happy living? Or, to say it another way, what can we contribute as individual members of the kingdom to help provide the precious time for a penetrating study of the Book of Mormon and other scriptures so as to remove the Lord’s condemnation of the Church?
Two Suggestions for Consideration
Two elements are required to make a breakthrough in Book of Mormon study. First of all, the text of the Book of Mormon must be perceived as highly interesting and inspiriting communications from God, so that it will command our attention.
Second, there needs to be a plan involving thousands of Church members who are consistently studying the Book of Mormon, digging out its hidden treasures and making it an integral part of our daily lives.
In order to help make the Book of Mormon both exciting and stimulating, we have just finished having the entire text professionally recorded by Wendell Noble who has an appealing and inspirational voice.
Then, to keep the listener focused on the message, we have interrupted every few verses to given an interesting commentary on the historical or doctrinal significance of what has just been heard.
By having this stimulating discussion of the Book of Mormon on tape, it can be enjoyed while working in the kitchen or while driving in the car.
Of course, we should mention that the Lord will probably not be satisfied to have the Church members merely know the story of the Book of Mormon because even the Primary children know that much. What the Lord wants us to know are the treasures of the gospel which are highlighted in the Book of Mormon but which we have “taken lightly” for over 168 years.
In our commentary on the Book of Mormon we have emphasized scores of these treasures. We think most people will immediately recognized why the Lord is deeply offended because we have neglected or ignored so many important parts of this great scriptures.
We therefore have a further suggestion in order to keep the continuity of our Book of Mormon study sufficiently vibrant so that it will demonstrate to the Lord that we are anxious to have the rest of the Book of Mormon soon. Of course, these sacred scriptures will come forth when the Lord sees fit to make them available, but we must do our part to facilitate the process.
We believe it would prove supremely significant if each of us made a personal commitment to listen to at ltest one or more tapes every week for the rest of our lives. Each tape requires only 90 minutes and even at the rate of one tape each week you will complete the entire Book of Mormon every 6 weeks.
This will do four things:
- It will keep the spirit of the Book of Mormon in our homes and make it a part of our daily lives.
- It will make us more intimately acquainted with every important detail of this inspired scripture.
- It will help us understand the more profound principles of the gospel as set forth in the Book of Mormon and help us acquire the ability to explain its deeper doctrines with greater facility.
- It will lay the foundation for the lifting of the Lord’s condemnation of the Church and bring about the restoration of the previous scriptures which, by the year 2000, had been withheld for 168 years.
For additional information about “Treasures from the Book of Mormon” Audio Commentary or Student Manuals, call toll-free 1-866-254-2057
40 Responses to “Do You Really Want the Rest of the Book of Mormon?”
December 21, 2014
[…] Latter-day Saints have become comfortable in our condemnation, unwilling or uninterested in doing what is necessary to take seriously the book we claim to believe and appreciate. I hope we can change course—and […]
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This is a wonderful blog thanks for your brain lol… anyways neverthe less this is an old blog and I was wondering can you still get these tapes and are they on mp3 or cds now?
thanks let me know
Nothing is ever held back from those who are worthy & ready for more light & knowledge. The Spirit can relay any truth to those who are ready of it.
Just because it seems that the whole church is corrupt & in apostasy today except a few, as prophesied would happen, does not mean that those few humble followers of Christ can’t & don’t receive the greater portion of the word from the Spirit, line upon line.
It is preposterous to think that the sealed portion of the plates contains some “magic formula” or “detailed system” that can create a successful Zion society. We already have the definition of Zion: the pure in heart, being of one heart & one mind, & having no poor among us. Zion is achieved through the Atonement changing people’s hearts, being one/unified through the Spirit, & blessing the lives of others through love & service. The reason we don’t have Zion to the extent that we could is simply because we aren’t as Zion-like, individually & collectively, as we should be.
Also, I don’t believe a greater understanding of the Book of Mormon is the thing that is most required of us to receive what is contained in the sealed portion of the gold plates, as if an unbalanced, unhealthy over-study of the scriptures is the key. What the Lord requires of his Saints is greater OBEDIENCE to what He has revealed, not just being better-read in the scriptures. Also, this does not mean obedience to some grand-sweeping truth that must be studied out for a lifetime in the Book of Mormon, but instead obedience to the basic, simple, easily-found & easily-understood truths that are so commonly read but not so commonly followed consistently in our lives.
Also, Joseph Smith himself declared that the book of Revelation is one of the most plain books of scripture ever written. This post plays into the same false-stereotype that Isaiah is such a hard book to read & to understand; we need the Spirit so much more than we need the sealed portion of the plates, for the Spirit is really the key to opening up Isaiah, Revelation & the truths we need to know that are contained in the scripture yet to come.
Lastly, I believe we have a much greater portion of what the sealed portion contains than we realize. I believe that many of these unique & previously unrevealed truths can be found throughout the Doctrine & Covenants (especially those doctrines that are peculiar to latter-day saints), the Pearl of Great Price, the Joseph smith Translation, & especially through the teachings & warnings of past & current modern prophets. We are impatient & want everything God has to reveal given to us all at once; it is much more likely that those things we need to hear about what is to come in the latter-days as we prepare for the Second Coming already have been & are being revealed line upon line, precept upon precept, by the current teachings of God’s prophets, seers & revelators.
“We believe in all that God has revealed…and will yet reveal” much much more pertaining to the Kingdom of God. I think Connor hits the nail on the head here, especially for many of us who fight the worldly distractions we are all so familiar with; we are so often caught up in the “thick of thin things.” It is the ongoing battle of our human nature, “the natural man” vs. the more spiritual part of ourselves that we are wont to wade in all the time. Thanks for helping me Connor, to refocus on the things that are truly important–you are urging and inspiring many to greater faithfulness in the gospel.
I found someone who has already published BOM part 2. Its available for order somewhere online. Its curious to me why the author didn’t go through any church body for publication. A brief review of the book explains much of the reason why, it contains ‘truth’ that most organized religions aren’t ready for, or already disagree with.
I think the salt lake church is probably not eager to publish a BOM2, at least as an institution. Will it square with everything else that has been said? Either by doctrine, story line or basic science? How will this new addition be brought forth? Would the plates be physically manifest for the world to see and criticize? Scriptures for the greater part of christianity are available for view, criticism and scientific examination. Why not the BOM? Some consider it a true miracle that those ancient documents survived in excellent condition, considering that they could have easily been destroyed in one way or another.
There is no Book of Mormon, pt. 2. If someone has published one, it is total garbage, because the real thing will come through the President of the Church & will be published by the Church.
Also, the scriptural documents of “Christianity that are available for view, criticism and scientific examination” aren’t original documents either; they are copies of previous documents, with many of them being written centuries later. The printer’s manuscripts for the Book of Mormon can be considered equally reliable & will be considered of equal historical authority in a few hundred years as well.
But I don’t argue the miracle that those ancient Biblical & apocryphal documents have been preserved for our day; their miraculous preservation was prophesied of in the Book of Mormon itself over a century before their discovery.
Joseph Smith taught that the ‘real’ Book of Mormon Pt. 2 will totally square with everything Pt.1 says. There will be no conflicting doctrines.
Joseph Smith translated & of course read Pt. 2 & he knew what was in there. And he taught that we will know true doctrine & true Prophets because they will never teach things that contradict with Pt. 1 of the Book or Mormon.
All truth is harmonious with itself. All true scriptures & all true prophets will teach the very same things. That’s how you detect false prophets, because they will teach ‘opposite’ what the Book of Mormon & Joseph Smith taught.
So that means that anyone or any new scriptures that comes out and teaches or promotes something like say, polygamy or divorce & remarriage, etc. will be proof that it or they are completely false.
For Jacob 2 & Joseph Smith both taught very clearly that polygamy is a whoredom in every case & it is never allowed in any age of time. Also Christ taught that divorce & remarriage as adultery & no one can contradict him or they prove themselves false.
So there are at least 2 clues to watch for with any one claiming new scripture or that they have Pt. 2.
Comment: there is no indication that Joseph Smith ever translated or read the sealed portion of the plates; in fact, it seems he was commanded not to break the seal.
Note: The most unfortunate thing about this blog post is that it seems to be a self-serving ad for a Book of Mormon study website rather than an actual & relevant commentary.
“…their miraculous preservation was prophesied of in the Book of Mormon itself over a century before their discovery.” where does that appear?
I think your right, I just looked it up. The oldest fragment of jewish scripture is from 700 bc. Its about 3 inches long when unrolled, from a blessing from numbers. Its amazing that anything remains at all. I thought it was entire scrolls, but no small fragments. Your assessment sounds more like that of a skeptic and an atheists, and if its said with truth and humility I really appreciate it.
Interesting, your comment sounds like what a lot of christians think of mormonism. They hear of teachings that are not familiar with them, or what they know of the bible, and immediately dismiss everything. To me the basics always seem to be the same for anything in the christian faith, even things that are considered fringe, there are a few things that always seem to be in common.
Teachings in D&C and Pearl of great price are often criticized by nonLDS. Do you think these are part of joseph Smiths collection of inspired works?
Well, here is a link to the sealed portion of the book of Mormon. Take a look if you like, and anyone else if interested.
I thought we were talking about the ‘lost pages’ of the Book of Mormon. Sorry to misunderstand that it was the ‘sealed portion’ of the plates that is the subject here.
But even the ‘sealed portion’ can’t & won’t teach anything contrary to what the rest of the BoM teaches.
There are parts in today’s D&C that were added after Joseph died, that are completely contrary & opposite to what Joseph Smith taught was true & right, like Section 132.
Joseph clearly would not agree with that section & thus will take it out of the Book when he returns. Because he said that any writings or additions that come after him, are totally false if they are contrary to the scriptures he gave us when he was alive.
Section 132 came from Joseph Smith, & is neither contrary to scripture nor to his life & teachings. If it was false, or came after him, the historical document (meaning the official history of the Church which he personally oversaw) would indicate that was the case, & later prophets would make the inspired decision to remove it, just as they have made inspired decisions to include it, Brigham Young’s revelation, Joseph F. Smith’s revelation, & the official declarations at the end of the Doctrine & Covenants. Joseph never said that any additions after him are false; that would be contrary to the principle of continuing revelation, which was his modus operandi, & the principle upon which the true Church is based. The Doctrine & Covenants itself has recorded God’s word that He would reveal things in the latter days that never have been revealed before, meaning you won’t find them in any previous scriptural record that we have. If what you said was the case, then one could say that section 138 must be false since it came after Joseph Smith and taught that Christ Himself didn’t teach among the wicked in the spirit world but rather sent righteous spirit missionaries to teach in spirit prison, even though 1 Peter talks about it as though Christ Himself would personally do it. As with 132, 138 doesn’t contradict previous scripture or teachings, but clarifies them & adds specifics to the doctrine. Section 132 may have things you don’t agree with or understand, but that doesn’t mean they are not true. It is a remarkable revelation.
You seem to not be aware that Joseph Smith constantly taught & warned the Saints, then & now, that any teaching or revelation advocating polygamy, coming from any person or prophet, would be false & the person an ‘imposter.
For Joseph, like Christ & other ancient prophets, taught that polygamy is always an adulterous whoredom.
The D&C in Joseph’s day strongly condemned polygamy & taught monogamy was forever God’s only law of marriage. But BY took out all that & replaced those teachings with D&C 132, which was opposite what had always been taught by Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith taught & fought against polygamy his whole life & continually warned the Saints to never fall for anyone who preached or practiced it & to never believe the rumors & hearsay being spread that he himself was preaching & practicing it secretly.
I would recommend you search out the true words of Joseph Smith, that he published himself during his lifetime. And not just accept & believe what people after his death say he said, especially people who believed in polygamy & thus opposite of Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith’s own personal & published testimony against polygamy ‘trumps’ all other people’s or prophets statements that he lived it or believed in it.
I would encourage you to do further study into what Joseph really stood for & taught the Church his whole life. True Prophets don’t lie.
this is interesting to read–
all of these comments–
I do look forward to being able to read the ‘rest’ of the Book of Mormon; I assume it will be in the ‘millennium’–
when many things are revealed/restored that have been lost.
I ‘wish’ I knew the truth about Joseph and Brigham and plural marriage.
I find plural marriage . . . disturbing; I’ve never ‘believed in’ it–
so I would like to think that somebody got carried away with it and made a mistake, and that will all be cleared up someday, but *I* do not know and can’t prove it–
so I have to keep that ‘wish’ in my ‘wish’ list for now–
I can believe that things could be muddied and muddled, because it has happened before, but it’s also hard to believe that Brigham was a complete rotter–
*wringing of hands*
the only thing *I* know is that my ancestors who ‘lived’ polygamy didn’t have good experiences with it–LOL!
And . . . I have a story from my ancestry of an ancestor who took it to the Lord and was guided out of it miraculously, quite amazing–
it’s the sort of experience that was kept ‘in the family’, but it was a miracle nonethless–
I suppose there are opposite stories about how ‘wondrous’ polygamy was–
but . . . from my family background that was not the case–
As for 132 . . . I read it for years, was disturbed, and have now put it on my ‘thing to ask Jesus about’–
list . . . which is getting quite long–
it’s interesting to see how polarized the feelings/beliefs/opinions of “LDS” have become–
I do not exclude myself. There are members of my ward who . . . believe so differently from myself about so many things that it is a wonder the church hasn’t burst right to pieces–
I am mostly silent. I just keep my nose in the Book of Mormon and pray for Jesus to come.
Jimz, I am ‘with’ you on the importance of different . . . belief systems, that share intrinsic goodness. I can’t imagine anything more . . . disturbing than everyone being exactly alike–
I once had a professor at BYU about 45 years ago who said that as people achieved perfection they would become like each other, and it panicked me–
that guy gave me bad goosebumps–
The litmus test is whether or not current prophets & apostle teach from section 132, AND THEY DO. And you know as well as I do that there are famous scriptural, authorized exceptions to monogamous marriage (like most major figures in the Old Testament, but explicitly Abraham, Isaac, Jacob & Moses). I am certainly not saying that polygamy is okay now, but we are no position to judge circumstances where it was practiced among God’s people without condemnation in the past. We follow what the current, authorized servants of God teach, just as people of the past did.
um . . .
I don’t claim to know what happened with Joseph and Brigham–
but I can tell you, as a ‘modern’ LDS, that the current prophets and apostles do NOT teach from section 132–
I don’t see how they do–
Plural marriage is not acceptable in the LDS church at this time and is grounds of excommunication, so how can anyone claim that 132 is being ‘taught’?
The only thing that is being taught from that section is sealing–
and it can be proven that Joseph taught that–
beyond that . . . no.
Jacob in the Book of Mormon made it clear that David and Solomon were . . . behaving ‘abominably’–
see verses 23 through 31–
in chapter 2 of Jacob–
Verse 30 makes it clear that if the Lord commands his people to ‘raise up seed’– . . . but it’s not clear even about what that means–
it’s very vague.
This is *my* problem: how does anyone know when the Lord has or has not spoken. Even Brigham Young made it clear that people were to receive their own testimonies and not follow the ‘brethren’ blindly–
an ancestor of mine (I mentioned this in my last post) went to the Lord and petitioned the Lord about plural marriage, pleading to be excused from it and still be faithful–
and there was a miracle. This ancestor explicitly obeyed the counsel of the Lord, and a miracle occurred. By the way, that family was large and happy and prosperous (in monogamy) due to the obedience to the Lord, while those who blindly followed the then-in-place culture . . .
many of them lost their children.
I have no doubt that Father in Heaven can command things that I do not presently understand, including plural marriage. What I do doubt is the inspired obedience of His children–
do they obey out of custom or out of guidance of the Holy Spirit.
But, how can anyone say that 132 is ‘in effect’ now–beyond the fact that sealing is mentioned–
and that is a pretty universal LDS principle–
understood and accepted by everyone, single or plural–
however, those who engage in plural marriage can’t be sealed to more than one wife, so . . . —
132 seems to be stuck out there by itself–
I do not profess to understand what went on between Joseph Smith and the Lord or Brigham Young and the Lord or between those two men–
or between Emma and Eliza or . . . anyone over 170 years ago–
I am waiting to have these things explained to me.
I don’t think it hurts to wait to understand things. In the meantime . . . *we* don’t have to worry about it right now, and I see a LOT of heartache over plural marriage. I’ve known people who left the church to participate in it–
I understand that they might be confused; they might think they are living a ‘higher’ law, possibly even because of 132–
that is sad–
too much suffering–
too much . . .–
I know some young people, including one of my single adult children, who believes that plural marriage has been one of the causes of so much divorce in the church–
the idea that . . . plurality of wives (and husbands) . . . is accepted in some ‘dimension’ or time . . . makes it easier to be emotionally promiscuous–
*our* young people are not marrying as young as they could or used to; marriages are not working well . . .–the divorce rate is too high, and young people aren’t as committed–
it’s very sad; who knows what the ’cause’ is–
*we* can say that it is ‘the world’, but I wonder–
yes, of course, it’s ‘the world’, but I see many young people outside the church managing to remain more faithful–
I see a low divorce rate among some religious groups that have never had affiliation with plural marriage (such as Amish/Mennonites) marrying at a reasonable age (before 30 and after 21) . . . and having large families and a VERY low divorce rate–
divorce among ‘fundamental’ *LDS* is also quite high–
all very sad–
I hang on to Jacob . . .–
and I do wonder about 132–
if it is simply making a point that ‘someday this will happen, or some people might be asked to do this’, I can see it, but too much has been made of something that was made illegal both in the church and out . . . over 100 years ago–
too many people have been bruised; too many people have cried–
just as Jacob said 2400 years ago–
Jacob says NOTHING about Abraham or Jacob–
I don’t think Isaac was a polygamist, but I could be wrong–
Jacob was tricked into it, and Abraham did it at Sarah’s request . . . and it wasn’t necessary and it caused SO much heartache–
people are still dying over this in the middle east–
at some point it needs to stop–
No where in the Bible is polygamy commanded or taught that it is right. The Bible is so suspect in it’s translation & many false things have been added & many true things taken out, that one must read it with a huge grain of salt & judge all it’s precepts by what the Book of Mormon says.
The Prophet Jacob taught that polygamy in all cases is an adulterous whoredom, including for David & Solomon & the people in the land of Jerusalem. Truth is always the same no matter what Prophet of any age is speaking. So if the Bible is vague, then the BoM tells the whole truth about it all.
Abraham was pressured to live polygamy by a weak wife who didn’t have faith in God’s promises & Abraham wasn’t yet strong enough to stand for right, he may not have even realized yet how evil polygamy was & God was going to let him learn by sad experience how wrong it was, which he & Sarah did learn by sad experience & were told to send Hagar away & stop living polygamy.
The Bible does not say that Issac lived polygamy. He probably had learned from his father’s sad experiences with polygamy & thus chose to live righteously by choosing monogamy.
Jacob was tricked by an unrighteous father-in-law & also pressured by his love for Rachel to go along with polygamy, which was a very common & tempting unrighteous practice in those days. His faith appears weak also, caving in to the pressure of weak & understandably jealous wives. I believe Jacob later repented of polygamy if he became a prophet later in life.
For all true prophets would never believe in or live polygamy.
We see the negative outcomes from all the poylygamy in the Bible.
Moses was only trying to do damage control as he dealt with a wicked people who insisted on committing whoredoms like polygamy & divorce. Those things were never a command or desire of God that they be done, but something wicked men insisted on doing. Moses was only trying to protect women & children as much from the negative effects of polygamy & thus he tried to make laws about the polygamy he was forced to deal with.
Christ also & most of all, taught very clearly that it was adultery for a man to marry a 2nd wife if he was already married, even if he divorced the 1st one first. God still considered him married to the 1st & thus couldn’t marry anyone else or it was adultery.
No true Prophet that ever walked the earth teach contrary to the words of Christ, or Joseph Smith said they prove themselves ‘false prophets’, which we are warned there will be many among us today in the Church, just like there were in the days of Joseph.
But if any & all of those people in the Bible had been righteous & ready to accept the truth, God would have taught them the same as he taught Jacob, that polygamy was a whoredom. But none appeared to have been ready for the truth about polygamy & thus had to learn how wrong it was by their own sad experiences with it.
Just because leaders today may teach & practice according to D&C 132 (for they still allow & teach serial polygamy) does not mean their actions or teachings are right. We are commanded to judge everything that church leaders & Prophets do & say, according to what the scriptures of Joseph’s day said, especially the Book of Mormon. BY”s later addition of D&C 132 is completely contrary to the scriptures.
If we are deceived by false doctrine then we will be held accountable for it. If we don’t learn from church history, we are doomed to repeat it & suffer the same consequences.
OTC is correct. The fact that the Church still preaches polygamy in the next life & allows men to be sealed to multiple wives after death or divorce today, only supports & encourages men to horribly & repeatedly abuse & abandon their wives & children & commit adultery in a 2nd, 3rd or 12th marriage where he thinks he has collected new & multiple wives for eternity.
Belief in polygamy & remarriage has created such sad & awful situation of rampant abuse & adultery & abandonment throughout the Church & it’s only getting much worse by the day.
It is all just another testimony of the destructive effects on women & children for believing in the falsehood & whoredom of polygamy.
Its been such a long time since I attended church, but the part about ‘raising up seed’. Doesn’t that have to do with very quickly producing an ethnicity in association with a particular religion? Polygamy does that very quickly. At some times it was considered emotionally binding to be a descendent of a prophet or some church leader. The fact that its in my ancestry makes the LDS faith a topic of conversation in my life, active or not. I suppose I am an ethnic mormon.
Some religious guy was promoting some set of genes in association with ‘the people of god’. He claimed that it was created in the jews, and recreated in christians. Something to do with marriage practices. Monogamy is the prime mode of ‘raising seed’, polygamy is faster, but there is always a risk of generating problems with the founder effect.
I am or was the 7th generation, and its amazing to me how I just seem to look ‘mormon’. Despite the fact that my mother was from a ‘pagan’ background. My mother and grandmother were born and raised pagan. The pattern of marriage was more or less ‘open’. I think by necessity, to prevent inbreeding. Its still common today to see mothers in my other ethnicity with children of different colors, obviously from different fathers of different races. Its totally not an issue. As much as monogamy is being praised here, I think it would be very detrimental if everyone kept that purely around the world. I am not sure what polygamy and monogamy does, but potentially it might limit genetic diversity.
Actually it’s been proven that polygamy greatly ‘slows down’ the birthrate of a society.
The more wives a man has, the fewer children each wife usually produces.
Thus, monogamy has been found to be the ‘fastest’ way to raise up a posterity.
It looks like God knew what he was doing when he started the world with just Adam & Eve.
Jimz, I don’t know what ‘raising up seed’ means, but it’s something I intend to think about and study–
and I appreciate your bringing it up.
In my background (I, too, am 7th generation) about half of my ancestors lived polygamy. Those who did not had more children, for some bizarre reason.
One of my polygamous ancestral wives had one child; another had two children–
three of my monogamous ancestral wives had over 6-8 children–
so, I do wonder about that.
Inbreeding. Yes, that’s something I wonder if *we* don’t think enough about–
I fear there has been much inbreeding among LDS in the ‘corridor’–
A friend of mine who was born and raised in Utah came east about 35 years ago and had a child with a genetic defect; the doctor who worked with her child told her that it was very common in some parts of the west where there had been much inbreeding.
I know that Africa had stringent laws for centuries of young people marrying outside the ‘clan’–
I think it also helped the cause of peace–
I can only ‘judge’ by my family; nobody in my family has lived polygamy since the Manifesto–
but those who were monogamous had happier and larger families–
very odd if ‘one’ believes that it was to produce more children–
and . . . I think ‘converts’ are important for that reason, if for none other, so that there is not inbreeding.
I believe that traditionally children were valued as a gift from God; I am not sure that most cultures in the world today see it that way anymore, sadly, since I fear that children aren’t cared for as much as they may have been at different times in different cultures–
perhaps this is what it means, but who knows? I honestly do not–
it is hard indeed for me to believe that one set of genes would be preferable to another. The idea of ‘pure’ bred is repugnant in both humans and animals!
AV, I haven’t studied Joseph Smith as much as you have, obviously. I just hang on to the Book of Mormon, very tightly–
to me . . . it’s the center of things and the reason for the restoration, but that is just me. I have my opinion, and it may be strong, but i don’t claim it’s more than my opinion–
but . . . I grew up in a time when ‘good’ Mormons believed that somehow they had to support plural marriage while not living it and while rejecting those who did/do live it, and that feels very schitzy to me–
I didn’t say anything about birth rate, but rather about polygamy creating a group of people with particular features.
“Doesn’t that have to do with very quickly producing an ethnicity in association with a particular religion? Polygamy does that very quickly.”
I do believe that was one of the goals in polygamy and monogamy. In a sense restricting genetic diversity to various degrees.
Interesting comparision between humans and animal breeding. I do believe that the basic biological rules are the same. Some variation probably occurs because we have different number of chromosomes than other animals. But generally a great deal of inbreeding is required to have an animal breed true. I watched a program on it, and a breeder bred a dog with its grandfather.
I found something really, really weird. In the O.T. the general rules are not to marry people very closely related to you. However, one online critic claimed that the father/daughter combination is not specifically mentioned. Logically if other close relations are prohibited, this should be also, but its claimed that its not specifically mentioned. I haven’t had time to confirm this, but I would find it interesting if its really not there, and why.
Weston Price is famous for researching diet and dental health, bone health etc… and has made various nutritional claims based on traditional diets of people around the world. I believe much of it, and some of it, well maybe not so much. But I think he failed to take into account other lifestyle habits other than food. Also particular cultural habits related to gene flow. Many of the cultures he praised for having excellent physical features had the habit of ‘wife lending’ I think thats what its called. In christian terms that would be adultery. Some people confuse this with polygamy, but its not quite the same thing. I believe it shuffles the genetic deck very well. In addition I think several of the groups also did not have restrictions based on race or religion as to who one could marry.
I too hold the Book of Mormon up as the greatest & most correct book on earth & judge the correctness or falseness of all other scriptures & Prophet’s teachings based upon what the BoM says.
Joseph knew the even he could never preach anything that was contrary to what the BoM said. Nor can prophets today teach anything that is contrary to what the BoM says.
The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. It declares & determines our doctrine. We are commanded to judge everyone’s opinions & revelation by that book of scripture. The BoM exposes the enemies of Christ & false prophets & false doctrine.
Interesting that the BoM teaches that polygamy is always an evil whoredom & adulterous abusive abomination, never allowed by God in any age of time.
So that means it’s impossible for any ‘true’ prophet or people to ever desire, preach or practice polygamy, or else they would prove themselves to be fallen & living in sin.
Deuteronomy 21:15-17 specifies some rules about inheritance and polygamy, the father is required to give a double portion to the firstborn son of an unloved wife. Jewish people in this time period were practicing polygamy, how else do you explain this particular code to protect all the children of such arrangements?
Polygamy is not the same as adultery. The punishment for adultery was death by stoning. Is there any example of punishment by stoning for anyone practicing polygamy?
I don’t know that damage control is the reason for these regulations. Capital punishment is mentioned for a number of violations in the O.T. such as adultery. It doesn’t make any sense, if adultery is the same as polygamy, or something equally offensive, there would simply be a stoning, not regulation and damage control.
Av, do you believe in eternal marriage? The criticism you pose almost sounds more like a problem with eternal marriage,not specifically plural marriage. But certainly someone marrying and divorsing for the eternities sounds pretty strange.
Christ said that polygamy (marrying a 2nd living person) is adultery, even if you divorce them 1st, for the divorce isn’t valid & doesn’t dissolve the marriage in God’s eyes.
Moses allowed divorce & remarriage also because the people were so wicked that he was forced to, which Christ said is adultery in most cases, except for one exception.
The Church leaders today are in the same predicament as Moses, the people today insist on divorce too because they refuse to live the higher law that can save them, which is unconditional love for one’s spouse.
God lets people do whatever they want, to their blessing or condemnation & when they get to a certain point in wickedness the Prophets stop inforcing God’s laws & just let them commit adultery in all it’s forms.
Wicked societies always want polygamy to be legal & so Moses had to allow that one to, or the people would do even worse things.
You need to pick a new hobby. Your total rejection of polygamy as ever being sanctioned by God is an argument you can’t win. While I agree that it is the exception & not the ideal rule, to reject any & all of it is to keep one eye shut while reading the scriptures. Your justification for it’s practice in Old Testament times as “God letting people be wicked for while” is contrary to what the record itself says & demonstrates; God Himself gives specific instructions to Moses for it without ever condemning it. The Book of Mormon’s condemnation of the practice even has an important exception built into it, which you have previously noted, ignored & rejected. And Joseph Smith’s own testimony that it came from God, even though he resisted ever teaching it until an angel with sword drawn commanded him to, provides a third witness to it’s divine sanction at certain times & in certain circumstances, though still the exception to the rule. I am not pro-polygamy, but I refuse to be a hypocrite in regards to what the scriptural record testifies in regards to it. I trust that God will sort out any difficulties we have with it right now from our limited, & prejudiced, perspective when we are ready for it. This brings the discussion back to what this bog post was originally about: scriptures yet to come. I look forward to the eternal perspective that will come when the fulness of God’s word will be revealed.
There is no exception in the Book of Mormon for polygamy. That verse was twisted by a church member, many years later after polygamy was already in full swing, to make it seem like it meant that, but it clearly isn’t saying that.
I think you could benefit from a new hobby too, ‘studying Church History’, for you will learn that Joseph would not have fallen for some angel demanding he live polygamy, for he knew perfectly well & even said that ‘the way we or he can tell a bad angel is by if he contradicts a former revelation’. Which such an angel preaching polygamy would be doing, teaching completely contrary to the BoM & D&C & Bible, especially Christ’s teachings. Christ apostles also taught the same thing pertaining to angels, that they can’t teach contrary things.
That angel story is just another false rumor spread to justify whoredoms.
When you read all the things that Joseph publicly said & published against polygamy, it’s easy to see he could have never believed in it.
It appears you have not read all his teachings against polygamy, which is vital for our salvation that we do. For Joseph warned us about watching out for the many false doctrines in the Church being taught & he taught polygamy was a false doctrine.
Joseph warned us then & now, to never believe in any man who came preaching or practicing polygamy.
Do you really believe a Prophet of God would lie to the Church his whole life & lead them all astray? For there were many members who later did not follow or believe in BY because he preached & practiced polygamy, against Joseph’s strong warnings & teachings.
We will be judged by if we believed the Prophet Joseph’s public testimony & warnings & scriptures against polygamy, that he published during his lifetime.
We will have no excuse for falling for the slanderous hearsay of others, even apostles, who claimed opposite things to what Joseph always taught.
We will be held accountable for believing or speaking evil of Joseph Smith & accusing him of the very whoredoms that he spent his life preaching & fighting against.
Joseph’s testimony is true & clear for all the world to read. ‘True prophets’ don’t lie.
We will never be given more revelation until we believe in the one’s we already have & can tell truth from error & right from wrong & devils from saints & most importantly, true prophets from false prophets.
JOSEPH SMITH TAUGHT & PRACTICED POLYGAMY! This is fact! It is well-recorded. It is also substantiated by those who he taught it to (as a command from God, I might add), as well as some of the women he practiced it with, some of whom received an overwhelming spiritual witness for themselves that it was truly from God. You need to accept this. The bar by which we measure if a revelation is true is the Standard Works, which includes Doc. & Cov. 132. You don’t get to pick & choose which parts. And you are absolutely right about being accountable for the revelations we have, as well as for the ones we dislike or ignore. It is not a whoredom if God sanctions it, just as it is not murder if God commands it, of which there are also scriptural cases. You will also be held accountable for deeming the words of modern apostles as “heresay”, when many of them were first-hand witnesses. Please don’t let this hurt your testimony, but to discount anything you disagree with from the Brethren is to leave holy ground. Take a good look in the mirror & see who is “twisting scripture”; you have twisted so many I have lost count.
I agree that we are to recognize true revelation by if it squares with what the scriptures say. That is why D&C 132 proves itself immediately false.
D&C 132 wasn’t part of the scriptures during Joseph’s life, it was added by BY many years later, after Joseph’s death when the Saints were well settled in the west living polygamy. Though BY said Joseph wrote it, it was not in his handwriting & was completely contrary to everything in the scriptures & teachings that Joseph ever taught about polygamy & marriage.
D&C 132 wasn’t even heard of, let alone part of the scriptures that members of Nauvoo were to use to judge by when deciding whether polygamy was right or not, or whether BY was a true & trustworthy leader to follow or not.
The D&C in Joseph’s day condemned polygamy multiple times & warned that whoever fell for it & lived polygamy would lose their salvation.
We today are also only commanded & supposed to accept those things which are not contrary to what Joseph ‘publicly preached & published’ during his lifetime. But in order to not be deceived we must actually study the true & proven published words of Joseph Smith that he ok’d during his lifetime.
We are never asked to accept or go by what others later said he said & did.
Joseph’s public & published testimony during his lifetime trumps all others.
No one is under any obligation to listen to hearsay, no matter who says it, especially when it is completely contrary to Christ, Joseph Smith & the Book of Mormon prophets.
In fact, Joseph warned us that if we listen to or believe in any man who preaches or practices polygamy we will come under condemnation.
BY taught the women & men that followed him that it was ok to lie, if it was for a good reason. So I believe those women lied about being a wife of Joseph’s, so they could justify & pin their deeds of polygamy on Joseph.
No modern prophet since Joseph Smith can contradict the scriptures of Joseph’s day or teach contrary to what Joseph publicly taught & expect to be considered a ‘true’ prophet.
Do you know how Joseph Smith said to tell true prophets from a false ones? False ones will teach polygamy & other ‘contrary’ doctrines that differ from what the scriptures say.
So if you had been there when BY presented D&C 132, many years after Joseph’s death, you would have known it was completely contrary to what the D&C & BoM & Bible taught.
The bottom line is: Joseph Smith’s public teachings, ‘while he alive, trump anything & everything that any future prophet or apostle or person may say that comes after him.
If anyone contradicts Joseph they prove themselves false & we are not obligated to listen to them or accept what they say & have even been warned about doing so.
BY & Joseph Smith taught completely opposite each other on so many different doctrines, not just polygamy. Their teachings were so opposite it was like two different religions. That should have been a huge red flag for the early saints, (not to mention us today) but most ignored it, only a few heeded Joseph’s warnings against polygamy & thus were not deceived. Such differences would have never been so if both were true prophets. For true prophets never contradict each other in their teachings.
Here is an article that makes a pretty good argument on exactly when the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon will come forth. If anyone is interested it can be found at at http://www.brunson20.com. The article is called “The Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon.”
Thank you for the link, interesting idea. The unsealing of that portion seems more like an event on a global scale, rather than a publication according to the source. Sounds like it may never be officially translated or published, as far as how we understand books today.
There is something I don’t understand, that it won’t come in a day of wickedness and abomination. But according to some other spiritual traditions those are exactly the days and times when god makes manifestations, produces miracles, produces scriptures etc… I think thats stated somewhere in hindu scriptures. Its not as a reward for being good per say, but those things are meant to inspire, invigorate faith etc…
I don’t want to get caught up ‘between’ Andrew and AV, though I have been thinking along the same lines as AV for many years, while . . . putting the idea that polygamy may or may not have been ‘inspired’ on the back burner.
I don’t have the conviction that either of you have about this. I just dislike polygamy and have an ancestral experience with polygamy that shows that people could be ‘spared’ polygamy by personal revelation; it was a very amazing and inspiring experience my ancestor had.
While I am definitely on the “no to polygamy” *side*–
I don’t think that Brigham Young was necessarily ‘bad’. I do believe he was meant to be the president of the 12, and I think that the idea that he was evil is debatable. I think he served his purpose. I think he led the saints to safety (which safety they may not have needed had they been more obedient, but the fact remains that Joseph was martyred, and enough of *my* ancestors were killed in Missouri/Illinois, that I can believe it was needful that the saints leave–)
I’m not saying things were THAT much better in the west; I have always been happier and had a stronger testimony living outside the west–LOL!
But . . . please consider that prophets have not ever been perfect. I WANT to believe with all my heart that Joseph preached against polygamy and never practiced it. I do believe there are those who had themselves sealed to him; I am not sure of the dates. Someone in my family (not I) is ‘worried’ enough about this to do research on it and hasn’t come up with substantial evidence either way.
Let’s face it; no matter what *we* believe, *we* get into a ‘he says/she says’ mode–
There seems to be enough evidence on both sides that people can get upset about–
So I choose not to. But, I have often wondered:
–why did so many of Brigham Young’s descendants leave the church? I know too many Young descendants who are avid non-LDS not to be concerned about this–
–why have my non-polygamous ancestors’ descendants prospered more in the church (living really good, decent lives) than those descended (this isn’t always true, but for the most part it is) from polygamists?
–Why was Brigham Young not able to assist with the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple?
I believe Brigham Young was a true friend to Joseph Smith. He did have a bit of an oppositional personality; I know this, from the experiences some of my ancestors had with him–but I don’t want to go into detail; it’s a family thing–those ancestors didn’t leave the church over it; one of them was also martyred (but not with Joseph Smith)–
Unlike some, I don’t think Brigham Young was ‘bad’; I just think he was human. I think he, like all prophets, made mistakes. And needs to be given redemption as do all of us.
I remember a much-loved religion teacher at both a major Utah institute and at BYU (to which he transferred) telling his class that, “Emma Smith was truly an elect lady, and the things she endured changed her in a substantial way and made it impossible for her to safely go west; she wasn’t insane; she wasn’t unfaithful; she had just passed her part of the test and was tired”–
I LOVED that, because I grew up during the ‘hating Emma Smith’ era–
I think the same for Brigham Young. People break. That doesn’t make them evil–
I am waiting to have this resolved, but in the meantime, to ME–
just to me . . .
section 132 has never ‘felt’ right by the spirit. I can’t prove anything, and I will not try to ‘convert’ anyone to my opinion; it is my opinion, and the fact remains–
to anyone who claims that the church leaders are presently following it–
Polygamy is not legal in the church, so how is 132 (the plural marriage verses) legitimate for *us* in the church today?
It’s all *we* have that holds up plural marriage. The Manifesto is LOUD AND CLEAR.
And the verse in Jacob is very strange and vague, indeed. It does not say that God approves plural marriage; it’s a very strangely worded verse–
so . . . be on the safe side. Realize that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration and until you see him face to face don’t accuse him either of polygamy or not–
I prefer to hope that he didn’t live polygamy; it is my personal hope–
until I see Brigham Young face to face I will believe that Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ had their own purposes for him as well–and that he may have suffered the consequences of his choices as much as any other prophet who was human. Prophets in the Old Testament were great men, but not perfect. Prophets in the Book of Mormon were great men, but not perfect.
I would say that it’s safer spiritually to question plural marriage at this time than the other option–
the ‘modern’ church disavows plural marriage completely–
so . . . *we* do not LIVE it–
that should be enough–
let the prophets be human. They haven’t saved anyone; they have served Jesus Christ where they have and will have their reward as will everyone who serves God–
but all of *us*, including Brigham Young and Joseph Smith . . . have needed a Savior.
The Book of Mormon makes that clear–
And . . . I don’t want to go into detail about this either, but some of the suffering my ancestors endured for plural marriage (including death) . . . were ‘over the top’–
I believe that there were those who were hurt by the culture of plural marriage when it was not inspired–
I have ancestors who were–
unfortunately, though people don’t like to talk about it either, Brigham Young’s teachings on ‘blood atonement’ (and one institute professor I highly respected told a young man when he brought it up, ‘uninspired, and we won’t talk about it!’–) had some far-reaching consequences, some of which were tragic–
I don’t blame him; as with Emma Smith, I think he had endured too much–
but he got everyone west . . . with the help of those who were not broken, quite–
and . . . started building temples–
it’s o.k. The church can still be true and contain both opinions, Andrew and AV. I happen to disagree with Andrew, and I am not convinced that AV has all the ‘proof’, much as I yearn to believe what he/she says–
but the church is big enough for all of us–
It’s not all black and white; there are some grey areas, and Jesus Christ works with them in His church–
Just to get back to the original nature of this post (now weeks later), the absurdity of what this article puts forth about what may be contained in the sealed portion of the gold plates has increased in my mind. We know from other revelations that “the books will be opened” after the Second Coming. This means that by the time we read what’s in the sealed portion, it will be, to a great degree, a history rather than a prophecy. We will see clearly how the Lord foreknew all things and planned for them. We will clearly see how ancient revelations were fulfilled in those days just prior to the beginning of the Millennium, with the gift of hindsight. The idea that we are missing any essential piece of the puzzle in regards to our salvation, or Zion, or whatever, is preposterous and negates what it means to have the FULNESS of the restored Gospel.
And Michelle, thank you for the link (I just read it after I posted my comment).
Brother Andrew I appriciate your posts regarding the whole Truth found in Jesus Christ alone. What you’re saying reminds me of Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Having been raised in a conservative setting I was taught Apostal Paul has zero tolerance for people like Jospeh Smith Read on – Gal 1:9-10
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
I find in my heart a different sense of worth that doesn’t belong there if I also recieve the Book of Morman as the infallible word of God. Why couldn’t Joseph just preach Jesus Christ? Could Joseph Smith say with Apostal Paul
1 Cor 2:2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified?
We don’t require the other 116 lost BOM changes because we are still trying to figure out the current 3,900 plus changes to the Book of Mormon now! One step at a time brethren.
Hidden in the heated discussion above is a reference to the modern-day availability of the Sealed Portion. The humble in heart will find the reference and receive the Sealed Portion with joy. As Alma put it, “Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness” (Alma 27:18)
I came opon this book….the sealed portion…..while browsing youtube. I did not watch the video but thought instead that reading the book would be insightful. Of course tbe title captures ones attention. Who isnt just a little curious about whats hidden sealed or prohibited if not only for a second. However my time is valuable to me and those I love. As i contenplated ordering the book a very quiet almost almost unperceptable thought entered my mind saying….you are entering troubled waters. So instead of acting upon my desires and curiousity i prayed instead saying….oh Lord what would thou havest me do and why is it that this book is troubled waters? The spirit replied…this man did not receive the urim and thummin nor is he inspired. He set about to make money through deception for his own gain. It follow i did not order the book preserving limited time for those that i love, for knowledge that is truth, for moments of service and projects of eternal value. The power of personal prayer and revelation given to every single solitary man and woman and child to regularly exercise in faith.
Charles……wise choice!…..President Benson said the events leading up to Christ’s visit to the remaining, rightous enough, Nephites recorded in the Book of Mormon are indications of what to expect prior to the Second Coming of Christ in our day. That being said remember this…..the sealed portion came forth to the Nephites after Christ visited them, after all their governmental systems were thrown down which allowed them to live a Thocrecy which Christ set up and which in turned allowed them to be able to abide what ever further light and knowledge the sealed portion required them to live fully, wickedness was, to the degree required, eliminated by the destruction prior to His visiting them. I believe the required pattern remains the same….and ad shown in their events, our events will play out the same, thus mandating the sealed portion will be opened up after Christ’s Second Advent……however there is nothing that says the Brass Plates of Laban will not come forward prior to that event, in fact they were used in their day to “hasten” the missionary effort to prepare them for Christ’s visit with astounding effect…..if patterns remain the same I would think it follows that the will be “preparatory” scriptures for our day as well. For those who who get disturbed by the fact that Joseph used the Seer Stone mainly to translate the “unsealed” portion of the Book of Mormon plates remember this….the “Interpreters” were to remain with and for the translation of Jared’s and thus the “sealed” portion of his vision…always. So it seems it was not really a requirement that Joseph Had to use “Interpreters” for his “portion” of the work.