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Question 26


According to San Francisco Chronicle reporter Ron Lutz, the decision to redefine marriage to include same-sex unions would have far-reaching consequences. He reasons, "Legalizing gay marriages today means legalizing polygamy or group marriages tomorrow."

During the Larry King Live interview with Gordon B. Hinckley in September 1998, President Hinckley said he condemns the practice of polygamy because "I think it is not doctrinal. It is not legal. And this Church takes the position that we will abide by the law."

In light of President Hinckley's comments coupled with D&C 132, how should the LDS Church respond to polygamists if group marriages are legalized in the United States?


It would seem at first to be a very difficult dilemma for the LDS church, but their history reveals the answer. In the light of progressive revelation, they will simply declare another undeclared prophecy and tell church members that the time has come for elohim to restore the sacred practice of polygamy. The prophet will tell members that only those who feel inclined to enter into polygamy need do so and then welcome back all the lost splinter groups. Sort of God's gathering together of his people in the end times. He will say that elohim always intended to restore the earthly practice designed for exaltation and now is his chosen time.

It doesn't really matter what past revelations have said and no one will really think twice because it will be business as usual in the LDS church. -JM (non-LDS)

This question will have to be broken down into at least two parts to get a full understanding of what is really being asked here. 1. Polygamy and 2. D & C 132 as taken in context of time and scripture. Like other questions I have answered here, it would appear that the two statements are in direct opposition. However a clearer understanding can be found in the scriptures if one were to look for it.

Let us start with Polygamy. First in the Book of Mormon (Jacob 2:27-29).

27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; 28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts. 29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.

One can clearly see from the verses above that polygamy is not the preferred method in which man is to follow. However most people fail to read further. Verse 30 states: 30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

Verse 30 puts polygamy into perspective. The Lord will command his people to raise seed unto him if required. There are examples of polygamy in the Bible as well. King David had many wives that was "not" an abomination before the Lord. How do we know this? Take a look at the following verses: (1 Chronicals 14:2-10). 2 And David perceived that the LORD had confirmed him king over Israel, for his kingdom was lifted up on high, because of his people Israel. 3 And David took more wives at Jerusalem: and David begat more sons and daughters. 4 Now these are the names of his children which he had in Jerusalem; Shammua, and Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon, 5 And Ibhar, and Elishua, and Elpalet, 6 And Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia, 7 And Elishama, and Beeliada, and Eliphalet. 8 And when the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek David. And David heard of it, and went out against them. 9 And the Philistines came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. 10 And David enquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? and wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand. Judging from the tone it was O.K. that David had more than one wife. The Lord did not punish David at this time for having more than one wife. However we all know that David later killed Uriah to take possession of his wife in (2 Sam 12:9) 9 Therefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Why? David sought after what was not his and summoned her to him. His lust got the better of him. Before this however David was granted his wives by the hand of Nathan and other of the prophets who had the keys of this power to grant him additional wives and therefore he did not sin before the Lord. Such would be true in modern times from a living prophet in order to raise up seed in the name of the Lord.

Now D & C 132 outlines what is proper behavior for polygamy. Verse 59 clearly states it must be done with proper authority and in the name of the Lord. This is no different than King David's situation outlined above. As of October 6, 1890 polygamy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ceased by official declaration of Wilford Woodruff. Many will argue that it was pressure from the United States to discontinue the practice. However by 1890 the community was sound and the practice was no longer needed and thus discontinued by the Lord.

Under the current day situation of the proposal to grant same sex marriages leading to polygamist marriages would still hold true as an abomination before the Lord. It is only by his will we are allowed to have a polygamist relation and only granted by the proper keys of the priesthood. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are not in need of raising seed unto the Lord. In fact the membership of the Church is growing by missionary work. There isn't a need of the Lord for granting such a law in this day but back in the 1800's it was necessary because the persecution of the Saints was all to clear. The Saints being run out of Independence Missouri and Nauvoo Illinois are just two examples. Many of the saints had to endure hardships many of us in these modern days could hardly imagine. Many men, women, and children were killed for their belief in the Lord by men who hardly had the right to judge them. I for one can see the need to raise seed in the Lords name during that time period. All to many times the Latter Day Saints are judged on modern times of past events as well as twisting contexts of messages. I believe that Gordon B. Hinckley's words show the consistency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the willingness to follow the will of the Lord.

In closing, how should the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints respond if polygamists groups are legalized in the United States? "It's not doctrinal, it shouldn't be legal, and the Church will abide by the laws of God." -ER (LDS)

it is truly sad when the "president" says, "i think it is not doctrinal." he never read D and C 132:3-4. in verse 3 it says "for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same." now add D and C 1:14 you will be cut off for not obeying the lord. then in 132:4 it says it is an everlasting covenant.

and it says "no one can reject this covenant," but mormons say D and C 132 applies to a certain group of people and for a limited time. yet it is specific when it says, "for all those who hear." if you read this then you are included. and it says "no one can reject this." this applies to all, not some.

then on page 251 section c1 under marriage in the 1835 D and C it out right condemns polygamy. funny how scripture changed all of a sudden. then in the B.O.M., jacob 2:23-24, the lord says that the many wives david and solomon had were an abomination in his "god's" sight.

but then over in D and C 132:38-39 god said he gave many wives to david and solomon and it was not a sin. so was it a sin or not? did god lie? or did some man make a mistake in writing this? i understand this is a very hard, just about unanswerable question for mormons. i wonder why? i believe the mormon church, as always, will just give a new revelation allowing polygamy, or gay marriage, or whatever comes down the pike. for further talks reach me at [email protected] -RB (non-LDS)