What did Brigham Young mean when he said, "The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy."? (Journal of Discourses 11:269)
Please look at the rest of the sermon. Certain men were called by the first presidency, similar to a calling to a position in the church, to engage in polygamy. This was not a common responsibility given to LDS men during the years that polygamy was allowed - less than 5 percent of the general population of the Church ever entered into it. (I don't know the actual percentage of MEN who entered into polygamy - this figure is for men and women.) Those men who turned down this calling which was considered high and holy, were considered as turning down a direct and holy calling from the Savior Himself, and thereby forfeited eternal life. -A (LDS)
Brigham Young supposedly said a lot of crazy stuff. He's been often misquoted, and there are many examples where one account of what Brigham said contradicts another account of what he said. Which should we trust? The account that fits in with what other prophets have said and is in harmony with church doctrine. Many prophets since Brigham Young have stated that "celestial marriage and polygamous marriage are NOT synonymous."
If he wasn't misquoted, it could have been a personal opinion not meant to be revelation, That isn't a strange opinion for its time, because they were practicing the law of polygamy (which has since been revoked). This also happened in the Bible. The Lord permitted or commanded polygamy when it was necessary to raise up a righteous generation, then later condemned it. The early pioneers had a problem--there were many more women than men, and they were separated from the rest of society by hundreds or thousands of miles. Certain individuals (but not all) were called to practice polygamy for a time in order to raise up a righteous generation. A previous question on this site asked "If the U.S. legalizes polygamy, will the LDS church practice it once again?" The answer is no, because there is no need for it. -AH (LDS)
In order to coerce others to engage in an immoral sexual practice, Mormon Prophet Brigham Young preyed upon the fears of male members not making it all the way to the top in eternity. To make it all the way to the top means to become a god.
It is interesting that mormonism continues to defend this part of its historic past on the basis that Old Testament Prophets once practiced polygamy. While this may appear true, permit me to share what I learned in studying the jewish religion, the religion of the Old Testament.
While it is true that Biblical Law permitted polygamy, it is equally true that Biblical Narrative condemned the practice. How so? According to author Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, every instance where the Biblical Narrative covers a polygamous union it clearly depicts "multiple marriages leading to multiple miseries." Add to this fact the fact that the very first marriage, that of Adam and Eve, was clearly told to establish the standard: one man and one wife.
As a former member of the LDS Church it is painful to read the excuses made in behalf of a deeply immoral sexual practice. Joseph Smith dulled his own conscience, and in turn dulled the moral sense of those that worshipped him. While the gods of mormonism change their minds, depending upon the time or season (or the lusts of the human heart), the God of the Bible does not change His mind. Read the Bible, the Old and New Testament, and any reader will soon pick up on a theme: one life, one wife...anything else is sexual immorality. -OR (non-LDS)
someone said read the whole story for context. i did because i own the 26 volumes of the JOD. this is what b young said, and i quote: "when that revelation was first read to me by j smith, i plainly saw the great trials and the abuse of it that would be made by many of the elders, and the trouble and the persecution that it would bring upon this whole people. BUT THE LORD REVEALED IT, and it was my business to accept it."
ok. b young said: 1. it was through the prophet; 2. it was reveled by god. if this is the case then the church is astray here because they are not following D and C 1:14--therefore they will be cut off. b young continues, "it is the word of the lord" and "i heard the revelation on polygamy, and i believed it with all my heart and i know it is from god, i know that he revealed it from heaven; i know that it is true."
so what did b young mean when he said you must enter into polygamy to become sons of god? just that. he said it was reveled by god--you cannot get any clearer. to this day the church denies these alleged teachings of god and the prophets. this is a serious charge. nowhere does it say this teaching was for a certain group of men only.
people who teach that this was only for certain men never understood D and C 132:3: all who have this law revealed unto them must obey. if you read it you are included in that ALL. it appears the church denies the teaching of their god; it's not the true church. i will provided documentation upon request. please write me at [email protected] -RB (non-LDS)