“On the morning of the 12th of July, 1843, Joseph and Hyrum Smith came into the office in the upper story of the ‘brick store,’ on the bank of the Mississippi River. They were talking on the subject of plural marriage. Hyrum said to Joseph, ‘If you will write the revelation on celestial marriage, I will take and read it to Emma, and I believe I can convince her of its truth, and you will hereafter have peace.’ Joseph smiled and remarked, ‘You do not know Emma as well as I do.’ Hyrum repeated his opinion and further remarked, ‘The doctrine is so plain, I can convince any reasonable man or woman of its truth, purity or heavenly origin,’ or words to their effect. Joseph then said, ‘Well, I will write the revelation and we will see.’ He then requested me to get paper and prepare to write. Hyrum very urgently requested Joseph to write the revelation by means of the Urim and Thummim, but Joseph, in reply, said he did not need to, for he knew the revelation perfectly from beginning to end.”
“Joseph and Hyrum then sat down and Joseph commenced to dictate the revelation on celestial marriage, and [William Clayton] wrote it, sentence by sentence, as he dictated. After the whole was written, Joseph asked [him] to read it through, slowly and carefully, which [he] did, and [Joseph] pronounced it correct. He then remarked that there was much more that he could write, on the same subject, but what was written was sufficient for the present. . . .” (Historical Record, Vol. 6, pp. 225-226)
This revelation many believe is today contained in Doctrine and Covenants Section 132. But there is a history about this revelation which most people don’t know. I apologize for not having sources so if anybody read this and knows the source of my information please tell me so I can add the sources.
Apparently sometime after the events of July 12, 1843 Emma asked Joseph to give her the revelation so she could destroy it. Joseph gave her the revelation and she burned it. Fast forward to about a year later and Joseph Smith was killed at Carthage Jail. I know of no quotes or sources that say this revelation was ever transcribed again. So the question then comes where did Section 132 come from if the original was destroyed? Joseph rarely if ever had duplicates of his revelations made at the time of their transcription.
The revelation, which was shown to the church in the 1850’s after the saints had moved west, was in William Clayton’s handwriting I believe. So by examining the circumstances it becomes increasingly possible that the revelation known as section 132 was written by William Clayton probably at te request of Brigham Young. He would have done this from memory.
So the inevitable question is then, “Is Section 132 accurate?”
I honestly have no way to say for sure. All I can do is present information and then you must take it to the Lord. I personally have received a witness that Plural Marriage is a true principle. So it matters little to me the accuracy of Section 132 as my testimony is not based on that revelation. So now that I’ve done my job and presented you with a view that you may not have considered lets examine the revelation.
One thing is important to note, that Plural Marriage is different than biblical polygyny. This revelation speaks of Plural Marriage not necessarily biblical polygyny although they are linked. But I will explain this in more depth later.
The revelation along with my comentary:
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–
Apparently Joseph Smith had inquired of the Lord either for himself or on behalf of someone else wherein God justified Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in having many wives and concubines.
This is understandable because God had said in the Book of Mormon that when David, and Solomon had taken many wives it was abominable.
“For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son. Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.”
But God did not include Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Book of Mormon statement. So Joseph Smith was probably wondering about those three too.
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.
Now in order for God to explain how those men were justified, He needed to explain the higher law of a New and Everlasting Covenant.
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.
5 For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world.
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.
God explains that this commandment or covenant is a higher law. And with this higher law much is required. So much is required in fact that when this law is revealed to men it is required that those who receive it, obey it. Also only those who enter into this New and Everlasting Covenant can receive a fulness of God’s glory, meaning exaltation.
7 And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law 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.
Here it is explained that the entire basis of this law is that all those things that are sealed by the priesthood on the Earth are enforced in Heaven. Those things that are not sealed have no value in Heaven.
8 Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion.
9 Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name?
10 Or will I receive at your hands that which I have not appointed?
11 And will I appoint unto you, saith the Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my Father ordained unto you, before the world was?
What God explains here related to the principle of authority and sealing. Just like when Cain tried offer an offering of the fruits of the ground rather than the flock. God will not accept something that He did not command or that is not done by His authority, the Priesthood.
12 I am the Lord thy God; and I give unto you this commandment–that no man shall come unto the Father but by me or by my word, which is my law, saith the Lord.
13 And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God.
14 For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed.
Only those things that are done by the power of God will remain after death. Everything else that is done by man will be thrown down.
15 Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.
16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.
This goes on to explain the principle of sealing and authority in relation to marriage. If two people get married without the sealing power of God then their marriage is not of any value. He then goes on to explain what will happen to those people who do not have their marriage sealed by His authority. He tells us that they will not be married but they will exist as ministering angels, who will aid those of a higher level of glory.
17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.
This further explains what will happen to the angels. They will be saved but will not receive and exaltation. They will remain single for all eternity.
18 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.
This says that even if the couple vow that their marriage will last for eternity, if that covenant is not by God’s authority then it is not valid in Heaven.
19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them–Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths–then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.
20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.
But if a couple’s marriage is sealed by the Holy Spirit by the authority of the Priesthood then their marriage is valid and they will be able to receive all the blessings of Heaven. They will receive the fulness of what god wants to give us which is exaltation. This means we will become just like what God is, that is, a god. As children of God our divine potential is to become just like God.
21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.
22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.
23 But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.
24 This is eternal lives–to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.
25 Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the deaths; and many there are that go in thereat, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law.
If we do not obey God’s law, including this New and Everlasting Covenant we cannot attain the fulness of glory.
26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.
27 The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.
This seems to relate to the Second Anointing wherein a couple can have their calling and election made sure so that no matter what sin is committed they will be assured exaltation. But it should be remembered that in order for a person’s calling and election to be made sure they would have to be living a very exemplary life and it would be highly unlikely they would commit and serious sin. Which is probably why God would give them this promise, because He trusts those people enough that they wont abuse this promise. It also explains the sin that is unforgivable for people in this situation, blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. But Im not really sure so any input is appreciated.
28 I am the Lord thy God, and will give unto thee the law of my Holy Priesthood, as was ordained by me and my Father before the world was.
29 Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne.
30 Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins–from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph–which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them.
31 This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorifieth himself.
32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.
The Abrahamic Covenant includes a promise that his seed will be more numerous than the sands of the sea shore. These blessing are available to all who enter into this New and Everlasting Covenant.
33 But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which he made unto Abraham.
But if we do not enter into this covenant we have no claim to the blessing promised to Abraham.
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.
The Islamic people claim their blessings and descent through Ishmael the son of Hagar and Abraham. Islam is currently the third largest religion in the world.
35 Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, commanded it.
36 Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless, it was written: Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.
This explains that Abraham was not violating God’s commandment to “not commit Adultery” even though he had children through Hagar. God gives the example that He also commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son even though the law says, “Thou shalt not Kill.”
37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.
38 David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.
39 David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.
Now it is interesting that God says here that David did not sin in having many wives and concubines(except for Bathsheba). Yet in the Book of Mormon David is condemned. The reason for this is that God condemns David to the Nephites because the Nephites had not been given this new and Everlasting Covenant and thus were forbidden from marrying more than one wife. The Nephites were using David as an example in justifying their marrying more than one wife. It wouldn’t have been very effective for God to say that David was righteous in marrying many women but then condemn the Nephites for doing it. So God had to condemn David to the Nephites so they could not longer use him to justify their behaviour. This clearly shows that the condemnation of polygyny in the Book of Mormon was specific for the Nephites and not a universal commandment for of God’s children.
40 I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and restore all things. Ask what ye will, and it shall be given unto you according to my word.
Joseph Smith was commanded to restore all things. This New and Everlasting Covenant was part of the ancient commandments that needed to be restored.
41 And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed.
If a woman who is sealed by the Priesthood and is has sexual relations with another man, unless she is appointed by “the holy anointing,” then she has committed adultery. If we grammatically invert this sentence it is easier to understand what is meant it is saying that a woman does not commit adultery if is with another man and she has been appointed by the holy anointing
42 If she be not in the new and everlasting covenant, and she be with another man, she has committed adultery.
43 And if her husband be with another woman, and he was under a vow, he hath broken his vow and hath committed adultery.
This is the same as the lesser commandments of not to commit adultery.
44 And if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many.
If a woman’s husband has committed adultery but the wife has not then he who has the authority regarding this covenant is permitted to allow the woman to be free from her adulterous husband and become the wife of another man,
45 For I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make known unto you all things in due time.
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 whosesoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever 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.
48 And again, verily I say unto you, my servant Joseph, that whatsoever you give on earth, and to whomsoever you give any one on earth, by my word and according to my law, it shall be visited with blessings and not cursings, and with my power, saith the Lord, and shall be without condemnation on earth and in heaven.
These verse speak concerning the responsibilities and abilities of the sealing power of the priesthood.
49 For I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father.
50 Behold, I have seen your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sins; I have seen your sacrifices in obedience to that which I have told you. Go, therefore, and I make a way for your escape, as I accepted the offering of Abraham of his son Isaac.
These verses are a blessing to Joseph Smith.
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.
This commandment was given to Emma. Because of Emma’s negative reaction to Joseph Smith taking additional wives, he told Emma that she could take additional husbands. This verse shows that the offer of allowing Emma to take additional husbands was a trial. It was a test to prove Emma and that her allowing Joseph to marry other wives without taking other husbands herself was an offering unto God.
52 And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.
This is a commandment to Emma to accept those wives that Joseph had already taken. But if there were any among the wives that Joseph had already taken that were not pure they would be destroyed.
53 For I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice; and I give unto my servant Joseph that he shall be made ruler over many things; for he hath been faithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him.
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.
Emma Smith was commanded to be faithful to Joseph, or else she would be destroyed. Since all of Joseph’s life she was faithful to him she was not destroyed and, lived to the age of seventy-five.
55 But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds.
56 And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses; and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she has trespassed against me; and I, the Lord thy God, will bless her, and multiply her, and make her heart to rejoice.
57 And again, I say, let not my servant Joseph put his property out of his hands, lest an enemy come and destroy him; for Satan seeketh to destroy; for I am the Lord thy God, and he is my servant; and behold, and lo, I am with him, as I was with Abraham, thy father, even unto his exaltation and glory.
If you have any insight into these verses please share it with me.
58 Now, as touching the law of the priesthood, there are many things pertaining thereunto.
59 Verily, if a man be called of my Father, as was Aaron, by mine own voice, and by the voice of him that sent me, and I have endowed him with the keys of the power of this priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him.
According to the law of the priesthood if God commands the person with the “keys of the power of the priesthood” to do anything even if it is against the commandments it is not considered a sin. For example, Nephi was commanded to kill Laban. But even though the Law says “Thou shalt not Kill,” Nephi was justified in killing Laban.
60 Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph; for I will justify him; for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God.
61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood–if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.
62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.
This explains how the law of the Priesthood related to Plural Marriage. If a man takes more than one wife, and the first wife gives her consent, and the other wife(s) are not covenanted to another man(see verse 41), then he is not committing adultery.
63 But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.
But if one of the wives of a man is with another man then she is committing adultery.
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.
If a man who has a wife teaches his wife about this law then she should receive a testimony of this law, believe, and allow him to obey this law. If his wife will not do this then she will be destroyed and the man will be blessed.
65 Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive 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.
This further explains what happens if the wife will not accept this law. It will be lawful for the man to receive those wives without her consent. This is because the wife then becomes a transgressor of the law. This verse also give a name for the law whereby a man must receive additional wives from his first wife. The name is the Law of Sarah. Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham, in like manner the first wife must give any additional wives to her husband. This law prevents a man from unlawfully taking additional wives because he must first get consent from his first wife. But if his first wife does not accept this law then the man does not have to get her consent.
66 And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you, hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen.
This says that the Lord will reveal more about this law at a later time. This could be a reference to the remark Joseph made when he said, “that there was much more that he could write, on the same subject, but what was written was sufficient for the present.” Which Joseph would not have known at the time he received this revelation but would have known at the time it was transcribed, thus explaining both statements.