Another scripture that is often cited to support the ban on Plural Marriage is the infamous Jacob Chapter 2. The Chapter 2 is not just famous, it’s Infamous. One concept that I have come o understand is that many people have already made up their minds about Plural Marriage. If the Brethren suddenly declared that Plural Marriage was allowed again a great many people would leave the church. People who say they don’t accept Plural Marriage only use the words of the Brethren and Jacob 2 to support their already held beliefs.
I can accept someone who has studies out the topic and prayed and received revelation that Plural Marriage is not true. But someone who just doesn’t like it and then wrests the scriptures and uses words of the Brethren to support their dislike, is what I can’t stand. You’re testimony for or against a principle must stand by itself. You cannot rely on other people for your beliefs.
So to aid in striping away the crutches from people who should be standing on their own I present this post on Jacob 2.
Let’s start off with the audience of Jacob 2. The Book of Mormon was compiled and written for us. It was not written for nor distributed among the Nephites/Lamanites. So all that is included therein was given so that we may benefit. But does that mean that everything in it is a commandment for us? Many of the records in the Book of Mormon come from writings or teachings that were given specifically to the Nephites. One such example is Jacob 2. Jacob chapter 2 was given with the Nephites as it’s intended audience. It was not given with us today as the audience. How can we determine this?
11 Wherefore, I must tell you the truth according to the plainness of the word of God. For behold, as I inquired of the Lord, thus came the word unto me, saying: Jacob, get thou up into the temple on the morrow, and declare the word which I shall give thee unto this people.
The Lord specifically states that the people this message is for are the Nephites(“this people”). Therefor we must conclude that any commandment given therein(unless otherwise stated) is for the Nephites. The message that we should learn is not what necessarily what the Nephites were commanded to do, but the state of the Nephites, their reaction to God’s word, God’s condemnations of their wickedness, etc.
One of the things was can see is that the Nephites desired riches. But is it the riches that are evil, no it is their desires and reaction to the riches.
13 And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they.
Rather thgive sharing their riches freely among the people so that all may benefit and there are not rich or poor, to gained more than others. And because they had more than others they could afford to buy nice things. Because they had nice things they were prideful and persecuted those who had less.
The earth has been blessed with a great many resources. It is not wrong to desire to find and use these resources. But they must be used for the benefit of all.
17 Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.
18 But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.
19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good–to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.
We can see what God’s reaction to the Nephites was when they did these things. We can reasonably assume that if we seek riches, to provide for our families, to buy a nice home, a boat, or maybe that nice pair of shoes, then we are under the same condemnation.
But the thing the Nephites were under the most condemnation for was taking many wives and concubines. The Lord gave Lehi an appended Law similar to that of the Law of Moses. In this Law polygamous relationships were not allowed. The Law of Moses allowed and even commended them in some instances.
The Nephites however had their Law yet they still used the examples of David and Solomon as an excuse to take multiple wives. Now it is important to remember that in the whole Old Testament there is never a command like that of Plural Marriage. It does not mention if David and Solomon took wives as commanded of God or because they just wanted to. For the Nephites to assume that it was okay for them to take multiple wives based on assumptions is wrong already. Granted, the Brass plates may have contained more information about this, but we don’t know for sure.
The people said well why not if the Lord allowed it for those guys then surely it’s ok for us. But the don’t neccesarily come because of this. Rather it comes because of their assumptions, they sought, “to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms.” These weren’t honest men seeking the will of the Lord. Rather they were seeking an excuse for their wickedness. David and Solomon where just convenient targets. If they hadnt had them as an excuse they would have found another. Like what I was talking about earlier. They had already made up their minds to commit the whoredoms and were just using David and Solomon as support.
We can start to see parallels with the riches thing. It’s not that marrying multiple wives is bad. Rather it’s that wanting to have sex with tons of hotties for one’s own pleasure, is wrong. The Nephites were burning in their lusts and in doing so had “broken the hearts of [their] tender wives, and lost the confidence of [their] children.”
The Nephite version of polygamy, was one of abomination, and wickedness, think John C. Bennett. Rather than Patriarchal version which is meant to be uplifting and edifying.
Jacob further declared to the people that David and Solomon had wives but it was an abomination(Jacob 2:24). This brings up the question Why to the Old Testament and Section 132 both say that David and Solomon’s wives(except for Bathsheba and other wives which were not given to them) were justified and not wickedness?
Well if you were trying to teach a people who had been using David and Solomon to justify their actions would you tell them that those people were doing right? Of course not. Even mentioning that they were justified would have opened the door for the Nephites to continue using David and Solomon to justify their wickedness.
Now note that above I said Nephite polygamy, I did not say Nephite Plural Marriage. This is because there was no Nephite Plural Marriage. Plural Marriage and polygamy are different things. Plural Marriage is an eternal covenant which once revealed cannot be taken away. It involves sealing of a person to multiple spouses. The Nephites did not have Plural Marriage revealed to them. They only knew of polygamy, which is a temporal relationship.
Polygamy can be allowed and banned whenever the Lord speaks. But Plural Marriage, once revealed, cannot be done away with.
By trying to place Plural Marriage under the condemnation of Jacob to the Nephites we are wresting the scriptures. We are misinterpreting them to justify condemning marriage.
Doctrine and Covenants 49:15
15 And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man.
It is almost the opposite today as in Jacob’s time. Rather then seeking to have lots of wives to justify our lusts, we seek to have only one wife to justify our pride. We condemn people who seek Plural Married because the Lord has commanded them. Does Plural Marriage give a free pass to anyone who wishes to satisfy their lusts? No, Plural Marriage should be practiced as commanded by the Lord. A person should only take a spouse if the Lord has commanded it and has given that other person to be their spouse.
I wonder if this can also apply to monogamy. How many people just have to marry a hottie so that they can satify their lusts? How many men marry a woman because the Lord told them to? Did two people decide to get married because they were attracted to one another and were compatible? Or had the Lord given them to each other. I wonder how many couple out there who are married were actually given to each other by the Lord. Or did they just feel it was right and decided to do it?
I suggest to all you men and women out there tor pray about you spouse or future spouse. Don’t just ask it it is the right thing. But ask that the Lord will give that person to you. But I’ll cover this topic in more depth later.
Lastly even if we could apply the Lord’s condemnation of Nephite polygamy to today the Lord said:
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.
If the Lord commands polygamy it is to be practiced. If the Lord revealed Plural Marriage to a person then it must be practiced or that person cannot gain the fulness of God’s glory. Does that mean everyone who reads section 132 is commanded? No, but if you are commanded the Lord will let you know.