Waiting Mentality (or What are We Doing?)


For this post I just want to analyze my own experience in the Church(TM). The feelings I’m going to talk about here are my own. You may or may not have felt the same things. So when I talk about the Church being a certain way or seeming a certain way it is because I felt it was like that.

What I want to talk about is how the attitude of the Church has changed and what we are focused on doing now.

When I think back to my younger days in the Church I remember there was almost a hint of a waiting attitude. It was almost like we were waiting for something to happen. In church lessons you would hear references to someday going back to Jackson County. Or you’d occasionally here about Plural Marriage being someday restored. To me I felt as though we were waiting for some future command to get everything going and fulfill the prophecies and purposes of the Latter-day work.

But now today in 2011 even that faint hint of waiting is gone. I sat in Sunday School and pondered just what our purpose is as member of the Church. If it isn’t to pave the way for building a City in Zion, or consecrating all our property to the church, then what is it?

I came to the conclusion that our purpose as Latter-day Saints, today, seems to be to live life as normal but with a churchy flair. When talking about building Zion I’ve never heard a reference to Jackson county in years! What it seems to me is that the Church just teaches people to get through school, get a good job, retire, and then live happily ever after. We are just supposed to live out our lives and do it while being involved in Church activities.

When it comes to building the Kingdom we are taught to do our home teaching and attend our meetings. We are focused on increasing membership numbers by converting our neighbors. We focus on doing temple ordinances, like endowments and baptisms for the dead. I’ve also noticed a sense of pride when we make more progress in becoming accepted by the world. But what are we actually doing?

I don’t know about you, but shouldn’t there be some improvement each Sunday I go to church. Why haven’t our lesson manuals improved since forever? Why are we still being fed milk. Granted, I’ve only been an official member of the Church for eighteen years, but shouldn’t I have earned some sort of increase in knowledge?

I know, I know, the Church has to teach things at the most basic level so all the new converts can understand. Well what about me and others who have been members for many years now? Ok, yeah you’re right I’m not perfect in the basics. I don’t always have the most heartfelt prayers. I don’t always have the best scripture study. I don’t make it to the temple every month. But guess what. It is impossible for us to be perfect at the basics. We cannot be 100% obedient to the law in this life. That’s why we need a Savior to help us overcome our weakness. It is ridiculous to say that we don’t need/deserve anymore because we can’t live what we’ve already been given. In fact many times when I hear people talking about this subject it’s almost as if they don’t want any more. It scares me because it sounds awfully a lot like, “A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible…and we need no more Bible.” We are either increasing or decreasing. If we aren’t receiving more than it means that we are losing what we already have.

You’ll have to forgive me. I know that God’s ways are not man’s ways but it seems like there is an awful long way to go in preparing for Christ’s coming. There is so much that needs to happen, but the Church is not doing ANYTHING to help us progress towards these things. Now like I said, I’m just a simple Elder in the church. I don’t hold the title of president of anything. Nor am I perfect at the basics, so my view may be limited. But I just can help but stand aghast when the Church is spending an estimated $6 BILLION US dollars to build a shopping mall. That is a six with nine zeros. That’s three Burj Dubais(tallest building in the world). I just did a quick estimate, but that amount of money could buy about thirty thousand homes in Independence, Missouri.

It seems to me that we have completely lost focus on what is important, on the revelations and commandments of God. We used to at least be waiting for these things but now we don’t even acknowledge them.

So just what are some things we need to be doing? Well lucky for you I complied a short list. This list isn’t comprehensive nor is it in any particular order.

Be able to become disciples and have the Gifts of the Spirit manifest among usI’ve posted before about scriptural references of attributes true disciples of Christ must possess. I know I don’t possess them. So while I may be a believer in Christ I cannot say I qualify as a disciple. I also know that the Gifts of the Spirit are not manifest in me.

Receive ancient record and words of prophets – There are the greater things, the Brass plates, the records of the Ten Tribes, the records of the nations, and the Sealed Portion to come forward all before Christ comes. We need to begin the process of gathering true ancient records.

Preach Gospel to all creatures(first to gentiles then to Jews) – The Church does have a large missionary force which preaches a Church approved curriculum. But there are several problems with this curriculum. The main one is that missionaries bring converts into the organization of the Corporate Church. Rather than simply preaching the gospel they preach many other things as if they have the same level of importance as the Gospel.

Additionally missionaries do not distinguish between Jews and Gentiles. Instead they preach to everyone they can. We are specifically told in scripture to preach first to the Gentiles and then to the Jews.

Build Twelve Cities of Zion – Joseph Smith interpreted the twelve olive trees in Section 101 to be twelve stakes of the Zion that would be build before the City of Zion. These twelve Cities/stakes must be built before the City of Zion can be built.

Build Temple and City of Zion – The construction of the City of Zion must begin first with the construction of the Temple. After that the houses, other temples, streets, and farms can be built.

Fill the World with Cities of Zion – The first Plat of Zion explains that after the City of Zion was built then many other Cities after the same pattern were to be built around the world.

Establish the Political Kingdom of God – Joseph Smith established the Council of Fifty as a governing body for the “Kingdom of God and His Laws”. This Council consisted of not only members of the LDS church but of members of other Christian denominations. The polictial Kingdom of God was to be a literal government of God.

Gather the Twelve Tribes – The scriptures teach that we are to gather the tribes of Israel to a literal place called Zion. The gentiles are to be gathered to Zion and the Jews are to be gathered to Jerusalem. This gathering of Jews to Jerusalem may facilitate their preaching of the Gospel to them after it has been preached to the Gentiles.

Establish Israel – Ezekiel speaks of the land of Israel divided into portions for each of the twelve Tribes.

Build the Third Temple – Ezekiel also describes the dimensions of the Third Temple that must be built on the temple mount.

Another problem I’ve noticed is that those of us who are aware of these things seem to have the same waiting attitude the Church used to have. Many of us talk about waiting for the cleansing of the Church, or waiting for the One Mighty and Strong.

But I think that the time for waiting is over. We must now take action to accomplish these things. If the Church(TM) will not do it, then we must.

We each need to search the scriptures and the revelations. We need to each seek the Spirit to determine what we should each be doing. If the Spirit is telling you to wait that’s fine. But if the Spirit is telling us to do something then we should start doing it. Over my next series of posts I’m going to examine what we can do to help further the Lord’s work. It will of course be my own opinion and you should search for yourself. But I’m done waiting and I’m going to take action.

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43 Responses to Waiting Mentality (or What are We Doing?)

  1. ascentury says:

    I recall a lot of the waiting and expectation that you describe (growing up in the 90s). My family still discusses these things quite a bit, and I wonder if the family is the place where most of these things have been preserved. Converts to the church don’t have a family history of discussing and preserving the elements of doctrine and practice that the institutional church doesn’t actively teach, and so they must discover it from books or manuscripts, if at all. They often don’t have a family tradition of dreams or manifestations which point towards the redemption of Zion and the fulfillment of the related covenants which the Lord has made.

    The net effect seems to be a dilution of these old values. The question is, how does one establish these things in converted families? There almost has to be a communal lifestyle for them to be exposed to the (very intimate) practice of casual discussion of the deeper things of the kingdom of God, for where else can they hear it? Sunday school won’t suffice—a service project won’t suffice—a dinner party won’t suffice. United Order living would; polygamous marriage relationships would; actively trying to build a Zion instead of living in the suburbs of Babylon would. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on how to pursue the promises. (Let’s just be wary of relying on the arm of flesh to accomplish the will of the Lord in doing so!)

  2. Dave P. says:

    This is the danger of independent thinking, since if you bring these topics up with an average member, don’t be surprised if you’re immediately branded an apostate because, “If we just do what the prophet tells us, we’ll be fine,” or some other endless variant of blind obedience.

    • Donna says:

      My favorite is, “Well, it doesn’t bother me” on the rare occasions I point out that the plain and precious truths of the gospel are disappearing.

      • Dave P. says:

        Sadly, Donna, that’s the kind of attitude people develop when they “know” that the prophet will never lead them astray. So they let go of the iron rod and cling to his shoulder as he leads them away from the tree and towards the great and spacious building.

  3. John Peterson says:

    Would an intelligent God who desires the intelligence of his children keep all those children in the same grade? I think not.

  4. Jeremy Aldrich says:

    Thank you for expressing my very frustration. I recently told a friend I felt like we are all waiting for the planets to align and then God will say, “Come, live in Zion.” I know we should be actively seeking to build Zion, I feel it deeply. Waiting for something to happen is just wrong and makes us slothful servants. I love this scripture in First Nephi. It tells me that indeed I do not have to and should not be waiting for something but actively doing something.

    37And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.

    Also, I agree that there is no reason to keep us all on milk. It cannot be a gospel of progression if we are not allowed to. I believe it is entirely possible to have many different levels of teaching and learning within the church. The only reason to keep everyone on the same level is one of controlling the masses for a purpose of their own.

  5. John Peterson says:

    The simple fact is that the tares have always outnumbered the wheat, even within the Church. If you feel choked spiritually, it is probably because you are no doubt surrounded by tares who don’t have the spiritual yearnings you have. This is why God first gathers the wheat and then burns the tares. Wheat can only thrive when its with other wheat. This is the principle of gathering, an odd nearly forgotten principle proposed and adopted by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Zion is only strong because she contains within her a concentration of the righteous. Remember the camps of Israel? They would cast out the sinners from their midst, because if there was sin in the camp of Israel, the blessings of God were restrained. It was a life and death situation for them, so they were very serious about it. Given the current condition of the world now, do we have time to play around either? Danger really does loom on every side.

  6. dyc4557 says:

    Very good post. You have only been in the church for 18 years and yet you have noticed a change. I am older than you. I have been attending church and very active in it for more than 40 years. I have observed the same as you. I can tell you that the things you mentioned like returning to Jackson County used to be discussed regularly. Millions of us have made a solemn promise to work toward the establishment of Zion and to devote our money and time to that end. Zion can not be built up except on the principles of all things in common or the law of consecration. You say we should be doing things such as having the gifts of the Spirit manifest in our lives and establish the Political Kingdom of God and build the city of Zion.
    But none of the things you mention that we should be doing can be done within, though or as members of the present Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    Thus saith the Lord, a corrupt tree can not bring forth good fruit.
    The church is as a tree. On one branch it is bringing forth commercial space for shopping and business, it is spending billions on mammon. On another branch it is stifling all discussion and teachings of even the need to accomplish the good things you mention. There are many other branches. But none of them are, nor can they bear the good fruit you mention. So long as anyone lodges in its branches and is affiliated with its wards neither can they bring forth the fruit of the kingdom of God. The Spirit of God will not manifest itself in corrupt organization. The Spirit of God can and may testify to you directly. But by sitting in an LDS church meeting and by spending your time serving a corrupt tree you lessen the influence of the Spirit of God upon you. A perverted church is a far worse place to be to receive God’s influence than even a bar. In a bar you may see alcohol being consumed and hear the Lord’s name profaned but you are not being deceived or brainwashed. And what business do you have of giving money which you have promised to go toward the establishing of Zion to an organization which you can see for yourself has no intention of spending it toward such a cause? You made the promise to God not to men.
    You know what I say is true. God knows it is true. For His part He has withdrawn His influence from the church. Are you going to follow His example? Why don’t we seek Him directly and worship Him in spirit and in truth instead of seeking Him in an organization of people who led by the judgments of men?
    You want to bring forth the works of God? Then start by fearing God instead of men.

  7. zo-ma-rah says:

    Great comments everyone. I figured it wasn’t just me who has noticed these things.

    @ Jeremy: I definitely agree with the slothful servants thing. How much more obvious can it be? The problem is that most members of the Church are so afraid to step out of line that they don’t do anything until ordered. Of course you shouldn’t wait to do your home teaching until you are told. But heaven forbid you administer the sacrament in your home without permission.

    I also like that scripture from 1st Nephi. It promises that as long as our intent is to build Zion, then we will have the Spirit.

    @dyc: Hopefully you’re going to love my upcoming stuff. I agree with everything you said.

    • Dave P. says:

      I did just that this past Sunday. I had a stake conference and my parents had a stake conference and wanted to partake of the sacrament, so I just administered it to myself at home.

      When I was told I needed “permission,” I was simply able to end the conversation by asking where that’s found in the scriptures and, even if I had to do so, I couldn’t because I didn’t have a bishop until the new stake and ward were organized at the conference.

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  9. Justin says:

    I read this post about the The Development of LDS Temple Worship book — and I thought about this portion of your post here:

    I came to the conclusion that our purpose as Latter-day Saints, today, seems to be to live life as normal but with a churchy flair. When talking about building Zion I’ve never heard a reference to Jackson county in years! What it seems to me is that the Church just teaches people to get through school, get a good job, retire, and then live happily ever after. We are just supposed to live out our lives and do it while being involved in Church activities.

    In the post linked above — the person reviewing the book noted that:

    One aspect of this transformation was the process sociologists refer to as the “routinization of charisma.” The worship practices of new religions are typically “charismatic”—that is, energetic, improvised, and non-institutional.

    Over time, however, leaders begin to suppress or institutionalize these charismatic practices in order to preserve the stability and respectability of the institution.

    You see this with how the “Acts” church became the Catholic church — and how the Kirtland revivalists saints became the Utah correlated Mormons.

    Specifically in re: to the “gathering” aspect of LDS theology that has been lost, the blog author wrote:

    Another aspect of the transformation from sect to religion was the de-emphasis of the idea of “gathering” to Utah. In the early Utah period, Brigham Young taught that there could be no sealings outside of Utah, because that would diminish the importance of the gathering. The urge to “gather” to was linked to the Church’s sense that the apocalypse was imminent; Utah had been divinely designated as a place of “refuge” from the coming calamities.

    As the Church developed into a worldwide bureaucracy, however, the early apocalyptic urgency was supplanted by a program of long-term institutional expansion. No longer was the Church a small remnant, needing to be gathered out of the world. Instead, it was a sprawling movement with vast resources and global ambitions.

    • John Peterson says:

      Don’t temples suggest permanency or the intent to stay in a place? As such, you’d expect them to be built in holy places, as the scriptures command the Saints to stand in holy places and yet where do we see them built? Los Angeles, Washington D. C., … and now Tijuana is in the works. Tijuana?! This is a place known for drunken sexual excess and rampant violence. Are the locations of these temples really inspired by God? If not, what are the motivations for building temples in these God-forsaken places?

      • Dave P. says:

        Vegas. Can’t forget Vegas.

      • Dave P. says:

        Actually, John, a thought that came to mind (after it was too late to change my first reply) is, because all of the temples after Kirtland have been cursed (D&C 124:47-48), it may well be safer to take refuge in cities that DON’T have a temple built in them.

      • John Peterson says:

        Oh yes, Vegas! … and I even lived there for awhile. It’s no lie, that city is corrupt as can be. I’m so relieved to get out of there.

      • John Peterson says:

        Some Fundamentalist Mormon lore says Salt Lake City will be washed away in a deluge some day. That’s certainly one temple I’d steer clear of, although the amount of labor the Saints put into it over 50 years (?) is remarkable. I believe it still is the largest LDS temple.

    • John Peterson says:

      I sure would like to see the reference for this idea, “Brigham Young taught that there could be no sealings outside of Utah, because that would diminish the importance of the gathering.”

      • Neal Davis says:

        “Some may ask the question why may we not seal & give Endowments abroad? Because it would destroy the object of the gathering. The People Should be gathered at head Quarters whare they Can be taught in the things of the kingdom of God & be under the direction of the Priesthood” (Wilford Woodruff Journal, 26 December 1866). This is sandwiched between a discussion of the second anointing and the requirements for endowment.

      • Ah, but the need to be in the same location to get instruction has been deprecated by satellite and now internet 🙂

  10. zo-ma-rah says:

    Wow interesting stuff. Last Sunday I think I finally got the spirit of the gathering. I was driving home from a meeting, when my mind was enlightened. I realized the whole motivation behind the gathering. The reason we are to gather to Zion and Israel is not because we just want to get together with others. It’s not to build up a church or anything. The reason we gather to Zion/Israel is because it is our homeland. If we are (to become) Israelites then Israelite MUST be our nationality! We can’t be American or British or whatever. We have to be Israelite and as such Zion/Israel is our homeland.

    That is the point of the gathering, so that we can have our homeland. So we can have our own nation and live under God’s laws in our nation. The gathering CAN’T work is everyone is “gathering to their own lands.” Because if Americans gather in America and Filipinos gather in the Philippines, etc. then we CAN’T be Israelites because we are not gathering to our homeland.

    Hopefully that makes sense. I’m going to do a post about it in the future.

    • John Peterson says:

      The Jewish people know this probably better than any other people. At least those who own their Israelite heritage.

      • Also, if Christ is going to be appearing at a temple, wouldn’t you want to be near that temple when that event occurs? I’ve only heard that he’ll be appearing at two temples:

        1st the New Jerusalem temple (Jackson Count)
        2nd the Old Jerusalem temple (rebuilt in Israel)

        So even if the temple in Tijuana is God’s, you probably won’t see your Lord appear there. Jackson County is Zion to him; the stronghold of David.

  11. AV says:

    I don’t believe we have to wait to live any ‘true’ aspect of the Gospel. We can establish Zion in our own homes or hearts, & even enjoy the frequent or daily companionship of angels, deceased loved ones, or even our Savior. We can easily live the spirit of the law of Consecration & give our excess freely to those in need, we can enjoy every blessing of Zion, especially ‘the pure & everlasting love of Christ’, in our homes & marriage & family.

    In fact if we don’t, we may not be worthy of being a part of building Zion with others when that time comes.

    As far are plural marriage is concerned, Joseph Smith left his public testimony that the Book of Mormon & the D&C (even more than the Bible he said) teach clearly that it is one of the most devilish & corrupt doctrines & abominations ever known, & he warned us that if anyone came after him who taught anything different than ‘monogamy’ they should be considered a dangerous imposter who should be shunned & cast out from among you.

    Why is it so hard for people to believe & put above all other teachings, Joseph’s own words & testimony, rather than fall for a lot of dark & ugly & perverse hearsay.

    Joseph taught us that ‘everything’ anyone ever says, even those who call themselves Prophets, must never contradict what the scriptures say, the Book of Mormon, Bible & D&C (1844 version), or else we can know for sure it is false. It is impossible for God to ever contradict himself or change his doctrine, for marriage or any other issue. He is the same yesterday, today & forever.

    • Is this the same God who said the following to King David?:

      “I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I GAVE THEE thy master’s house, and THY MASTER’S WIVES INTO THY BOSOM, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and IF THAT HAD BEEN TOO LITTLE, I WOULD MOREOVER HAVE GIVEN UNTO THEE SUCH AND SUCH THINGS.”
      (2 Samuel 12:7-8)

      There is no sin in accepting the gifts given by God. It’s when we lay claim to that which God has not given, that we fall into transgression.

      • tonjia says:

        God is not the god of adultery. If you are asked to commit adultery against your wife, you can be assured it is not god asking you to do it,

      • zo-ma-rah says:

        I agree Tonjia. God is not a God of adultery. God would not instruct someone to commit adultery. However having sexual realtions with someone you are married to is NOT adultery. It matters not the number of people someone may be married to, as long as they are married it is not adultery. If God gives a many three women to be his wives, he marries them, then he cannot commit adultery with them.

  12. AV says:

    We believe the Bible as far as it is translated correctly. That Bible translation contradicts the Book or Mormon & the D&C which we know are far more correct.

    • Ok, I’ll reference the Book of Mormon:

      “And in that day, seven women shall take hold of one man, saying: We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach.”
      (2 Nephi 14:1)

      To be fair, this is Nephi quoting Isaiah, but the translation is pretty much the same as Isaiah 4, so you can’t say it’s mistranslated or corrupted by evil Jewish priests.

      Do you believe these women are unrighteous in asking such a thing of a man? I believe this scripture describes a very important reason for the practice of plural marriage in mortality: the care of women. It has long been the case in Christian churches around the world that women are more active then men. This is definitely very much the case in the LDS church (https://ojs.lib.byu.edu/spc/index.php/IssuesInReligionAndPsychotherapy/article/viewFile/248/247). The side-effect of this is that you have many single-mothers trying to keep a job and raise their children at the same time (I come from such a family). Who are the poor? These widows and orphans certainly make up a large percentage of that class. Now let’s suppose for a minute that God actually does support the practice of plural marriage to take care of these widows and orphans. Would it be evil for a man to withhold his substance if God were to require this of him? Since the man is required by Old Testament law to treat each wife equally (Exodus 21:10), wouldn’t this be an ideal way to make sure all the widows and orphans in the Church are cared for?

  13. zo-ma-rah says:

    The Book of Mormon does not condemn Plural Marriage as such. It only forbids the Nephites from practicing it because they were doing it fulfill their lusts. They were committing whoredoms and using David and Solomon, etc. as an excuse. The condemnation of Plural Marriage in Jacob two only applies to the Nephites. The Book of Mormon says nothing about righteous Plural Marriage. The Bible likewise gives no blanket condemnation of Plural Marriage. Even the Doctrine and Covenants does not forbid multiple marriages specifically.

    I would invite you to read: http://www.patriarchywebsite.com/monogamy/mono-history.htm

    Now if you have received a personal witness that you are not to practice Plural Marriage then I respect that. Likewise I’m not going to get in any arguments with anyone on if Joseph Smith practiced it or not, because to me it’s really irrelevant. But I would hope that while discussing this issue we can all be respectful(not saying anyone hasn’t been) of those whom God has commanded to practice Plural Marriage and those He has commanded not to.

  14. AV says:

    Zomarah,

    I’m wondering what criteria you use to determine if your personal revelation is true or not. For we all know that the Adversary can give us personal revelation that sounds & feels like the real deal, so we must have a way to know if what we or even Prophets receive is true or not.

    I myself go with what Joseph Smith said to do, ‘to judge the truthfulness of ours & anyone else’s revelation or teachings’ by what the scriptures say, which is the scriptures of in ‘his’ day of 1944, when D&C 132 was not part of the D&C.

    If we don’t have a standard to judge our revelation by we can easily be swayed to believe anything the Adversary may tell us that sounds good & right to us.

    And since, as history has proved, it is the carnal desire of almost all men to desire multiple women or wives, we can’t just think we have pure & righteous desires for multiple women while the next guy doesn’t. For most all unrighteous people ‘think’ & ‘feel’ they are righteous & receiving correct revelation & have pure desires.

    You believe that the Book of Mormon relating to plural marriage was not written for us in our day, but Joseph Smith believed it was & I believe it is from what the Spirit has told me. I believe the D&C of Joseph day (not part of our current D&C) that said that men & women should only have 1 spouse, is God’s rule of marriage & Joseph also taught & believed this.

    So what scriptures are teaching you that plural marriage is ok or are you just getting it from personal revelation”? D&C 132 really can’t be used as scripture to back up plural marriage until one can prove 1st Joseph really lived it & it appears he did not & even preached his whole life against it.

    If we go to Christ’s teachings, I believe plural marriage again does not hold up. For it does not pass the test of ‘Christlike true love’ (for a righteous man would die before hurting his wife with something like plural marriage & dating, choosing & marrying other women) And it doesn’t pass Christ’s test of ‘Do unto others what you would want done to you”. What man would want or even be willing to sit alone every day & night while being abused (plural marriage is severely abusive to women emotionally & other ways also, which is rarely admitted by men) & neglected & demeaned by a wife as she runs around with a lot of other men & husbands & hardly ever sees him or has time for him? Let’s be honest here.

    You may say you would not neglect multiple wives but it’s absolutely impossible for 1 man to keep multiple women happy & all their needs & wants met & do his half of all the childcare & housework, etc. For he must divide himself & his time & attention with so many.

    It is a very rare miracle to find a man can keep even ‘1’ woman happy & all her needs & wishes met, let alone a man or men who can do such for multiple men. I have never known a man that could do so for even 1 wife.

    You say God has commanded plural marriage but only in D&C 132 does it say God commanded it, but again, if that scripture wasn’t really from Joseph it doesn’t hold water. And there is no other scripture that teaches or ok’s plural marriage. Even Abraham & Sarah repented of it & found it to only bring unhappiness. Abraham was against it & never taught it, he only did it because he was forced to by his weak & desperate wife who wanted children, if even by another woman, for she didn’t have the faith to wait upon the Lord & have children the right way.

    • Justin says:

      You said: “You may say you would not neglect multiple wives” — yet how many single women go neglected because of the monogamous restrictions imposed by the state and rubber-stamped by the church? How many polygynous wives would not be neglected if their husbands weren’t chauvinists who forbade them from receiving polyandrous husbands?

      AV, maybe you should read a post I authored some time back on tribal relationships. In it, I explain how anthropology, behavioral biology, and physiology actually back-up Joseph Smith-type polygamy outlined by D&C 132 as being the natural sexual order of humans, which is, a multihusband-multiwife tribal arrangement.

      This is not Brigham Young’s polygyny — nor is it the current state of serial monogamy. The research described in that post back-up D&C 132 as being a bona-fide revelation that restored the knowledge of the natural sexual order among humans.

      Oh yeah — that post was based on me reading LDS Anarchist’s two posts:
      How many wives, how many husbands
      and
      Establishing the tribes of Israel, the real reason for plural marriage
      as well as
      the Sex at Dawn research.

      Remember that whoever forbids marriage is not ordained of God — and how many monogamists and polygynous Mormons go around trumpeting the laws of illegality that the state has put up, which do exactly that.

    • Mike says:

      Hey AV,
      Just thought I needed to add to the conversation and respond to some things you wrote.

      “the carnal desire of almost all men to desire multiple women or wives”
      Basically you are saying all men have sexual desire and it’s evil. That’s cool.

      “D&C 132 really can’t be used as scripture to back up plural marriage until one can prove 1st Joseph really lived it & it appears he did not”
      Umm, I guess the first hand accounts of those close to him don’t count.

      “plural marriage is severely abusive to women emotionally & other ways also, which is rarely admitted by men”
      I say the following can also be true: “monogamous marriage is severely abusive to women emotionally & other ways also, which is rarely admitted by men.” It just depends on the people involved.

      “You may say you would not neglect multiple wives but it’s absolutely impossible for 1 man to keep multiple women happy & all their needs & wants met & do his half of all the childcare & housework, etc. For he must divide himself & his time & attention with so many. ”
      Which man is more strained: the man with 1 wife and twelve children . . . or the man with 2 wives and six children? See, the claim just doesn’t really make sense. Would you also say: it’s impossible for 1 man to keep all of his children happy if he has more than one.

      “I have never known a man that could do so for even 1 wife.”
      Maybe the problem isn’t the man then? 🙂

      “if that scripture wasn’t really from Joseph it doesn’t hold water”
      Wrong measure of judgement, Joseph Smith isn’t the issue. The thing that matters is if it came from God.

      “And there is no other scripture that teaches or ok’s plural marriage”
      Scroll up, plenty of examples.

      “Abraham was against it & never taught it, he only did it because he was forced to by his weak & desperate wife who wanted children”
      Again I think you don’t really read the scriptures, you just see what you want. The angel of the Lord command Hagar to return and be a wife to Abraham, promising her the very same blessings of having many seed. And Abraham married more women than just Hagar (I guess he wasn’t so repentant and was a really evil man). Also why would God choose to Israel and his children as his chosen people when Israel was guilty of the most evil crime of polygamy.

      Well there’s plenty of scriptural evidence to practice it. You just need to reject it, that is up to you. Maybe the adversary gave you a false revelation? Never mind, I just had a revelation. You are right! All of the scriptures that OK plural marriage are actually false (give me a second to tear out this old Bible thing, it’s not the the Book of Mormon is meant to bring us to the knowledge of the truth of the bible). D&C132 isn’t true because it wasn’t cannon at J Smith’s time. A D&C, we have got a D&C, and we need no more D&C.

      Sorry if my sarcasm is strong now and then.
      Feminist Mike

    • zo-ma-rah says:

      AV, I really appreciate you comment. You brought up a lot of very good points. I hope I did well addressing those things I agree and disagree with.

      I agree that the Adversary can give revelation. The way to do this is by using the scriptures as a measuring stick. I don’t agree that we must be limited to the scriptures of Joseph Smith’s time. But I also believe that the current L-DS scriptures and not the best available. There have been many things added and removed without the vote of the church.

      I think I’ll also disagree with you that the carnal desire of almost all men is to desire multiple women. Instead I believe that the carnal desire of all men is to desire sexual pleasure. Whether that comes from a women or, in the case of Ancient Rome, young boys, it is the same. I like how this was phrases on LDSA’s blog. That many men simply masturbate inside of their wife when having sex. But true sexual intercourse is a communion between the man and woman. So even though many men desire to have sex with many women what they are really desiring is variety in their masturbation repertoire.

      And honest man entering in Plural Marriage will not look only on the outward appearance of the woman. He will care about long term relationship of the couple. He will care about the children that result from that marriage. This same thing applies to monogamy as well. There are many men who get married simply to have sex. But other men get married to have a marriage.

      I hope that makes sense.

      I agree that the account in Jacob was included on the Gold Plates for us today. However Jacob is specifically addressing the Nephites at the time. Nephites which were breaking the hearts of their wives and children. They were committing whoredoms. And they were using David and Solomon as an excuse. But I believe if they didn’t have the example of David and Solomon they would have found something else as their excuse. The Nephites didn’t care if polygyny was acceptable in the scriptures or not. All they wanted to do was, “get their gun off,” as they say in Mission Impossible.

      Now there are verse in the D&C that state that a man should be the husband of one wife. But could this not also mean that any marriage is to be between one man and one woman. A man is to be the husband to one women. And if he is married to another woman he is the husband of that one woman as well. His marriage does not include two women. But he has two marriages that each include only one woman. Now that may be some fancy footwork on my part and I accept that. But it is the only way I can reconcile the many other verses in the scriptures that support Plural Marriage such as D&C 49:15.

      Now there is also the old Section 109 which states that a man may have only one wife unless he or she dies then the spouse may remarry. But that section was not the result of a revelation but was a policy of the church. It was decided in a council I believe. The church at that time was a product of Victorian culture which was a product of the roman culture. Both of which monogamy was exalted and polygamy was taboo. It seems to me that the early church’s and Joseph Smith’s condemnation of Plural Marriage comes not from God but the culture at the time. A culture which strongly survives today, and lead to other problems I will discuss shortly.

      I agree with you about the spotty history of Section 132. While there are interesting things in there I do not use it to back up my beliefs.

      As far as Christ’s teachings go he never did condemn Plural Marriage. There is not one verse where Christ says the Plural Marriage is forbidden. Verses like Exodus 21:10 condone Plural Marriage.

      You said that a man with Christ-like love would die before hurting his wife with Plural Marriage. I’ll agree with the everything until “with Plural Marriage.” The reason is that the hurt associated with Plural Marriage, including choosing and dating other women, is a result of our cultural training. Has we been raised in a culture where it was common then that hurt would not be associated with it. Associating the hurt as a result of our post-victorian culture with Christ’s commandments seems to me to be putting our modern culture on par with Christ’s commandments.

      You also said it does not pass the test of do unto others. And I will agree that many men who desire multiple wives would not want their wives to have multiple husbands. And to them I say that a man should first be willing to let his wife marry more than one man before he married more than one woman. I would be willing to sit alone at night while my wife was maintaining a positive relationship with another spouse. But then again I might not be alone because either I would be watching my children, or spending time with my other wife, or both.

      But again the abuse, neglect, a demeanment(is that a word?) is a result of post-victorian cultural training.

      You also seem to be making a lot of assumptions in your example as well. Having spoken to one polygynist couple the only time one wife of the other is away for their husband is at night. During the day the husband is at home and both wives are there with him.

      “[Running] around with a lot of other [women] & [wives]s & hardly ever sees him or has time for h[er],” implies that the living arrangement would be such that the husband and his wives(or wife and her husbands) live a significant distance from each other. Running around also carries with it a negative connotation which you seem to be using to bolster you position(I hope you are not offended by my calling you on that. If I’m wrong then I apologize). Also “a lot of other,” implies that the man or woman has a large amount of other spouses and/or boy/girlfriends.

      As can be seen your example does not take into account Plural Marriages where the husband or wife has a small number of other spouses. Likewise it presumes there is no communal living arrangement where the spouses are in each other’s presence for most of the day. You are also presuming that a spouse will not want any time to themselves nor to have a “girls night out.”

      So while there may be some people and examples that do not meet Christ’s commandments there are many others that do.

      As far neglect, a Plural Marriage would seem to be more capable of meeting the needs of people involved rather than a monogamous one. Instead of having two people to meet all of the personal, childcare, and housework need, there are more. So if a man has two wives then each person only has to meet one third of the needs. Having three or more parents to care for children would greatly decrease the work load on each parent for the same or greater number of children in a monogamous family. Laundery and Food are something that would increase with a plural marriage as opposed to monogamy.

      The only other need that would be difficult to meet would be emotional/sexual. However this implies that all the women have the same need at the same time. It is common for a wife not to need sexual intercourse every night, thus leaving room for a man to fulfill the needs of his other wives. But again if his wives also have additional husbands then her needs can be met by her other husbands.

      Ans seeing as how you commented the you have yet to find one man who can meet the needs of one women then perhaps meeting the needs of a spouse is not a significant factor in determining proper forms of marriage since it cannot be successfully done in polygamy nor monogamy(as you have admitted).

      I have at times said the God has commanded Plural Marriage, however I qualify that with that commandment depending of the personal revelation of the individual. God may condemn Plural Marriage to you but command it for me and both are correct. We each have different paths we must take in life. What is important is that we follow those paths and allow others to do the same.

      Despite what you said about there not being any scriptures that approve Plural Marriage, there are. Many have already been quoted in the other comments as well as my own.

      I really appreciate your willingness to speak up and voice your opinion. I really value your opinion and enjoy responding to your posts. There are many others who comment on this blog who share your views so you are in good company.

      • Dave P. says:

        zo-ma-rah,

        I’d just like to remind you of the importance of the Book of Mormon: If it wasn’t something important for us in our day, it wouldn’t be in there. True, Jacob had a Nephite audience at the time, but the fact that he recorded his sermon on the small plates (which were halfway full at the time) showed his intent for the message to be preserved for future generations and, most especially, us.

      • Justin says:

        Dave: “If it wasn’t something important for us in our day, it wouldn’t be in there.

        Your comment seems to assume that Jacob was condemning polygamy as such in the sermon of question.

        Is polygamy=whoredoms, monogamy=righteousness the crux of Jacob’s message to his Nephite audience [and by extension to the modern Gentile church] in your eyes?

      • Dave P. says:

        Yes, because this is the thing that first caused the Nephites to become ripe for destruction and it doesn’t become their first time when they do this. Further down the line in the Book of Mormon when the Nephites are called to repentance because of their “whoredoms,” it’s referring back to them practicing polygamy again.

      • Justin says:

        Dave P.

        I find it interesting that “whoredom” has two shades of meaning:
        1) The practice of unlawful commerce with the other sex.
        and
        2) In Scripture, idolatry; the desertion of the worship of the true God, for the worship of idols.

        Given that the prohibition of polygamy among the Nephites came by way of an amendment to the law of Moses [which condoned and in some cases commanded polygamy] given specifically to Lehi [Jacob 2:34] — how do you define all plural marriages with a blanket “whoredom”.

        If God does not forbid marriages — then how can plural marriages be considered unlawful commerce between the sexes?

        But I find the second shade of meaning interesting given your comment that:

        this is the thing that first caused the Nephites to become ripe for destruction

        because it is idolatry (the real kind) that brings destruction. It is the gateway sin, that ripens a group for destruction and facilitates and brings about the commission of all other sins. Every civilization that has been destroyed by the Lord [which includes the Nephites] has practiced idolatry.

  15. AV says:

    I want to thank everyone for their responses. I can see that those of you who have responded have your minds pretty set about plural marriage & thus I don’t think further discussion would change anything, for me or you. But I appreciated seeing how you all see things.

    On just one point though, as Zomarah mentioned at the end of his post, I instead believe that all ‘true’ revelation, whether it comes to you or me or a Prophet will always say the same things about an issue & harmonize with each other as Joseph Smith said. I believe ‘that’ is how we know when something is off, because it will contradict what we already know is right (the revelations in the scriptures). Otherwise God would be a God of confusion & anything goes, when I believe he is the same yesterday, today & forever & his doctrines never change. Truth is eternal.

    But there is one thing I agree with you on, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. God commands men to always 1st give to righteous women any blessing, gift, right, power or privilege that they would have for themselves.

    I just don’t believe that plural marriage is right for either of them. But I appreciated your time & responses. Thank you.

  16. Richard says:

    The only real sin is rejecting truth. Every act that people call “sin” occurs AFTER the “sinner” first rejected truth.

    Jacob, who brought forth 12 sons to establish the lineages of Israel did not reject truth when he entered into plural marriage. Joseph Smith was not rejecting truth when he restored and entered into plural marriages by revelation.

    Those who are “waiting” for Zion, not seeking to get away from the institutions of the present Babylon, have most certainly rejected truth. The world is under the bondage of sin because it rejects the D&C and the BoM and other true revelations. That would include the inspired US Constitution to a large degree.

    Those who accept the truth are set free. They find more truth. They know that one cannot force anyone to accept truth. The only solution is gathering. So they naturally gather together and apart. They do not have to be told to do so– the spirit guides them.

  17. mjo says:

    Read “the Triumph of Zion: Our personal Quest for the New Jerusalem” by John M. Pontius…

  18. Noah says:

    Hate to be a shameless self-promoter, but I posted an article on my blog that addresses this waiting game, although with a different take. It’s called “Why Transhumanism Should Matter to Mormons”. Check it out if you want.

  19. Tachikoma says:

    glad someone mentioned the greatness of the US constitution.

    also I think the real problem with plural marriage is twofold.

    1. it was not around that long before Joseph dies and shortly after his death the saints are kicked out and exiled and forced to go west. the unfinished temple was destroyed. God clearly was not happy with the saints at the time and in reference to the original post we had back then built a healthy city with all manner of buildings but the temple remained unfinished like today we build a 6 billion dollar shopping mall while the jackson county temple goes unfinished(at least I think thats the one I cant ever remember)
    2. when the plural marriage under the reign of Young we see pure and total chaos. some reports indicate Young may have authorized murder…..some report their were castrations…..abuse of women….etc. the bottom line being under plural marriage it was anarchy.

    these two things I believe resulted in God essentially letting the US government force us to stop plural marriage. I think had we been a more holy and righteous people we would not have lost plural marriage.

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