Monday, August 27, 2012

A New and Everlasting Covenant (Until It Gets Us In Trouble)

I was reading the "manifesto" known as Official Declaration-1 yesterday delivered by mormon leader Wilford Woodruff in 1890 that claimed that mormons were abandoning the practice of polygamy, while not in any way repudiating the doctrine of polygamy. I found what he wrote (this is from the official web page of "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints") to be fascinating...

I have had some revelations of late, and very important ones to me, and I will tell you what the Lord has said to me. Let me bring your minds to what is termed the manifesto. …

The Lord has told me to ask the Latter-day Saints a question, and He also told me that if they would listen to what I said to them and answer the question put to them, by the Spirit and power of God, they would all answer alike, and they would all believe alike with regard to this matter.

The question is this: Which is the wisest course for the Latter-day Saints to pursue—to continue to attempt to practice plural marriage, with the laws of the nation against it and the opposition of sixty millions of people, and at the cost of the confiscation and loss of all the Temples, and the stopping of all the ordinances therein, both for the living and the dead, and the imprisonment of the First Presidency and Twelve and the heads of families in the Church, and the confiscation of personal property of the people (all of which of themselves would stop the practice); or, after doing and suffering what we have through our adherence to this principle to cease the practice and submit to the law, and through doing so leave the Prophets, Apostles and fathers at home, so that they can instruct the people and attend to the duties of the Church, and also leave the Temples in the hands of the Saints, so that they can attend to the ordinances of the Gospel, both for the living and the dead?

As a quick refresher, polygamy was "revealed" to Joseph Smith as a "new and everlasting covenant" that no one can reject and be glorified.

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. (D&C 132:4)

Polygamy among the priesthood is a new and everlasting covenant, one so important that God saw fit to instruct Joseph Smith's first wife Emma (in King James English no less) that she was to graciously accept however many women Joseph was "called" to engage in adultery er... pedophilia er.... plural marriage with (D&C 132:51-56). Strangely enough this "new and everlasting covenant" didn't last very long at all, less than 60 years! The "god" of mormonism is more fickle and prone to change his mind than a teen aged girl.

I guess it does make sense though, since that is exactly what Christ taught. Do as I teach unless it makes people mad or prevents you from achieving statehood in America and then I will reverse course and change my mind. So much for God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

This is a perfectly legitimate question to ask of mormons, including Mitt Romney. Do you still believe that God ordained polygamy for your early "prophets" and do you still believe in the doctrinal foundations of plural marriage even if you don't currently practice it?Mitt makes a big deal of his laudable marriage, and rightly so, but if we were commanded by the prophet to take a teen girl as his plural wife would he?

There is nothing about the Christian faith I am ashamed of or try to gloss over. I welcome any and all questions without hiding behind cries of pseudo-persecution.When a religion hides behind "sacred but secret", has lots of closed door meetings to interrogate people, tries to gloss over embarrassing past teachings and offers zero transparency on its substantial finances it certainly seems like it is hiding something.

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