Polygamy…was it really from God?

Growing up in the LDS church I had learned that polygamy was a part of the ‘Restored Gospel’ a term often used to refer to the church.  I had been taught that it was a good and necessary thing, for two reasons.  First, all things had to be ‘restored’, and since polygamy had been practiced in Old Testament times, then it needed to be ‘restored’ in ‘latter-days’.  Second, God needed plural marriage to ‘grow’ the church.

I had always heard that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and other early church leaders were sorrowful in this commandment.  They resisted it and dreaded having to ‘obey’ it.  However, they were faithful, godly men and accepted this very difficult commandment from God and obeyed.  I had also been taught that this was a type of ‘divine welfare system’.  Because there were so many widows & orphans that needed to be cared for, and this was God’s way of providing for them.

Having believed this, I looked upon polygamy as a charitable, noble thing that had no perversion at all.  Of course as a good and obedient LDS women, I believed what I was told to believe.  Thinking freely and coming to a different viewpoint or opinion from what the church taught was a lack of faith, and an influence of the devil.

One day I was in the public library and I came across a book entitled “The Twenty-seventh Wife” (not sure who the author was).  The book was about Ann Eliza Webb, who was the 27th and apparently the last of Brigham Young’s wives.  She was a 23 year old widow who was pressured into marrying the 66 year old, very powerful church leader.  She was an out-spoken and opinionated young women who was the only women to divorce Brigham Young. The book was written as a historical book, telling a fascinating story.  It did not try to convince the reader of the right or wrong of polygamy nor of the correctness of the LDS faith.  It just told the story with documented facts.  The book really opened my eyes to a different view of polygamy.

A few years later, I purchased the book “In Sacred Loneliness, the Plural Wives of Joseph Smith” by Todd Compton. http://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Loneliness-Plural-Wives-Joseph/dp/156085085X It is a fantastic, historical, well researched book on Mormon polygamy.  Written by a LDS man who again is just telling a story with documented facts.  It gives as much history as is available for each wife of Joseph Smith.  I, like many Mormons, did not realize Joseph Smith had married so many women, some of which were still married to another man.

Needless to say I view polygamy much different today.  Here are a few facts that influenced my belief:

  • God NEVER commanded polygamy.  Like divorce, it was implemented and practiced according to man’s laws, not God’s.
  • The Bible gives many examples of how polygamy caused problems…Abraham & Sarah, Jacob & Rachel, David, Solomon, etc.
  • If God did NOT give Adam or Noah more than one wife, and they were able to ‘grow’ the population, then why would he ‘need’ LDS to have multiple wives to ‘grow’ the church?
  • Many traditions and commandments of Old Testament times have NOT been ‘restored’ such as animal sacrifices or circumcision.
  • The LDS history of polygamy is full of sexually immoral behavior. There is also abuse & neglect of women & children.
  • Brigham Young married mostly  women 10 -20 years younger than him.  One was 15 and he was 42.
  • Book of Mormon teaches that more than one wife is a sin…Jacob 2:27  (This was a real shocker for me!)
  • Bible teaches godly men should have only one wife…1st Timothy 3:2   That alone is enough of a reason for me!
Published in: on February 7, 2010 at 5:03 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I would like you to write something about this scripture..

    Your quote (God NEVER commanded polygamy. Like divorce, it was implemented and practiced according to man’s laws, not God’s.
    The Bible gives many examples of how polygamy caused problems…Abraham & Sarah, Jacob & Rachel, David, Solomon, etc.)

    so you are telling me that God blessed them so much while they were following man´s law.

    Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:
    23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:
    24 The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin:
    25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali:
    26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padan-aram.(Genesis 35)

  2. If you are a former mormon.. what are you now?
    are you an antimormon? do you have to attack the lds church to be saved ? is that a practice in your new system of beliefs or religion? so instead of attacking the LDS Church ,why don’t you introduce us to the true faith? or maybe you are not attending any church and the true faith is write a blog and attack your former church…

    you aren’t convincing at all…you say that Jacob was being obedient to man’s laws when he practices polygamy ..here comes the question ¿why was he blessed? Why the scriptures says the God of Abraham , isaac and Jacob if they were following man’s laws, not God’s.

    Be careful my fried when you see Abraham & Sarah, Jacob & Rachel in the kingdom of heaven assuming that you believe in it.

    he willnot be pleased because you said that he was following man’s laws, not God’s. (You are in trouble)

  3. wow I see how true and pure religion works in your new faith.

    Think about the words of Christ

    JOHN 15: 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.


    Exodus 3:6 I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.

    # God NEVER commanded polygamy. Like divorce, it was implemented and practiced according to man’s laws, not God’s. (I am quoting from you)

    # The Bible gives many examples of how polygamy caused problems…Abraham & Sarah, Jacob & Rachel, David, Solomon, etc.(I am quoting from you)

    What do you mean that Jacob was following man’s laws, not God’s.?

    what was he so blessed? why was he chosen?

    Bible teaches godly men should have only one wife…1st Timothy 3:2

    If only Jacob was here with us what would he answer?

  4. 2 SAMUEL 12
    1 And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
    2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:
    3 But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
    4 And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.
    5 And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:
    6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
    7 ¶ And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I aanointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
    8 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.
    9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast bkilled Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

    Read carefully verse 8..It is gonna help you

    if you don’t want to undersatand that it was approved by the Lord..that is your choice…

    don’t pretend with your poor arguments to convince people

  5. I samuel

    I would like to hear your powerful comments on this old testament story

    Hannah prays for a son, and vows to give him to the Lord—Eli the priest blesses her—Samuel is born—Hannah loans him to the Lord.
    1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:
    2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had ano children.
    3 And this man went up out of his city ayearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in bShiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there.
    4 ¶ And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:
    5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb.
    6 And her adversary also aprovoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb.
    7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the ahouse of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.
    8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?
    9 ¶ So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a aseat by a post of the temple of the Lord.
    10 And she was in abitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.
    11 And she avowed a bvow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine chandmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no drazor come upon his head.
    12 And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli amarked her mouth.
    13 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.
    14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.
    15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have apoured out my soul before the Lord.
    16 Count not thine handmaid for a adaughter of bBelial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.
    17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.
    18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.
    19 ¶ And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to aRamah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord bremembered her.
    20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a ason, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord.

  6. I see how true religion works for a former mormon…

    Good Job

    I still would like to see in your twitter account the explanation why Jacob and others had more than a wife.because they were exceedingly blessed.I don’t think that they were obeying man’s laws as you say.

    you former mormons play with only half the truth.

    If you continue believing in God after leaving mormonism

    what is the truth?

    I don’t see anything here besides lds church attacks

    I hope to see more than lds attacks in this blog than poor arguments.

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