LDS Articles of Faith, Part XLI
Article 8, LDS Scripture, Book of Mormon, Part 8
The 8th LDS Article of Faith says, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” Our previous blogs discussed how different LDS view these two books. The internal content of the Book of Mormon (B. of M.) is our consideration now. LDS leaders tell members to accept the B. of M. by faith and not to listen to those who question it. But Joseph Smith said, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 194). If that is true, why can’t people question it? Real truth has nothing to fear from investigation! Our eternal destiny is based upon what we believe. If what we believe is wrong, it will have eternal consequences for us! We will now look at some content in the Book of Mormon.
Jacob 1:15 in the B. of M. says the Nephites began to “indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon his son.” Jacob 2:24 says, “Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.” And Jacob 2:27 says, “Harken to the word of the Lord: for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none.” Jacob 3:5 also says the righteous “have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given to our father—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none.” But, LDS scripture in Doctrine and Covenants (D. & C.) 132:1-2, 38-39 says, “Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph (Smith), 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—Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter…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. David’s wives and concubines were given 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.”
Jacob 1:15 in the B. of M. says David and Solomon indulged themselves in wicked practices like desiring many wives and concubines and Jacob 2:24 says that David and Solomon having many wives and concubines was abominable before God. And Jacob 3:5 says they are to have one wife and no concubines. Yet, Doctrine and Covenants 132:1-2; 38-39 says God gave those wives and concubines to David and Solomon and in nothing did they sin except in the case of Uriah and his wife. So, LDS scripture in the B. of M., Jacob 1:15 and 2:24 says having many wives and concubines was a wicked practice and abominable to God. And Jacob 3:5 says they are to have one wife and no concubines. But D. & C. 132:1-2, 38-39 says God Justified David and Solomon and others in having many wives and concubines. And verse 39 says God gave David and Solomon their many wives and concubines! Did God really say that David and Solomon having many wives and concubines was an abominable and wicked practice when He supposedly gave those wives and concubines to them and justified them in living that way? Ether 10:5 in the B. of M. also says, “Riplakish did not do that which was right in the sight of the Lord, for he did have many wives and concubines.” So, having many wives and concubines was NOT right in the sight of the Lord! If it wasn’t right in the Lord’s sight, why would He give wives and concubines to David, Solomon and others and justify them in living that way?
In D. & C. 49:16 it says, “It is lawful that he (man) should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh.” D. & C. 42:22 also says, “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.” But in D. & C. 132 the Lord revealed the new and everlasting covenant of plural marriage (polygamy). In verses 3-4 the Lord said “all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same. For behold, I reveal unto you a new and 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.” He repeats that warning again in verse 6. Anyone who has read or heard D. & C. 132 explained has had the law of “many wives and concubines” revealed to him or her and D. & C. 132:3 says they must obey it or be damned. If all this sounds confusing, it is because it is! But all of it is in LDS scripture! D. & C. 132:1 begins with “Verily, thus saith the Lord…”. So, according to that the Lord Himself revealed the law of having many wives and concubines and threatened damnation to those who rejected it. The “Woodruff Manifesto” in 1890, also called “Official Declaration—1” was supposed to end polygamy for Mormons. In It LDS President Wilford Woodruff said, “Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and use my influence with the members of the (LDS) Church over which I preside to have them do likewise…I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.” Notice the difference in the way this LDS doctrine began and the way it was supposed to end. D. & C. 132 begins with the Lord commanding men to have “many wives and concubines” or be “damned!” But LDS President Woodruff tried to end it by saying, “My advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.” In Acts 5:28-29 Peter and the other apostles were commanded not to teach in the name of Jesus. But they responded, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” That’s how Christians should respond when anyone tries to get them to disobey God! Do LDS believe D. & C. 132 was given by God?
When Robert J. Matthews, Professor of ancient scripture at BYU, spoke on “What the Book of Mormon tells us about the Bible,” he said, “Because of a certain obscurity and lack of completeness to the Bible, no one—and I mean no one—in our generation can truly understand the doctrines of the Bible without the help of the Book of Mormon and other latter-day revelations” (Deseret News, Church News, November 7, 1991, p. 7). But this blog shows that the B. of M. and latter-day revelations in the D. & C. did not even clarify LDS beliefs, so how can they clarify Bible doctrine?
Next time we will continue our discussion of the Book of Mormon.