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Today’s episode continues the discussion on Polygamy with the (in)famous revelation still canonized in Mormon/LDS scripture as Section 132 of the Doctrine & Covenants. Mike sets up the historical & personal context of the timing of this revelation and the problematic ideas presented in it as coming from God including how God views women, redefining adultery and other moral issues, and the various rules and justifications given by God to practice polygamy. 

Mike goes on to show that Joseph admits himself that polygamy is something he wanted, and despite being the receiver of the various specific rules defined by God, he nevertheless proceeds to break every one of them. 

Finally, Mike goes over the many apologetics around this section of the Doctrine & Covenants and the problems with most of the arguments attempting to justify the revelation, Joseph’s polygamy, and the resulting polygamy among many of the branches of Mormonism, some continuing to this day. 

LDS Discussion Essay on Polygamy

Special Guest: Elisha Lee


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7 Comments

  1. Robert Hodge October 22, 2022 at 9:37 am - Reply

    According to William Law. Smith proposed that he (Law) serve as a surrogate husband for Emma. To quote from Letter 1. from Law to W. Wyl, (Jan 7 1887) “…the fact the Joseph offered to furnish his wife, Emma with a substitute for him, by way of compensation for his neglect of her, on condition that she would forever stop her opposition to polygamy, and permit him to enjoy his young wives in peace. . .” Then read the portion of D&C 32 where the Lord Commands Emma to cleave unto Joseph and no one else or be destroyed. And also declared that what he had just commanded was just a test. Draw your own conclusions what that was all about.

  2. Joshua Nelson October 26, 2022 at 9:14 am - Reply

    I’m only about 45 minutes into this episode but I have a couple of thoughts.

    It is referenced that Joseph could’ve added in the supposed beginning of polygamy revelations from 1831 into the 1835 D&C. I think a stronger case is to look at the 1844 D&C. The newer 1844 edition was in its final stages of editing. Two arguments: Joseph could’ve added in this current section 132 revelation if it was valid, he also could’ve added in anything related to the Nauvoo endowments and sealings at this time. Along with this is the fact that he left in the sections that supports monogamy in 1844.

    My last thought around the 45 minute mark is with Mike reference to D&C 132: 1. I appreciate him bringing up that Joseph was the one asking about it. If we link this to Ezekiel 14, a chapter that Joseph taught on in Nauvoo during a Relief Society meeting. The Lord says he will answer men according to their false idols. I will link this in my scriptures now when members say that 132 is a valid revelation.

  3. JG October 27, 2022 at 9:05 am - Reply

    William Clayton recorded “Made Deed for 1/2 S[team] B[oat] Maid of Iowa from Joseph to Emma. Also a Deed to E[mma] for over 60 city lots.” George D. Smith, ed., An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1995), 110.

    I have always wondered if the command “…let not my servant Joseph put his property out of his hands…” in verse 57 was added to undo this transfer, since it was undone.

  4. Charlie Jones October 27, 2022 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Mormon doctrine is so convoluted. We are told we will have the same personalities and traits in the hereafter as we do now. Yet we are expected to believe people will completely change when they are perfected.

  5. Jeremy Quiroz October 31, 2022 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    What I find so ridiculous and contradicting is that apologetics, Book of Mormon, D&C initially say that polygamy was supposed to be used only to “raise up seed”. Then, Joseph smith goes on to say that polygamy is a law for the eternities. So which one is it? This guy can’t keep his story straight.

  6. Edward November 4, 2022 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Need a downloadable audio-only file for those of us who commute through dead zones. Thank you@

    • Maven November 7, 2022 at 11:29 am - Reply

      Apologies, Edward! It’s up now!

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