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Gospel Topics Chapter 7 Bergera Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
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May 17, 2021 9:36 pm

Gospel Topics Chapter 7 Bergera Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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May 17, 2021 9:36 pm

We continue our series by looking at a chapter on polygamy written by Gary Bergera, responding to the Signature book published in 2020 on the Gospel Topics Essays. For more on the Gospel Topics Essays, see https://www.mrm.org/gospel-topics-essays.

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Mormonism 101 is research ministries Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson has helped many more to understand what separates Mormonism from the Christian faith. Mormonism 101 is available at your favorite Christian bookstore online@mrm.org .1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint on Mormonism sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism. Our thanks to Adam's roadbed for that musical introduction welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry in with me today is Eric Johnson.

My colleague at M. R.

M. We continue going through the book, the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement. Today we're continuing our look at chapter 7 through a glass darkly, Joseph Smith, and plural marriage written by Gary James Berger and as we been mentioning throughout the series, this book was written in response to the 13 original gospel topics essays that were posted on their official website which is now Church of Jesus Christ.org, the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Each one of these chapters critiques the essay in each one of the chapters has different authors chapter 7 as I mentioned, through a glass darkly, Joseph Smith, and plural marriage. We are looking at page 200 when it talks about Fanny Elder.

He writes the essay speculates that Smith may have secretly taken a young unmarried Smith family housekeeper Fanny Auger as his first plural wife in the mid-1830s and extralegal marriage that ended in dissolution Smith next and better documented plural marriage took place half a decade later in Naboo, Illinois to Luisa Beeman. This union inaugurated the active. Of Smith's plural marriage practice by the end of which the Mormon prophet had married 30+ women the precise number will probably never be known, including almost a dozen already married civilly to other men and this is what I think this essay was quite a shock for many people, not only for Latter Day Saints. As we discussed, but also for non-Latter Day Saints who see the church admitting that Joseph Smith is having relationships with women who have living husbands. There is no way possible that you could come close to ever justifying that kind of relationship known as polyandry. When it comes to polygamy. You could do as many Latter Day Saints to point to some of the examples in the Old Testament, but even the Latter Day Saints know that they have to somehow twist the scriptures to make even that palatable by inferring that Joseph Smith was commanded to practice plural marriage just as it was commanded to be practiced in the Old Testament, which of course it was not. The essay goes on and says it suggests the difference between plural marriage ceilings that were said to be for time and eternity versus plural marriage ceiling said to be for eternity. Only ceiling is the noun a marriage authorized by Smith was sometimes termed the former ceiling.

According to the essay implies the possibility of sexual relations. In this life for time. The latter ceiling implies marital relations in heaven after death only for eternity.

Such a difference functions to defend Smith against charges that he committed adultery when he married already civilly married women since such plural marriages would have been for eternity only and would not have been consummated in this life. So as you were mentioning earlier Eric another show. This is an essay that has to. I guess you could say do some damage control in order to protect Joseph Smith's image and clearly it does that.

I think Berger notices that is well by separating the types of plural marriages between time and eternity and just for eternity only and inserting this idea that eternity only ceilings did not include any sexual relationships than they can easily try to say. Will Smith never had sex with those women who already had living husbands. I don't know how that really helps the situation though because they're not denying that he had sexual relations with some of those women. He married polygamist sleep you didn't already have husbands… Talk real quick about marriage for eternity. Only I'm reading from a book called in sacred loneliness. The plural wise of Joseph Smith. This was written by Todd Compton. He is a scholar on the topic never mentioned in the essay, but this is what he writes on page 14 of his book that was published by signature books as well. He said some like Emma Smith conclude that Joseph's marriages were for eternity only, not for time. Thus, without earthly sexuality, but many of Joseph's wives affirm that they were married to him for eternity and time with sexuality included Eliza Snow in her autobiography, wrote that quote I was sealed to the prophet Joseph Smith for time and eternity in accordance with the celestial love marriage which God has revealed." Then he writes this. Furthermore, there are no known instances of marriages for eternity. Only in the 19th century say that again because I don't know if a lot of people really understand that. Furthermore, there are no known instances of marriages for eternity. Only in the 19th century, and I probably should mention at this point that Mr. Berger is going to address that. A few pages later.

In fact, let's talk about that. He says 1/3 example of the essay's preference for later reading one that functions to discount Smith's sexual relations with already civilly married plural wives is the distinction it makes between eternity. Only marriage ceilings and time and eternity. Marriage ceilings Mr. Berger continues to say on page 206 in defining eternity only ceilings in time and eternity ceilings as it does the essay displays a present to this understanding of marriage ceilings that may or may not accurately reflect Smith's own understanding of the terms only explain what he saying here he saying that the essay is looking back in time and interpreting past events by how they are understood now this is something that we see going on in our culture all the time because a present this understanding is basically according to the dictionary viewing the past with a perspective limited to present-day attitudes and beliefs. We see this certainly among many who feel that it's okay to tear down certain statues, little realizing the worldview at that particular time when those statues were erected and judging them by today's standards. Now I'm not condoning that everything in the past was something that we should probably hail as a good thing, but many of the people that feel that the past needs to be eradicated are doing so based on present understandings. Berger is accusing the writers of this essay or the writer of this essay of doing the same exact thing. And as you just pointed out. Todd Compton is saying this idea of eternity.

Only ceilings would've really been understood during the time of Joseph Smith that was a leader understanding that's being put upon Mormonism's past, but going back to page 200 Berger also says the essay also excuses Smith's marriages to teenagers, one of whom was 14 at the time, but whose plural marriage. The essay describes as having occurred quote several months before her 15th birthday." That doesn't sound so bad. Phil she's 15, almost. I remember when this essay came out and we were talking to other colleagues in ministry and I think just about everybody saw that as being comical the way they worded that is if saying several months before her 15th birthday would make you feel so much better than them. Let's say she was 14 years old. Obviously the writer or writers of this essay is trying to play a psychological game with the reader knowing that a 38-year-old man going after a 14-year-old is probably not going to be well accepted. Now we have to understand that the 14-year-old in this context is Helen Moore Kimball Helen Moore Kimball was the daughter of Heber C.

Kimball, who was a very prestigious leader in the LDS church for many years Kimball would do just about anything for Joseph Smith to give me an example, Joseph Smith goes up to Heber C. Kimball, and tells them that God told him that Heber's wife Violet was to be one of his plural wives Heber C.

Kimball was tortured with that idea for days, knowing that he was going to have to give his wife up to be a plural wife are Joseph Smith.

He went through all this agony, only to have Joseph Smith come up to him later saying that not really that's not really going to happen now. Does that sound like a nice man, a man who would tell his friend that he wants his wife and then to see how is going to react.

The man is willing to give him his wife, and Joseph Smith basically just laughs it off. We have to understand this is not a good man. One third of Joseph Smith's wise according Todd Compton were teenagers as young as 14, one third of Joseph Smith's wife were married to living husbands. This is nothing close to what the Bible would have condoned in the Old Testament times, no matter how you try to spin it will. How have latter-day Saints spun this as you say will Berger goes on to say, it admits that such marriages are quote inappropriate by today's standards."

But asserts that they were in fact legal in that era, and hence not as unusual as we today may judge others. A footnote for that footnote number six it says on this subject. See Todd Compton's insightful discussion early marriage in the New England and in northeastern states and in Mormon polygamy. What was the norm when you look at the norm, we find that it was very rare for young teenagers to be married, especially to a 38-year-old man. Even more rare. I would say probably never happened with 38-year-old man who was already married. That could have happened but who in the world would've said that's perfectly okay in 19th century America. No problem there. Nobody would do that but yet that is how that is spun today. A lot of latter-day Saints will say back then that was perfectly acceptable. Not really, especially with married men and if you're a married man who has a 14-year-old daughter, do you really think if you were living in 19th century America that you would be okay with a 38-year-old man going after your daughter unless you were maybe Heber C. Kimball, I doubt that let's just say it was immoral back in the 19th century as much as it's immoral today for a 14-year-old single girl to be married to a a 38-year-old married man. This is immoral in every sense of the term, and I think most latter-day Saints if they are being honest with themselves would have to agree with what you just said Eric and II can tell that Mr. Berger also sees a problem with this. Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry.

We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is


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