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Gospel Topics Chapter 7 Bergera Part 5

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
May 19, 2021 9:40 pm

Gospel Topics Chapter 7 Bergera Part 5

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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May 19, 2021 9:40 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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You are knocking the door and opened it to find two friendly representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormon church. So what will you say will you send them away without a Christian witness or will you engage them in a meaningful in Christ honoring conversation if you desire. The latter, we suggest the book, answering moments questions by Romanism research ministries Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson answering woman's questions is available wherever you find quality Christian books on Mormonism program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints viewpoint on Mormonism is 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.

So glad you could be with us for this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM we continue looking at the book the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement. We been examining chapter 7 this week titled through a glass darkly, Joseph Smith, and plural marriage. It was written by Gary James Berger up and it is a critique of the original gospel topic essay titled plural marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo. We're looking at page 201, where Mr. Berger says the essay concludes with a brief discussion of the possible religious reasons for plural marriage.

He writes these include plural marriages a means of raising up seeing her children onto God and as a redemptive process of sacrifice and spiritual refinement. Let me stop you there Eric because this idea of raising up seed. We talked about this week, but there is. It's interesting to see in this conclusion how the essay spins that phrase. Let me read for you. The paragraph the first paragraph towards the end of the essay. The challenge of introducing a principal as controversy all as plural marriage is almost impossible to overstate a spiritual witness of its truthfulness allowed Joseph Smith and other Latter Day Saints to accept this principle. Difficult as it was the introduction of plural marriage in the voodoo did indeed quote raise up seed" unto God the how did it do that because obviously it did that the natural way you're going to have these women married polygamist lady they are going to become pregnant in that relationship.

So naturally, that would seem to fulfill the raising up of seed that's mentioned in Jacob two in the book of Mormon that doesn't help Joseph Smith. Because, as we mentioned earlier, there is no evidence that Joseph Smith had any children. He could have. You would think that the odds would be that he did, but we can't prove that which is kind of interesting because some Mormons who didn't want to believe that Joseph Smith was having sex would use that as an argument will there's no children to prove that he was having sex other than perhaps we could say as we mentioned yesterday's Sylvia sessions, but notice what it says in the next sentence, a substantial number of today's members descend through faithful Latter Day Saints who practice plural marriage. I don't think that really explains the situation though because we know that statistics prove that a woman married in a polygamist relationship tended to have less children, then a woman who was not married in a polygamist relationship so you would think that in order to raise up seed if that's really the goal. It would have been better had God not allegedly commanded Joseph Smith because statistically plural wife relationships yielded fewer children per woman.

The book goes on to say on page 201. That latter encompasses such additional justifications as plural marriage as a test of one's and of one spouse's faith in an obedience to God's prophet as a means of securing spiritual witness of God's wisdom and favor and, as a vehicle for progressing in one's faith like and that to the word of wisdom and the coffee thing that we know that coffee is basically a health food. Now science seems to proven that yet Mormons still look at that as something they're not supposed to partake of simply because the word of wisdom in section 89 of the doctrine covenants says you're not supposed to drink hot drinks, there's really no health reasons not to. So, some have actually said to us well it's a test of my faithfulness to the prophet. Imagine how scary that can be when you have people wanting to prove themselves by listening to everything. This alleged prophet tells them that could lead to all sorts of consequences that would be horrific but yet as Mr. Berger points out, I'm sure that is the reason why many of them were involved in this because they were going to show their faith, their spouse's faith and their obedience to God's prophet who cares what the written word really has to say, it's what the prophet tells us that's what were going to do. It goes on and says the essay stresses that for Smith and for his followers. The command to practice plural marriage was wrenching and the decision to accept it, quote usually came only after earnest prayer in intense soul-searching" followed by struggle resolution and ultimately light and peace.

The essay ends with the admission that, while the LDS church no longer practices plural marriage. It permits eternity. Only plural marriage ceilings in his temples.

When one spouse is deceased. While the precise nature of these plural relationships in the next life is not known. The essay's final sentence urges faith quote Latter Day Saints are encouraged to trust in our wise heavenly father who loves his children, and as all things for their growth and salvation will before commenting on that statement. Let's look at what the essay actually says in the conclusion it says quoting church members no longer practice plural marriage consistent with Joseph Smith's teachings. The church permits a man whose wife has died to be sealed to another woman when he remarries moreover, members are permitted to perform ordinances on behalf of deceased men and women who married more than once on earth, sealing them to all of the spouses to whom they were legally married. That sounds like a plural relationship to me. So even though the conclusion states in the second paragraph, first sentence, church members no longer practice plural marriage. Well, they may not practice in the 19th century way of practicing that but plural marriage is still a part of LDS church doctrine now. Just saying. While the precise nature of these plural relationships in the next life is not known is that really comfort. Most Latter Day Saints women who know that if they were to die at a young age that their spouse would have the opportunity to re-marry and being younger, quite possibly marry another person who is not sealed to another man making them eligible to be married to that individual for both time and eternity. Just as they were married for time and eternity to the spouse that is deceased. This is known in Mormon circles, folks, as eternal polygamy or celestial polygamy. It's a real doctoring in the Mormon church today. This is why language like this. It's his church members no longer practice plural marriage.

At least they tried to explain what they are doing now, but if you look carefully what they are describing is plural marriage, so it is a part of the LDS church today. It's just done a little bit differently. What is that look like in the hereafter. It says well it's really not known well just imagine for a minute what you think it's going to be if a Mormon who qualifies to be with their spouse throughout eternity also qualifies to become the part of the unit where you're married to a God and that's exactly what Mormonism teaches. If you are exalted, you become a God, you will be the goddess wife to that God so will all those other women who are sealed to that individual for eternity.

And so you're going to be repeating the process that we've all experienced here in this life. So when it says that it's not no question that statement yet. Let me read that sentence just to make sure everybody understands the second last sentence of the essay.

The precise nature of these relationships in the next life is not known. And then this and many family relationships will be sorted out in the life to come. Now Bill maybe remember a few years ago we were in St. George at the temple there. We were talking to a sister missionary and a elderly woman and we were talking to her about what she hoped to achieve in the celestial kingdom and she talked about her family being together forever and I don't remember how it came about, but she talked about her black sheet son who member had run away from the faith, and so we ended up talking to her and asking her questions well do you think you'll come back. Oh, he will definitely in her mind she already knew how the celestial kingdom is going to be here.

The church is admitting that things are going to be sorted out. Maybe not in the way that you think, and so for many Latter Day Saints. It's about family. It's about being together in the nuclear family that you remember on earth, but when you're talking about polygamy being reinstated. I mean the top two leaders in the LDS church. Both have been married to two women who have they been married to not only time but eternity as well. Russell M. Nelson and Alan H. Oakes. Both are married to two women they expect to see both of those women in the next life, and there will be according to Bruce McConkey. There will be additional plural marriages. How is that going to be heaven, especially for the women who are listening. Do you really want to be in a relationship where you to be an eternity and maybe you're not going to be the favored wife as you were talking about earlier bill. Maybe you're the lesser of the wives you're going to be over in a corner while your husband is showing more affection to the wives that he likes more than what you do in a situation where you have a Latter Day Saints couple married for eternity here on earth, and they end up getting a divorce but they don't take care of that eternal relationship in the way that they're supposed to.

According to the standards of the church. I've talked to people who I remember talking this one man and he had been divorced for 10 years and had not taken care of that business, he still married to that woman that he no longer loves for eternity. And if Mormonism is true and this law continues into eternity as you would think it would because Mormons are told this is how you're supposed to do it and if you don't do it this way, you would think that there would be consequences for that. So let's say that there are probably quite a few situations like that were through a divorce. The couples are split up maybe one becomes an evangelical Christian and has no desire to go back to the Mormon church doesn't want to take care of any of this stuff because to them, it's silly, but that other individual doesn't do what they're supposed to do and say in the case of a man.

He doesn't go in get that eternal marriage would call it nullified.

Technically, if Mormonism is true that woman is going to be with him throughout eternity will how did she even qualify if she's not a member, it raises so many questions it is is just mind-boggling. In the example you gave you have this woman who is married to this man, who is no longer qualified to become the one who resurrects her so she's going to be given to some other man and be in a polygamous relationship. She might not have even known this man. I think that would be upsetting for many Latter Day Saints women will. This is what happens when you have man made religions.

Thank you for listening. If 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 join us again as we look at another viewpoint is


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