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Gospel Topics Chapter 9 Bringhurst

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2021 9:57 pm

Gospel Topics Chapter 9 Bringhurst

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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May 31, 2021 9:57 pm

This week Bill and Eric take a closer look at chapter 9 in the book The LDS Gospel Topics Series: A Scholarly Engagement (Signature Books, 2020), titled “Plural Marriage after 1890.” The entire series along with other articles covering the Gospel Topics Essays, printed between 2013-2015, are located at mrm.org/gospel-topics-essays, where you can get a fuller report.

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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 what 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 view .1 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. So glad you agree with us for this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson my colleague RM plural marriage.

Certainly a huge topic when it comes to the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and when the church came out with its gospel topics essays between the end of 2013 and the end of 2015.

Three of those essays dealt with the subject of polygamy or plural marriage. Today we are looking at the book the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement and we are in chapter 9 titled plural marriage after eight team 90 and of course 1890 was a banner year because that's the year that the document known as the manifesto came out where the leadership of the Mormon church was promising that they would no longer practice plural marriage or solemnize plural marriages. This chapter was written by a man named G. Bringhurst, and we didn't get very far in yesterday's program but we want to continue this thought about the laws that were being implemented by the federal government in order to pressure the LDS church into abandoning their doctrine of plural marriage and we talked about the Reynolds versus United States, this is George Reynolds. It was a test case and as Mr. Bringhurst brings out he says accordingly. LDS officials mounted a vigorous legal defense all the way to the US Supreme Court, resulting in the landmark Reynolds versus the United States, that was in 1879. This decision by the Supreme Court went against the LDS church. George Reynolds was found guilty. But as Mr. Bringhurst says this because the LDS church to have a dilemma and what is that dilemma Eric on the one hand, Latter Day Saints. Sincerely desire to be loyal citizens of the United States, but also embrace plural marriage as a commandment from God ultimately church leaders encourage members to obey God rather than men. Thus, the church embarked on a course of civil disobedience continuing to live in plural marriage and entering into new plural marriages and we should mention that that last sentence you read is in quotation marks that on ace course of civil disobedience and there's an ellipses continuing to live in plural marriage and entering into new plural marriages that we were having a long discussion off air when it comes to the phrase civil disobedience. Certainly this phrase is used purposely and I think we both agree on the house that it was used to. I guess give the response to these laws to make it appear more noble when Latter Day Saints refused to abandon plural marriage because otherwise is just plain old criminal activity, so civil disobedience makes it sound as you mention noble and respectable. The problem, of course, and we both agree on this to that nobility that comes with that phrase. I guess it all depends on the eye of the beholder had me in the mornings. Of course, would see this as being noble in defining the federal government forcing them to disobey God and having them to to obey. Man, I get that. But of course from the other view. It was looked upon as being merely criminal activity. In fact, as we mentioned many times in this show, slavery and plural marriage were known as the twin relics of barbarism.

At least that's what it was called during the election of 1860. Now were getting towards 1890 and certainly a lot of things have changed and the government is certainly turning its attention to the LDS people in wanting to get them to abandon this practice.

Certainly, I'm sure that many of those Latter Day Saints felt they were being the most normal people and doing what God still intended for them to do. They believed even though the manifesto came out in 1990, but I think that comes down to the fact that many people will call a person while one but as it said one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, so using the word civil disobedience I think was purposely used by the, the author of the gospel topics essay to make this look like these people were again, they were respectable. Let's move on because Mr. Bringhurst. He mentions how this essay.

The gospel topics essay is divided into four sections in the first one we discussed yesterday and today and had to deal with anti-polygamy laws and civil disobedience.

The second section he mentions is the manifesto itself, which focuses on the official 1890 directive leading to the end of plural marriage in the church and he mentions again the Edmonds Tucker act. We talked about that in earlier broadcast. This was a law.

According to Mr. Bringhurst allowed for the confiscation of church property alarmed LDS church president Wilford Woodruff feared that the church's temples and its ordinances were now at risk. Why would that get the Mormons attention Eric not very many of them have been built at this time but these buildings are where celestial marriages take place if you take away the temple, then they're knocking to be able to have a place to be able to solemnize for time and eternity. These different relationships. You would also have to get rid of the doctrine of baptism for the dead, because those are also practiced in Mormon Temple so you could see why losing these buildings would be devastating to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He goes on to talk about that.

The 1890 manifesto states that the church quote was not teaching polygamy or plural marriage nor permitting any person to enter into its practice.

However, there were a lot of polygamists in the church including Wilford Woodruff who signs the manifesto of 1890 who still had plural wives and so you could see how this could also cause a problem for members of the LDS church engaged in this practice, but then on page 233 he says there's 1/3 section entitled after the manifesto, which discusses how LDS leaders and rank-and-file members dealt with issues ostensibly unresolved by the manifesto. The essay asserts quote at first, many church leaders believe the manifesto merely suspended plural marriage for an indefinite." Carefully, adding that for members of the church quote.

Having lived taught and suffered for plural marriage for so long. It was difficult to imagine a world without it." The manifesto was silent on what existing plural family should do this in turn cause confusion with some polygamist couples acting on their own initiative, separating or divorcing.

As a result of the manifesto, while other husbands ceased to cohabit with all but one of their wise but continue quote to provide financial and emotional support to all dependents."

At the same time, many husbands including church leaders continue to cohabit with their plural wives and father children with them well into the 20th century. Despite the illegality of such actions. So even though you have a statement from the church leadership say look what I can have anything to do with this any longer. It's still going on and that was really the whole point of I think this essay to begin with because a lot of historians realized that it didn't continue after the church told the government that it was not going to continue but then there's also 1/4 section that's entitled the second manifesto and I think this is probably a lesser-known manifesto or document. Most people who, if they do know about the first one of 1890.

They don't realize that there had to be a second one. Why was there a second one. It's because they didn't really mean business with the first one they had to now get serious about this and start doing something about those who were still practicing polygamy after the church had years before told the federal government that they were no longer going to do it on page 235 new Bringhurst says that the essay concludes by noting marriage between one man and one woman is God's standard unless he declares otherwise, which he did through his prophet Joseph Smith, the manifesto marked the beginning of the return to monogamy, which is the standard of the church today. We had mentioned in an earlier broadcast Eric that when you look at the timetable of how polygamy came down how it was practiced and ultimately how it was no longer practice it tends to show that if God was really behind this was really shortsighted and all this because after this becomes an official doctrine must be serious.

It wasn't announced publicly until 1852.

But then we find in 1890. Now it's all of a sudden illegal.

What's that about 38 years. That seems like a pretty short time, especially when were talking about God himself to institute something and then to do a reversal on it. It tends to tell me. And of course I'm an outsider and I admit I'm an outsider that this looks like something that was clearly a device manufactured by men and not something that was of God Bill, what you say that last part that monogamy is the standard of the church today with the LDS church leaders like people to believe that polygamy no longer plays a role within Mormonism. When doctrine and covenants section 132 still is found within the standard works of this church, and the fact that there are men who are able to marry other wives for the eternities. Not for this life we understand monogamy is for this life, but that's not really stated here at the end of this essay and I think that's misleading and I criticize Gordon B. Hinckley when he made that same kind of a statement that the church today has nothing to do with polygamy.

That's really not true. They do not practice plural marriage the way it was practiced in the 19th century. That's true in other words, a Mormon mail cannot be married to more than one living wife in this mortality. If you do and you are found out you will be excommunicated from the church. That's pretty much common knowledge but a Mormon mail can be sealed for eternity to more than one wife and the other words if they were married. Let's say in this life for time and eternity to a woman in a Mormon Temple than that woman was to pass away that widower could find another woman and if she was not sealed to another male. She could be sealed to this man and according to Mormonism, that mail will have those two women to be his plural wives in the next life, and we have examples of that as a top two leaders of this church, Russell M. Nelson and Delaunay chokes. Both are expecting to see the two wives that they have married for eternity in the next life and Delaunay jokes didn't even hide it when he was talking about his second wife. They don't need to hide it because that's what they really believe that is a doctor of the church now. Certainly this causes a lot of consternation among some female Latter Day Saints, especially the younger women in the church because they tend to know in the back of their head.

If they're familiar with this at all, that if they were to pass away at a young age. Their spouse could more easily find a replacement who is not already sealed to another man and she would have to share her husband with that new wife throughout eternity. Thank you for listening you would like more information we guarding this 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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