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Gospel Topics Chapter 9 Bringhurst Part 5

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
June 3, 2021 9:03 pm

Gospel Topics Chapter 9 Bringhurst Part 5

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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June 3, 2021 9:03 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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When one examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 limited 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. The fourth Mormon Pres. Wilford Woodruff said in by promoting the manifesto of 1890. Welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism.

I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM this week we've been looking at chapter 9. In the book the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement chapter 9 was written by a man named Ewell G.

Bringhurst and it deals with the subject of the manifesto. The document that came out in 1890 that allegedly officially ended the practice of plural marriage. Now, of course, the whole reason why a gospel topics essay on the manifesto and the end of plural marriage had to be written is because the manifesto really didn't and plural marriage, and that's what this chapter is talking about new Bringhurst is critiquing the gospel topics essay that was released by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on October 25, 2014.

He has some praise for the essay as we do as well. We do feel that the church has been a bit more transparent on this issue. Certainly more so than they have in the past, but he also has some of his problems.

We were looking at some of the problems in yesterday showing were going to continue in this program were looking today at page 238 he writes also problematic is the essay's truncated discussion of a second important revelation affirming plural marriage, a September 1886 revelation received by church president John Taylor never canonized and only published years after Taylor's death. The revelation commanded Taylor to promote and perpetuate plural marriage despite increasing pressure from federal authorities to abandon the practice. The essay's discussion of Taylor's so-called purported revelation is buried in a single footnote at the end which is no 14. Moreover, the status of the revelation is discounted with the statement that the revelation was quote never submitted to the councils of the priesthood nor the church," and that in any event, quote the revelation had been superseded by the manifesto." Let's look at that statement because that is true. John Taylor, the third president of the church allegedly did have this revelation where he was encouraged to keep the course, if you will. Here's what's fascinating about this. Eric in the gospel topics essay under the subheading the manifesto it says this and this is what new Bringhurst is talking about church leaders prayerfully sought guidance from the Lord and struggled to understand what they should do regarding continuing plural marriage or abandoning it and then it goes on to say both Pres. John Taylor and Pres. Wilford Woodruff felt the Lord directing them to stay the course and not renounce plural marriage.

The question I raised at the beginning of the show was this did Wilford Woodruff sin by coming forth with the manifesto and encouraging the church to abandon the practice of plural marriage. This is why asked the question if, in fact, both Pres. John Taylor and Pres. Wilford Woodruff felt the Lord directing them to stay the course and not renounce plural marriage. The fact is, Wilford Woodruff did. Now if we felt the Lord was telling them not to renounce it. He goes ahead and he does it. John Taylor is off the hook because he passes away in the late 1880s. He's a hero to to the fundamentalists who will talk about this, but what the essay called a purported revelation. I guess my question Bill is what is a purported revelation versus enough like revelation, how do we know that this is purported and really not what God intended. And yet the manifesto was a true revelation. I think the answer would be probably very simple.

According to the standards of the LDS church, and I think Bringhurst mentions it on page 239 that particular revelation, though it may or may not have been given to John Taylor, we assume John Taylor did receive this revelation was never submitted to the councils of the priesthood nor the church technicality. It sounds like to me. My question is, is that this church is really a restoration as the way things were done anciently.

Where do we find in the Old Testament that revelations were supposed to be submitted to any such councils before they were accepted as being the will of God for God's people neither in the Old Testament nor the New Testament do we see anything like that new Bringhurst goes on page 241 to talk about the fundamentalists movement, which he feels is been largely ignored in this gospel topics essay largely ignored in the gospel topics essay is fundamentalist Mormonism relative to its impact on the mainstream LDS church. The essay simply states that quote some LDS church members who were excommunicated coalesced into independent movements and are sometimes called fundamentalist and then it adds, these groups are not affiliated with or supported by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." I do remember when Gordon B. Hinckley was president he wanted to make that very clear. These groups have nothing to do with as he was like in damage control because that is in them harassing part of Mormonism in today's Latter Day Saints don't like being associated with the fundamentalist groups who still believe that plural marriage should be practiced today. He writes, in fact, LDS leaders consider the fledgling fundamentalist movement, an existential threat and acted accordingly. By the 1920s Heber J. Grant, who succeeded Joseph F. Smith as president asserted himself as an intractable flow of fundamentalist plural marriage despite himself having earlier taken plural wives grant issued a series of stern warnings during the late 1920s and early 1930s condemning Mormon fundamentalist teachings and practices as heretical. In June 1933 grant issued what became known as the third or final manifesto. This seminal directive actually written by J. Reuben Clark grants second counselor to announce the quote few misguided members of the church. You had secretly associated themselves together for the avowed purpose of perpetuating the practice of polygamy or plural marriage." Such individuals lacked authority making their actions, both illegal and void because the Lord has laid down without qualification, the principle that there is never met one on the earth at a time on whom this power in the keys of the priesthood are conferred. Bringhurst goes on towards the bottom of page 242 to say shortly after the final manifesto. The LDS church issued an ecclesiastical loyalty oath that suspected fundamentalist sympathizers were required to sign those who refused faced excommunication talk about things being turned on its head.

One minute you're being encouraged that you should be practicing this if you want to get the best this religion has for you. The next minute. Now if you're involved in that kind of a practice that all you're going to get kicked out of the church at the bottom of page 242 he writes clearly, LDS officials wanted to stamp out fundamentalist Mormonism. All such punitive measures, however, had the opposite effect, transforming a ragtag collection of polygamist sympathizers into a cohesive movement. By the early 1940s, fundamentalist Mormonism attracted an increasing number of adherents throughout the remainder of the 20th century and into the 21st. That is something that can't be overlooked because as he is going to go on and explain a lot of the people who belong to these fundamentalist groups, many of them were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints new Bringhurst makes his point in the Virtually all individuals, embracing fundamentalist Mormonism have roots in and or are former members of the mainline LDS church. Also, the vast majority claim early Mormon polygamist ancestry.

All of this underscores the fact that although the 1890 manifesto facilitated the end of plural marriage within the LDS church.

The practice continues to flourish outside of mainstream Mormonism it's adherents claim to be the truest, most Orthodox of Latter Day Saints. Embracing what they call old-fashioned Mormonism or the fullness of the gospel as taught by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and all other early LDS leaders.

Would you agree with that, though Eric only we wanted a series on the different splinter groups, many of them are polygamist and they still hold to the idea that they are the rightful heirs of Joseph Smith I I think this is absolutely correct is least in the minds of those who are fundamentalist Mormons. They are going back in their history and they are looking at leaders such as Joseph Smith.

Brigham Young and John Taylor definitely Wilford Woodruff is looked upon by many fundamentalist as being the treasonous leader of the church and they don't respect him for turning his back on the practice of plural marriage, but Joseph Smith never denounced the practice. Brigham Young never denounced the practice and we know that John Taylor never denounced the practice and if we are to believe that that revelation that is so controversy old that John Taylor had towards the end of his life was really revelation from God to John Taylor to pursue in keeping this belief going then obviously they would look at those three leaders as being the true leaders of the Mormonism that they choose to practice today and they would rightly I think in that context view modern members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as belonging to a group that is apostate and we've talked to some of these fundamentalist and they do look upon the LDS church headquartered in Salt Lake City as being apostate. If you like to read more about some of those groups were talking about go to our website MRM.org/splinter groups with a hyphen between splintering groups and you can read about the apostolic United brethren, which is known as the work of the group or the priesthood. You can read more about the F LDS and also you can learn more about the Kingston clan. There are number of groups out there that claim that they hold the rightful brains of Joseph Smith and Mormonism that followed. At the end of new Bringhurst chapter under the subheading conclusion.

He says such omissions.

Notwithstanding the manifesto and the end of plural marriage essay provides a readable, carefully written overview of the topic at hand. As such, it deserves the attention of interested individuals both within and outside the LDS community. I would tend to agree with that, to a certain extent, though I do sympathize with Mr. Bringhurst complaints about what is either treated very lightly or completely ignored in this essay but I think the bottom line is this if your Latter Day Saints you have to ask yourself is this really the way God who supposed to know the end from the beginning operates with his people to give a command at what point and then just a few decades later to resend it. I want to end by citing from the book of Mormon. This is Elma 41 eight it says now the decrees of God are on alterable therefore the way is prepared, that whosoever will may walk there in and be saved. Couple that statement with doctrine and covenants 33. Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men if anything reading this essay on the manifesto. In the end of plural marriage. It certainly seems to point to the fact that the doctrine of polygamy was not a work of God because it was frustrated but in fact was the work of man. 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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