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March 5, 2020 8:23 pm
.1 Mormonism examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints viewpoint when 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 welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at M. R.
M. We are continuing to look at the books Saints the standard of truth, a Mormon history book published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 2018 and were marching up to the time when the Mormons have now come into the area of commerce Illinois later to be called Naboo, Illinois, and as I mentioned yesterday, there's an interesting paragraph on page 433 that says the years following Joseph's departure from Kirtland, Ohio had been turbulent and he had not introduced the Saints. The plural marriage, then, but the situation was different in Naboo where the Saints had finally found a measure of safety and stability. That's, like the jumping off point for what were going to talk about today because Smith now being the mayor of Naboo is going to start practicing plural marriage, but he's not going to do it openly and that's what this chapter brings out what is it say on page 434 Eric Joseph himself left no record of his own views on plural marriage or his struggle to obey the commandment Emma to disclose nothing about how early she learned of the practice or what impact it had on her marriage. The writings of others close to them.
However, make clear that it was a source of anguish for both of them before we go on.
We should again emphasize the fact that when they use the word commandment here.
That's being used improperly, especially when it comes to the Old Testament practice of plural marriage member in yesterday show. We brought out how the book tries to imply that Abraham was commanded to practice plural marriage and that's just not true. That's something that Mormons will tell you, but that's not something that you're going to find in the Old Testament, but he does realize that this is going to be a troubling doctrine for his own followers to accept, yet Joseph felt an urgency to teach it to the Saints.
Despite the wrists and his own reservations if he introduced the principal privately to faithful men and women he could build strong support for it. Preparing for the time when it could be taught openly.
Here again the book is being very honest Smith does not announce this publicly because he knows it's going to bring a lot of very sharp criticism. Remember, this is the middle of the 19th century were in the Victorian era.
At this point, and a lot of Christians. Following that Victorian moral ethic are going to find plural marriage to be quite troubling. Well they should. Because Christianity was never known as a religion of a plurality of wives. So this is going to certainly fly in the face of the traditions of historic Christianity and even Joseph Smith's old brother.
We know how to problem with this in the book Mormon enigma, a book written by two female Mormon authors. They mentioned this problem that Joseph Smith's brother Carlos had with the rumor at this time that Joseph Smith was somehow floating the idea of a plurality of wives. This is what it says on pages 95 and 96 of Mormon enigma Emma Smith early in that summer of 1841. However, Joseph publicly tested the water for this new order of marriage one church member Joseph Lee Robinson heard the speech, and later recorded it in his journal, adding quote. This was to me. The first intimation that I ever received that polygamy would ever be practiced or lawful in this people" his brother Ebenezer later wrote of Don Carlos Miss reaction quote any man who will teach and practice the doctrine of spiritual wife or he will go to hell.
I don't care if it is, my brother, Joseph," so don't Carlos Smith finds this teaching to be so offensive that even if his own brother is teaching that which I get from that paragraph he had not heard from his brother's own lips that he was teaching us that he would go to hell. That's how serious it would've been, and this is Smith's own family so you can understand why this is not going to be met with open arms. But then it goes on to say what about plural marriage to accept plural marriage people would have to overcome their prejudices, reconsider social customs and exercise great faith to obey God when he commanded something so foreign to their traditions so again they throw in the word, commanded as if this is something that God was really behind, but I want to stop there because there is a quotation from M. Russell Ballard, Mormon apostle of talk that he gave title. Beware of false prophets and teachers. This was given in October 1999. You can find this speech in the November 1999 addition of & magazine on page 64 we cited this quotation from M. Russell Ballard before but it's important that we visited again because it really puts in perspective why we hold the position that this kind of a teaching does not support the Mormon claimant, Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God. I remember the title of Ballard speech was beware of false prophets and teachers, and in this speech Ballard gives a guideline as to how you can recognize a false prophet or a false teacher. He said false prophets and false teachers are also those who attempt to change the God-given and scripturally based doctrines that protect the sanctity of marriage. The divine nature of the family and the central doctrine of personal morality. They advocate a redefinition of morality to justify fornication, adultery, and homosexual relationships that again I don't want to imply that Joseph Smith was advocating homosexual relationships. There's no evidence for that whatsoever. But notice what Ballard said false prophets and teachers advocate a redefinition of morality to justify fornication and adultery. Put yourself back in this time. This is now around 1839 1840 and you are now hearing these rumors that Joseph Smith is starting to float the idea of a plurality of wives. How would you view Joseph Smith if you found out that was true based on the guideline that M. Russell Ballard is giving in this speech in October 1999, does it not sound that Joseph Smith is justifying fornication and adultery.
Remember, he's a married man here. He's been married to Emma for quite some years now and now he's starting to justify this idea that he can take on more than one wife will if you don't see this as a command from God, what category would you put Joseph Smith in he's either fornicator, but because he's married, he's actually in adulterer. It almost seems bill like Joseph Smith gets a free pass to be able to do whatever he thinks is the right thing. And M. Russell Ballard certainly would not have been thinking about Joseph Smith when he talks about fornication and adultery. But really, what is that when you are marrying teenage girls as young as 14, when 1/3 of your wives are women who are married to living husbands. This doesn't seem what it would be something that God would have commanded for him to do so you can understand why this idea, especially during that time period would be so offensive not only to the general public. But even taught Carlos Smith who is Joseph Smith's brother, saying that if Smith was actually advocating such a teaching he would go to hell.
The last line of what I had read from the standard of truth said that to exercise great faith to obey God when he commanded something so foreign to their traditions. Do you think that really was just their traditions or was there more to it. While I would say it was much more than just tradition. It was also going to go against their theology to even be an officer in the Christian church.
You had to be the husband of one wife plurality of wise was certainly not something that's advocated in the New Testament.
It just was not something that the early church was saying was condoned by God, but Smith has to turn it into a commandment because he has to somehow give some credibility to this teaching. He's not going to say it. Well it's me because of how many people have accused Joseph Smith of bringing it up just because he had a sex problem as it was. He was a sexual predator. And of course Mormon apologist would argue oh no no no that wasn't Joseph Smith that all although hey let's look at some of the list of the women that he allegedly married. Many of them were much younger than Joseph Smith, which is very typical.
I mean why do Mormons have a problem with the fundamentalist like Rulon Jeffs and his son Warren Jeffs. They immediately point to them as being some kind of sexual predators sex fiends that have to go on and have younger wives and they look at that as a negative, but somehow turn a blind eye to Joseph Smith just seems inconsistent to me. Page 435 that the standard of truth continues around the fall of 1840. Joseph had begun speaking with 25-year-old Luisa Beeman about the practice and it goes on to say sometime later Joseph proposed marriage to Luisa. She left no record of how she reacted to the offer or when or why she accepted it, but on the evening of April 5, 1841, the day before Gen. conference. Joseph met Luisa and Bates for the ceremony authorized by Joseph date seal the two together repeating back the words of the ordinances. Joseph spoke them to him. It mentions earlier that Bates Bates Noble who was an uncle to Luisa Beeman.
The point I want to bring out here though. Eric, as this is, we have to remember the book is already mentioned Fanny Elder earlier on, you go back to page 291 that talks about Joseph Smith's relationship with young Fanny Elder so this is not the first plural marriage because it mentions his relationship with Fanny Elder as being a marriage so this would be his second plural wife to support that bill.
Page 291 says following the Lord's command. Joseph proposed marriage to Fanny with the help of Levi, and the approval of her parents. Fanny accepted Joseph's teachings and his proposal and her uncle performed the ceremony so that was the first time he gets married and so Luisa Beeman is not the first, but now they are in a place as we mentioned yesterday, that is much more excepting perhaps a friendlier environment for him to be able to start marrying multiple wives and continue what he had started before but the fact is though Eric even though he felt it was a little safer to do it at this particular time. And in this particular place. There are going to be a lot of people who find the teaching of the plurality of wise to be most offensive and certainly not something that was commanded by God for Joseph Smith or anybody else to practice it. At that time. Her in that area. Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter research.
We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is, is there not much of a difference between what is Christianity. Actually, despite what many may think. And when it comes to this incident. Even highly charged issue that is eternal ramifications. The Christian may not know where to turn. Just trying to understand Mormons police to be both confusing and frustrating.
That's why Mormonism 101 was written a book resource plan Mormonism research ministries Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson contrasts final documents such as who is God what is Scripture and how a person is able to go to heaven. Religions are placed side-by-side differences are maybe 101 is help you better understand the doctrines of humanity saying friend, family member or coworker even has witnessing tips to help you in future conversations. Published by Baker books Mormonism 101 is available. MRM.org or ask for it at your favorite Christian bookstore. Always be prepared to give an