(Continued from page 377)
We will now examine one doctrine that clearly and unequivocally demonstrates that the heresies of Joseph Smith resulted in contradiction, confusion, pain and heartache for the poor misled Mormons who flocked to join the supposedly 'restored church'.CHAPTER IX.
Mormons usually quote the failings of characters from the Old Testament when they are trying to defend polygamy. But this simply will not suffice for we find that, in marrying more than one woman, king Solomon was going against God's revealed will regarding monogamy for, from the very beginning, God created one woman for one man (ref. Genesis 1:27; 2:21-25). Deuteronomy 17:17 explicitly instructed the king not to 'multiply wives:'
14When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; 15Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. 16But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. 17Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. 18And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: 19And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: 20That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.'
Solomon sinned in various ways: (1) he engaged in polygamy, (2) he violated God's commandment against marrying pagans, which ultimately led to his own apostasy, (3) he collected huge numbers of horses (a large chariot army), and (4) he gathered vast amounts of gold and silver. Solomon's tolerance of his wives pagan religions led to terrible sins against God. 1 Kings 11:4-9 states:
For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his foreign wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon…
There were many other men of dubious character in the Old Testament, but Mormonism tries to give the impression that they believe in family life more strongly than any other Christian group, and that it is of the utmost importance today and in the after-life, while defending a practice that is clearly shown in the Old Testament to be damaging to families! Consider the obvious example of God's promise to Abraham (Genesis 15) - that he would have a son and be the father of a multitude, through whom God would bless the world. After ten years, and no children, Sarah came to Abraham and said, take my slave, Hagar, and have children with her so that God's promise can come true! Do we read that this great patriarch, Abraham, said anything wise or dissuasive to that? No! Genesis 16:2 tells us he made the same mistake as Adam, who listened to Eve, and listened to the voice of Sarah. Later, after Hagar had Ishmael, Sarah was jealous and Abraham told her to do what she wanted to her slave and allowed her to treat Hagar harshly. So we read that Abraham was silent and did what Sarah said. What was the long-term result? The Arab/Israeli conflict that still rages today! This is what happens when we disobey God's commandments. Of course, the satanically influenced Joseph Smith re-wrote Genesis for the Mormon Church so that the fall of Adam was really a fall upwards! By this we mean Smith claimed it was advantageous for man and the only way he could set out on the path to be 'a god'. This was couched in the Book of Mormon at:
2 Nephi 2:22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. 23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. 24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. 25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
This despite the fact that the Bible shows that this was part of the first Satanic lie, told to the first woman Eve, after Satan had said (verse 1) - "Did God really say ....' - in Genesis 3:4:
"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
The depth of blindness of the Mormon is never more fully displayed than the belief invested in words that are the very opposite of the true biblical account and the very reason for all sin in the world! That is how far Mormonism is from the truth and anyone reading Mormon accounts of the situation that Abraham fell into with Hagar will find them praising his obvious error!
Accounts of Mormon polygamy reveal the depths of anguish suffered by women under this cruel and despotic doctrine. Read Tell It All: The Tyranny of Mormonism or An Englishwoman in Utah (by T.B.H. Stenhouse, Centaur press Ltd, 1971) for a true account of the deception employed by Mormon missionaries to inveigle Europeans to make the long trek to Utah where they were deceptively trapped in polygamy! It is horrendous enough for any women to learn that she is expected to share the love of her life with another woman - under any circumstances - but can any man really imagine how a wife would feel if her husband could have many wives not only here on earth but, supposedly, in Paradise in heaven - and by claimed revelation from Almighty God after they have known and understood the real truth from His Word for many years? Read this account of the tears of anguish by a poor woman trapped in an insidious cult in the book by Stenhouse (certainly recently available in Cardiff in the Central Library) and available on-line at:
Here Mrs Stenhouse describes the moment when she knew that the denied rumours about polygamy were true:
THE REVELATION ON CELESTIAL "MARRIAGE."
Waiting for the Revelation - The Millennial Star - The Revelation on the Order of "Celestial Marriage" - "My Servant Joseph" - The Keys of the Kingdom - Marrying for Eternity - The Unpardonable Sin - Being "As the Angels" - Sealed by the Holy Spirit - Shedding Innocent Blood - The Example of Abraham - The Power of the Priesthood - "Mine handmaid, Emma Smith" - "If He have Ten Virgins Given Unto Him" - Let this Suffice for the Present - An Astonishing Message from Heaven - Learning to Bear the Cross - Without Hope - Longing to Confide in Some One - My Indignant Reception of the "Revelation" - "I Dared Not even Kneel to God" - "There Was a Knock at My Chamber Door" - Not a Very Entertaining Party - "The Old Gentleman Stood the Test" - Monsieur Petitpierre "Thinks Prayerfully Over the Matter.". 134CELESTIAL MARRIAGE:
AND time flew by; and at length the dreaded Revelation came.
One very pleasant morning, early in January, I853, two Elders of the Italian Mission, Jabez Woodward and Thomas Margetts, took breakfast with us; and with them also was Mons. Petitpierre from Geneva, the Protestant minister of whom I have already spoken. While I was busy preparing the meal, Mr. Stenhouse and the two English Elders went to the post-office to get their letters, for at that time they were expecting important news. When they returned, breakfast was quite ready, and they took their seats at the table. I asked if there were any letters from England, and my husband said: " No; no letters, but there is a Star, and it contains the Revelation on Polygamy."
He handed me a copy of the Millennial Star - a Mormon paper published in Liverpool - and as I took it, I felt as if I were receiving my death-warrant - it was indeed the death-warrant to all my hopes of happiness. I rose from the table, asking them to excuse me; and overcome with agitation and conflicting emotions, I retired to my own chamber. There, for the first time, I read that document which has since brought such sorrow and misery to so many wronged and heartbroken women. The reader may perhaps like to see the only foundation and authority for the practice of Polygamy, ever produced by the Mormon leaders. So I copy exactly from the Millennial Star, what I then read, leaving out only a few lines here and there, which had no special reference to the subject, but helped to swell the size of the "revelation:"
A REVELATION ON THE PATRIARCHAL ORDER OF MATRIMONY, OR
PLURALITY OF WIVES.
Given to Joseph Smith, the Seer, in Nauvoo, July I2th, I843.
I. Verily, thus saith the Lord, unto you, my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand, to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; as also Moses, David, and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines: Behold! and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter: Therefore prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same; for behold! I reveal unto you a new and everlasting covenant, and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant, and be permitted to enter into my glory; for all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as was instituted from before the foundations of the world: and as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof, must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.
2. And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made or entered into, and sealed, by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is annointed both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment, through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power, (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time; on whom this power and the keys of the priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force, in and after the resurrection from the dead: for all contracts that are not made unto this end, have an end when men are dead.
4. Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me, nor by my word; and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world, and she with him, their covenant and marriage is not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world; therefore, when they are out of the world, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministeriing servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory; for these angels did not abide my law, therefore they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity, and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God for ever and ever.
5. And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time, and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me, or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid, neither of force, when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world, it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory, for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.
6. And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power, and the keys of this priesthood, and it shall be said unto them, Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths - then shall it be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood; and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity, and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds for ever and ever.
7. Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.
9. Verily, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder, wherein they shed innocent blood - yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation, but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan, unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.
I0. The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in this world, nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder, wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in no wise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.
I3. God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham, to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law, and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises. Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily, I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, commanded it. Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless, it was written, Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
I4. Abraham received concubines, and they bare him children, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law: as Isaac also, and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones; and are not angels, but are gods. David also received many wives and concubines, as also Solomon, and Moses my servant; as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin, save in those things which they received not of me.
I5. David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me, save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and therefore, he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world; for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.
I6. I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and restore all things;......... I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the Priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make known unto you all things, in due time.
I7. And verily, verily I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name, and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.
I8. And again, verily I say, whomsoever you bless I will bless, and whomsoever you curse I will curse, saith the Lord; for I, the Lord, am thy God.
I9. And again, verily I say unto you, my servant Joseph, that whatsoever you give on earth, and to whomsoever you give any one on earth, by my word, and according to my law, it shall be visited with blessings.
20. Verily I say unto you, a commandment I give unto mine handmaid Emma Smith your wife.... let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God!.... I give unto my servant Joseph, that he shall be made ruler over many things, for he hath been faithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him.
2I. And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment, she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law; but if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him, and multiply him, and give unto him a hundred fold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds. And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses, and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she has trespassed against me; and I, the Lord thy God, will bless her, and multiply her, and make her heart to rejoice.
24. And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood: If any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent; and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery, for they are given him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him, and to none else; and if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him; and they are given unto him - therefore is he justified. But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world; and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that He may be glorified.
25. And again, verily, verily I say unto you, if any man have a wife who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things; then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law. Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him, according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor, and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law, when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. And now, as pertaining to this law: Verily, verily I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you, hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen.
And this was the "revelation!" - this mass of confusion, cunning absurdity, falsehood, and bad grammar! This was the celebrated document which was henceforth to be law to the confiding men and women who had embraced Mormonism! Looking at it now; noting its inconsistencies and its flagrant outrage upon common decency and morality, I can hardly credit that I should ever have been such a silly dupe as to give it a second thought. And yet, what could I do? I was bound hand and foot, as it were, and my very vision itself was distorted. Unquestioning obedience, we had been taught, was the highest virtue; rebellion was as the sin of witchcraft. I had been convinced of the truth of some of the tenets of the Mormon faith, and confident in them, I accepted without question all the rest. Never, till the possibility that polygamy might some day be acknowledged by the Church, began to be whispered among the Saints-never did a solitary doubt respecting my religion intrude itself upon my mind; and after my apprehensions were fairly aroused by those rumors, whenever I felt the faintest shadow of unbelief or suspicion arising in my heart, I banished it as an unholy thing. The time had not yet come when I could judge dispassionately: the "revelation" aroused within me feelings of horror and dismay, but I did not dare to question its authenticity. It brought bitterness to my soul, but I believed it was from God, and that I must learn to bear the cross patiently.* * * * * * *
I did not at that time read the document through from beginning to end. No; my indignation was such that before I had read half of it I threw it from me in anger. Perhaps if I had read it all, and considered it carefully, my own judgment and my sense of right and wrong might have pointed out its absurdity and wickedness. But I was far from being tranquil enough to think calmly. I felt bitterly that this new doctrine was a degradation to woman, and I wondered why God should see fit to humiliate my sex in this way. I was willing to devote myself, my life, my all to His service, but wherefore should He doom me to everlasting sorrow.
What now was to be a woman's lot among the Mormons? A life without hope! Who can express the terrible meaning of those words - without hope! Yet so it was. Hereafter our hearts were to be daily and hourly trampled upon; the most sacred feelings of our sex were to be outraged, our affections were to be crushed; - henceforth we were to be nothing by ourselves; without a husband, we were told, we could not even enter heaven! But had our trials been limited to this life we might have borne them, as many a weary soul has done, waiting for the relief of death. But death was to bring no hope to us: we were told that in the other world Polygamy should be the only order of marriage, and that without it none could be exalted in glory. We were told these things by men who we believed were true and holy men of God; and we trusted in them.
Rebellious I felt, indeed, as I paced the room after I had thrown the Revelation on the ground: I almost felt as if I should lose my reason. A woman in the time of trouble always looks to some one in whom she can confide; but to whom could I turn for one kind or cheering word - who would comfort me? I had neither relation or friend to whom I could speak of this trial; there was no one who could understand me. I could not turn to my husband in this sorrow, and I dared not even kneel to my God to implore His aid. It was He, they said, who had declared this revelation was His will; how then could I turn to Him? No; my heart sank within me; henceforth there was to be no hope, no peace for me!
There was a knock at my chamber door, and my husband came in. He knew how acutely I must feel, and he came to comfort me. I was almost choked with emotion and tears, but he threw his arms round me tenderly and spoke to me as if I had been a child that needed consolation. He tried to persuade me that God as a loving Father could never have intended the pain or misery of his children, and that when we came to understand the doctrine better, we should find that all would be well. He spoke also of his own unchanging attachment, and appealed to me whether I thought he could ever love me less or place his affections on another.
I tried to believe, and when I felt a little better I went with him to the breakfast room where the others were waiting for us. We were not a very entertaining party that morning. The Elders present, of course knew what had kept me in my room, and their attempt at cheerfulness was not very successful. My husband was in sympathy with me, and I have no doubt that I looked sad enough. There was only one person present who did not appreciate the situation-Monsieur Petitpierre, the Protestant minister - and they handed the Revelation to him. Mr. Stenhouse and the other Elders had some misgivings as to how he would receive it, and they were afraid it might disgust him with Mormonism. But the old gentleman stood the test bravely, and I saw then, as I have seen since, that men can be easily satisfied that the Revelation on Polygamy, or any other revelation, is divine, if they desire it to be so.
Here was old Monsieur Petitpierre, a man of more than three score years, and childless. To him the example of Abraham and Solomon appeared most instructive - an example which might be followed with advantage. His wife, like Sarah of old, had never been called by a mother's name; and now although, thus far, he had no idea who might act the part of a second Hagar, there seemed a fair chance that a little Ishmael might perpetuate the race of Petitpierres on earth, if only the Revelation was acted upon by the faithful.
"It ought to be prayerfully thought of," he said.
Prayerfully thought of! Poor, silly old man! Before then I had respect for his years and learning; but now - what could I think of a man who talked such nonsense? Had the revelation told him that the wife of his youth, now tottering in step, and with hair silvered by age, was commanded to take two or a dozen young husbands - I wondered whether he would have added with such satisfaction: "It ought to be prayerfully thought of!"
From that day I learned to regard polygamy as an essential part of the Mormon faith, and such for many years the world has considered it; but when I first joined the Church, such an innovation would have appeared to the European Saints beyond the wildest fancies of a dream.
(Continued on page 379)