LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXXIV

By Marvin W. Cowan

Mormons teach that one of the signs of the true church is that it will have prophets who provide current revelation. Since LDS claim that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one true church, they also claim to have prophets and current revelation. However, our last article pointed out that President Joseph F. Smith’s 1918 “vision” in Doctrine and Covenants Section 138 is the newest revelation in the D. & C. and it didn’t become LDS scripture until 1976. To put that in perspective, Joseph F. Smith was the sixth LDS President and Thomas Monson, the current LDS President, is the sixteenth! So, between 1918 when Joseph F. Smith died and the present time, LDS have had ten Presidents or Prophets who did not add one revelation to the D. & C.! In 1978 President Spencer Kimball added a statement saying he had a revelation which allowed black men to have the LDS priesthood, but he did not add the revelation itself. That is the only new item added to the D. & C. after 1918.

D. & C. 138 begins with Joseph F. Smith pondering over I Pet. 3:18-20 and 4:6. LDS say those verses show that the gospel is preached to the spirits of the dead in the spirit world after death. They also claim that vicarious, saving work for the dead must be done in LDS temples here on earth by those with LDS priesthood authority. If Peter said that, he contradicted what many other Bible verses teach. For example, Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” II Corinthians 6:2 also says, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.” And Psalms 49:7 says, “None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.” These verses and many others do not support what LDS teach about I Pet. 3:18-20 and 4:6.

What does I Pet. 3:18-20 really teach? It says, “For Christ has once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also He went and preached to the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the times of Noah, while the ark was preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” This text does not say the gospel was preached to the dead or that the dead received the gospel. In this text the word “preached” in the original Greek language is kerusso, which means to announce. The Greek word euaggelizo, meaning to evangelize, was used in the New Testament when the gospel was preached. Both Greek words are translated “preach” in English. In I Pet. 3:19 the word “preached” is the word that means announced, so Jesus announced something to the spirits who were disobedient in Noah’s time. He announced that He fulfilled or completed all that Noah preached through the Spirit of Christ when they were alive before the flood. The Spirit of Christ was in the prophets, including Noah, when they preached as I Pet. 1:9-11 says. So, the people who were disobedient in Noah’s time were not evangelized so that they had another opportunity to hear and receive the gospel in the spirit world as Mormonism teaches.

LDS also use I Pet. 4:6 to teach that the gospel is preached to the dead. But it says, “For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the Spirit.” But LDS often quote it: “For this cause is the gospel preached…” when it says the gospel “was” preached to them (when they were alive physically), but now they “are” dead. They heard the gospel when they were physically alive so they could be judged like all men are judged and those who received the message would live unto God in the spirit after death.

D. & C. 138 has other LDS doctrines in it, but for now notice what D. & C. 138:12 says and how the Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual interprets it. That Manual is taught in LDS seminaries (high school level) and LDS Institutes of Religion (college level). D. & C. 138:12 says, “There were gathered together in one place (in the spirit world) an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality.” The D. & C. Student Manual explains that verse on pages 358-359: “Of the total number of people who come to earth, those who earn celestial glory may be a relatively small percentage, but in numbers there will be millions who inherit the glory of the sun (celestial glory)…President Spencer W. Kimball (12th LDS Prophet) said in a general priesthood meeting about the great potential for exaltation: ‘Brethren, 225,000 of you are here tonight (via closed circuit TV). I suppose 225,000 of you may become gods. There seems to be plenty of space out there in the universe. And the Lord has proved that he knows how to do it. I think he could make, or probably have us help make, worlds for all of us, for every one of us 225,000…Those who obtain their exaltation will have the privilege of begetting spirit offspring in the eternities… Those who are denied endless increase cannot be what God is because that in connection with other things, makes him GodWhen the power of endless increase shall come to us, and our offspring grow and multiply through ages that shall come, they will be in due time, as we have been, provided with an earth like this wherein they too may obtain earthly bodies and pass through all the experiences through which we have passed…We shall stand in our relationship to them as God our Eternal Father does to us.’” Many Mormons wouldn’t even see all of that by reading D. & C. 138:12, but LDS leaders teach it and it is what LDS young people are being taught in their Seminaries and Institutes of Religion. Interpretations like that make it difficult for non-Mormons to read Mormon literature and really understand what LDS will teach from it.

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXXIII

By Marvin W. Cowan

Joseph F. Smith, the sixth LDS Prophet, claimed he had a vision about the redemption of the dead on October 3, 1918. He was quite ill at the time and died six weeks later. But his vision didn’t become LDS scripture until 1976 when LDS leaders added it to the Pearl of Great Price. In 1979 the LDS Church announced that his vision would become Section 138 in the Doctrine and Covenants the next time the D. & C. was printed, which was in 1981. So, for 58 years, from 1918 until 1976, it was just an interesting document by an LDS Prophet, but it was not scripture. It became scripture when LDS leaders said it was scripture! Joseph Fielding Smith had been dead for 58 years, so he had nothing to do with making it Mormon scripture. Nothing in the document changed, so why did it become LDS scripture in 1976? If it was LDS scripture in 1976, why wasn’t it in 1918 when Smith said he received it?

In our last article we mentioned that Mormons were told to read the D. & C. “from cover to cover” in 2009. In the January 2009, Ensign the LDS Sunday School General Presidency declared on p. 47 that the D. & C is “a marvelous book of revelations that was written in our day and for our day.” But the newest revelation in the D. & C. is Section 138 which Joseph Fielding Smith said he received in 1918! That was not written in our time! All of the other “revelations” in the D. & C. were before 1918. Some might claim that Spencer Kimball’s 1978 statement allowing black men to have LDS Priesthood is later. It certainly is later, but it is not a revelation, it is only a statement about a revelation that Kimball said he had. But even if it is counted as a revelation, half of the people alive now weren’t alive in 1978, so it wasn’t given in “their day.”

In D. & C. 138:1-10 Joseph F. Smith said he was pondering over I Peter3:18-20 and 4:6. But, his Uncle Joseph Smith, Mormonism’s founder, had already given those texts an official Mormon interpretation, so his pondering wouldn’t change that. The Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible changed those verses to strengthen Smith’s interpretation. He said those verses teach that during the time between His crucifixion and resurrection, Christ went into the realm of the dead and preached the gospel to them. That was what Joseph F. Smith was pondering in D. & C. 138:1-11. Then he said, “I saw the hosts of the dead, both small and great. And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just who had been faithful to the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality”(vs.11-12). He went on to say, “And there He (Jesus) preached to them (the just) the everlasting gospel… but unto the wicked He did not go, and among the ungodly and the unrepentant who had defiled themselves while in the flesh, His voice was not raised” (verses 19-20).

But in D. & C. 138:25-26 Joseph F. Smith said, “I marveled, for I understood that the Savior spent about three years in His ministry among the Jews and those of the house of Israel, endeavoring to teach them the everlasting gospel and call them unto repentance; and yet, notwithstanding His mighty works, and miracles, and proclamation of the truth, in great power and authority, there were few who hearkened to His voice, and rejoiced in His presence, and received salvation at His hands.” Smith said that Jesus spent about three years teaching the everlasting gospel during His earthly ministry in Israel, yet few harkened or received salvation at His hands. Jesus’ three years of mortal ministry ended when He was crucified and died. According to Smith, while Jesus’ body was in the tomb, His spirit went to the spirit world where all people go when they die, and there He preached the everlasting gospel to an innumerable company of the just who had been faithful to the testimony of Jesus while they of lived in mortality. The spirits who had been faithful to the testimony of Jesus must have lived on earth during Jesus’ earthly ministry and died before His crucifixion since they were in the spirit world when Christ got there. But, IF only a few received salvation during Jesus’ earthly ministry, how did they become an innumerable company in the spirit world who had been faithful to the testimony of Jesus while in mortality? Smith later mentioned some prominent Old Testament personalities in verses 38-48, but they did not live during Jesus’ earthly ministry and no Biblical or historical record says that they were faithful to the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality, so Smith wasn’t talking about them in this context.

In D. & C. 138, Joseph F. Smith said when Jesus went to the realm of the dead, He went only to the just that had been faithful to the testimony of Jesus on earth and to them He preached the everlasting gospel (verses 12-19). Why did Jesus preach the everlasting gospel to those who had already accepted it during mortality? Why do verses 20-21, 37 say that Jesus could not and did not go to the wicked, ungodly, unrepentant and rebellious in the spirit world? They certainly needed to hear His message more than those who had already accepted it! Jesus said in His earthly ministry, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17). So, why did Joseph F. Smith say Jesus did just the opposite in the spirit world?

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXXII

By Marvin W. Cowan

Our series on LDS Prophets and Prophecies has focused on the Doctrine & Covenants because it contains so many of Joseph Smith’s prophecies. On page 47 of the January 2009 LDS Ensign magazine, the LDS Sunday School General Presidency said, “The Doctrine & Covenants (is) a marvelous book of revelation that was written in our day and for our day.” Can that be true when the most recent addition to the D. & C. is President Kimball’s 1978 statement about a revelation he said he had which allowed black men to have the LDS priesthood. The actual “revelation” has never been published. Two old “visions” were added to the Pearl of Great Price in 1976 and then they were moved to the D. & C. in 1981. One was Joseph Smith’s 1836 “vision” and the other was Joseph F. Smith’s 1918 “vision,” so neither one was new in 1981. Until 1978 the newest addition to the D. & C. was President Woodruff’s 1890 manifesto advising LDS to obey the law and stop being polygamists. The newest addition to the D. & C. before 1890 was Brigham Young’s 1847 instructions on how to organize the LDS move to Utah. Most of the other revelations were by Joseph Smith between 1828 and 1843 and many were about men living then, not today. Yet, the writers of the Ensign article said, “We testify that the Doctrine and Covenants is truly the Lord’s voice in our time to each child of God…” (p. 47). Some of us were alive in 1978, but very few today were alive in 1918. And no one today was alive in 1890, so was the D. & C. really “written in our day and for our day”?

Joseph Smith’s 1836 vision was recorded in his diary on January 21, 1836, but it became LDS scripture 140 years later in 1976 when it was added to the Pearl of Great Price. In 1981 it was moved to the D. & C. where it became D. & C. 137. But when it became LDS scripture, Smith’s 1836 vision was edited and abbreviated from what he wrote in his diary. It was also slightly altered in the History of the Church, vol. II pages 380-381. Smith’s original 1836 vision was published in An American Prophet’s Record, The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith, published by Signature Books in Salt Lake City, UT in 1987, pages 118-119. It is easy to see the changes by comparing that with the content in D. & C. 137. For example D. & C. 137:5 says, “I saw father Adam and Abraham and my father and my mother…” But, in his diary Smith wrote, “I saw father Adam and Abraham and Michael and my father and mother…” Why was “Michael” left out of D. & C. 137:5 and H. of C. Vol. II, p. 380? Before his 1836 vision, Smith recorded two revelations which said Michael is Adam on the earth. Both D. & C. 27:11, dated August 1830 and D. & C. 107:54, dated March 28, 1835 say that Adam is Michael. Even after Smith’s 1836 vision on September 6, 1842, he identified Michael as Adam in D. & C. 128:21. Smith could not see Adam and Michael as two different beings, as he wrote in his diary, IF Michael is Adam as stated in these “revelations”!

D. & C. 137 contains only about half of Smith’s 1836 vision as he recorded it in his diary. Why did only half of Smith’s 1836 vision in his diary become LDS “scripture”? The answer is obvious by the content that was left out. D. & C. 137:10 is the end of Smith’s vision in the D. & C. It says, “And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.” But in his diary Smith’s vision continued and the next words are: “I saw the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb, who are now upon the earth, who hold the keys of this last ministry, in foreign lands, standing together in a circle, much fatigued with their clothes tattered and feet swollen, with their eyes cast downward, and Jesus standing in their midst, and they did not behold Him. The Savior looked upon them and wept.” Later it says, “And I finally saw the Twelve Apostles in the celestial kingdom of God.”

The first Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church were chosen on February 14 and 15, 1835. Since Smith’s 1836 vision was on January 21, 1836, it was less than a year after that. Smith’s 1836 vision was referring to those Twelve Apostles. Smith said D. & C. 118 was received as a revelation on July 8, 1838 in which the Twelve Apostles were told to depart from Far West, MO on April 26, 1839 and “go over the great waters” (ocean) to preach their gospel. But by 1839, half of the original LDS Apostles had apostatized and the Mormons had been driven out of Far West, MO! Three of the original Twelve Apostles and a few other LDS slipped back into Far West for a few hours on April 26, 1839, to try to fulfill the prophecy in D. & C. 118. Those three and Parley Pratt plus four new Apostles ultimately did arrive in England by April 6, 1840, where they served missions until April 1841, according to the June 1987 Ensign. But that did not fulfill what D. & C. 118 said. Nor is there is any record of “The Twelve” LDS Apostles standing in a circle in England with Christ in the midst of them. Since half of the original LDS Apostles apostatized, it is highly unlikely they made it to the “celestial kingdom of God!”

Smith’s 1836 vision in his diary also says “I saw Elder McLellin in the south, standing on a hill surrounded by a vast multitude, preaching to them, and a lame man standing before him supported by his crutches; he threw them down at his word and leaped as a hart (deer), by the mighty power of God.” But “Elder McLellin” was one of the original Twelve Apostles who apostatized, so he never did what Smith said he saw in his vision! Smith’s 1836 vision in his diary also says, I saw Elder Brigham Young standing in a strange land, in the far south and west, in a desert place, upon a rock in the midst of about a dozen men of color, who appeared hostile. He was preaching to them in their own tongue…” There is no record of Brigham Young doing that. If he had done that, it would still be one of the favorite stories told by Mormons!

The D. & C. version of Smith’s vision raise some valid questions: 1. Did God reveal what Smith originally wrote in his diary? If so, why was it changed? 2. Did Smith fail to record accurately what God revealed? If so, can his other revelations be trusted? 3. Did God give a defective vision to Smith? If so, why did God wait 140 years to change it? 4. Why don’t LDS leaders explain why D. & C. 137 was changed and state who God inspired to make the changes?

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXXI

By Marvin W. Cowan

The appendix of a book usually contains supplemental information for something already discussed in the main part of the book. But, as our last article mentioned, there were four articles in the Appendix of the original 1835 edition of the Doctrine & Covenants that were not supplemental to any Section of the D. & C. but were new subjects. Two of those articles were deleted when the next edition of the D. & C. was published while the other two articles remained in the Appendix for 86 years and then in 1921 they became new “Sections” in the main part of the D. &. C. Changes like that might not raise questions in an ordinary book, but the D. & C. is no ordinary book. Mormons believe that the D. & C. is revealed scripture from God. If it really is “revealed scripture,” couldn’t God make up His mind where these articles belonged? Did God inspire Mormon leaders to put two articles in the D. & C. and then to delete them at the next printing? And did God want the other two articles to remain in the D. & C. Appendix for 86 years and then be moved into the main part of the D. & C. with Smith’s “revelations?” Shortly after Joseph Smith’s death, two more articles were added to the D. & C. Appendix where they remained until 1921 when they were also moved into the main part of the D. & C. We will discuss those last two articles now.

John Taylor, who later became the third LDS Prophet, was with Smith in jail in Carthage, IL on June 27, 1844 when Smith was killed. Taylor later wrote a brief article about Smith’s “martyrdom” which was put in the Appendix of the D. & C. when the next edition was published. It remained in there until 1921 when it became D. & C. 135 in the main part of the book. The title of Taylor’s article was “Martyrdom of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and his brother Hyrum.” In his article Taylor quoted Smith who supposedly said when he went to Carthage, “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter.” Since Taylor was with Smith, he knew that Smith did not go like “a lamb to the slaughter.” In Taylor’s more complete account of Smith’s death in the Carthage jail he said, Smith “arose, and with a firm, quick step, and a determined expression of countenance, approached the door, and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times. Only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died” (The Gospel Kingdom, by John Taylor, p. 360). That certainly doesn’t sound like a lamb going to the slaughter!

The History of the Church, vol. VI, p. 617-618 not only mentions Joseph firing his six shooter, but it also mentions that Joseph’s brother, Hyrum, had a “single barrel” that he fired before he was killed. The actions of Joseph and his brother, Hyrum, do not measure up to the title “martyr” since no Christian martyr used weapons against those who sought to kill them. The word martyr originally meant a witness, but came to be used of those who gave their lives as a witness for Christ. But Smith did not die because of his faith in Christ. He was involved in immorality and polygamy that was exposed by some of his former followers, including William Law, who was the Second Counselor in the First Presidency with Joseph Smith from January 24, 1841 until April 18, 1844. Law and others published the Nauvoo Expositor newspaper on June 7, 1844 which exposed Smith’s lifestyle. Smith was then the Mayor of Nauvoo, so he had some of his men destroy the printing press of the Expositor. In doing that, he broke the law and Illinois authorities tried to arrest him. But Smith, who was also Lieutenant General of the Nauvoo Legion (an LDS militia), called it out to prevent his arrest which resulted in a charge of treason. That is why he was in jail in Carthage! Smith was not in jail because of his faith in Christ as Mormons often say. Nothing we have said, however, can justify the mob that killed the Smith brothers. But it does show that the Smith’s weren’t killed because of their faith in Christ, so they were not Christian martyrs as LDS often claim.

Earlier in this article we mentioned John Taylor’s article on the “Martyrdom of Joseph Smith, The Prophet, and his brother Hyrum,” which was in the D. & C. Appendix until 1921 when it became D. & C. 135. In D. & C. 135:3, Taylor said, “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.” Mormonism claims to be Christian, but the Christian Bible says of Jesus, “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to God by Him, seeing He ever lives (or lives forever) to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). The Apostle Paul also wrote, “You are complete in Him {Jesus} (Col. 2:10). If Christ saves to the uttermost and we are complete in Him, what did Smith or anyone else do for our salvation? Furthermore, Paul said in I Tim. 2:5, “There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man, Christ Jesus.” If Jesus is the ONE Mediator between God and men, neither Smith nor anyone else has ever done anything to provide salvation for mankind!

On January 14, 1847, Brigham Young, Joseph Smith’s successor as LDS Prophet wrote, “The Word and Will of the Lord” concerning the Mormon move from Winter Quarters near Omaha, NE to the Salt Lake Valley. It was also put in the next edition of the D. & C. Appendix where it remained until 1921 when it became D. & C. 136. Verse 34 indicates that the LDS were driven out of the USA to what is now Utah, but in 1847 when the Mormons arrived it was part of Mexico. Verse 35 then says, “And now cometh the day of their (USA’s) calamity, even the days of sorrow, like a woman that is taken in travail; and their sorrow shall be great unless they speedily repent, yea, very speedily.” America didn’t speedily repent for what happened to the Smiths or the LDS Church, but everybody is dead that was alive in 1847 when that prophecy was made, so it was a false prophecy! On page 352, the Doctrine & Covenants Student Manual says that the War with Mexico, the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I & II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War were the result of what the USA did to the Smith’s and to the LDS! Is that a logical, unbiased statement when many nations that never heard of Joseph Smith or Mormonism have also had wars, famine plagues etc.? None of the wars mentioned in the D. & C. Student Manual had anything to do with Joseph Smith either! If D. & C. Sections 133 through 136 were “revelations” like those Smith put in the D. & C., why were they in the D. & C. Appendix for so many years? Were they “revelations” then or did they become “revelations” when they became “Sections” in the D. & C.? LDS leaders say there are many problems with the Bible, but is that a diversion so that people won’t notice all the changes in LDS scripture?

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXX

By Marvin W. Cowan

In the original Doctrine & Covenants published in 1835, there were four articles in the Appendix. The first article in that Appendix in 1835 had no introduction or heading except “Section C, Appendix.” In 1921 it was moved into the main part of the D. & C. where it became D. & C. 133 as stated in our last installment. Although this article had no introduction in 1835, the current edition of D. & C. 133 introduces it with these words, “Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Hiram, Ohio, November 3, 1831.” If it was a revelation in 1831, why wasn’t it put in the main part of the D. & C. with Smith’s other revelations instead of in the Appendix? If it wasn’t a revelation in 1831, how did it become one 90 years after Smith said he received it? Most people don’t consider an Appendix to be as important as the main part of the book and many never read it. So, is that the best place to put a revelation?

The only heading for the second article in the 1835 D. & C. Appendix was “Section CI, Marriage.” That article was read to the General Assembly of LDS who met in Kirtland, Ohio on August 17, 1835 and they voted unanimously to accept it and have it published in the D. & C. That was the same meeting and the same LDS people who also voted unanimously to accept the D. & C. as “the doctrine and covenants” of their faith. But the article on “Marriage” was entirely deleted from all new editions of the D. & C. after the Mormons moved to Salt Lake City under Brigham Young’s leadership. LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie explained that the article on “Marriage” was deleted because it was written by Oliver Cowdery in the absence of Joseph Smith and did not reflect Smith’s views. He also said that “It was clearly understood by all concerned, however, that the article on Marriage was not a revelation” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 52). But there is nothing in the article on “Marriage” or in the History of the Church to indicate that Cowdery wrote it. And if everyone clearly understood that it was not a revelation, why did LDS vote unanimously to accept it and have it put in the D. & C. in 1835 along with Smith’s revelations?

The 1835 article on “Marriage” clearly did not teach the same thing as Smith’s 1843 “revelation” in D. & C. 132 which taught polygamy. The article on “Marriage” stated that “All marriages in this church of Christ of Latter Day Saints should be solemnized in a public meeting.” But after Smith’s 1843 “revelation” in D. & C. 132, LDS have taught that the most sacred marriages are performed in LDS temples where the public cannot enter! The “Marriage” article also says “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached for the crime of fornication and polygamy: we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife; and one woman should have one husband, except in the case of death.” The article on “Marriage” was published in 1835 which was eight years before Smith’s 1843 revelation on polygamy was published. But, apparently some LDS were doing things that caused others to think they might be involved in immorality or polygamy in 1835!

The third article in the 1835 D. & C. Appendix was entitled “Of Governments and Laws in General.” That article was also read at the LDS “General Assembly” meeting in Kirtland, Ohio on August 17, 1835. After it was read, the same LDS who had voted unanimously to accept the article on “Marriage” as well as the entire Doctrine and Covenants, also voted unanimously to accept the article entitled “Of Governments and Laws in General” and to have it published in the D. & C. as Section CII. It was placed in the Appendix of the 1835 D. & C. right after the article on “Marriage” where it remained until 1921 when it was moved into the main body of the D. & C. and became D. & C. Sec. 134. The heading in the original 1835 edition stated: “That our belief, with regard to earthly governments and laws in general, may not be misinterpreted nor misunderstood, we have thought proper to present, at the close of this volume, our opinion concerning the same.” That is still part of the heading in the current edition. This article has 12 verses which are the same today as they were in the 1835 edition. Verse 12 declares: “We do not believe it right to interfere with bondservants, neither preach the gospel to, nor baptize them contrary to the will and wish of their master.” In the New Testament, Onesimus was a slave who belonged to Philemon, but had run away and then became a Christian. The Apostle Paul wrote to Philemon urging him to accept Onesimus back and treat him as a brother in Christ (Philemon 1:10-18). The Biblical gospel is for all men according to Mark 16:15 and Gal. 3:28.

The fourth and last article in the 1835 D. & C. Appendix was actually the minutes of the General Assembly meeting held on August 17, 1835 in Kirtland, Ohio. It was published in the 1835 D. & C. Appendix under the title “General Assembly” and is found on pages 255 through 257 of that volume. But like the article on “Marriage,” the minutes of that “General Assembly” on August 17, 1835 were deleted from all future editions of the D. & C. It is easy to see why the article on Marriage was deleted, but why was the one entitled “General Assembly” deleted? Was it because those minutes show that the same Mormons who voted unanimously on August 17, 1835 to accept the article on “Marriage” and have put it in the D. & C. were the same ones who voted unanimously at the same meeting to accept the D. & C. as their “doctrine and covenants”? If they were wrong to accept the article on “Marriage,” could they also have been wrong to accept the D. & C. as scripture? Why were two of the original articles in the Appendix of the 1835 D. & C. dropped from future editions of the D. & C. while the other two became LDS scripture along with Smith’s revelations? Who made those changes and why was it done?

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXIX

By Marvin W. Cowan

Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, said of Doctrine and Covenants, Section 133, “At this time there were many things which the Elders desired to know relative to preaching the Gospel to the inhabitants of the earth, and concerning the gathering; and in order to walk by the true light, and be instructed from on high, on the 3rd of November, 1831, I inquired of the Lord and received the following revelation.” That is part of the current introduction to D. & C. 133. Smith called the content in D. & C. 133 a revelation, but unlike his other revelations it was put in the Appendix and labeled “Section C” (100) in the first edition of the D. & C. in 1835. It remained in the Appendix until 1921 when it was moved into the main part of the D. & C. and became D. & C. Sec. 133. Many LDS lived and died during the 90 years between 1831 and 1921 while it was in the Appendix and didn’t have the same status that Smith’s other revelations had in the main part of the D. & C. Smith died in 1844, which was 77 years before 1921, so he didn’t move it from the Appendix to the main part of the D. & C. If it really was a revelation why was it put in the Appendix in the first place? Smith “received” this document in 1831, so why did LDS wait 90 years to give it equal status with Smith’s other revelations? Did God change His mind about it or did some man decide to move it?

Joseph Smith’s revelations were first published in The Book of Commandments in 1833, but most of that edition was destroyed during the LDS conflicts in Missouri. Chapter one in it is “A Preface or instruction unto the Book of Commandments.” That Preface became D. & C. Section 1 when the first edition of the D. & C. was published in 1835. It is still Section 1 in the current edition and is a preface to the entire D. & C. Smith claimed he received D. & C. 1 as a revelation on Nov. 1, 1831 and D. & C. 133 on Nov. 3, 1831 and presented them both to the LDS conference in Hyrum, OH in November 1831. In D. & C. 1:37-38 the “Lord” said: “Search these commandments for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled. What I the Lord, have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” That refers to all the prophecies in the D. & C., including D. & C. 133.

In D. & C. 133:4, 7, & 10 the “Lord” said, “Wherefore, prepare ye, prepare ye, O my people; sanctify yourselves; gather ye together, O ye people of my church, upon the land of Zion…Yea, verily I say unto you again, the time has come when the voice of the Lord is unto you: Go ye out of Babylon; gather ye out from among the nations…Yea, let the cry go forth among all people: Awake and arise and go forth to meet the Bridegroom; behold and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord.” That was addressed to Mormons living in November of 1831. Did they go out to meet the Bridegroom (Christ) in 1831? The official name of the Mormon Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because they believed they were living in the “latter days” when Christ would return. At an annual LDS conference held in Nauvoo, IL on April 6, 1843 Joseph Smith said, “There are those of the rising generation who shall not taste of death till Christ comes. I was once praying earnestly upon this subject, and a voice said unto me, ‘My son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years of age, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man.’ I was left to draw my own conclusions concerning this; and I took the liberty to conclude that if I did live to that time, He would make His appearance” (History of the Church, vol. V, p. 336). When Smith said “The rising generation” wouldn’t taste death until Christ returned, he was referring to the children living in 1843 when he made this prediction. But all of the children living in 1843 died over a hundred years ago, yet the Lord still hasn’t come! Smith was killed in 1844, a little over a year after he made that prediction, so he didn’t live to be 85. He would have been 85 in 1890, but Christ didn’t come by that date either. So, was he a true prophet of God?

Joseph Smith said he received D. & C. 84: 1-5 as a revelation on September 22 & 23, 1832. It says LDS are to gather in Zion, Jackson County Missouri where they would build the New Jerusalem and a temple. Verse 5 also says the generation living then (in 1832) wouldn’t all pass away until this was accomplished. But the gathering to Zion in Missouri was aborted on July 23, 1833 when LDS leaders signed an agreement to leave Missouri. The temple and the New Jerusalem were never built there and the generation living in 1832 all died over one hundred years ago, so it is impossible for this revelation to be fulfilled now! D. & C. 101:16-20 also says Zion could never be moved, so it isn’t located in Salt Lake City or any other place. The “gathering” of the LDS to Zion is mentioned in the D. & C. many times and was a major doctrine in Joseph Smith’s time, but in the March 2000 Ensign the LDS First Presidency said: “We wish to reiterate the long standing counsel to members of the Church to remain in their homelands rather than immigrate to the United States.” So, did the Lord change His mind or did this revelation really come from God? While D. & C. 1:37-38 says the prophecies and promises in the D. & C would all be fulfilled, many like D. & C. 84:1-5 and 133:4-10 have not been fulfilled and cannot be fulfilled now because the LDS people who were to fulfill them all died over 100 years ago. That says a lot about the validity of LDS scripture and of Joseph Smith as a prophet!

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXVIII

By Marvin W. Cowan

Doctrine and Covenants Sec. 132 has 66 verses, most of which focus on Joseph Smith and “the new and everlasting covenant” of eternal marriage and polygamy. In D. & C. 132:3-4 and 6-7, “the Lord” told Joseph Smith, “Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same. For behold I reveal unto you a new and an 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….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. 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 and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, 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 this 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.”

These verses state that all who have this “new and everlasting covenant” revealed to them must obey it or be damned and no one can reject it and enter God’s glory. D. & C. 132 is still LDS Scripture, so all Mormons have it revealed to them, but almost none of them obey it. Are they damned, or can they enter God’s glory? This text also says any who accept it must keep all of the laws etc. or they will still be damned. And it declares that polygamous marriages must be sealed for eternity by the priesthood power held only by Smith in the last days. But Smith died in 1844 just 11 months after this revelation was recorded. 170 years of “last days” have now passed since Smith was alive to seal marriages by his priesthood power. But LDS today claim that Smith’s priesthood power is held by the LDS prophets who succeeded him. There are numerous LDS temples now in which many LDS men are “sealing marriages” for eternity simultaneously by their priesthood authority. So, that authority is not in the hands of Joseph Smith or the LDS Prophets who succeeded him. Mormons also now teach that eternal marriages can only be performed in LDS temples, but D. & C. 132 does not say that.

Joseph Smith’s first wife, Emma, was opposed to polygamy which caused a lot of trouble and disharmony in their home. But, “the Lord” revealed a message for Emma to Joseph Smith in D. & C. 132:52, 54-55 saying, “And let mine handmaid, Emma, 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…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 my law. But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world…” More about how polygamy is to be established in LDS homes is found in verses 61-65: “And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desires 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 to him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one 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 hath committed adultery, and shall be destroyed;… if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches 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;…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…”

This text told Emma to accept the law of polygamy and the wives Joseph had married before this “revelation” or she would be destroyed. Emma did not accept polygamy or his wives yet she lived until 1879, which was 35 years longer than Joseph who died 11 months after he recorded this revelation! Emma was commanded to cleave to Joseph and to none else, but after Joseph’s death she remarried and cleaved to her new husband! D. & C. 132 required all plural wives to be virgins and that Joseph and all LDS men get their first wife’s permission before marrying them. Joseph married 11 women who were already married to other men, so they were not virgins and he did not get Emma’s permission before marrying his plural wives. This text said if Smith’s wives were with another man they would be destroyed, but they weren’t destroyed and he was! D. & C. 132 is for men who desire more than one wife but it does not even consider the wife’s desire! If she refused to go along with him, he was still to get what he desired and the wife who refused to go along with his desires is called the transgressor and was to be destroyed! Would a lustful man using a “revelation” to coerce a woman to submit to him look any different than this? Why did LDS Prophet Woodruff nullify this revelation in 1890 if it came from God? And why is it still in LDS scripture if it isn’t to be obeyed? For any who want to read more about Joseph Smith’s polygamy, see In Sacred Loneliness, The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, by Todd Compton, pub. by Signature Books, Salt Lake City, UT, 1997.

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXVII

By Marvin W. Cowan

The current heading of Doctrine and Covenants Sec. 132 says it is a “Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives.” However, from the time it was first published in the D. & C. until 1921, the heading said, “Revelation on the Eternity of the Marriage Covenant, including Plurality of Wives. Given through Joseph, the Seer, in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, July 12, 1843.” Both headings tie eternal marriage and polygamy or “plurality of wives” together. The main difference in the headings is that the earlier one clearly says this revelation was given to Smith on July 12, 1843 while the current one just says it was recorded on that date. This change in the heading was made because LDS historians found that Smith was married to a “plurality of wives” beginning in 1831, yet the only “revelation” commanding LDS men to have a plurality of wives is D. & C. 132, given by Smith in 1843. In order to justify Smith’s earlier polygamy, LDS leaders claim Smith knew the content of this revelation in 1831 even though it wasn’t recorded until 1843. Since Smith was already secretly living as a polygamist as early as 1831, why didn’t he reveal it then if it was a revelation from God? Why wait 12 years before revealing it.

D. & C. 132:34-35 and 37-39 says, “God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did he 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 received concubines, and they bore 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; and because they 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 and also Solomon and Moses my servants, 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. David’s wives and concubines were given to 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 this world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.”

Some content in D. & C. 132:34-39 conflicts with the Bible. For example: 1. The Bible does not say God commanded Abraham to take a concubine. 2. No Old Testament law says that wives should give concubines to their husbands. 3. The Bible does not say that God’s promise to Abraham was fulfilled by his son Ishmael through his concubine Hagar. Gen. 17:19 says God would establish His covenant with Abraham and Sarah’s son Isaac, for an everlasting covenant and with his seed after him. And Gen. 17:21; 21:12; Rom. 9:7; Heb. 11:18 confirm that the promise was fulfilled through Isaac. 4. The Bible says in Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6 and James 2:23 that “Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness.” But it does not say that Abraham’s children by his concubines were counted to him for righteousness. 5. Nor does the Bible say that Abraham or anyone else was ever exalted and became gods. 6. And, why did the Lord speak to Joseph Smith in the King James English of 1611 instead of the English that Smith spoke in America during his life?

D. & C. 132: 34-39 also contradicts the Book of Mormon. In Jacob 1:15 it says that the people “began to grow hard in their hearts and indulge themselves, somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son. Jacob 2:24 also says, “Behold David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.” Jacob 2:27 also says, “For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none.” Jacob 3:5 teaches the same thing. If David’s wives and concubines were given to him by the Lord and it wasn’t a sin to have them as D. & C. 132:39 says, why did the Lord call it a wicked practice and an abomination in Jacob 1:15 and 2:24? If the Lord’s people were not to have more than one wife as Jacob 2:27 says, why does D. & C. 132 command LDS men to have more than one? Mormon scripture gives Mormons contradictory information about polygamy. If they have more than one wife they are involved in a wicked practice that is abominable to the Lord according to Jacob 1:15 in the B. of M. But D. & C. 132:4 says if they fail to obey the new and everlasting covenant of having many wives and concubines, they will be damned! Such contradictory information did not come from the God of the Bible. The Apostle Paul was writing about God when he said in II Timothy 2:13, “If we believe not, yet He abides faithful; He cannot deny (contradict) Himself.”

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXVI

By Marvin W. Cowan

Polygamy was so important in early Mormonism that their first seven Prophets or Presidents and thousands of members were polygamists. “The Lord” commanded Joseph Smith and other LDS men to have more than one wife in Doctrine & Covenants (D. & C.) Sec. 132 which was recorded on July 12, 1843. That is the only LDS scripture that clearly teaches polygamy, but it also teaches celestial (eternal) marriage and those two LDS beliefs are so intertwined that it is not easy to separate them. D. & C. 132 is still in LDS scripture even though LDS claim polygamy ended in 1890. It remains in LDS scripture because it is their only scripture that defines Celestial Marriage, but it also teaches polygamy, so it can be a problem for them. D. & C. 131:2 does mention “the new and everlasting covenant of marriage,” but it doesn’t define it. It is dated May 16 & 17, 1843, which was two months before D. & C. 132 defined Celestial Marriage.

D. & C. 132:4 says polygamy is “a new and everlasting covenant.” LDS Apostle, Bruce R. McConkie said, “Each time this everlasting covenant is revealed it is new to those of that dispensation” and it is everlasting because the Everlasting God revealed it (Mormon Doctrine, p. 530). Was it really new if Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other Old Testament men lived it as D. & C. 132:34-39 says? And was it really everlasting if it was first recorded in 1843 and ended 47 years later in 1890 when LDS Prophet Wilford Woodruff issued his “Manifesto”? Is “everlasting life” that brief? D. & C. 132 was recorded on July 12, 1843 and was announced publically on August 29, 1852 by LDS Apostle Orson Pratt, but it didn’t become LDS scripture until 1876 when it was added to the D. & C. If LDS polygamy ended in 1890, the “new and everlasting covenant” was only in their scripture 14 years when they were told not to obey it! Although years of pressure by the US Government led Woodruff to issue his Manifesto which told LDS to obey the laws of the land, they still call it a “revelation from God.” But polygamy was so important to LDS from Joseph Smith’s time until 1890 that many didn’t give it up. Brigham Young, the second LDS Prophet even said, “The only men who become Gods, even the sons of God are those who enter polygamy” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 269). So, some polygamists went to Canada or Mexico to continue polygamy while still others secretly practiced it in the USA. But, pressure from the US Government continued until another LDS “Manifesto” was issued in 1904. That ended most of the LDS polygamy the USA, but some Mormons still didn’t give it up because they thought their leaders were obeying man rather than God.

Many of those who continued to practice polygamy claimed to be the true successors of Joseph Smith’s Church. They formed the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) and other Mormon polygamist or fundamentalist groups. A few LDS today have their membership in both the LDS Church and one of the polygamist groups. But LDS leaders claim there is no connection between their Church and polygamist groups like the FLDS. If there is no connection between the LDS and FLDS Churches, why do they both claim that: 1. Joseph Smith was their founder; 2. their first three Prophets are the same men; 3. they are led by a Prophet today; 4. they accept the Bible, Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price as scripture; 5. they have the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods; 6. they are the one true church; 7. they have temples where sacred (secret) rites are performed for eternity; 8. God authorized Joseph Smith in D. & C. 132 to teach and live in polygamy and it is “scripture”. Such things show that there is a long historical connection between LDS and FLDS Churches even though there is no organizational connection today.

In April 2008 the polygamous Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch in Texas, which is owned by the FLDS Church, was raided by Texas authorities because they were told underage girls were being pressured to marry older polygamous men. The news media carried many reports about the raid and the FLDS Church. A survey later showed that 36% of people interviewed thought the YFZ Ranch was part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon or LDS Church). The LDS Church wants to be accepted as “Christian” and they know if people think they are involved with polygamy, that acceptance won’t happen. So, whenever the news media reports about fundamentalist Mormon groups, Mormon leaders have asked them to clearly state that they are not part of the LDS Church. If the Mormon Church doesn’t want to be identified with polygamy there are at least three things they can do that will help them: 1. Take D. & C. Sec. 132 (about polygamy) out of their scripture or have a “revelation” canceling it. 2. Quit the current practice of marrying or sealing multiple wives to Mormon men for eternity in LDS temples, even though they may not live in a polygamous relationship now. 3. Quit teaching that LDS men will have multiple wives after this life in eternity when they become gods. In those areas Mormonism still has a strong connection to polygamy!

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXV

By Marvin W. Cowan

Joseph Smith, the founding Prophet and first President of the Mormon Church, was a polygamist. He claimed God revealed to him that he and other LDS men were to have more than one wife. That revelation was “recorded on July 12, 1843” and is now Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 132. The first four verses out of the 65 that make up D. & C. 132 state: “Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph (Smith), 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 a new and an 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.”

The introduction to D. & C. 132 says, “Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet (Smith) since 1831.” If Smith knew the doctrines and principles of having more than one wife since 1831, where did he get that information? There is no record of a revelation on that subject prior to D. & C. 132 recorded on July 12, 1843. The introduction to D. & C. 132 says “It is evident from historical records” that Smith knew about this doctrine since 1831, but the only historical evidence that exists is that Smith began marrying other women as plural wives in 1831! Wouldn’t an all wise God have given the revelation before Smith began marrying other wives if the revelation came from Him? Since Smith “recorded” D. & C. 132 twelve years after he began to marry several other wives, was he trying to justify what he was already doing? D. & C. 132 clearly shows that Smith had other wives before he received this revelation because he is told in verse three, “Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you…” Since “the Lord” was “about to give” instructions concerning having more than one wife, He had not given those instructions to Smith previously. But, verse 52 of this revelation says, “And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith (Joseph Smith’s first wife) receive all those (wives) that have been given unto my servant Joseph…” The words “have been given” show that Smith already had other wives when “the Lord” gave him this revelation!

In D. & C. 132:1 Joseph Smith was obviously thinking about polygamy when he asked “the Lord” how Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other Old Testament men were justified in “having many wives and concubines.” Some men in the Old Testament did have more than one wife, but the Bible does not say that God commanded them to do that or that He “justified” them in it. Smith seems to be looking for a way to justify himself since he already had several wives. In verse one of this “revelation” the subject of having many wives was brought up by Smith, not God. But the Bible says, “No prophecy (revelation) ever came by the will of man; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Pet. 1:21). In other words, revelation from God doesn’t originate with man and isn’t given because man wants it. Revelation is given only because God knows we need it and He wants to give it.

When God created the first man and woman He said, “Therefore, shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Notice, it says “wife,” not wives. Jesus also said in Matt. 19:4-5 “Have ye not read, that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain (two) shall be one flesh.” Again it says “wife,” not wives. It also says “they two” shall be one flesh, not the man and his five, ten, or twelve wives shall be one flesh! Eph. 5:31 also says, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” These and other Biblical texts clearly teach monogamy, not polygamy. There is no Biblical command to be a polygamist, but there are many texts that teach monogamy. So, why was Joseph Smith asking about polygamy instead of monogamy? Was he was looking for a way to make the polygamous lifestyle he had lived since 1831 appear to be holy or scriptural because he knew that most people would not accept it otherwise?