Prophets in Mormonism/Part 28

By: Marvin W. Cowan; ©2008
Doctrine and Covenants Section 132 has 66 verses, most of which focus on Joseph Smith and “the new and everlasting covenant” of eternal marriage and polygamy. 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.

Doctrine and Covenants Section 132 has 66 verses, most of which focus on Joseph Smith and “the new and everlasting covenant” of eternal marriage and polygamy. In Doctrine and Covenants 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. Doctrine and Covenants 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. 164 years of “last days” have now passed away when he wasn’t 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 many LDS temples today in which many LDS men seal marriages for eternity by their priesthood authority simultaneously. Mormons also now teach that eternal marriages can only be performed in LDS temples, but Doctrine and Covenants 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 to Joseph a message for Emma in Doctrine and Covenants 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 even 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! Doctrine and Covenants 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!

Doctrine and Covenants 132 is for men who desire more than one wife but it doesn’t consider the wife’s desire. If she refused to go along with him, the man 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 an LDS Prophet 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 those who would like to read more about Joseph Smith’s polygamy, we recommend In Sacred Loneliness, The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, by Todd Compton, published by Signature Books, Salt Lake City, UT, 1997. Next time we will discuss Doctrine and Covenants 133.

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