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The one and only Sandra Tanner joins Mormon Scoops to address a recent episode of followHIM podcast, featuring BYU Professors Hank Smith and John Bytheway, and Church Women’s Historian Kate Holbrook.
Join Carah, John, and Gerardo as we discuss what’s left out of Church curriculum about Joseph’s polygamy, the “New and Everlasting Covenant,” and how that’s reinterpreted today.
We also take calls from our amazing viewers around the globe. We’re so thankful to have Sandra join us for this important episode of Mormon Scoops.
Follow along with textual references to Doctrine and Covenants 132
Join us for Part 2
And Part 3!
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Regarding the suffering of the men in polygamy: Cara, John, Gerardo, do read the fiction of Ardith Kennelly, “Heavenly Kingdom” and “Up Home”, set in the polygamous era in Salt Lake City. . It is charming and we do begin to understand the quiet misery of a man trying to keep his first wife happy and trudge between two households when he truly wishes he could just reside with the second family.. It’s a sweet, funny story about the second wif and children, a Scandinavian convert who declines to give up her coffee. The day the Temple is dedicated is quite a telling one because we get into the hearts and minds of these earnest simple people. It’s wry, compassionate and funny, and offers a very realistic portrait of the jealousies, and hardships these folks endured. This is not devotional literature. These stories are just a great read. 😆 Kennelly somehow knew her subject.
Speaking of “manufactured scarcity,” that would be the statistical outcome of polygamy, no?
Sorry, but just need to ask. When does the evidence say Smith had a revelation on polygamy? 1840s or 1830s? I didn’t connect the dots on that one.
I think he made it up to cover up his adultery’s. But would like a little more on WHEN polygamy was really introduced. THANKS!
Another great podcast with Sandra – thank you. I like the point made that Jesus made no indication of plural marriage/polygamy in the new testament there’s no mention of it in the Book of Mormon which should contain all the restored doctrines of a restored church right? In fact, the Book of Mormon condemns polygamy as noted in the podcast. As a side note, where are all the other restored doctrines of the church in the Book of Mormon for that matter such as the temple endowment, washings, sealings, etc?
Brian the Book of Mormon actually green lights polygamy in the Book of Jacob as a means for God to “raise up seed” if necessary.
Solid points though about no mention by Jesus approving of it.
Love Sandra Tanner. Legend indeed.
To answer your question: Polygamy was introduced long ago into this world by Cain, the first murderer. It was the same spirit who also reintroduced it to Brigham young and co.
Joseph Smith fought it all his life and ultimately lost the battle (but not the war), by being murdered ironically.
Now polygamy is overwhelming attributed to Joseph smith by foolish, ignorant, and unwise people despite:
1. Joseph unequivocally denouncing the practice his entire life and actively excommunicating everyone found to be involved in the practice
2. Emma vehement denying her husband ever practiced it until her dying breath
3. Joseph’s children testifying their parents were happy and monogamous (JS the 3rd testified extensively in court)
4. All dna available from Joseph’s supposed plural wife lines has been tested, with zero of them being from Joseph. That evidence is definitive. ZERO of them out of roughly half his supposed wives.
5. The Lord Himself witnessing by His own mouth how He regarded Joseph smith.
Jay, your list is exactly what I remember being taught growing up in the church in the 70s and 80s. That was during a time when it was still easy for the church to hide the difficult truths of its actual history. There is now plenty of evidence that Joseph practiced polygamy/polyandry — starting with the church’s own admission of this in the Gospel Topics Essay entitled “Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo” on the official church website.
The warning against the shedding innocent blood discussed at 1:34 seems prudent in light of what Joseph was saying to Emma, and happened soon after. I don’t believe that Emma ever harmed Joseph, but she was accused of trying.
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