The Mormons







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Chapter 4 -






Polygamy has also appeared in the history of the Mormon church. Nowadays, it is not allowed since it was forbidden in the late 1800s because of the pressure of society, but originally it had a significant status in the church. For example, prophet Smith himself was very greedy for wives. It is known that he had at least 27 wives but according to the assessment of other people, he had almost 60 wives. Smith also got a revelation concerning this matter on 12 July 1843 which confirmed that he was on the "right" way. Also other leaders of the church had several wives in those days – for example, the successor of Smith, Brigham Young, probably had approximately twenty wives.

   What is special about polygamy is that it goes against the Book of Mormon and also the Bible, since…


- The Book of Mormon that the Mormons regard as their holy book and that they always bring up first in a conversation when visiting homes does not support polygamy at all. On the contrary, the book condemns it, like the following passages indicate. The understanding of the Mormons’ first leaders regarding their own holy book and this issue must, therefore, have been very defective:


Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife ; and concubines he shall have none; (Jacob 2:27)


Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them. (Jacob 3:5)


- If we look at the teachings of the New Testament, we see that they clearly differ from the revelations Smith received. Even though we can see that during the Old Covenant some men had several wives, polygamy is not the original will of God. Instead, each man should only have one wife – like Adam and Eve. Jesus and the Apostles also confirmed this:


- (Matt 19:4-6) And he answered and said to them, Have you not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

5  And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall join to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh?

6  Why they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.


- (1 Cor 7:1-3) Now concerning the things whereof you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

2  Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

3  Let the husband render to the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife to the husband.


- In addition, we can see that according to the New Testament, servants and leaders of the congregation should be men with only one wife. So, the Mormons’ view on polygamy is in conflict with this idea:


- (1 Tim 3:2,12) A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

12  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.


- (Tit 1:5-7) For this cause left I you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you:

6  If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

7  For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre







Jari Iivanainen



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