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Questions about Joseph and Polygamy

  • Broadcast in The Bible
Art Bulla

Art Bulla


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Mike called in with questions and challenges concerning Joseph's propriety in approaching Sarah Pratt, for one, already married to one man, namely, Orson Pratt, who was away on a mission to England.  Mike took the view that this was inappropriate in the least, and I know that whatever the Lord commands is right.  Joseph obeyed God in this.  Orson briefly left the Church over it, but returned and became the most valiant defender of the principle.  All former covenants (contracts) were done away, and according to the law was not married, therefore doomed to be separate and single forever in the resurrection, save she entered into an everlasting contract of marriage sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise "of him who is anointed".  (See D&C 132:7).

When the family organization was revealed from heaven-the patriarchal order of God, and Joseph began, on the right and on the left, to add to his family, what a quaking there was in Israel. Says one brother to another, "Joseph says all covenants are done away, and none are binding but the new covenants; now suppose Joseph should come and say he wanted your wife, what would you say to that?" "I would tell him to go to hell." This was the spirit of many in the early days of this Church. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols., 2:, p.13)
If Joseph had a right to dictate me in relation to salvation, in relation to a hereafter, he had a right to dictate me in relation to all my earthly affairs... That is what he had a right to do, if he had any right at all. If he did not have that right, he did not have the Priesthood of God, he did not have the endless Priesthood that emanates from an eternal being. A Priesthood that is clipped, and lacks length, is not the Priesthood of God; if it lacks depth, it is not the Priesthood of God; for the Priesthood in ancient times extended over the wide world...(Ibid.)