Now that the cat’s out of the bag, Mormon youth seminaries are now getting the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about Polygamy… or are they?
FairMormon Blog just announced the changes to seminary manuals regarding D&C 132 split into two lessons (here and here). Some notes on the touchy aspects of D&C 132 and history: FairMormon states “Students will not be taught that Joseph married women without Emma’s knowledge. Parents may, however, want to discuss this with their children, as the LDS Gospel Topics essay on Nauvoo polygamy covers this concern.”
A big gaping hole among a sea of gopher holes is discussed in the essay:
The revelation on marriage required that a wife give her consent before her husband could enter into plural marriage. Nevertheless, toward the end of the revelation, the Lord said that if the first wife “receive not this law”—the command to practice plural marriage—the husband would be “exempt from the law of Sarah,” presumably the requirement that the husband gain the consent of the first wife before marrying additional women. After Emma opposed plural marriage, Joseph was placed in an agonizing dilemma, forced to choose between the will of God and the will of his beloved Emma. He may have thought Emma’s rejection of plural marriage exempted him from the law of Sarah. Her decision to “receive not this law” permitted him to marry additional wives without her consent.
This references the scripture in D&C 132:61
61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire 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 unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.
If I were teaching seminary, I just might want some better material in case this came up. As a member of the Mormon church, I CERTAINLY want more information how this rule got skirted. I applaud the Mormon church for being more forthcoming about difficult facts, but perhaps they may consider having an official answer to Joseph’s non-adherence to the rules while expecting members to exercise exact obedience and punishing those who skirt as well.
May God bless the seminary teachers! Good luck.
How do you feel about those who skirt the rules?