I read just now someone’s question about Joseph and polygamy. You didn’t quite answer the question honestly or if you did then you answered in naivete, because you alluded that it was mainly Brigham Young that lived polygamy and that Joseph was only commanded to live it. Are you not aware of the Gospel Topics Essay’s on LDS.org? I thought I’d share it with you so you would respond in a more accurate way.
Years ago I stumbled across a website listing Joseph’s wives and it threw me into a major faith crisis. Practically robbed me of almost 10 years of angst and torture as to if I believe the cojcolds is still true. I’m still semi-active only because I help a young man in Primary and then Young Men’s because he suffers from a neurological brain disorder. My ward’s bishopric were pretty attuned to what would get me to come to church I guess.
But I know you’re a busy person and I won’t bore you with the rest, it’s still going, but won’t get into it. The following is a link to the website and be sure to click on Nauvoo polygamy or the beginings of plural marriage to get the rest of the story. It is vital that people are aware and not blindsided like myself. The church leaders have recently asked CES leaders to make sure to go over these essays in order to answer questions openly and honestly. I will provide the second link about the early church’s practice of polygamy.
I apologize if this has already come to your attention. Take care!
Thank you for bringing the discrepancy concerning the practice of polygamy by Joseph Smith and others during the infancy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the mid 1800’s to our attention. I am not sure when the response you mention was written, but only in the last few years, since this has become a subject of interest on social media and is being used by some trying to discredit Joseph Smith and our Church, have we really began to pay much attention to the scanty history of that difficult practice mostly there on America’s frontier.
This response will serve as an update on that subject which will include a link to a rather detailed official explanation by the LDS Church. I suppose that few of our detractors will study this and/or be open the these details, but I believe them and have my own personal conviction that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God who was called upon by God and Christ themselves to restore the same gospel, priesthood authority and Church organization in these latter days that Jesus established anciently. I am spiritually comforted to know that the apostles and prophets living today receive divine revelation to lead the Lord’s restored Church in these latter days. I am confident that this restoration has been in fulfilment of Peter’s prophecy concerning the second coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ:
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
(New Testament | Acts 3:21)
I personally believe that the practice of plural marriage that God directed for Abraham and his grandson, Jacob along with other prophets “since the world began” was needed, even if for a short time, to fulfill that prophecy as part of “all things” that was to be restored; matters that “had been spoken” and practiced by ancient prophets, especially in those circumstances when it would have been helpful to increase more rapidly the number of devoted followers of these prophets, including those like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young in these latter days. I can certainly understand how difficult it is for those not of our faith to accept our position on this subject, but it does not shake my faith in the least. I do believe, as I have read, how very difficult it was for these early leaders to introduce such a strongly “controversial” practice which they initiated because they were commanded of God to do so, and knowing the challenges it would bring on the Church.
Here is the link to the LDS Church official response:
Thanks again for bringing this to our attention and giving us the reason to update our post.