The New York Times wrote this headline: “It’s Official: Mormon Founder Had Up to 40 Wives.” In a November 10, 2014 article, Laurie Goodstein said, “Mormon leaders have acknowledged for the first time that the church’s founder and prophet, Joseph Smith…took as many as 40 wives, some already married and one only 14 years old.
“The church’s disclosures, in a series of essays online, are part of an effort to be transparent about its history at a time when church members are increasingly encountering disturbing claims about the faith on the Internet.”
According to LDS doctrine, the Mormon version of “God” and his wives procreate spirit children who get their bodies when people on earth conceive bodies for them. Not only that, but procreation (celestial sex!) will continue in heaven by worthy LDS couples who are sealed in a temple. This marriage for eternity allegedly includes polygamy, although the traditional LDS Church’s position is that it no longer practices polygamy on earth.
Joseph Smith claimed his views, including polygamy and celestial marriage, came by revelation from God, and that such revelations brought the “restored gospel” to mankind. But how could it restore something that contradicts the Bible and what Jesus said originally? Why would God negate Jesus’ words with revelations not given until the 1800s?
The Bible teaches that when a spouse dies, their marriage ends. See Romans 7:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 7:39. In addition, Jesus stated that there is no marriage in heaven. “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” (Matthew 22:30).
LDS missionaries answer this by claiming it simply means there are no marriage ceremonies in heaven; thus marriage ordinances must take place on earth. This interpretation, however, ignores Jesus’ next statement, that in eternity everyone will be like the angels of God. In Jesus’ day it was understood that the angels were sexless, and therefore unmarried. Whatever status the angels of God have, people in eternity will have the same. So who has more credibility—Jesus Christ or Joseph Smith?
In heaven there will be no need for procreation because “there will be no more death…for the former things have passed away….Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:4-5). Nor is there any support in the Bible for the erroneous idea that God is begetting “spirit children” by means of heavenly sex. These man-made doctrines were taught by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young (who had 55 wives), not by Jesus Christ or any of the biblical prophets.
Yet, according to Nora Moore Hess in “Mormon Beliefs About Death: Eternal Spirits, Eternal Families,” the leaders of the LDS Church “possess the ancient ‘sealing’ power given to Peter by the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 18:18. This power, restored to the founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, in a visit from the ancient prophet Elijah to the Mormon temple in Kirtland, Ohio in the 1830s, allows those with proper priesthood authority to bind families together for eternity in ordinances performed in Mormon temples.”
Again, the Scriptures are ignored. The context of Matthew 18 has nothing to do with marriage or “sealings.” Eric Bargerhuff said, “In Matthew 18, Jesus is instructing the disciples on how they and all who will follow Him should handle situations of interpersonal sin and conflict. His instructions about this immediately follow His parable about the lost sheep (which emphasizes restoring someone who has gone astray) and precedes the parable of the unmerciful servant (which is about being willing to cancel and forgive an outstanding debt). Therefore, the themes that are present in this context are forgiveness, restoration, and reconciliation with a brother or sister who has sinned against you or who has gone astray.”
In conclusion, it seems that Joseph Smith’s so-called revelations had two primary goals—the pleasures of sex with multiple partners, and church income from member’s tithes. Since eternal marriage ordinances are performed only in a temple, and to be temple-worthy one’s tithes must be paid up, the church’s coffers are always filled. Sex and money—an unbeatable combination if you want to start your own religion.
This author applauds the Mormon Church for no longer covering up the sordid history of its founders, but to spin it by claiming their marriages were mostly spiritual (yeah, right!) is unfounded based on Jesus teaching that no one in heaven is married.
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 Eric J. Bargerhuff, The Most Misused Verses in the Bible: Surprising Ways God’s Word is Misunderstood (2012: Bethany House Publishers), pp. 46-47