Christ our Examplar was plurally married and so was Abraham the Father of our Covenant, but is this irrevocable law found in the Book of Mormon? I’m bewildered whenever I encounter otherwise faithful LDS who profess that plural marriage isn’t part of the Gospel and that it was not from Heavenly Father. Wow. I find it cold hearted to say the least. When a man won’t bring his wife into the Kingdom of Heaven what would they have her do? Sit this one out? Not to mention the assumption this would take that every LDS leader from Joseph Smith down to David O. McKay had been living and teaching false doctrine as a Fundamental Key tenant of the Restored Gospel, that cannot be separated from Mormonism (The reason why the Church and Kingdom of God cannot advance without the Patriarchal Order of Marriage is that it belongs to this dispensation, just as baptism for the dead does, or any law or ordinance that belongs to a dispensation. Without it the Church cannot progress. The leading men of Israel who are presiding over stakes will have to obey the law of Abraham or they will have to resign. (Life of Wilford Woodruff, Cowley, p. 542).
Plural Marriage allows every woman an opportunity to have a worthy Priesthood holder. With increasingly fewer WORTHY males it’s easy to see why this would be increasingly necessary. Righteous women only want worthy men to lead them.
Is this why Joseph Smith as he Restored the Gospel was commanded at sword point by an angel to enter into plural marriage or be destroyed? The Saints were repeatedly told, “If we do not embrace that principle (of plural marriage) soon, the keys will be turned against us. If we do not keep the same law that our Heavenly Father has kept, we cannot go with Him.” (Life of Wilford Woodruff, Cowley, p. 542), but is the Law of Plurality of Wives found in the Book of Mormon, the keystone of our religion, where people turn for the Fullness of the Gospel?
Since D&C (84:57) reprimands us for rejecting the Book of Mormon, this is an important question. Why did John Taylor as editor of the Times and Seasons, publish: “If any man writes to you, or preaches to you, doctrines contrary to the Bible or Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, put him down as an imposter.” (Times and Seasons Vol 5 [April 1, 1844]: 490: 491) ? Because, out of the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. Here we have three witnesses containing the Fullness of the Gospel. The Book of Mormon is the keystone to our religion. By being a provable fruit of Joseph’s Divine gifts and mission, it bridges the gap between the Old/New Testament and the Doctrine and Covenants/Pearl of Great Price/all Joseph’s words and successors.
So the answer is OF COURSE! All the commandments are there for all to see not only in the Book of Mormon but the Bible and Doctrine and Covenants, all three meshing the Fullness of the Restored Gospel. Although just like a parable the Lord hides as much as he gives, depending on the hearer of the word. Which is why D&C the Lord’s Revelation to Joseph on the Plurality of Wives, opens with, “Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey…” (vs 3).
2 Nephi 14:1 And in that day, seven women shall take hold of one man, saying: We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach.
Let’s pause for this scripture for a moment. The women in this prophecy were not forced into anything whatever. Literally the contrary. They are begging for help, “take away our reproach”. What reproach did these women have? The cross reference for the comparative verse in Isaiah 4:1 sheds light on what reproach these women experience, “the stigma of being unmarried and childless.” In the present or near future will only worthy Priesthood holders be brave enough to obey the Lord’s command to continue to replenish the earth?
For more on this please keep an eye out for part 2. For there is so much more!
He showed that the revelation that had been the subject of attention (Section 132) was only one published on Celestial Marriage, and if the doctrine of plural marriage was repudiated, so must be the glorious principle of marriage for eternity, the two being indissolubly interwoven with each other. (C. W. Penrose, Mill. Star 45:454)
If you have the courage that is, after all, you might develop a ‘stigma’ yourself:
The women who united with Joseph Smith in plural marriage risked reputation and self-respect in being associated with a principle so foreign to their culture and so easily misunderstood by others. “I made a greater sacrifice than to give my life,” said Zina Huntington Jacobs, “for I never anticipated again to be looked upon as an honorable woman.” Nevertheless, she wrote, “I searched the scripture & by humble prayer to my Heavenly Father I obtained a testimony for myself.” Zina Huntington Jacobs, autobiographical sketch, Zina Card Brown Family Collection, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; spelling modernized.