Doctrine and Covenants/Contradiction between Section 132 and Jacob 2/Further Reading

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Further reading

Further reading

FairMormon Answers articles

Mormonism and polygamy

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Joseph Smith and polygamy

Summary: Joseph Smith is frequently criticized for his introduction and practice of polygamy. From a Christian perspective, these attacks usually focus on arguing that polygamy is unchristian or unbiblical, and that Joseph hid the truth from the world. From a secular perspective, it is asserted that the practice of polygamy sprung from Joseph's carnal desires to marry young women. Of particular interest is the fact that Joseph was sealed to women who were already married to other men (polyandry).

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Doctrine and Covenants

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Textual changes in the Doctrine and Covenants

Summary: Joseph Smith and others made revisions, additions, and deletions to his early revelations when preparing them for publication. Some claim that revelations from God are inerrant and should never be changed, and that this proves that Joseph Smith did not receive revelation.

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Why and how revelations were modified in the Doctrine and Covenants

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Oliver Cowdery and the "rod of nature"

Summary: It is claimed that a revelation received by Joseph praised Oliver Cowdery's gift of using divining talents. It is claimed that the revelation was published in the Book of Commandments in its original form, then subsequently modified in the Doctrine and Covenants in order to hide the reference to the "rod of nature." Therefore, it is claimed that Joseph attempted to "cover up" Oliver Cowdery's work with a divining rod by changing a revelation. Critics also claim that Oliver would ask questions of his divining rod in faith and it would move in response.

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Criticism of the Doctrine and Covenants

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Alleged contradictions in the Doctrine and Covenants

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Doctrine and Covenants and Book of Mormon geography

Summary: Proponents of certain Book of Mormon geographical theories attempt to find clues in the Doctrine and Covenants.

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The Doctrine and Covenants and the Lamanites

Summary: Since in the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord refers to American Indians in North America as "Lamanites" (e.g., DC 28:8-9,14, DC 30:6, DC 32:2, DC 54:8), does this cause problems for the Limited Geography Theory (LGT) or issues of Amerindian genetic data?

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The Doctrine and Covenants and the locations in the Book of Mormon

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The Doctrine and Covenants and polygamy

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1835 Doctrine and Covenants denies polygamy—D&C 101 (original)

Summary: The 1835 edition of the D&C contained a statement of marriage which denied the practice of polygamy. Since this was published during Joseph Smith's lifetime, why might the prophet have allowed it to be published if he was actually practicing polygamy at that time?

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Scriptural references to plural marriage in the Doctrine and Covenants

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Lectures on Faith

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Lecture of Faith 5 teaches the Father is "a personage of spirit"

Summary: Lectures on Faith, which used to be part of the Doctrine and Covenants, teach that God is a spirit. Joseph Smith's later teachings contradict this. More generally, critics argue that Joseph Smith taught an essentially "trinitarian" view of the Godhead until the mid 1830s, thus proving the Joseph was "making it up" as he went along.

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Removal of the Lectures on Faith from the Doctrine and Covenants

Summary: Critics argue that the Lectures on Faith were "quietly" removed from the Doctrine and Covenants without general church membership consent, that the Lectures on Faith are not available to the general Church membership through Church sources, and that they can only be obtained through non-LDS sources (despite their availability at Deseret Book).

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Lectures on Faith

Jump to Subtopic:

Lecture of Faith 5 teaches the Father is "a personage of spirit"

Summary: Lectures on Faith, which used to be part of the Doctrine and Covenants, teach that God is a spirit. Joseph Smith's later teachings contradict this. More generally, critics argue that Joseph Smith taught an essentially "trinitarian" view of the Godhead until the mid 1830s, thus proving the Joseph was "making it up" as he went along.

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Removal of the Lectures on Faith from the Doctrine and Covenants

Summary: Critics argue that the Lectures on Faith were "quietly" removed from the Doctrine and Covenants without general church membership consent, that the Lectures on Faith are not available to the general Church membership through Church sources, and that they can only be obtained through non-LDS sources (despite their availability at Deseret Book).

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FairMormon web site

Plural marriage FAIR links
  • Suzanne Armitage, "O that my voice could reach the ears of those uninformed and misinformed." FairMormon link
  • Claudia Bushman, "Lives of Mormon Women," FAIR presentation transcript, 2006. FairMormon link
  • Gregory L. Smith, "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Plural Marriage (*But Were Afraid to Ask)," FAIR Conference presentation (7 August 2009).
  • Gregory L. Smith, "Polygamy, Prophets, and Prevarication: Frequently and Rarely Asked Questions about the Initiation, Practice, and Cessation of Plural Marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," FAIR, 2005.
  • Allen Wyatt, "Zina and Her Men: An Examination of the Changing Marital State of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young," FAIR presentation transcript, 2006. FairMormon link

External links

Plural marriage on-line articles
  • James B. Allen, "Line upon Line," Ensign (July 1979), 32–40. off-site
  • Edwin B. Firmage, "The Judicial Campaign against Polygamy and the Enduring Legal Questions," Brigham Young University Studies 27 no. 3 (Summer 1987), 91–113. PDF link
  • Danel Bachman, Ronald K. Esplin, "Plural Marriage," in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow, (New York, Macmillan Publishing, 1992), 3:1091–1095. off-site
  • Stephen R. Gibson, "Does the Book of Mormon Forbid Polygamy," lightplanet.com. off-site
  • Gordon Irving, "The Law of Adoption: One Phase of the Development of the Mormon Concept of Salvation, 1830–1900," Brigham Young University Studies 14 no. 3 (Spring 1974), 291–314. PDF link
  • Stephen E. Robinson, Are Mormons Christians? (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1993),90–96. off-site FairMormon link
  • Gilbert W. Scharffs, The Truth About “The Godmakers”: A Response to an Inaccurate Portrayal of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Publishers Press, 1986). FairMormon link
  • Gregory L. Smith, "George D. Smith's Nauvoo Polygamy (A review of "Nauvoo Polygamy:...but we called it celestial marriage" by: George D. Smith)," FARMS Review 20/2 (2008): 37–123. off-site wiki
  • W. John Walsh, "Is Plural Marriage Necessary for Exaltation?" off-site
  • Robert B. White, "A Review of the Dust Jacket and the First Two Pages (A review of "Nauvoo Polygamy:...but we called it celestial marriage" by: George D. Smith)," FARMS Review 20/2 (2008): 125–129. off-site wiki
  • Mormon-polygamy.org off-site


Printed material

Plural marriage printed references
  • Danel W. Bachman, “A Study of the Mormon Practice of Polygamy Before the Death of Joseph Smith,” (1975) (unpublished M.A. thesis, Purdue University).
  • Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997). ( Index of claims )
  • Reviews of In Sacred Loneliness:
    • Richard Lloyd Anderson and Scott H. Faulring, "The Prophet Joseph Smith and His Plural Wives (Review of In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith)," FARMS Review of Books 10/2 (1998): 67–104. off-site
    • Danel W. Bachman, "Prologue to the Study of Joseph Smith's Marital Theology (Review of In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith)," FARMS Review of Books 10/2 (1998): 105–137. off-site
    • Danel W. Bachman, “’Let No One…Set On My Servant Joseph’: Religious Historians Missing the Lessons of Religious History,” Presentation to Mormon History Association, 22 May 1999.
    • Kathryn Daynes, “Review of In Sacred Loneliness,” Pacific Historical Review 68 (August 1999): 466–468. off-site
    • Alma G. Allred, “Variations on a Theme,” Presentation to Mormon History Association, 1999, updated on-line version of 6 December 1999.
    • Todd M. Compton, "Truth, Honesty and Moderation in Mormon History: A Response to Anderson, Faulring and Bachman’s Reviews of in Sacred Loneliness," (July 2001).
    • Todd M. Compton, Response to Jerald and Sandra Tanners' Review of In Sacred Loneliness (n.d.).
  • Kathryn M. Daynes, More Wives than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System, 1840–1910 (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2001). ISBN 0252026810.
  • Craig L. Foster, David Keller, and Gregory L. Smith, “The Age Joseph Smith’s Plural Wives in Social and Demographic Context,” in Newell G. Bringhurst and Craig L. Foster eds., The Persistence of Polygamy: Joseph Smith and the Origins of Mormon Polygamy (Independence, John Whitmer Books Press 2010), 152–183. [152–183]
  • Stephen R. Gibson, One-Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions (Bountiful, Utah: Horizon Publishers, 1995).
  • Brian Hales' works are probably the current definitive treatment on Joseph Smith's plural marriages:
    • Brian C. Hales, Joseph Smith's Polygamy Volume 1: History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Greg Kofford Books, 2013).
    • Brian C. Hales, Joseph Smith's Polygamy Volume 2: History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Greg Kofford Books, 2013).
    • Brian C. Hales, Joseph Smith's Polygamy Volume 3: Theology (Salt Lake City, Utah: Greg Kofford Books, 2013).
  • Jeni Broberg Holzapfel and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, eds., A Woman's View: Helen Mar Whitney's Reminiscences of Early Church History (Provo: Religious Studies Center, BYU, 1997).
  • Joseph Fielding McConkie, Answers: Straightforward Answers to Tough Gospel Questions (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1998), 27–28. GospeLink (requires subscrip.)
  • Ugo A. Perego, Natalie M. Myres, and Scott R. Woodward, 'Reconstructing the Y-Chromosome of Joseph Smith: Genealogical Applications," Journal of Mormon History 31/3 (Fall 2005): 42-60. (Discusses how DNA proves that the parentage of Moroni Pratt, Zebulon Jacobs, and Orrison Smith is not through Joseph Smith).
  • John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations: Aids to Faith in a Modern Day, arranged by G. Homer Durham (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960), 340–344. GL direct link
  • John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations: Aids to Faith in a Modern Day, arranged by G. Homer Durham (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960), 390–393. GL direct link