Question: Did early Church leaders state that the Book of Mormon condemns polygamy?

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Question: Did early Church leaders state that the Book of Mormon condemns polygamy?

Critics of the Book of Mormon attempt to use the words of early LDS leaders to bolster their position. For example, note how the words of Orson Pratt are "mined" to support the critic's assertion that the Book of Mormon condemns polygamy:

Reference Original quote... What the critics want the quote to say...
Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism, p. 221 quoting Orson Pratt in Journal of Discourses 6:351 The Book of Mormon, therefore, is the only record (professing to be Divine) which condemns plurality of wives as being a practice exceedingly abominable before God. But even that sacred book makes an exception in substance as follows—"Except I the Lord command my people." The same Book of Mormon and the same article that commanded the Nephites that they should not marry more than one wife, made an exception. Let this be understood—"Unless I the Lord shall command them." We can draw the conclusion from this, that there were some things not right in the sight of God, unless he should command them. We can draw the same conclusion from the Bible, that there were many things which the Lord would not suffer his children to do, unless he particularly commanded them to do them. The Book of Mormon, therefore, is the only record (professing to be divine) which condemns the plurality of wives as being a practice exceedingly abominable before God.

The critics use this quote to state that Orson Pratt "admitted" that the Book of Mormon condemns plural marriage by extracting only the portion of his quote that mentions it. They omit Pratt's subsequent explanation regarding the exception mentioned in Jacob 2:30, thus implying that Pratt was making an "admission" that the Book of Mormon condemned polygamy.

The Smoot hearings

Jerald and Sandra Tanner quote Vol. 1, p. 480 of the Smoot hearings for this claim. They ignore the exchange on the very next page in which President Joseph F. Smith responds to this claim in the Senate, with the senate making the same error made by the Tanners and other critics.

Joseph F. Smith insists that the senate consider what is now Jacob 2:30. Anti-Mormon attacks have not changed much since.

Notes