Mormon FAIR-Cast 85: Foundations of fundamentalist polygamy

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What is the connection between some of the modern polygamist groups and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? In this episode of Religion Today that originally aired on February 26, 2012, Martin Tanner discusses the arguments used by some fundamentalist groups to justify their practice of polygamy, and why these arguments are inconsistent with the modern doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This recording was used by permission of KSL Radio and does not necessarily represent the views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of FAIR.

8 thoughts on “Mormon FAIR-Cast 85: Foundations of fundamentalist polygamy

  1. adamtaylor

    This was an interesting podcast, but there remains a lot more questions that need to be answered. I would greatly appreciate some discussion on post-manifesto polygamy. Martin Tanner totally ignored this issue which I feel is very relevant to this topic.

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  3. reelmormon

    One issue I have with this and I am coming from a faithful perspective. When Joseph institues polygamy to begin with in 1830’s with Fanny Alger and others to follow, he never presents this doctrine or it’s institution to the general membership for their commen consent. In fact he doesn’t even present it to the twelve as a whole for their sustaining vote. So there is presidence of establishing doctrine and revelation without a vote of common consent. I look forward to replies from others on how one takes into account this fact.

  4. reelmormon

    I am still looking forward to an answer? anyone care to explain why common consent is a valid need/reason in some cases and not nessacary in others? It seems like trying to play both sides of the fence depending on whether we like the outcome or not!

  5. reelmormon

    If indeed there is no answer for this issue to reconcile when and where common consent is nessacary then one should not have this episode as any kind of defensive argument.

  6. SteveDensleyJr Post author

    reelmormon wrote: “One issue I have with this and I am coming from a faithful perspective. When Joseph institues polygamy to begin with in 1830’s with Fanny Alger and others to follow, he never presents this doctrine or it’s institution to the general membership for their commen consent.”

    Which is why the general membership wasn’t responsible for living it, until taught. It also explains the D&C 1835 section describing the Church’s teachings and beliefs about monogamy–the Church and its members didn’t have other teachings or doctrines on the point, because it hasn’t been widely taught, or sustained as doctrine.

    reelmormon: “In fact he doesn’t even present it to the twelve as a whole for their sustaining vote. I expect this route was chosen to allow them to comes to grip with it in their own time.”

    Joseph taught it to the Twelve as they returned to Nauvoo, and since they didn’t return en masse, they didn’t get taught all at once.

    reelmormon: “So there is presidence of establishing doctrine and revelation without a vote of common consent.”

    The doctrine or revelation comes without common consent, and always does. Revelation doesn’t require or rely upon common consent.

    Common consent votes to sustain the doctrine and to agree to be bound by it as a Church.

    Most who eventually voted “No” tended to vote with their feet by leaving the Church, or at least not going west with Brigham and the Twelve.

  7. Martin Tanner

    reelmormon’s complaint boils down to timing. He claims “[JS] never presents this doctrine or it’s [sic] institution to the general membership for their commen [sic] consent.” Plural marriage, like any other concept, must first be revealed to a prophet and then to the Church as a whole. The doctrine of common consent does not require common consent for what God reveals to or requires of a prophet, but only of the Church as a whole. Once polygamy was adopted by common consent, it was a doctrine of the entire Church. Before then, it wasn’t binding on the entire Church. Once the Manifesto was adopted by common consent, it was binding on the entire Church.

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