Skip to comments.Polygamy hurt 19th century Mormon wives' evolutionary fitness
Posted on 02/22/2011 5:56:26 AM PST by Colofornian
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Polygamy practiced by some 19th century Mormon men had the curious effect of suppressing the overall offspring numbers of Mormon women in plural marriages, say scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and three other institutions in the March 2011 issue of Evolution and Human Behavior.
Simply put, the more sister-wives a Mormon woman had, the fewer children she was likely to produce.
"Although it's great in terms of number of children for successful males to have harems, the data show that for every new woman added to a male's household, the number each wife produced goes down by one child or so," said IU Bloomington evolutionary biologist Michael Wade...
The researchers' survey of birth, marriage and death records from the Utah Population Database covers nearly 186,000 Utah adults and their 630,000 children who lived or died between 1830 and 1894. This period marked an important transition for the nascent Mormon Church, as polygamy began to be phased out in deference to U.S. laws banning the practice but also via internal pressure from the Mormons themselves.
The scientists' study confirmed their expectation that a moratorium on Mormon polygamy would have the effect of decreasing the intensity of sexual selection among males...With fewer polygamous marriages, more males had access to wives...The scientists estimate that ending polygamy reduced the strength of sexual selection on males by 58 percent.
...Wade says, polygamy is a bad thing for most males of a species.
"When the ratio of sexes is about equal, for every male that has three mates, there must be two males that have none," Wade said. "If a male has even more mates, then the disparity among male 'reproductive' haves and have-nots can become quite great."
(Excerpt) Read more at newsinfo.iu.edu ...
What's so curious about that? Brigham Young had 55 wives & 57 children...figure the averages...Joseph Smith, Jr. had children in single-figures...27 wives...11 of them he stole from other men by marrying them when they were already married! (Not only was he a counterfeit "prophet," but a counterfeit husband as well!)
How interesting. Leaving out the evolutionary crap that a University like Indiana University injected, the stats bore out what I've said for a while:
That contrary to common myth, 19th and early 20th century Mormon polygamy actually resulted in less children per mom, not more!
The child-bearing is based upon momhood, not how many beehives a busy Utah male bee can buzz around!
(What's interesting in the timing is I was having to enlighten a FREEPER a week ago today on this topic). [See Bad Assumption: "Polygamy means more babies, and a few years after than, more workers paying into Social Security...A good public policy argument can be made in favor of Polygamy." (See my Posts #59, #82 & #94 in response to posts #32, etc.)]
From the article: ...Wade says, polygamy is a bad thing for most males of a species.
Indeed it is. Think of how many single Chinese and Indian men there due to rampant sex-selection abortion in Asia...(along with OTHER forms of female infanticide).
From the article: ...as polygamy began to be phased out...The scientists' study confirmed their expectation that a moratorium on Mormon polygamy...
One other note: Good way of putting it -- "phased out" -- vs. a so-called Mormon "moratorium" (suspension of activity) didn't happen in 1890...yet another Mormon myth. C. Carmon Hardy, in his book Solemn Covenant, documents over 200 additional "plural unions" in his appendix (by name, dates, etc.) These occurred between 1890 and 1910...and were approved by Lds general authorities as they had to be properly solemnized. Often the couple would head for Mexico, leaving a previous wife or wives behind while the husband had yet another honeymoon.
It was Joe Smith who coined the phrase:
“I’d hit it!”
“If a male has even more mates, then the disparity among male ‘reproductive’ haves and have-nots can become quite great.”
Good thing it took a study to confirm that hypothesis....
I find the evolutionary angle interesting. I wonder what the researchers would say about the evolutionary fitness of homosexuals.
Sorry about an off-topic reply.
Mark Twain explains the drawbacks of polygamy in Roughing It.
One rooster and 20 hens only works with chickens?
“...Wade says, polygamy is a bad thing for most males of a species. When the ratio of sexes is about equal, for every male that has three mates, there must be two males that have none,” Wade said. “If a male has even more mates, then the disparity among male ‘reproductive’ haves and have-nots can become quite great.”
The interpretation of these results is very questionable. Of course polygamy is bad for most males, but it is better for the species. He seems to think its unfair that the poor unfit males dont get to mate, while the fit ones do. It’s not about fairness, its about survival. In the animal kingdom the best reproduce, they dont worry about the loser males who cant compete.
“That contrary to common myth, 19th and early 20th century Mormon polygamy actually resulted in less children per mom, not more!”
Since it was fairly common for women to die in childbirth this is a definite ADVANTAGE for females to bear fewer children. The author twists this into a negative. It’s also advantageous to have other women around to raise your kids if you die (also fairly common back then).
It took a study to figure this out? Another waste of public money. And why is it a “curious” effect? It is an effect common sense would have determined 100 years ago. Less sex per individual woman = fewer children. Not rocket science. This is supposed to be serious scholarship?
We can always depend on your getting right to the “bottom” of things. ;0)
Not if it means that the good women aren’t having children. You are trying to have it both ways.
>> Of course polygamy is bad for most males, but it is better for the species <<
Not at all clear to me, at least when one factors in things other than visible physical characteristics like brute strength and spear-throwing prowess.
For example, as mankind has advanced from the most primitive hunter-gatherer culture to agriculture to our modern technical civilization, IQ has became more and more important. So who’s to say that in the modern world, the high IQ geek’s contribution to the gene pool is less important for human survival than is the contribution of the big and handsome football captain who impregnates multiple girl friends?
Moreover, who can say that the “geeks” will never have certain evolutionary advantages in terms of genetic immunities against various diseases? I should think high diversity in a community’s gene pool is a better long-run strategy for survival than the strategy inherent in a “polygamous” social structure — one that limits the male genetic contribution to maybe one-third or one-fourth of the available studs.
Also, even though I’ll grant that a certain amount of polygamy may initially increase a given community’s evolutionary fitness, there easily might be a “crossover point” at which this community’s level of endogamy begins to produce an unacceptable and unsustainable percentage of offspring with genetic defects — due to double inheritance of recessive genes.
In other words, it’s not too difficult to outline a scenario where monogamy and marital fidelity can contribute to the human species’ evolutionary fitness — whether or not one takes account of traditional religious/moral/ethical strictures.
Um, could be they have fewer children in polygamist situations because each woman gets “hit” less often. I doubt evolution has anything to do with it.
My great grandmother who was catholic had 18 children. One day I must post the family picture. It’s hilarious. My poor great grandmother looks like tired worn out while my grandfather sits in his chair proud as a peacock with all his children around him.
In the olden days, the girls all married Young.
But one factor is left out. IIRC, the number of female converts to Mormonism greatly outnumbered the male converts, so within the Mormon community the male to female ratio would have been quite unbalanced. Monogamy for them would have meant far fewer women bearing children.
So the end effect was NOT fewer children per woman, but more, since under strict monogamy, most of the women would not have found husbands and would not have had any children at all.
"The Journal of Discourses is a vehicle of doctrine, counsel, and instruction to ALL people, but especially to the Saints. It follows then, then, [sic] that each successive volume is more and more valuable as the Church increases in numbers and importance in the earth." Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. iii (1867) " Brigham Young
LDS Apostle Erastus Snow preached the following on Sunday, Oct. 4, 1857:
" Do the women, when they pray, remember their husbands?... Do you uphold your husband before God as your lord? "What!my husband to be my lord?" I ask, Can you get into the celestial kingdom without him? Have any of you been there? You will remember that you never got into the celestial kingdom [during the temple ceremony] without the aid of your husband. If you did, it was because your husband was away, and some one had to act proxy for him. No woman will get into the celestial kingdom, except her husband receives her, if she is worthy to have a husband; and if not, somebody will receive her as a servant.(Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 291)
But what of the many mature members of the Church who are not married? Through no failing of their own, they deal with the trials of life alone. Be we all reminded that, in the Lords own way and time, no blessings will be withheld from His faithful Saints. The Lord will judge and reward each individual according to heartfelt desire as well as deed.
Why don't the mormons compare the teachings of Mormon "prophets", who taught polygamy was essential for the "salvation of man" vs. what is taught in the Bible?
The pithy and obtuse reply, as usual, "the non-issue is found at the links."
But its not. Its been whitewashed away. Consigned to some dustbin of unpalatable and blasphemous mormon doctrines mormons no longer acknowledge. I'm not talking about polygamy in general, the SLC mormons already told the fLdS that they aren't mormon. I'm talking about the SLC mormon prophets [the ones who claim to be the "true" Mormons] saying it is essential for man's SALVATION.
So, remembering that The prophet does not have to say "Thus saith the Lord" to give us [mormons] scripture. Heres what JS is purported to have originally recd as revelation; ["MARRIAGE. v. 4 "Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy; we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again." 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, C1, p. 251 (1835)]
Yet in D&C 132, he receives different revelation. That plural marriage (polygamy) was a new and everlasting covenant essential to exaltation to the highest glory in which men may become gods.
So, is this revelation reinforced by others? Let's take a look... Brigham Young - "Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned." Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 266 (1855)
Heber C. Kimball - Opponents of polygamy will be "cut off" by God. Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 108 (1856)
If you are someone who objects to plural marriage, then I would challenge you to search within yourselves. There is no doubt in my mind that your attitude towards plural marriage will determine your place in eternity.
President Brigham Young also warned:
"Now, where a man in this Church says, "I don't want but one wife, I will live my religion with one," he will perhaps be saved in the celestial kingdom; but when he gets there he will not find himself in possession of any wife at all. He has had a talent that he has hid up. He will come forward and say, "Here is that which thou gavest me, I have not wasted it, and here is the one talent," and he will not enjoy it, but it will be taken and given to those who have improved the talents they received, and he will find himself without any wife, and he will remain single for ever and ever. But if the woman is determined not to enter into a plural marriage, that woman when she comes forth will have the privilege of living in single blessedness through all eternity." (Journal of Discourses, Vol.16, p.166 - p.167)
Joseph F. Smith - "Plural marriage is not some sort of superfluity or non-essential to the salvation or exaltation of mankind. Marriage to only one woman is only partial compliance to the law of exaltation." Journal of Discourses, vol. 20, p. 28 (1878)
Now this one is just flat out blasphemy---
Orson Pratt - Jesus a polygamist, God the Father had a plurality of wives. "We have also proved that both God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ inherit their wives in eternity as well as in time." The Seer, p. 172 (1853)
"Plural marriage is not essential to salvation or exaltation." Bruce R. McConkie Doctrine of plural marriage
But all those other apostles and prophets have said just the opposite? How does this affect all those other poor souls who followed those doctrines and revelations? Is the mormon god so feckless and incompetent that he cant get it right the first time?
But before we dismiss the references to the JoDs as just opinion, as has been claimed in the past, lets remember the words of Brigham shall we? "The Journal of Discourses is a vehicle of doctrine, counsel, and instruction to ALL people, but especially to the Saints. It follows then, then, [sic] that each successive volume is more and more valuable as the Church increases in numbers and importance in the earth." Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. iii (1867) " Brigham Young
BY has said that the JoD are a vehicle of doctrine and that each successive volume is more valuable. Who is to be believed?
But you know what the Bible says about all of this?
Simply this; Mark 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.
Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in HEAVEN.
So all of those requirements the mormons want you to meet in order to attain the celestial kingdom and to be able to dwell with God are superfluous. God has already said you will not be married in heaven. What's so hard to understand about God's Word?
Seriously, did Constantine and the evil neer do wells of the Council of Nicea remove all of that confusing mormon stuff and replace it with something so simple to trick us? Thats what the mormons claim and want us to believe. This is supposed to be some of that "restoration of the fullness of the gospel" mormons claim.
They want you to believe that you "must" be married in the temple in order to gain exaltation [aka; salvation]. But they don't tell you that polygamy was an essential component to that and the bonus for engaging in celestial polygamy is you get to dwell with God and Jesus. The two are inseparable and for those mormons who don't make it, tough.
... in his [H.B. Jacobs] absence, she [Mrs. Jacobs] was sealed to the Prophet Joseph and was his wife.
- Confessions of John D. Lee, p. 132
He [Joseph] preached polygamy... It was given to him before he gave it to the Church. An angel came to him and the last time he came with a drawn sword in his hand and told Joseph if he did not go into that principle he would slay him...
I know he had six wives and I have known some of them from childhood up. I know he had three children. They told me. I think two of them are living today, they are not known as his children as they go by different names.
- Mary E. Lightner, wife of Joseph Smith, Jr., Speech given at Brigham Young University, April 14, 1905
Joseph not only paid his addresses to the young and unmarried women, but he sought spiritual alliance with many married ladies.... He taught them that all former marriages were null and void, and that they were at perfect liberty to make another choice of a husband. The marriage covenants were not binding, because they were ratified only by Gentile laws. These laws the Lord did not recognize; consequently all the women were free...
One woman said to me not very long since, while giving me some of her experiences in polygamy: The greatest trial I ever endured in my life was living with my husband and deceiving him, by receiving Josephs attentions whenever he chose to care to me. ... some of these women have since said they did not know who was the Father of her children; this is not to be wondered at, for after Josephs declaration annulling all Gentile marriages, the greatest promiscuity was practiced; and, indeed, all sense of morality seemed to have been lost by a portion at least of the church.
- Ann Eliza Young, wife of Brigham Young, Wife No. 9, 1876, pp. 70-71
It was an advantage when women died regularly in childbirth, but not now. It limits a woman from having more children, thus, she passes on fewer of her genes.
That makes sense. The more wives a man has the less hits he makes on each one.
I could have figured that out without a major study.
Unbelievably, they compare people to peacocks!
These twits don’t seem to realize that the women a man is sleeping with are exposed to each other’s pheromones, a group of chemical signals sort of like hormones that affect other people’s hormones, passed through the olfactory system.
The pheromones cause the women’s menstrual cycles to align with one another, so that they are all fertile at the same time. This process is so sensitive that women working together in offices can experience realignment of their cycles when there’s a new female coworke - even without the “vector” of a common male sex partner.
My opinion is that it’s a joke the Lord plays on polygamous men for messing with His design of marriage. Or, it could be said that “evolutionarily,” polygamy makes the men /women less fit.
Genesis II 24 is singular, both in Hebrew and in translation.
Great mistakes were made.
“Not at all clear to me, at least when one factors in things other than visible physical characteristics like brute strength and spear-throwing prowess. For example, as mankind has advanced from the most primitive hunter-gatherer culture to agriculture to our modern technical civilization, IQ has became more and more important. So whos to say that in the modern world, the high IQ geeks contribution to the gene pool is less important for human survival than is the contribution of the big and handsome football captain who impregnates multiple girl friends?”
The definition of fitness hasn’t changed much in the primative and modern world, basically, it involves being attractive to women. That usually means being successful and/or good looking. Being a large hansome male is attractive, so is being able to provide food, shelter, protection etc.
As far as IQ goes, if being intelligent translates to being a good hunter or provider (ie successful) it has value. If you are smart and starving, without a place to live, that’s not attractive to women. Poor ugly geeks with an IQ of 140 don’t attract many women. IQ is only important if you use it to become successful.
I am not arguing that there are no advantages to monogomy, only that polygamy is not necessarily a disadvantage. For example in inner cities women mate indiscriminately with poor quality males, producing many children of questionable quality. In such a situation, it would be better for them to mate with a few high quality males, than alot of loser males.
>> The definition of fitness hasnt changed much in the primative and modern world, basically, it involves being attractive to women <<
Sorry to disagree, but I think you’re oversimiplifying the matter. And while you may like your own definition, I don’t believe it’s standard in the literature of population genetics.
Now here’s a perfectly standard definition of genetic/evolutionary fitness:
“The reproductive success of a genotype, usually measured as the number of offspring produced by an individual that survive to reproductive age relative to the average for the population.”
Therefore, since we live in a highly technological world, where the geek’s high IQ may eventually gain him more money and better health than the riches and health possessed by your average “big strong brute,” I think there’s every reason to say that geeks may have greater evolutionary fitness than big strong brutes.
Moreover, not only may the geek himself have better health:
He may take better care of his offspring by providing better health care, education and ambient conditions, thus making it likely that a greater number of geek children will survive to reproduce — as opposed to the survival and reproduction rates of brutes’ children.
So three cheers for monogamous geeks!
Early Muslims were also slave-traders & raided the African coasts long before the West...their primary objective were female slaves...in fact they killed male babies from slave-concubines.
The reproductive success of a genotype, usually measured as the number of offspring produced by an individual that survive to reproductive age relative to the average for the population.
I am very familiar with population genetics and agree with that definition and admit that I oversimplified for the sake of this discussion. I think we can agree that all things being equal, the more attractive you are to women the more mating opportunities and offspring you will have.
“Therefore, since we live in a highly technological world, where the geeks high IQ may eventually gain him more money and better health than the riches and health possessed by your average big strong brute,
Only if the geek can translate his IQ to obvious success. For example take geeky looking identical twin geeks with IQs of 140. One starts a software company and earns $100 million dollars, drives a big car and owns a mansion. The other works at Best Buy. Which one will have more mating opportunities?
“Moreover, not only may the geek himself have better health:
He may take better care of his offspring by providing better health care, education and ambient conditions, thus making it likely that a greater number of geek children will survive to reproduce as opposed to the survival and reproduction rates of brutes children.”
You mean the 98 pound geeks with the pencil necks, constant runny nose, 15 allegies and take their life in their hands just crossing the street? I work with a building full of them. Just because someone is big, handsome and athletic doesnt mean they are stupid.
In a sane society, men of accomplishment get wealth/fame and tons of mating opportunities which leads to more kids. More kids have a better chance of surviving and procreating than fewer kids.
Unfortunately we dont live in a sane society, so the most fit have the fewest kids and the least fit have the most. To see the outcome of this system watch the movie “Idiocracy”
Now THIS is something I had not heard about before!
We'll have to monitor Elton's baby as it grows up.
My teacher always told me: "Show your work."
What was your source of this myth?
Consider the UK/European converts. Single women indeed made the journey alone, but not in greater proportions than single men.
I've encountered some contemporary Mormons who assumed that there was some glut of widowed women and that therefore, men just had to step up and marry them as a plural wife.
According to the Changing World of Mormonism by Sandra & Gerald Tanner ( pp. 224-225: [LDS} "Apostle John A. Widtsoe stated: We do not understand why the Lord commanded the practice of plural marriage. (Evidences and Reconciliations, 1960, p.393). One of the most popular explanations is that the church practiced polygamy because there was a surplus of women. The truth is, however, that there were LESS women than men. Apostle Widtsoe admitted that there was no surplus of women: 'The implied assumption in this theory, that there have been more female than male members in the Church, is not supported by existing evidence. On the contrary, there seems always to have been more males than females in the Church... The United States census records from 1850 to 1940, and all available Church records, uniformly show a preponderance of males in Utah, and in the Church. Indeed, the excess in Utah has usually been larger than for the whole United States, ... there was no surplus of women' (Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, 1960, pp.390-92," as cited in Changing World, pp. 224-225).
So you're not going to argue with a late-19th century Mormon "apostle" who was writing Mormon material when polygamy was still being openly practiced by Mormons, are you?
Imagine single men having to do without such a wife because some men were hoarding them, 27, 40, 57 at a time.
B. Carmon Hardy, in his book, A Solemn Covenant: The Mormon Polygamous Passage, says: Because of secrecy surronding such unions, suitors were confused as to who was and who was not available for serious courtship...One young woman told how, as late as the 1920s, she was repeatedly approached at church dances by married men who wanted her to be their plural wife. (p. 321)
Here was a young woman being approached over 30 years after the "Manifesto"...plus think of how difficult it was for young men to know which other young girls or women had already been secretly "picked off?"
The Tanners, in Changing World, added (p. 225): The shortage of women was so great that some of the men were marrying girls who were very young. Fanny Stenhouse stated:
"That same year, a bill was brought into the Territorial Legislature, providing that boys of fifteen years of age and girls of twelve might legally contract marriage, with the consent of their parents or guardians!" (Tell It All, 1875, p.607).
According to http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no91.htm, Stenhouse was "at one time had been a firm believer in Mormonism and had even allowed her husband to take another wife. She wrote: "It would be quite impossible, with any regard to propriety, to relate all the horrible results of this disgraceful system.... Marriages have been contracted between the nearest of relatives; and old men tottering on the brink of the grave have been united to little girls scarcely in their teens; while unnatural alliances of every description, which in any other community would be regarded with disgust and abhorrence, are here entered into in the name of God...It is quite a common thing in Utah for a man to marry two or even three sisters.... I know also another man who married a widow with several children; and when one of the girls had grown into her teens he insisted on marrying her also... and to this very day the daughter bears children to her step-father, living as wife in the same house with her mother!" (Tell It All, 1874, pages 468-69)
Per researcher George D. Smith (Source: "Nauvoo Polygamists", George D. Smith, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Spring 1994, p. ix, as found at http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no91.htm) discovered that of "a list of 153 men who took plural wives in the early years of the Mormon Church. When we examined this list, we noted that two of the young girls were only thirteen years old when they were lured into polygamy. Thirteen girls were only fourteen years old. Twenty-one were fifteen years old, and fifty-three were sixteen years old when they were secretly enticed into this degrading lifestyle."
"I shall not seal the people as I have done. Old Father Alread brought three young girls 12 & 13 years old. I would not seal them to him. They would not be equally yoked together...Many get their endowments who are not worthy and this is the way that devils are made." (Source: Wilford Woodruff, Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 5:58.)
Now THIS is something I had not heard about before!
I think the "internal pressure" were some of the wives telling their husbands to start keeping their roaving eyes to themselves and their own harem -- minus expansion.
Plus in the 1880s, I'm sure even a few of the "we're-OK-with-polygamy-because-we-don't-know-anything-else" wives didn't like their polygamous husbands spending time in the federal pokey for 6 mos. Hence, more "internal pressure" that was initiated externally.
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Nice guess; but where's your data proving these women would not get a husband?
WHERE do you come up withn your theories?
There is NO way for you to know what the 'primitive' cultures IQ was!
You tell us - as there is still only 24 hours in a day.
“”Of course polygamy is bad for most males, but it is better for the species.””
“My teacher always told me: “Show your work.”
Nature has done this for me. Nearly all animals living in herds or packs have a dominant male that restricts other (lesser) males from mating. The “best” usually the biggest or strongest mate more often and produce more offspring. This is bad for the lesser males but better for the population. It doesn’t necessarity hold true for humans however.
“For example, as mankind has advanced from the most primitive hunter-gatherer culture to agriculture to our modern technical civilization, IQ has became more and more important.
WHERE do you come up withn your theories?
There is NO way for you to know what the ‘primitive’ cultures IQ was!”
Um, I didn’t make those comments.
I wonder if the decreased number of pregnancies is not due to less intercourse between the one man and each wife.. He may have time aside for wife b just when a is fertile .
Also some studies indicate that co habituating women tend to blend their cycles so they are all fertile at the same time ...
“You tell us - as there is still only 24 hours in a day.”
True, but the rich one will have many more such days playing with supermodels while the poor one sits at home playing with himself.
Isn’t that obvious?
So all those mormon men who only have on wife are in complete violation of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young's commandments.
Not in polygamist groups...
How many animals suffer from sexually transmitted diseases?
I was replying to Conan the Conservative’s post. He felt it advantageous for polygamy to flourish, as it kept women from having multiple children (according to the article) and being more likely to die in childbirth as a result. I feel that from (his) evolutionary standpoint, it would be disadvantageous because women would have LESS of their genes in the population.
Good point...note how late 19th -century Mormon "prophets" -- like Joseph F. Smith (Joseph Smith's Jr.'s nephew) pressured others...like in this 1878 message:
Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of superfluity, or non-essential to the salvation or exaltation of mankind. In other words, some of the Saints have said, and believe, that a man with one wife, sealed to him by the authority of the Priesthood for time and eternity, will receive an exaltation as great and glorious, if he is faithful, as he possibly could with more than one. I WANT HERE TO ENTER MY SOLEMN PROTEST AGAINST THIS IDEA, FOR I KNOW IT IS FALSE. There is no blessing [blessing] promised except upon conditions, and NO BLESSING CAN BE OBTAINED BY MANKIND EXCEPT BY FAITHFUL COMPLIANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS, OR LAW, upon which the same is promised. The marriage of one woman to a man for time and eternity by the sealing power, according to the law of God, is a fulfillment of the celestial law of marriage IN PART-and is good so far as it goes-and so far as a man abides these conditions of the law, he will receive his reward therefore [therefore], and this reward, or blessing, he could not obtain on any other grounds or conditions. But this is only the beginning of the law, not the whole of it. Therefore, whoever has imagined that he could obtain the fullness of the blessings pertaining to this celestial law, by complying with only a portion of its conditions, has deceived himself. He cannot do it (Journal of Discourses, vol. 20, p. 28 1878)
Lds prophet Smith made it quite clear that Mormons who duck polygamy are...
...out of compliance with the full measure of the law...
...therefore ineligible to obtain the fullness of the blessings pertaining to this celestial law...
...and he "protests the idea" that it is considered by some "saints" to a "non-essential to the salvation or exaltation of mankind."
Now this is a GREAT example of what I was saying 10 Things Every Mormon Needs to Know written by an anonymous Mormon @ Mormon Matters.org! [See post #18].
If what this 6th "prophet" of the Mormon church taught was a false teaching -- that indeed you don't have to be a polygamist or else you'll miss out on this "essential to the ...exaltation of manking" [becoming a Mormon god] -- then why don't we have Mormon leaders correcting this false prophet?
In another quote from that same year, Joseph F. Smith even invited such correction when he said: "It is an additional privilege for that same man and WIFE to re-enter the Temple of God to receive ANOTHER WIFE in like manner if THEY are worthy...If this is not correct doctrine than I am in error, and if I am in error I want to be corrected. I understand the law of celestial marriage to mean that EVERY MAN in this church, who has the ability to obey and practice it in righteousness and will not, SHALL BE DAMNED, I say I understand it to mean this AND NOTHING LESS, AND I TESTIFY IN THE NAME OF JESUS THAT IT DOES MEAN THAT. (Joseph F. Smith, July 7, 1878, Journal of Discourses 20:30-31)
Wow! A LOT to unpack there. Even though Joseph F. Smith comes across a little as "humble" and willingness to be corrected, he goes on to testify that Mormon men are to be polygamists or be damned!...and that "celestial marriage" means NOTHING less than that...and to top it off, he "testif[ies] in the Name of Jesus that it does mean that."
I guess contemporary Mormons have a few choices:
(1) They can stop beating around the bush and PUBLICLY call Joseph F. Smith, son of Hyrum Smith and nephew of Joseph Smith, Jr., a false prophet who was forcing men in 1878 to become polygamists or be damned and miss out on the highest level of the Mormon Kingdom.
(2) Or, they can say Smith was correct, and if they want to go for the highest part of the Mormon kingdom, then they better find a second wife!
Sadly, most Mormons will choose Option 3: They will stick with their current "prophet" and say that polygamy for the time being is wrong (on earth) and is ex-communication worthy. They will publicly NOT say a thing about these words from Joseph F. Smith; they'll just ignore these words as if they were never spoken.
BUT...and I say...BUT...Option #3 comes at a cost: If...
...they won't either publicly condemn Joseph F. Smith's doctrinal teaching on polygamy --
--or they won't become a polygamist...
THEN...the closing words of this 6th Mormon "prophet" become a curse on every Mormon who starts off a sentence with "I testify..." Because Joseph F. Smith closed out those words with "I TESTIFY IN THE NAME OF JESUS THAT IT DOES MEAN THAT."
And if they don't call that testimony a false one;
and they won't enter into living that testimony...then NO TESTIMONY OF ANY Mormon can ever be believable since that day!!!