Mormons, why does Joseph Smith get a free pass?

Adultery is when you have sex with someone who isn't your wedded spouse. Polygamy was practiced by Old Testament cultures, however in the New Testament, it is made clear that polygamy is not to be practiced. Jesus and His apostles taught that Christian men should have one wife. This is clear and undisputed in the New Testament.

Joseph Smith wrote a book of scripture called the Book of Mormon, which also clealy states that men should have one wife.

However, several years later he received a secret revelation from God that he and a handful of his closest friends could engage in polygamy. Because Joseph Smith claimed that God told him to do it, Mormons don't consider his actions to be adultery. Joseph Smith married over 30 women, including 14 year old girls, mothers and daughters, and several women who were already married to other faithful Mormon men. Most of these secret marriages were effected, and consumated, without his first wife's consent or knowledge.

Is this aligned with the example of polygamists in the Old Testament? Did they marry women who were already married to other men? Did they engage in marriages secretly, without their first wife's knowledge or consent? Only one I can think of - David and Bathsheba, and David was justly condemned for that adultery. So...why does Joseph Smith get a free pass for doing basically the same thing?


@Bork - Read "Rough Stone Rolling", a biography of Joseph Smith written by a faithful Mormon. What I'm claiming isn't disputed by objective historians, both Mormon and non-Mormon.

Update 2:

EDIT: Interesting that apologists are claiming the New Testament only says that "bishops" should be married to one wife. It also says "Deacons" should be married to one wife. It also says that all good christian men (Elders) should be married to one wife. (1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:12, Titus 1:5-6).

Update 3:

EDIT 2: Apologists, I know you don't like to admit that Joseph Smith had sex with anyone but Emma, but the historical evidence is pretty clear on this point. Additionally, the Book of Mormon justification, which many of you have pointed out, says that God will only command polygamy when it is needed, in order to "raise up seed". How can you "raise up seed" unless you have children? Section 132 of the D&C does not differentiate between "sealed only" and "married". Only apologist websites like FAIR do that. Additionally, D&C 132:61-66 also makes it clear that the purpose of polygamy is "multiply and replenish the earth". You have to actually read your scriptures, not just what FAIR tells you.

Update 4:

@Kerry - Yes I agree with you. However the Bible tells us how we can tell whether or not a prophet is true or not, and it is not by asking God and getting a warm fuzzy feeling. It is by examining the prophet's words, deeds, and life (i.e. his "fruits"). That is what I am doing. Why are you counseling me not to do what the Bible says to do?

19 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    >...however in the New Testament...

    Mormons do not accept the bible as a complete authority. According to them, the bible we have is corrupt; that's why the Book of Mormon was given, to reinstate the proper principles. As such, arguing from the premise that the New Testament is a higher authority than the Book of Mormon will have no effect on Mormons.

    Also, Mormons accept progressive revelation, so they can contradict past authorities without causing a problem for their belief system.

    >Because Joseph Smith claimed that God told him to do it, Mormons don't consider his actions to be adultery

    Exactly. In some cases Joseph Smith even claimed that god directly ordered him to marry a specific woman.When you've got a direct line to god, who will dare to question you?

  • 8 years ago

    Not even a nice try.

    A bishop must be husband of one wife, but it is not clear whether that means

    w = 1, or

    w >= 1

    The text could mean, husband of a wife, or a married man.

    Next, If you're married to somebody, having sex with her is not adultery. You can't accuse somebody of adultery and polygamy at the same time. They're different things.

    Third, Jesus is in charge. Not you. The Book of Mormon says that the rule is one man, one woman. Jesus handles the exceptions.

    Fourth -- you're batting zero today, amigo -- Joseph Smith, Jr., didn't write any part of The Book of Mormon. It has three major authors, and none of them was said Smith. Can't stomach that little nugget, can you?

    Prove that those marriages were consummated. Smith obviously wasn't sterile. He and Emma had several children. So far the available evidence has not confirmed any paternity on Smith's part for children of the other women he married.

    You're barking up the wrong tree, it seems.

  • Kerry
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Funny how you immediately dismiss anything that supports Joseph Smith as an "apologist" point of view. In other words, you seem NOT to have an open mind, already having made a conclusion.

    Whats the point, then, of asking a question if you already have your mind made up? Debating it really is pointless with a preconceived bias already held.

    Here's the point of this entire issue. IF Joseph Smith were a true prophet of God, what he did was sanctioned of God. IF Joseph Smith were not a true prophet, then we all can agree that what he did was not of God. So, the point is to ask God, and find out for yourself, the true prophet issue.

    Millions have done this already. And by the power of the Holy Ghost, you and anyone else can know the answer. I asked God, and that is why I am a

    Source(s): Lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Joseph Smith will be judged by God, not me.

    You've got a long line of questions to which nobody knows, one side says one thing and the other says another thing - so like any of us he will stand before God to be judged.

    Keep in mind David had to receive wives from the prophet, he was a holy man, and perhaps even a prophet, but he wasn't THE prophet - in the case of Bathsheba it wasn't just adultery, it was murder of her husband who trusted him - and even then the prophet told him that if he wanted her all he would have had to do was ask. So it was very different than that because based on that example Joseph Smith would seemingly be justified.

    God will judge all men based on His will and circumstances we don't know about.

    EDIT - when you say "most of these marriages were effected, and consummated, without his first wife's consent or knowledge" you're stating something important to the premise of your statement that nobody knows for sure, but couldn't likely be true as you know that many of the marriages (easily the majority if not all of them) were dynastic in principal.

    IF he consummated any of his marriages (and that's an if) only a few of them even could have been consummated, as most of them were done with him in prison or dead - neither one being convenient to secret affairs.

    Only a few women are rumored to have possibly consummated a marriage with him, but none have ever been "proven".

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  • 8 years ago

    But, it's ok for men to have a wife, and a few little chickees on the side?

    At least Joseph Smith MARRIED these women, even tho there is no real proof that he ever consummated the marriages. There has never been found any descendant of Joseph Smith that was not from his first wife, Emma. And since Emma conceived about 11 times, you can be sure that HIS soldiers were marching strong and free! So is it just a coincidence that there has not been found any of this dscendants, that were HIS descendants.

    Besides, I don't think that a lot of these "marriages" were real marriages, but actually sealings. He was sealed to several men, but never "bumped uglies" with them.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    It can be interesting how individuals exhibit you prophecies and you then quickly push aside them and ask for yet a further. The Bible warns of people who "seek a signal" on account that signs don't trade hearts or minds. Yes, Joseph Smith used to be a prophet exactly like the prophets of the Bible. Sure, he did prophecy events that did take location. He healed the unwell and carried out miracles via the energy of God. He used to be given the vigor to translate an old text that we will read in these days. If he wasn't called of God, then our church has nothing to stand on. We're very cozy mentioning this.

  • 8 years ago

    Where do I begin. Being married to multiple wives doesn't constitute adultery.

    1. Bishops are to have one wife in the new testament.

    2. Joseph Smith translated not wrote the Book of Mormon

    3 Most of his marriages especially to young women and women who were married were called Family sealings meaning married families will be together in the afterlife.

    4. As for consumated when and where? no evidence

    5. Joseph Smith doesn't get a free pass, he has murdered in real life, and murdered again and again by Anti mormons who are either Evangelical Pharasees and skeptical atheists.

    If you really want sketch of how Plural marriage was practiced in Nauvoo please read this:

    Everything you always wanted to know about plural-marriage but were afraid to ask

  • Wispy
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    You, sir, are a clear example of one who has some knowledge of things who then corrupts that knowledge. You know full well the difference between marriage and sealing- and choose to pervert that knowledge.As for whether or not Jos. Smith might be held blameless, you also know full well that the only man truly blameles was Jesus Christ BUT it is not our place or yours to judge. That privilege is God's alone, whether or not we agree or disagree with anothers' actions. For the record Jos. Smith lived in a time and place I just can not understand, and did things I can not judge.Even your attempt to muddle up the facts, equally I can not judge.I don't agree with it, but whilst you seem to have no problem condemning others, I do.

  • 8 years ago

    This is wish-craft. You wish it was true, so you pretend that it isn't just propaganda. The Book of Mormon clearly states that God can command his people to practice polygamy, when it is needed. Joseph Smith was sealed to many women; sealing is not quite the same as marriage. He was married to far fewer. We really don't know how many of Joseph's wives or sealings were done without Emma's consent. We do know that she did consent to some of them. There is no evidence that Joseph was ever married to someone who was already married. Sealed, yes, but not married. Huge difference.

    Didn't you already know all this? Why the deception?

  • 8 years ago

    first of all eternal marriage was a harder doctrine for me to accept, even though i had received personal revelation on both plural marriage and eternal marriage.

    2nd i dont believe joseph was a con man, except for what he confessed to doing, everyone has their foibles in the closet.

    yes plural marriage was in practiced in the bible and both men and woman practiced adultery and idolatry in ancient israel. the reproach against 7 women that took one mans children hid the chilren without giving them their fathers name. it was wrong, solomon himself committed idolatry because he took strange women and followed "their" gods.

    ONE thing is sure and true, God did command men of israel to take their brothers wife who had no children, to have sex with them, and raise their children unto the name of the dead brother. but what happened when 70 thousand men died. and there were no blood relations.? the survivors became spiritual brothers.

    now concerning some of the marriages of his freinds and their wives, ive been taught, that sealings were done, but it was more of a test to his brethren to see if they would do it. i dont know that his freinds had their wives consumated with joseph smith. as for 14 year old girls, it was a different time. and i have heard at least on doctor say that 14 year old girls are physically quite capable of child birth.

    of course i dont know any marriage that was performed that was not consented to. and one must remember, God himself chose a 14 or 15 year old girl to give birth to the messiah. in those days 14 year olds were often married. though i have heard that some even in this church did not last. if God commands Who are We to say NO?

    if joseph smith spoke in the name of the Lord it was considered to be the mind of the lord and the will of the lord.

    plural marriage has always been declared to be a divine commandment. plural divorces and multiple fornications is the abomination of lust and is not as divine as the carnal think it is.

    and yes the BoM does say a man shall have only one wife. and no concubines. but if two women love the same man are not joined to any other, it is better to have plural marriage than to have men seduced into adultery.

    some day i think the Lord will reinstate plural marriage. and this time in defiance against the carnal wicked men who may seek to destroy the church at any cost. but this time i think the Lord will stand in our defense in raising righteous seed. maybe its my iimagination, maybe not, i think there is going to be a 2nd holocaust against christians, and to keep the righteous, if only a remnant, plural marriage is going to have be reinstated.

    i just hope the shekinah glory of the Lord will be in peace, not in war. i hope men will repent so we can avoid a 2nd holocaust and take away the ability of the antichrist to his power in our generation.

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