My Coming Out pt6 – The Most Correct Book on Earth
Corrections to the Standard Works
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a documented history of divine revelation being received after pressure is put on them from the government and from scientific evidence. If a doctrine were written from the knowledge of an eternal, all-knowing, “God” it would not contain ideas/practices that would eventually have to “reinterpreted” or wholly denounced by the religion and its followers. The Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints holds that the Book of Mormon is the “most correct of any book on earth.” Still, the church has been forced to make numerous revisions to the scripture and doctrine its members follow due to pressure from the public and from evidence against its claims. Revisions include blacks in the priesthood, the ancestry of the American Indians, and likely the most popular of these changes, polygamy.
In July of 1843, documented in D&C 132, makes his polygamy known to a close group of his followers. “if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified.” This revelation accepting the practice of plurality was received in 1843, but most of Smith’s wives were sealed to him before that, the earliest in 1833. Joseph was sealed to 34 wives in his life. Ten of these wives were part of polyandrous relationships that directly clash with his revelation about the wives needing to be virgins. Seven of Smith’s “wives” were under the age of 18 when they were espoused. In a letter to one wife, Sarah Ann Whitney, Smith says “I know it is the will of God that you should comfort me now in this time of affliction…the only thing to be careful of; is to find out when Emma comes then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safty…burn this letter as soon as you read it.” You can come see me but don’t come if my wife is around, oh, and burn this letter after you read it. That’s a little shady you can’t dispute that he wanted to keep this rendezvous quiet.
President Wilford Woodruff received revelation in Oct. 1890 to end the practice of plural marriage after the United States had laws against the practice since the 1860s. This revelation is recorded in Official Declaration 1.
After plural marriage the addition of blacks into the priesthood is the most well known major change made to a doctrine. I understand that there is a dichotomy of people when it comes to who started the ban on the priesthood, Joseph Smith vs. Brigham Young, but the fact that a “prophet” of the all-knowing god made this revelation makes it relevant to this discussion no matter who started the practice. Elijah Abel is the most crucial story at the beginning and center of this controversy. A quote by Young in response to a question about negroes in the priesthood: “The Lord had cursed Cain’s seed with blackness and prohibited them the Priesthood.” President George Albert Smith, in 1949, reinforced this bigotry stating that it was divine commandment and not just a policy of the church. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended segregation in the United States, but the church did not reverse their position on the matter until 1978.
President Spencer W Kimball received revelation in June 1978 to extend the priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the church. This revelation is recorded in Official Declaration 2.
The most recent revision made to the doctrine of the church is to the introduction to the Book of Mormon. The church has taught in the past that the people in the Book of Mormon traveled from Jerusalem to the Americas and were the ancestors of the American Indians. The change has been made to make these travelers “among” the ancestors of the Indians. This change has been made in the face of undisputable evidence stating the Indians have no Hebrew ancestry. The fact that this one story is false sets precedence that other stories, including the entirety of the book, may be false.
In talking about the acceptance of blacks into the priesthood, current public pressure may bring divine revelation recorded in Official Declaration 3 stating that females may hold the priesthood. Although, looking at how long the church took to integrate itself and follow the laws against polygamy, it may be a while still before the church changes this teaching.
Posted on April 2, 2013, in Christianity, Coming Out, Mormon-isms and tagged atheism, atheist, book of mormon, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, evidence, faith, faithless, free, free thinker, free thinking, free thought, freethought, LDS, Mormon, open. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.