An Overview of Plural Marriage as an Eternal Celestial Blessing

Note from the blog owner: Nate Richardson is a new contributor to the blog. This is his first post. As you’ll see in his writings, he has a testimony of plural marriage as an eternal principle, but as a member of the mainstream LDS Church in good standing, he is not currently allowed to practice that part of his faith.

Here are some reasons why I believe plural marriage was not a temporary Abrahamic trial, but rather an important doctrine of God’s eternal kingdom, surely to be practiced by some in the church at a future date. As a member of the LDS Church I do not now live or encourage others to live plural marriage, but there seems to be great misunderstanding about the eternal nature of this important doctrine of the restoration. When plural marriage returns, it won’t be for everyone, but consider the following evidences of plural marriage being a holy eternal principle for those interested in building God’s kingdom.

Sections:

1. MORMON PROPHETS TEACH & PRACTICE PLURAL MARRIAGE

2. JACOB 2 & BOOK OF MORMON PLURAL MARRIAGE EVIDENCE

3. WHY DID THE LDS CHURCH DISCONTINUE PLURAL MARRIAGE? IS IT A SHORT TERM TRIAL OR AN ETERNAL PRINCIPLE?

4. PLURAL MARRIAGE AS IDEAL FOR BUILDING ETERNAL FAMILIES: THE PATRIARCHAL ORDER, BIOLOGICAL EVIDENCES, AND THE FAITH RATIO

5. PLURAL MARRIAGE A BLESSING FOR MAN & WOMAN

1. MORMON PROPHETS TEACH & PRACTICE PLURAL MARRIAGE

For starters, for every one statement from the brethren [the leadership of the LDS Church] that plural marriage was a short-lived thing of the past you have about 50 from the brethren stating that it is eternal.

Joseph Smith taught that all of the major patriarchs had multiple wives, and in the restored gospel, many faithful saints and prophets early in this dispensation entered into this practice and testified of the Holy Ghost and angels which bore unmistakable witness to their souls that this was the will of God. Though Joseph had to keep plural marriage private to the public for his own safety, Joseph’s involvement with and teaching of plural marriage is undeniable. Brigham Young further taught that he was an apostle of Joseph, and that he received his teachings from Joseph.

Was it a haphazard free-for-all with many families being sealed to Joseph as his children, brethren, etc.? No, Joseph knew more about these laws than we do. Being sealed to a dispensation head, as well as using sealing power to restore the premortal order of families, are eternal principles which we know little of today.

Several leaders of the mainstream Church today were sealed to a second wife when their first wives died. Sealings of deceased wives are not nullified in these cases, and participants fully anticipate being polygamously married to both wives in the resurrection. So the doctrine of plural marriage is alive in the Church today, even though they aren’t practicing it at this time. This is additional evidence that plural marriage is an eternal principle revealed anew in this dispensation of the fullness of times, discontinued only temporarily.

I remember listening to a recent Q&A session with LDS Church Apostle Quentin L. Cook and someone who worked with Church history. The question came up as to whether plural marriage would be a future requirement. The historian replied that it wouldn’t be required, and turned to Elder Cook and said “isn’t that right Elder Cook?” then Elder Cook replied something to the extent of, “That’s right, but there are many things about polygamy that we just don’t understand.” To me this was an obvious and sort of hilarious dodging of a difficult subject! It’s not taught today because people can’t handle it, and God is being merciful with us, gathering all to the basic gospel he can. This principle could be a dividing topic as the church advances to fulfill its destiny to build the New Jerusalem and mirror the faith of the ancients. How will anti-polygamy advocates in the church react when they see mighty prophets of old show up with their plural wives? The promises of God will not be altered for these faithful adherents. 

2. JACOB 2 & BOOK OF MORMON PLURAL MARRIAGE EVIDENCE:

One of the biggest objections to plural marriage is Jacob chapter 2 in The Book of Mormon which talks about monogamy as the standard, but who is the audience? The book was not written to people who are living celestial law, it was written to people who are hell bound sinners not ready for any higher laws (and yes, potential access to higher laws are a fact of the gospel as evidenced in every volume of scripture). The CONTEXT of the Jacob 2 passage was also group specific: “For there shall not any man AMONG YOU have save it be one wife”

A closer look into the Book of Mormon will show those patriarchs actually DID teach and practice plural marriage at other times than that of the people in the book of Jacob, though it’s not brought to center stage as that’s not the purpose of the book. Consider these 5 passages from the Book of Mormon which hint at and teach the righteousness of plural marriage when God sanctions it:

Ether 7:1-2 (righteous Orihah begat 31 kids)

Ether 6:20 (righteous brother of Jared had 22 kids)

2 Ne. 14:1-2 (7 women to 1 man will “be beautiful and glorious”)

Alma 10:7-11 (Amulek refers to “my women”)

Ether 14:2 (“every man…in the defence of his property and his own life and of his wives and children”)

(See Ogden Kraut’s article on Plural Marriage in the Book of Mormon for a more detailed look into this topic, which can be accessed at: http://richardsonstudies.com/2021/08/04/evidence-that-plural-marriage-was-practiced-in-the-book-of-mormon/.)

3. WHY DID THE LDS CHURCH DISCONTINUE PLURAL MARRIAGE? IS IT A SHORT-TERM TRIAL OR AN ETERNAL PRINCIPLE?

While the Book of Mormon is a basic missionary tract to help people learn the basic gospel of Jesus Christ and repent from their hell bound ways, the Doctrine and Covenants is designed for people who are trying to live celestial law and build Zion. In section 132 it says that celestial marriage is God’s new and everlasting covenant. Monogamous marriages done in temples are surely pleasing to God and valid, but it is clear that the fullness of God’s law includes plural marriage for those interested in the unique blessings which that practice offers (and which provide for women who would otherwise not have the blessings of eternal marriage). Bruce R. McConkie spoke of a day when the mainstream Church would return to this holy practice, he predicted it would commence again once the millennial reign of Christ began; perhaps he came to this conclusion from the scripture which says that Zion must be built by adherence to all celestial laws.

So why were Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and other righteous saints so hesitant to live this law? Because they weren’t used to it, they knew it would be a hard transition for themselves and their people. After all, this practice had been lost all throughout the dark ages, and restoring it would shock the masses. These brethren were leaders responsible for bringing a people up to a higher standard than anyone had conceived. The mysteries of Godliness are being revealed, and it is at times strong medicine.

Some say plural marriage is just for this life. Some go so far as to suggest it was a negative thing which we just had to muscle through. They say “thank God it’s over, that Abrahamic trial!” but this is not the spirit of Zion, and is in direct opposition to scripture! True, this doctrine is an Abrahamic trial to many who have been called to live it, but the Doctrine and Covenants shows that Abraham is identified as being in an exalted enthroned condition with multiple wives. Both he and his wives are exalted together! The trial of faith blooms into a bouquet of blessings as we leave behind the false traditions of our fathers.

The only reason plural marriage was discontinued in the mainstream Church was due to government pressure: the threat of temples being closed, taxed, and everyone going to jail. God could have beaten the enemies of the Church but the saints were not living worthy of it so they had to step down from this holy practice. The saints were constantly complaining and slow to heed council. Similarly the D&C [Doctrine and Covenents] says the reason the Saints didn’t get to stay in New Jerusalem Missouri was due to their unworthiness. Faithful saints understand that God still expects his covenant people to build up the center stake of Zion in Missouri, and look forward to the return of all of His laws identified in the D&C, including plural marriage.

If the saints were being saints, this practice in the mainstream Church would have never been discontinued. It’s like when the Israelites rejected the judge system in favor of a king. A sad rejection of higher law, but God allowed it. The story of Joseph loaning the Book of Mormon manuscript to Martin Harris also comes to mind. At some point, when the saints complain enough, God says “fine, do it your way, see how that works for you.” Well did John Taylor prophecy that whoredoms would be rampant in the church when they rejected plural marriage!

4. PLURAL MARRIAGE AS IDEAL FOR BUILDING ETERNAL FAMILIES: THE PATRIARCHAL ORDER, BIOLOGICAL EVIDENCES, AND THE FAITH RATIO

A related topic which must be understood when looking at plural marriage is the patriarchal order, which teaches us to humbly play our part rather than proudly seek our will and our ways above God’s ways, which we do not always understand. God presides over Christ, Christ presides over men, men preside over women, and women preside over children (see 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22-25, 28; Colossians 3:14, 18-21; Acts 5:29). Let us not be among those who seek to overthrow the scriptural patriarchal order of family! None of us are subordinate in this order, we all work together, and we all need each other. For example, who would dare blaspheme and say that Christ isn’t as worthy and divine as His Father? Not I. Different stations does not indicate different worthiness or merit. All is to be done in wisdom and order. We are all made for a purpose, and those purposes are all glorious! We are all joint heirs with Christ to all the Father has (D&C 84). The wives of God (and the wives of any righteous man) are considered his equal partners, and they counsel together through His presiding leadership and provision to bring to pass our eternal life and immortality. When God commands plural marriage (or anything else), all we can do is accept or reject it – we do not tell Him our opinions about other ways we think would work better. Naturally plural marriage and the patriarchal order are hard to understand today. Surely we must be patient as we may not fully understand the mind of God at this time. God is love, and his ways are generous just and holy to all. God is the creator, and he knows what is best, and how to arrange us into families to help us fulfill the measure of our creation, and be filled with an eternal fullness of joy!

(For further study on the patriarchal order and plural marriage being principles which honor and exalt women, see Kimberly Watson Smith’s essay here: http://richardsonstudies.com/2021/12/03/kimberly-smith-on-the-patriarchal-order-plural-marriage-as-honoring-and-exalting-women/.)

D&C 132:63 indicates that plural marriage and the seed resulting from it are important elements of the exaltation of the saints, and that it is practiced by Father in Heaven, “for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.”

The parable of the talents can apply to plural marriage (as Joseph covertly taught), and to women having many children (while to others the privilege of childbearing and marriage will be revoked). Some think these principles of family growth are unfair, but in reality those who are righteous are entrusted with more as God knows they’ll use that resource for building the kingdom. The mark of a saint is the desire to work together with others to build the kingdom of God, and this centers in building families. God is a family man, and the path for all to be like our Heavenly Parents (and thus glorify God) is to build righteous families.  

We read of the universal Father and Mother in heaven in the 1995 Family Proclamation, and some use this to claim that God is monogamous. But that document is addressed to people on this Earth, and it could very well be that all the people on this Earth do have the same mother. Brigham taught that the people of each Earth have their own mother. Either way, we know that men and women have different but equally important roles. On this Earth the man goes off to work (often with the older sons and other men) while the woman and older daughters (and sometimes sister wives in plural marriages) care for the young children and the household. Perhaps what we see on earth is typical to what occurs in heaven, and the parable of the Lord visiting 12 vineyards each in turn comes to mind as he oversees his family kingdoms (worlds, etc.).

The biological reality of men versus women in the reproductive system is obvious evidence for plural marriage. Man can produce many children while a woman can only produce one at a time, so it makes sense that building eternal kingdoms would involve a plural marriage of one man to multiple women. The Doctrine and Covenants specifically identifies plural marriage as being for the purpose of raising up more seed. If there is a more efficient, better way to do something, and you chose the inefficient way, you are helping fewer people than you could, and are thereby choosing a less charitable path, and charity is the essence of Godhood. Godhood is receiving eternal joy as a result of charity. Though some have listened to the adversary to pervert this holy practice, the true essence of celestial plural marriage is charity, and our bodies bare record of it!

Some complain that the birth rate is 1:1, which couldn’t allow for plural marriage. It’s true that the typical lifestyle for most people is monogamy. Plural marriage was never meant for everyone. But consider how very few respond to God’s invitations to live higher ways which offer more growth; it’s an obvious reality that there are more women than men generally interested in religion at all, and that there are more women than men in the church (particularly so when considering the quality of those members, and even more particularly so when considering the number of single men to single women in the church; see the article “Dateonomics” https://speakingofpolygamy.com/2018/02/25/dateonomics/)

Just a few years ago President Henry B. Eyring [a member of the First Presidency of the LDS Church] pointed out the fact that there are more women than men in Zion. He said, “If the past is prologue, at the time of the Savior’s coming, the daughters who are deeply committed to their covenants with God will be more than half of those who are prepared to welcome Him when He comes. But whatever the numbers, your contribution in creating unity among the people prepared for that Zion will be far greater than half.” (Oct. 2020 Sisters in Zion (churchofjesuschrist.org))

Another demonstration of God’s provision for his people to be taken care of and continue growing the orderly kingdom of God in their families is the levirate law: the brother (or brothers if the men each die in turn) of a deceased man is to raise seed to his brother’s kingdom (which family kingdom is a branch of God’s kingdom) with the deceased man’s surviving wife (or wives), and the wife belongs to and only to the first man in eternity. This was enacted with the wives of Joseph Smith being married to Brigham Young at Joseph’s death, and children from those marriages are Joseph’s seed.

For an article summarizing Levirate law, sealings, adoption bloodlines, multiple fathers & mothers, Mary’s marriage to Father, Brigham raising seed to Joseph, Jesus’ marriages, questions about Joseph’s plurality, etc.: http://richardsonstudies.com/2021/09/27/adoption-sealings-blood-lines-levirate-law-plural-marriage/

5. PLURAL MARRIAGE A BLESSING FOR MAN & WOMAN:

Some claim that plural marriage is just a trial. But David was allowed more wives as long as he had permission from God, and this to him was a blessing, not a trial. The only trial for David (and for us) is to not partake of what God has not given. Beware the Achilles Heel so to speak – God will bless you, but only if you stay within the abundant parameters he has set. There will always be temptation and trials, but living for God ensures an ultimate restoration of all that was lost. Faithful saints eventually learn that all God has required of them worked toward their blessing, rather than their cursing.

The Lord promised that whoever gives up a wife for the cause of Christ will receive 100 fold (Matt. 19:29). For example, if a man chooses to marry a woman who is more humble and God-fearing as opposed to a perhaps more young attractive and fun woman who is not God-fearing, the man will be blessed exponentially in the very aspects that he sacrificed. That’s how all sacrifice works, the blessings you get in return are related to what you sacrificed, and far exceed what you would have had otherwise. Plural marriage will be an obvious fulfillment of blessings for men and women who chose to keep the faith. A woman who chooses a righteous man over a faithless one will be blessed with eternal increase, which the faithless man could never have given her. Today women do not have full choice of which man they will choose to marry, and often remain single or they get involved in the great horrors and dangers of dealing with a man of little faith. It is not good for man to be alone, and it is not good for woman to be alone.

A righteous woman can learn to be glad for her husband to take another wife if it is God’s will – her heart would rejoice to see her husband’s kingdom expand, and she would know that as her husband is blessed, she is blessed. She is part of him, and he is part of her. His kingdom is her kingdom. His power and glory are her power and glory. As a being of perfect charity, the saintly woman will rejoice at the opportunity to give additional women the blessings of eternal marriage which she enjoys by allowing these needy women into her family as plural wives when God commands it. The faithful woman knows that no blessing is lost when following the Lord, only gained.

Central to the woman’s blessings of living plural marriage are not only in her kingdom growing by her husband’s plural wives, but by the endless posterity she is promised. A fullness of God’s blessings of eternal posterity, which posterity is the highest and holiest ambition of woman (and the end to which all of men’s work is done,) is only to be realized by those who live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Man cannot have children; this is the privilege of woman. She gains full access to that privilege as she selects a righteous priesthood holding man to marry, which also means being open to sharing her husband with additional sister wives who also want that blessing when the Lord so allows. Together, they can all rejoice in their cups running over!

A plural wife is blessed not only to have a righteous husband, but to have sister wives who participate with her in the family kingdom. Surely righteous women can find uncommon joy and success as they work together to raise children in the home. Women can enjoy having more adult female associates to share burdens, conversations, joys and tears with. The tendency of women to long for one another’s company is an obvious reality, a need which is sadly often going unmet today. Or if a woman manages to find a close female friend, it takes her energy and time away from her family, whereas a sisterwife relationship is a female relationship kept within the family. The former leads to weaker families and the latter leads to stronger.

While bearing children is a blessing to woman, today it is a very painful process. After the curse is lifted, childbearing will not be such an overwhelming burden. Man’s main job in this life is also cursed, the plowing of the fields being full of noxious weeds. The curses on labor for men and women will be lifted. All things in heaven will be blessed, including social relationships which are often difficult now. Today is the trial of faith and a foretaste of God’s blessings, while tomorrow is the rest of the Lord, and the realization of more joyful family relations full of life and wonder than we can now comprehend.

God will help us all to be perfectly satisfied in our families as we sacrifice to build His kingdom. For those who qualify for and are called to living celestial plural marriage, this proves to be a blessing beyond comprehension.

(See Nate’s free book “Plural Marriage & The Restoration: A Positive View” available at RichardsonStudies.com for additional essays on this subject.)


 

Reformation Day (or What Martin Luther Thought of Polygamy)

On the 31st day of October, in the year 1517 AD, the Catholic monk, Martin Luther, nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of the All Saints Chapel in Wittenberg, Germany.  luter_marcinThe 95 Theses were 95 points of debate, question, and criticism of the Church’s teaching and practice of selling letters of indulgence.  In other words, they were selling forgiveness of sins (even sins that had not yet been committed), for money.

Here is a selection of some of Luther’s  95 Theses:

21) Thus those indulgence preachers are in error who say that a man is absolved from every penalty and saved by papal indulgences.

27 & 28) They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.
It is certain that when money clinks in the money chest, greed and avarice can be increased; but when the church intercedes, the result is in the hands of God alone.

32) Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.

36 & 37) Any truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without indulgence letters.
Any true Christian, whether living or dead, participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church; and this is granted him by God, even without indulgence letters.

41-43) Papal indulgences must be preached with caution, lest people erroneously think that they are preferable to other good works of love.
Christians are to be taught that the pope does not intend that the buying of indulgences should in any way be compared with works of mercy.
Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences.

45-51) Christians are to be taught that he who sees a needy man and passes him by, yet gives his money for indulgences, does not buy papal indulgences but God’s wrath.
Christians are to be taught that, unless they have more than they need, they must reserve enough for their family needs and by no means squander it on indulgences.
Christians are to be taught that the buying of indulgences is a matter of free choice, not commanded.
Christians are to be taught that the pope, in granting indulgences, needs and thus desires their devout prayer more than their money.
Christians are to be taught that papal indulgences are useful only if they do not put their trust in them, but very harmful if they lose their fear of God because of them.
Christians are to be taught that if the pope knew the exactions of the indulgence preachers, he would rather that the basilica of St. Peter were burned to ashes than built up with the skin, flesh, and bones of his sheep.
Christians are to be taught that the pope would and should wish to give of his own money, even though he had to sell the basilica of St. Peter, to many of those from whom certain hawkers of indulgences cajole money.

79) To say that the cross emblazoned with the papal coat of arms, and set up by the indulgence preachers is equal in worth to the cross of Christ is blasphemy.

82) “Why does not the pope empty purgatory for the sake of holy love and the dire need of the souls that are there if he redeems an infinite number of souls for the sake of miserable money with which to build a church?” The former reason would be most just; the latter is most trivial.

86) “Why does not the pope, whose wealth is today greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?”

94 & 95) Christians should be exhorted to be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, death and hell.
And thus be confident of entering into heaven through many tribulations rather than through the false security of peace (Acts 14:22).

The 95 Theses was not his only criticism of the corruption and apostasy he saw in the Church.  For these criticisms he was called to a tribunal before the Diet (Assembly) of Worms with the Emperor, Charles V, presiding.  There he was asked to recant his writings.

His response was, “If I recant those books, I will do nothing but add strength to tyranny, and open not only the windows but also the doors to this great ungodliness [speaking of the corruption in the Church].” He went on to say,

I am but a man, and I can err, but let my errors be proven by scripture.  Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the scripture or by clear reason, and not by the words of the Pope or of councils which have so often contradicted themselves, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything.  To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other.  May God help me. Amen.

These words were his death sentence.  The Pope (Leo X) issued a decree for his arrest and punishment.  Fortunately, Luther was taken into hiding by Prince Frederick the Wise at Wartburg Castle where he worked to produce a common language text (German) of the Bible so that the common man could have access to the Word of God.  The actions of Martin Luther were key to the Christian Reformation, and the nailing of his 95 Theses to the chapel door, which was a catalyst for the Reformation, is celebrated on this day (Reformation Day, October 31st).

Incidentally, Joseph Smith was very fond of Luther’s translation.  He often quoted from it in his sermons and said of it, “I have an old edition of the New Testament in the Latin, Hebrew, German and Greek languages. I have been reading the German, and find it to be the most [nearly] correct translation, and to correspond nearest to the revelations which God has given to me for the last fourteen years.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 349)

Lutherrose.svgFor Martin Luther, the scriptures were primary to the foundation of his faith.  He rejected the “traditions of the elders”, and relied solely on the authority of the Word of God to inform the tenets of his faith.

What does all this have to do with polygamy?  The freedom of both thought and action that were spawned by the Reformation allowed previously “heretical” or suppressed ideas in the scriptures to come again to light, to be discussed, debated, and even to be adopted as part of individual faith. Among these topics was the idea of polygamy.  Speaking on this topic Martin Luther wrote:

I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict the Scripture. If a man wishes to marry more than one wife he should be asked whether he is satisfied in his conscience that he may do so in accordance with the Word of God. In such a case the civil authority has nothing to do in the matter.”

Letter to Chancellor Gregory Bruck, January 13, 1524
(De Wette II, 459, pp. 329, 330)

In fairness, it must be mentioned that Luther was not in favor of the general adoption of polygamy as a Christian form of marriage.  Indeed, he advised that it be reserved for extreme situations where the first wife was ill, etc.  However, he freely admitted that his objection to the general practice of polygamy by Christians was not based on any prohibition found in the words of scripture, but rather founded on social reasons; that scandal may be avoided, and that offenses be not given.  He quoted St. Paul saying, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient” (1 Cor. 6:12)

Even so, his views towards polygamy remained, shall we say, “permissive” throughout his life.  Sixteen years after the letter to Chancellor Buck, quoted above, Luther and other Reformation leaders were found giving their consent to the plural marriage of Prince Phillip of Hesse.  A fact which has proven an embarrassment to many Protestants since, and is considered to be one of Luther’s “warts”.

Not too surprisingly, Brigham Young had favorable things to say about Martin Luther (and Mormons in general view him, and all the reformers, in a very positive light – and not necessarily for his views on polygamy):

“We have been told a great many times that polygamy is not according to Christianity. The Protestant reformers believed the doctrine of polygamy. Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, one of the principal lords and princes of Germany, wrote to the great reformer Martin Luther and his associate reformers, anxiously imploring them to grant unto him the privilege of marrying a second wife, while his first wife, the princess, was yet living. He urged that the practice was in accordance with the Bible, and not prohibited under the Christian dispensation. Upon the reception of this letter, Luther, who had denounced the Romish church for prohibiting the marriage of priests, and who favored polygamy, met in council with the principal Reformers to consult upon the letter which had been received from the Landgrave. They wrote him a lengthy letter in reply, approving of his taking a second wife, saying,

‘There is no need of being much concerned for what men will say, provided all goes right with conscience. So far do we approve it, and in those circumstances only by us specified, for the gospel hath neither recalled nor forbid what was permitted in the law of Moses with respect to the marriage. Jesus Christ has not changed the external economy, but added justice only, and life everlasting for reward. He teaches the true way of obeying God, and endeavors to repair the corruption of nature.’

This letter was written at Wittemburg, the Wednesday after the feast of St. Nicholas, 1539, and was signed by Martin Luther, Philip Melancthon, Martin Bucer, and five other Reformers, and was written in Melancthon’s own handwriting.

The marriage was solemnized on the 4th of March, 1540, by the Rev. Denis Melanther, chaplain to Philip. Philip’s first wife was so anxious ‘that the soul and body of her dearest spouse should run no further risk, and that the glory of God might be increased,’ that she freely consented to the match.

This letter of the great Reformers was not a hasty conclusion on their part that polygamy was sanctioned by the gospel, for in the year 1522, seventeen years before they wrote this letter, Martin Luther himself, in a sermon which he delivered at Wittemburg for the reformation of marriage, clearly pronounced in favor of polygamy.

These transactions are published in the work entitled, ‘History of the variations of the Protestant churches.’

Ladies and gentlemen, I exhort you to think for yourselves, and read your Bibles for yourselves, get the Holy Spirit for yourselves, and pray for yourselves, that your minds may be divested of false traditions and early impressions that are untrue.”  June 18, 1865, Journal of Discourses 11:127

We owe a large debt of gratitude to the great man, Martin Luther, and to William Tyndale, and John Wycliffe, and Jan Hus, and to all the other brave men and women of the Reformation who risked both their lives and their fortunes to live and teach the Truth as they saw it.  They sowed some of the first seeds of religious freedom, and tho the crop is slow in growing, we are still reaping the benefits of their labors today.

HAPPY REFORMATION DAY!