Thursday, July 31, 2014


The word Sabbatical comes from the Hebrew word ‘shabbat’ (the Anglicized term "Sabbath" which means “day of rest). The root word literally means a "ceasing". It is a rest from work, or a break, often lasting a long duration. (sometimes from two months to a year.) The concept of sabbatical is described a few places in the Bible (Leviticus 25) where there is a commandment to desist from working the fields in the seventh year.  

One gains a better perspective on life after taking a sabbatical… but not just from work…. But from anything that depletes our energy.. including social media, blogs, forums, online discussions, chatting, texting, and google groups. If we spent more time talking to our families, our children, our spouses instead of texting, tweeting, posting, blogging, emailing to others in cyperspace.. we might have stronger families ties and better real-life relationships.

 Driving home from our ‘sabbatical’ on the West Coast, we saw this semi-truck.

The Church’s Public Relations/ Marketing/Advertising once again have magnified their callings/jobs by beginning to promote one of the LDS church’s websites on large moving vehicles. Some of the biggest issues that the Church deals with is Race, Priesthood and Plural Marriage. What better way to show that we have “changed” then to show an African American male with a link to our website that highlights traditional families.

Polygamy has always been something I have never really understood. Personally, it is something I have put on the shelf. To better come to grips with the doctrine that was preached especially from Brigham Young.. this might help some as an explanation.  After Joseph Smith died, many of the leaders of the church were practicing polygamy. In my opinion, it very likely that Brigham Young made a mistake by teaching polygamy as a doctrine.. when Joseph never did. In order for a large number of the leaders who had plural wives, Brigham Young needed to find a way to make polygamy legal. For the practice to be legal and protected under the first amendment, the Church and it's leaders need to advocate that it is a fundamental part of the religion. If you can establish that it is essential to your religion, then it doesn’t matter if the laws of the land prohibit it. It would be unconstitutional to prohibit it, because the first amendment protects religion and the freedom to practice it.

 Brigham Young’s teaching of plural marriage were couched in terms that were designed to win a law suit. Brigham Young is quoted by saying that plural marriage (ie “celestial marriage’) is a fundamental part of our religion, it is essential if you are going to get into heaven, it must be done… or you can’t get there. 

So for forty years, 30 years under Brigham Young, and for another 10 years under John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff… it was a fundamental part of our religion and it was taught that we couldn’t get into heaven if you didn’t have plural wives.

Then came the last law suit, and the Church lost it. It is now over with. It is now illegal to practice polygamy.

 So Wilford Woodruff, the President of the Church (what we call today as the current Living Prophet) has the dilemma of how do we take with what we have been saying for 40 years that this is a fundamental part of our religion and say.. you know what.. not only is it NOT a fundamental part of our religion , it never was, and it would be best to discontinue it.

 Instead they go to all the trouble and say, the Lord has given us a “revelation” to take it away.

 So the question is… if it was a revelation to take it away, why did many of the leaders continue to practice it?


Rob said...

Not only did many of the leaders continue to practice it, but for 15 years the 1st Presidency sanctioned new plural marriages. Google Michael Quinn's post-manifesto plural marriages.

The interesting thing is not that we as a people consider Woodruff's policy to be a revelation, something NO ONE did at the time, but that we ignore that new authorized plural marriages continued until Joseph F. Smith's "second manifesto", which had no claims to being revelation.

Rob said...

Just to be crystal clear, what I'm saying is that it is odd that we focus this issue on whether or not Woodruff's manifesto was a revelation, when that is a moot point. It is moot because history shows the 1st presidency sanctioned dozens if not hundreds of post-manifesto plural marriages and did not stop until Joseph F. Smith's second edict, which was not at all a revelation.

Anonymous said...

Very, very muddy water. To me, there are so many issues of greater importance than PM. HOW to come unto Christ heads up that list. Good to see you are back and posting your interesting and very enlightening thoughts! Much love Dave.
Jim (JR)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your thoughts in the beginning of this post about how to take rest on the Sabbath. I've been studying how to keep the Sabbath day holy, and this post gave me some clues. Maybe it's a day of living in the present, worshiping and praising God by showing thanks for His blessings in the way you spend time with your family (working on creating Zion).
May P.