Monday, November 09, 2009

Polygamy in Scripture

Speaking to friends about the LDS faith, it is no surprise that the issue of polygamy comes up at times. While only a minority of LDS membership were ever even called to practice polygamy, the early historical practice of polygamy is an issue all LDS wrestle with. The following is a few thoughts I had on the subject after the topic was brought up in conversation recently.

1. LDS believe in and covenant to observe strict and absolute chastity/abstainance before marriage and complete fidelity within marriage.
2. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden demonstrate an ideal; one man and one woman.
3. The Nephites in the Book of Mormon were commanded that they should observe marriage as one man and one woman.
4. In the New Testament, Bishops and Deacons were to be the man of one wife. Elders could possibly be permitted more.
5. According to the Doctrine and Covenants, mankind in general are not called to practice polygamy. Polygamy was to be permitted by a calling (assignment) only.
6. Adultery is not about just having relations with more than one woman. Adultery is about having relations for purposes other than unifying a marriage relationship or having offspring and taking full and complete responsibility for your spouse and for those offspring.
7. The Bible does permit the practice of polygamy under specific circumstances.
8. Abraham and Jacob practiced polygamy which came with its own set of unique challenges.
9. Early in LDS history, a minority of LDS were called to practice polygamy. For those who were called or assigned, their acceptance of that calling or assignment was critical to their sanctification and eventual exaltation. Today, we are called to practice traditional covenant marriage and our exaltation is dependent upon accepting the calling into traditional covenant marriage.
10. Most of the women sealed to Joseph Smith likely were only "spiritual wives" and the marriage was not consummated. meaning a person participated in a simple ceremony sealing themselves as part of an eternal family. This would cover women who were married to other men and younger women. We know of no children by Joseph Smith by other women other than by Emma. So far, even hearsay cases where a person claimed someone else to be the offspring of Joseph Smith, the DNA evidence does not support the claim. That said, Joseph Smith likely did consummate several polygamist marriages and practiced polygamy "in very deed."
11. Polygamy was a great trial of faith for Joseph Smith and others. I do not expect the issue to be any less a trial of faith for us today.
12. Having spoken with many descendants of Mormon pioneers and polygamist, my wife being one of them, the practice at that time seemed to be a blessing with no ill-effects on future generations. In fact, most descendants of LDS polygamists have warm regard for these faithful forbearers.
13. Polygamy was only justified if commanded by God, for the purpose of raising righteous seed unto the Lord, and for the higher purpose of caring for the fatherless and the widow.
14. God at times has commanded prophets contrary to the 10 commandments for higher purposes and as a trial of faith.

Abraham commanded to offer his son Isaac
Moses called to make a graven image of the brazen serpent
Joshua was commanded to "utterly destroy"
David permitted to have many wives and concubines by Nathan
Hosea commanded to marry a harlot.
Joseph Smith called to practice polygamy

15. There are many scriptures in the Old and New Testament which discuss the past and even future practice of polygamy.

Ex. 21: 10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. (speaking of the first wife).

Deut. 25: 5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her. (likely would be a second wife).

Isa. 4: 1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

Ezek. 44: 22 Neither shall they (Priests of Aaron) take for their wives a widow, nor her that is put away: but they shall take maidens of the seed of the house of Israel, or a widow that had a priest before. (likely a second wife).

1 Tim 5: 14-17 I will therefore that the younger women (widows) marry (re-marry), bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan. If any man or woman that believeth have widows (second wives), let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed. Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour (a double portion from the bishop's storehouse like the birthright son), especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. (Bishop and Deacons should have one wife, but some Elders may have had multiple)

16. There are certain laws that because of their potential for abuse, cannot be fully and generally instituted in a fallen Telestial world. This may include the full institution of the Law of Consecration and its corresponding economic system known as the "United Order" where society lives as the Early Christians with "all things in common." This concept may apply to polygamy and covenant marriage.
Historically, an LDS couple who were called to practice polygamy had to be both equally consenting to it. There are some critical statements out there about polygamy, but there are also positive reports critics fail to acknowledge like those of my wife's ancestry.18. Divorce rules were more liberal in Biblical polygamy. If your husband wasn't able to provide food, raiment, and duty of marriage that wife was free to leave (Ex 21:11). And since the practice of polygamy creates a shortage of woman and raises the bar for males, there is no shortage of eligible suitors.
19.The purpose of this post is not meant to condone or advocate the practice of polygamy. According to how I read the Bible, Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants, the practice of polygamy should not be generally practiced because of the inherent difficulties and possibility of abuse. However, you can't read the Bible and ignore the fact that in some specific cases and circumstances God condoned the practice. I am really not sure why anyone would even desire to practice polygamy at all. I can't even keep up with one "honey-do" list.
20. Therefore, the question that remains with regard to the historical practice of Polygamy in the LDS church is, did God command it. And that question can only be answered by faith and prayer.


Eric Nielson said...

Excellent review.

Blake said...

Great job on this one.

Anonymous said...

Disgusting-- you are condoning polygamy?? Read up, brother!! Many of those who practiced polygamy (at least many of the women) did not think it such a great 'calling'. At least if you want to screw around with someone other than your spouse, have the decency to not bring it home into the bedroom next to your other wife's bedroom where she can hear them.

BRoz said...

1. No, I am not condoning it. According to scripture the practice of polygamy should not be generally practiced because of the inherent difficulties and possibility of abuse. I agree with scripture that polygamy should not be practiced.

2. However, you can't read the Bible and turn a blind eye to the fact that in some spesific cases and circumstances God condones the practice.

3. Then about your last point making the first wife out to be a victim. Historically, an LDS couple who were called to practice polygamy had to be both equally consenting to it. There are some critical statements out there about polygamy, but there are also positive reports critics fail to aknowledge.

4. Also, divorce rules were more liberal in Biblical polygamy. If your husband wasn't able to provide food, rainment, and duty of marriage that wife was free to get out. (Ex 21:11).

Rac said...

Thanks for the research and thought. Great points!

Anonymous said...

"...This would cover women who were married to other men...That said, Joseph Smith likely did consummate several polygamist marriages and practiced polygamy "in very deed."

How can you seriously defend obvious polyandry? Where do we find THAT in the Bible? What else does it take for someone to question the character of this man?? This is not like the apostle Paul admitting to his human failures and trying to be a better man. This is an ongoing lifestyle!

David B said...

Please do not misunderstand. I am not defending or talking about polyandry at all. I said that in the several cases where Joseph was sealed to other wives who were already married, the "sealing" was just a formality that would take effect in the next life if at all. These women remained "married" to and lived with their current spouse. These "sealings" were never consummated.

Anonymous said...

Joseph Smith was involved in as many as 6 polyandrous marriages but you honestly suggest he only consummated the polygamist ones?

Sylvia Sessions, the wife of Windsor Lyon married Joseph Smith on February 8, 1842 and gave birth to what most evidence suggests, his daughter, Josephine, on February 8, 1844.

I sincerely don't mean any disrespect, But if you can please help me with this question. If polygamy was such a difficult command of God for LDS men to follow, why does it say in D&C 132:61 ...if any man espouse a virgin, and DESIRE to espouse another...then is he justified. ??

David B said...

Several issues here. Sylvia Sessions had separated from get husband who had been excommunicated and considered herself divorced. DNA evidence is difficult with this case because of the lack of a y-chromosome to follow. DNA doesn't rule Josephine out but it is by no means conclusive. In every other case (8), Joseph Smith was proven to not be the father. The science supports me, and it seems evident many out there will grasp at any negative claim in order to explain away Joseph Smith.

David B said...

Also, well regarding polyandrous vs. polygamous "sealings", there is Zero DNA evidence that any were consummated. In fact, all claims except Josephine have been proven false. Josephine is not ruled out, but is not ruled in either.

For everyone except Heber C. Kimball, polygamy was difficult to practice. But it was difficult to accept by everyone. The D&C is the voice of Jesus Christ speaking and represents how LDS should have felt about polygamy ideally, but reality was a different matter. However, LDS were resistant to bring forced to abandon the practice because the FED required LDS men to abandon all but one wife and family.

Anonymous said...

"...many out there will grasp at any negative claim in order to explain away Joseph Smith."

I really don't think it's at all unreasonable or "grasping" to, in due diligence, research and investigate the character of a man who claims authority as a prophet of God! When a man takes it upon himself to literally alter, "correct" or "restore" the gospel of Jesus Christ, maybe we should look into how credible this man is! These are matters of eternal life that no one should take lightly.

When I read accounts of tall tales, treasure digging, secret love affairs, polyandry, fleeing failed Safety Societies, ordering the destruction of a newspaper press and so on, how does one NOT question this man?

Then when looking into these matters, every one of them has an amazing explanation about conspiracies, some strange misquote or misunderstanding, foggy memories, "he might of done this, but for sure not that", an unclear lack of evidence, "we're not really sure what or why it happened" It's all very difficult to accept how none of this was ever his fault or his wrong doing.

I love my many Mormon friends and neighbors, they are truly great people, but I hope you can at least understand my apprehension about a man who requires so many explanations about his character for me to accept that I my salvation is illegitimate because I did not follow the many requirements of the LDS church.

David B said...

I commend you for your interest, however your research seems to be focused on questionable sources. the following link illustrates the kind of rumors and lies that Satan has created and so many are so easily deceived by.

Here we can read the actual letter by Joseph Smith to the family of a woman to whom he was "sealed". See how several negative sources clealy twist the letter to create all sorts of negative connotations.

Joseph Smith is not on trial.

Anonymous said...

"Joseph Smith is not on trial"

So if I understand you correctly, I should close my eyes to everything that seems unsettling about this man's history, simply accept that he has all authority to re-write the Bible, "correct" the gospel of Jesus Christ, and basically veto my salvation based on his revelations?

What about other restorers of the gospel such as Muhammad, Charles Taze Russell, Mary Baker Eddy? Do I research them, or just accept what they're telling me is truth?

I apologize for my sarcasm, but my point is when a man claims to be speaking the very words of God, how can you suggest I ignore questionable aspects of his character? All of my research comes from reading fairwiki, and I'm still stunned by all the explanation required for this man.

David B said...

Joseph Smith restored the Church of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is Gods word like the Bible. Instead of being blown about in the wind by everyone out there that has some lie or rummor to say about Joseph Smith why don't you just do as the Bible, Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ instruct and ask God in faith. Have God prove it to you.

Anonymous said...

That's your answer? Stop thinking about it and ask in faith?
Is this the advise you'd give your children, family, and friends, when approached with an even newer "restored" gospel? I certainly hope not.

As you know, many people have restored the gospel and Church of Jesus Christ throughout history including Muhammad, Charles Taze Russell, Mary Baker Eddy.

Jesus saw it coming, didn't he?

He said "BEWARE of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matt 7:15)

"And MANY false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many" (Matt 24:11)

How does Jesus advise we BEWARE of these MANY false prophets?

Jesus said about the false prophets "Ye shall KNOW them by their fruits"(Matt 7:15)


The apostle Paul also gives us some advise.

He commended the Bereans for researching and confirming the teachings he was bringing to them.(Acts 17:11)
He also warned, ...But though we, or an ANGEL FROM HEAVEN, preach ANY OTHER gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Who is really being being "blown about in the wind"?

David B said...

1. If you are protestant or evangelical then these ideologies deny all prophets.
2. I don't want you to "stop thinking". The Holy Ghost according to the Bible, BOM, D&C, inspires the mind and heart.
3. What I hope is that to better evaluate ur sources. The FAIRLDS link was a great example of how multiple ant-LDS writers twist a letter to give it neg meaning. So, I hope you will take care and look to reliable sources for information.
4. Ultimately, after you have done as the BOM asks and have used your mind to "study it out." see Moroni 10:4. that you seek personal revelation like Peter did (flesh and blood hath not revealed) and deny not the power of the Holy Ghost.

Anonymous said...

I don't call myself protestant or evangelical. I'm simply a follower of Christ. No title, label or membership will ever save me.
My issue with Joseph Smith starts with the legalism and ordinances for salvation that he and other men have been instituting since Jesus walked on Earth!
Read the Bible! Jesus spent so much time refuting legalism and the phony righteousness of religious leaders. Over and over again, He stressed that it's the condition of the HEART that matters to God!
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness" [Matthew 23:26-28]
Read Acts 15! It started so early! The church was still in it's infancy and already Christian Jews decided Christian Gentiles needed to be circumcised in order for their salvation to be legitimate!
Throughout history man has created laws and requirements for salvation. Catholics, Latter-day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses. Each with it's own religious hierarchy necessary for heaven! But Jesus never meant it to be this way!
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" [1 Tim 2:5]
All Jesus wants is our hearts, to believe in Him.
"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" [John 1:12]
He wants us to Love God with all our heart and everything else will follow! [Matt. 22:37]
Read Luke 23:38-43! This man believed and was promised to be with Jesus. He wasn't baptized a member, he wasn't confirmed! He simply believed!!
This is hard to accept for those who add requirements to be saved.
My heart goes out to my neighborhood LDS elders I see walking around till 9pm all week because of the official requirements, not allowed to call home more than a couple times a year. For what? legalism, man's laws and ordinances.

David B said...

What you call legalism, we call repentance, obedience and sanctification. Remember Christ himself was baptized by immersion and it takes quite a twist of scripture for a follower of Christ to explain away.

You defineately understand the principle of Justification which is by grace alone and not work. What you fail to understand is Sanctification which is at the heart of the higher covenant. Remember the rich young man, "if thou wilt be perfect", he was asked to sell all and follow Christ. This covenant we call consecration and it is what LDS enter into in our temples. This is the whole meaning of our temples. So, while justification doesn't require any works as Paul taught, Sanctification (empowered by Christ to overcome any desire for sin) requires a lifetime and even a future Millennium of good works.

The most popular religion in America is the religion of one. It's very convenient because people can dream up a God and interpret the Bible however they choose. True followers of Christ have no problem submitting to His will, His priesthood authority, His interpretation of scripture, and His church. You are on the "Broad Road" brother.

David B said...

Unfortunately most Christian doctrine is Justification focused and ignores sanctification. What most object to about LDS doctrine is our focus on consecration and sanctification. Consecration is all about Christ empowered good works. Our doctrine is not about meeting God partway. It's about receiving and applying what grace God has already given and then being added upon.

David B said...

Unfortunately most Christian doctrine is Justification focused and ignores sanctification. What most object to about LDS doctrine is our focus on consecration and sanctification. Consecration is all about Christ empowered good works. Our doctrine is not about meeting God partway. It's about receiving and applying what grace God has already given and then being added upon.

Anonymous said...

The Bible teaches believers are sanctified (set apart) upon salvation.
"And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. [1 Cor 6:11]
"And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" [Hebrews 10:10]
I do agree with you that there is also a progressive sanctification where the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and like Jesus Christ.
Where we differ is how that sanctification happens. The Bible teaches it's through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
"Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth"
[John 17:17]
But the LDS Church, like the Catholic church, and Jehovah's Witnesses pile on more and more mandatory laws required not only for sanctification but for SALVATION as well!!
Confirmation, confession of sins to God’s authorized Church leaders, weekly sacraments, correct Sabbath-day behavior, attend tithing settlement with the bishop at the end of each year to declare tithing faithfulness!!
In fact, according to your Church I can't even be baptized until I promise to obey all Laws and Ordinances and the Word of Wisdom. And according to your prophet the Holy Spirit comes ONLY through membership to the Church!!
Can you please tell me where Jesus ever mandates these requirements for salvation and how the thief on the cross EVER made it to Heaven??

And I do attend a church, but it is to study the Bible, worship God and fellowship with other believers. I am not required to attend with the threat that the Holy Spirit may leave me otherwise.
"But to all who did receive him, who BELIEVED in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" [John 1:12]

David B said...

Yes, believers in Christ are sanctified in part upon the point of Justification. According to 1 Cor 5:11, this is the minimum standard that Paul expects Saints to live. These are exactly the questions asked for baptism and to go to the temple.

11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

Believers are expected to be (temple) or willing to (baptism) be sexually pure, pay tithing (not covet), have a testimony of Christ and restoration (idolatry), not be a railer (abuse spouse, family), obey the word of wisdom (drunkeness), and be honest in our dealings (extortion). So, here we see the basis for our baptism and temple questions.

Consistent attendance to the temple helps believers resist temptation and empowers us against sin. It's not 100% but I know for me it really does help. After attending church and the temple, I don't want to sin. That's the point of the temple (holiness to the Lord). In Ezek 37:27-28 the temple will be built and Israel will be sanctified. This is the purpose of the temple.

The temple also supports the Constitution and the principle of Self Government by giving members mechanisms to give confession and high expectations. Sins can be felt with when smaller before they become public scandal. People can lie if they wish, but these mechanism are in place as Paul taught for us to give confession and judge among ourselves. Our Bishops are judges in Israel and spend all their time receiving cobfessionand determining ritual purity. Bishops are not just preachers.

David B said...

Acts 2: 46And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart

In addition to Christ puifying the temple, Here we see temple attendance remained central to Christian practice. Rev 7: saints dressed in white in the temple. ISA 2: mountain if the lords house established in the top of the mountains. OT temple to one nation, kingdom, tongue, tribe, people. NT temple to all kingdoms nations tongues, tribes, peoples. This is why the angel is on the top of the temple.

Anonymous said...

I do understand and agree how attending church or temple may help you feel less tempted to sin, BUT your doctrine makes temple attendance and church membership a requirement for salvation.
"Baptism by water must be followed by baptism of the Spirit or it is incomplete. Only when we receive baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost can we receive a remission of our sins and become completely spiritually reborn."
"ONLY through membership in the Church can one receive the gift of the Holy Ghost"
"Partaking of the sacrament weekly is a commandment. It helps us remain worthy to have the Spirit with us always" [Preach My Gospel D&C 50:14]

This doctrine contradicts the Bible.
"...and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved"
"the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction" [Romans 3:22]
Salvation comes by believing in Jesus Christ as your savior, baptism is the outward symbol that always accompanied the inward belief. Repentance is essential to salvation. One cannot truly believe unless he repents, and one cannot truly repent unless he believes. Progressive sanctification then follows by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and obeying the Word of God.

Can you please tell me where Jesus ever mandated the LDS Laws and Ordinances for salvation and how the thief on the cross EVER made it to Heaven?

Anonymous said...

I guess there is no answer to my question

David B said...

Sorry, I've been busy at work the last month. Be careful not to confuse Paul's Justification (saved or rescued by grace) with the need for Sanctification. Yes if you wish to avoid HELL, then confessing Christ is enough. However, to receive the highest reward of Exaltation and enjoy the fellowship with the Father, than Sanctification is required because no unclean thing can enter into His present. Not just "called clean" but clean in reality. No more desire for sin.

The Temple is what God has given us to help us in the process of Sanctification. Is there another way than God's way? Ezek 37 :28-28 says Israel will be sanctified by the sanctuary. ISA 2:2-5 says the temple (mountain of the Lords House) will bring peace to the world and many people will learn to walk in HIS path. Dan 2:45. The stone cut out of the mountain which becomes a mountain that fills the whole Earth is thr temple. Acts 2:45-46 says that consecration and temple attendance were elements of true Christian discipleship. Rev 1-3. Compile all the "to him that overcometh" verses. They all refer to the blessing of the temple.

About the thief on the cross. Remember that Paul taught about "baptism for the dead.". If the water baptism ordinance were not necessary than why would Paul bring this up?

Baptism is an act of submission. We all need to humble ourselves and submit to Gods authority and priesthood even if it is administered by imperfect people.

Anonymous said...

So you're saying Christ's atonement is only good enough to avoid hell but not quite good enough for the highest rewards of Heaven?

Do you realize how much that DEVALUES the sacrifice of Christ???

"In whom we have redemption
through his blood, the FORGIVENESS of sins, according to the riches of his grace"[Ephesians 1:7]

The purpose of the temple was the Levitical system of animal sacrifices and keeping of the law for the remission of sin. Jesus Christ became that ultimate sacrifice once and for all!
"By that will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL" [Hebrews 10:10]

Therefore the purpose of the temple has been fulfilled through Christ! He is our perfect sacrifice, our High Priest, He is the FULFILLMENT of the law!
This is why the veil of the TEMPLE was torn in two when Christ died [Matt 27:50]
We no longer need any man as High Priest in the temple to get closer to God. [Heb.4:16]

Any attempts at justification or sanctification by keeping the law(Confirmation, confession of sins to God’s authorized Church leaders, weekly sacraments, correct Sabbath-day behavior, tithing settlement) are in vain!
The apostle Paul wrote about this. Read Galatians chapter 2-3.
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ" [Galatians 2:16]

The entire point of I Cor.15 was Paul arguing the case for the resurrection of Christ. There were people denying that it ever happened. He mentions Baptism for the dead because there were also people in Corinth practicing this custom. Paul neither originated this act or commended it's practice.
It was utilized by Paul as an "ad hominem" argument to refute the deniers of the resurrection.

David B said...

Atonement not enough???? The Temple only works because of the Atonement and because it is given by God (not built with men's hands). That is like saying, why do you need to read scripture, or enjoy fellowship with the saints, or have apostles and prophets (until we arrive at a unity of the faith ) or baptism or thr Lords Supper. It is because they are given by God. You just don't believe the LDS Temple or the Book of Mormon is given by God. If you did, then I'm sure you would gladly receive them and see and understand their "atonement empowered" necessity. We grow from grace to grace in our Sanctification and are required to receive and apply all the gifts and grace God has given before being added upon. This is the meaning of "saved by grace after all we can do". Nephi was commenting on why he bothered observing the Law of Moses if he knew Salvation was only in Christ. His answer really meant, we receive the Law because Christ gave it and we know we should Finish what's on our plate before asking for Seconds.

I am going to flip your argument back around. the whole issue here is that what is necessary is complete Sanctification and not just Justification (called clean) only. No unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God. LDS would say that Christ's Atonement is powerful enough to overcome the flesh in this life and has the power to Sanctify us as well as having the grace to deal with our past sins.

Do you believe Christ's Atonement has the power enough to Sanctify? Cause someone to loose all desire for sin in life and overcome our sin nature (flesh)? Remember the temple is about Sanctification. I'm not sure why people have such a tough time with Sanctification and Repentance doctrine. Everyone just wants a religion that makes no continual moral demands and high expectations.

When Babylon falls, only Zion will remain. And if you are still alive, maybe then you will see the light.

David B said...

Yes, you are giving me the typical Evangelical answers.

In the Old Testament Temple only the High Priest wore white and he entered the Holy of Holies once a year. The other Levitical priests wore robes and undergarments of multi-colors in the temple. When John saw the saints that come through the tribulation he asked the angel why they all were wearing white in the temple. (not used to seeing that) then he said it represented that they had been washed clean (sanctified) in the blood of Christ. The OT High Priest represented Christ. Christ tore the veil. It does not say the veil fell down. And now all kingdoms nations and tongues and people's can be made High Priests unto God and pass through the partitions in the veil into presence of the Father and not just the 1 High priest once a year. This is the "sealing in the forehead.". And this is how Christ is called the King of kings, Lord of lords, the Most High God and the Most High Priest.

Remember the saints in Acts 2 continued in the temple. Remember the temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem and to all nations kindreds tongues tribes and peoples according to Ezek 37 and ISA 2. This is the the meaning of the angel on the top of the temple. The priesthood and temple is for all people now and not just 1 tribe or the eldest son. The Jerusalem temple will require purification at Armaggedon before or is eventually rebuilt and accepted. Do you ignore these scripture?

David B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Do you believe Christ's Atonement has the power enough to Sanctify?"

YES! that is the freedom I have in Christ that LDS do not.

"And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. [1 Cor 6:11]

The difference is I believe progressive sanctification comes through loving God with all my heart, reading scripture and fellowship with other believers.
LDS sanctification comes through mandated works, required attendance, tithing settlements, and temple ceremonies that Jesus and the apostles taught against.

Paul taught that as long as we are living in this flesh, we will always battle the desire to sin, and I am always trying to grow in God.
But I also don't live in fear that my salvation hangs in the balance if I don't complete all the works required by a church. In fact Jesus taught the opposite of that.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, you are giving me the typical Evangelical answers"

I am giving you the answers based on what the Bible teaches.
Paul taught that Jesus was the fulfillment of the priesthood and temple system. Jesus is our ONLY mediator to God, He is the once-and-for-all sacrifice and our High Priest, but the Joseph claimed to restore it. This contradicts everything taught in Galatians and Hebrews, that is one reason why I cannot believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet.

The saints in white are not priests in temples on earth. Verse 9 says "They were standing before the throne and before the Lamb." We know that the throne is in heaven, the Lord God sits on it, the Lamb is in the midst of the throne, He too is in heaven, so they are in heaven. They then have died. Angels are there also. "And all the angels were standing around the throne."

The early Christians met at the temple because they were primarily believing Jews who were still holding to their Jewish culture and had nowhere else to worship, but Peter and Paul clearly teach them in the next chapter to let go of their Jewish legalism.

I agree the temple will be rebuilt in the NEW Jerusalem, on the NEW earth when Jesus returns. That has not happened yet.

David B said...

Rev 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

Saying that Rev 7 is John seeing a temple in heaven is mistaken and demonstrates a clear and unfortunate misunderstanding of the purpose of the temple. The temple is a place set apart as Holy and Celestial. There is no temple or place set apart in Heaven as holy because everywhere in heaven is Holy. Instead it could be said there is a place set apart for the wicked. There is no temple in heaven in the Celestial Kingdom. So, what John is seeing is the temple and Saints on Earth sometime after the Tribulation and possibly during the Millennium. But following the Millennium when the Earth is fully purified and sanctified and is received by the Father into the Celestial Kingdom, John says clearly in Rev 21 "there is no temple there". That is because everywhere will be Holy. Similarly, there is no temple in heaven, it is all Holy.

Also, I find it very unfortunate that you have been deceived into taking Acts 2 where the context of the Chapter is clearly presenting the core elements of true Christian discipleship to include "continuing in the temple" as leftover legalism at the same time you acknowledge the Bible says God will restore His temple again.

You say you are "free". You are free from submitting to the authority of Christ's Church making any type of demands upon you. This is the real crux of the issue, which is humility to submit and consecrate ones life to God's kingdom. Satan's doctrine is "do as you will". Christ's is "not as I will, but as thou wilt". True freedom and power can only be found in submitting to Christ's authority and the authority of His Church. Freedom is not being free from expectation and any moral requirements. Freedom means power to act and only the Church of Jesus Christ has Gods priesthood which is the very power and authority of God.

David B said...

It's like being married. Some believe that staying single is somehow free. But those who are married understand the true benefits and blessings of marriage.

Anonymous said...

When I say "free" I mean free from the threat of losing my salvation if I disobey some rule that Jesus never commanded me to keep.
I mean free from the peer pressure of conformity to man-made laws as a measure of my spirituality.
"For Christ is the END of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth"[Romans 10:4]

Paul reminded the Galatians, who were also trapped by legalism,
"Stand fast therefore in the LIBERTY wherewith Christ hath made us FREE, and be not entangled AGAIN with the yoke of bondage"[Galatians 5:1]

Throughout the NT we see a clear pattern of Christ and the apostles tearing down, again and again the vain attempts of man's rituals to make himself holy before God.

They constantly spoke out against spiritual intimidation by other so-called righteous men. They taught over and over salvation and sanctification comes not by how well you dress, how much you give, how long you pray. It's the heart.

In Phil.3 Paul understood this. He knew his religious rituals were useless. He was a Pharisees! he did everything right concerning ritual and law, yet he knew it didn't save him. He turned from those worthless things to the only thing that matters, Jesus Christ!

Here's the thing, I don't have a problem with going to church to meet with other believers and worship God, learn the Word. These things are vital to my growth. But God wants me to do these things out of love for Him. Not because someone is keeping score or I might not be worthy if I miss a meeting.

God is not impressed with how nice my tie is on Sunday, how grand my building is, how much my tithing settlement adds up to at the end of the year. God wants a relationship with me, and when I have that everything else follows.

David B said...

LDS are not worried about losing our Salvation. But we do believe in enduring to the end. It is possible to miss out on a greater reward.

LDS are not concerned with fancy ties, or grand cathedrals. Im not sure why you brought this up.

Anonymous said...

I happen to know that the white shirt and tie is the uniform of your priesthood. You know very well it would cause a stir if you went to your ward in a colored shirt.
But this is just one small example of LDS re-instituting "pharisaic" rules, laws, conditions, and requirements Jesus taught as self-righteous legalism. Paul wrote so much about this as well.

LDS command partaking weekly sacraments among many other ordinances to remain "worthy" of the Holy Spirit.
LDS live under the constant pressure, struggling in their eternal progression, believing the unworthy do not gain exaltation.

Christ never meant it to be this way. Through Jesus, security is in HIS worthiness, not our own.

David B said...

White clothing to participate in priesthood ordinances comes from Rev 7:15 and Rev 19:8.

When it comes to LDS Sanctification doctrine, we believe Christ's Atonement has to power to save us "from our sins" and not just "in our sins."

Anonymous said...

I just don't see it. In the book of Hebrews we learn Christ is the better priest. Christ is the supreme priest, and because of that, His provision, His sacrifice, His priesthood, and His covenant are superior to anything man can do.
The believer who has claimed Christ as his Messiah can let go of all of the temple routine, all of the temple ritual. He can drop all of the sacrifices. He can drop all of the priesthood, because Christ has supplanted it all.
We can let go of the temple ritual and come to Christ in full confidence that this is sufficient, and so then the key to the superiority of the new covenant over the old, of Christ over all the Old Testament figures, is the priesthood.
Jesus must be a great High Priest, for a man cannot go to God unless he be taken there by one who stands between that man and God.
To reinstate temple ceremonies is simply unnecessary and reverses everything Christ fulfilled.