Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

I am

8. Verily, verily I say unto you, ex-his exaltation, and sitteih upon his cept ye abide my law, ye cannot at- throne. tain to this glory; for strait is the 12. Abraham received promises gate, and narrow the way, that leadeth concerning his seed, and of the fruit unto the exalta:ion and continuation of his loins, from whose loins ye of the lives, and few there be that are, viz, my servant Joseph,— which find it, because ye receive me not in were to continue, so long as they were the world, neither do ye know me. in the world; and as touching Abra. But if ye receive me in the world, ham and his seel, out of the world, then shall ye know me, and shall re- they should continue ; both in the ceive your exaltation, that where I world and out of the world should they am, ye shall be also. This is eter- continue as innumerable as the stars; nal lives to know the only wise or, if ye were to count the sand upon and true God, and Jesus Christ the sea.shore, ye could 1102 number whom he hath sent.

He.them. This proinise is yours, also), Receive ye, therefore, my law. Broad because ye are of Abraham, and the is the gate, and wide the way that promise was made unto Abraham, leadeth to the deaths; and many there and by this law are the continuation are that go in thereat; because they of the works of my Father, wherein receive me not, neither do they abide he glorifieth himself. Go ye there. in my law.

fore, and do the works of Abraham ; 9. Verily, verily I say unto you, if enter ye into my law, and ye shall be a man marry a wife according to my saved. But if ye enter not into my word, and they are sealed by the Holy law, ye cannot receive the promises Spirit of promise, according to mine of my Father, which he made unto appointment, and he or she shall com- Abraham. mit any sin or transgression of the 13. God commanded Abraham, and new and everlasting covenant what- Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham, to ever, and all manner of blasphemie, wise. And why did she do it? Be. and if they commit no murder, where-cause this was the law, and from Hain they shed innocent blood,—yet gar sprang many people. This, they shall come forth in the first resur- therefore, was fulfilling, among other rection, and enter into their exaltation, things, the promises. Was Abra. but they shall be destroyed in the ham, therefore, under condemnation ? flesh, and shall be delivered unto the Verily, I say unto you, Nay; for I the buffetings of Satan, unto the day of Lord commanded it. Abraham was redemption, saith the Lord God.

commanded to offer his son Isaac; 10. The blasphemy against the nevertheless, it was written thou Holy Ghost, which shall not be for. shalt not kill. Abraham however, given in the world, nor out of the did not refuse, and it was accounted world, is in that ye commit murder, unto him for righteousness. wherein

ye

shed innocent blood, and 14. Abraham received concubines, assent unto my death, after ye have and they bare him children, and it received my new and everlasting was accounted unto him for righteous. covenant, saith the Lord God; and he ness, because they were given unto that abideth not this law, can in no. I him, and he abode in my law: as wise enter into my glory, but shall be | Isaac also, and Jacob did none other damned, saith the Lord.

things than that which they were 11. I am the Lord thy God, and commanded; and because they did will give unto thee the law of my none other things than that which Holy Priesthood, as was ordained by they were commanded, they have en. me, and my Father, before the world tered into their exaltation, according was. Abraham received all things, to the promises, and sit upon thrones; whatsoever he received, by revela. and are not angels, but are Gods. tion and commandment, by my word, David also received many wives and saith the Lord, and hath entered into concubines, as also Solomon, and

Moses my servant; as also many the heavens; and whosesoever sins others of my servants, from the he. you remit on earth, shall be remitted ginning of creation until this time, and eternally in the heavens; and whose. in nothing did they sin, save in those soever sins you retain on earth, shall things which they received not of no be retained in heaven.

15. David's wives and concubines 18. And again, verily I say, whom. were given unto him, of me, by the soever you bless, I will bless; and hand of Nathan, my servant, and whomsoever you curse, I will curse, others of the prophets who had the saith the Lord; for I, the Lord, am keys of this power; and in none of thy God. these things did he sin against me, 19. And again, verily I say unto save in the case of Uriah and his you, my servant Joseph, that whatso. wife ; and, therefore, he hath fallen ever you give on earth, and to whom. from his exaltation, and received his soever you give any one on earth, by portion; and he shall not inherit my word, and according to my law, them out of the world ; for I gave it shall be visited with blessings, and them unto another, saith the Lord. not cursings, and with my power,

16. I am the Lord thy God, and I saith the Lord, and shall be without gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, condemnation on earth, and in hea. an appointment, and restore all things; ven; for I am the Lord thy God, and ask what ye will, and it shall be given will be with thee even unto the end unto you, according to my word; and of the world, and through all eterni. as ye have asked concerning adultery, ty: for verily, I seal upon you, your verily, verily I say unto you, if a man exaltation, and prepare a throne for receiveth a wife in the new and ever. you in the kingdom of my Father, lasting coverant, and if she be with with Abraham, your father. Behold, another man, and I have not appoint. I have seen your sacrifices, and will ed unto her by the holy annointing, forgive all your sins ; I have seen she hath committed adultery, and your sacrifices, in obedience to that shall be destroyed. If she be not in which I have told you : go, therefore, the new and everlasting covenant, and I make a way for your escape, as and she be with another man, she has I accepted the offering of Abraham, committed adultery; and if her hus- of his son Isaac. band be with another woman, and be 20. Verily I say unto you, a com. was under a vow, he hath broken his mandment I give unto mine hand. vow, and hath committed adultery; maid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom and if she hath not committed adul- I have given unto you, that she stay tery, but is innocent, and hath not herself, and partake not of that which broken her vow, and she knoweth it, I commanded you to offer unto her; for and I reveal it unto you, my servant I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you Joseph, then shall you have power, all, as I did Abraham; and that I by the power of my Holy Priesthood, might require an offering at your to take her, and give her unto him haud, by covenant and sacrifice : and that hath not committed adultery, but let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, re. hath been faithful, for he shall be ceive all those that have been given made ruler over many; for I have unto my servant Joseph, and who are conferred upon you the keys and virtuous and pure before me ; and power of the priesthood, wherein I those who are not pure, and have said restore all things, and make known they were pure, shall be destroyed, unto you, all things, in due time. saith the Lord God; for I am the

17. And verily, verily I say unto Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my you, that whatsoever you seal on voice ; and I give unto my servant earth, shall be sealed in heaven ; and Joseph, that he shall be made ruler whatsoever you bind on earth, in my over many things, for he hath been name, and by my word, saith the faithful over a few things, and from Lord, it shall be eternally bound in' henceforth I will strengthen him.

21. And I command mine hand. I vowed to no other man, then is he maid, Emina Smith, to abide and justified; he cannot commit adultery, cleave unto my servant Joseph, and for they are given unto him; for he to none else. But if she will not cannot commit adultery with that, abide this commandment, she shall that belongeth unto him, and to none be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I else : and if he have ten virgins am the Lord thy God, and will des. given unto him by this law, he can. troy her if she abide not in my law; not commit adultery; for they belong but if she will not abide this com to him ; and they are given unto mandment, then shall my servant him ;—therefore is he justified. But Joseph do all things for her, even as if one, or either of the ten virgins, he hath said; and I will bless him, after she is espoused, shall be with and multipły him, and give unto him another man, she has committed adul. an hundre:1 fold in this world, of fa. tery, and shall be destroye:l; for they thers and mothers, brothers and sis. are given unto him to multiply and ters, houses and lands, wives and replenish the earth, according to my children, and crowns of eternal lives commandment, and to fulfil the pro. in the eternal worlds. And again, mise which was given by my Father verily I say, let mine handmaid for. before the foundation of the world ; give my servant Joseph his trespasses, and for their exaltation in the eternal and then sha!l she be forgiven her worlds, that they may bear the souls trespasses, wherein she hath tres. of men; for herein is the work of passed against me; and I the Lord my Father continued, that he may be ihy God will bless her, and multiply glorified. her, and make her heart to rejoice. 25. And again, verily, verily I say

22. And again, I say, let not my unto you, if any man have a wife who servant Joseph put his property out holds the keys of this power, and he of his hands, lest an enemy come and teaches unto her the law of my priest. destroy him, for Satan seeketh to des. hood, as pertaining to these things ; troy; for I am the Lord thy God, and then shall she believe, and administer he is my servant; and behold! and unto him, or she shall be destroyed, lo, I am with him, as I was with Abra. saith the Lord your God; for I will ham, thy father, even unto his exalta- destroy her; for I will magnify my tion and glory.

name upon all those who receive and 23. Now as touching the law of the abide in my law. Therefore, it shall priesthood, there are many things per. be lawful in me, if she receive not taining thereunto. Verily, if a man be this law, for him to receive all things, called of my Father, as was Aaron, by whatsoever I the Lord his God will mine own voice, and by the voice of give unto him, because she did not him that sent me, and I have endowed believe and administer unto him, ac. him with the keys of the power of this cording to my word; and she then priesthood, if lie do anything in my becomes the transgressor, and he is name, and according to my law, and by exempt from the law of Sarah, who my word, he will not commit sin, and I administered unto Abraham accord. will justify him. Let no one, there. ing to the law, when I commanded fore, set on my servant Joseph ; for I Abraham to take Hagar to wife.will justify him ; for he shall do the And now, as pertaining to this law,sacrifice which I require at his hands, verily, verily I say unto you, I will for his transgressions, saith the Lord reveal more unto you, hereafter;

therefore, let this suffice for the pre24. And again, as pertaining to the sent.—Behold, I am Alpha and law of the priesthood ;—if any man Omega :-AMEN. espouse a virgin, and desire to es. pouse another, and the first give her PLURALITY OF WIVES is a docconsent; and if he espouse the sec. trine very popular among most of ond, and they are virgins, and have mankind at the present day. It is practiced by the most powerful nations Some of the nations of Europe who of Asia and Africa, and by numerous believe in the one wife system have nations, inhabiting the Islands of the actually forbidden a plurality of wives sea, and by the Aboriginal nations of by their laws; and the consequences the great Western Hemisphere. The are that the whole country among one wife system is confined principally them is overrun with the most abomito a few small nations, inhabiting ble practices ? adulteries and unlawEurope and to those who are of Eu- ful connections prevail through all ropean origin, inhabiting America. their villages, towns, cities, and counIt is estimated by the most able his-try places to a most fearful exient. torians of our day that about four-fifths And among some of these nations of the population of the globe, be- these sinks of wickedness, wretchedlieve and practice, according to their ness, and misery, are licen ed by law; respective laws, the doctrine of a Plu- while their piery would be wonderrality of Wives. If the popularity of fully shocked to authorize by law the a doctrine is in proportion to the num- Plurality systemi, as adopted by many bers who believe in it, then it follows neighboring nations. that the Plurality system is four times The Constitution and laws of the more popular among the inhabitants United States, being founded upon the of the earth, than the one wife system. principles of freedom, do not inter

your God.

Those nations who practice the fere with marriage relations, but leave Plurality doctrine consider it as vir- the nation free to believe in and practuous and as right for one man to tice the doctrine of a Plurality of have many wives, as to have one only. wives, or to confine themselves to the Therefore, they have enacted laws, one wife system just as they choose. not only giving this right to their citi- This is as it should be ; it leaves the zens, but also protecting them in it, conscience of man untrammeled, and and punishing all those who infringe so long as he injures no person, and upon the chastity of the marriage cove- does not infringe upon the rights nant by committing adultery with any of others, he is free by the Constituone of the wives of his neighbor. tion to marry one wife, or ma:ly, or Those nations do not consider it pos- none at all, and becomes accountable sible for a man to commit adultery to God, for the righteousness or unwith any one of those women to righteousness of his domestic relations. whom he has been legally married ac- The Constitution leaves the several cording to their laws. The posterity States and Territories to enact such raised up unto the husband through laws as they see proper in regard to each of his wives, are all considered Marriages, provided that they do not to be legitimate, and provisions are infringe upon the rights of conscience made in their laws for those children, and the liberties guaranteed in that sathe same as if they were the children cred document.

Therefore, if any of one wife. Adulteries, fornications, State or Territory feels disposed to and all unvirtuous conduct between enact laws, guaranteeing to each of its the sexes, are severely punished by citizens the right to marry many wives, them. Indeed, Plurality among them such laws would be persectly constiis considered, not only virtuous and tutional ; hence, the several States and right, but a great check or preventa- Territories practice the one wife systive against adulteries and unlawful tem out of choice, and not because connections which are among the they are under any obligations so to greatest evils with which nations are do by the National Constitution. Incursed, producing a vast amount of deed, we doubt very much, whether suffering and misery, devastation and any State or Territory has the condeath ; undermining the very founda- stitutional right to make laws, protious of happiness, and destroying hibiting the Plurality doctrine in cases the frame-work of society, and the where it is practiced by religious sopeace of the domestic circle.

cieties, as a matter of conscience or as a doctrine of their religious faith.' at a certain age, because it would inThe first Article of the Amendments sringe upon the rights of conscience to the Constitution says, expressly, among the Shakers, and they would that “ Congress shall make no law re- be prohibited the free exercise of their specting an establishment of religion, religion. or prohibiting the free exercise there- From the foregoing Revelation, of." Now if even Congress, itself, given through Joseph, the Seer, it has no power to pass a law“ prohibit- will be seen that God has actually ing the free exercise of Religion, commanded some of His servants to much less has any State or Territory take more wives, and has pointed out power to pass such an act.

certain duties in regard to the mar. The doctrine of a Plurality of riage ceremony, showing that they Wives was believed and practised by must be married for time and for all Abraham, the father of the faithful ; eternity, and showing the advantages and we find that while in this prac- to be derived in a future state by tice the angels of God frequently min. this eternal union, and showing, still istered to him, and at one time dined further, that, if they refused to obey with him; and God manisested Him this command, after having the law self to him, and entered into familiar revealed to them, they should be conversation with him. Neither God damned. This revelation, then, nor His angels reproved Abraham for makes it a matter of conscience being a Polygamist, but on the contrary, among all the Latter-Day Saints ; the Almighty greatly blessed him and and they embrace it as a part and made promises unto him, concerning portion of their religion, and verily both Isaac and Ishmael, clearly show-beileve that they cannot be saved and ing that Abraham practiced, what is reject it.

Has Congress power, called, Polygamy, under the sanction then, to pass laws, " prohibiting "the of the Almighty. Now if the father Church of Jesus Christ of Latter. of the faithful was thus blessed, cer- Day Saints, “the free exerciseof tainly it should not be considered ir, this article of their religion ? Have religious for the faithful who are called his children to walk in the steps of any of the States or Territories a

constitutional right to pass laws “ their father Abraham. Indeed, if the hibiting the free exercise of the reli.

pro. Lord, Himself, through His holy pro- gion” which the church of the Saints phets, should give more wives unto conscienciously and sincerely believe his servants, as He gave them unto

to be essential to their salvation ? the prophet David, it would be a great No : they have no such right. sin for them to refuse that which He

The Latter-Day Saints have the gives. In such a case, it would become a matter of conscience with them, and most implicit confidence in all the a part of their religion, and they revelations, given through Joseph, the would be bound to exercise their faith prophet; and they would much sooner in this doctrine, and practice it, or lay down their lives and suffer mar. be condemned; therefore, Congress tyrdom, than to deny the least reve. would have no power to prohibit the lation that was ever given to him. In free exercise of this part of their re- one of the revelations through him, ligion; neither would the States or we read that God raised up wise Territories have power, Constitution- men and inspired them to write the ally, to pass a law “prohibiting the Constitution of our country, that the free exercise thereof." Now a cer- freedom of the people might be tain religious society, called Shakers, maintained, according to the free believe it to be wrong for them to agency which He had given to them; marry even one wife; it certainly that every man might be accountable would be unconstitutional for either to God and not to man, so far as rethe Congress or the States to pass a ligioue doctrines and conscience are a law, compelling all people to marry concerned. And the more we exam

« ForrigeFortsæt »