Because of the recent media on the Fundamentalist LDS group that “got busted” in Texas for abuse and polygamy the LDS church has made efforts to distance itself from this sect. Below is a recent interview with the LDS public affairs representative regarding the churches current stance on polygamy and how it wants the world to view the LDS church:
Polygamy is a huge issue and it is a great concern still for members of the LDS church. Some have concerns with polygamy and say the LDS church still “practices” polygamy in the sense that it is still a revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants section 132. In addition, people are still married in temples for eternity to spouses after one spouse passes away, so polygamy is technically still a part of LDS doctrine.
Depending on the Christian you speak with, they will either denounce or embrace polygamy. Generally speaking, the Christian world claims the Bible to be the only word of God. The Bible contains polygamy all throughout it’s text and depending on which Christian denomonation you speak with, they can argue for or against it. Here’s a christian website discussing the issue: http://www.gotquestions.org/polygamy.html. Here’s another website that has people, including pastors arguing for polygamy and that true Christianity should allow polygamy with other Christians arguing against it: http://www.answering-christianity.com/ntpoly.htm. As you can see in many cases interpretations of scripture are a matter of semantics as to whether God truly “approved” polygamy in the Bible or not and are up for interpretation.
Those who follow the LDS faith could have an easier time answering the polygamy question than their fellow Christians due to the fact they believe in modern, continuing revelation.
Joseph Smith stated “I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time, unless the Lord directs otherwise.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 324). The LDS website also says polygamy isn’t allowed unless God directs it. Therefore, God can take away polygamy or ordain it through his prophets as he did through Nathan in the Bible (2 Samuel 12:8). Currently the LDS church doesn’t practice polygamy on grounds of a reveleation from a prophet named Wilford Woodruff that is contained in the Doctrine and Covenants in the “Official Declaration 1.”
However, there are still some questions that remain for both LDS christians and other Christians who believe in the Bible:
If the LDS church wants to take such a strong stance against polygamy, shouldn’t the church completely take it out of it’s doctrine, since it is still supported in D&C 132? Why or why not?
Also, if one is to consider himself/herself a true Christian, should they believe in polygamy because it is supported in the Bible? Why or why not?