We continue are discussion with Dr. Brian Hales. (Part 1 is here.) He has written a comprehensive history of Joseph Smith’s Polygamy (Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3.) In this episode, I’ll ask him about Dr. Mark Staker’s claim that Black Pete may have been responsible for introducing polygamy into the Kirtland period.
Joseph knew the Old Testament, he knew Abraham had more than one wife and Jacob, so why would we need to think that it was Black Pete that was introducing this in a very real way, especially when Joseph wasn’t supportive of so much that was going on when he first arrived down there, and the types of spiritual experiences that they were expressing in their church meetings and things like that. So I’m a little dubious on that, but I just applaud Mark. I say go forward and let us know.
He also makes an interesting statement about the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible.
I believe all of these principles came to Joseph line upon line, precept upon precept. Some of the exciting things that are happening down at BYU, Tom Wayment and others are looking at the Joseph Smith Translation very carefully and discovering that it really shouldn’t be thought of as actual scripture in and of itself, that it was a chance for Joseph to expand upon the text to make the Bible text correspond with the theology that he was receiving through revelation, or through communications that he portrayed to be from God.
I asked Brian about differences in biblical polygamy and Doctrine & Covenants 132.
GT: Well so I guess my question is as far as 132 and Genesis, does it seem to you that there’s a difference among those two scriptures as far as whether God commanded Hagar to be a plural wife or whether Sarah was totally responsible?
Brian acknowledges the accounts are different, but it doesn’t bother him.
Brian: So for me to see the JST Genesis and that it doesn’t necessarily say what comes in 1843 doesn’t surprise me because of the line upon line, precept upon precept process.
What do you think about these different accounts about Hagar’s marriage to Abraham? Does it bother you that these two accounts seem to differ in whether God commanded the marriage, or Sarah suggested it?
Check out our conversation…