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How 132 Would Affect Future Revelations on Women & Gays

With General Conference coming up this weekend, Dr. Bill Smith and I speculate on some possible future revelations coming up!  Would Official Declaration 3 deal with Gays?

GT:  You mentioned a couple of things that were very interesting to me, especially in light of the Family Proclamation.  D&C 132 is kind of the foundation for forever families.  But you mentioned singles and you also mentioned gays.  How do those relate to section 132?

Bill:  Well I think that section 132 is by evidence, at least by internal evidence, it’s very much in the vein of thinking of sex as being in terms of heterosexual sex, of course not necessarily one-man and one-woman sex, but one-man, multiple-women.  So, I think that’s the point of the revelation.  It doesn’t really speak to the possibility of gay marriage.  It doesn’t open that possibility at all.  Whether that can be addressed in some other way, I don’t know, but the revelation, that’s not on anybody’s mind.

GT:  Right.  So, do you see that as being a possibility of a future revelation?

Bill:  Anything is possible.  I don’t know.  Whether people would feel that there is dissonance with section 132 and any further revelation that expanded some kind of approval of gay relationships, gay marriage, I don’t know.  That’s for another generation, I am guessing.  But yes, that might be something that would be addressed.  I don’t know.

Of course we do this in relation to Section 132 of the Doctrine & Covenants, which is one of Mormonism’s most important revelations:  The New & Everlasting Covenant of marriage.  Is there room in this revelation to accommodate gay marriage?  In our next episode, Dr. Bill Smith will answer that question, and discuss how it might impact future revelations dealing with not only gays, but women as well.

Bill:  Well there’s something of equal probability I think is that we have an official declaration that says that women can be ordained.

GT:  Would that be more likely?

Bill:  Boy I don’t really know.  I think yes, it probably fits better with the current paradigm than say gay marriage would be, recognizing gay marriage.


GT:  Do you see 132 being compatible with say female ordination?

Bill:  Yeah, the polygamy parts seem to partake of the typical sort of patriarchal kinds of views of the 19th century, the 18th century and back.  In terms of incompatibilities, that’s where that would lie.  In terms of ordination practices, those kinds of things, I don’t see an incompatibility there, structure.  I mean it would be easy to enfold women into priesthood structures if that was to take place.  I don’t see a problem there.  I don’t think it would be possible to stop that because you had the same kinds of issues with blacks and the priesthood when the ‘78 change was announced.  They were very clear that this meant that there weren’t any restrictions on their participation in any way.

Is this Official Declaration 4?  Check out our conversation…..

Here are some others episodes you may be interested in.

093: Greg Prince on History of LDS Policy Toward Gays

092:  How to Polygamists Feel about Gay Marriage? (Wilde)

048: What are the Theological Justifications of Polygamy? (Hales)

044: Does D&C 132 Conflict with Genesis? (Hales)

012: Kirtland Era Polygamy (Staker)


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Emma’s Up and Down Relationship with Polygamy

Emma Smith often vacillated between accepting and rejecting polygamy.  In our next conversation with Dr. Bill Smith we will talk about how she vacillated between these two extremes.

Bill:  Like I said, she was up and down about it.  At some point apparently in May 1843 she had accepted the idea at least in a limited way.  Then later she becomes very negative about it.  During this period when the revelation is given in July 12, 1843, she has become very, very negative about the idea.

We don’t know everything that happened with her, what she heard.  She was in Relief Society, and you know how in small towns, Nauvoo was a relatively small town we would think of it so today.  In that day it was a fairly large place, so you knew practically everybody and people talked about what they saw, who was doing what.  So, the kind of knowledgebase that Emma had, we don’t know for sure but she probably had her finger on what was going on in the female population and the male population of Nauvoo.

Don’t forget to check out our previous conversations with Bill on the origins of polygamy and LDS literacy of biblical polygamy.  Check out our conversation…..

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A Seventy & Apostle Discuss Myths & Kirtland Temple

I’m excited to start 2018 two amazing guests: a Seventy and an Apostle of the Community of Christ: John Hamer and Lachlan MacKay. I’ll let them introduce themselves.

Lachlan:  Sure, [I’m] Lachlan MacKay, a member of the Council of Twelve in the Community of Christ.  I oversee the northeast field in the U.S. which is Michigan and basically Kirtland to Maine to Virginia.  I have functional assignments including Community of Christ Historic Sites.  I oversee historic sites and lead the church history and sacred story team.

John: In terms of the history work that I do, I primarily have studied the broader Latter-day Saint tradition churches.  Like I say that would be all manner of –ites, so the Strangites,[1] especially but also Cutlerites[2] and Hendrickites[3] and everybody else, Josephites,[4] our tradition.  I’m a member of Community of Christ.  I serve as the pastor of the downtown Toronto congregation.  I’ve been called to be a Seventy.  I’m a Seventy-designate.  The ordination will happen in October.[5]  I am also a past president of the John Whitmer Historical Association (JWHA), which is essentially the other –ites, or the Community of Christ’s version of the Mormon History Association (MHA), those kind of things.

We’ll be talking a little bit about LDS myths.

GT:  One of my favorite blog posts was, it’s been a decade now, the Top Myths about the Community of Christ for Mormons.

John:  Oh yeah, the Top 10 myths, I don’t remember exactly how it was, the top 10 Mormon myths about the Community of Christ or something like that.  That one we ended up doing a couple of podcasts with that. I think we did one on Mormon Expression that was on that same topic.

One of the ones for the LDS Tradition, one of the blogs posts that gets the most traction is for whatever reason, sometime in your curriculum every spring you do the Milk & Strippings story.[6]  Then suddenly this essay that I’ve written that has been read more times is on the Milk & Strippings story because every May or something like that it comes up for some reason.  I don’t know why.

We will also talk about the construction of the Kirtland Temple.  (Don’t forget to check out our previous discussion with Dr. Mark Staker and Dr. Richard Bennett!)  Check out our conversation!

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[1] Because so many churches founded by Joseph Smith have similar names, sometimes it is easier to name the groups by their next founder.  For example, the Strangites have a similar name as the mainline LDS Church.  Their church is officially known with slightly different capitalization and punctuation as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (vs. Latter-day Saints), and were founded by James Strang following an angelic visit.  We will talk more about them in a future episode.

[2] Cutlerites were founded by Alpheus Cutler and are officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ.

[3] Hedrickites were founded by Granville Hedrick and officially known as the Church of Christ or Church of Christ (Temple Lot.)  They are sometimes referred to as the Temple Lot Church.  We will discuss them in a future episode.

[4] Josephites are better known as Community of Christ or RLDS Church.  The official name is the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  They are called Josephites after Joseph Smith III.  The Utah church is sometimes referred to as Brighamites, after Brigham Young.

[5] John was ordained in October 2017.

[6] The Milk Strippings story is a story in which the LDS Church claims that apostle Thomas B. Marsh was excommunicated for defending his wife.  As the story goes, his wife took extra milk for butter, known as “milk strippings.”  John wrote a post that there was more context to the story than is given in LDS Sunday School manuals.  See