Keys, Keys, now who holds the Keys?
Polygamy # 1
“I had recourse to some of our dictionaries…which I find to be as follows:-
Webster, American, which is our acknowledged standard, and he says,
a belief in the revelations of God's will to man, and in man's obligation to
obey his commands."
This is, indeed, very pointed; and if this
definition be correct,
it would necessarily lead us to inquire, as did Paul of
"Whether is it better to obey man or God judge ye."
The Constitution of the United States says that
"Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof." I have thought of the law which Congress has made in
relation to polygamy.
The question, however, necessarily arises, is it constitutional for Congress to
interfere with religious matters—with the establishment of religion, or the free
The Constitution says no.
Then is polygamy a religious question or is it not? Is
it a marriage ceremony or is it not? Marriage is received by the Greek
church as a solemn sacrament of the church; the Roman Catholic church and the
Church of England also admit marriage to be a religious sacrament; and so it is
admitted by the great mass of religious sects now in the world. These are facts
that need no proof; everybody is acquainted with them.
Now, in relation to the position that we occupy
concerning plurality, or, as it is termed, polygamy it differs from that
of others. I have noticed the usage of several nations regarding marriage; but,
as I have said, we are not indebted to any of them for our religion, nor for our
ideas of marriage, they came from God. Where did this
commandment come from in relation to polygamy? It
also came from God. It was a revelation given
unto Joseph Smith from God, and
was made binding upon His servants.
When this system was first introduced among this people, it was one of the
greatest crosses that ever was taken up by any set of men since the world stood.
Joseph Smith told others; he told me, and I can bear witness of it, "that if
this principle was not introduced, this Church and
kingdom could not proceed."
(The Church is
Not the Kingdom
HERE to see.)
When this commandment was given, it was so far
religious, and so far binding upon the Elders of this Church
that it was told them
if they were not prepared to enter into it, and to stem the torrent of opposition that would come in
consequence of it, the keys of
the kingdom would be
taken from them. When I see any of our people, men or women, opposing a
principle of this kind, I have years ago set them down as on the high road to
apostasy, and I do to-day; I consider them apostates, and not interested in this
Church and kingdom. It is so far, then, a
religious institution, that it affects my conscience and the consciences of all
good men—it is so far religious that it connects itself with time and with
eternity. What are the covenants we enter into, and why is it that Joseph Smith
said that unless this principle was entered into this
We ought to know the whys and the wherefores in relation to
these matters, and understand something about the principle enunciated. These
are simply words; we wish to know their signification.
Where is there in the world a people that make any
pretensions to have any claim upon their wives in eternity? Where is
there a priest in all Christendom that teaches anything of this kind? You cannot
find them. Marriage is solemnized until death do them part, and when death comes
to either party, then there is an end to the whole matter, and what comes after
death is in the dark to them. It was so with us up to
the time of the giving of that revelation; we had
no claim upon one wife
in eternity. They had obeyed the Gospel as we had; they had been baptized
in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins as we had; we had been
married to them according to the laws of the land, and were
living as other Gentiles were, but we had
no claim upon them in
eternity. It was necessary that one grand truth should be unlocked, which
is, that man and woman are destined to live together and have a claim upon each
other in eternity. The Priesthood being restored, the
key was turned in relation to this matter, and the privilege was placed not only
within the reach of the Elders of this Church, but within the reach of all who
should be considered worthy of it, to make covenants with their partners that
should be binding in the eternal worlds; that in this respect, as well as
in other respects, we might stand as a distinguished people, separate and apart
from the rest of the earth, depending upon God for our religion.”
Journal of Discourses
“Why do you not receive everybody into your homes?
Why do you not let everybody do as they please, etc. Why do you not allow
everybody to corrupt themselves if they wish to, and corrupt you if they please,
and introduce their corruptions among your people? The reason why we do not
these things is, because we have not a mind to. We think there is a great
distinction between the one and the other-- we think there is a great difference
between building up the Kingdom of God and
submitting to the power of the devil.” Journal
of Discourses 11: 57
: “I wish to give my views with regard to that doctrine and practice which are
so obnoxious to the outsiders—to those who
do not believe. It is an old saying that a continual dropping will wear a stone,
so a continual laboring will bring about the purposes of the Lord.
They say that polygamy is obnoxious to the world.
This is really not so; it is the name of it that they object to the most. In
connection with this let us look at the Christian world, and I will refer to the
ladies who compose a portion of this congregation. There are many ladies,
probably, here, who have lived long in the outside world, previous to coming to
Utah, and who are not entirely unacquainted with the usages of society there.
You know that it is customary to admit a certain class of gentlemen to private
parties and entertainments where they are greeted cordially and welcome. They
are esteemed as gentlemen of grace, education and polished manners; they are
adepts in all the little extras of most refined society. They are great lovers
of the fair sex, and their gallantry, fine appearance, and gentlemanly bearing
too readily win for them the deepest admiration of the fair ones who may chance
to cross their path. Yet it is not unknown, in the
circles they frequent, that they are vile and corrupt, with regard to chastity.
Yes, it is known that those beautiful gentlemen are libertines, that they do not
respect female virtue any more than they do their old clothes, which they
have worn and cast off. Yet, they are greeted with the most profound respect and
deference, their great crimes against female chastity are winked at, and they
are still permitted to frequent the best society to lead astray, and decoy from
the paths of virtue, the unsuspecting and unwary female.
Take another view of this subject. Let any one of
the poor unfortunates, whom those unprincipled scoundrels have, by their hellish
arts, seduced from the paths of virtue and honor, make her appearance in a
select party where the ladies are fanning the vanity of those wicked men with
their unmeaning and insincere adulations, and what would be the consequence?
Instead of making the poor creature welcome, she would be spurned from their
presence; unceremoniously cast out upon the cold world to be crushed down still
deeper into the dark depths of crime and degradation, with none to reach forth a
saving hand, or shed a tear of sympathy over the dreadful fate of the dishonored
and lost one.
This is one of the inconsistencies of the refined
society of the age. The defiler of the innocent is the one who should be branded
with infamy and cast out from respectable society, and shunned as a pest, or as
a contagious disease is shunned. The doors of respectable families should be
closed against him, and he should be frowned upon by all high-minded and
virtuous persons. Wealth, influence and position should not screen him from
their righteous indignation. His sin is one of the blackest in the calendar of
crime, and he should be cast down from the high pinnacle of respectability and
consideration, to find his place among the worst of felons.
Every virtuous woman desires a husband
to whom she can look for guidance and protection through this world. God has
placed this desire in woman's nature. It should be respected by the stronger
sex. Any man who takes advantage of this, and humbles a daughter of Eve to rob
her of her virtue, and cast her off dishonored and defiled, is her destroyer,
and is responsible to God for the deed. If the refined Christian society of the
nineteenth century will tolerate such a crime, God will not; but he will call
the perpetrator to an account. He will be damned; in
hell he will lift up his eyes, being in torment, until he has paid the uttermost
farthing, and made a full atonement for his sins. It is this very class of men,
though not all of them, who have set up such a
howl against the doctrine of polygamy, which is so much despised and
which was believed in and practiced by the ancients—by the very men who are held
up to us as patterns of all the piety that was ever exhibited through man upon
the face of the earth.”
Journal of Discourses
11: 267 – 268
And again John Taylor:
“Previous to this revelation, who in all the
world had any claim upon their wives in the eternal world, or what wife had a
claim upon her husband? Who ever taught them any such
principle? Nobody. Some of the novel writers have noticed it, but they
did not claim authority from heaven; they merely wrote their own opinions and
followed the promptings of their own instincts, which led them to hope that such
a thing might be the case; but there was no certainty about it. Our position was
just as Joseph said: if we could not receive the Gospel which is an everlasting
Gospel; if we could not receive the dictum of a
Priesthood that administers in time and eternity; if we could not receive a
principle that would save us in the eternal world, and our wives and children
with us, we were not fit to hold this kingdom,
and could not hold it, for it would be
taken from us and given to others.” Journal
Heber C. Kimball: “Brother Brigham is
not responsible for this
people any further than they will follow his counsel. When they observe his
counsel, doing just as he says in all things, then he is responsible.
The only way that you can make him responsible is by
observing his sayings in the most strict manner possible. Am I responsible for
the acts of my wife or wives? Only on condition that they are subject to my
You can readily understand that their
disobedience releases me from responsibility for their conduct.
When brother Brigham predicts that certain things will happen if the people
persist in a certain course, that prediction will be fulfilled,
except the people make a retraction and an
atonement sufficient to satisfy the demands of justice; for that is what God
requires. When that is done, the sins of the people will be remitted.
I speak of this, that you may understand that your
re-baptisms must be agreeable to the order laid down.
now in 2004 would you
like to be Re-baptized?)
is not simply a man's saying, "Having been commissioned by Jesus Christ, I
baptize you for the renewal of your covenant and remission of your sins," but
you must be subject to your brethren and fulfill the law of God.
Supposing you have sinned against your brethren,
or in some way offended them, will your sins be remitted, unless you go and make
the proper acknowledgments? No, they will not. You have got to pay the debt; and
sin cannot be remitted until you confess it and make satisfaction to the party
aggrieved. You may try another course as much as you please, but you will find
it to be just as I have told you.
If I have offended brother Brigham in any way
whatever—rebelled against him, lied about him, or sought to abuse him what is
the use of my going to the water to renew my covenant, until I have made
satisfaction to him? The proper way would be to go to him and say, "Brother
Brigham, I lied against you willfully, under the influence of an evil spirit;"
or, "I have ill-treated and wronged you, and know that
I must make satisfaction,
and I am ready to do anything that you say." Satisfaction must be made to the
one injured, or baptism will be of no benefit: the Holy
Ghost will not ratify that act until I have paid the debt. Then brother
Brigham would say, "I forgive you, and pray my Father, in the name of Jesus, to
forgive you also." Then our Father in heaven would forgive you, and the Son, and
the Holy Ghost would forgive you. And if you get pardon of those you have
injured, and of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, you are free and ready to begin
a new life.
You have heard brother Brigham say that if we sin against the Father, we must
confess our sins to him, and get pardon from him; and if we sin against the Son,
we must ask pardon of him, for he will not pardon you without you do ask him;
and if you sin against the Holy Ghost you cannot get
pardon, for that is a sin which cannot be forgiven.
You must do that
which is right, and get the forgiveness of the Father and the Son; then they and
the Holy Ghost will take up their abode with you. That is my faith, and that is
a part of "Mormonism," as I understand it.
Some quietly listen to those who speak against
the Lord's servants, against his anointed, against the
plurality of wives, and against almost every principle that God has revealed.
Such persons have half-a-dozen devils with them all the
time. You might as well deny "Mormonism," and turn away from it, as to oppose
the plurality of wives.
Let the Presidency of this Church, and the Twelve
Apostles, and all the authorities unite and say with one voice that they
will oppose that doctrine, and the whole of them would be damned.
What are you opposing it for? It is a principle that
God has revealed for the salvation of the human family. He revealed it to Joseph
the Prophet in this our dispensation; and that which he revealed he designs to
have carried out by his people.” Journal of Discourses
5: 202 – 204
Joseph F. Smith: “This is a free country;
the kingdom of God is a kingdom of
freedom; the Gospel of the Son of God is the Gospel of liberty. Men can worship
God, if they wish to, but, if not, they may go and worship stones, the sun,
moon, stars, or anything else that they wish. We will protect and respect every
man in his rights, so far as they do not interfere with the rights of others,
for every man must answer for his own deeds.
I sometimes hear the Latter-day Saints
instructed about the way they should treat strangers;
they are told to extend to all men due respect and kindness. You would not be a
Latter-day Saint if you did not; you would not manifest the Spirit of the Gospel
did you not show them due kindness, and respect;
but remember, at the
same time, that you do not compromise yourselves. In trying to be kind
and courteous to others, we sometimes place ourselves in their power, and as
sure as we do, bad men will take advantage of it.
(Some endowed people realize and
understand that “IF” they don’t keep all of their covenants, that
they will be within the devils power.)
How was the counsel given by the Savior to the Apostles, "Be ye, therefore, as
wise as serpents and as harmless as doves." But this generation is wiser than
the children of light—the Saints. Why? In one particular, because, when we
embrace the Gospel we feel well, so thankful to the Lord, so full of gratitude,
that we are thrown off our guard, suspect no evil, nor look for sin in any man,
and so invite them into our circles, and by and by they get the upper hand of
us; we begin to loose faith and to think that the devil
has not such an awkward cloven foot, that his horns and tail are not quite so
long, nor he quite so deformed, black and hideous
as we thought. We have been deceived; we thought
that the devil had long horns and tail, a cloven foot, and was black,
hideous, and grinning; but when we find him out he is a gentleman in black broad
cloth, with a smooth tongue, pleasant countenance, high forehead, and so on;
quite a good looking fellow. That is the kind of a person we find the devil to
be, and we will find him in more persons than one,
and that too
right in this city. (People here who break
their own Temple Covenants with God.)
I feel well and thankful to have the
privilege of being a Saint; and I hope, brethren and sisters,
that anything good that is said to us we will feel like carrying out in our
lives. It is our duty, and we should never fail to do so.
May God bless us and all Israel, and keep us in the
paths of truth.
Notwithstanding what I have said here to-day about the
vanity and foolishness amongst us, especially in
Great Salt Lake City, yet I believe, as
has been frequently said, that taking this people as a
whole they are the best on the earth.” Journal
Smith said: “When you climb up a ladder,
you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step,
until you arrive at the top; and so it is
with the principles of the Gospel—you must begin with the first, and go
on until you learn all the principles of
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,
How to Escape Judgments
Joseph tells us:
“And now what remains to be done,
under circumstances like these?
I will proceed to tell you what the
Lord requires of all people,
high and low, rich and poor, male and female, ministers and people, professors
of religion and non-professors, in order that they may enjoy the Holy Spirit of
God to a fullness, and
escape the judgments of God, which are
to burst upon the nations of the earth. Repent of all your sins, and
in water for the remission of them, in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and receive the ordinance of the laying on of the
hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power, that ye may receive the
Holy Spirit of God; and this is according to the Holy Scriptures, and the Book
of Mormon; and the only way that
man can enter into the celestial kingdom.” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,
kingdom of God there is
What constitutes the kingdom of God?
Where there is a prophet,
a priest, or a righteous
man unto whom
God gives His oracles,
there is the kingdom of God; and where the oracles of God are
there the kingdom of God
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 271
Polygamy Link 2