Sister Wives: Neither Nice Nor Biblical

Kody Brown, of the reality TV show “Sister Wives,” is a glutton for punishment. Most men have a hard enough time keeping one woman pleased. But estrogenic attacks, menopausal mercilessness, and wedding dress drama are multiplied by four for Brown.

How did this guy get 4 wives? The hair my friend.

The TLC hit show “Sister Wives”, about a polygamous family living in Utah, has become a cultural phenomenon. Along with four sister wives, the family boasts 16 total children.

The Browns are fundamentalist Mormons. Though the mainstream modern Mormon Church formally rejects the polygamous lifestyle, it is a matter of record that the founding patriarchs and early followers of the LDS church were polygamous. Joseph Smith and his followers exercised what they considered their biblical freedom.

That is what happens when wild personal revelations become the standard for interpreting the bible, and not careful thoughtful exegesis of the text.

Just because the Bible mentions a sin does not mean it permits it. The Bible is a very frank historical record of the total spectrum of human sinfulness. Adultery, homosexuality, greed, pride and a litany of sins are shown in Scripture through many living illustrations.

All of these stark realities are simply descriptive of life as it is, not prescriptive, or commanded, ways of living.

In the bible, polygamy is never shown in a positive light. In the very beginning, we see one man (Adam) and one woman (Eve) as the pre-eminent model for mankind (Genesis 2:18).

The first biblical character to be a polygamist, Lamech, was considered to be an evil man (Genesis 4:19-24). Polygamy was the beginning of the end of wise Solomon’s reign (1 Kings 11:4). The disaster of polygamy is illustrated by Lamech and Adah and Zillah in Genesis 4:19–24, Esau and Mahalath and other wives in Genesis 28:6–9, and Jacob and Leah and Rachel in Genesis 29:15–30. Even though some godly patriarchs took on polygamous lifestyles, never once was their decision considered good or godly.

In the New Testament, godly leadership must be men who are committed to only one woman in marriage (1 Timothy 3:2, 12).

Women of Scripture who are involved in polygamous marriages are frequently shown to be insecure, jealous, and untrusting in their relationships. This was the tragic case with Abram, Sarai and Hagaar, and also Jacob, Leah and Rachel (Genesis 29:15-30).

In the show, this seems to be the case with Meri, who was the first and is the only legally married wife to Kody Brown. Meri is honest about her misgivings and struggles with the “plural” lifestyle. Throughout the first season she is a tumultuous bundle of conflicting emotions. She takes the marriage of Kody to Robyn harder than any of the other wives, even though she was the driving force in setting the two up.

Even after living roughly twenty years within the plural marriage she signed up for, she is still wounded afresh by Kody’s insistence of adding to their family. She rightly feels insufficient, abandoned, and even cheated on. Far from loving her as Christ loved the church, Kody is treating her (probably unintentionally) emotionally as a passing afterthought.

The older wives joke they are glad that Kody finally got himself a younger “trophy wife” in Robyn. The nervous laughter betrays their angst. Robyn is younger, prettier and skinnier than the other wives. Instead of the man being ashamed of his mistress, polygamy brings her home and makes her a part of the family.

“Sister Wives” brings to light some incredibly provocative relational dynamics. And to the family’s credit, they handle most of it with a spirit of cordiality and sensitivity to one another. These are nice people who have chosen to put themselves into an untenable circumstance for the sake of religion.

As nice and as Christian as the family may seem, polygamy is neither nice to women nor is it biblically Christian.

I could make a compelling case for polygamy being cruel to men also. But, then again, some men, like Kody Brown, are just gluttons for punishment.

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

20 thoughts on “Sister Wives: Neither Nice Nor Biblical”

  1. Very interesting, and very well thought out. I am glad you didn’t try to claim that Abraham and Jacob were not married to all their wives as some have asserted.
    Just a few thoughts.

    You said “Women of Scripture who are involved in polygamous marriages are frequently shown to be insecure, jealous, and untrusting in their relationships.” You then give Abraham and Jacob as examples.
    First – Abraham: the marriage to Hagar was one of poor judgement on the part of Sarah, who is the one who suggested it. Hagar, who by right could never be the head wife, tried to claim such when she got pregnant. She was not trying to claim the love of Abraham, but the statis of Sarah. Neither Sarah nor Hagar were untrusting of Abraham, but became untrusting of each other because of Hagar’s actions.
    Second – Jacob: Yes there was insecurities on the part of Leah. However, she was a willing participant in the fraud that got her married to Jacob, knowing the entire time that he loved and wanted Rachel. Thus, through her own actions she caused her own troubles. Jacob, from what I read, was fair to all of his wives, and though he loved Rachel a little more than the rest (as they all knew from the beginning) he still loved the others.

    Yes, it is true that most of the accounts in the Bible concerning plural wives have similar problems. However, these are few stories compared to the number of such relationships that did exist, and most seem to be involved with extreme circumstances (Abraham and the promise of children; Jacob and the trick played on him by his Father-in-Law).

    Now, I do agree with you that the simple fact that an idea is in the Bible does not mean it is right, but it also does not mean it is wrong.

    You also said that “Even though some godly patriarchs took on polygamous lifestyles, never once was their decision considered good or godly.”
    I would just like to point out that not once was their decision condemned as evil or ungodly.

    Now, you mention Solomon, but give no reference. So, I assume you refer to 1 Kings 11: 4 “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.”
    However, if you read verse 1-8 you will see the common theme of “strange wives” and not the theme of “Plural Wives.” It was not the fact that he had many wives that caused his fall, but that he had many “strange” or foreign wives; women who worshiped other gods, and thus drew him away.

    The actual evidence of the Bible does not truly prove Plural Marriage to be of God, and I will gladly admit that. However, it does not prove that it isn’t either. The Bible is insifficient to prove this discussion either way, which is why new revelation is needed.

    1. Thank you for the great observations Shemat! It sounds like you have really grappled with some biblical texts!

      I would disagree with your last assertion. The Bible is beautifully clear and we do not need any other revelation than it (2 Tim. 3:16-17 calls it God breathed and sufficient for all godliness). I am assuming (forgive me) you would say recent extra biblical Mormon texts are needed to clarify the mystery other than ancient God breathed Scripture?

      The Bible is explicitly clear on the issue:

      Moses’ law said as a command, the king “shall he (not) multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold” Deut. 17:17 is clear

      What of the clear New Testament charge for church leaders to have one wife? 2 Tim 3:2-12 is clear

      What of Adam and Eve being the original marriage ideal? God created one man for one woman-Genesis chapter 1-2 is clear

      Maybe most importantly, is the eternal marriage between the Bridegroom and bride that is the focal point of all human marriages. Jesus is not coming back for brides, but one spotless bride, his church (Eph 5:26-30 is clear)

      It is not coincidental that the first ever partaker of the polygamous lifestyle was a murderer, Lamech, and was from the ungodly line of Cain (not Seth). I am not saying his murderous heart was directly correlated to polygamy, but that Lamech dishonored God in many ways: his hatred, murder, treatment of marriage, etc.

      Now polygamy is not the only character flaw in the OT examples, I certainly give you that. Mankind has a natural bent towards jealousy, greed, lust etc., Polygamy only works to exacerbate the reality of man’s heart (Jeremiah 17:9)

      Jesus Christ and his gospel is the cure for all of these scourges on our souls.

      Thank you for level headed comments and always feel free to respond!

  2. I am familiar with all the references you give, but I do not think you are interpreting them correctly.

    First, 2 Tim 3: 16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
    I agree with this passage, but no where do I see mention of the Bible. It says “ALL” scripture. It does not say the Bible contains all scripture, but that all was given for this reason. As such it proves nothing, for the Bible itself contains references to well over a dozen books that we do not have. These were written by inspiration and are scripture, just as much as the Bible is. The bible is only a portion of the scripture that God has given to man, and as a portion it does not necessarily contain all truth, nor does it make the claim to.

    Deut 17: 17 “Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.”
    The key word in this verse is Multiply, not wives. It is used both in reference to money as well as wives, and in verse 16 to horses. The term indicates a kind of tax placed on the people by the king. He is not to lay heavy takes on the people (greatly multiply silver and gold) nor is he to force marriage on any one (multiply wives).
    Thus, this verse is not against plural marriage, but the taking of unwilling wives, or more than a single man can handle.

    As to the “First” man to take plural wives, this is not what the Bible says. It does not say Lamech was the first to take two wives, nor does it really imply it. It says he had two, yes, but not that he was the first. This is stated in Gen. 4: 19, and the reason for this information being given is seen in verses 20-21 when it lists the descendants of the two women. The plural wives is in no way the focus of this story, only a coincidental note to it.

    1 Timothy 3: 2-12 is a clear charge (you said 2 Tim.). However, one must consider the society in which these men lived. They were not a political power, and thus they had to follow the laws of the Political Power (render unto Ceasar). In Rome the practice of Plural Marriage was illegal. While some provinces were given the right to practice such not all were. As such, when the church began to spread some members were under the law not to take plural wives, whiles others weren’t. So, to keep the church unified it was counsiled that no leader to that which is prohibited to any other member.
    No, this does not come from the Bible, but it is not contradicted by the Bible either. It does not give a reason for having only one wife in the Bible, it merely lists it among those things that are expected of the leadership.

    As I said, the Bible does not clearly teach either side of the argument. I can give many references from the Old Testiment that show that such was not only allowed, but in some cases expected of the men of Israel, but I am willing to admit that such are vague thoughts. I do not think the Bible is sufficient for this topic, and I don’t think the Bible ever claims to be so.

    1. Most of the New Testament books were written when Paul wrote this his latest Epistle: so he includes in the clause “All Scripture is God-inspired,” not only the Old Testament, in which alone Timothy was taught when a child (2Ti 3:15), but the New Testament books according as they were recognized in the churches which had men gifted with “discerning of spirits,” and so able to distinguish really inspired utterances, persons, etc., instead of men (Joseph Smith?) who would come with their own personal and authoritative revelations.

      Peter, an inspired writer and apostle of Jesus, corroborates that what Paul writes is Scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16)

      So I believe Paul certainly speaking about the OT and most of the NT which was already written and at that time. There may be some NT quotes from Scriptural passages we have little information on today, but an overwhelming majority comes from the OT, which is God breathed. We can’t let what we don’t have instruct us on what we do have.

      Paul was speaking about what they had in that day being final authoritative and God-breathed, not what may pop up from an independent, and uncorroborated, vision of one man 1800 years later.

      I don’t see how Paul could be twisted here into saying anything about future personal (and untested) revelations of one imaginative soul.

      If that’s the case, then I can tell you I had an incredibly real dream and in it an angel told me polygamy is wrong. My experience trumps Joseph Smith’s experience (I have a couple friends who may back me up on this). So you should just trust me.

      So, to answer my own question, you would say that Joseph Smith is only comprehensive God inspired authority on this issue, and not the Bible?

      1. You misunderstand.

        First, you say “Paul was speaking about what they had in that day being final authoritative and God-breathed”

        No where does Paul say it is the Final Authority. It is authoritative, yes, but he does not say it is final, thus he is not closing the book on new revelation. He is claiming all that has been reveal has been revealed through God, but he is not saying that God will no longer reveal things to man.

        This is where I think most people are in error as to the meaning of the Bible. They assume that it is final when no where does it actually claim to be so.
        Paul was indeed referencing the Old and New Testiment, but he was also referencing the many books that we do not have, as well as the several epistles written by him which we do not have.

        Now I agree that what we have cannot instruct us in what we do, but that does not mean it should be ignored. What it means is that we should except that what we have will not give us the whole story. We should except that the Bible as it stands is not complete as to this question, and simply leave it at that, waiting for the Lord to clarify the answer.

        As to Joseph Smith being the “only comprehensive God inspired authority on this issue, and not the Bible?” you are wrong. There is no single source that is comprehensive on the subject, and thus all sources must be combined to account for every detail ever revealed on the subject. Joseph Smith is not sufficient by himself, just as the Bible is not sufficient. All must be used together.

        1. Okay the bible is not sufficient and there is no single source of revelation (in your opinion). So who decides what the acceptable sources of revelation are?

          Not the early apostles or the early church I’m assuming. The only person(s) that can choose the acceptable sources are the “prophets” and “apostles” of a movement started by a treasure hunter? Is that what and who we must submit to in order to get the complete story?

          Let’s take the Bible, the covenants, the book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price etc as the whole story. What (or who) keeps you from adding the Koran (Muslims affirm alot of the OT) or a book by Oprah (she’s spiritual) to that list?

          What if I write a book about a prophetic vision I have? What if in addition to North America, I say Jesus visited Mars to win a lost alien people? Who or what will corroborate it as acceptable revelation?

          Not the early apostles or church who actually knew and saw Jesus I’m sure.

          Why are my ponderings crazy, yet Smith’s and others are inspired?

          The issue is not just polygamy. If Mormons believe the bible is incomplete or silent on polygamy (as you say, not me) then the founders of the early Mormon church should have kept silent on it. We shouldn’t hastily tread where the Holy Spirit has not given light.

          The early Mormon founders not only fabricated new revelation with polygamy, their new revelation has ventured into messing with the nature of Christ (half brother of the devil), nature of man (what God is man can become) and a litany of other heretical doctrines.

          I know there are non canonical writings that the Bible mentions. BUT the extrabiblical accounts the bible mentions complement and confirm the biblical gospel message (in both the NT and OT). The Mormon “gospels” do no such thing.

          Water and oil do not mix, so there is no way to cobble all of these “scriptures” and revelations together coherently.

          We should always compare Scripture with Scripture. The new revelation in many cases completely contradicts the old revelation, it does not complement it. That, among other reasons, is why I reject the Mormon churches doctrinal stance on polygamy.

  3. First: For any book to be accepted as part of the standard works, or the standard for all doctrine, no single man has the authority. It is given to the body of the church to decide.
    Going on LDS examples, the Word of Wisdom (D&C 89) was revealed in the 1830’s, but was not considered binding doctrine until the 1850’s when a sustaining vote was called among all member so the church to accept it as such.
    The prophet must offer the book first, but the people must accept it. Thus, the Quran is not standardized until the leaders endorse it and the people except it. The same goes for any book.

    Second: If you actually knew your history you would know that Joseph Smith tried to remain silent on the issue. You assume much about people.
    Besides this, just because the Bible does not give full information why should God deny this information to others? You are operating under the assumption that God no longer reveals truth and scripture to man, which is in no way a Biblical idea.
    Let us use your logic on other doctrines: The Old Testiment is silent on the idea of Baptism, so the early church should have remained silent as well. The book of Genesis is silent as to the operating of the Priesthood, so Moses should have also remained silent.
    The logic is the same, just applied to a different time period. What you are arguing is that if we don’t have it now we should ignore it. What would have happened if Moses had ignored the Priesthood because it was not in the current text, or if Christ and the Apostles ignored baptism because it was not in the Old Testiment?

    Now, I can already hear your thoughts protesting that Moses and the early apostles were men of God. Great. So was Joseph Smith, and you have no proof to the contrary. That is my point.

    Third: I have yet to read anything stated by Joseph Smith or any other President of the LDS church that in any way contradicts the Bible. In truth, I have seen greater harmony between their words and the Bible than in the words of any other religious leader in the past 1500 years.

    Fourth: You say “BUT the extrabiblical accounts the bible mentions complement and confirm the biblical gospel message.”
    I assume you mean they compliment and confirm your belief and interprettaion of the Bible. As such, please explain to me how the book the “Sayings of the Seers” (2 Chr. 33: 19) compliments the doctrine you believe in. Or what about the visions of Iddo (2 Chr. 9: 29); or the Book of Nathan the Prophet (same verse); or the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite (same verse); or the first Epistle that Paul wrote to the Corrinthians (1 Cor. 5: 9); or his epistle to the Church at Laodicea (Col. 4: 16); or possibly the prophesies of Enoch that were known to Jude (Jude 1: 14).

    When I talk about books of scripture that we do not have I am not talking about “extra-biblical” works written by philosophers and theologians, nor am I talking about the Apocrypha. I am talking about these books that the Bible itself references as works of scripture, written by prophets, recording visions and prophecies, which we do not have.
    I will admit that the Bible does not teach Plural Marriage in the same way the LDS do, but it does not contradict it either. I am also willing to except that some of these scriptural books that we do not have may contain greater insight into the idea. They may also offer insight in other doctrines that the Bible is insefficiant to settle.

    You can rail all you want against the LDS church and Joseph Smith. I don’t really care that much. However, it does sadden me to see that such railings are based in falty reasoning.

    1. I will let Joseph Smith speak for himself. Smith did not do a very good job “trying” to stay silent. I would only wish he stayed silent throughout his life rather than promulgate a false gospel and doctrine:

      “God used to be a man on another planet,” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321; Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons

      God the Father had a Father, (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 476;

      “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!!! . . . We have imagined that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see,” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345).

      “Hence, the doctrine of a plurality of Gods is as prominent in the Bible as any other doctrine. It is all over the face of the Bible . . . Paul says there are Gods many and Lords many . . . but to us there is but one God–that is pertaining to us; and he is in all and through all,” (History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 474).

      “In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 5).

      Again, Smith promulgated damnable heresies which flatly contradict true Scripture, many which would fall under the anathema of Galatians 1:8.

      I don’t know my history. That’s fine. But many archaeologists, historians, anthropologists do, and they outrightly reject the Mormon assertion of the Nephi civilization as one of the most unfounded historical claims in any religion. The problem is, early Mormon adherents didn’t know history or theology enough to combat Smith’s false doctrines or historical claims.

      They were duped, calling me ignorant does not change that.

      Just because the Bible quotes other works does not make them inspired or on the same level of Scripture. Many Godly men wrote down many things that aren’t in biblical Scripture and yet are profitable. But quoting one text does NOT make the entire work inerrant (as biblical Scripture is). Many of the works you mention have questionable doctrine in some passages, a lack of apostolic word or witness, etc.

      It’s the same with the OT, when Jesus or an NT author quotes the OT (300 times!) it is always quoted with authority as “God says” or “Scripture says.” Yet when NT authors quote another author they never intimate those sources as being the very words of God.

      Moses didn’t reveal the Priesthood, Melchizedek did (Hebrews 6:20). Even then the entire OT priesthood is a shadow of Christ, our only mediator and High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16). In fact all of Scripture, OT or NT, is to be a revelation of Jesus Christ and the eternal life He purchases for us (John 5:39).

      There is also baptism in the OT (read 1 Corinthians 10:1-6 and 1 Peter 3:20-22 for clarification). But again, these “types” are mere shadows that are pointing to Christ and His gospel as the substance and fullest revelation.

      If Mormon writings revealed Christ as He truly was and is, there would be little problem. But, just given the few quotes of Smith above, that is not the case.

      Peace brother, I don’t want to get personal with one another in this exchange! I’m learning more about Mormon interpretations and historical positions every post!

      1. Now your just being silly.

        You say: Many of the works you mention have questionable doctrine in some passages, a lack of apostolic word or witness, etc.
        Prove it. Show me how the first Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians has questionable doctrine, or lacks apostolic witness.
        It was written by an apostle, and we have no clue what doctrine it contains, so how can you claim it is questionable?
        The same can be said of every book I referenced. They were referenced in the Bible as visions and prophecies, or writtings of Prophets.

        You also totally ignore (or miss) my point on the argument of remaining silent on doctrine.
        You said that if the bible is silent Joseph Smith should have remained silent. Fine.
        Then if the Old Testiment was silent on Baptism why does the New Testiment teach it as a requirement.
        You use a double standard and evaluating scripture. You require one thing of us in modern times, but different things of the ancients.
        A simple question: If Joseph Smith should not have spoken on doctrine unknown at his time, why is Paul justified in speaking of doctrine not known in his?

        As to all the quotes from Joseph Smith, great. When I read the Bible I see the exact same thing that he taught, and I know people who are not Mormon who agree.
        He never once contradicted the Bible. What he did was to contradict the doctrine of current Christianity and how they interpreted the Bible.
        The Bible, as I read it, teaches very clearly a plurality of gods, and generations of gods, and the fact that the Father was once as we are (or, more specifically, as Christ was). These are all doctrine that I see clearly in the text of the Bible. Quote honestly, for every reference you can give to counter this, I can give an alternate interpretation in support, with both being just as possible from the words of the Bible.

        Now, I am not trying to claim we are more Biblical, as I do not think such can effectively be proven. Nor do I care if you declare our doctrine to be heresy, as I say the same thing about yours.
        However, the argument that your doctrine is more Biblical is a false argument. It would also be a false argument to say that our doctrine is more Biblical. Neither one is more so than the other, at least as far as either of us can prove. That is my point, and has been from the beginning.

        (A note on the wonderful science that “disproves” the Book of Mormon: a good 80% of what was considered false when it was first published has since been proven true. It is only a matter of time before the rest is. Always remember that a lack of evidence is not proof of falseness, but it is the primary argument used in these cases.”

        1. I’ll begin with your last assertion and work backwards:

          No one believes Mormonism’s historical claims except Mormon scholars.

          This information was NOT proven untrue by an objective non Mormon source:
          Information from the National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560

          Statement Regarding the Book of Mormon

          1. The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archaeologists see no direct connection between the archaeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.

          2. The physical type of the American Indian is basically Mongoloid, being most closely related to that of the peoples of eastern, central, and northeastern Asia. Archaeological evidence indicates that the ancestors of the present Indians came into the New World — probably over a land bridge known to have existed in the Bering Strait region during the last Ice Age — in a continuing series of small migrations beginning from about 25,000 to 30,000 years ago.

          3. Present evidence indicates that the first people to reach this continent from the East were the Norsemen who briefly visited the northeastern part of North America around A.D. 1000 and then settled in Greenland. There is nothing to show that they reached Mexico or Central America.

          4. One of the main lines of evidence supporting the scientific finding that contacts with Old World civilizations, if indeed they occurred at all, were of very little significance for the development of American Indian civilizations, is the fact that none of the principal Old World domesticated food plants or animals (except the dog) occurred in the New World in pre-Columbian times. American Indians had no wheat, barley, oats, millet, rice, cattle, pigs, chickens, horses, donkeys, camels before 1492. (Camels and horses were in the Americas, along with the bison, mammoth, and mastodon, but all these animals became extinct around 10,000 B.C. at the time the early big game (sic) hunters spread across the Americas.)

          5. Iron, steel, glass, and silk were not used in the New World before 1492 (except for occasional use of unsmelted meteoric iron). Native copper was worked used (sic) in various locations in pre-Columbian times, but true metallurgy was limited to southern Mexico and the Andean region, where its occurrence in late prehistoric times involved gold, silver, copper, and their alloys, but not iron.

          6. There is a possibility that the spread of cultural traits across the Pacific to Mesoamerica and the northwestern coast of South America began several hundred years before the Christian era. However, any such inter-hemispheric contacts appear to have been the results of accidental voyages originating in eastern and southern Asia. It is by means certain that even such contacts occurred; certainly there were no contacts with the ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, or other peoples of Western Asia and the Near East.

          7. No reputable Egyptologist or other specialist on Old World archaeology, and no expert on New World prehistory, has discovered or confirmed any relationship between archaeological remains in Mexico and archaeological remains in Egypt.

          8. Reports of findings of ancient Egyptian, Hebrew, and other Old World writings in the New World in pre-Columbian contexts have frequently appeared in newspapers, magazines, and sensational books. None of these claims has stood up to examination by reputable scholars. No inscriptions using Old World forms of writing have been shown to have occurred in any part of the Americas before 1492 except for a few Norse rune stones which have been found in Greenland.

        2. I’m not being silly, I’m being serious.

          Paul is justified, because he is actually an apostle, (Romans 1:1) and actually an inspired writer (2 Peter 3:15-16) according to an actual apostle (Peter). Smith is unjustified and was never approved by any apostolic witness.

          My point about the other non Canonical Scriptures, is that they were excluded for some reason by the early church and apostles. It’s not a man that makes a work inspired it is the Holy Spirit. Regardless of authorship, those particular works did not meet the requirements for fully inspired writings, according to 1 Peter 1:19-21

          I already dealt with baptism. The OT is not silent on it (you did not look up 1 Cor. 10:1-6 or 1 Peter 3:20-22 that alludes to the OT form of it). All of Scripture, the OT and NT, points back to Christ and his gospel, and the new life we have in him (Romans 5 gives us the purpose for baptism). Paul speaks about doctrine KNOWN in his time, Smith speaks about doctrine UNKNOWN.

          Joseph Smith and subsequent leaders contradict the Bible, not just “current” Christianity.

          And there are not “many” non Mormons who agree with Mormonism (why don’t they join the LDS church then?) This is not an argument for Mormonism. Come on, Shemat you know an overwhelmingly majority of history (Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, or unbeliever) sides with the traditional and orthodox view of the Bible. Even with those who do not directly subscribe to Christianity, the overwhelming majority are rejecting the basic tenets of Scripture: that the Bible speaks of One God, the deity of Christ, the exclusivity of gospel etc. I know no one who rejects Christianity because they believe the Bible plainly teaches polytheism (which Mormons believe).

          Here are just a few biblical verses that flatly contradict Mormonism’s version of the gospel. The Bible clearly teaches there are NO plurality of Gods or generations of Gods.

          Isaiah 43:10-11: “You are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.”

          Isaiah 44:6, 8: “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God…Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any”

          Psalm 90:2: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”

          Colossians 1:15-17: “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
          ALL THINGS were created by Christ, not just this world!

      2. You say: “My point about the other non Canonical Scriptures, is that they were excluded for some reason by the early church and apostles.”
        My point is that they were not excluded by the Early church, or at least we have no proof that they were. Many of these book were likely lost long before the Bible was ever assembled and people argued over which books to include.
        We have many books that were known and were not included, as you point out, but at least we have a record of these books that were not included. We have no record of the books I mention even being had at the time for consideration.
        In other words, show me the historical record that states that this Epistle of Paul was known and formally rejected. Show similar records of all the other books that are mentioned in the Bible itself. Don’t make the assumption that they were simply because we don’t have them.

        You also say: “I already dealt with baptism. The OT is not silent on it (you did not look up 1 Cor. 10:1-6 or 1 Peter 3:20-22 that alludes to the OT form of it).”
        You have not proven anything. What you have proven is that the NT is not silent on baptism in the Old Testiment times. Great. I never said it was. But please show a verse from the OT itself that deals with baptism.

        Going by your logic I can quote Joseph Smith as evidence of Polygamy in the Old Testiment and New Testiment. They may be silent, but he isn’t, so we will just take his word.

        You say: “Smith is unjustified and was never approved by any apostolic witness.”

        Now, I could say several things, and this is really a matter of belief and not fact. However, I would ask this. You say Paul is witnessed too by Peter, so who witnesses of Peter?
        Or, going a little farther back, who witnessed of Moses? Who witnessed that Christ was actually who he said he was?
        You claim that one must have a third party witness as to their authority, but the Bible is full of people who have not such witness but are still accepted as Prophets. Using the standard you apply to Joseph Smith we would need to reject half the men of the Bible. It is again that double standard.

        To conclude, I never once said there were many people who read it with the same thoughts, I simply said there were others.
        As to your lovely quotes, I know them all, and none of them require the meaning you give them. All of them can just as easily allow for the doctrine that Joseph Smith taught.
        Isaiah 43:10-11: This passage is speaking to the fact that Christ is the only one who can act as our saviour. He uses the capital God, indicating a title rather than a state of being. As such he is the God who is our saviour, but that does not mean that there are not more gods.

        Isaiah 44:6, 8: “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God”
        King of Israel and Lord of Hosts; this seems to clearly point to the existance of two beings, one subservient to the other, but both holding the title of God.

        Psalm 90:2: So, before this earth was created the Father was our God, and Christ was God. Wonderful. However, it does not say that they were always God, only that they were before creating this earth.

        Colossians 1:15-17: Again, it is speaking only of this earth. He created it and all things that are in it. What of things that are not in it? It does not deny this possibility.
        ALL THINGS were created by Christ, not just this world!

        1. Colossians 1:15-17 is not speaking of only this earth. It starts with the smaller, this earth, and works to the greater ALL THINGS. All things seen (this earth, universe, all things seen) and all things unseen, (heaven, angels, demons)

          Psalm 90:2 also starts with the earth, and then makes God’s reign all consuming (from everlasting to everlasting). He is the only God from all eternity not just this earth.

          Hebrews 9:10 mentions “various washings” that were an important part of the Old Testament system. But, interestingly enough, the Greek word for “washings” here is “baptismos”, which simply means “baptisms”, and is used elsewhere in the New Testament as well. In fact, Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible reflects this fact in English:

          . . . only in victuals, and drinks, and different baptisms, and fleshly ordinances — till the time of reformation imposed upon [them]. (Hebrews 9:10)

          These point back to passages like Leviticus 12, where it is commonly held by the Jews that many of these OT “purification ceremonies” were “baptisms.”
          The author of Hebrews is telling us that the Old Testament cleansing/purification ceremonies were called “baptisms”.

          No, you can’t use my logic to justify Smith. Peter, was an apostle physically affirmed and mandated by the Son of God Himself to have authority on such matters (Matthew 16!). Countless miracles and supernatural phenomena followed men like Paul and Peter in order to confirm their unique ministry was God approved at that time. Such authority is not given to anyone in these times.

          Where did Christ’s authority come from? Really? The very Father in heaven audibly affirmed His ministry to everyone in attendance and the very Spirit of God fell on Him like a dove when John baptized Him(Matthew 3). Christ worked countless miracles and resurrected from the dead to affirm this unique calling! If you don’t think Christ has unique authority and claims over men like Smith I have nothing else to say there.

          Moses was called and affirmed by God Himself at the burning bush and countless miracles in his lifetime affirmed his unique God given authority (Exodus 3).

          There is no man today that has the exact type of authority the early apostles exercised, because no man alive has seen and heard and been “personally” commissioned by Christ to be a unique apostle. No man today has exercised the same type of miraculous (I know of claims, but I see very little actual medical evidence) affirmation of their ministry.

          I’ll try to address your other points later, I got to get some work done. Later!

      3. I am sorry, but I forgot to erase that last sentence from my last post.
        However, all things that exist in this earth and this heaven were created by Christ, so I don’t feel the need to remove it too much, as there is still the possibility of other earths and other heavens.

  4. I am not trying to convince you that the LDS are right, nor am I trying to convince you that other Christians are wrong.
    My only argument is that neither side can truly prove themselves right. I cannot prove the LDS doctrine, nor can you prove yours.
    As I said before, I really don’t mind you declaring us to be in heresy, as I will say the same thing of you, just don’t try and claim proof when it is based on assumption and subjective interpretation.

    1. Shemat, that we are debating one another betrays the fact that we are trying to convince one another that our position is right. If you take a different view than Orthodox Christianity then you are indeed claiming it “wrong.” Why else would we be participating in this discussion?

      Smith and his leaders made some radical and sometimes outright offensive claims. It is natural that these would be challenged (even vociferously) by the mainstream church. If all Smith and subsequent leaders said, as you did, “My intepretation is based on assumption and subjective intepretation and so is theirs” then Mormonism would be no more than an aberration in history.

      They claimed much more to be absolutely true:

      Things like:

      “Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (Documentary History of the Church, Introduction, xl)”

      “I was answered that I must join none of them (Christian Churches), for they were all wrong…that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight” (Joseph Smith History 1:19).

      “The Christian world, so called, are heathens as to their knowledge of the salvation of God.” (Brigham Young, JD 8:171)

      “What! Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute best.” (John Taylor, JD 13:225)

      “Believers in the doctrines of modern Christendom will reap damnation to their souls (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.177)”

      Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the “whore of Babylon” whom the lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness.” (Pratt, The Seer, p.255)

      Let’s not pretend Mormons have not thrown out some lofty accusations towards the rest of Christendom. Why would they claim such things if they weren’t convinced of LDS doctrine, and convinced that what they believed it be objectively true?

      This is exercising a double standard for orthodox Christianity indeed.

      By your own leader’s words, the billions of Protestants and Catholics of the past two thousand years are some pretty vile things.

      We may stop here if you wish. I encourage you to comment on any future posts that pique your interest, Mormon-related or not. I have learned much.

      I’ll give you the last word if you want it.

      Peace!

      1. I never claimed the doctrine of the leaders, or the faith of the followers to be objective. In fact I said quite clearly that they were just as subjective as the rest of Christianity.

        The problem is that you think I am arguing in favor of the LDS doctrine on this thread when I am not, and that is what I am trying to clarify. My point is not that I am right, even though I do believe myself to be so. My point, the one that I was trying to make, is that I cannot prove myself right Objectively and you cannot prove yourself right objectively. As such to claim objective proof is a false claim for either of us to make.

        As to the other comments:
        Colossians 1: 16 “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible”
        This is not starting small and building. It is starting big (Heaven and Earth) and including all things that are within the larger subject. So, when he says visible and invisible he is talking of those things within Heaven and Earth, but does not include those things outside of that sphere.

        Psalms 90: 2 “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”
        Again, the only things included are those of this earth and this world. I can also give a different meaning for the term Everlasting to Everlasting, but it would take much to long for these posts.

        As to baptism, you still have not shown it. We do not read anywhere in the OT that Baptism was for the remission of sins, or that it was required by all men to be baptized. Yes, there were washing, and they may rightly be called baptisms, but the doctrine as taught in the NT is not taught in the OT. It is only asserted to have been taught by those in the NT.
        Or, let us put it this way: Reading only the Old Testament, can you show me where it teaches that baptism is for the remission of sins and is required? Do not give new Testament quotes as they are from a different time period. Use only the OT to show the doctrine of Baptism.

        Talking of Peter you say: affirmed and mandated by the Son of God Himself.
        Great. Prove it. That is all I am saying. It is no more possible to prove this objectively than to prove that Joseph Smith was similarly called.
        You also said: Countless miracles and supernatural phenomena followed men like Paul and Peter in order to confirm their unique ministry.
        Countless Miracles followed Joseph Smith as well, if you care to read history. Thus, if this is your proof, Joseph Smith has just as much support as they do.

        Speaking of Christ you say: The very Father in heaven audibly affirmed His ministry to everyone in attendance and the very Spirit of God fell on Him like a dove when John baptized Him(Matthew 3).
        Again, I ask for proof. Objective proof that this occurred. It cannot be given, and thus, from an objective view, it is no more credible than believing in Joseph Smith as a prophet.

        You also say: If you don’t think Christ has unique authority and claims over men like Smith I have nothing else to say there.
        When did I ever deny this? Christ is very unique, having authority and claims over all men, including the early apostles, as well as every prophet who ever lived. But again, you cannot prove it.

        Just a quick question on Moses: How do you know that he was called by God if all you have is his word? After all, if Joseph Smith could do so many miracles (as history testifies too) and still be a heretic deceived by the Devil, why could not Moses be accused of the same thing.

        You say: There is no man today that has the exact type of authority the early apostles exercised, because no man alive has seen and heard and been “personally” commissioned by Christ to be a unique apostle.
        Again, prove it. Your statements are nice, but you give not proof. How do you know no man has?

        You also say: I know of claims, but I see very little actual medical evidence.
        If it is medical evidence you require than how can you believe anything in the Bible as there is no evidence for it either.

        As I said before, I am not trying to prove you wrong in your beliefs, nor am I trying to prove me right. I am simply pointing out that if you actually consider the evidence you can’t prove it, which is why it is called Faith. If it was provable faith would not be needed.

  5. Pingback: The Moral Liberal

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