I have been reading a book about the Mormon Church and polygamy entitled, Kingdom in the West: Doing the Works of Abraham. In this book it goes into detail about Joseph Smith’s attempts to get polygamy going in the church. I am so disgusted with Joseph Smith that I am having a difficult time understanding the necessity of beginning this practice. Every one of my ancestors in two generations were polygamists, and yet this behavior of Joseph Smith’s is simply outrageous and would make me leave the church if I were a new convert at the time the doctrine was announced. I simply can’t understand the need for the Lord to command the early Saints to take extra wives. The book I have been reading refutes every reason that I’ve heard for practicing polygamy.
By your letter you appear to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.. Thus, you have been baptized and given the gift of the Holy Ghost. One of the functions of this very special gift is to reveal to you the truths of eternity. By that gift you would have a testimony that Joseph Smith and all the presidents of the Church that followed him were and are prophets of God. These men are called to reveal God’s will to the members of the Church, and to the people of the world. If we live in such a way as to be receptive to the Holy Spirit, the truth of what the prophets say will be ingrained upon our hearts, and we will have gained for ourselves the absolute knowledge of the truths that they speak. Admittedly, the doctrine of polygamy was a very difficult doctrine to accept. But since it came as a revelation from the Lord, it was accepted by those who received from the Lord their own personal testimonies of its truthfulness.
Now in your case, you have read something in a book, written by some unknown author that seemingly refutes the word of God and His revelations to the prophets–not just Joseph Smith, but all the prophets, and you believe the sophistry and supposed logic of this uninspired source that you seem to revere more than the word of God. Your position is so old hat that is does not merit a defense of polygamy. That doctrine was a biblical doctrine practiced by holy men under the command of God as recorded in the Old Testament, and renewed by God in the restoration of all things in the dispensation of the fullness of times. It is the law of God. It is completely foreign to any concept of lust or avarice by those who were commanded by God to practice it. Because a hostile congress ruled polygamy to be unconstitutional, the Church ceased its practice in order to comply with another law of God to be subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law ( Articles of Faith 1:12).