I just read an article entitled “Why Did the Church Abandon Polygamy?” and feel a reaction to the justifications given. The author’s, W. John Walsh, main argument was that the Lord will revoke a law or commandment if it isn’t essential to our salvation. And thus the practice of polygamy was abandoned by the Church, to get along with the State.
I have to take issue with this. Firstly, let me say, this might be a fair argument in and of itself – that we be subject to the Law of the Land so long as the conflicting commandment is not pertinent to our salvation – I’ll have to think on that. He does bring to light a very good reference to this in D&C 124:49-50:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings. And the iniquity and transgression of my holy laws and commandments I will visit upon the heads of those who hindered my work, unto the third and fourth generation, so long as they repent not, and hate me, saith the Lord God.”
While the Doctrine of Plural Marriage may not be pertinent to our Salvation, is it not pertinent to our Exaltation? Or is it like Brigham Young taught, that, even if we don’t/can’t practice it, if we have faith in the practice, we can still be exalted?
“If you desire with all your hearts to obtain the blessings which Abraham obtained, you will be polygamists at least in your faith, or you will come short of enjoying the salvation and the glory which Abraham has obtained.”
“A man may embrace the Law of Celestial Marriage in his heart and not take the second wife and be justified before the Lord.”
I liken this idea to those who cannot have children. Are they unacceptable to the Lord because they did not have any children in their mortal probation after he commanded them to multiply and replenish the earth? Or does he have compassion on them, knowing they tried to have children and knowing it was a desire of their heart? Undoubtedly he would not withhold his blessings in eternity from them for that.
I will have to study, think, and pray on the subject more to draw any conclusions.