Sometime ago I was having an exchange with a high profile LDS apologist in the comments section of an apologetic blog-site. As I recall, he had written something on the topic of polygamy, justifying Section 132 and defending the concepts relating to the need for men to be sealed to multiple wives for eternity during times when God commands it, etc.
I was taking issue with him about the doctrinal legitimacy of Section 132 and the doctrine of celestial polygamy.
After a few exchanges back and forth, I took the time to provide what I thought was a very detailed, exhaustive, and compelling argument showing that the LAW spoken of in section 38, and ultimately given in section 42, represented the law of the Gospel and the law of Zion and it was never meant to be simply a temporary, lesser law of the Gospel which would eventually be replaced by a higher law of the gospel.
I pointed out that sections 37, 38 & 39 had warned the saints that the law that was eventually given in section 42 needed to be received and lived in order to protect the saints from the enemy in the secret chambers that was already potting the destruction of the newly restored church.
I pointed out numerous things including the fact that since section 42 was the law of the fulness of the gospel, and since the marital law of monogamy was an integral part of the law of the gospel, one could not accept the marital law of celestial polygamy set forth in section 132 without denying the celestial law of marital monogamy in section 42.
I pointed out that since God had declared the fulness of the gospel to be in the Book of Mormon prior to 1831, the law of celestial polygamy would have to have been clearly proclaimed in the Book of Mormon, yet the Book of Mormon condemns the practice of Biblical polygamy and NEVER even mentions the law of Celestial polygamy.
I also pointed out that since God declared that the fulness of the gospel had been restored to the gentile church shortly after the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood at the Morley Farm in June of 1831, the doctrine of celestial marriage in section 132 would have to have been publicly declared and set forth in a revelation that was accepted by the law of common consent and lived by the saints by the time that God had made that declaration in 1831.
I provided lots of information from history, ancient prophecy and from the revelations that Joseph Smith had brought forth documenting the rejection of the fulness of the gospel by 1834, showing a change in the trajectory of the church after the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham was secretly ushered in in 1836 and pointed out that if polygamy had been restored by God sometime after 1834, it would have had to have been a lesser law of the gospel, not a high law of the gospel. Indeed, it would have to have been a cursing upon the saints for having rejected the fulness of the gospel.
I showed from section 124 that God had warned the saints that anything more or less than what had been published in the Book of Mormon and the revelations that Joseph had received up to that time in 1841 “cometh of evil“.
After attempting to post my response I noticed that my blog comment was not showing up.
Sadly, I had neglected to save what I had taken a long timeto write.
In one sense I was not surprised because the apologists at that particular blog had blocked my comments before. On the other hand, I was a little bit surprised because my previous comments had been accepted and responded to and we had established an ongoing dialogue.
Sometime after my last attempt to post my comment, I noticed a personal email in my email box from the apologist that I had been having that exchange with.
What he told me in the email shocked the hell out of me.
He informed me that he appreciated the exchange that we had been having but that he had decided to block my last comment because the doctrinal, historical and prophecy related topics that I had brought into the discussion were “outside of his area of expertise” and therefore he was not qualified to respond to them.
Outside of his particular area of expertise?
First of all, why shouldn’t my response be posted and viewed by others regardless of whether he felt qualified to respond or not?
Secondly, and more importantly, how can he be an expert on just one doctrine without having an extensive knowledge of virtually every doctrinal, historical and prophetic issue that could possibly be related to the topic he was presenting himself to be an expert on?
I have thought quite a bit about his comment and how impossible it is for anyone to be an “expert” on any gospel or religious historical topic without having an extensive knowledge of many other doctrines and historical topics.
The thought that a lay person could have a desire to become an “expert” on the topic of polygamy by hyper-focusing onhistorical documentation regarding the modern day practice of polygamy without becoming knowledgeable in other related gospel topics, is preposterous.
It is true that a person that collects all of the historical data about who lived polygamy and how they lived polygamy can become proficient in that specific information. However such a person could NEVER be qualified to make a credible interpretation as to whether the doctrinal practice of celestial polygamy was of God.
The Lord has commanded us to search all of the scriptures to become approved of God.
We have been admonished to become approved of God through gospel study. Not just the selective study of one narrow historical issue.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. (2 Tim 2: 15-16)
Anyone who is not knowledgeable in the gospel, that has a predetermined bias about a gospel topic, that decides to invest a lot of money to have a controversial religious practice researched simply is not qualified to provide a credible interpretation on whether the practice was inspired of God or not. It is not possible to have a valuable opinion on such a topic without the context that is needed from understanding a lot of other issues.
Without spending years searching the whole word of God, such a person would have little other than vain babbling to offer those who seriously want to determine how such a practice inter-related to the true gospel of Jesus Christ and their personal salvation.
Although a wealthy person can spend his resources to have a researcher document every known historical fact about how polygamy was lived in the church, that does not qualify them to be able to interpret the true spiritual implications behind the documentation that is collected, much less understand the truthfulness behind the doctrine and why various people chose to accept the practice as being a valid part of the fulness of the gospel.
It is disconcerting but par for the course that the institutional church embraces and promotes incompetent individuals as “experts” on various topics of doctrine.