The reality of the polygamy debate is that there are far too few pieces to get an accurate picture. I can see why there are proponents of both sides, and believers in multiple narratives. The honest truth may be out of our grasp, at least until the restoration is complete. At some point the truth will be read from the housetops, until then we’ll have to grapple with the tattered remnants of a woefully dim coat of many colors.

This series is meant to be an investigation and exploration into the single verse that has shaped our history and beliefs. As I’ve read and studied the history and the theology, I’ve realized it all hinges on a single verse in the Book of Mormon. Incorrectly interpreting the hinge point will cause the door to swing in the wrong direction, opposite of what was intended by the Lord. Jacob 2:30 is the loophole, the reason Mormons allow for a future commandment to practice polygamy, plural marriage, celestial plural marriage or whatever you prefer to call the “sanctioned” version of having more than one wife.

There is no reason to take what I write or say as gospel, I’m just an old chunk of coal, a guy in your ward, a nobody with any credentials, calling, or commission. I understand if you think I’m a fool and reject everything I say. However you may find value in exploring the Book of Mormon in depth, especially these chapters and verses etched by Jacob. I believe the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth and it would serve us well to abide by its precepts.

Through my own study I’m going to show why I believe the practice of taking more than one wife leads to a curse on the land, a curse upon posterity, and why we must repent of the traditions of our fathers in order to see the promised Zion. I’ll show some alternative interpretations and how Jacob 2:30 isn’t about future polygamy at all.

Joseph Smith’s Polygamy has become a hot topic in the last few years among all the Mormons.1 As a lifelong multi-generational Mormon and direct descendant of several polygamists from the 19th century, including two of the earliest Nauvoo adherents, I have felt the urge to add my voice along with the small chorus of those who are defending Joseph.

I do this to honor my ancestors and as an act of repentance. While it may be easy to point the finger of scorn at them, I too am in need of sincere repentance. I recognize that I am flawed in many ways, I am “prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;”2

We can go in so many directions with this, but for this series of posts I want to try and stay focused on the Book of Mormon and the message that’s being communicated to us. I may write future follow up articles to further explore some of the concepts that this series touches on. Hopefully there will be enough for you to chew on and my hope is that all will search deeper in the scriptures and then go to God for more light and truth.

Before diving in it might be worthwhile to open your scriptures and read Jacob chapters 1-3 to refamiliarize yourself with the text we’ll be exploring. Please let me know the things I may have missed or overlooked, I’m sure there are many things I’ve missed and have not considered yet. Ask any questions you may have in the comments. I would be interested in learning official statements from other branches of Mormonism, if you have information to contribute, again share your insights below in the comments.

I wanted to shorten this, but I think it’s important to walk through some of these ideas to study, ponder, to weigh and consider. I don’t want to trifle with the souls of men, and none of us should weigh this matter lightly. It obviously challenges the traditional narrative, and if you draw new conclusions it can affect your entire world, and hopefully for good.

Is “raising up seed” tied to polygamy? Is “raising up seed” literal or spiritual? Or both? Can we discover spiritual meaning that may give us greater appreciation and understanding on the topic? Have we limited ourselves by only interpreting “raising up seed” as a literal child rearing endeavor? Did God “raise up seed” with Lehi and his posterity? Was it spiritual or physical, or was it both? How does it apply today?

This search for me started in 2005, but began more earnestly in 2015. I have returned off and on to writing, but there were always more questions than answers. I kept writing until my notes were nearly impossible to keep track of. This series is an attempt to share the stuff I think about and to document my own search for truth. I only write to persuade others to come unto Christ, and to ponder deeper over the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. As with all Mormon history and theology, you should check the sources and conduct your own search for the truth. My words, and words from anyone else for that matter, should be measured against the scriptures.

I hope you will receive this sincerely and understand that it’s written with a love for my people in mind. I love the Latter Day Saints, and I hope it reflects the spirit it’s intended to convey. Let us all press on and search deeper into the mysteries of God.3

Saunders Clark

Sections

This blog uses footnotes and I would recommend using them to get the full picture of each post, plus I’ve got some easter eggs. On a desktop you can mouse over the number and the reference will show on screen. If you tap or click on the number it will scroll down the page to the reference, tap or click on the return arrow and it will scroll back up to your place. I recommend reading on a desktop device to get the best experience.

 

Jacob 2 Deep Dive Part 1 – Common Interpretation

>>> Part 1.1 | Wresting the Scriptures
>>> Part 1.2 | One Interpretation, Officially
>>> Part 1.3 | The Root of the Interpretation
>>> Part 1.4 | Chapter and Verse

 

Jacob 2 Deep Dive Part 2 – Book of Mormon Context

>>> Part 2.1 | Context: Wickedness & Abominations
>>> Part 2.2 | Daughters of God
>>> Part 2.3 | The Thoughts of the Heart
>>> Part 2.4 | A Branch of Joseph April 1
>>> Part 2.5 | Raise up Seed April 2
>>> Part 2.6 | Who’s Voice? April 3

 

In Progress

2.7 Jacob’s Prophecy April 4
2.8 What’s in a Name? April 5

These will change, but it’s my rough outline for now.
Covenant Land – Curses & Blessings
Agency
Prosper in the Land
Otherwise
Things
Led Away (Destruction)
A Pattern of Kings
Lamanites
Levirate Law – Law of Moses

 

Jacob 2 Deep Dive Part 3 – Exploring Possible Meanings

List of 25 possible meanings. tbd

 

Jacob 2 Deep Dive Part 4 – Loose Ends

Stuff that is interesting, but doesn’t fit into the priority of understanding Jacob 2:30.
feasts. tbd
Enter into the Lord’s Rest
Pleasing Word of God
Hearken
Grievous to be borne

 

Jacob 2 Deep Dive Part 5 – Thoughts & Conclusion

tbd

 

Notes & Sources

  1. List of denominations in the Latter Day Saint movement
  2. “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Robert Robinson
  3. “I advise all to go on to perfection, and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Godliness” – TPJS p. 364