Friday, April 9, 2010

D & C 132, conclusion

Section 132, concluded:
Which brings us to the question of why Section 132 would be given in the first place.  I don't think it is enough to say "Joseph asked the question" as the full reason for it being revealed.  Joseph could have received the revelation without the requirement to live it.  We could have an understanding that this was a correct principle, but that we had no obligation to comply with it (just as we do now).  However, we were at one time given it and, commanded to live it.  So the questions is "why?"   Here's my take:
We are witnessing the end of the times of the Gentiles.  There is a worldwide collapse of the Gentile populations.  (Gentiles being the white, European populations.)  Although we have scattered Israelite blood in us, the LDS Church was founded by those who are "identified with the Gentiles" (D&C 109: 60). But their (our) time has run its course.
The God of this land (North America) is Jesus Christ.  When people reject Him, they lose their claim on the land and are swept away.  (See 2 Ne. 1: 7-10.)
We have now, by the popular vote of the Gentiles who possess this land, chosen a leader who proclaimed on April 6th, 2009 (the Lord's birth date) that "we are no longer a Christian nation.
Birth rates among Gentiles have collapsed.  The European social democracies require a large working class to support the retiring older class.  The older retiring class did not have a birth rate that would supply the needed taxpayers, and therefore they are importing a younger working class throughout Europe.  The younger working class is drawn from third-world people who have much higher birth rates.  Those people are primarily Muslim.  As a result there are many European nations whose demographic picture leads to the inevitable change from Gentile/Christian nations to Muslim nations within the next twenty to fifty years.  The Danish peoples will be among the first.  France has a majority of their school-age children now who are Muslim.  All of them are threatened by a religion that rejects Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Redeemer of mankind.  They are, in a word, anti-Christ.
In the US the birth rate is is only a replacement rate.  But social programs require growth.  That population growth is the only way to amortize the governmental spending.  Increased government spending requires in turn a surge in population to support by taxation the necessary payments.  This is being accomplished by the deliberate failure to police the immigration of foreign populations.  It is a fiscal plan, not a demographic, social, religious or political plan.  The government will not be able to pay for itself if large working-class people aren't found and brought into the US.  Fortunately, most of those who are coming to the US are already Christian, and only a small fraction are Muslim.  However, the Gentiles who are identified with the white population are declining, and being displaced by those who are identified with Book of Mormon remnant populations (although perhaps not THE remnant destined to build Zion--that's a whole different subject).
The church's birth rate has also declined rapidly.  At present it is only a small fraction above the larger US rate.  There result is the same loss of Gentile momentum in the building of the church.  The Gentile population of the church is collapsing just as it is throughout the world.
What the revelation in Section 132 offered to the Gentiles was an opportunity, while the Gentile's day was still in full bloom, to create a much larger population from which to build Zion.  I've seen some estimates that, had we lived the principle of plural wives from when it was restored until today the resulting population of Latter-day Saints would have been in excess of 150 million.  The Latter-day Saint population would essentially have political control of the United States.  That didn't happen, and now the time of the Gentiles has passed.  We can't make up for lost time now.  Nor are we exhibiting any desire to do so, as our declining birthrates demonstrate.  Indeed, large families have vanished as a subject for General Conference.  The Brethren seem to have forgotten the message once preached to "not artificially limit the size of your families."  That message was spoken in General Conference as recently as President Kimball's time.  Their examples are also important and telling.  (Taking only the most recently called of the Twelve:  Elder Bednar has three children, President Uchtdorf two.  President Eyring has six.  Elder Anderson has four, Elder Christopherson has five children.  Now we don't always know the reasons why people have the number or children they do, so I do not read too much into this.  However, there was a time when the reason all did not have six or more children would get attention, and an explanation would be offered.  Now we don't even notice and it is simply not an issue.  We presume that larger families are optional and completely unrelated to living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.)
Well, as with all things in the Gospel, we are handed opportunities.  What we do with them is up to us.  However, these opportunities are gifts from the Lord.  We are now a tiny fragment of what we might have been at this point in history.  We are vulnerable as a people in a way that we could have avoided with living the principles in Section 132.  The results are going to play out in conformity with the rather pessimistic view of the Gentile's failed stewardship foretold by Nephi, Mormon, Moroni and modern revelation.
There's always a back up plan.  That plan will rely upon a "remnant" to take things over and return to what was once offered to the Gentiles.  And to the extent that a few Gentiles will follow the covenant, they are invited along and included as covenant people.  But by and large they will be left behind.
Now Section 132 was an opportunity, not a burden.  We never got enthusiastically behind the opportunity and the earlier posts explain why.  I think the reasons for the failure are perfectly understandable.  I think it was reasonable.  But it is a fact that we failed with the opportunity.  Worldwide we have a little less than 4 million active Latter-day Saints and an estimated total population of approximately 14 million.  Those results are not what might have been.  The Gentile Saints are vulnerable in a way they would have avoided had they taken the opportunity and done more with it.
But of course, that is true in a much larger sense, as well.  The promise of an "innumerable posterity" presumes that the one receiving the promise realizes that it is a great blessing, and not a curse or burden.
OK, those are my thoughts.  It's taken a bit to lay out.  And I probably should add that there are those who would disagree with much of what I have said.  However, I've given enough thought and study to the matter to have reached these conclusions, and I offer them to you for whatever you want to make of them.


  1. You reminded me of this youtube video:

  2. Thank you so much, Denver. What you have written and offered to us to understand is enormous. I'm in shock after having read the last post here with the realization that it brings about how we have failed. Everything you have said truly fits the scriptures and the picture. It makes me terribly sad, though. It's important for me to see this picture and let the realization sink in. I believe we need this realization in order to move forward doing with all seriousness what needs to be done in order to be numbered with the remnant that is going to pick up the ball we've dropped.

    I think about how we as a people believe that we have succeeded and are those carrying forth the glorious success of the final Dispensation that won't fail. The Dispensation won't fail, but we as the Gentiles with the Gospel for the most part have.

  3. I'll have to write something about the two different models of building Zion we see in the scriptures restored through Joseph Smith. We once had two different options. It rather looks like we've made the choice between them and are now left with only one. Part of the choice we've made has to do with Section 132 and our response to plural marriage relationships. Oh well, chin up! The covenant-keeping Gentiles are invited along for the ride still!

  4. "The results are going to play out in conformity with the rather pessimistic view of the Gentile's failed stewardship foretold by Nephi, Mormon, Moroni and modern revelation."

    I would also add Isaiah.... we'd have similar bleak conversations with Avraham Gileadi as we studied Isaiah... ... and yet hopeful knowing Zion will triumph.

  5. Thank you for the time spent with the section 132 posts. I think all who have read have learned a lot.

    You said those populations now increasing in the United States more resemble the remnants of the book of mormon population but are not THE remnants destined to build Zion. Who are those destined to build it then?

  6. That's a whole different subject. I'll probably address it at some point. It would take longer than this stuff on Section 132 to make it really clear. So I have to figure out what to say and what to leave out.

  7. The whole building Zion issue, and those destined to build it topic would best be served by writing a book about it (not leaving anything out.)

    Is there another book in you Denver? ;)

    Thanks for this insightful address on Section 132.
    It has opened up some new thoughts of study for me.

    -- Randy

  8. Time for me to review Micah.... 3 Nephi 20-21... Isaiah 50-52.

  9. "What the revelation in Section 132 offered to the Gentiles was an opportunity, while the Gentile's day was still in full bloom, to create a much larger population from which to build Zion. I've seen some estimates that, had we lived the principle of plural wives from when it was restored until today the resulting population of Latter-day Saints would have been in excess of 150 million. The Latter-day Saint population would essentially have political control of the United States."

    I have heard this before but I dont understand it. How can 10 women with 1 husband produce any more children than 10 women with 10 husbands?


  10. There have always been "excess" female members of the Church during childbearing years who lacked husbands. Men die in higher numbers from childbirth through adulthood. Go to any care center where the elderly are being assisted and you will find an imbalance there. It begins in childhood.

    The number of female Church members who lack active, faithful LDS husbands is a continuing problem in the Church. So great a problem that the Church has tried to figure out why in Japan it is reversed. There the male population of active LDS participants are higher in the great exception to the rule.

    This issue was so pronounced that a few years ago Sheri Dew was added to the Relief Society General Presidency in part to symbolize the fact that single, unmarried LDS women have a home in the Church and belong as members despite their marital status. Her presence was a great encouragement to many, many sisters.

    To use your example, if you have 10 women and only 2 active LDS men from which to choose, then 8 will either not marry, or marry outside the Church. If they marry outside the Church, the odds of their children remaining active LDS diminishes considerably. Over generations the attrition rate becomes predominate. Further, you don't always have 10 men for 10 women due to the disparity in mortality rates. Of course, mortality rates become irrelevant if one active LDS male can have more than one spouse.

    The declining LDS fertility rates are so significant at this point that we are barely above replacement numbers. The trend is toward reproducing (like the larger European populations) at a rate below replacement.

    Over time the LDS community will take on a whole different look; with the dominate face of the Church's population being Hispanic. That is the result of population trends and fertility rates.

  11. I wonder if this verse from Isaiah fits here?

    Isa. 4: 1
    1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

  12. That makes sense if there are and were (in the 19th century) a shortage of worthy active males, which I understand is true today.

    I understand the most common language in the church is spanish now. Do you think we will be hearing conference in spanish and have an english enterpreter any time soon?

    On the declining numbers of folks of european descent in the U.S. I would think the millions of abortions that have taken place since 1973 must also be a factor. Something I can not imagine God is pleased with.


  13. Jeremiah 31

    18 ¶ I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God.

    19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.

  14. There is also this from Jeremiah 31

    6 For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God.

    7 For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.

    8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.

    9 They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

  15. I don't know if you even go back to read comments from old posts, but here goes anyway...

    What I'm understanding about the 'point' of plural marriage always goes back to the fact(?) that there is forever a shortage of men. Whether from childhood accidents or disease, wars... or from the fact(?) that men are just less righteous as a gender.

    You state in one post that it was given as a test/sacrifice of faith, but then by the conclusion, you seem to be saying it was for the purpose of raising up seed, which even Joseph Smith failed to do by it, hence, our collective failure with the plan.

    I think what Tim above might have meant was that a married woman can have perhaps 15 children if no limiting takes place... and these 15 children will come with a monogamous husband just as well as if she were 'sharing' her husband with 40 other wives. But your interpretation is that it's a marriage vs. non-marriage issue.

    Maybe I'm just failing to see the "excess" females, having been in a few singles wards... there seems to be many good men not married... just as many as women. And just as many faithless or flat out "weirdo" women as there are faithless men. I guess I don't have access to the demographic numbers in the Church.

    Under a plural marriage scenario, does the man and woman becoming "one" take a back seat, then? Or is it like I heard it once described by a polygamist man, "I'm a different man with every one of my wives"?

  16. One thing is for certain.

    If you study polygamy & what really went on in most polygamous marriages in the 1800's you find that it appears most women were very unhappy about polygamy but often kept those feelings secret & were neglected & abused by their husbands.

    Thus the reason why Heavenly Father stopped the practice is he does not believe in raising up seed on the backs of depressed, neglected & abused wives & mothers. He knows that does not produce good strong children & families.

    Heavenly Father tries to teach wives to stand up to any neglect & abuse from their husbands & not go along with it, as most women unfortunately did back then did, & most still do today.


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