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ANON - Please explain why section 132 is still contained in LDS scriptures if it does not represent doctrine. And second, the assertion that LDS don't practice polygamy today because it is illegal contradicts the fact that it was illegal to practice plural marriage when Joseph Smith introduced the teaching, and was the reason why Utah was denied statehood until 1896.

JOEL - Whoever told you it does not represent doctrine were wrong. Section 132 most deffinately represents doctrine that was sanctioned by God, both in Old Testament times and during the early days of the restored Church. Scripture is scripture; why would we remove it just because we don't practice it right now. Should we remove the scriptures from the Bible that commands God's children to offer blood sacrifices, just because we don't do them any more? Or how about the one where a man must be stoned to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath? (Num 15: 32-36) Should we remove that scripture because we don't like it?

We still consider plural marriage to be a true doctrine, although one that at the moment we are commanded not to practice. During the early days of the Church there was a blury line, in regards to religious practices, between what should be legal and what should be illegal.
At the time the doctrine was announced to the membership of the church in 1852, Orson Pratt explained, "the constitution gives the privilege to all the inhabitants of this country, of the free exercise of their religious notions, and the freedom of their faith, and the practice of it."
In their opinion this included the practice of plural marriage, and an Illinois state law, prohibiting multiple marriages, was in their opinion in direct conflict with the Constitution. At the time there were no federal laws against it, until in 1862 when Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Bill, which was the first federal law against polygamy.
The saints believed that it was their constitutional right to practice this religious principle and were holding on to it in hopes that the laws would eventually allow it. However, it became evident that this was not going happen. Persecution from others and the government made it necessary for God to command the saints to discontinue the practice. In 1888 President Woodruff received a revelation and a vision from God showing him what would happen if they continued in plural marriage. He saw that the Church would lose all the temples; the First Presidency, Twelve Apostles, and all heads of families would be imprisoned; and that all personal property would be confiscated. This obviously would not help the church move forward and grow. This is when the Manifesto was presented to the church and the world, telling all members "to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land."(Official Declaration -1).

People in the present quite often make the mistake of passsing judgment on people of the past, based on the culture, attitudes, and laws of the present. We can't understand how things really were 170 years ago, without having experienced it ourselves.

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