Criticism of Mormonism/Books/One Nation Under Gods/Use of sources/Polygamy absolutely essential to godhood

Polygamy absolute essential to godhood?

A FAIR Analysis of: One Nation Under Gods, a work by author: Richard Abanes

Author's Claims

One Nation under Gods, page 317 (hardback and paperback)

  • Did Wilford Woodruff receive a revelation that indicated that polygamy was “absolutely essential to godhood" and promise that anyone who hindered plural marriage would be "damned?"

Author's Sources

Endnote 20, page 588 (hardback); page 586 (paperback)

  • Wilford Woodruff, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 9 vols., ed., Scott G. Kenny (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1985), 7:546, 615-617, 621 (journal entry dated January 26, 1880). ISBN 0941214133.


The quoted material does not say what the author claims.

And I say again wo unto that Nation or House or people, who seek to hinder my People from obeying the Patriarchal Law of Abraham which leadeth to a Celestial Glory which has been revealed unto my Saints through the mouth of my servant Joseph for whosoever doeth these things shall be damned Saith the Lord of Hosts and shall be broaken up & washed away from under Heaven by the Judgments which I have sent forth and shall not return unto me void.

The revelation does say that those who try to keep the Saints from keeping the laws revealed by Joseph "shall be damned." It also says that the "Patriarchal Law of Abraham" "leadeth to a Celestial Glory"—that is, those who receive and keep this law as commanded by God will be exalted. It does not say that all people in all places must keep this law for exaltation. This is made clear by the written prayer which Woodruff was commanded to prepare and present before the Lord, which he includes immediately after the revelation:

And now our Enemies are not satisfied because we still live and prosper. Even Our Nation itself is taking a stand against thy Church and Kingdom and has passed laws forbidding us to obey the Law of the Celestial Patriarchal Order of marriage which thou hast Commanded us to obey. The blood of one of thy servants has been shed. Others have been imprisioned because they would not deny thy word.

Plural marriage was commanded, and the Saints must obey. But, this does not mean that plural marriage is "absolutely essential to godhood."

Such a claim would be strange, in any case, since the Book of Mormon clearly has righteous people who were explicitly not commanded to practice plural marriage.