Tim Lahaye with David Minasain (researcher) write this on page 142 in the book, Jesus (David Cook, 2009).
Polygamy played a major role during the formation of the Mormon church in the United States in the mid-1800s. Early on, founder Joseph Smith had received a “divine revelation” from an “angelic being” commanding him to take additional wives, or so he claimed . . . which no doubt came as a shock to his then wife, Emma. Subsequent Mormon leaders, including Brigham Young and others, would enthusiastically follow suit in the ensuing days. Although claiming to be a Christian denomination of sorts, Mormonism actually parallels the Muslim religion far more closely—especially in terms of their view of males having sex with multiple female partners in the hereafter.
The fundamentalists, sure – but I don’t have many LDS friends who think they will have sex with 72 virgins (or 70 or 50) in the hereafter.
I say that about my friends, today.
Of course, I haven’t quite figured out what Joseph Smith was expecting.
Marzieh Amirizadeh answered,
It is God, and not you, who determines if I am worthy.
Recently, this was the cry of a beautiful, young Iranian women in prison to her captor.
Jesus says in John 16:23, “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing.”
So why did Joseph Smith not have answers to his questions?
Since Jesus’ prediction and its fulfillment, the fundamental answers to your questions have always been there. There should not be the assertion that a biblical Christian is groping in the dark. It is just not so.
Jesus said on his last night before his crucifixion,
I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father (John 16:28).
I agree with what Gary Burge says about this declaration by the Lord Jesus Christ:
This is the essence of the Christian faith, distilled in its most essential form.
Yet Joseph Smith rejected this incarnational paradox. He wanted in on the action by suggesting that he, too, literally came from the Father. He would tell you that this is one of the biggest things that those early disciples didn’t understand as they sat puzzled over Jesus’ farewell discourse – that they were not grasping that they all came from the Father and heaven’s abode just like Jesus. The vision of Joseph Smith was to empower every human to literally claim this path for themselves: (1) I preexisted with my Father, (2) I came from heaven to this earth, (3) I am leaving, and (4) I will return to my Father again. This is the distilled essence of Joseph Smith’s “Christianity” – that we all have a literal right to John 16:28.
But historic Christianity makes the fundamental assertion that no other human can literally claim what Jesus asserted in John 16:28. That truth has never needed a restoration. It is clear in every age. It has been a black and white theological proposition through the 2000 years of history for the saints of the Church of Jesus Christ who submit to what the Savior says exclusively about himself in John’s Gospel.
This is my assignment for the upcoming Northwest Baptist Missions Conference in Rigby, Idaho.
So what themes would you highlight in that amount of time?
1. The growth pockets internationally of the LDS Church?
2. Latest missionary approaches?
3. New studies on BoM as inspired scripture?
4. Joseph Smith Papers?
5. Latest theological speculations in bloggernacle?
6. Venues of American ecumenical dialogue?
7. Mormonism in popular culture, Glenn Beck, Stephenie Meyer, etc.? Latest Mormon flicks?
8. Rising vocal segments of gay LDS and cultural LDS in America?
Hmmm . . . I need some input.
My Presbyterian ministerial friend, Dennis E. Bills, shares with you some thoughts.