02 August 2012

Joseph: Polygamy Divination

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, 2003, Excerpts

By the mid-1840s, when Nauvoo was in full flower, Joseph received 133 divine commandments that were weighty enough to be recorded for eternity in The Doctrine and Covenants; reflecting a significant evolution in Mormon theology.

Joseph had been considering polygamy, and its place in the cosmological order, at least since the church was founded, but he was reluctant to broach this delicate subject with his Saints, lest they recoil in shock. By the time the Mormons were established in Nauvoo, he thought they might finally be ready to “receive the principle,” and he seems to have published The Peace Maker as a trial balloon. Unfortunately, the feeler did not produce the desired response. The Peace Maker created an uproar, prompting Joseph to claim, disingenuously, that it had been published “without my knowledge.”

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