Monday, June 6, 2016

Laboring in Sin (Jacob 2)

The Prophet (Nathan I think) rebuking Solomon
Just a few verses into Jacob 2 it becomes obvious that Jacob has some very serious things to say.  He goes on for about 11 verses preparing the listening Nephites with phrases like:

  • Magnify mine office with soberness (seriousness)
  • Rid my garments of your sins
  • Weighed down with anxiety for the welfare of your souls
  • Ye are beginning to labor in sin
  • Which sin is abominable unto me and unto God
  • Grieveth my soul and causeth me to shrink with shame
  • It burdeneth my soul to be constrained to admonish you
  • And so on... for 11 verses

I am imagining attending a big meeting where the Prophet of The Lord is going to speak.  I'm excited to see him, and look forward to the spiritual feast.  Then he launches into a rebuking, the likes of which have not been seen in these parts since the days of Noah... or something like that. 

I got 2 choices as I see it...
Listen up!!!

Or check out...
Ok, I'll stay, but I'm definitely scrunching down in my seat.  Hopefully, there's a tall guy with a big head in front of me.

So, what seems to be the issue, Jacob?

Whew!!!  Well, I guess I ain't got nuttin' to worry about.  I ain't rich.  I drive a '99 Jeep Cherokee with 208,000 miles on it.  Besides, I don't need gold or silver or precious ores to know that I'm better than others.  Oh... oops.

Oh, I get it.  It ain't the money grubbing that's so bad; it's the not putting Christ first and not helping others when you can that's not good.  Ok, I'll do better.  Anything else, Jacob?

Yeah, one more thing...

 You guessed it.... POLYGAMY

Well, it seems that some of the Nephites got to reading the Old Testament (Brass Plates), & started to get a few bad ideas when they read about ol' King Solomon and his dad, King David.  

You probably think I was exaggerating with the "700 wives" in the Lego meme above, but get a load of this from 1st Kings, chapter 11...

Could you imagine?  700 wives & princesses and 300 concubines?  Good gravy, man.  No wonder he's dead.  Anywayz, the Nephites were starting down a similar path, and I guess they thought it was OK since it's in the Bible & all.  Turns out polygamy is not OK, unless The Lord specifically commands it.  This is something I've always thought was interesting.  The Book of Mormon talks in detail about the sin of polygamy, and basically condemns it as a moral sin.  But, the early LDS Church practiced polygamy, didn't they?

This is Caroline Beard Tippets Barney, born 1826 in Virginia, died 1905 in Lake Shore, Utah (about 5 miles from where I sit).  She was married to a fellow named Benjamin Franklin Barney, who was my father's father's father's father's father, on my father's side.  Yup, my great, great, great grandpa.  Caroline was wife #1 of 3 women married to Benjamin.  She was quite a lady.  She reminds me of a line from the movie Last of the Mohicans:  "Who empowered these Colonials do as they please, and to come and go without so much as a by your leave?" -Duncan Heyward.  "They do not live their lives by your leave, they hack it out of the wilderness with their own two hands, burying their children along the way" -Cora Munro. 

The sad part of the story is that Benjamin left his #1 wife, leaving her to support herself and their children...

It was a long time ago, and I don't know the whole story.  I try not to judge.  Nowadays, lots of good and faithful LDS members have a hard time with the Church's historic practice of polygamy.  Personally speaking, I do believe that the Lord commanded it for a time (from about the 1840s to 1890) in order to grow and strengthen the early Church.  And it did strengthen the Church.  I was in a large meeting once where the question was asked, "Who in this meeting came from polygamist roots?"  The result was about 70-80% of them raised their hands, including me.

Could we get back to Jacob, please?

And verse 30 is really key to this chapter...

Well, that's the end of this post.  I don't really know of a groovy and/or profound way to end it.  I just want to say that, tho I do believe that The Lord commanded certain early LDS Church members to enter into polygamy, I have no problem with those who have a problem with that.  It is a weird thing.  I also know that when The Lord said "Stop" in 1890, He meant it.  Those weirdo groups who still do it today, and claim roots within the LDS Church, they ain't no friends of mine, and they are not associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"Euweeka... Gode at wast!!!!"

Peace be with you...