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May. 18th, 2007 at 2:00 pm
I have often heard the argument that although the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints renounced polygamy in 1890, it still clings to the doctrine because it retains the concept of “Families Can Be Together Forever” and the concept of sealing families in the temples. The twin notions of temple sealing and “Celestial Marriage” as contained in Doctrine & Covenants 132, it is said, establish that Latter-day Saints believe that polygamy will be practiced in heaven even if the Church has rescinded the practice on earth.
Conversely, it is very likely that many or most Latter-day Saints agree that it is difficult to imagine anything more awful than polygamy and are greatly relieved that the Church no longer expects such a high price of membership.
In some recent argument in comments to a Salt Lake Tribune Public Forum Letter titled “LDS Polygamy”, this issue has flared up. One commenter calling himself Joe Blow made a very good point in the debate, as follows:
This comment poses a very interesting question — why does anyone who does not belong to the Church care at all about the Mormon afterlife? Even if it is true that Latter-day Saints believe that there could be polygamy in the afterlife, why is it not sufficient to observe that the Church has discontinued the practice on earth? I don’t share a belief in the Hindu afterlife or the atheist belief in what will happen after death, but would never treat such beliefs as a disqualification for a public office or as a reason to think that a Hindu or atheist could not be a good neighbor.