Is the Texas Polygamy Cult Related to the Utah Mormon Church?

by Rocky Hulse

May 2008

The Texas polygamous cult, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS), has been in the news lately as the State of Texas Child Protective Services raided the Eldorado, Texas compound and took over 430 children into custody. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) headquartered in Salt Lake City has been working overtime to try and make the case that the FLDS have nothing to do with LDS. Is this true? Let’s look at the facts.

The Mormon Church (LDS) claims additional books of scripture other than the Bible. Many know of The Book of Mormon, but they also believe The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price to be scripture. The Doctrine and Covenants is purported to be a compilation of revelations given to Joseph Smith the Founding Prophet of Mormonism and is divided into “Sections,” vice chapters. In The Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132, we find the “revelation” concerning plural marriage, or polygamy:

1. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand  to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines—

2. Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter.

3. Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.

4. For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.

5. For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world.

6. And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fullness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God…

61. And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

62. And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.

63. But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and she shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfill the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.

64. And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.

65. Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife.

66. And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you, hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen.

It is pretty obvious that the wording of this “revelation,” supposedly given to Joseph Smith from God, is very forceful and specific. Mormon men and women must obey this “new and everlasting covenant” or they will be damned.

Mormons (LDS – Headquartered in Salt Lake City) today do not practice polygamy, or the “new and everlasting covenant” of plural wives. Why not? The 4th Mormon Prophet, Wilford Woodruff, issued what is titled “Official Declaration—1” on October 6, 1890, which rescinded the revelation of Joseph Smith recorded July 12, 1843. Let’s look at the “Declaration” which revoked the “Law of God”:

“To Whom It May Concern:

Press dispatches having been sent for political purposes, from Salt Lake City, which have been widely published, to the effect that the Utah Commission, in their recent report to the Secretary of the Interior, allege that plural marriages are still being solemnized and that forty or more such marriages have been contracted in Utah since last June or during the past year, also that in public discourses the leaders of the Church have taught, encouraged and urged the continuance of the practice of polygamy—

I, therefore, as President of the Church of Latter-day Saints, do hereby, in the most solemn manner, declare that these charges are false. We are not teaching polygamy or plural marriage, nor permitting any person to enter into its practice, and I deny that either forty or any other number of plural marriages have during that period been solemnized in our Temples or in any other place in the Territory.

One case has been reported, in which the parties allege that the marriage was performed in the Endowment House, in Salt Lake City, in the Spring of 1889, but I have not been able to learn who performed the ceremony; whatever was done in this matter was without my knowledge. In consequence of this alleged occurrence the Endowment House was, by my instructions, taken down without delay.

Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise.

There is nothing in my teachings to the Church or in those of my associates, during the time specified, which can be reasonably construed to inculcate or encourage polygamy; and when any Elder of the Church has used language which appeared to convey any such teaching, he has been promptly reproved. And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.

Wilford Woodruff
President of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints.”
(emphasis mine)

It is no wonder that there is a problem with Mormondom. All factions of Mormonism believe Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God.

So, when Joseph Smith delivered Section 132 of The Doctrine and Covenants, which clearly states that the “new and everlasting covenant” of polygamy or plural wives is God’s law and Mormons will abide His law or be “DAMNED,” was he a prophet of God or not?

Which holds more weight? The “revelation” Joseph said he received which begins “Verily, thus saith the Lord,” or the “Declaration” the 4th Mormon Prophet delivered to rescind polygamy which begins “To Whom It May Concern?” Let’s get real—If you believe Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and he says God spoke to him and delivered a revelation with the opening phrase of “Verily, thus saith the Lord,” and 47 years later another “prophet” says to stop practicing polygamy with a “To Whom It May Concern,” so the United States Government will not seize the property of the Church and begin to sell it off, which holds more weight?

It is no wonder there are so many polygamous colonies scattered around the U.S. and the world, all claiming Joseph Smith as their “Founding Prophet.”

Yes, it is true that “Declaration—1” was issued because of political expediency: “The Mormon Church was brought to its knees when the Edmunds-Tucker Act was passed in March of 1887 making polygamy a felony and disincorporating the Mormon Church. On May 19, 1890, a five to four decision by the Supreme Court upheld the government’s ability to sieze the property of the Mormon Church….Fourth Mormon Prophet Wilford Woodruff, was between a rock and a hard place. He could continue to allow the practice of polygamy and see the Government dismantle the Mormon Church, or discontinue the practice and abide by the laws of the land. He therefore issued what is called “Official Declaration – 1,” wherein he declares to the Mormon people that it is no longer required of them to practice polygamy.” (When Salt Lake City Calls, pg 35) 

Today in The Doctrine and Covenants, in total contradiction to each other, Section 132 and Official Declaration – 1, are bound in the same volume and Mormons consider them both to be scripture. The LDS (Salt Lake City, headquartered) Mormons can try and distance themselves all day long from the Fundamentalist Mormons, however, their foundations are the same; each claims Joseph Smith as their “Founding Prophet,” and each believe his revelations are from God Himself. It appears that the FLDS are truly following this false prophet!!