Saturday, June 8, 2019

Section 101 Resolution

The original Section 101 "On Marriage" was determined to be left out of the T&C. Going into the recent conference held at Grand Junction, a group of individuals expressed concern about the possibility of polygamy rearing its head again. They believed that adding Section 101 to the T&C by a vote would give the strong statement they felt was needed against polygamy. Because the possibility was raised in the week running up to the conference, there was not enough time for people to prepare for such a vote; there was also the concern that the scriptures project would be done soon after and no opportunity would be available to vote on the matter.

After discussions with the group, the most acceptable solution for all concerned was to add the section as a historical document to the Appendix in Volume 3. However...

There has been an unexpected amount of push-back over the inclusion of the section in the appendix. Numerous emails have laid out  some very good reasons why the section is not necessary in order to address the issue of polygamy:

  • The Answer to Prayer for Covenant & Jacob 2 are overtly more anti-polygamy than Section 101.
  • The Answer to Prayer for Covenant includes this: “ I commanded that there shall not any man have save it be one wife, and concubines he shall have none.”; whereas Section 101 is less straightforward, capable of being circumvented by careful wordsmithing. “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again." Polygamy per se is not condemned in Section 101. God’s will is not stated, only what “we believe”, whereas the Answer to Prayer for Covenant & Jacob 2 give God’s will on multiple wives.
  • Adding Section 101 to the T&C adds little doctrinally & includes some requirements for marriage that apparently don’t come from God:
    • To allow for all possible roles to act as the authority to marry, we would have to institute the office of Bishop within fellowships.
    • Private marriages would no longer be allowed; public ceremonies only.
    • Every fellowship would have to select a clerk for recording marriages.
    • Anyone marrying outside the movement would be considered "weak in the faith."
    • All children would be bound by law to obey their parents.
  • In T&C 157 the Lord tells us, "And now I will accept what you have produced and you need not labor further to recover my words, but to complete your labors as you have agreed." In T&C 177 He says, "The work that has been done is acceptable and sufficient for the
    labor now underway." 
    Removing D&C 132 and giving us a replacement in the Answer to Prayer for Covenant are more than enough to turn aside a true seeker from continuing polygamy.
The original concern was having a strong statement against polygamy. That is already found in our current scriptures. So there doesn't appear to be a need to include the original Section 101 in the Appendix or T&C. It was originally left out of the T&C because it was not a product of either Joseph or Hyrum. We will therefore leave it out.