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46: “When We Obtain Any Blessing from God, It Is by Obedience” (Doctrine and Covenants 129–132)

Fri Nov 05 17:49:30 EDT 2021
Episode 46

Albert Einstein once said "the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” Excluding our years as know-it-all teenagers, many of us can pinpoint a time when we’ve felt this way. Perhaps that time for you was when you began learning more about plural marriage and how it relates to the Restoration. You’re not alone. As we study Doctrine and Covenants 129–132 this week, we invited two Church historians to help us understand why plural marriage was practiced and what it has to do with the Restoration.

Segment 1

Title for Section 123:

“Three Grand Keys by Which Messengers May Be Known”


“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.” —Albert Einstein


Doctrine and Covenants 129:1–3; 4­–5; 7–8

Segment 2:


“In late 1838 and early 1839, some of the Latter-day Saints who had been driven from Missouri began to settle about twenty miles east of Nauvoo in the Crooked River area of Hancock County, Illinois. In January 1839, a branch of the Church was organized there. It was called Ramus because ramus is the Latin word for "branch." By July 1840, the branch at Ramus had become a stake. The town of Ramus was officially founded the following September, being laid out on the same city plan as Nauvoo.

“On Saturday, 1 April 1843, Joseph Smith traveled to Ramus, accompanied by Orson Hyde and William Clayton. Brother Clayton acted as Joseph's scribe on this trip and recorded the Prophet's remarks in his personal diary. The Prophet's party stayed the night at the home of Benjamin F. Johnson. The next morning Orson Hyde preached to the Saints, using as his texts 1 John 3:2 and John 14:23. Joseph later wrote that after the morning meeting, “we dined with my sister Sophronia McCleary, when I told Elder Hyde that I was going to offer some corrections to his sermon this morning. He replied, 'They shall be thankfully received.'”1 Joseph then preached to the Saints at Ramus in the afternoon and evening meetings. He included among his afternoon remarks what is now Doctrine and Covenants 130:1–7, and he included Doctrine and Covenants 130:18–23 during his evening remarks. These selected remarks of the Prophet Joseph, as recorded by William Clayton and later copied by Willard Richards, were first published in the Deseret News on 9 July 1856. They were added to the Doctrine and Covenants as section 130 in the 1876 edition at the direction of President Brigham Young2” (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 4, "Doctrine and Covenants 130," Deseret Book).


Doctrine and Covenants 130: 1–3; 7–11; 22–23;


Urim and Thummim = Lights and perfections

Segment 3

Section 130 Title:

The Godhead; Conditions in Heaven”


Doctrine and Covenants 130: 18–19

Note: Tammy’s book will be available March 2022. But in the meantime, here’s a little sneak peek of some the things Tammy will be addressing in her book about the proverb of a virtuous woman.

Video: “Tammy Uzelac Hall’s 5-Minute Fireside: Revisiting the Idea of a Virtuous Woman”


“If we ponder just what it is that will rise with us in the resurrection, it seems clear that our intelligence will rise with us, meaning not simply our IQ, but also our capacity to receive and apply truth. Our talents, attributes, and skills will rise with us; certainly also our capacity to learn, our degree of self-discipline, and our capacity to work” (Neal A. Maxwell, We Will Prove Them Herewith, Deseret Book [1982], p 12.).

Segment 4

Section 131 Title:

“3 Heavens in Celestial Glory; More Sure Word of Prophecy”


“Six weeks after receiving Doctrine and Covenants 130 at Ramus, Illinois, Joseph Smith returned to that town on 16 May 1843. After visiting with others at the home of William Perkins, he stayed the night at the home of Benjamin F. Johnson, along with William Clayton, who was acting as Joseph's scribe. The text of Doctrine and Covenants 131, like that of Doctrine and Covenants 130, was originally recorded in the personal diary of William Clayton, of which the present text represents selections.1 Verses 1–4 were delivered to Benjamin and Melissa Johnson as they sat with the Prophet and William Clayton before retiring on Tuesday, 16 May 1843.2

“On the following morning, 17 May 1843, Joseph Smith preached in Ramus on the first chapter of 2 Peter. Verses 5–6 of Doctrine and Covenants 131 are excerpted from Clayton's account of that sermon. In the evening of the same day, Joseph attended a sermon by Samuel Prior, a Methodist minister who had been invited to preach in Ramus. At the close of Reverend Prior's sermon, ‘Elder Smith, who had attended, arose and begged leave to differ from me in some few points of doctrine, and this he did mildly, politely, and affectingly; like one who was more desirous to disseminate truth and expose error, than to love the malicious triumph of debate over me. I was truly edified by his remarks, and felt less prejudiced against the Mormons than ever.’3 The text of Doctrine and Covenants 131:7–8 was excerpted from the remarks Joseph made in responding to Mr. Prior” (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 4, "Doctrine and Covenants 131," Deseret Book).


Doctrine and Covenants 131:1–4

Everlasting Covenant:

“Many principles and ordinances of the Restoration other than marriage are also referred to as ‘everlasting covenants’ or even ‘new and everlasting covenants,’ including baptism itself (D&C 22:1). In fact, the portion of this verse contained in brackets was added later by Orson Hyde with the approval of Brigham Young to clarify that marriage was the covenant referred to here. In its original form from the Clayton Diary, Doctrine and Covenants 131 did not mention the word marriage at all. Note that the intent of President Young and Elder Pratt in adding the bracketed words was to clarify that the subject of the covenant was marriage generally and not plural marriage specifically” (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 4, "Doctrine and Covenants 131," Deseret Book).

Segment 5

Section 132 Title:

“Eternal/Celestial Marriage”


Doctrine and Covenants 132: 1–3; 4–6; 22; 24; 26



Presentism: “An attitude toward the past dominated by present-day attitudes and experiences” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

Historiography: “The principles, theory, and history of historical writing” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

Picture: Strait of Magellan

strait of megellan.jpg

Photo: Wikimedia Commons


“Our choice is not to focus on the narrow, but to narrow our focus.” —Father Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

Segment 6


Doctrine and Covenants 128:18


“We obeyed the best we knew how, and no doubt, made many crooked paths in our ignorance” (Amasa Lyman, “Marriage: Its Benefits,” Apr. 5, 1866, JD, 11:207).

“There will be shiftings in time and revisions in eternity and all be made right in the end” (Henry B. Jacobs letter to Zina D. Jacobs, Brooklyn, New York, to Camp of Isreael, Grand Isleand [sic], Aug. 19, 1846, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; spelling modernized).

Tammy 0:00

"The more I learn, the less I know." Albert Einstein said that. When I first heard that quote, I thought, that seems dumb. Because you know, as a teenager, I was brilliant. And even in college, I thought, well, the more I learned, the more I knew. Well, now I'm a grown-up, and I totally get it because the more I learn, I realize how little I know. And the older I get, I realize just how little time I have left to learn at all. Today's study of Doctrine and Covenants section 129-132 has left many of us if not all, scratching our heads. But don't worry. We have two brilliant educators who have paid the price to know what they know about our topics today and who would probably agree with Albert Einstein's statement.

Welcome to the Sunday on Monday study group at Deseret Bookshelf Plus Original, brought to you by LDS Living, where we take the Come Follow Me lesson for the week and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. If you're new to our study group, I just want to make sure you know how to use this podcast, so follow the link in our description. It's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance our Come Follow Me study just like my friends, Carol Call Reid and her husband Andrew, who, by the way, is a charter pilot and I found out he listens each week when he's on rotation and sitting in his hotel room. Hi, friends. And Andrew, go ahead and treat yourself to something nice and room service while you listen to this episode.

Now another really fun thing about our study group, I get to invite two friends. And I just could not think of two better people to have on today's episode for our topic at hand. And so we've got Jenny Reeder, she's an Original, we all know Jenny and love her. Oh, Hi, Jenny. And then we have Brittany Chapman Nash. Ah, this is so exciting. Okay, so we all know each other. But how did you two first meet?

Brittany Chapman Nash 1:39

I can't remember. Honestly, I really think it's just an eternal thing. I moved to Utah in 2008. And really started digging into studying Latter-day Saint history about that time. So I think around then,

Jenny Reeder 1:55

I know I did a summer of work at the Church History Library, but I think it was before that. But I knew exactly where Brittany's office was. And I knew I could see if the light was on from way down the hall and see if I could come talk to her or I would go find her at the reference desk or wherever I needed her because she could answer a lot of my questions.

Brittany Chapman Nash 2:19

Jenny's office is always a little haven with a beautiful quilt she had hanging on the wall. And all of her books and things she loved around her.

Jenny Reeder 2:27

You know what's in there, now Brittany?

Brittany Chapman Nash 2:29


Jenny Reeder 2:30

Jana made an Eliza R. Snow dress. And so it's on a bust in my office, and it's just in the corner there. But at first, every time I walked into my office and turned on the lights, it freaked me out. (laughter)

Tammy 2:47

Who's in my office? Oh, it's my

Brittany Chapman Nash 2:49

That's funny.

Tammy 2:51

What I want our listeners to know is that both of you are church historians. And you've paid the price to know what you know, you're both accomplished authors. And so for those of you listening, if you want to know more about my guests and read their works, you can find their bios and their pictures at LDS So I have to ask you, Do you guys agree with Einstein's quote?

Jenny Reeder 3:12


Brittany Chapman Nash 3:12

Yes. When you said that, it took me straight back to graduate school. I graduated in humanities. I thought, yeah, I have a pretty good knowledge of things. I thought, yeah, I've a good handle on the humanities. And then I went to, I studied Victorian studies and I very quickly realized I knew nothing.

Jenny Reeder 3:39

That's so funny because I had like, in fact, this is why I know we're eternal. I was a humanities undergrad.

Brittany Chapman Nash 3:45

Oh, awesome.

Jenny Reeder 3:47

And I too, like I had a real good grasp of all the humanities. Just such a broad term. And then, when I started my master's program in history, I was like, Oh, wow, okay.

Brittany Chapman Nash 4:04

Yeah, there's a lot out there.

Tammy 4:07

Well I felt like this whole episode today, every section we're covering is filled with, 'the more we learn, the less we know'. Because we're gonna learn stuff and be like, wait, what? And then it just, is gonna send your mind reeling; there are so many topics. So grab your scriptures. Let's dig in to the very first thing that you're like, what? So here we go.

So Doctrine and Covenants section 129 is a revelation, and it's titled "Three Grand Keys by Which Messengers May Be Known. And so we're going to learn about the different kinds of messengers there are and how you can discern between them. This is crazy. So here's my question: Do we believe in angels as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Brittany Chapman Nash 4:48


Jenny Reeder 4:49


Tammy 4:49

Yes, we totally do. And section 129 teaches us about this. So let's do this. I want you to look at verses 1 and 3. Here's what we have, verses 1-3. These verses are going to teach us about two different types of angels, and how they differ from maybe the show on Touched by an Angel.

Jenny Reeder 5:09

I would have to say wings.

Tammy 5:12

Very good. The angels don't necessarily have wings. But I do love in Scripture that when it describes the angels with wings, it's symbolic. It shows their power to move and act and do as God is asking them to do. So if you do see wings attached to angels, that's why, but yeah, we don't believe they actually have wings. Very good.

Jenny Reeder 5:27

But I love that as a humanities undergraduate. I love the paintings with the wings.

Tammy 5:34

Yeah. Now let's look at verse 1, because it describes the first type of angel as a resurrected personage having a body of flesh and bones. Okay, so tell me what else in verses 1-3 does it tell us? What is the other type of being in heaven?

Jenny Reeder 5:48

The spirits of just men made perfect. They who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory?

Tammy 5:55

Yeah. Like there's two specific kinds of angels. I thought this is interesting in verse 1. There's two kinds of beings in heaven. Number 1 it says, "angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones, and then Brittany, you read the second kind: spirits of just men made perfect, who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory. So we have these two kinds of beings. Now, let's be clear, these are not the only kind of beings in heaven; that's important for us to know.

Section 129 is telling us, okay, if a messenger comes into your bedroom, here's how you can know if the messenger's from God or from Satan, at which point as a kid, I'm like, there's a difference? I don't even, what are we talking about here? Like it's blowing my mind. And so in verses 4 and 5, it says, Okay, here's what you need to know. If he's a messenger from God ask to shake his hand. If he's a resurrected being, you're going to feel his body. But if he's just a spirit of just men, not resurrected, and you ask to shake his hand, he won't shake it. Because there is no body, no hand for him to shake. But then this next verse blew my mind. So Jenny, I'm gonna have you read verses 7 and 8.

Jenny Reeder 6:56

7 "Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message.

8 "If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him.

Tammy 7:19

Okay, I just have to know, Is anyone else like me? And after you learn this, you thought for sure it was going to happen to you in your bedroom? And you were ready? Because yeah, it never happened. And so I just want to know, ladies like, Why do you think this is in here?

Brittany Chapman Nash 7:30

The early Saints were having a surprising amount of spiritual experiences like this. We read about Joseph Smith and all of the different visitations he had and early members of the church also record having different visitations from people. So these are probably sincere questions. How do I tell if this is a messenger from God or if I'm being deceived?

Tammy 7:56

Excellent. I totally agree.

Jenny Reeder 7:59

I love this idea of discernment. Joseph uses the term 'keys' quite a bit. The one that I'm most familiar with is when he tells the Relief Society women in Nauvoo - this would have been a year earlier - "I now turn the key to you." So I think in this sense keys, meaning sort of like a code, a key code, here's how you discern whether this is good or evil.

Tammy 8:27

Ah, Jenny, that is such great insight. I love how you just taught us about keys in relation to this, so, perfect, thank you. That was really good. The title for Section 129 is "Three Grand Keys by Which Messengers May Be Known", so you can go and write that at the top. Now, we've said earlier that there are more types of beings. So we have examples of like, what about the three Nephites? What about Enoch? What about John the Beloved? And so in the next segment, we're going to learn about a few more things about the beings in heaven and how they interact each other.

Segment 2 8:56


Tammy 9:05

Let's go to Doctrine and Covenants section 130. Here's what we need to know: section 130 is a two-part sermon; it was delivered by Joseph Smith. Now Joseph, William Clayton, and Orson Hyde, they took a 20 mile trip east of Nauvoo to visit the saints who had formed a branch in a town that they named Ramus, Illinois, which is interesting, because ramus is a Latin word, which means branch, so they kind of just started their own branch. Isn't that fun?

Jenny Reeder 9:29

I didn't know that. That's cool.

Tammy 9:31

I like that. But then within a year, it became organized and then it turned into a stake, that's how many members are living there. So Orson delivers his very first public address that morning, and then they had lunch at Joseph's sister's house, at Sephronia's house. And during lunch, Joseph tells Elder Hyde that he was going to "offer some corrections to his sermon from this morning." And I read that I'm like, oh, like, have you ever, have either of you been corrected? Or maybe you had to correct someone?

Jenny Reeder 10:00

I mean, I'm thinking of like writing and speaking, but mostly writing and like how I learned in graduate school. And also working for the church in publications is just learning how to be grateful for corrections, especially if they would have been wrong and embarrass you or whatever. So I see the corrections just as, Oh, gosh, thank you so much for telling me that; now I can say it better.

Brittany Chapman Nash 10:29

Yeah, that's totally my experience too, Jenny. Definitely a lot of correction. But so grateful for those corrections because yeah, you learn how to, I guess, be gracious in being corrected,

Jenny Reeder 10:41

Well, and I think it's also humility and realizing, You know what? I don't know everything.

Brittany Chapman Nash 10:45

Yeah, thank goodness other people know more.

Jenny Reeder 10:47

The more you know, the less you know,

Brittany Chapman Nash 10:48

Right, totally.

Tammy 10:50

Oh, I love that both of you said 'grateful for correction', because I really think that was Orson Hyde's response. In fact, Orson's response to Joseph was this, "They shall be thankfully received." I just think he was gracious about it. So we're gonna jump into section 130. And we're just gonna read verses 1-3. Here is the correction that Joseph offered. Brittany, will you we read verses 1-3.

Brittany Chapman Nash 11:12

1 "When the Savior shall appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a man like ourselves.

2 "And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not know, enjoy.

3 "John 14:23---The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man's heart is an old sectarian notion and is false."

Tammy 11:43

Thank you. Those three verses, why was that important to correct? What did we just learn?

Jenny Reeder 11:49

I think Joseph is teaching us what he personally has experienced, right? in the Sacred Grove, and maybe in other places. But he knows that the Father and the Son are two separate beings, and that They have bodies

Tammy 12:05

Well, and then let's cross-reference those three verses just to that page. Will you read verses 22 and 23.

Jenny Reeder 12:10

You bet.

22 "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

23 "A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him."

Tammy 12:33

Thank you. This verse 22 changed my life. When I learned this in college, it completely changed the trajectory of where I had gone my whole life or was about to go with who He was. I always just assumed God was this big Spirit that kind of just floated over the earth. Like I didn't fully comprehend that He was someone I could hug, or touch. And that verse changed my relationship with Him. And I want to know from your experience with these verses that we've been reading, how do you imagine things to be like in the Celestial kingdom?

Brittany Chapman Nash 13:07

One of my absolute favorite concepts is in verse 2, "that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there only it will be coupled with eternal glory." It makes me think of the most beautiful moments of my life where I've been with people that I love and feel loved, and know that that will continue and be even richer. Likewise, I've been in plenty of awkward social situation because of my own awkwardness.

Jenny Reeder 13:39

I don't know what that's like at all.

Brittany Chapman Nash 13:42

Oh, I'm sure you don't.

Tammy 13:42

None of us can relate. (laughter)

Brittany Chapman Nash 13:46

And I take comfort in the fact that I believe we will be understood in the next life by each other, because we won't have our human limitations.

Jenny Reeder 13:56

I've never thought about it that way, Brittany. I love that. That's really beautiful.

Tammy 14:01

Well, and I love, Brittany, that you said we'll understand each other without the limitations of this earth life that we have. And you know what's so cool is that as you were saying that I was like, this beautifully connects to verses 7-11. And anyone who reads 7-11; it's going to blow your mind. Again, it's part of the, you're going to be scratching your head going, what are we talking about?

It's interesting, because in verse 4, verse 4 starts out with an answer to the question that's specifically referring to a question that was asked earlier that afternoon at lunch. And it was asked by William Clayton and so Joseph's like, Hey, by the way, I'm going to answer that question you asked and so he answers this, but he goes into so much depth with this. But I love how in verse 7 Joseph describes what the globe is or what it looks like where God dwells. And then he goes into verse 8, it's a great place called the Urim and Thummim. And we've learned this year that in Hebrew, Urim and Thummim means lights and perfections. That's what we're given and then it's amazing how in 9,10 and 11, it just, it blows your mind. I, we could spend a whole hour on this.

But the whole point in connecting this, Brittany, is that when you said we'll be given knowledge, we'll be given understanding. We are going to be given a white stone, in verse 11. And this white stone is symbolic of a level of knowledge that we can't have right now. It says we will be given our own Urim and Thummim in these verses. And I'm so grateful for that. Because we will be given lights and perfections; I think we'll see each other in our perfect state. We'll see each other in a beautiful light that we just can't do in this life, right?

Brittany Chapman Nash 15:38

I totally agree.

Jenny Reeder 15:39

This is literally blowing my mind. There are some specific individuals in my life who I do not understand. I don't get it. I don't understand that and why they're acting the way they do or behaving the way they do or whatever, making the choices that they do. And I just think that is so cool that I'm, that I'm going to be able to see.

Tammy 16:05

Oh, yeah, see their light and see their perfections, or see it perfectly.

Brittany Chapman Nash 16:10

Right. Can you imagine how much peace and closure that will bring?

Jenny Reeder 16:14

Yeah, are you kidding me? Oh, my gosh!

Brittany Chapman Nash 16:16

It will be wonderful. I just feel myself relaxing. Thinking of that, being able to do that and love it. Love it.

Jenny Reeder 16:24

My friend. I was roommates once with Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt for two years. She had these really awesome, hideous sunglasses that she got at D.I.(Deseret Industires). And they were like, huge, huge, like hexagon shaped. And she would keep them in her car. She called them her depression sunglasses, and she would just be driving along, like being upset about something or whatever. And she would put them on. And then she would come to a stoplight and just look over at the car next to her without any expression on her face. And they would always make her so happy. So I got some, too, and it's just, seeing things differently. (laughters)

Brittany Chapman Nash 17:06

Oh, that is fantastic.

Tammy 17:07

Well, and the fact that she called them her depression sunglasses, because as you were talking, I was thinking that, you know, I gotta be honest, like some of my depression or sadness, as it relates to others is because I don't fully understand what's going on with them. And I don't know what they're going through, because they don't ever really want to talk about it. So I love that discussion.

Jenny Reeder 17:26

And you know, like, I have a lot of troubled relationships in my family. And I just think, even though I can't see clearly now, the fact that one day I will, sort of changes things with them now.

Tammy 17:40

And I love this because it's basically saying, So try to get along now. Do your best with your limitations, whatever that is in this world, because it'll all work out. That's kind of how I see this.

Jenny Reeder 17:48

And you'll see it,

Brittany Chapman Nash 17:50

Yeah. Know that this isn't it, and give that person some grace and give yourself grace.

Tammy 17:54

Yes. I love that. Grace. Oh, that's so good. Mind blown, so much right there. I love that we just learned about our Heavenly Father, about Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, sociality, Urim and Thummim, seeing things clearly, it's so profound. And so in the next segment, we are going to talk about how important all of this new knowledge is in the next life.

Segment 3 18:16


Tammy 18:26

All right, my guests, as I said earlier, are very educated. They are authors. And so here's what I want to know, ladies: What did it take you to accomplish this, to write your books, to get your degrees?

Brittany Chapman Nash 18:39

Power beyond my own, that's for sure. There have always been people who have come into my life just at the right time to share information or share stories. Sometimes I'll read something that I wrote and think, it's not me. And so that's just been my experience. But somehow things come together and I don't feel like they're me.

Tammy 19:02

There's like a divine hand in all of it. What about you, Jenny?

Jenny Reeder 19:07

As I was reading Brittany's book, her most recent book, I was amazed at the different personal accounts that she included and the clarity of her ideas. Not that I don't think Brittany could do that. I do 100%. I just am amazed that she did that, with two little kids. And everything.

Tammy 19:28

I told her that too. Yeah,

Brittany Chapman Nash 19:30

I can't believe it either.

Jenny Reeder 19:32

Because I felt this about writing my book about Emma. I could see things that were beyond my scope clearly and understand things. I don't know. It just was like this ability to see further.

Tammy 19:48

I absolutely agree.

Jenny Reeder 19:50

Tammy, did you find that when you were writing your book?

Tammy 19:52

Oh my gosh. I mean, I haven't told anyone this is, spoiler alert. Thanks, Jenny. But Jenny knows because Jenny edited for me and read it. But yes, I have a book coming out in March for Mother's Day. And I am so excited because it's about the proverb of a virtuous woman, which you all know, I just feel passionately about, and what it really means in Hebrew versus what we've thought it meant in English. I mean, there were so many moments where I thought, I don't know how I'm going to do this because I had like you, Brittany, I have little kids. They were, yeah, this was five years ago, I had all four of them still at home. And it is, it's divine intervention, for sure.

One night in particular, I remember I woke up at two in the morning, with a thought like, you probably know, both of you know this. You're sleeping and all of a sudden, something pops in your head and you can't sleep and you're just laying there and you're trying to sleep. You're like, I can't, and you get up and you start writing. I got up at two in the morning and wrote until 6am, when my kids got up for school. And then I was up. So from two to six I wrote and then I got them off to school. And then I still had a full day, I didn't go take a nap. But I wasn't tired at all, not even a little bit. And then 10 o'clock came and I laid my head on my pillow and I slept.

There were so many divine moments like that, where I was like, I don't know how I know, just what you said, Brittany. I've gone back and read some stuff that I wrote, I'm like, I don't know how I wrote that. That is not my language; I don't say stuff like that. How did I know that Hebrew word? Oh, yeah, I studied it a long time ago, but I don't remember that.

Jenny Reeder 21:16

And it came back.

Brittany Chapman Nash 21:17

Oh, that's incredible.

Tammy 21:18

It really was amazing to have that experience.

Jenny Reeder 21:21

The same kind of way I felt as a Relief Society President, or even as a missionary, or in different relationships that I've had, where I just, things come out of me. And I feel like it's, that's the power of grace that were magnified and expanded beyond what we thought we could do. But maybe it's really who we really are, and we're just recognizing it.

Tammy 21:41

Jenny, I love everything you just shared because you just completely changed the way we can read 18 and 19. Forever, we always read it that you had to have a college degree and you know, a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy). But that's not in everybody's realm of reality. And so Brittany, will you read verses 18 and 19 for us.

Brittany Chapman Nash 21:58

18 "Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.

19 "And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come."

Tammy 22:14

Thank you. So do you have to have a PhD?

Brittany Chapman Nash 22:17

Absolutely not. In fact, I feel like the intelligence we gain is not measured by Degrees, but by experiences, and what we do with those experiences, and we can gain from, from others teaching us and so forth.

Tammy 22:34

Um-hmm. I love that you used the word experiences, as you talked about those two versus, for sure experiences. In fact, I love this quote by Neal A Maxwell as he explains these two verses. Jenny, will you please read this quote for us from Neal A Maxwell.

Jenny Reeder 22:46

"If we ponder just what it is that will rise with us in the resurrection, it seems clear that our intelligence will rise with us, meaning not simply our IQ, but also our capacity to receive and apply truth. Our talents, attributes and skills will rise with us, certainly also our capacity to learn our degree of self-discipline and our capacity to work."

Tammy 23:12

Thank you. The title for Section 130 is "The Godhead, Conditions in Heaven", so go ahead and mark that. And so in the next segment, we are going to jump into, truly, I think of all topics in our religion, this next topic has us not only scratching our heads, but honestly - and I think you both ladies will agree - that the more you learn, the less you know about this specific topic. And we'll cover that in the next segment.

Segment 4 23:37


Tammy 23:47

We are in Doctrine and Covenants section 131. And here's the title, "Three Heavens in Celestial Glory, More Sure Word of Prophecy. That's what the title is. Here's what you need to know about this specific section. So Joseph returns back to Ramus and he receives section 131 in three parts. So verses 1-4 are given to Benjamin and Melissa Johnson, who he was staying with. And while he was there, he performed their sealing.

Verses 5 and 6 is an excerpt from a morning sermon that he gave. And then verses 7-8 is a response to a Methodist preacher by the name of Samuel Pryor. That helped me when I realized there are three distinct things going on here in Section 131. Now we have verses 1-4. According to verses 1-4, the Lord teaches through Joseph Smith how eternal marriage is related to the Celestial kingdom. So we just have to look at these verses. And Brittany, will you read verses 1-4 for us.

Brittany Chapman Nash 24:42

1 "In the celestial glory, there are three heavens or degrees.

2 "And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood {meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage};

3 "And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.

4 "He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.

Tammy 25:03

Okay, thank you. Now go to the brackets in verse 2 where it says {meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage}. That was added by Orson Hyde at Brigham Young's approval, which is so interesting to me because what they're trying to tell us is we're not talking about plural marriage here, the elephant in the room for Section 132. We are talking about a marriage, a marriage between a man, a woman, so those brackets were added.

And then verse 4, "he cannot have an increase". Highlight that, because the word 'increase' there means 'posterity'. It does not mean upward moval in the celestial kingdom. And no one even knows; there's nothing written about what goes on in the middle order kingdom. What does this look like? Are we talking about literal up-down movement? sphere? I don't know. There's so many opinions. And I'm sure everyone will be glad to give you one. And I'm here to tell you, no one really knows. Can we just leave it at that?

Jenny Reeder 25:55

Yeah. Can I say something though? I work in the temple, and I am so intrigued by the phrase 'new and everlasting covenant', Not just new and everlasting covenant of marriage, but new and everlasting covenant. In my understanding, you can correct me, but in my understanding, that's just Christ; He IS the new and everlasting covenant, and we can overcome death. And we can have a connection to the next world and to our sociality and families.

Tammy 26:25

You're totally right, Jenny.

Brittany Chapman Nash 26:27

While I was writing Let's Talk About Polygamy - because that was used and because it was associated with plural marriage - I really wanted to understand what does this phrase mean, 'new and everlasting covenant'? What did they think it meant? And really what I found it meant, looking from early days to through the present day, it means the restored gospel and all of the covenants we make, in the restored gospels. So from baptism, through the sealing ordinance. The new and everlasting covenant is the restored gospel. And of course, Christ is the central part of that.

Tammy 27:04

Brittany, I'm so I'm so grateful that you just described it that way. Because everlasting covenant is throughout all of the scriptures. And then in Section 132, we have that phrase again, everlasting covenant and Brittany, you talked about how it means Christ. And you're absolutely right. It's Christ's gospel. And what I love here is when He adds the word new at the beginning, it's not like He's saying it's separate from the everlasting covenant, it's like it's being updated. We have this new aspect to the everlasting covenant. And that new aspect is marriage and sealings. That word 'new' is another way for us to come unto Christ.

Jenny Reeder 27:35

Hey, Tammy, can I add something?

Tammy 27:37

Yeah, please do.

I just think it's interesting as I was working on my book on Emma, how Joseph learned what marriage meant and how that sort of increased over time. So the first marriage that he performed was Newell Knight and Lydia Goldthwait in Kirtland in November of 1835. And he said that they should covenant to be each other's companions through life. And then he pronounced upon them the blessings that the Lord conferred upon Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, that is to multiply and replenish the earth with the addition of long life and prosperity.

Jenny Reeder 28:12

And then a week later, he officiated in the marriage of Warren Parrish and Martha Raymond. So this is just a week later, and he pronounced them husband and wife in the name of God, according to the articles and covenants of the Church of the Latter-day Saints. And then a month later, he performed the marriage of John F. Boynton and Susan Lowell, after the order of Heaven. He said, "I pronounced upon them the blessing of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and such other blessings as the Lord put into my heart."

So you can kind of see throughout this month or two months, that he's starting to understand that, first of all, it's a covenant and that they're going to be each other's companions. And it has something to do with Adam and Eve, and to multiply and replenish the earth. Then he adds in that "this is an article and covenant of the church." Then he adds "in the order of heaven, and the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob". So I think it's a beautiful situation.

Tammy 29:13


Jenny Reeder 29:14

A beautiful transition.

Tammy 29:16

I really like the word you use to describe that because it is beautiful. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that and what you said - it is just a perfect transition into the next segment. We are going to jump into section 132 and we will find the beauty in this section. We're gonna do it.

Segment 5 29:30


Tammy 29:40

Here we go, you guys, Doctrine and Covenants section 132 - this is why I have Brittany and Jenny on today. We've been so excited about this for a long time, and Jenny and I all year have been looking forward to this episode. And then when Brittany's book came out, it was a no-brainer. Brittany wrote a book called Let's Talk About Polygamy; it is such a good book, and here we go. Doctrine and Covenants 132, it is called "Eternal Marriage, Celestial Marriage".

So we're going to bracket off some verses here, because here's what we have to know first and foremost. So bracket off verses 3, all the way through verse 33. So mark those off and right to the outside marriage, that is when it's talking about in those verses, then get another color and bracket off verses 34 through 50. And label those plural marriage. And verses 51 through 66. label those for Emma, these were specifically for her, which we'll talk about later.

And I just thought, as we were preparing for this episode, how unique this moment is because we have three women talking about polygamy, all three from different perspectives. Jenny's never been married; Brittany is in a traditional marriage: first marriage, children; and I married a widower, which I have a testimony of polygamy. I'll share that later. But I just think this is going to be such a fun discussion for us to have about polygamy. So I'm going to turn the time over to you guys. Brittany, hit it. Give us some history. How did this come about? Jenny, how did Emma feel about this? And wow, there's so much! Go.

Brittany Chapman Nash 31:10

Jenny, do you want to start out with kind of setting up the context for the revelation?

Jenny Reeder 31:16

I do; I want to set up the context for this revelation. I think it's important to note that earlier, that Joseph talked about how marriage is between a man and a woman. And I honestly think that the verse that we read in Section 130 is super important too. "That same sociality which exists among us here, will exist among us there." Only it will be coupled with an eternal glory. I really think that's part of his expansion of what family is. Family is also friends and people we love that we don't have blood connections to. And I'm so grateful for that.

I think it's also this understanding that the Abrahamic Covenant is indeed a priesthood ordinance. And he learns that from the very beginning with Moroni visiting him in his room in 1823. And that's the second section of the Doctrine and Covenants, that"the hearts of the fathers will turn to the children and the children will turn to their fathers." This connection, this bond or sealing is so important. And we know from section 84, that in the ordinance, the power of godliness is manifest. And so I think he's starting to understand what this means and what it means to be a part of the House of Israel. I honestly think that he sees the power of the priesthood.

We know that men received the priesthood and the temple ordinances before women did. But Newell K. Whitney came to the Relief Society and he said, "The man is not without the woman and the woman is not without the man. It takes both to create the kingdom of God." He said that in the Nauvoo Relief Society in May of 1842.

So, I think again, it's this progression of understanding. And I think that Joseph was surrounded by people he loved. He was a very charismatic, gregarious person, and he and Emma, especially Emma, welcomed so many people into their homes. And he had so many dear friends and he just wanted them all to be in this big family. Not just for him, but to glorify God, and to bring them all together as this sort of spiritual Zion.

Tammy 33:33

Alright, Jenny, I love what you just taught us. And it beautifully ties into Doctrine and Covenants section 132 verses 5-6. So let's just go there; we're going to talk about these verses for just a minute. I really love what verse 5 says, that those who desire a blessing at the Lord's hands shall abide the law. And the law above, in verse 4 - that's what it's talking about - is the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. So if this is another way to come unto Christ, then let's look at verse 6 for just a minute. It, meaning the new and everlasting covenant was instituted for the fullness of His glory. That's it right there. The purpose of this law, which is to be sealed to the family of Christ, to be sealed to a man or a woman, is another way for us to come back to Christ.

And now we just have to look at and mark verse 22. So everyone turn and go to verse 22. Verse 22, starts out ":For straight is the gate, and narrow the way..." Now the spelling of the word 'strait' is so significant, because it's not STR AI ght. It's STR ai t. This meaning of straight means narrow. So it's saying for narrow is the gate and narrow is the way. If you've ever looked up a picture of the Straits of Magellan, or any other strait that appears to be in an ocean, you're going to notice that in order for a boat to go through that strait, you have to be so careful as you navigate those waters so that you don't sink your ship.

And so when we look at the words "strait is the gate and narrow is the way", what we're talking about is being careful, not necessarily being narrow or rigid, but being so careful in how we treat this relationship or this marriage. I love Father Gregory Boyle. He's a Catholic priest, and he said this about the word strait. He says, "Our choice is not to focus on the narrow, but to narrow our focus." And so if our focus is Christ, then all of this is going to work out. If our focus is Christ, then in verse 24, "This is eternal lives----to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent,...."

And just notice how many times in all these verses, in verses 3-33 - which we labeled marriage - it says, again in verse 26, "if a man marry a wife". Verse 15 says, verse 19 says, that we're just talking specifically about marriage right here. And I just love that this law is a focus on Christ. So going back to what you taught us, Jenny, about Joseph and Emma, I love that image, because we will be welcomed into the home and arms of our Heavenly Parents, the way people were welcomed into the home of Joseph and Emma. So when I read verses 3-33, I can know that it is about being sealed. And it is about a man being sealed to a woman; it is solely talking about a celestial and eternal marriage between two people.

And so that's what we know about the law of marriage. And I just want to know, like, is polygamy part of the restoration? Or, was it something that Joseph just thought, just seems great? I'd like to do this, let's add it, because it was something other people are already practicing. Because I know Brittany, I love how you wrote in your very first chapter, that 80%, was it more than that?

Brittany Chapman Nash 36:41


Tammy 36:42

Eighty-five % of the world was practicing polygamy. It wasn't a weird thing. And so some people think Joseph just thought it was a great idea and decided, let's just make this part of our religion. So that's my question: Was it a part of the restoration or just something he wanted to include?

Brittany Chapman Nash 36:59

Where the beginning of the story is often pinpointed is when Joseph Smith is beginning his inspired translation of the Bible, looking at the Old Testament prophets, seeing how they practiced plural marriage, that God approved of these unions with more than one woman and that they had good repercussions as far as fulfilling God's promises of posterity as numerous as the sands of the sea for Abraham. So Joseph was trying to make sense of what he was reading and how it would apply to the modern day. He knew he had this mission, this calling of being the Restorer, bringing things full circle in this final dispensation.

So Joseph prayed about plural marriage, 'Is this something that needs to be restored?' And I think like Jenny was saying, it was sort of an evolution as he thought about things. And the restoration did not happen in one day. It was a process of question and answering, being taught through different experiences. And asked questions by converted members like we saw in these other sections, people asking him questions, and then him going to the Lord and receiving answers. It was a similar process for his understanding of marriage and how it unfolded.

Tammy 38:27

I like that answer a lot. In fact, what you said is verse 1 of section 132. How cool is this?

1 " as much as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle of doctrine of their having many wives and concubines."

And then we go into verse 2 and 3, it says,

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

He's like, I'm going to answer that question that you're asking. But then how great is verse 3.

3 "Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you;...."

But first, He's saying, let's talk about marriage. So it's kind of cool how it leads up to that, because I've had people ask me that question before. And it's something we need to really consider and think about, like, how did it start? And I love both of you, both of the history that you gave leading up to this restoration of polygamy. It's a lot.

Jenny 39:21

Well, and I think part of that is our presentism.

Tammy 39:24

Okay, what does that mean? What does that mean?

Jenny Reeder 39:27

So we see things from the world that we live in. We live in a time when Hollywood romance is how we define marriage. And I think even if we look back to the 19th century, marriage wasn't as romantic as it is now. I think that sometimes it was economic, and it meant working together to to survive. So I think that it's, it's really important to realize that sometimes we don't understand how much of the way we live and the way we think and the way we value things is set in this culture that we live in right now.

Okay, so then Jenny, take me back to the time of Emma, because this was a really hard concept for her. And we marked verses 51-66 and we labeled it, "Emma" or "for Emma". So tell us about these verses and their connections to her.

I think it's really interesting to look at, again, a big history word, the historyography of this section. That just means looking at how it was received,and how it was used, and how people perceived it, and how that changed over time. From my understanding, and Joseph Smith Papers I think, tells us this, that this revelation was given to Joseph Smith much earlier than July 12th of 1843. And this is during a time when he and Hyrum and William Clayton and others are talking about, What are we going to do about Emma? We know she doesn't like this; we know she's accepted it, the idea that there's never been anything written down.

I think it's also important to recognize that Joseph doesn't write a lot about this. There are very few contemporary records of polygamy in Nauvoo. And this is probably the most important; it's interesting to note that this revelation was kept private. It was circulated a little bit - I think Brittany talks about that - but it wasn't really made public to the whole church until 1852. Okay, so that is nine years later. But then it wasn't included in the Doctrine and Covenants until 1876. This wasn't something that Joseph was ready to just jump in and do it.

And part of it was because I think he knew that Emma would be really bothered by it. I think Emma was on board, as long as it included bringing those orphaned young women in her house into their family, and making them a part of a larger sociality. But when the rumors of John C. Bennett started circulating about, including sex and spiritual wivery, and things like that, I think that's when it became a problem for Emma. And I think Joseph knew all of this would be a problem for Emma. And so as a result, and as a result of the fact that he didn't still, was still trying to understand it himself, that he kept it very private, and very confidential and sacred. And he didn't write about it.

There's not much that we have source-wise about how it was practiced or initiated. So in an argument for Emma, in her denial of polygamy, I think partly we could look at that, as she had promised to keep it confidential and sacred, and that she would never speak of it. And so she didn't, to the point that she actually denied it. That all changed, I think, as Brigham Young lead the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints West.

And do you see in Winter Quarters - Brittany writes about this, and also, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich writes about this in beautiful ways - about how women really developed their sisterhood and their, their sister-wives. And they sort of acknowledged it in conversation. But it wasn't until 1852, when Orson Pratt spoke in August from the pulpit, and he did read section 132.

Tammy 43:31

Excellent job, Jenny, thank you so much for teaching us about how polygamy related to Emma and the early Saints in Nauvoo. That was so good. Okay, now, that brings us to our next segment, which is going to be all about why polygamy was practiced.

Segment 6 43:45


Tammy 44:00

One of my favorite quotes from your book, Brittany, is when you included a quote from Amasa Lyman in 1866. He had this to say about polygamy: "We obeyed the best we knew how, and no doubt made many crooked paths in our ignorance." I think everyone would agree. It maybe was ugly, it probably wasn't easy for everyone. Some people really loved it. It didn't make sense, it did make sense. There's a million questions about this, so I want you two talk to us about why, why polygamy? And even before you answer that, Brittany, I want to know why you wrote the book on it.

Brittany Chapman Nash 44:30

Polygamy has been a very controversial topic from the moment it, you know, there was a whiff of it in Nauvoo. So, it was important to write a book on this topic because I found it helps people to have a well-rounded view of polygamy. It's difficult to understand polygamy just by reading Doctrine and Covenants 132. It's difficult to understand polygamy just by reading what Church leaders have said about it. You need to have good sources, you need to have experiences of people who practiced polygamy so that you can understand what were their motivations at this time, without our 21st century glasses on. Because they weren't entering into it blindly or by force, it was personal choice.

So understand those experiences and the testimonies of people is essential. They also had faith; faith is another essential component to, to look at, and talking about polygamy, and the faith that these members of the church had, and believing that plural marriage was a commandment of God to be restored at that time for His unique purposes. They didn't understand necessarily the reasons why; they understood some reasons why. But by and large, I would say most members of the church who practiced did so because they believed it was a commandment of God, for His people at that time.

Tammy 46:05

I want to know from both of you, given the history that you've studied and all of your expertise, help us remove the 21st century goggles. And I want you to tell us your why, like, why polygamy?

Brittany Chapman Nash 46:17

For me, why polygamy is such a multifaceted question, because there were theological reasons such as multiplying and replenishing the earth. And some people chose plural marriage for that reason. For others, it was economic reasons - they needed support, they may have been widowed or been part of a troubled marriage and needed in the social structure of the time, needed support. Others were romantically in love. I think that happened a little later, as plural marriage was more established in Utah, and as part of the gospel.

But in Let's Talk About Polygamy, I tried to go through a lot of the different patterns of people who practiced at that time, so that readers can understand what these different motivations were, why people then practiced. So I don't feel like I can say a big, overarching why from my perspective. All I can do is go back to the 19th century and try to explain their why's. My why would be different, I'm sure because I live in the 21st century and I have different experiences. We live in a different social structure, I can support myself economically much more easily.

So would I practice it? I don't know. I'm sure I would make that decision if it were to come based on the circumstances at the time, and that I would feel if it were right for me or not. And the same was said for people at that time. The majority of people chose not to practice.

Tammy 47:59

I'm glad you brought up that not everyone practiced it. And I think that's an important part to understand, because it is not a requirement for the Celestial kingdom. We need to make sure everyone understands that, that section 132 is two separate things here. But how fabulous that celestial marriage does not include polygamy for everyone, but it will for some, and that's okay. And so I love that you said not everyone practiced it, and nor did they have to. That's good to know.

Jenny Reeder 48:25

So I want to bring up a quote that Henry Jacobs wrote in a letter to his wife, Zina. And he writes her this letter that I think is so beautiful. It's at the church history library, he says "There will be twistings and turnings in this life. But in the next life, everything will be worked out."

Brittany Chapman Nash 48:43

I love the faith that that demonstrates; they are trying to figure things out, trying to have faith in trying to understand this restored marriage system. How does it, what does it mean?

Tammy 48:57

I feel like that quote is the stamp on my marriage, for sure. Because I love this law. And I am so grateful for it. And here's why. I'm imagining in the pre-existence when the whole plan is laid out ,and we always kind of joke about how maybe we knew what we were going to go through, maybe we didn't, I don't know. But I kind of think that maybe I was sitting on the back row at this meeting, because I love to sit on the back row of every meeting.

And there was a q&a (questions and answers). And I raised my hand as fast as I could. And I said, Well, what about this? And my question was, what about women who are second-marrieds? Do they get all the same blessings that they would have received if they were the first to marry? Do they get to become like you, Heavenly Father.? Do they get to create worlds? What's that gonna look like? And I may have been a little miffed, because there might have been some injustice in my question. And I love that God's like, No, it's totally covered. You're good.

Me being sealed to Jim allows me to get everything else I would have gotten if I had been the first wife. It's all gonna work out and then like you said, Jenny, there's so many twistings and turnings. I don't know how it's gonna work out. I just know I get everything. I get all the promises, all the blessings that Heavenly Father gave us in the pre-existence; I'm not going to be cut out because I'm second wife. And so I'm so grateful for this law, because it affords me all the same blessings as everybody else. And Jenny, you're single, not married.

Jenny Reeder 50:15

That's exactly what I was gonna chime in. I believe that, too. It has broken my heart many times to not be married and to read, and to hear church leaders talk about how that's the most important thing we can do, and to wonder where I fit in into all of this. And it's been a very emotional, heavy thing for me. But I truly believe that there are twistings and turnings in this life. And I also believe- this is something that I've said for years - that we have got to expand our definitions, and that we have to figure out how we fit.

But I think that it also means marriage in the larger sense. I think again, by immortality, we are bound by this idea of what marriage is or sealing is, or eternal relationships are. Joseph said 'the same sociality that exists in this life.' What does that mean? I had many conversations with Rick Turley about polygamy, and I bet you probably did, too Brittany. As I was trying to understand it when I was writing Emma, but he, this is one thing that he said, and I really believe, is that it's so hard for us to see beyond. We need to expand our definitions and and recognize that God sees so much more than we do.' And I am just putting all of my faith in that.

Brittany Chapman Nash 51:39

And I think polygamy is actually is such an inclusive doctrine. And if we think about that 85% that accepted polygamy, that as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that each person needs to receive personal ordinances, from baptism to sealing. And plural marriage was the experience of 1000s and 1000s of people, millions, perhaps, in the history of the world. So of course, there would be room for that in God's expansive family. Because the people

Jenny Reeder 52:15

The House of Israel, the Abrahamic Covenant.

Brittany Chapman Nash 52:18


Tammy 52:18

I'm so glad you brought this up, because one of my favorite explanations of polygamy was by Fiona Givens. And she said at this time the Saints were what they call millennialists, meaning they thought Christ was coming tomorrow. I mean, they were so anxious, He's coming, it's happening. And they understood this to be, we need to be sealed to the prophet who then will seal us to Christ. And that was the whole point of sealings. And so if you read in our church history, they only wanted to be sealed because they knew that would mean they were sealed to Christ, to the family of Christ.

And that made so much sense to me. Because if we think about sealings, that's the whole point and purpose of this. And I love the wording in the Doctrine and Covenants, the welding links will then link us back to Jesus Christ. And that's the whole point and purpose of all of this. And so yes, I'm sealed to Jim and Jim's sealed to Michelle, but we're all sealed to Jesus Christ, which makes us sealed to our Heavenly Father, to receive all the blessings that He's offering His children. And that to me was like, oh, okay, that makes so much sense, and it answered questions why there was such a weird period of sealings going on in the church.

Jenny Reeder 53:21

Well, and I think it goes back to what Moroni told Joseph, "if it were not so the whole earth would be utterly wasted in his coming." Yeah. So when he says the hearts of the children and the promises made to the fathers, that's the promises made to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, that their posterity would be as the sands of the sea and the stars in the sky. And by joining this, we become a part of that; we become a part of this House of Israel. And if we're sealed or bound in or welded in, whether, you know, in a traditional marriage or in close friendship, or whatever, however it works, even our temple covenants bring us into that new and everlasting covenant.

Tammy 54:05

Okay, Jenny, I just have to make this connection because you kept using the welding link. And this is so cool. But let's cross-reference what you've been talking about. So somewhere on the page in Section 132, write 'welding link', and let's cross-reference it to Doctrine and Covenants section 128 verse 18. And let's go there, we just have to read what the Lord says about what Jenny just said, this is a great verse. So verse 18, go to the middle of the verse where it says, "that the earth". So find that and highlight this. Remember, section 128 is talking about baptisms for the dead. And so here we have the importance of why baptisms for the dead are needed, and it says

18 "........that the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other----and behold what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead...."

I just think it's really powerful right here that we're learning that the first entrance into this welding link happening is baptisms for the dead. And how cool that that's what the youth get to do with us. And then it's

18 ".......For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect, neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also;...."

that baptisms for the dead is the start of this. And then sealings is a continuation of this welding link. And it is a part of the new and everlasting covenant. So cool.

Brittany Chapman Nash 55:26

There's just so much to say. And for me, the heart of it in trying to understand polygamy is going back to what the saints had to say about it. When I first started learning deeply about plural marriage, I was troubled and angry, because it seemed so unjust. How could a just God require this of these faithful people.

Jenny Reeder 55:53

Well, especially for women. Like, they just have to give up their everything and support their husband and his other wives.

Brittany Chapman Nash 56:01

Right. And it was, it was a women's issue. But it was difficult for men too, you know, many were content with, with having one wife. But once I started reading the testimonies and experiences of the Latter-day Saints themselves who practiced it, that made all the difference in softening my heart to the principle, knowing that they were okay with it, trusting their decision to practice, the agency that they had in choosing that decision.

Jenny Reeder 56:32

And respecting their spiritual experience in coming to that, their conversion to that, like I, have all the respect. And I believe that they had that. And I think that if we were asked to practice it, we'd have to have the same decision.

Brittany Chapman Nash 56:44

Right. And even, Let's Talk About Polygamy is a short book, but I just felt it was so important to include a lot of room for those 19th century voices, because that's where the heart of it is when we try and understand polygamy as it was practiced in our history. I would just encourage people to go back and read, read those testimonies. And I hope that it brings, brings peace to people who, who may still be struggling with the issue.

Tammy 57:16

It's a great book, I highly recommend it. We totally need it for what we're living - the 21st century, it was a great read. So thanks for paying the price to write that. And both of you, thanks for paying the price to know all that you know about church history. And everything that happened, we need to know this information. And I, what I love is it's okay to talk about. And it's still like, it doesn't change the fact that all of this is true. So,

Brittany Chapman Nash 57:39

And people can, can have that discomfort about polygamy and still be faithful members of the church; it doesn't mean you have to be okay with all of these issues to consider yourself a believer.

Tammy 57:50

I love that you just said, have that discomfort because that's what we've learned this year. If you have discomfort, then it means the comforter can do His job.

Brittany Chapman Nash 57:56

So yeah,

Tammy 57:57

Awesome. Okay, so take a minute and just gather your thoughts. And do you have a takeaway from today, anything that you learned, anything you like that was said, that has stood out to you?

Jenny Reeder 58:08

I was blown away with the idea of the Urim and Thummim, and of understanding and seeing things clearly. And I think that applies to the whole section, you know, the whole polygamy, is that this Urim and Thummim that we can receive that we do not have now - and that is important - that it is something beyond mortality, but where we will be able to literally expand our definitions and understand our sociality with people, whether that be good or bad, and understand how all the twistings and turnings will work out. That blows my mind.

Tammy 58:46

Perfect, perfect takeaway.

Brittany Chapman Nash 58:48

For me, we kept returning back to the word, sociality, and what it will be like in the Celestial kingdom and the warmth and the love we'll feel. To me that also includes polygamy. There will be no second best; we will all feel equally loved and we won't feel deprived. The experiences and intelligence we gain in this life, that will all for some people that includes plural marriage as part of forming and shaping who they were, nothing will be lost. All of those things will be part of who we become and how we can be glorified. And in the next life everything will be okay.

Tammy 59:31

Yeah, absolutely. I'll amen that. My takeaway was what both you said, there was definitely a moment of enlightenment and you could feel it as we were discussing. It was so cool. The spirit was so strong, because it was true. And I loved what both of you added to that idea of the Urim and Thummin, the sociality, and just seeing each other in our own light with our perfections, or understanding perfectly our imperfections. That is so important. I love that discussion. That was so good. So thank you. Thank you. That's it. That's the end of our episode. Wow. Three women talking about polygamy - doesn't get any better than that.

Brittany Chapman Nash 1:00:07

I want to hear what you have to say, Tammy; I want to hear your testimony.

Tammy 1:00:12

Oh, gosh, Brittany, I mean, I truly have such a testimony of this aspect of our doctrine. I'm just so thankful for it. And Brittany, when you just said there will be no second best. I mean, that summed it up all for me. You know, I really could use that information about 15 years ago, the first few months. Okay, maybe first few years of being married. And being this feeling like I kind of did, I felt like second choice, and what you said, and when you said it, that was so comforting for me to hear. Like, I just love that the gospel of Jesus Christ makes everything wonderful and fair for everyone. Nothing will be lost.

And you know that word fair? I don't like to use it. Or I don't ever let my kids use it. Cuz I always say, you don't want it to be fair. If it's fair, then you have to have everything the way the other person had it for it all to work out. And so I think when I think of the word fair in terms of a godly fair, it just means that everything will work out. Everything, it will have all been worth it because God is good. Wow, ladies, thank you so much. That was a great discussion. I love you both.

Brittany Chapman Nash 1:01:11

Thank you, you are amazing.

Tammy 1:01:14

Brittany, I want to meet you in person and hug you. This was so fun, so we'll do that. Alright, thank you, Brittany.

Brittany Chapman Nash 1:01:19

Love you.

Jenny Reeder 1:01:19

Have a good day, see ya.

Brittany Chapman Nash 1:01:23


Tammy 1:01:24

Well, there it is. Polygamy. There, it's out there. We just talked about it. Now listen, I'm certain that all of you have something to say or questions to ask. So I have some very good news. This discussion doesn't end right here. So a few weeks ago, we asked you actually what your questions were about polygamy. And we are going to have a bonus episode. So Brittany and Jenny, we're going to have you guys back and they are going to answer all the questions. So watch for it.

If you have not already joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, go join. It's a great place to ask questions, especially from this topic. And Brittany and Jenny can help answer any of these questions. And I try to answer them throughout the week. Then on Saturday, we post a call for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson and let us know what you've learned. And I read all of them and I'm going to reread these for sure.

You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDS, and it's not a bad idea go there anyway, because that's where we're going to have the links to all the references we use as well as a complete transcript of this discussion. So go check it out. The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshop Plus Original brought to you by LDS Living. It is written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall and today our incredibly brilliant study group participants were Jenny Reeder and Brittany Chapman Nash. And you can find more information about these friends at LDS

Our podcast is produced by Katie Lambert and me; it is recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios and our Executive Producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next week.

And please remember, in all those twistings and turns, God gets it and He loves you because you're His favorite.

I'm so excited and nervous. I'm sweating and I don't sweat, Brittany, just so you know. I don't wear deodorant ever and all of a sudden I'm like,

Jenny Reeder 1:03:05

Sweet. I did not know this about you.

Tammy 1:03:07

You didn't know? I, I've never worn deodorant in my whole life because I just don't sweat really.

Jenny Reeder 1:03:12

Or that you can smell.

Tammy 1:03:14

Well, maybe that's it. I don't smell when I sweat. Let me know, Jenny when we're together, if I start omitting—

Jenny Reeder 1:03:21

This is why we do this on zoom.

Tammy 1:03:19

Cuz I actually really do smell. I’m so excited!

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