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Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants
With notes and commentary
Section 132

Date: July 12, 1843
Place: Nauvoo, Illinois
To: Joseph Smith

Notes Text
The purpose of this "revelation" was to justify polygamy to Joseph Smith's wife, Emma, and to others of his inner circle from who he could no longer hide his sexual promiscuity.

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.

Immediately, we see how important Smith needs this revelation to be 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 fulness 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.

Here God says that all contracts end with death, unless such agreements are sealed by one having the special power to do that. Joseph Smith has that power—he is the only one who has that power. Only one person on the earth has that priesthood at any given time. 7 And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.
Verses 8-14 simply add up to: "You better believe me!" 8 Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion.

9 Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name?

10 Or will I receive at your hands that which I have not appointed?

11 And will I appoint unto you, saith the Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my Father ordained unto you, before the world was?

12 I am the Lord thy God; and I give unto you this commandment—that no man shall come unto the Father but by me or by my word, which is my law, saith the Lord.

13 And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God.

14 For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed.

If you are not married according to this new revelation, when you die you will remain unmarried for eternity, and you will be a servant to those who do submit to this process. And, you won't become a God! 15 Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.

16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.

17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.

If your are not married according to this new plan, by Joseph Smith (or his successor after he dies), you will never be able to marry in heaven. 18 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.
If you are sealed in the new and everlasting covenant, and if you do not commit murder "to shed innocent blood," you shall be resurrected to inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, [and] dominions. You will also procreate eternally. And, you will be Gods!

Since these "sealed" marriages are in full force in the next life, all a man's plural wives will be with him in heaven. From this idea springs the Mormon theology that men will procreate eternally with they plural wives, and thereby populate their own worlds.

19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them— Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths— then shall it be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.

Verses 21-25: You better believe it! 21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.

22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.

23 But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.

24 This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.

25 Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the deaths; and many there are that go in thereat, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law.

If you receive this new commandment, no matter what you do in your life, including committing all manner of blasphemies (but not murder) you will still be resurrected to great glory and exaltation. Of course if you do commit these sins, you will be buffeted in the flesh and eventually die, but you will be exalted at death, based solely on the fact that you entered into this new and everlasting covenant . 26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.
Reiterates that shedding innocent blood after you have received this new commandment damns you to hell. 27 The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.
God saying He is about to explain this new commandment, which we know as "Celestial Marriage," "Polygamy," or—here in this verse—"the law of my Holy Priesthood." God supposedly told Abraham he would continue creating seed after he died. And Mormons can, as well.

Of course, Smith does not tell us where God said Abraham would continue creating seed "out of this world."

28 I am the Lord thy God, and will give unto thee the law of my Holy Priesthood, as was ordained by me and my Father before the world was.

29 Abraham received all things , whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne.

30 Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins— from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph— which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them.

31 This promise is yours also , because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorifieth himself.

First, God did not command Abraham to take Hagar as a concubine. God never commanded anyone to do that. God's word from the beginning (as Jesus reminded us in Matthew 19:8) is: And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him....
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Gen. 2:18 & 24)

It was Sarah's dissatisfaction with her barrenness that caused her to offer Hagar to her husband; and it was Abraham's lack of faith in the promise of God that he would conceive a son, that caused him to accept Sarah's offer.

The only other mention of Hagar in the Bible is found in Galatians, where the Apostle Paul calls the son born of Hagar a child of the law, and the son born of Sarah a child of freedom and promise. Paul says this in the Book of Galatians, a book trying to get people to live by faith not law.

So Joseph Smith is way off base when he says:
)1 that God commanded Abraham to do this; and,
2) that it was fulfilling a promise.

32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.

33 But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which he made unto Abraham.

34 God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises.

First, we repeat, God did not command Abraham to take Hagar. Smith is defending himself. As we stated earlier, the Book of Mormon specifically states that polygamy is an abominationBook of Mormon reference, and the Bible only sanctions monogamy. Christian leaders (as Smith purports to be) are under even more stringent biblical admonition: A bishop [overseer in the Church] then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; (1Ti 3:2) Smith tells us that God, in this new revelation, is reversing Himself on His previous ideas about polygamy. Just like He did when He told Abraham to murder his son Isaac, violating what He previously taught about murder.

Of course, God was simply testing Abraham, He did not allow him to murder Isaac. If this were a polygamy test, God would have stopped Smith before he actually committed adultery.

Smith is trying to establish that this revelation about polygamy cannot be condemned just because it is forbidden in other scripture. He attempts to use the case of Abraham and Isaac to prove his point.

35 Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, commanded it.

36 Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless, it was written: Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.

Where is the proof that God ever commanded Abraham to take additional wives or concubines? Abraham certainly did take Hagar as a concubine, but God, just as certainly, did not command it, nor did He condone it.

These examples, and others like them (Abraham, Jacob, David, and Solomon) can not be used to argue that God condoned, or approved of, their actions. Unfortunately, the Bible is full of accounts of men of God who sin; men who commit adultery, murder, blaspheme, lust, lie, and disobey. In fact, we are hard pressed to find any who do not fall into some major sin. That is the nature of man:

His heart is "...deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer 17:9) It is true God forgives sin, but that does not mean He condones it, even when He leaves it unpunished.

There is no scriptural support for these lies. Smith is making this up.

But, since his followers thought he spoke routinely and directly to God, and accepted him as a living prophet, no one asked where scripture recorded that these men were commanded to do the things they did.

At this point Smith is claiming that the fornication and adultery of these Old Testament leaders was the very reason they were exalted and why they would be Gods!

In verse 38, Smith repeats these claims.

37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.

38 David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.

No, no, no! The reference comes from 2 Samuel 12:9-11— Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife [to be] thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give [them] unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

Nothing is said about Nathan giving David any wives! He is saying "the wives you—wrongly—took, I will strip from you! I'll give them to someone else and they will lie with them in front of you!"
39 David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.
This basically has God saying Joseph can do anything he wants. 40 I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and restore all things. Ask what ye will, and it shall be given unto you according to my word.
These two verses say that if a woman sealed in the new covenant and commits adultery she will be "destroyed." Apparently destruction is eternal damnation, which is not the penalty if she commits adultery before she is so sealed.

This is a way for Smith to persuade his male followers to accept this new prophecy. It gives the men even more power over their wives.

Note: Smith and psychobabel. This passage (indeed, this whole prophecy) exhibits what I call the "blah, blah, blah" factor, a hallmark of these cultish prophets. Baffling them with "baloney."

The Reverend M. T. Lamb writing—more than a century ago—in the The Golden Bible, illustrates Smith's gift of psychobabel. You can read Lamb's book in its entirety on this web site. Lamb's treatment of the issue of "Smith babel" is found in chapter one.

Golden Bible

41 And as ye have asked concerning adultery , verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed.

42 If she be not in the new and everlasting covenant, and she be with another man, she has committed adultery.

Nothing serves as a better example of "Smith babel" than verses 43-44. One new idea does surface here: that Smith has the power to take a wife from her husband and give her to another man.

Smith actually exercised such power. But even worse, often he would take, for himself, the wife of a faithful disciple simply by telling him that "the Lord has given her to me—the prophet.

As I write this in 2004, the Prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located in the twin towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City Colorado, has just ordered 20 men to leave that community. The Prophet also ordered them to leave their homes (which the Church owns) and their wives and children, whom the prophet assigned to other men.

43 And if her husband be with another woman, and he was under a vow, he hath broken his vow and hath committed adultery.

44 And if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many.

Verses 45-47 have God repeating—again— "Smith can do anything he wants!" 45 For I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make known unto you all things in due time.

46 And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.

47 And again, verily I say, whomsoever you bless I will bless, and whomsoever you curse I will curse, saith the Lord; for I, the Lord, am thy God.

Significant! "To whomsoever you give any one." To understand this, say it the other way around: You can give any one to whomsoever. Smith can give women to whoever he wants. And, as I said, he did so! As do the modern polygamist prophets. 48 And again, verily I say unto you, my servant Joseph, that whatsoever you give on earth, and to whomsoever you give any one on earth, by my word and according to my law, it shall be visited with blessings and not cursings, and with my power, saith the Lord, and shall be without condemnation on earth and in heaven.
There is an interesting dynamic here. Emma, Smith's real wife, had confronted him about his dalliances, threatening to expose him. In response, Smith told her he would give it all up and surrender to her wishes.

However, as a way out of that promise , he came up with the revelation of Section 132—a direct commandment from God telling Emma to submit to polygamy!

In these verses—before finally delivering God's ultimatum to Emma—Smith has God saying "forget about promising Emma to give up your wives!" Smith says God told him—"I make a way for your escape"—in the same way he made a way of escape for Abraham. Abraham's way of escape was the ram in the thicket (Genesis 22:13): Smith's was Section 132.

In other words, Smith does not have to give up his wives as he promised Emma. At the last minute God releases Smith from his promise to Emma. See, Joseph, it was just a test!

After the severe threat from God in the next verses, Emma will relent for a while, even allowing Smith to bring some of his wives into their home. But soon she will find courage again, and she will give Smith yet another ultimatum. But he had a way out of that one too. It was simply to lie:

On August 16, 1843 William Clayton wrote in his diary, "This A.M. Joseph told me that...Emma...had resisted the P[rinciple] in toto, and he had to tell her he would relinquish all for her sake...He however told me he [w]ould not relinquish anything."
49 For I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father.

50 Behold, I have seen your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sins; I have seen your sacrifices in obedience to that which I have told you. Go, therefore, and I make a way for your escape, as I accepted the offering of Abraham of his son Isaac.

51 Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice.

Finally, the command to Emma: receive Joseph's wives!

They are pure! And if some are not pure, God will deal with them later.

52 And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.
What could be clearer in this verse and the next one: submit or perish! 53 For I am the Lord thy God and ye shall obey my voice; and I give unto my servant Joseph that he shall be made ruler over many things; for he hath been faithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him.

54 And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.

Smith now has God saying that if Emma persists in her stubbornness, God will give Smith "an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children,

This is taken from Matthew 10:29:

And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But notice that Smith chooses to expand upon the words of Jesus. Jesus was referring to the fellowship life of the believer within the Church of Christ. But Smith adds to the list wives!

Emma has a choice: stick with Joseph and his wives, or perish. And if she won't stick with him, then Joseph will provide for her welfare and God will give Joseph a ton of wives and kids.

55 But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds.
Nice! 56 And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses; and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she has trespassed against me; and I, the Lord thy God, will bless her, and multiply her, and make her heart to rejoice.
Again, God wants to let Smith know that he doesn't have to keep his promise to Emma, he doesn't have to give up any wives, or property, or anything else he may have promised her! 57 And again, I say, let not my servant Joseph put his property out of his hands , lest an enemy come and destroy him; for Satan seeketh to destroy; for I am the Lord thy God, and he is my servant; and behold, and lo, I am with him, as I was with Abraham, thy father, even unto his exaltation and glory.
This is Smith's way of getting God to tell Sarah that her husband really can't do anything wrong! Just can't! He is called, and we must assume that whatever he does in God's name is in accordance with God's will and word. 58 Now, as touching the law of the priesthood, there are many things pertaining thereunto.

59 Verily, if a man be called of my Father , as was Aaron, by mine own voice, and by the voice of him that sent me, and I have endowed him with the keys of the power of this priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him.

God saying, "Don't let anyone hurt my Joey, I'll take care of him, and if he needs correction, I'll do it." 60 Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph; for I will justify him; for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God.
Go for it, you can't commit adultery under this plan... 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.
No matter how many wives you take! 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.
But, the women can't be with another man, ever! 'Cause their job is to multiply, and "bear the souls of men." If they are with another man, no matter how many women their husbands are with, "they have committed adultery, and shall be destroyed." 63 But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil 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.
God wants the woman to really, really, really, understand, that she will be destroyed. 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.
The woman must obey or she is the sinner, and her husband is under no obligation to her. Abraham had obligations to Sarah because Sarah let him have other wives, if not, Abraham would not have had to care for her. 65 Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law , for him to 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.
YIKES! 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.