LDS Corner – Know Your Religion – The Manifesto

Given that a person may have been involved with the LDS religion for more than fifty years, one might think that they had become somewhat of an expert by virtue of the fact that they have attended what seems to be countless meetings and have heard and perhaps given more talks than they can remember.

However, this reminds me of what they used to say about working on the line in General Motors car and truck assembly plants. One might say he was working there for say, 30 years and that it had taken them 3 weeks to learn the job. The other person would say that they had 3 weeks of experience then, rather than 30 years. When we stop learning, we stop growing.

It seems that in religion, we do the same thing. We believe that we know; but, somehow, we just keep re-hashing the same old things and cease to actually be growing in the Gospel. Are we guilty of simply going in circles, re-learning the same things over and over again and paying less and less attention to the lessons since we believe that we know them already?

The manifesto of 1890 is one such lesson. Some LDS members believe that there was a revelation from God which directed a cease to Celestial Plural marriage. However, they fail to take into account the revelations of John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff prior to the issuance of this so called, “manifesto”.

Sept. 27, 1886 President John Taylor receives a revelation after he had been presented with another version of a manifesto which some church leaders wanted him to sign. He was in his 78th year at the time and lived in hiding from the local law enforcement, who sought to arrest him for living with and supporting his wives and family. He took the matter to the Lord, who visited him and gave him the 1886 revelation, which became a part of the Doctrine and Covenants and was published in the German and Danish versions before being removed and hidden from the view of most members.

In the revelation, Jesus said, “Those who would enter into My glory, must & shall obey My law…I have not revoked this law nor will I for it is everlasting & those who will enter into My glory must obey the conditions thereof, even so amen.

Then on Nov.24, 1889, Wilford Woodruff wrote that he had spent several hours in prayer regarding polygamy after attending a meeting with the lawyers who wanted him to make concession to the court regarding polygamy.

He received a revelation in which the Lord says, “Let not my servants who are called to the presidency of My church, deny My word or My law, which concerns the salvation of the children of men. Place not yourselves in jeopardy to your enemies by promise. Your enemies seek your destruction and the destruction of My people.

I the Lord will deliver My saints from the dominion of the wicked, in Mine own due time and way. I cannot deny My word…

Let Mine anointed gird up their loins, watch and be sober, and keep My commandments. (See Unpublished Revelations, Volume 1, by Fred C. Collier)

In 1904, some 14 years after this so called, manifesto, President Joseph F. Smith paid a fine for still living Celestial plural marriage. Heber J. Grant had paid a fine some time after Utah became a state in the late 1890’s as well.

If you read the manifesto, you see that it is made up of several excerpts from talks given over a couple of year period and if you compare this to revelations in the D & C, such as sections 131 and 132, you will see that none of them begin, “To whom it may concern: press dispatches having been sent…” Let’s get a lot more serious about truth, shall we folks?!

Most of us are probably unworthy to live this higher law; but, at least we ought to respect those who are worthy of the higher blessings that attend obedience to all of God’s laws; you know, those who actually may be exalted. (D&C 132)

Well, friends, choose ye this day whom ye will serve;… but, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Isn’t that your mantra too?