From polygamy to politics: 4 classes from ‘Saints’ we nonetheless want at this time

Whether you haven’t had the possibility to discover the Saints collection but or you might be like my husband and me who can’t wait to hearken to it on Sunday afternoons, these inquisitive about Church historical past have lots to be enthusiastic about with the latest quantity.

As the Church grows from yr to yr in every quantity, so does the variety of locations on the earth that every quantity covers. Saints, vol. 3, will spotlight a little-studied interval of Church historical past main as much as the dedication of the Bern Switzerland Temple in 1955.

▶You may additionally like: ‘Saints’ vol. 3 is coming quickly. Here’s a sneak peek of what it would cowl

Even previous to the fabric lined in Saints, vol. 3, there are a stunning variety of classes, connections, and statements made by previous Church leaders which can be nonetheless related at this time. Here is a have a look at a few of the fascinating issues we’ve realized from Saints, vol. 2 as we anticipate the discharge of the following quantity.

In the autumn of 2021, the First Presidency launched a message encouraging Latter-day Saints to put on masks and get vaccinated. Their assertion was met with a variety of responses, from settlement to disappointment to frustration.


Eight leaders of the Church obtained the primary dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on January 19, 2021, in Salt Lake City.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In Saints, we learn an analogous story from the early days of the Church regarding a unique matter. During the 1860s, Brigham Young had been encouraging a “cooperative movement” for Latter-day Saints in an try to construct Zion. The motion discouraged retailers from promoting Eastern items for private revenue and inspired Saints to construct Zion’s financial system and turn out to be self-sufficient by doing issues like rising their very own meals or making their very own garments.

While many heeded the encouragement, different retailers and businessmen had been annoyed and felt that Brigham Young “was old-fashioned and exerted too much influence over the lives of the Saints.” Two males started overtly talking out in opposition to Brigham Young and his cooperative counsel. Saints shares the prophet’s response:

He affirmed that every one folks had a proper to assume for themselves, simply as Church leaders had a proper to counsel them in response to revelation. “We work in harmony with our Savior,” he declared. “He works in harmony with His Father, and we cooperate with the Son for the salvation of ourselves and the human family.”

Brigham additionally rejected the concept that Church leaders couldn’t make errors. “Man having the priesthood may be fallible,” he declared. “I do not pretend to be infallible.” But his fallibility didn’t imply God couldn’t work via him for the nice of the Saints.

… He would proceed to evangelise and follow cooperation, no matter what … retailers did or mentioned. “I will leave it to the people to do as they have a mind to,” he mentioned. “I have the right to counsel them, and they have the right to take my counsel or let it alone” (Saints, vol. 2: No Unhallowed Hand, chapter 24, emphasis added).

Whether the subject is well being within the 2000s or economics within the 1800s, Church leaders have typically shared counsel with Latter-day Saints. This is a transparent reminder that even for the reason that early days of the Church, an essential a part of company has been to decide on how we’ll reply to that counsel.

As the precept of plural marriage started to be taught and clarified, Brigham Young described to the Saints his personal battle with accepting Joseph Smith’s revelation on it. He ended his message by encouraging one thing that President Nelson has emphasised at this time: the significance of non-public revelation.

Brigham then bore witness of the Lord’s revelation to Joseph Smith on everlasting marriage, testifying that God nonetheless revealed His phrases to the Church. “If it was necessary to write them, we would write all the time,” he mentioned. “We would rather the people, however, would live so as to have revelations for themselves, and then do the work we are called to do. That is enough for us” (Saints, vol. 2: No Unhallowed Hand, chapter 10, emphasis added).


President Brigham Young, second prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, affirmed that every one folks had a proper to assume for themselves, simply as Church leaders had a proper to counsel them in response to revelation.

Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Hand in hand with this precept can also be the thought of permitting others house to dwell the gospel the best way they interpret it. This was an particularly tough problem for Latter-day Saints after the Manifesto was issued, which led to the finish of plural marriage. Interpretations and judgments had been made by native members about how plural households ought to perform going ahead, regardless of no clear instructions talked about within the doc. This led to some plural wives being shamed or labeled by others as sinful for persevering with to have kids with their husband.

One pregnant girl, Lorena Larsen, confronted this judgment from her mom, who was additionally her Relief Society president. For a time, it appeared that even her husband was going to desert her. Lorena took her ache to Elder Anthon Lund, who was an Apostle and the president of the Manti temple on the time. We might not all be capable to have an Apostle verify our actions, however Elder Lund’s response reminds us that our choices of how you can comply with the prophet’s steering and dwell righteously are in the end ours alone and must be determined between us and God, it doesn’t matter what others assume. Saints explains that “Anthon wept as he listened to her story. ‘Walk straight ahead amid the sneers and jeers of everybody,’ he counseled her. ‘You are all right’” (Saints, vol. 2: No Unhallowed Hand, chapter 42).

Read extra of the context behind Lorena’s battle with the Manifesto and its penalties for her and her husband, Bent, in chapter 42.

Although Saints goes into extra element concerning the occasions, prayers, and choices main as much as the Manifesto, to the Saints who first heard it the explanations for its creation had been unclear, and lots of started speculating about its function and length:

In dialog, Heber [Grant] heard a number of Apostles say that the Manifesto was a short lived measure, suspending plural marriage till the Saints may follow it legally. Lorenzo Snow, the president of the quorum, believed it was a mandatory step to earn the goodwill of others. “The Manifesto will turn the hearts of many honest-hearted people to a feeling of friendship and respect for us,” he mentioned. “I can see the good of the Manifesto clearly and am thankful for it.”

While it’s tempting even at this time to attempt to clarify or create a cause for one thing occurring within the Church that appears complicated or contradictory, historical past teaches us to as an alternative place our belief in God. George Q. Cannon, who was a member of the First Presidency on the time, shared the next perception about how all folks, together with Church leaders, search revelation. His phrases are nonetheless relevant at this time:

“The presidency of the Church have to walk just as you walk,” George had mentioned. “They have to take steps just as you take steps. They have to depend upon the revelations of God as they come to them. They cannot see the end from the beginning, as the Lord does.”

“All that we can do,” he had continued, “is to seek the mind and will of God, and when that comes to us, though it may come in contact with every feeling that we have previously entertained, we have no option but to take the step that God points out and to trust to Him” (Saints, vol. 2: No Unhallowed Hand, chapter 40).

By 1892, a lot of the rivalry within the Church was due to politics. Until that point, Saints had primarily voted for candidates within the Church’s political get together, the People’s Party. After the get together was disbanded, Latter-day Saints had been inspired to affix different events partially as an try to create extra political variety. However, when new rivalry arose over differing political beliefs, the next assertion was shared by President Woodruff on the April 1892 basic convention:

“Every man has as much right—prophets, apostles, saints, and sinners—to his political convictions as he has to his religious opinions,” Wilford had declared. “Don’t throw filth and dirt and nonsense at one another because of any difference on political matters” (Saints vol. 2: No Unhallowed Hand, chapter 43).

We proceed to listen to this identical message at this time at election time when the First Presidency reminds members that the Church as an establishment is impartial and encourages Latter-day Saints to take part in politics and develop their very own political beliefs.


An American flag waves beside the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.


It is hopeful to know that a few of the challenges and contentions we face at this time have been confronted in some type by others earlier than. I expect to find extra parallels to the present day within the subsequent quantity of Saints.

For extra enjoyable details and little-known tales from the primary two volumes of Saints, take a look at the next:

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