If you know one thing about the FLDS church or FLDS revelations, it's probably the rampant polygamy. Although polygamy was a part of early Mormon revelations and the development of the Church, mainstream Mormonism abandoned the practice in 1890. In the more extreme FLDS, a fundamentalist (hence the "F") sect of Mormonism, polygamy is still alive and well, as tales of escaped women, many child brides, make all too clear.
If you've never looked closely at revelations about polygamy, they're certainly fascinating. Basically, FLDS church leaders, namely Warren Jeffs, are making up nonsense to justify polygamy, then saying such nonsense is a revelation that came directly to the good people from God. Conveniently, most of Warren Jeffs's revelations are about polygamy, even though, technically, they could really be about anything. God created all, right? So, he/she probably has a lot to talk about. However, as per FLDS revelations, God chooses to talk about nothing except the one thing the Church is constantly criticized for. How curious.
Another interesting aspect of all this is watching more and more such revelations arise as the Church unravels, which began in earnest when Jeffs was jailed in 2011. While there are certainly old school, OG Mormon revelations that built the foundations of polygamy in the Church, the burst that began in 2011, and which forms the written, public foundation of FLDS polygamist beliefs, keeps getting weirder. Enjoy the weirdness.
The OG Convenient Polygamy Revelation
The Latter Day Saints revelation of 1843, received from God by Joseph Smith at Nauvoo, IL, recorded on July 12 of that year, and solidified in the 1886 Revelation, is considered sacred by the FLDS, and lays the foundation for polygamy. When mainstream Mormonism dropped polygamy in 1890, it gave birth to offshoots that wished to continue the practice. Much like Obama wants to take all your guns, LDS wanted to jack people's wives.
The text of the original revelation is pretty amazing in it's shamelessness. Basically God confirms the beliefs of polygamists at the time. Polygamist men, that is. Women are out of luck. Take a look at some of these passages:
"61 [I]f any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another…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.
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.
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."
So, yeah, pretty on the nose. The best part? There was also a section very conveniently directed at Joseph Smith's wife, basically telling her not to complain about it:
"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."
Wow, God really is specific in his orders, huh?
Even Jesus Was a Polygamist
One of Warren Jeffs's many incomprehensible revelations from prison, which were published as The Letter To All Nations, definitely proves polygamy isn't just some thing he made up for convenience. As it turns out, even Jesus was into it.
Section Revelation 159:27-31 from January 22, 2012 reads:
“Let my holy will now be of full knowing. I had many wives during my holy way of ministry on earth, which was a reason leaders of Jews wanted me to be of a way of not dwelling among men on earth. They learned I was of full living Celestial Plural Marriage Union. I was husband on earth to wives pure, holy, noble, of only pure holy way. Let this be to thy knowing that my Eternal Union Order is holy, of me, thy Lord.”
Yup, that's Jesus speaking. Talking about all his wives. Who definitely existed.
Also of note, Jesus has the amateur poet's obsession with unnecessary verbosity: "... leaders of Jews wanted me to be of a way of not dwelling among men on earth." Why not just say they crucified you, dude? We all know that's what you mean.
God Hates the LDS Church for Rejecting Polygamy, According to Warren Jeffs
For whatever reason, God seems to speak to Warren Jeffs about very few things other than polygamy. He even went out of his way to say how angry he is at the mainstream Mormon church, as evidenced by the first revelation in The Letter To All Nations. Section Revelation 3:14-16 from October 2, 2009 reads:
“For that branch called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known by the world, has become corrupt, and broke away from my Priesthood authority, and they rejected by Celestial Law of Marriage, and I, the Lord, have rejected them. And they shall be brought low, and feel the chastening hand of God for all their abominations against the laws of God. And I say unto this people of this nation, repent ye, repent ye, for my judgments are already upon you, and will soon be poured out without measure, beginning at the house of God; those who have professed to know my name, and have blasphemed against me, and changed the law and ordinances of my Gospel, and submitted to the ways and persuasions of men.”
He's really, really angry about it. So much so he randomly capitalized "priesthood."
Polygamy Means Living by a Higher Law
Polygamy isn't just a necessity or a behavior, according this Jeffs jail revelation. It's a higher plane of being, one in which participants are not beholden to the laws of man. Take a look at Section Revelation 36:64:
“My people who receive Celestial Marriage, the plurality of wives in a pure state, live a higher law than man’s ways; and I [Jesus] am the governor of this holy law."
Nothing purer than a dozen brides who haven't reached puberty yet. Nothing purer at all. "And thus the Lord spaketh, 'Give them unto me for tending, and once there is grass 'pon the field, thou shalt play.' Amen."