I believe that God may have given JS a spark or a push to begin his prophetic mission. Also related to this I believe God may have given JS his gift for seership (seeing what others do not). I do not believe that JS was regularly receiving information from God in a supernatural manner. This opinion colors my answer.
Because I do not believe there is a perfect or divine order or organization to be restored, it appears that JS was growing the church organization, procedures, and doctrines pretty organically as the need arose or as his ponderings prompted him. Similar to the US Justice system, it was based on the work and examples of justice systems that had come before. Far from being an exact copy, several improvements or innovations were made by the founding fathers right at the beginning. Other growths grew up naturally over time. I see the church as being similar to this.
gospeltangents wrote: ↑
22 Nov 2017, 23:44
Why would God justify this practice? ...[snip]... It is about the New & Everlasting Covenant, so time-only marriages to concubines, non-believers, seems an anathema to me. I realized that in some ways, polygamy is really about disposable marriages in addition to eternal ones. Thoughts?
I do not believe that JS intended to restore concubines. I believe that it was part of the culture and practice that JS was borrowing from and it made it onto the page strictly on that merit alone. Perhaps a comparison might be early US post colonial judges wearing white wigs for a time. It served no purpose but was part of the culture and practice that the founding fathers were largely borrowing from. I believe it is similar to that.
gospeltangents wrote: ↑
22 Nov 2017, 23:44
It was interesting to hear that it is an actual ceremony. Were you aware of that?
I was not, although it does not surprise me. I did know that Emma is described as placing the hands of a few (2, I believe) young women into the hand of JS during her brief period of struggling acceptance of polygamy.
Also, I know that the "Law of Adoption" was also an ordinance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_ad ... Mormonism)
It seems to me that JS may have added some number of ordinances to the traditional Christian baptism, laying on of hands for HG/Priesthood, and the Sacrament.
There is the washing and anointing for initiatory and for administering to the woman near childbirth, the endowment, the prayer circle, the sealing, the washing of feet, the second endowment, the hosanna shout, the blessing of homes and graves. I understand that resurrection is supposed to be an ordinance. Was there any ordinance associated with the council of 50? Why not the law of Sarah and the law of Adoption.
Several of these ordinances have been reduced, phased out, or discontinued. I am not aware of any ordinance being repudiated as invalid. When WW stopped the practice of "law of Adoption" he said:
"I have not felt satisfied, nor has any man since the Prophet Joseph Smith who has attended to the ordinance of adoption in the temples of our God. We have felt there was more to be revealed on this subject than we have received … and the duty that I want every man who presides over a Temple to see performed from this day henceforth, unless the Lord Almighty commands otherwise, is let every man be adopted to his father."
Wikipedia describes this as "Placed in abeyance" as though every it and the law of Sarah are perhaps sitting together in a metaphorical closet somewhere collecting dust until they can spring forward once more. Perhaps when the church or nation is righteous enough to receive them in their fullness. Perhaps on the eve of the millennial reign. Who can say?
To reiterate my personal opinion. JS added many ordinances. Some of those ran into dead ends rather quickly and were discontinued/discarded. Some others took longer meandering paths before slowing to a trickle or silently stopping altogether. The ordinances associated with polygamy and the new and everlasting covenant of marriage were later rechanneled and repurposed into the monogamous temple sealings that we have today. The Law of Sarah ordinance appears to be a casualty of this rechanneling. Some others of those new ordinances remain with us today in more or less the same form as when JS created them.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood
“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223
"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13