We finished up our conversation with Anne Wilde by focusing on her life (including why she started Principle Voices) and learning more about scriptural polygamy.  I asked Anne about her background.

Anne:  I went to BYU on a scholarship, graduated with honors.  I year after I graduated, I married in monogamy to Ted Wilde, was married in the temple.  I was married for nine years but during that nine years I realized there had been a lot of changes made in the church.  The two of us, he was very intelligent, a researcher, a scholar, not an author but knew a lot about the history of the church, so I learned a lot of that from him and then in visiting a lot of friends that he had.

One of those friends was Ogden Kraut and so when the marriage didn’t work out a year later, I became Ogden’s second wife.  I was married to him for 33 years and then he died in 2002, 15 years ago.  We had a really happy marriage…

As I learned more, Anne mentioned that Jesus was a polygamist!

Anne:  I was his secretary so we got away with going places together because I typed his books.  We were good friends and if anyone asked, “Well yeah, this is my secretary,” which was true.

When Jesus Was Married came out in [19]69, it was in February of ’69.  That was Ogden’s first book, and he knew that Joseph F. Smith was president of the Quorum of Twelve at that time.  He knew his belief that Jesus was married, so as soon as the books came out of the bindery, we took the first copy up to Joseph Fielding Smith and got right in.  The secretary was there at that time, you know you could walk right in practically and see a general authority.  The office door was open.  Here was the receptionist.  Could we give him this book?  She motioned us in.  We gave it to him and then we said, “What do you think?”

He said, “Oh, absolutely he was married.  His account of his marriage is right in the New Testament.  It could be no other way.  The account of his marriage is in the New Testament, referring to the Marriage at Cana.”

Have you read Ogden Kraut’s book?  Do you believe Jesus was married?  We talked more about Jesus being married.

GT:  Ok, so you’re saying that the wedding feast that Jesus turned water to wine, that was Jesus’ wedding?

Anne:  That was his wedding.

GT:  Who did he marry?

Anne:  Probably Mary.

GT:  Mary Magdalene?

Anne:  He had at least three wives.

GT:  Three wives?

Anne:  Uh huh.  Mary, Martha, and Mary Magdalene that we know of; there’s a quote that kings’ daughters were among his honorable wives.  We wrote a whole book on that.

GT:  Kings daughters were among his honorable wives.

Anne:  among Christ’s honorable wives.

GT:  I don’t understand what that means:  Kings daughters?

Anne:  He married kings’ daughters.  Kings’ daughters were among his honorable wives, meaning the Savior’s wives.

GT:  Ok so are you referring to Mary and Martha being the king’s daughters?

Anne:  Not necessarily, but Mary Magdalene was from royalty.

GT:  Mary Magdalene was from royalty?

Anne:  Yeah.  The translation on that, like we discussed earlier, was wrong.[1]

GT:  Do you see that from—I don’t see that in the Joseph Smith Translation[2], or is that from revelation?  How do you come up with that?

Anne:  You’d have to read the book.  There are a lot of references.  Joseph Smith, for example, told two or three people, “You are direct descendants of Jesus Christ.”  You can’t be that unless he had children, which he did.

I decided to ask Anne about some of the controversial aspects of D&C 132.  I know a lot of people were really bothered by the Gospel Topics reference to the Law of Sarah.  Did you know that is an actual marriage ordinance?

GT:  I’m going to try my best to channel my LDS woman here, but they’re going to say, “Well look.  You’re telling me—to me the Law of Sarah, if a man can be exempt from the Law of Sarah, what’s the point having a “Law of Sarah?”  It’s more of an idea.  It’s ideal.

Anne:  No, it’s an ordinance.  In fact during the marriage ceremony she is supposed to put the hand of the future wife, the prospective wife into the hand of her husband.  That’s part of the ceremony. But if she doesn’t go along with it and is not going to be there, he’s exempt from that.

I also asked about concubines.

GT:  I did remember one more question that I wanted to ask you concerning D&C 132.  One of the references in there says something about wives and concubines.  My understanding of the Old Testament, and I want to key in on that term concubines there, we look at it today, concubines are known more of as, especially with ISIS in the Middle East, those are basically sex slaves.  They would take women who were conquered in war, try to convert them to Islam, and they are not full wives, and it seems awful for lack of a better word.

Anne:  Right, oh yeah, I agree.

GT:  It seems like these are literally sex slaves.  So I have a concern about that in 132.  It says in there that God gave Abraham and David wives and concubines.  It is my understanding of the Old Testament especially, a lot of these wives that David and Solomon had were arranged marriages with other kingdoms.  They were there to build alliances.  These were not Jewish women.  When we talk about the sealing, I can’t imagine how if Abraham is marrying a gentile, and many of these wives certainly would have been gentiles, why?  In my modern understanding, if you want to be sealed together forever, you’ve got to be members of the church or at least worthy members of the priesthood.  I wouldn’t expect Ogden Kraut to go marry some non-LDS…

Anne interrupts:  Unbeliever.

GT:  Unbeliever, that’s a better word for it, an unbeliever.  Why would God sanction concubines specifically?  Is that the same thing as a sex slave as we’re thinking of now?  I’ll just stop there.

Anne:  Well my understanding of that is that they are “lesser wives.”  They are not covenant wives.  They are probably not eternal-type wives.  But I think there are traditions and customs in countries that God allows to happen.  They may not be His religious way of doing things, but he allows them to adhere to the customs and traditions of the country at the time.  I would assume it was something like that.

Abraham was building up a kingdom, kind of like, whatever the reason, God acknowledged that.  It’s not a religious thing necessarily.  We talk about the difference between civil rights and religious rights, they were civil ceremonies probably, probably.  I really don’t know how to explain that any better.

GT:  These concubines would have been for time only essentially?

Anne:  Yeah, correct.

What are your thoughts regarding concubines?  What are your thoughts regarding biblical polygamy?  Was Jesus married?  a polygamist?  Is polygamy an eternal principle?  Is a man justified in having concubines?

——

[1] The 8th Article of Faith says, “WE BELIEVE THE BIBLE TO BE THE WORD OF GOD AS FAR AS IT IS TRANSLATED CORRECTLY.”  A September 2015 Ensign article at LDS.org gives more information.  See https://www.lds.org/new-era/2015/09/to-the-point/what-does-the-eighth-article-of-faith-mean-when-it-says-we-believe-the-bible-to-be-the-word-of-god-as-far-as-it-is-translated-correctly?lang=eng

[2] Joseph Smith believed that many errors were in the bible and many plain and precious parts were removed.  As early as 1831, he received revelations restoring many lost verses, and these extra versions are known as the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible.  The LDS Bible has various verses added as footnotes, as well as an appendix.  The Community of Christ retains the original copyright, and has these verses added as their official version of the Bible, known as the Inspired Translation.  For a basic history, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith_Translation_of_the_Bible