A comment from a good friend sums up the plural marriage issue for me pretty well:
Men claim that they have special revelation/permission from God to go against God’s normative teachings. And why is God breaking the rules that He Himself laid out? Is it to bring about racial reconciliation? To empower women? Bring a halt to human trafficking? Fight world hunger? Reform maternity care in the US?
Oh, no. The heavens are open and the God of the Universe has given special permission for certain men to get their dicks wet with women other than their wives.
Joseph Smith? “And we called it ‘celestial marriage'”
Tony Jones? “You’re just the legal wife, I have a spiritual wife now.”
My ex-spouse? “I prayed about it and God told me not to stop seeing my other sex partner, so you don’t get a say in it.”
Some woman on a blog I recently read: “I got on Tinder and cheated on my husband and got pregnant with another man’s baby, but it’s brought me closer to God and now we see how all things work together for the good of those who love him!”
That pastor who impregnated 20+ women, married women and young girls: “The Holy Spirit told me to do it.”
Look, here’s the thing: sure, there’s some weird crap in the Bible that’s hard to justify. The sacrifice of Isaac, some of the Mosaic laws, the slaughter of the Midianites, and so forth. It’s difficult to believe that God would command those things. I’m not an apologist. I’m not here to justify those things for you.
But even with all of that weird stuff in there, it NEVER happens that God expressly commands a man to boink women other than his wife. It NEVER happens that God OK’s adultery. Forgives adultery, yes. Says some people were righteous folks in spite of being adulterers, sure. But it just NEVER happens that God comes along and says, “Okay, my child. I hereby grant you special permission to get your dick wet. Go thou and have fun!”
And people really need to stop insulting both God and our intelligence by claiming God signed off on this stuff.
That is all.