Abstract of Foster, Craig L. “Doctrine and Covenants Section 132 and Joseph Smith’s Expanding Concept of Family.”

Foster, Craig L.  “Doctrine and Covenants Section 132 and Joseph Smith’s Expanding Concept of Family.”  ”  In The Persistence of Polygamy: Joseph Smith and the Origins of Mormon Polygamy, edited by Newell G. Bringhurst and Craig L. Foster, 87-98.  Independence, MO: John Whitmer Books, 2010. [Mormon/Theology/Family/Sealings/Priesthood/Ritual/Liturgy/Worship]

This brief article summarizes teachings of the Nauvoo period and Section 132 relative to the eternal nature of the family and the necessity of an eternal marriage to create the eternal family.  The first part of the article keys off of the 1989 study of David Hackett Fischer, Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), which discusses how the nuclear family was viewed in various sections of early America.  The tight nuclear family defined by blood relations was predominant in Puritan New England; other views dominated the South.  Foster argues that the New England model “most influenced Joseph Smith and other early Mormons as they brought these concepts of the family and kinship into their new religious movement.”  (p. 91)   Joseph Smith’s revelations taught how such a family could be eternal.

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