Parley P. Pratt denounces John C. Bennett and his "Spiritual Wife" teachings.

May 24, 1845
Parley P. Pratt

Parley P. Pratt, "This number closes the first volume of the 'Prophet'," The Prophet 1, no. 52 (May 24, 1845): [2]

The Prophet
John C. Bennett, Parley P. Pratt
Latter-day Saints, Reading Public

Beware of all influences calculated to draw your minds away from the gathering to the West, the building of the Temple and city of our Lord, and the endowment promised therein; for herein are the keys of thefulness of the priesthood ordained, for the salvation, and exaltation of the living and the dead; and for the dispensation of power to Israel, and thus restoring their tribes and remnants.

Whatsoever spirit, prophet, seer, angel, devil, or man, undertakes to divert your minds for one moment from these important interests, the same is an enemy to the cause and kingdom of our God.

Again, beware of seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, as first introduced by John C. Bennet, under the name of the 'Spiritual Wife' doctrine; and still agitated by the Pittsburg Seer, and his followers under the same title.

It is but another name for whoredom, wicked and unlawful connexion, and every kind of confusion, corruption, and abomination.

Should any elder or member, come unto you professing to hold to any such doc trine or practice, either secretly or publicly, you may be sure he is not of God; and it becomes your duty to reject him, and report him to the presidency of the church, or to some tribunal of the church where he is responsible for his doctrine and conduct. If this is done and testimony adduced he will be immediately disfellowshipped, and expelled from the church.

For know assuredly that no one has been authorized to teach, practice, or introduce any such doctrine in any of the branches of the church. Nor is there any such doctrine known, held, or practised, as a principle of the Latter Day Saints.

If a man has a wife according to the law of God and the regulations of the church, she is his REAL wife, body, soul, spirit, heart, and hand, and not his 'SPIRITUAL WIFE,' she is bound to love, honor, and obey him as her lord, head, and ruler, and to devote all her energies to the mutual welfare of her husband, herself and family. In short, to use the language of Paul, she should, if possible, 'bear children; guide the house, and give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.' On the other hand the husband of a woman is bound to be her REAL husband; to provide for his wife and children, and to be their head and father, and bring them up in the fear, and love, and truth of God, as did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob of old.

As to sealings, and covenants, to secure the union of parents, children, and companions in the world to come, or in the resurrection; it is a true doctrine, and as holy and pure as the throne of God, having emanated from his own bosom. Its laws are strict, and it admits of no confusion, unlawful connexion, or unvirtuous liberties. It is calculated to exalt society to the highest degree of happiness, union, purity, fidelity, virtue, confidence, and love, in this world and in that which is to come. It is, in short, a principle so high, so holy, and so pure that it can never be secured short of a compliance with the commandments of God, not only by a virtuous course of life, but by a strict observance of his commandments in regard to tithing, building the Temple, and the orders of endowment,

And there is not a more unlawful, and unjustifiable principle in existence, and one more calculated to injure and destroy the church than the principle of seeking to enjoy those blessings, in the wrong place and time, that is to say, without complying with the requisitions of heaven; to build the Temple, and gather together there for our endowment, and for our preparation for the most holy things.

In short, nothing pertaining to the fulness of the priesthood, and to covenants and preparations for eternal union and exaltation, can be secured short of a strict compliance with all the duties enjoined upon the Saints in regard to the Temple, etc.

How frequently a man and his wife, or a young couple about to be married, present themselves to me, with a request to sealed to each other; that is, married for eternity. Do I ever grant their request? No; for the best of all reasons.—I have no authority so to do under present circumstances; and, were I to do it, it would only be deceiving them; as such a sealing would not stand, or be recognized in the resurrection; unless performed according to the strict law of God, and of the keys of the sealing powers, and in connexion with the ordinances of endowment which belongs to God's Sanctuary, and no where else.

Did I ever pretend to administer such a seal or covenant, independent of those conditions ?—No, never.

The little that I do on the earth , as an agent for Jesus Christ, shall be done according to his laws, and mind, and will; and shall stand, though heaven and earth shall pass away.

These holy and sacred ordinances have nothing to do with whoredoms, unlawful connections, confusion or crime; but the very reverse. They have laws, limits, and bounds of the strictest kind, and none but the pure in heart, the strictly virtuous, or those who repent and become such, are worthy to partake of them. And an awful curse—a dreadful weight of condemnation await those who pervert, or abuse them.

'THE SPIRITUAL WIFE DOCTRINE ,' of J. C. Bennet, and numerous other apostates, is as foreign from the real principles of the church as the devil is from God, or as sectarianism is from christianity.

Beware then , all ye Saints, and ye watchmen of Zion: follow no such men; but follow the principles and examples set before you, by such men as elders Benson, Brown, and others of like spirit, which have been sent among you. And I believe I can with propriety say, follow me, and my precepts and example, for I have in all things taught you the true principles of Godliness and salvation, wherever I have associated with you.

In so doing you will be blessed, gathered , anointed, ordained, sealed, sanctified, and saved in the celestial kingdom of our God.


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