One-Minute Answers by Stephen R. Gibson

Contents of One-Minute Answers

Does the Doctrine and
Covenants Contradict It?

Question: The Book of Mormon states that the many wives and concubines of David and Solomon were an abomination before the Lord (Jacob 2:23-24). But Doctrine and Covenants 132:38 contradicts the Book of Mormon and says David and Solomon didn't sin. Is this a contradiction in the Standard Works?

David, as a polygamist, did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord until he took the wife of Uriah, according to both the Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants. The Bible says,

Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite (I Kings 15:5).
The Bible tells us that David's wives were given to him by the Lord through his prophet, Nathan, who is also mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants 132:39. David, however, sinned greatly in the case of Uriah, so much that the scriptures tell us he has fallen from his exaltation (D & C 132:39).

In the case of Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-6), his situation was truly an abomination because he took unauthorized, non-Israelite, pagan wives and concubines. The result was that his wives turned his heart against God and toward pagan gods, in spite of the fact that God had appeared to Solomon twice:

But King Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonies, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;

Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods; Solomon clave unto these in love.

And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.

For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David, his father.

For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father (1 Kings. 11:1-6).

The Doctrine and Covenants agrees with the Bible. The Lord, in speaking to Jacob in the Book of Mormon, knew the minds of the people and that they were excusing their own sins by comparing themselves to David and Solomon. Why, out of all the Biblical kings and prophets who were polygamists, were David and Solomon singled out for criticism by the Lord? Because they sinned in the taking of unlawful wives, i.e., David in the case of Bathsheba (1 Kings 15:5) and Solomon with his foreign wives.

This "thing," the taking of unauthonzed wives, was the sin and abomination Jacob warned of, not the marrying of additional wives given by the Lord's prophets.