Joseph Smith married multiple wives, as did Abraham, David and Moses. This was a common practice in the past, and may be so again someday in the future. It is the church's position that at this point in history plural marriage is not the best suited form of marriage for strengthening the family, and so people of the faith do not practice it at this time.
best suited form of marriage
Eber Howe, in his 1831 anti-Mormon book Mormonism Unvailed, noted the use of names — “Desolation” and “Bountiful” from Pilgrim’s Progress(1678) in the Book of Mormon. Bunyan's texts provide extensive narrative parallels to the Book of Mormon, often containing unique characteristics shared only by Bunyan and Smith.
Furthermore, the parallels tying the stories together occur on multiple levels, both in the underlying structural framework and in the specific language used to express ideas and events
Bunyan’s other works play a significant role in the Book of Mormon, including Grace Abounding, Pilgrim’s Progress (Part 2), The Life and Death of Mr. Badman, Holy War, and several others. In fact, based on my years of extensive research and discoveries, Holy War provides what may be the most comprehensive collection of parallel narratives bridging the Book of Mormon to Bunyan’s texts: battles between light- and dark-skinned combatants to the point of annihilation, siege warfare and battle strategies, seditious factions and civil strife, secret cabals attempting to seize government control, righteous men who are heroic captains of war, and even a personal visitation of Jesus Christ and his establishment of a righteous society. The parallel narratives are ubiquitous and systemic, appearing with sustained consistency throughout the entire narrative of the Book of Mormon. Indeed, reading the Book of Mormon is tantamount to reading John Bunyan’s many works condensed into a single volume.
When Smith produced the Book of Mormon, he did not sit down and carefully compose and revise his narratives the way most authors do. Adapting a practice from folk magic, he placed a seer stone in the bottom of an upturned hat, held his face to the hat to block out light, and then proceeded to dictate the Book of Mormon to a scribe, without reference to texts or notes. In approximately sixty working days, he completed the Book of Mormon – a work in excess of 500 printed pages – and did not return to revise the text, beyond minor adjustments (mostly spelling and punctuation). Yet, the work contains a highly complex and powerful narrative structure that remains internally cohesive. The significance of the work, in literary terms, is that the text of the Book of Mormon represents a first draft – one with little revision to Smith’s original stream of narrative creation. Few authors have ever attempted a comparable feat.
The work is, then, no matter how much the product of literary reading, not itself a literary production; it is the record of an extended oral performance – comparable in length and magnitude to the classic oral epics, such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey
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