The individual and truth

There are two propositions I believe have the potential for defining our lives here in mortality.
First, the importance of the individual.
I really do believe in the importance, centrality and power of the individual.  What happens everywhere in the world begins with interpersonal relationships and the individual.  More can be done, and is done to change the course of history by the actions of individuals than anything else.

There’s that old saying that when God wants to change the world, He sends a baby.  Whether that baby is Buddha, or Gandhi, or Abraham Lincoln, or Henry Ford, or Thomas Beckett, or Jesus, the world changes when babies enter mortality.  All lives matter.  No one matters more than another in my view. The accumulation of lives well lived is the stuff of history.  How many unnamed artisans were required to build the Parthenon? 

Our day is the great day of the individual.  Now your thoughts can be sent by electronic means anywhere in the world.  Your audience can include every living person who has a connection to the internet.  I think there is a purpose there.

You matter.  All of us do.  Good ideas can now spread on eagle’s wings, so to speak.  A spark kindled today can light the whole world.

Second, the primacy of good.

I believe truth will triumph.  To be here on the earth required an initial “screening,” which was conducted before the people who are born here were permitted to come.  All those who live here came from a shared God and Father of us all.  Therefore, we have something in common.
Truth is recognizable.  It must be fought to be suppressed.  Although some will wage that fight and succeed in blighting their sense of the truth and light, the overwhelming majority will not.  The “light of Christ” given to all mankind as a commonly shared inheritance persists here.
The result is that truth will win.  In free exchanges of ideas, it will be truth that will ultimately triumph.  I believe the truth will win even if it is only spoken as a whisper in a hurricane of opposition.  It will win.
It is unnecessary for truth to come from authorized sources.  It is irrelevant for it to be opposed by authorized sources.  It will always triumph.  Crush it, burn it, send it into the wilderness and crucify those who believe it – it will triumph. 

THE Remnant

The subject of THE “remnant” is too great to undertake in a post here.  I’ve attended meetings lasting two days in which the subject was the sole matter being discussed.  I’ve had discussions, read a manuscript, exchanged emails and spent years on this subject with people who know more about the details than do I.  Therefore my conclusion is that it exceeds the parameters of this venue.
 

Identification of the “remnant” was critical to Joseph Smith.  Although we’ve discarded the issue, it was of central concern to the early Brethren.  So much so that the “remnant” was what drove the movement westward near the “borders of the Lamanites”   The first missionaries were sent to the “Lamanites” as part of the Restoration’s concern with the promised “remnant” of the Book of Mormon people.  (See D&C 32: 2.)  The Saints were required to move west to be near these people as part of locating Zion.  (D&C 54: 8.)
The Book of Mormon is filled with promises addressed to the “remnant” of those people.  Modern revelation promises they will blossom as a rose.  (D&C 49: 24.)
The first Temple built in the west after the exodus was in St. George to be near the suspected “remnant” to be reclaimed.  The first company in that Temple’s first session included a Chief from the Hopi tribe.  Brother Nibley was partial to the Hopi as the “remnant” or at least a part of the “remnant” and he wrote a good deal about them.
This is an important subject.  Worthy of study.  But it is too great a subject for treatment in a limited venue like this.  To do it justice would require this forum to become devoted to that subject for many days.  By the time it was finished, I doubt anyone would still be reading.  So I’ll just reaffirm the subject is important, and there are many passages in the Book of Mormon dealing with the “remnant” of the Book of Mormon people.  Promises extended to them have not yet been fulfilled.  But all those promises will be fulfilled.  As they are, the role of those people will change from what we see it today into something much more central to the Church.

Missionary in Kenya

There’s a family I home teach whose son is on a mission in Kenya.  They ride a motorcycle to teach outlying areas.  Three at a time on the bike through the rain and on muddy roads.  They are in a city of 75,000 and not a road is paved in the entire city.  Sort of like Sandy, Utah right now. Comparable size and dirt roads everywhere while they do their “stimulus” spending on roadways. 

They baptized four new converts last week.  My young elder (he’s mine because I still home teach him over the internet) did two of the baptisms.  It was quite a milestone in his young life.

 
The pictures are quite interesting.  Here’s this 6 foot white, smiling kid standing with a crowd of shorter, very dark faces all with the look of joy and kinship on their countenances.  He’s sort of a spectacle to the people there.  Not only his height, but his light skin and blonde hair.  Kids ask if they can touch him (and he lets them). 
 
What an adventure this young man is on.  What fun it is to share it by reading his emails sent back home.  It reminds me of just how small the world is after all.  I guess Disney got that right….

Follow Christ in all things

I was asked:
 
Nephi invites us to follow Christ in all the ordinances starting with baptism.  The endowment clearly requires us to follow Adam in seeking more light and truth, receiving ordinances and making covenants.  Finally, when we arrive in the sealing room we seek to follow and obtain the blessings of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.  Ultimately we follow Christ in all things, but I wondered if you could comment on this.
 
My response:
 
Nephi followed Christ.  Adam followed Christ.  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob followed Christ.  We get examples from sacred writings (and ordinances) which incorporate reference to earlier disciples of Christ, but always in the context of showing the need to follow Christ.
 
There is no jealousy about using a man who followed Christ as an example to follow.  One of the reasons the Melchizedek Priesthood is named after a man rather than retaining the original “Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God” was to prevent the frequent repetition of the Son of God name.  (See D&C 107: 2-4.)  This was respectful of the Son of God, while using the man Melchizedek as the example for using the authority which comes from the Son of God.
 
However, the one we follow is Christ and we follow His Gospel.  When we decide to follow only a disciple of His, even if it is a true disciple, we miss the mark and fall to a Telestial state and are no better than the liars and thieves.  (See D&C 76: 98-104.)  So even when it is a man whose example we list or refer to, it is only to the extent that the man illustrates the correct manner to follow the Son of God.
 
The God of the Telestial Kingdom (in which we are presently situated) is the Holy Ghost.  The God of the Terrestrial Kingdom (which the Millennium will reflect) is Jesus Christ.  The God of the Celestial Kingdom is God the Father.  (See D&C Section 76.)  The Holy Ghost brings us to Christ.  Christ brings us to the Father.  The Father extends the promise of exaltation by making you a son or daughter of God.
 
The plan of redemption brings us from our current, fallen state back to a state of awareness of our condition, and then by cleansing us, elevates us in light and truth.  The primary God with whom we deal here is the Holy Ghost.  However, the association with Christ is promised by Him in Chapter 14 of John.  Joseph Smith explained that when the promise given by Christ in that chapter of John is realized, then the Father and Son will visit with the person from time to time.  He also clarified that the visit referred to is actual, not just something “in the heart” of a believer.  (D&C 130: 3.)
 
Abraham is the example used in the sealing ordinance because Abraham’s covenant with the Lord is the prototype of what the Lord promises all those who follow Him.  Those promises include eternal increase (posterity), land (inheritance) and eternal life.

Current State of Things

I was asked why I do not sound the alarm about the current state of society more often.  My view is that fixing problems on a large scale is not helpful. The fix should occur at the individual level.  We fix the whole of society with individual conversions, not by better legislation.  I do have a view about the state of the world at present.  It comes from Moroni, and other modern revelations.  I might as well lay out that view, briefly:

Satan does not create.  He cannot.  He only destroys what others create.

Since life itself is sacred, and he cannot create life, he shows his “great power” by taking life.  This is the reason he taught murder to Cain, because if life is among the greatest of gifts from God, Satan’s secret work of murder attacks the power of creation.  (See Moses 5: 29-32.)

If you want to know where Satan’s great work is prospering anytime in history, look for those groups who organize to kill others.  Those who preach hate, lead to violence, lead to murder and ultimately mass killing.  These are the ones who do not create, nor do they respect the great gift of creation given by God to mankind.  These are they who are overcome by the devil, who love a lie, who make war with God and will ultimately succeed in completely rejecting what He has offered to them.  (See D&C 76: 28-37.)


“Destroyer” is one of Satan’s names.  (See D&C 61: 19.)
Murder of the innocent is one of the unpardonable sins.  (See D&C 132: 19)  It is so offensive because it undoes the great gift of life given by God.  It is a direct challenge to God’s authority.  He alone holds the keys of life and death.  Killing directly invades God’s authority.
We live at a time when there are organized efforts to form groups for the sole purpose of killing others.  This behavior is so directly analogous to the Gadianton conspiracy within the Book of Mormon that the lessons there should serve as notice to us.  Moroni interrupted his translation of the Book of Ether to give us this warning: 
 Ether 8: 20-26 

  20 And now I, Moroni, do not write the manner of their oaths and combinations, for it hath been made known unto me that they are had aamong all people, and they are had among the Lamanites.

21 And they have caused the adestruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.

22 And whatsoever anation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the bblood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for cvengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not. 

23 Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get apower and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of bdestruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.

24 Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this asecret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

25 For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the afreedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who bbeguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath chardened the hearts of men that they have dmurdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning. 

26 Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have ano power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be bpersuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all crighteousness and be saved.    

Having said the foregoing, let me add that I do not think knowing our awful circumstance does a thing to fix it.  What fixes it is to have more people come to the Lord, develop love for their fellow man, and live the commandments given by Him.  That is something done one person at a time.  I despair when I think in larger numbers than the individual.  I rejoice when I think of the single person.  For anything is possible with each person, no matter what their circumstances. 

Fast and Testimony

In our ward yesterday we heard testimonies from ward members who rarely speak.  It was delightful.  One of the best testimony meetings I can recall.  One fellow who spoke was so moved by what he was telling us that he had to choke back tears.  His elderly mother has Alzheimer’s disease and he could not be certain what was getting through to her.  She responded to him touching her hand, rubbing her back, and whispering to her during his last visit.  His comments focused on charity toward others, and the great example he pointed to was the  group responsible for caring for the people at the facility where his mother was located.  They were primarily Hispanic.  They labored with smiles on their faces and showed such genuine care for the people that he had to thank someone as part of his last visit.  He spoke with a woman working there, and thanked her and the whole staff through her for the kindness, charity and love they show while providing care for the people they serve.  The woman was grateful for his comments.  His whole testimony was about charity and caring for others.  It was quite moving, and a reminder again of how many opportunities there are to provide service to others.

Another fellow spoke about his baptism, long ago in the South.  He was baptized in a “muddy stream” when he was young, and he can remember how cold it was on that day.  It was the first time my children had heard him speak, although we have been in the same ward for nearly two decades.  They all were surprised he had a southern accent.  And they all said they now “really loved the guy” because of what he said and how he said it.  Before they hardly noticed him because he was so very quiet.

What a wonderful thing a ward family is.  There hasn’t been a ward I’ve attended that hasn’t been quirky, diverse, interesting and at times trying.  It’s a good thing we are divided by area and cannot choose where to attend.  We have no choice but to associate with a diverse lot of people.  I think that is healthy.

Why not the cross?

I was asked about the cross as a religious symbol and why I thought it inappropriate.  Here’s my response:
 
When Christ described what He accomplished for us in His Atonement, He referred exclusively to the suffering in Gethsemane.  (D&C 19: 15-19.)  Therefore, in the Lord’s own explanation, He used the suffering of Gethsemane as the exclusively to let us know the price He paid.
 
I know that among others, James Talmage and Bruce R. McConkie, have said that the suffering in Gethsemane was renewed on the cross.  I have a different view, and I explain that in Come, Let Us Adore Him.  I will not repeat that here.  I expect that since this is my personal view, there will be many who do not share it with me.  However, it is my view that the cross was the means of death; and His death became possible by what He went through in Gethsemane.  Had He not been weakened through the ordeal in Gethsemane, He could not have died on the cross.  But when He arrived at the cross, all that was left to accomplish was His death, while fulfilling the inspired, prophetic foretelling of the event in conformity with the 22nd Psalm.
 
The original Saints who belonged to the Primitive Church (New Testament Church) regarded the great symbol of Christ as the fish.  That symbol was used in the first centuries following Christ.  It was supplanted by Constantine.  Constantine adopted the cross as a symbol for the new, Roman state religion which changed the Primitive Church into the new, Historic Christianity.  It would undergo a name change to the Catholic Church (meaning Universal Church), then the Roman Catholic Church as it was entrenched as the state religion of the Roman Empire.  It has also been referred to as the Holy Roman Empire.  All those names are suitably descriptive.  The adoption of the cross as a religious symbol for this new Historic Christianity, supplanting the earlier fish symbol, is one of the reasons I think it not appropriate.  It symbolizes the change of Primitive Christianity into a new religious form significantly different from what it was when it began.
 
The cross symbolizes the newer form of the faith, which adopted many of the earlier Roman state myths and simply gave Christian names and references to them.  The celebration of Sol Invictus mid-winter became the celebration of Christmas.  Spring fertility rites, including use of the egg and rabbit symbols of fertility were converted into a “Christian” holiday of Easter.  Local deities no longer hailed from Olympus, but semi-deified “Saints” could be prayed to just as the earlier veneration of local deities.  The full panoply of changes would require books to explain, but for me these changes are symbolized by the adoption of the cross as the great symbol of the new Historic Christian movement.  Hence the reason I think it inappropriate as a symbol for a restoration of Primitive Christianity.

That was funny

I was driving my daughter home from baseball practice and the car in front of us began driving erratically.  It slowed down.  Then wandered from side to side.  The driver was clearly distracted and we could see him looking down at the seat next to him and fiddling around with something.
 
My daughter said:  “What’s he doing?”
 
I replied, “He spilled his Coke and is trying to put it out with a fire.
 
She thought about it for a minute then laughed long and hard.  Funny what can strike your kid’s sense of humor.  I take it as a sign of intelligence when word play can amuse.

Holy Ghost

The equivalents made in Moses 6: 61 are very interesting.  The definition of the Holy Ghost includes these various equivalent descriptions of the Holy Ghost:
1.  The record of heaven.

2.  The peacable things of immortal glory.

3.  the truth of all things.

4.  That which quickeneth all things.

5.  That which maketh alive all things.

6.  That which knoweth all things.

7.  That which hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice and judgment.

These seven equivalents are the Holy Ghost.  It is this which “dwelleth in you.”  (D&C 130: 22.)  Seven being the number of perfection.  The Holy Ghost being the Third Member of the Godhead.  And, of course, we hope to join them in exaltation.

Finally, Christ promised the Holy Ghost would “teach you all things” and “bring all things to our remembrance.”  (John 14: 26.)  

Christ truly said: “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.”  (Luke 17: 21.)  That is, of course, so long as you have taken the step of “receiving the Holy Ghost.”  You were admonished to do that by someone with authority at your baptism.  The power of doing so (as President Packer pointed out in General Conference last Saturday) is entirely left to you.

Creation Accounts

All ancient accounts of the creation of life here came through a presentation intended either as an initiation or an ordinance.  The various accounts we have are also from such settings.  Genesis is the ritual account given through Moses.  The words “God said” should better be rendered “the Gods shall say” (meaning that this is telling the players what to do).  Similarly, the Abraham account saying that one “like unto the Son” or “like unto God” is describing the player’s role.  It is a dramatic presentation.
There is no need to read into any of the various texts something which isn’t there.  Hence the earlier post dealing with the creation accounts and how Eve was left out of the original statement of the commandment regarding the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  The account sets it out with the commandment coming before Eve’s creation in all but the current Endowment presentation.  Our version has been changed from time to time to accomplish various efficiencies as we have adopted filming, and other innovations to make the Endowment fit within new formats and time constraints.

Outgrowing the church

I was told by someone that they “had outgrown the church, didn’t get anything out of meetings, and therefore did not attend anymore.”
 
I responded:  “As to your ‘growth,’ that may or may not be true.  However, even if it is true, then the church needs you all the more for what you have to offer.  Continuing service inside the church will always take a person to still greater peace and light.”
 
What I did not say is that whenever one assumes their own spiritual or intellectual superiority to others, they have lost light and become a fool.  Spiritual development here distinguishes the best from the worst by so little that God regards us all as equal.  What this world views as intellectual achievement is more often than not a hindrance to finding and following God.

D & C 132, conclusion

Section 132, concluded:
 
Which brings us to the question of why Section 132 would be given in the first place.  I don’t think it is enough to say “Joseph asked the question” as the full reason for it being revealed.  Joseph could have received the revelation without the requirement to live it.  We could have an understanding that this was a correct principle, but that we had no obligation to comply with it (just as we do now).  However, we were at one time given it and, commanded to live it.  So the questions is “why?”   Here’s my take:
 
We are witnessing the end of the times of the Gentiles.  There is a worldwide collapse of the Gentile populations.  (Gentiles being the white, European populations.)  Although we have scattered Israelite blood in us, the LDS Church was founded by those who are “identified with the Gentiles” (D&C 109: 60). But their (our) time has run its course.
 
The God of this land (North America) is Jesus Christ.  When people reject Him, they lose their claim on the land and are swept away.  (See 2 Ne. 1: 7-10.)
 
We have now, by the popular vote of the Gentiles who possess this land, chosen a leader who proclaimed on April 6th, 2009 (the Lord’s birth date) that “we are no longer a Christian nation.
 
Birth rates among Gentiles have collapsed.  The European social democracies require a large working class to support the retiring older class.  The older retiring class did not have a birth rate that would supply the needed taxpayers, and therefore they are importing a younger working class throughout Europe.  The younger working class is drawn from third-world people who have much higher birth rates.  Those people are primarily Muslim.  As a result there are many European nations whose demographic picture leads to the inevitable change from Gentile/Christian nations to Muslim nations within the next twenty to fifty years.  The Danish peoples will be among the first.  France has a majority of their school-age children now who are Muslim.  All of them are threatened by a religion that rejects Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Redeemer of mankind.  They are, in a word, anti-Christ.
 
In the US the birth rate is is only a replacement rate.  But social programs require growth.  That population growth is the only way to amortize the governmental spending.  Increased government spending requires in turn a surge in population to support by taxation the necessary payments.  This is being accomplished by the deliberate failure to police the immigration of foreign populations.  It is a fiscal plan, not a demographic, social, religious or political plan.  The government will not be able to pay for itself if large working-class people aren’t found and brought into the US.  Fortunately, most of those who are coming to the US are already Christian, and only a small fraction are Muslim.  However, the Gentiles who are identified with the white population are declining, and being displaced by those who are identified with Book of Mormon remnant populations (although perhaps not THE remnant destined to build Zion–that’s a whole different subject).
 
The church’s birth rate has also declined rapidly.  At present it is only a small fraction above the larger US rate.  There result is the same loss of Gentile momentum in the building of the church.  The Gentile population of the church is collapsing just as it is throughout the world.
 
What the revelation in Section 132 offered to the Gentiles was an opportunity, while the Gentile’s day was still in full bloom, to create a much larger population from which to build Zion.  I’ve seen some estimates that, had we lived the principle of plural wives from when it was restored until today the resulting population of Latter-day Saints would have been in excess of 150 million.  The Latter-day Saint population would essentially have political control of the United States.  That didn’t happen, and now the time of the Gentiles has passed.  We can’t make up for lost time now.  Nor are we exhibiting any desire to do so, as our declining birthrates demonstrate.  Indeed, large families have vanished as a subject for General Conference.  The Brethren seem to have forgotten the message once preached to “not artificially limit the size of your families.”  That message was spoken in General Conference as recently as President Kimball’s time.  Their examples are also important and telling.  (Taking only the most recently called of the Twelve:  Elder Bednar has three children, President Uchtdorf two.  President Eyring has six.  Elder Anderson has four, Elder Christopherson has five children.  Now we don’t always know the reasons why people have the number or children they do, so I do not read too much into this.  However, there was a time when the reason all did not have six or more children would get attention, and an explanation would be offered.  Now we don’t even notice and it is simply not an issue.  We presume that larger families are optional and completely unrelated to living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.)
 
Well, as with all things in the Gospel, we are handed opportunities.  What we do with them is up to us.  However, these opportunities are gifts from the Lord.  We are now a tiny fragment of what we might have been at this point in history.  We are vulnerable as a people in a way that we could have avoided with living the principles in Section 132.  The results are going to play out in conformity with the rather pessimistic view of the Gentile’s failed stewardship foretold by Nephi, Mormon, Moroni and modern revelation.
 
There’s always a back up plan.  That plan will rely upon a “remnant” to take things over and return to what was once offered to the Gentiles.  And to the extent that a few Gentiles will follow the covenant, they are invited along and included as covenant people.  But by and large they will be left behind.
 
Now Section 132 was an opportunity, not a burden.  We never got enthusiastically behind the opportunity and the earlier posts explain why.  I think the reasons for the failure are perfectly understandable.  I think it was reasonable.  But it is a fact that we failed with the opportunity.  Worldwide we have a little less than 4 million active Latter-day Saints and an estimated total population of approximately 14 million.  Those results are not what might have been.  The Gentile Saints are vulnerable in a way they would have avoided had they taken the opportunity and done more with it.
 
But of course, that is true in a much larger sense, as well.  The promise of an “innumerable posterity” presumes that the one receiving the promise realizes that it is a great blessing, and not a curse or burden.
 
OK, those are my thoughts.  It’s taken a bit to lay out.  And I probably should add that there are those who would disagree with much of what I have said.  However, I’ve given enough thought and study to the matter to have reached these conclusions, and I offer them to you for whatever you want to make of them.

D & C 132, part 5

Section 132, continued.

Words have unique meanings when used in scripture.  The Lord has given us great insight into word usages in D&C Section 19: 4-12.  He uses words as proper nouns which then change meanings.

Part of the question raised concerns the word “destroy” as used in Section 132.  I have described the meaning of destroy or destruction in footnote 225 on page 161 of Nephi’s Isaiah.  It does not mean annihilate.  It means to divest of government or control.  In the context of Section 132 to be “destroyed” does not mean to be killed, or obliterated, but rather it means to lose your order, your government or covenant.  The form of government that will endure into eternity is the family.  Without a family connection, you remain separate and single, without exaltation.  Therefore to be “destroyed” is to be severed from the family unit, or marriage relationship which the section of the D&C is establishing.

It is also necessary to understand that the role of the woman in the establishment of an eternal family unit is critical. It is central. Some of what is involved in understanding the relationship between the man/woman and covenant making is just not appropriate to be set out in public. Therefore I won’t do it. To the extent it is appropriate, I have given a basis for someone who wants to understand in several things I have written.  The closing chapters on sealing authority/power in Beloved Enos is part of what should be understood.  The tenth parable in Ten Parables is also critical to understanding what and why an eternal relationship would be preserved.  The chapter on Sacred Ordinances in Come, Let Us Adore Him gives some further information.  I’d commend you to that information.
I also found this in Hugh Nibley’s latest book, which helps with understanding, also.  Particularly in light of the information contained in the tenth parable referred to above:
“Sarah, like Isis, is the ageless mother and perennial bride; with the birth of Isaac she becomes young again–‘Is any thing too hard for the Lord?’ (Gen. 18: 14).  The woman who stands behind Osiris on the throne is Isis, sustaining him in his office with uplifted hand; it is Isis, ‘fused’ with Hathor as the ‘king-maker,’ as Jan Assmann puts it.” One Eternal Round – The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, p. 156.
“Neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord,” wrote Paul.  (1 Cor. 11: 11.)  You cannot have an eternal marriage without both.  In the relationship, the woman’s role in creating a king is central, for it is the woman who will establish him on his throne.  In turn, it is the man who will then establish her on her throne.  Her act precedes his, and his act confirms and blesses the new government or family unit as his first act as king.  For king without consort is doomed to end. Together they are infinite, because in them the seed continues. They may still be mortal as the events take place, but because they continue and produce seed, they are as infinite as the gods.
The role or importance of the woman in the eternal family unit is not diminished in any respect by the confusion and sorting out being done in the later verses of Section 132. The information there is attempting to restore order to the chaos that had developed through the half-hearted attempts to comply with the new order without actually engaging in a fully public, acknowledged marital relationship involving a man and multiple wives.
As to the reference to serial marriage of “virgins” in the later verses, this was a return to the original intent.  When you marry a virgin, you are getting someone who does not already have a spouse.  Using innovations, like sealing a second “wife” to a man when she was already married to another, was never the intent.  These verses about marrying virgins returns to the foundation of a first marriage for the woman.  She was to be involved with a direct, actual marriage, not to be in some half-hearted compromise relationship where the relationship was not truly and fully a marriage for her.  She was to acquire a husband and mate.  She would have all the rights and the husband would owe all the obligations, as if he were married to her alone.  She was “his” and therefore he was obligated to her for support, maintenance and duties as a husband.  There could be no sharing.  There could be no half-way measures.  This was to be his wife in very deed.
Now I’ve taken perhaps too long to answer the question, and it may in turn raise other questions, but I’ve tried to bring some clarity to this rather confused and messy circumstance.  It was the confusion of the early practice that brought about the need for multiple updates and clarifications which all got amalgamated into the single Section 132.  Part of the revelation comes from the attempts to work around the earliest portions of the revelation, received between 1829 and 1831.  The clarifications don’t make as much sense when separated from the conduct that resulted in the clarifications.
There is a reason we don’t have much from the church about this section.  Right now the whole thing has become an embarrassment.  We (the LDS Church) have become the chief antagonists of the polygamists in the west.  We want to clearly draw a line between “us” and “them.”  The church learned its lesson by hard experience.  Now the lesson learned is going to be constantly reapplied to show all the world that we have abandoned the practice.  We do that by constantly denouncing the polygamists.  As part of that campaign we can’t really go back and give Section 132 a wholesome treatment.  That would seem to contradict what we now preach and practice.  Such are the results of history.

D & C 132, part 4

More on Section 132:

This brings us to some details that need to be understood.  The clarifications in verses 41-44 were a result of the “mechanics” of how the practice was implemented.  The various efforts to “fulfill the law” while still keeping up Elizabethan appearances included performing a “sealing” for time and eternity to one man, while the woman was married for time to another man.  This relieved the eternal husband/companion of any duty to have conjugal relations with, or provide financial support for the woman while here. It allowed her to live a “normal” married life with her husband, while still committed eternally to another.  A sort of nod in the direction of the plural wife revelation, without any real commitment to actually practice it here.  There were other forms of compromise attempted, as well.

The defining of what was and what was not “adultery” was necessary in light of the troubles on the ground, so to speak.  Confusion began to multiply as these compromise efforts were attempted by people who really didn’t want to get this thing going in the way David and Solomon had done. 
Also, verse 51 grew out of a specific incident in which Joseph and Emma were arguing.  She protested his secret addition of more wives (beyond those she had approved) and was complaining to him about it.  In response to the arguments, Joseph offered to have her marry William Marks (the Nauvoo Stake President) as well.  This is what is referred to by the oblique reference: “that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her.”  This, again, was an event in the 1843 time frame. It could not possibly have been part of what was happening in either 1829 or 1831 when the first part of the revelation was received. Showing once again this was an amalgamation of several revelations, and not a single transcript.
Not everyone in Nauvoo knew what was going on.  Nor was everyone who practiced this principle discrete enough to escape notice. Enter John C. Bennett, who had abandoned his wife and children and come to Nauvoo pretending to be something more than he was.  He got added to the First Presidency and elected mayor of Nauvoo.  He learned of the commandment, and then began to let his libido go in Nauvoo.  He produced a system of seducing other men’s wives under the practice of “spiritual wifery” which he would later blame upon Joseph Smith.  Indeed, John Bennett’s account of Joseph’s exploits seem more autobiographical of Mr. Bennett, with Joseph given credit for Bennett’s wrongdoings.
As I said before, this was not a culture into which this commandment fit neatly.  It was awkward.  They just didn’t know how to do it, nor what would work or not work.  Even so basic a matter as the definition of “adultery” became hard to sort out.  The half-way measures Joseph tried to implement in order to avoid the outright practice were not working. They were producing such confusion that these verses were needed to sort the mess out.
Trying the souls of those who were involved, indeed!  Proving whether you have faith to sacrifice everything for God, indeed!  This was terrible, difficult stuff.  Not the license for a libido that critics were trying and still try to make it seem.  Even Bushman has mentioned how few offspring Joseph Smith produced as a result of the plural wife system.  It seems that the only offspring Joseph ever fathered were through Emma.  (Of course we have the tale of Eliza Snow’s miscarriage, but that child did not live.  So far as has been documented, all Joseph’s living descendants came through Emma, despite DNA testing of other living descendants from putative children.)

Look, we should have compassion and empathy for these people.  They didn’t want it any more than a normal, mature and moral person living today would want this.  They were draftees, not volunteers.  It was quite hard for them and even harder on them.

Anyway, I still am not to the answer to the question, just laying the groundwork to understand the answer first.  I’ll write some more on this as I have time.

D & C 132, part 3

Further on Section 132:
 
Joseph taught that we can’t expect to achieve the same glory as the ancients if we do not make a similar sacrifice as they did.  It’s all in Lecture 6 of the Lectures on Faith.  I’ve quoted that stuff in several books and won’t repeat it here.  If you don’t have a copy you should get one.  And read it.
 
Anyway, it is quite important to note the necessity of sacrifice to produce the kind of faith which saves.  Joseph’s explanation required us to sacrifice all things to be able to lay hold on saving faith.  Without the knowledge that we would give up everything, even our own lives if necessary, we cannot receive eternal life.  We have to trade this life for the next.  No trade, no exaltation.
 
So when a man or woman reaches the point where she/he can be tested, the Lord will supply a test to them to prove (to themselves) that they will sacrifice all things.  [The Lord already knows, but we don’t.  And it is OUR faith which is required to be tested.]
 
For most women, they make this kind of sacrifice when they marry.  They literally “give up their lives” and become a wife.  Even to the point  they surrender their prior name and become known by a new name and begin a new life.  The sacrifice for them is completed in childbirth, where they risk their life and then shed their blood to bring a new person into the world.  For women, therefore, this estate provides a ready-made opportunity for the development of this faith.  For men that is much different.  That is why we produce so few men worthy of preservation into the next life in an exalted state.
 
Joseph Smith succeeded in receiving his calling and election.  His promise of eternal life appears within Section 132.  That is no accident.  If the revelation is a series of communications, beginning in either 1829 or 1831, and continue through nearly the time of the recording in 1843, all of which are on the same subject, then they are all interrelated.
 
Joseph’s sealing authority is confirmed in verse 46 and his calling and election is confirmed in verse 49.  This would have been after Joseph had received the beginning of Section 132 and had actually begun to live it.  Meaning that Joseph was doing what he was commanded to do, and that in so doing he was sacrificing everything.  Even his own life was being sacrificed.  He was developing the faith necessary to know he would surrender everything to God by this principle.  Later, when he would go to Carthage and die, it was not as difficult for him to do because he had earlier lived a principle which proved to him that he would obey God at all costs.  Death under such circumstances was not a test, merely a confirmation of what Joseph already knew.
 
Plural marriage was so difficult for Joseph that it was THE means by which he advanced in faith to the point he knew he would surrender all things to God.  It was the key to his exaltation.  Not because plural wives are needed, but because of the difficult sacrifice this practice imposed upon him.
 
Now if that were true for Joseph, then we should not think the practice of plural marriage, with all its difficulty and sacrifice, something desirable to undertake. Nor should we be fooled into thinking that Joseph wanted or welcomed it. The revelation belies this notion.
 
Therefore I take it as a given that plural marriage was introduced as a test.  Not as a reward or as a holiday for Joseph Smith and his close associates.  It was a difficult, trying ordeal. 
 
Now there’s more to be said, so I’ll add another post at some point on this as well.