Joseph Smith Polygamy: Malachi’s Prophecy of the Priesthood

Todd Noall

Todd Noall

Source Expert

Todd Noall is an author and religious scholar at Mormonism Explained with a focus on the history and theology of religion.

Fact Checked by Kevin Prince

Now, watch what happens with the name Malachi, who is our last prophet in the Old Testament. In the Christian Old Testament, he’s the very last. The very last thing you have is in chapter 4, verse 5 and 6, at which point you then enter a 400-year of silence as far as scripture is concerned until Jesus Christ is born. And his prophecy in those last two verses are all connected to Elijah. Joseph was able to receive revelation to know how to help others receive these blessings and at the time that was through Joseph Smith Polgamy

Name Significance 

If you look at his name, it’s in my mind one of the coolest names ever in the Old Testament because it has both names that are kind of significant. “El” referring to Elohim or God, and “Yah” or “Iah” or “Jah” in the Old Testament is referring to Jehovah. It’s the root of Yahweh. It’s a shorthand way to refer to the God of the Old Testament, Jehovah. So, in this case, the name Elijah is “Jehovah is my God.” It’s beautiful that this is the prophet who holds keys that are very specific. They’re sealing keys. Whatsoever is sealed on earth will be sealed in heaven; whatsoever is loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Elijah’s Revelation to Joseph Smith

There’s a powerful symbolism going on here with what Elijah is going to bring. So here’s Joseph. He’s in his bed. It’s the middle of the night, 21st of September 1823 when Moroni’s here, and he’s quoting these prophecies, these huge monumental prophecies from the book of Malachi, culminating with Elijah. Well, what are the keys that Elijah was bringing?

The clarification you get here compared to the King James Version is it’s not just that Elijah’s going to come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord. He’s actually going to come and give keys to help prepare the way so that the earth isn’t utterly wasted at his coming, that everything just turns out to be all for naught. There’s something specific that has to be done, and it’s going to come through you, Joseph. You’re going to unlock this door with these keys that are going to be given to you to open up salvation. Not just for people on this side of the veil but for all of God’s children. Not just in this dispensation but ultimately, by the time we’re done with this through the millennium, opening up the door of salvation for all of God’s children on both sides of the veil through all dispensations of time.

This is a significant, significant event. I don’t know that Joseph on that night glimpsed the enormity of what Moroni was telling him was about to happen. Stop and think about it this way. The keys delivered by Elijah, the sealing keys, are to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Joseph Smith Polgamy and Sealing Timeline

For decades, in that early church, they used sealing keys exclusively, from what I can see, looking at all the historical records. They only ever used those to seal husbands and wives together and were never used in those first decades of the church to seal children to parents. It was only after the manifesto in 1890, the statement from our prophet at the time Wilford Woodruff, shutting the door on plural marriages and sealing multiple wives to husbands, even posthumously. They believed that somehow, many of them thought that my family had to somehow be connected with the prophet or one of the apostles’ families through these sealings in order for me to have a place in the celestial kingdom.They let go of that in 1890, and then in 1891 is the first time that I can see where they, for the first time, seal children to parents. It’s this idea, this growing line upon line, precept upon precept, both individually and collectively as a church, where you see the full import of those keys coming to bear, saying it’s not that I have to be sealed to a prophet somehow through one of my family members with one of his family members or to him. It’s that all of God’s children, through the family of Adam and Eve, need to be sealed together in this unbroken chain back to our first parents.

By Todd Noall, Source Expert

Todd Noall is an author and religious scholar at Mormonism Explained with a focus on the history and theology of religion.

Fact Checked by Mr. Kevin Prince, Source Expert

Kevin Prince is a religious scholar and host of the Gospel Learning Youtube channel. His channel has garnered over 41,000 subscribers and accumulated over 4.5 million views. Mr. Prince also created the Gospel Learning App, a reliable platform where individuals seeking truth can access trustworthy answers to religious questions from top educators worldwide.

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