Category Archives: Blog posts

Eternal Polygamy and the Mormon Church


I wrote this blog post out of a sincere love for the Latter-day Saint people, that they may see and believe the real gospel and come to know Jesus Christ in a saving way. If you are LDS and have stumbled upon this blog post I want you to know that I dearly love you, and I am praying for you. I hope you take the time to read this post and consider the implications of eternal marriage. I also wrote this blog post for my Christian brethren that they may know and understand Mormonism deeply and grow in love and compassion for the Mormon people. I would encourage those who are Christians to check out our episodes on Mormonism that can be found here. This post is long, but I hope you read it completely.

May God be glorified

– Hannah Oliver with The Bluestocking Baptists


In 2018 I read a book called The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy by Carol Lynn Pearson. Pearson is a progressive Latter-day Saint (in good standing, as far as I know) who brought to light the loophole in Latter-day Saint doctrine on eternal marriage that allows for the practice of eternal polygamy in the Celestial Kingdom. Her book was extremely informative and interesting. I read it in two days and learned a great deal about the possibility of plural marriage and how it leads to fear, sorrow, pain, and even destroys marriages. Pearson presents the historical background of the LDS Church and how polygamy was practiced and why the Church ceased to practice it on earth. She also discusses how Doctrine and Covenants 132 still remains authoritative to some degree and has not been removed from the D&C. Pearson wrote a wonderful book, but it falls terribly short. Pearson argues that the solution for ending eternal polygamy is for the leadership to listen to the members and create new policy that prohibits eternal plural marriage. Basically, she reasons that if the Prophet has the authority to change Church doctrine and practice – he has a responsibility to change this doctrine to protect Latter-day Saint men and women. This would look like forbidding multiple sealings to more than one woman, and I will explain what this means further down.

You may be thinking, “what is wrong with this solution?”

First, if the LDS Church is true and God cannot change or lie (Malachi 3:6, Isaiah 40:8, Hebrews 6:18) then we have to examine several things to determine the appropriate solution according to the Holy Bible alone. Pearson falls short because she uses subjective reasoning to solve a situation that must be solved by an objective standard, the Bible.  (If you wish to learn more about scripture being our ultimate authority you can listen to episode one What is Our Standard? by The Bluestocking Baptists.) Second, if the Church is true a change in this doctrine would not undo past sealings unless all plural marriage sealings were cancelled. Polygamy would be very real in the context of the highest degree of glory for many LDS men and women. If the Church were to cancel the sealings of dead members it could potentially cause chaos in the Celestial Kingdom because it may split up families. Plural marriages will always exist in the context of the eternal marriage because many people in the Church have been sealed to more than one woman. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has to wrestle with the reality that many will be practicing polygamy in the Celestial Kingdom. What is the solution for this, and is eternal marriage biblical?

I am going to explain a brief history of polygamy on earth practiced by the Church, the LDS doctrine of polygamy as practiced today, and the solution according to the Bible.

Doctrine and Covenants 132 was recorded as official church doctrine on July 12, 1843. However, this revelation was known to the Prophet Joseph Smith as early as 1831. D&C 132 teaches, “the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives” (introduction statement found in D&C 132.) The doctrine of eternal marriage is found in this passage, as well as the necessity of marriage in entering the top level of the Celestial Kingdom. The highest exaltation is only possible if a person is sealed in marriage. The text talks about how marriage will not be eternal if the marriage was only civil in nature, and if a couple is sealed in the temple their marriage will last forever. I will not quote the passage in full, but I will link the full passage here.

Doctrine and Covenants 132:3-4 states:

“3 Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.4 For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned;for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.” (emphasis mine.)

This passage starts out with a sharp exhortation to obey or be damned. We also see that according to the revelation given to Joseph Smith this new covenant is eternal and must be accepted. Towards the end of the passage there is even a threat of destruction if Emma Smith, Joseph Smith’s wife, does not embrace eternal and polygamous marriage. (D&C 132:54)

There are several problems we must work out. First, if Joseph Smith has stated this revelation is eternal why does the Church no longer practice earthly polygamy? Second, we are going to explore how eternal marriage results in the practice of Celestial polygamy. I will share a couple of resources to establish the doctrine of eternal marriage.

“In 1890, President Wilford Woodruff issued the Manifesto, which led to the end of plural marriage in the Church.” (source) This was the turning point for the LDS Church. It is important to note that the LDS people suffered a great deal of persecution and scattered throughout Canada, Mexico, and Arizona so that they could continue to practice polygamy without fear of punishment. The United States government was cracking down on the practice of polygamy and even imprisoned and fined Church members for practicing plural marriage. The Church went to great lengths to protect the practice and many leaders went into hiding. It is my opinion that the LDS Church was forced to produce the Manifesto so that they would not lose their assets that would essentially destroy their religion. I believe this because Woodruff addresses this issue when discussing the Manifesto that the Church would lose their assets if they did not consent to the demands of the United States. I do believe the Manifesto was produced to ensure the survival of the Restored Gospel and the Church. I would highly encourage you read about the end of earthly polygamy here. I would also encourage you read the Manifesto, also known as the Official Declaration 1, which can be found here. Polygamy ceased completely after the turn of the century, and it was even made illegal in Utah in 1895.

It would be dishonest and a misrepresentation to falsely accuse the Latter-day Saint people of being polygamous in today’s context. The practice is condemned in the Church and will even result in excommunication if practiced. However, there may be some LDS believers who do not realize the implications of eternal marriage. They may not realize the practice of multiple sealings allows for a man to practice polygamy in the Celestial Kingdom. Some ex-Mormon men have confessed that the concept of polygamy in the next life was something they eagerly anticipated. Others have confessed that they were excited with the possibility of receiving their sister in law or wife’s best friend in the next life because their husbands were not worthy Mormons. Many women live in fear of this possibility. Others may think highly of their husbands and believe they would never enter into plural marriage. Some women may rationalize the situation by believing that Heavenly Father will sort it out. They rationalize that Heavenly Father is good and would only do what is best for them. What if Heavenly Father thinks plural marriage is best? What if a single sister does not have a husband? Would you refuse her the highest degree of glory? If you reject the doctrine of plural marriage as an outworking of eternal marriage you will be damned according to D&C 132. The practice of eternal marriage also does not violate D&C 132 revelation on Plural marriage and it maintains that D&C 132 is an eternal covenant. The implications of eternal polygamy are not condemnable under the Manifesto or the D&C 132 and it brings harmony between the two opposing revelations. If you are LDS you have to weigh the implications of eternal marriage in light of D&C 132 being an eternal covenant. You must wrestle with the reality that the Church allows for multiple sealings to take place resulting in polygamy. Are you ok with that? Are you willing to risk your eternal security on this subject?

I would encourage any sincere LDS believer to weigh very carefully Doctrine and Covenants 132 as well as the doctrine of eternal marriage as a whole. If you are a Christian and are not familiar with the belief click here. If you are a Latter-Day Saint I am not demanding you accept plural marriage as practiced in the early years of the Church. I respect your position in light of the Manifesto, but I want you to understand the implications of eternal marriage – which is a praised and beloved doctrine.

The question I am proposing is “what happens when a man is sealed to more than one woman?” I will explore several scenarios to show the outworking of eternal marriage in light of multiple sealings. I am asking you to reflect very carefully on how this doctrine could potentially affect you. It is possible that this is something that you are already wrestling with and you are set up with the dilemma of spending eternity as a plural wife. It is not my intent to stir up confusion or fear. I hope that you read this whole post and wrestle with the solution I present at the end of this conundrum.

D&C 132:19a: “19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life…”

An excerpt found on :

“Our exaltation depends on marriage, along with other principles and ordinances, such as faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. We believe that marriage is the most sacred relationship that can exist between a man and a woman. This sacred relationship affects our happiness now and in the eternities.

Heavenly Father has given us the law of eternal marriage so we can become like Him. The Lord has said:
“In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;

“And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];

“And if he does not, he cannot obtain it” (D&C 131:1–3)” (emphasis mine)

D&C 132:19a shows us that a marriage performed by the Church in the temple is the correct administration of the ordinance. When it is performed in the sealing room in the temple it is called a sealing and results in eternal marriage. The next paragraph is a direct quote from and it expresses the necessity of eternal marriage to enter into the highest glory of the Celestial Kingdom. It also shows us that eternal marriage is a necessary law which must be completed to reach the highest level of exaltation. Single people will be given the opportunity to marry in the next life if they live in obedience on earth.

To show how eternal marriage leads to the possibility of eternal polygamy I am going to give several examples.


Paul is sealed to Karen. Karen dies and Paul never remarries.

In this example there is no eternal polygamy unless Paul later takes another wife in the Celestial Kingdom. It would be up to the sole discretion of Paul in the next life though. This would be the ideal outcome, and I believe is the most common practice in the Church. Meaning, most men are not sealed to multiple women.


John is sealed to Debbie. Debbie dies and John remarries Stacy. John is sealed to Stacy. John will receive both Debbie and Stacy as his wives at the resurrection. All the children bore by both Debbie and Stacy will belong to him in the Celestial Kingdom.

In this example eternal polygamy is being practiced. Since the man was sealed to two different women, he will receive both of them in the Celestial Kingdom. The current Prophet, Russell M Nelson, is sealed to two women. Nelson was sealed to Dantzel White on August 31, 1945 in the Salt Lake Temple. His first wife Dantzel White died in 2005. He remarried and was sealed to his current wife Wendy Watson Nelson. Wendy and Nelson were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on April 6, 2006. Dantzel and Nelson had 10 children together, and Wendy and Nelson have zero. It is important to note that Dantzel had no say in the sealing of Wendy and Nelson. She had passed away and she will now spend eternity as a plural wife with Wendy according to the doctrine of eternal marriage. I share this information to show that this concept is not a foreign practice.


Tom is sealed to Sally.Tom and Sally divorce civilly, but do not cancel their sealing.Tom remarries Jen and can be sealed to Jen if he chooses. Sally remarries Ken, but is not allowed to cancel her sealing with Tom. Sally and Ken have 3 children together. At the resurrection Sally will return to Tom. Tom will have Sally and Jen as his wives as well as the 3 children who are biologically the children of Ken. Ken will be given the opportunity to be sealed to a different wife in eternity and start an eternal family with her.

This is a complicated example, so I hope I can bring more clarity. In this example, Sally is not given the same rights as her ex husband. She is not allowed to cancel her sealing or be sealed to another man. Only men are allowed to be sealed to more than one person. The woman is only allowed one husband. As a result, Sally is stuck with her first husband in eternity unless the sealing is cancelled. Ken will lose his rights to his children and his only wife in the Celestial Kingdom. The implications of this hurt both Ken and Sally. As well as potentially causing harm to Jen and Tom who do not want Sally in their Celestial Kingdom. The children are also harmed because they do not have the right to be with their father in the Celestial Kingdom. Tom could solve this conundrum by cancelling his sealing with his first wife and allowing her to be sealed to Ken.


Linda and Matt marry very young and are sealed in the Temple. Matt dies in a horrific accident after only 6 months of marriage. They have no children together. Linda is now a very young widow and desires to get remarried. She finds it difficult to find a new husband because the young men in her ward do not want to forfeit their children or wife to the deceased husband. She is scorned and may never find a Temple worthy Mormon who is willing to marry her civilly. The Church refuses to cancel the sealing between Linda and Matt because it would revoke Matt of his right to exaltation that he earned. As a result the woman is grieved because she does not wish to harm her dead husband and still loves him. However, she is also longing to be married and wishes to start a family.

In this example you can see how this scenario would deeply harm young widows and young divorced women. It leaves them isolated and often rejected by faithful LDS men. They also do not have the same rights as men as the Church does not often grant a sealing to be cancelled at the request of the woman. This woman would still have the opportunity to reach the highest level of exaltation, but she may have trouble finding an earthly husband. I also want to note that if the young woman does remarry she is now involved in Church sanctioned and approved adultery as her marriage to Matt is still valid.


Tracy is a single woman who dies and never marries. She was a good and faithful Mormon and at the resurrection she will be given to a worthy Mormon man. If there are not enough single men in the Celestial Kingdom she will be given as a plural wife.

In this example, there is actually comfort for the single woman. However, the single woman also has to wrestle with the reality that she may be a plural wife one day.

I hope that these five examples show the many different ways in which eternal polygamy can take place. There are many Latter-day Saint women who live in constant fear that they will be a plural wife. Even in Pearson’s book many women shared how they would pray their husbands would die before them, or they would sin a little here and there intentionally so that they would not make it to the Celestial Kingdom with their husbands. If you want to read personal stories by Latter-day Saint men and women about how this doctrine affects them I would recommend Pearson’s book. Though I disagree with her solutions and her personal beliefs surrounding the LDS Church it really was a fascinating read.

And to my Latter-day Saint friend I hope you continue to read about what Jesus said on the subject of marriage and consider what I will present next with careful reflection and an open mind. If you are currently feeling surprised or shocked by what I have just expressed, I hope my upcoming words are a balm and comfort to your soul. I pray that you will receive my words and accept them with eagerness and humility. To my Christian friend, I hope this next section will be an encouragement to you and will lead you to rejoicing in the wisdom of God and his gospel message.

I want to end this blog post with an examination on the biblical doctrine of marriage and what Jesus said concerning this very issue.

Matthew 22:23-33 (KJV)
“23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,
24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:
26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.
27 And last of all the woman died also.
28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.” (emphasis mine)

I want to point out specifically verse 30 “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” In the context of this situation the Sadducees were attempting to trick Jesus because they did not believe in the resurrection. From their vantage point, the woman would not be given in marriage at all because they rejected the possibility of people being raised from the dead. But, Jesus expressed very clearly that 1. There will be a resurrection and 2. That we (all people) will not be given into marriage after the resurrection has happened.

I write now specifically to those who are Latter-day Saints. You may be thinking back to D&C 132:15-17 which attempts to refute this passage by claiming that Jesus was referring to marriages that were only binding on earth since the people in this example were not sealed. This means that if a man and a woman are not sealed their marriage will not be binding for eternity and then they will become angels in the second level of the Celestial Kingdom and refused godhood.

I want to encourage you to go back to Matthew 22 and read the whole passage in context. I want you to look at the audience and the doctrine of marriage as taught by Jesus Christ. First, marriage sealings never occurred in the Temple. The Temple was only accessible to the Levite Priests and not the common people. So Jesus was not thinking about eternal marriage when he was speaking to the Sadducees because there is no concept or doctrine of eternal marriage anywhere in the Holy Bible. There was also zero practice of Temple sealings and this concept can not be found in any of the 613 laws contained in the Old Testament. And while LDS believers and Christians would agree that Polygamy is not permissible and marriage is between one man and one woman while on earth. Christianity leaves no room for the possibility of polygamous marriages in the Celestial Kingdom because there is no marriage after the resurrection according to Jesus and there is only one Kingdom according the Bible – Heaven, and only one place of damnation – Hell. There are not many levels of Heaven, and therefore there can not be people who live as angels as Jesus only taught two concepts during his earthly ministry – Heaven (singular) and Hell. The Bible also rejects the idea of becoming gods or angels. We are human beings made in the image of God, we will never be God. We will never be angels. Eternal marriage must be rejected, along with Mormonism as a whole because it rejects the word of God.

Please heed my words and consider the weight of what I am about to share. I have expressed a concept that has many moving parts. I want to point out the most alarming concept that can be found in the teaching of eternal marriage.

Dear friend, teaches that marriage is a necessary law that must be kept and observed to make it to the highest degree of glory. If you reject the revelation in D&C 132 it promises only damnation.

I want you to reflect on the fact that you will never be good enough to make it to the Celestial glory. 2 Nephi 25:23 states that God’s grace is only sufficient after all you can do. Do you do your best? Do you keep the laws, and ordinances, and requirements of the Word of Wisdom without stumbling or failing? Do you keep the Ten Commandments? Do you still lie, or hate a brother? Did you know Jesus taught on the sermon on the mount that if you hate a brother you are guilty of murder? Did you know that in the very passage I have been focusing on (D&C 132) it states in verse 19b that if you are a murderer you will never make it to the highest degree of glory? Do you realize that according to Jesus we are all murderers? You are a law breaker, and you cannot keep the law according to the Ten Commandments – or even according to your own theology.

Friend, Jesus Christ lived the perfect life that you can never live, and he never married. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the full penalty for sin. He bore on his body the wrath of God and endured the punishment you deserve. On the third day Jesus Christ rose from the dead conquering sin and death and ascended into Heaven and now sits at the right hand of The Father. Jesus Christ is the only one who can reconcile you to God. You will never be enough, you will never do enough, and you can never make it to the Celestial Kingdom by your own striving and works.

So do not fret about the doctrine of eternal marriage. It is false, conjured up by a false prophet who did not fear God. You do not need to fear your premature death. You do not need to fear the possibility of your husband entering into a new marriage. You do not need to fear being in a polygamous marriage for all eternity. Why? Because Jesus Christ does not lie, and because if you believe in the gospel which I shared with you (this is the true gospel, the Restored Gospel is not truth) you will be justified (this means made right with God) and you will be forgiven of all your sins. Repent of your impossible gospel that is found in the LDS Church and turn to Jesus. Reject the doctrine of eternal marriage, and embrace biblical marriage between one man and one woman that ends at death. Experience and enjoy the free grace of God which is poured out richly on those who believe that Jesus Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient to save them. Consider my words. May the Lord grant you eyes to see, ears to hear, and may you be freed from the bondage of Mormon Doctrine. May you be freed from the horrors of eternal marriage.

Pearson’s solution was not a real solution and keeps a person in bondage. Jesus Christ and his gospel message frees a person from the penalty of sin, and the Bible offers a real solution. The solution is a rejection of eternal marriage, which leads to a rejection of the Mormon Church, which leads to true freedom in Christ when you accept the gospel.

To my Christian friends, please take a moment to pray for any Mormon who reads this blog post. Pray that the Lord will call His sheep and rescue them from deception.

If you are LDS and want to talk with me about Christianity vs Mormonism you are welcome to reach out at or find me on Facebook.

Grace and peace, Hannah Oliver


Hannah made a YouTube video as well covering the blog



What is Federal Vision?

This is from a Facebook post written by Hannah Oliver on October 30, 2018. May the Lord use it to help Christians exercise discernment and be equipped with the knowledge to spot a false gospel. If you have any questions you are welcome to email Hannah at or message her on Facebook. We are Baptists, and this issue is mainly undermining Presbyterianism. We believe it is important to speak out when the gospel is under attack, and we believe it is important to defend the integrity of other believers. This was written out of love for Presbyterians, Jesus Christ, and the gospel that saves.

“What is Federal Vision and why do I believe it’s heresy?

Federal vision is many things. A major issue with Federal Vision is how they view baptism and the nature of the church.
To give a clear understanding I will explain orthodox Presbyterian position and Federal Vision.
Presbyterians believe that baptism is the sign and the seal of the covenant. Just as a hospital sign points to the hospital, the sign itself is not the hospital. And just as a seal on a diploma authenticates the diploma, it is not the diploma. It points to the covenant, but doesn’t guarantee the covenant reality – which is namely regeneration and being united to Christ. Presbyterians believe in the mixed nature of the church. Invisible and visible. All who are baptized are brought into the visible physical church, but it’s maintained that not all are saved, and not all will be saved. Baptism is not an empty sign. It is believed to be a means of grace and will benefit those who do come to faith. It never benefits the unregenerate. They hold to a robust understanding of justification by faith, and baptism is not viewed as regenerative.

Federal Vision (FV) is the belief that baptism formally UNITES a child to Christ. This language is incredibly important to understand and it is not a reformed orthodox belief. When a child is baptized they are treated as though they are truly Christians (elect.) There are two types of election under this system. Decretally and historically. Decretally are all those who are truly elect. Historically are all those who have been baptized. They have something called the objectivity of the covenant. Which means they blur the distinction between the invisible and visible church. As a result all are viewed as partaking in the invisible reality before there is proof of regeneration. There is a real apostasy in this system. Children are raised to “remember their baptism” and are told they are in Christ and to partake of all his benefits. This includes communion. They are told to remain in covenant faithfulness to prove they are decretally elect. The system now becomes one of works based salvation because the responsibility falls on the child to prove they are actually saved. Those who fall away literally fall into apostasy. Because they are viewed as truly elect if they were baptized. They assert they don’t know who the decretally elect are, but because of the objectivity of the covenant everyone is viewed as decretally elect.

This system has the implications of baptismal regeneration, a rejection of justification of faith, and teaches a final justification on judgement for those who kept in covenant faithfulness. A rejection of the core of the gospel is heresy, and therefore I won’t tolerate it. FV also rejects P and U in TULIP, and therefore is not even close to reformed.”

The language I use comes from conversations that I have had with Federal Vision proponents. To summarize, Federal Vision essentially conflates sanctification with justification. As well as, conflates faithfulness with faith.

The gospel is not faithfulness to the covenant. The gospel is Jesus Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection. It is the imputation of Christ’s righteousness applied to us by faith. Christ’s righteousness, Christ’s faithfulness, Christ’s accomplished work. Faith is a gift of God (Eph 2:8-9) and it is not a product of our own doing. The gospel is a free gift. We are justified on the basis of Christ alone. Federal Vision distorts the gospel because it turns the gospel into something that we keep. Obedience, faithfulness, and our good fruit become the litmus test if one is actually elect. Federal Vision does not trust in what Christ accomplished, it does not trust in the subjective grace of God to save. Federal Vision relies on a misunderstanding of the promises “belonging to you and your children” and make the mistake of believing that their children are decretally elect (truly elect people of God.)

I did not write this to stir contention within the body of Christ. I wrote it for the edification of the body. My prayer is that it will help to clear up any misunderstanding or confusion on this complicated issue. This is not an exhaustive treatment of Federal Vision. Federal Vision is so much more than this. My encouragement is to read Dewey Roberts book on the subject, and I will add further resources to aid in your study if you choose to pursue this further.

I have studied this at length, and I am careful to express my words in a way that are truthful. I have been careful not to misrepresent, and Presbyterians have expressed that I have explained Presbyterianism accurately. Please test for yourself what has been shared. This is not a subject in which I will debate, but I will answer sincere questions. All Glory to God. – Hannah Oliver


Historic Christianity and the Federal Vision: A Theological Analysis and Practical Evaluation by Dewey Roberts

On Douglas Wilson


Who can I trust?


Yesterday, I was reading a blog post by a girl who was talking about what it looks like to trust God. She was talking about how she doesn’t like living her life without a set plan, and it was causing her to wrestle with how she could trust God when she didn’t know what to expect.

Sounds ok so far, who doesn’t wrestle with how to trust God in the midst of trials and challenges that life presents? What was a regular question quickly turned into an unbiblical explanation for how she can trust God more fully. She gave a detailed conversation that she claims she had with God. She claims that God told her that to trust Him she must first trust herself.

I admit when I first read this I was shocked that someone would think the answer to trusting God more fully is to look inward. She continued to talk about how this personal revelation was a mind blowing epiphany. She expressed that if we can’t trust ourselves, how will we ever trust God? I exited out of the post and for the rest of the evening I continued to be so bothered by her words. I thought to myself “Trust myself? How can I possibly trust myself?” Jeremiah 17:9 teaches that MY OWN heart is deceitful and wicked. It asks the rhetorical “who can understand it?” Well, I certainly can’t understand it! Let alone trust it! The texts shows that none of us should rely on own hearts!

This unbiblical thinking is rampant in Christian circles. People are seeking to be affirmed by a quiet still small voice in their hearts that they are “worthy” “loved” and that “we can trust our own judgement.” There are catchy phrases that are used so much I don’t think many of us even notice them anymore. “Just follow your heart,” “God can’t help you unless you help yourself,” ” you need to love yourself before anyone else can love you,” and like the blog post “you need to trust yourself before you will ever trust God.” But, does the Bible actually teaches this? No, it doesn’t.

We need to spend less time learning how to “trust ourselves” and more time learning how to trust God and His word. We do this by the constant “renewal of our minds” (Romans 12:2) through the reading of scripture. We can trust God because he is sovereign and works all things together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). We can trust God because he is unchanging, faithful, and full of mercy. He is also a God who does not lie (Numbers 23:19). What is most concerning to me is that this young woman believes that the Lord whispered into her heart this unbiblical method for growing to trust in the Lord!

If the Lord does not lie, why would he contradict Himself in a personal revelation, when His word teaches that our own hearts are wicked and not to be trusted?

Scripture calls us to die to self and to live for Christ (Col 3:3,Gal 2:20). We as human beings are so self focused. We are constantly looking inward, and we are constantly looking for God to make us feel good about ourselves. Instead, we should be looking to the King of Heaven with reverence.

The Bible isn’t about us, the Bible is about Christ.

If a still small voice is telling us to put our trust in anyone or anything apart from Christ alone, it is a false message. We were given the sufficient word of God for our protection and our good. We are told that it trains us in righteousness and equips us for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16-17) So while I do agree with this young woman that we should ask ourselves the question “how can I learn to trust God?” I disagree with her conclusions.

The answer isn’t becoming more self focused – it is becoming more Christ centered. We can trust the Bible, and we should not give heed to personal special revelation as it is extra biblical and unnecessary in the Christian life. I trust the Lord fully because His word is reliable. If I struggle with doubt or confusion, I should go to His word. It is there that I will find the answer to this pressing question, and Lord willing he will show this young woman that learning trust God does not originate from within. Rather, that learning to trust originates from God who uses the scriptures by His Holy Spirit to teach us about who we are, sinful and weak. As well as, who God is and why he is the only one in whom we can trust.

Hannah Oliver

Why “The Bluestocking Baptists”?

          After flirting with the idea to do a podcast together, Hannah decided to ask Facebook world for some ideas on names for a podcast hosted by two Reformed Baptists women. After a few humorous suggestions from our Presbyterian brothers and sisters, Amy Breece suggested Bluestocking Baptist.
In the 18th Century, there was a group of women, led by Elizabeth Vesey who wanted to move away from hosting gatherings where guests played card games to hosting co-ed gatherings where women with intellectual and literary interests could engage in deep conversations. Elizabeth Vesey invited Benjamin Stillingfleet, a botanist, translator and author, to one of her gatherings but he declined her invitation, confessing that he did not have the proper attire to attend a gathering with such high class guests. Elizabeth insisted that Stillingfleet come and assured him that his bluestockings would do. Bluestockings were the casual wear in that time period and were seen as informal. The nickname “Bluestocking society” stuck.
To quickly summarize, Hannah and I believe…

Scripture is our highest authority rather than tradition
One can be justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, rather than good works. (Ephesians 2:1-7 & Galatians 2:15-16)
In the priesthood of all believers (Hebrews 7:23-28)
That Baptism is for believers only (Mark 16:16, Acts 8:36-37, Acts 2:41, Acts 8:12, Acts 18:8, Matthew 3:16 & John 3:23)

For a more in-depth summary of what Hannah and I believe you can check out the beliefs outlined in the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. (Click here to check it out)
We decided that since we wanted to be a simple, informal podcast for the average woman interested in learning about Christian doctrine and practice, “The Bluestocking Baptists” was a perfect name.

-Esther Faulkner

Our purpose

           You don’t have time to read thick books by theologians of the past. Words like “propitiation” and “monergism” scare you. But you want something more than your YouVersion app verse of the day. Sound familiar? The Bluestocking Baptists blog and podcast is for women who have a desire to better understand Christian theology and how that theology shapes our lives BUT do not have the time to read Charles Spurgeon’s commentary. It’s for  women who do not know where to begin. Today, there are hundreds of blogs and podcasts out there aimed toward Christian women. Sadly a good majority of those blogs and podcasts throw women a few bones with flowery scripture monogrammed on them (normally completely out of context) but never encourage them to get into the meaty portions of scripture. Women need to read more than Ruth and Esther. Look at the Apostle Paul’s warning to Timothy about the last days (btw every day between Christ’s ascension to the Father and his return are the “last days”…more about that later.)

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

In a world proclaiming the message to love yourself, rely on yourself and do what makes yourself happy, we need to study the meat in scripture more than ever. We need to know how to look out for those who “creep into households and capture weak women” who led women astray. We need to know the chaff from the wheat and wolves from sheep. We need to know what we believe, why we believe it and how to share it.
This is why we’re doing this blog and podcast. Too many things to do to sit and read a blog? We’ll keep them short and simple.
Don’t have time to sit and listen to a podcast with a pen and paper? Push play when you’re at work, driving, or folding laundry. You won’t hurt our feelings. Our goal is to glorify God by showing average Christian women that theology and doctrine are not scary and to help equip them to know the truth from lies.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14) 
-Esther Faulkner