Return of the Twin Relics

Slavery and polygamy, if you didn't know...they were the "twin relics of barbarism" denounced from the Republican platform in 1856. Most of us know the story of how slavery and polygamy were subsequently stamped out in the United States, but are we equally aware that Isaiah prophesied that both are slated to be practiced yet again in the Millennial day?

        Maarten van Heemskerck's “The Prophet Isaiah Predicts the Return of Jews After Exile”

        Maarten van Heemskerck's “The Prophet Isaiah Predicts the Return of Jews After Exile”

Probably every woman has her radar tuned in to Isaiah 4:

And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
— Isaiah 4:1-2

It's pretty self-explanatory except to those who don't want to see it, right? The way Isaiah paints it, polygamy, done well, sounds almost delightful. But what about that other relic? What about slavery? Of course, in scripture, we don't usually see the word "slave" but we do see a lot of "captives."  Have you, like me, read through Isaiah plenty of times without grasping the concept clearly laid out in chapter 14?

For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.

And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
— Isaiah 14:1-2

Who are these servants and handmaids that will be employed by the children of Israel? The prophet Amos 9:12 calls them "the remnant of Edom" which he says Israel will "possess" in the last days (Amos 9:12). Edom, like Idumea, is a term used to designate "the world." These remnants of "the world," righteous enough to be spared from destruction, are still strangers to the covenant - folks who are "honorable, clean living men, but they have not embraced the Gospel (Gospel Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, pg. 149). 

Imagine the jolly fit of amusement that overtook me when I realized for the first time that it looks like these two practices, hated by Christianity (for some obvious reasons) will be in full force during the reign of Christ upon the earth for a thousand years. Will they look the same as they have in the past? I highly doubt it, and for the simple reason that they will be practiced by people of higher quality. Perhaps the institutions themselves are not evil - after all, not only did the Lord command the Israelites to take certain captives of their enemies, but there is even servitude in heaven. We are told that those who "did not abide [God's] law" are "appointed...ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory (D&C 132:16-17) 

Are you equally amused? What say ye?