Mormonism and polygamy

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Polygamy (called plural marriage by Latter-day Saints in the 19th century or the Principle by modern fundamentalist practitioners of polygamy) was practiced by leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) for more than half of the 19th century, and practiced publicly from 1852 to 1890 by between 20 and 30 percent of Latter-day Saint families.

The practice of polygamy by Latter-day Saints has been controversial, both within Western society and the LDS Church itself. The U.S. was horrified by the practice of polygamy, with the Republican platform at one time referencing "the twin relics of barbarism—polygamy and slavery."[1][2]: 438  The private practice of polygamy was instituted in the 1830s by Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. The public practice of polygamy by the LDS Church was announced and defended in 1852 by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Orson Pratt,[3] at the request of Brigham Young, then president of the church.

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, the LDS Church and the United States were at odds over the issue: as the church defended the practice as a matter of religious freedom, while the federal government sought to eradicate it, consistent with prevailing public opinion. Polygamy was probably a significant factor in the Utah War of 1857 and 1858, given Republican attempts to paint Democratic president James Buchanan as weak in his opposition to both polygamy and slavery. In 1862, the United States Congress passed the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act, which prohibited polygamous marriage in the territories.[3] In spite of the law, Latter-day Saints continued to practice polygamy, believing that it was protected by the First Amendment. In 1879, however, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the constitutionality of the Morrill Act in Reynolds v. United States,[4] stating: "Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinion, they may with practices."[3]

In 1890, when it became clear that Utah would not be admitted to the Union while polygamy was still practiced, church president Wilford Woodruff issued the 1890 Manifesto, officially terminating the practice of polygamy within the LDS Church.[5] Although this Manifesto did not dissolve existing polygamous marriages, relations with the United States markedly improved after 1890, such that Utah was admitted as a U.S. state in 1896. After the Manifesto, some church members continued to enter into polygamous marriages, but these eventually stopped in 1904 when church president Joseph F. Smith disavowed polygamy before Congress and issued a "Second Manifesto", calling for all polygamous marriages in the church to cease, and established excommunication as the consequence for those who disobeyed. Several small "fundamentalist" groups, seeking to continue the practice, split from the LDS Church, including the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB) and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church). Meanwhile, the LDS Church continues its policy of excommunicating members found practicing polygamy, and today actively seeks to distance itself from fundamentalist groups that continue the practice.[6] On its website, the church states that "the standard doctrine of the church is monogamy" and that polygamy was a temporary exception to the rule.[7][8]

Today, various churches and groups from the Latter Day Saint movement continue to practice polygamy.[9]

Origin edit

On July 12, 1843, a revelation Smith said he received from God was recorded (evidence points to Smith having received the revelation years earlier[citation needed]). The revelation allowed Smith and a few other male church leaders to have more than one wife.[10]: 53 [11] Van Wagoner claims that Smith developed an interest in polygamy after studying parts of the Old Testament in which prophets had more than one wife.[12]: 3  However, it is difficult to know when Smith decided to begin teaching or practicing polygamy.[12]: 3  Many early converts to the religion including Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, and Lyman Johnson, recorded that Joseph Smith was teaching polygamy privately as early as 1831 or 1832. Pratt reported that Smith told some early members in 1831 and 1832 that polygamy was a true principle, but that the time to practice it had not yet come.[13] At the time, the practice was kept secret from non-members and most church members. Throughout his life, Smith publicly denied having multiple wives.[14] During this time, the church publicly disavowed polygamy and only some church members knew about the teachings and practiced polygamy. Joseph Smith publicly condemned and denied his involvement in polygamy and participants were excommunicated for practicing polygamy without instruction and consent from leaders of the church.[15][16] However, church members who received permission began practicing polygamy in the 1840s.[17] The number of members aware of polygamy grew until the church started openly practicing polygamy in the early 1852, eight years after Smith's death.[12]: 4 [10]: 53–54  According to some historians and then-contemporary accounts, by this time, polygamy was openly taught and practiced.[10]: 185  The doctrine authorizing polygamy was canonized and first published in the 1876 version of the church's Doctrine and Covenants.[18]

Types of polygamous marriages edit

There were two types of polygamous marriages in the LDS Church: eternity-only and time-and-eternity. Eternity-only polygamous marriages applied only in the afterlife and time-and-eternity marriages applied both in mortal life and in the afterlife.[19] Most likely, Joseph Smith did not have sexual relations with all of his wives as some were eternity-only marriages.[20][21]

Teachings about polygamy edit

Theology edit

Salvation edit

Polygamy was taught as being essential for salvation.[10]: 186  Polygamy was seen as "more important than baptism" {reference?} and the practice of polygamy was required before the Second Coming of Christ. Brigham Young said that any male member of the church who was commanded to practice polygamy and refused would be damned.[22]: 112  Other leaders of the church taught that men who refused to have multiple wives were not obeying God's commandments and that they should step down from their priesthood callings.[22]: 112–113  Church president Joseph F. Smith also spoke about the necessity of practicing polygamy in order to receive salvation.[22]: 113  Members of the church in St George, Utah report being taught in the late 1800s that there is no "exaltation" without polygamy.[22]: 114  In a church-owned newspaper, an article speculates that men and women who refuse to practice polygamy will have a lesser station in the afterlife.[22]: 117 

Polygamy was also explained as being a commandment of God that was received by divine revelation and that polygamy was a part of God's plan.[23]: 44 

Women's place in heaven edit

Latter-day Saints believed that a woman could secure her place in heaven by being sealed to a righteous man who held the priesthood. Some women embraced polygamy because of this teaching and their desire to receive divine blessings.[24]: 132  The salvation of women was understood to be dependent on their status as wives.[25]: 98 

Posterity edit

One reason given for the practice of polygamy is to increase the Mormon population by childbirth.[23]: 44  In the Millennial Star, a church owned and operated newspaper, an article teaches that monogamous marriages result in offspring that are physically and mentally lesser than offspring of polygamous marriages.[22]: 117 [10]: 187 

Morality and preventing temptation edit

An early church leader argued that polygamy has historically been the main form of marriage and that polygamy is the most moral form of marriage.[23]: 44  Polygamy was sometimes explained as a way to prevent men from falling into sexual temptation,[22]: 117  while monogamy was immoral and increased the likelihood of sexual temptation.[23]: 44 

Biblical precedence edit

Some who practiced polygamy defended it as a religious practice that was taught in the Bible.[26][23]: 44 

Teachings on the multiple wives of God and Jesus edit

Top leaders used the examples of the polygamy of God the Father and Jesus Christ in defense of it and these teachings on God and Jesus' polygamy were widely accepted among Latter-day Saints by the late 1850s.[27][28][22]: 84  In 1853, Jedediah M. Grant—who later become a member of the First Presidency—stated that the top reason behind the persecution of Christ and his disciples was due to their practice of polygamy.[29][27] Two months later, apostle Orson Pratt taught in a church periodical that "We have now clearly shown that God the Father had a plurality of wives," and that after her death, Mary (the mother of Jesus) may have become another eternal polygamous wife of God.[30] He also stated that Christ had multiple wives—Mary of Bethany, Martha, and Mary Magdalene—as further evidence in defense of polygamy.[31][27] In the next two years the apostle Orson Hyde also stated during two general conference addresses that Jesus practiced polygamy[32][27] and repeated this in an 1857 address.[33]

Modern teachings of the church edit

In a teaching manual published by the church in 2015, the practice of polygamy is described as a "test of faith" that brought Latter-day Saints closer to God.[34] Other recent church documents point to an increase in children as being why Mormons believe God commanded them to practice polygamy. An article on the church's website states that early Mormons believed that they would receive blessings from God by obeying the commandment of polygamy.[35]

Polygamous marriages of early church leaders edit

Joseph Smith edit

Even among those who accept the views of conventional historians, there is disagreement as to the precise number of wives Smith had: Fawn M. Brodie lists 48,[36] D. Michael Quinn 46,[37] and George D. Smith 38.[38] One historian, Todd M. Compton, documented at least 33 marriages or sealings during Smith's lifetime.[39] Richard Lloyd Anderson and Scott H. Faulring came up with a list of 29 wives of Joseph Smith.[40]

It is unclear how many of the wives Smith had sexual relations with. Some contemporary accounts from Smith's time indicate that he engaged in sexual relations with some of his wives.[39][41][42] As of 2007, there were at least twelve early Latter Day Saints who, based on historical documents and circumstantial evidence, had been identified as potential Smith offspring stemming from polygamous marriages. In 2005 and 2007 studies, a geneticist with the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation stated that they had shown "with 99.9 percent accuracy" that five of these individuals were in fact not Smith descendants: Mosiah Hancock (son of Clarissa Reed Hancock), Oliver Buell (son of Prescindia Huntington Buell), Moroni Llewellyn Pratt (son of Mary Ann Frost Pratt), Zebulon Jacobs (son of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith), and Orrison Smith (son of Fanny Alger).[43] The remaining seven have yet to be conclusively tested, including Josephine Lyon, for whom current DNA testing using mitochondrial DNA cannot provide conclusive evidence either way. Lyon's mother, Sylvia Sessions Lyon, left her daughter a deathbed affidavit telling her she was Smith's daughter.[43]

Other early church leaders edit

LDS Church president Brigham Young had 51 wives, and 56 children by 16 of those wives.[44]

LDS Church apostle Heber C. Kimball had 43 wives, and had 65 children by 17 of those wives.[45]

Response to polygamy edit

Mormon response edit

Mormons responded to polygamy with mixed emotions. One historian notes that Mormon women often struggled with the practice and a belief in the divinity of the polygamy commandment was often necessary in accepting it. Records indicate that future church leaders, such as Brigham Young, John Taylor, and Heber C. Kimball, greatly opposed polygamy initially.[46]: 98  Documents left by Mormon women describe personal spiritual experiences that led them to accept polygamy.[22]: 160–161  Another historian notes that some Mormon women expressed appreciation for polygamy and its effects.[24]: 382 

An early leader of the church, Orson Pratt, defended polygamy by arguing that the practice was a result of divine revelation and that it was protected under the US Constitution as a religious freedom. Following the public announcement of polygamy, members of the church published pamphlets and literature defending the practice. Mormon missionaries were also directed to defend polygamy.[23]: 44 

Non-Mormon response edit

A caricature of Brigham Young's wives, published in Puck following his death in 1877.

The majority of Americans who were not members of the church were opposed to polygamy as they saw the practice as a violation of American values and morals.[10]: 192 [47]: 86 [24]: 382  Opponents of polygamy believed that polygamy forced wives into submission to their husbands[48]: 454  and some described polygamy as a form of slavery.[47]: 117  The overall opposition to polygamy led the Republican Party's platform to refer to it as one of the "relics of barbarianism".[49] Sensational and often violent novels provided fictional stories about polygamy which fueled the public's dislike for the practice and Mormons.[12]: 39–50 

However, some non-Mormons held more positive views of polygamy. For example, after surveying the Utah Territory, Captain Howard Stansbury concluded that most polygamous marriages were successful and there were good feelings between families.[22]: 191 

John C. Bennett and The History of the Saints edit

John C. Bennett was a member of the church and close friend of Joseph Smith who was disfellowshipped and later excommunicated for adultery. Following his excommunication, Bennett began to travel around the eastern United States as he lectured about the church. In his lectures, Bennett included claims of sexual misconduct among church leaders, secret rituals, and violence.[24]: 73–74  In 1842, Bennett published a book entitled The History of the Saints: Or, An Exposé of Joe Smith and Mormonism which includes alleged stories of sexual misconduct by Smith and other church leaders.[50] The church responded to Bennett's claims about Smith by gathering affidavits and printing contradictory evidence in newspapers. The women of the Relief Society, encouraged by its president, Emma Smith, also wrote their experiences that disproved Bennett's statements. They also began a petition in support of Joseph Smith's character which they delivered to the Governor of Illinois.[24]: 74–75 

Church officially ends polygamy edit

U.S. government actions against polygamy edit

Mormon polygamy was one of the leading moral issues of the 19th Century in the United States, perhaps second only to slavery in importance. Spurred by popular indignation, the U.S. government took a number of steps against polygamy; these were of varying effectiveness.[51][52] Anti-polygamy laws began to be passed ten years after the church publicly announced the practice of polygamy.[10]: 191 

Anti-polygamy bill of 1854 edit

The first legislative attempt to discourage polygamy in Utah was presented in the 33rd Congress. The bill was debated in May 1854. The bill included the provision that any man who had more than one wife would not be able to own land in the Utah Territory. This bill was defeated in the House of Representatives after multiple representatives argued that the federal government did not have the authority to legislate morals in the states.[10]: 194–195 

1857–1858 Utah War edit

As the church settled in what became the Utah Territory, it eventually was subjected to the power and opinion of the United States. Friction first began to show in the James Buchanan administration and federal troops arrived (see Utah War). Buchanan, anticipating Mormon opposition to a newly appointed territorial governor to replace Brigham Young, dispatched 2,500 federal troops to Utah to seat the new governor, thus setting in motion a series of misunderstandings in which the Mormons felt threatened.[53]

1862 Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act edit

In 1862, the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act became law. The Act criminalized the practice of polygamy, unincorporated the church, and limited the church's real estate holdings. The Act was largely understood to be unconstitutional and was only enforced in rare cases.[54]: 422  While, the Act outlawed bigamy in the US territories, it was seen to be largely weak and infective at preventing people from practicing polygamy.[55]: 447–449 [22]: 243–244  However, due to the continuous threat of legislation targeting polygamy and the church, Brigham Young pretended to comply.[54]: 422 

On January 6, 1879, the Supreme Court upheld the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act in Reynolds v. United States.[56]: 93 

Wade, Cragin, and Cullom Bills edit

The Wade, Cragin, and Cullom Bills were anti-bigamy legislation that failed to pass in the US Congress. The bills were all intended to enforce the Morrill Act's prohibition on polygamy with more punitive measures.[57] The Wade Bill of 1866 had the power to dismantle local government in Utah.[58] Three years after the Wade Bill failed, the Cragin Bill, which would have eliminated the right to a jury for bigamy trials, was introduced but not passed.[59] After that, the Cullom Bill was introduced. One of the most concerning parts of the Cullom Bill for polygamists was that, if passed, anyone who practiced any type of non-monogamous relationship would not be able to become a citizen of the United States, vote in elections, or receive the benefits of the homestead laws. The leadership of the church publicly opposed the Cullom Bill. Op-eds in church-owned newspapers declared the bill as unjust and dangerous to Mormons.[60]

The introduction of the Cullom Bill led to protests by Mormons, particularly Mormon women. Women organized indignation meetings to voice their disapproval of the bill.[24]: xii  The strong reaction of Mormon women surprised many onlookers and politicians. Outside of the church, Mormon women were seen as weak and oppressed by their husbands and the men of the church. The political activism in support of polygamy of Mormon women was unexpected from a group that had been portrayed as powerless.[61][24]: xii–xvi 

1874 Poland Act edit

Following the failure of the Wade, Cragin, and Collum Bills, the Poland Act was an anti-bigamy prosecution act that was successfully enacted by the 43rd United States Congress. The Poland Act, named after its sponsor in the US House of Representatives, attempted to prosecute Utah under the Morrill Anti-Bigamy act for refusing to stop practicing polygamy. The act stripped away some of Utah's powers and gave the federal government greater control over the territory. Among other powers, the act gave US district courts jurisdiction in the Utah Territory for all court cases[62] The Poland Act was a significant threat to Mormons practicing polygamy as it allowed for men who had multiple wives to be criminally indicted.[63]

1882 Edmunds Act edit

In February 1882, George Q. Cannon, a prominent leader in the church, was denied a non-voting seat in the U.S. House of Representatives due to his polygamous relations. This revived the issue of polygamy in national politics. One month later, the Edmunds Act was passed by Congress, amending the Morrill Act and made polygamy a felony punishable by a $500 fine and five years in prison. "Unlawful cohabitation", in which the prosecution did not need to prove that a marriage ceremony had taken place (only that a couple had lived together), was a misdemeanor punishable by a $300 fine and six months imprisonment.[3] It also revoked the right of polygamists to vote or hold office and allowed them to be punished without due process. Even if people did not practice polygamy, they would have their rights revoked if they confessed a belief in it. In August, Rudger Clawson was imprisoned for continuing to cohabit with wives that he married before the 1862 Morrill Act.

1887 Edmunds–Tucker Act edit

Polygamists, including George Q. Cannon, imprisoned under the Edmunds–Tucker Act, at the Utah Penitentiary in 1889.

In 1887, the Edmunds–Tucker Act allowed the disincorporation of the LDS Church and the seizure of church property; it also further extended the punishments of the Edmunds Act. In July of the same year, the U.S. Attorney General filed suit to seize all church assets.[citation needed]

The church was losing control of the territorial government, and many members and leaders were being actively pursued as fugitives. Without being able to appear publicly, the leadership was left to navigate "underground".[citation needed]

Following the passage of the Edmunds–Tucker Act, the church found it difficult to operate as a viable institution. After visiting priesthood leaders in many settlements, church president Wilford Woodruff left for San Francisco on September 3, 1890, to meet with prominent businessmen and politicians. He returned to Salt Lake City on September 21, determined to obtain divine confirmation to pursue a course that seemed to be agonizingly more and more clear. As he explained to church members a year later, the choice was between, on the one hand, continuing to practice polygamy and thereby losing the temples, "stopping all the ordinances therein," and, on the other, ceasing to practice polygamy in order to continue performing the essential ordinances for the living and the dead. Woodruff hastened to add that he had acted only as the Lord directed.[citation needed]

1879 Reynolds vs. United States edit

In 1879, the Supreme Court ruled that a defendant cannot claim a religious obligation as a valid defense to a crime and upheld the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act in Reynolds v. United States.[56]: 93 [64] The Court said that while holding a religious belief was protected under the First Amendment right of freedom of religion, practicing a religious belief that broke the law was not.[65] Reynolds vs. United States was the Supreme Court's first case in which a party used the right of freedom of religion as a defense. The ruling concluded that Mormons could be charged with committing bigamy despite their religious beliefs.[66]: 587 

1890 Manifesto banning polygamy edit

The final element in Woodruff's revelatory experience came on the evening of September 23, 1890. The following morning, he reported to some of the general authorities that he had struggled throughout the night with the Lord regarding the path that should be pursued. The result was a 510-word handwritten manuscript which stated his intentions to comply with the law and denied that the church continued to solemnize or condone polygamous marriages. The document was later edited by George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency and others to its present 356 words. On October 6, 1890, it was presented to the Latter-day Saints at the General Conference and unanimously approved.[citation needed]

While many church leaders in 1890 regarded the Manifesto as inspired, there were differences among them about its scope and permanence. Contemporary opinions include the contention that the manifesto was more related to an effort to achieve statehood for the Utah territory.[67] Some leaders were reluctant to terminate a long-standing practice that was regarded as divinely mandated. As a result, over 200 polygamous marriages were performed between 1890 and 1904.[68]

1904 Second Manifesto edit

It was not until 1904, under the leadership of church president Joseph F. Smith, that the church completely banned new polygamous marriages worldwide.[69] Not surprisingly, rumors persisted of marriages performed after the 1890 Manifesto, and beginning in January 1904, testimony given in the Smoot hearings made it clear that polygamy had not been completely extinguished.[citation needed]

The ambiguity was ended in the General Conference of April 1904, when Smith issued the "Second Manifesto", an emphatic declaration that prohibited new polygamous marriages and proclaimed that offenders would be subject to church discipline.[citation needed] It declared that any who participated in additional plural marriages, and those officiating, would be excommunicated from the church. Those disagreeing with the Second Manifesto included apostles Matthias F. Cowley and John W. Taylor, who both resigned from the Quorum of the Twelve. Cowley retained his membership in the church, but Taylor was later excommunicated.[citation needed]

Although the Second Manifesto ended the official practice of new polygamous marriages, existing ones were not automatically dissolved. Many Mormons, including prominent church leaders, maintained their polygamy into the 1940s and 1950s.[70]

In 1943, the First Presidency learned that apostle Richard R. Lyman was cohabitating with a woman other than his legal wife. As it turned out, in 1925 Lyman had begun a relationship which he defined as a polygamous marriage. Unable to trust anyone else to officiate, Lyman and the woman exchanged vows secretly. By 1943, both were in their seventies. Lyman was excommunicated on November 12, 1943. The Quorum of the Twelve provided the newspapers with a one-sentence announcement, stating that the ground for excommunication was violation of the law of chastity.[citation needed]

Polygamy in other churches in the Latter Day Saint movement edit

Teens from polygamous families along with over 200 supporters demonstrate at a pro-polygamy rally in Salt Lake City in 2006[71]

Over time, many of those who rejected the LDS Church's relinquishment of polygamy formed small, close-knit communities in areas of the Rocky Mountains. These groups continue to practice "the Principle". In the 1940s, LDS Church apostle Mark E. Petersen coined the term "Mormon fundamentalist" to describe such people.[72] Fundamentalists either practice as individuals, as families, or as part of organized denominations. Today, the LDS Church objects to the use of the term "Mormon fundamentalists" and suggests using the term "polygamist sects" to avoid confusion about whether the main body of Mormon believers teach or practice polygamy.[73] The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (also referred to as the FLDS Church) continues to practice polygamy.[74]

Criticism of LDS polygamy edit

Instances of unhappy polygamous marriage edit

Critics of polygamy in the early LDS Church claim that polygamy produced unhappiness in some wives.[75] LDS historian Todd Compton, in his book In Sacred Loneliness, described various instances where some wives in polygamous marriages were unhappy with polygamy.[39]

A means for male sexual gratification edit

Critics of polygamy in the early LDS Church claim that church leaders established the practice of polygamy in order to further their immoral desires for sexual gratification with multiple sexual partners.[76] Critics point to the fact that church leaders practiced polygamy in secret from 1833 to 1852, despite a written church doctrine (Doctrine and Covenants 101, 1835 edition) renouncing polygamy and stating that only monogamous marriages were permitted.[77] Critics also cite several first-person accounts of early church leaders attempting to use the polygamy doctrine to enter into illicit relationships with women.[78][79] Critics also assert that Joseph Smith instituted polygamy in order to cover up an 1835 adulterous affair with a neighbor's daughter, Fanny Alger, by taking Alger as his second wife.[80] Compton dates this marriage to March or April 1833, well before Joseph was accused of an affair.[81] However, historian Lawrence Foster dismisses the marriage of Alger to Joseph Smith as "debatable supposition" rather than "established fact".[82]

Bar chart showing age differences at the time of polygamous marriage between teenage brides and early Latter Day Saint church leaders.[83][84][85][86] The average age of first marriage for white US women from 1850 to 1880 was 23.[87]

Underage polygamous marriages edit

Critics of polygamy in the early LDS Church claim that church leaders sometimes used polygamy to take advantage of young girls for immoral purposes.[88] Historian George D. Smith studied 153 men who took multiple wives in the early years of the Latter Day Saint movement, and found that two of the girls were thirteen years old, 13 girls were fourteen years old, 21 were fifteen years old, and 53 were sixteen years old.[89] Historian Todd Compton documented that Joseph Smith married one girl who was fourteen-years old (possibly two); according to Compton, "it is unlikely that the marriage was consummated".[90] Historian Stanley Hirshon documented cases of girls aged 10 and 11 being married to old men.[91]

The mean age of marriage for women was lower in Mormon polygamy than in New England and the Northeastern states (the societies in which Smith and many early converts to the movement had lived). This was partly caused by the practice of polygamy, and Compton concludes that "Early marriage and very early marriage were… accepted" in early Mormonism. These marriages were frequently "dynastic" in purpose, meant to join people to the families of leaders, motivated by the significance of marriage for the nineteenth-century Latter-day Saint understanding of the afterlife. According to Compton, the "valid parallel" for Mormon early marriages is the "American and European history of elite early marriages that were not consummated until the marriage participants were much older". Compton "find[s] dynastic marriages of teenage girls problematic, even if sexual consummation is delayed".[92]

Lack of wives for some men edit

If some men have several wives and the numbers of men and women are approximately equal, some men will necessarily be left without wives. In the sects that still practice polygamy today, such men, known as lost boys are often driven out so as not to compete with high-ranked polygamous men.[93]

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ US website
  2. ^ Phipps, Kelly Elizabeth (2009). "Marriage and Redemption: Mormon Polygamy in the Congressional Imagination, 1862-1887". Virginia Law Review. 95 (2): 435–487. ISSN 0042-6601. JSTOR 25478708.
  3. ^ a b c d Embry, Jessie L. (1994), "Polygamy", in Powell, Allan Kent (ed.), Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917, archived from the original on April 17, 2017, retrieved October 30, 2013
  4. ^ Reynolds v. United States “The History of The Supreme Court”
  5. ^ Official Declaration 1
  6. ^ The LDS Church encourages journalists not to use the word "Mormon" in reference to organizations or people that practice polygamy "Style Guide — LDS Newsroom". April 9, 2010. Retrieved April 15, 2014.; the church repudiates polygamist groups and excommunicates their members if discovered Bushman (2008, p. 91); "Mormons seek distance from polygamous sects". NBC News. 2008.
  7. ^ LDS Church, Polygamy: Latter-day Saints and the Practice of Plural Marriage, LDS Newsroom
  8. ^ Jacob 2:27–30
  9. ^ BRADY McCOMBS (November 12, 2019). "Mexico killing highlights confusion over Mormon groups". KUTV. Associated Press.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Linford, Orma (1965). The Mormons and the Law: The Polygamy Cases. Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin.
  11. ^ "Doctrine and Covenants 132". Retrieved April 11, 2023.
  12. ^ a b c d Van Wagoner, Richard S. (1989). Mormon polygamy: A History (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books. ISBN 978-1-56085-303-9. OCLC 681161668.
  13. ^ Orson Pratt, "Celestial Marriage," Journal of Discourses, reported by David W. Evans (7 October 1869), Vol. 13 (London: Latter-day Saint's Book Depot, 1871), 192–93.
  14. ^ Abanes 2003, pp. 195, 283–84
  15. ^ "Notice," Times and Seasons, Volume 5, No. 3, 1 February 1844 (p. 423 in bound editionalt source of text) "As we have lately been credibly informed, that an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-day Saints, by the name of Hiram Brown, has been preaching Polygamy, and other false and corrupt doctrines, in the county of Lapeer, state of Michigan."
  16. ^ Roberts, B. H. (1912). History of the Church. Vol. 6. p. 411. What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one.—Joseph Smith
  17. ^ Smith, W. "A Proclamation," Warsaw Signal, Warsaw, Illinois [October 1845], page 1, column 4
  18. ^ Doctrine and Covenants, section 132; in the same edition, the statement denouncing polygamy (the old section 101) was removed.
  19. ^ Hales, Brian C. (2017). ""He Had No Other Wife but Me": Emma Hale Smith and Mormon Polygamy". The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal. 37 (1): 5. ISSN 0739-7852. JSTOR 26316890.
  20. ^ "Mormon church polygamy: Joseph Smith 'had up to 40 wives'". BBC News. November 11, 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  21. ^ A Careful Examination. "Why did Joseph not sire children with his plural wives?". A Careful Examination. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Hardy, B. Carmon (2007). Doing the Works of Abraham: Mormon Polygamy: Its Origin, Practice, and Demise. Norman, Okla. ISBN 978-0-87062-344-8. OCLC 71223053.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  23. ^ a b c d e f Whittaker, David J. (1984). "Early Mormon Polygamy Defenses". Journal of Mormon History. 11: 43–63. ISSN 0094-7342. JSTOR 23286126.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher (2017). A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women's Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870 (1st ed.). New York: Knopf. ISBN 978-0-307-59490-7. OCLC 955274387.
  25. ^ Gordon, Sarah Barringer (2002). The Mormon question : polygamy and constitutional conflict in nineteenth-century America. Chapel Hill. ISBN 0-8078-7526-0. OCLC 51831976.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  26. ^ Nash, Brittany Chapman (2021). Let's talk about polygamy. Salt Lake City, Utah. ISBN 978-1-62972-823-0. OCLC 1245247408.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  27. ^ a b c d Schelling Durham, Michael (1997). Desert Between the Mountains: Mormons, Miners, Padres, Mountain Men, and the Opening of the Great Basin, 1772-1869 (1st ed.). New York City: Henry Holt & Company, Inc. p. 182. ISBN 9780805041613. Pratt clearly loud out arguments in favor of polygamy that the Saints would use for years to come. ... Pratt and others argued that Jesus had three wives: Mary Magdalene, and Lazarus' two sisters, Mary and Martha. Apostle Orson Hyde went a step further and preached that 'Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children.'
  28. ^ Swanson, Vern G. (2013). "Christ and Polygamy". Dynasty of the Holy Grail: Mormonism's Holy Bloodline. Springville, UT: Cedar Fort, Inc. pp. 247–259. ISBN 9781462104048. Dr. William E. Phipps noted that the belief that 'Jesus married, and married often!' was used to encourage and promote the doctrine of polygamy amongst timid Latter-Day Saints ... By the late-1850s the idea that more than one woman was married to Jesus was widely accepted among Mormon circles. ... As if the concept of Christ's polygamy was not unsettling enough, Mormonism even taught in the nineteenth century that God the Father had a plurality of wives as well.
  29. ^ Grant, Jedediah (August 7, 1853). "Uniformity". Journal of Discourses. 1: 345–346. 'The grand reason why the Gentiles and philosophers of his school persecuted Jesus Christ, was, because he had so many wives; there were Elizabeth, and Mary, and a host of others that followed him.' ... The grand reason of the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon Christ and his disciples, causing his crucifixion, was evidently based upon polygamy, according to the testimony of the philosophers who rose in that age.
  30. ^ Pratt, Orson (October 1853). "The Seer". The Seer. 1 (10): 158,172. Retrieved October 9, 2017. Inasmuch as God was the first husband to her, it may be that He only gave her to be the wife of Joseph while in this mortal state, and that He intended after the resurrection to again take her as one of his wives to raise up immortal spirits in eternity. ... We have now clearly shown that God the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity by whom He begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus His First Born, and another being upon the earth by whom He begat the tabernacle of Jesus.
  31. ^ Pratt, Orson (1853). The Seer. Washington, D.C. Liverpool Orson Pratt Franklin D. Richards. p. 159,172. Retrieved October 9, 2017. If all the acts of Jesus were written, we should no doubt learn that these beloved women [Mary, and Martha her sister, and Mary Magdalene] were his wives. ... We have also proved most clearly that the Son followed the example of his Father, and became the great Bridegroom to whom kings' daughters and many honorable Wives were to be married.
  32. ^ Hyde, Orson (March 18, 1855). "The Judgements of God on the United States—The Saints and the World". Journal of Discourses. 2: 210. ... Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children.
  33. ^ Hyde, Orson (March 1857). "Man the Head of the Woman—Kingdom of God—The Seed of Christ—Polygamy—Society in Utah". Journal of Discourses. 4: 259. It will be borne in mind that once on a time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha, and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper to say the best of it.
  34. ^ "Lesson 20: Plural Marriage". Retrieved April 21, 2023.
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  84. ^ Turner, John G. (October 27, 2012). "Polygamy, Brigham Young and His 55 Wives". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 2, 2017. The sheer variety of Brigham Young's marriages makes it difficult to make sense of them. He married — was sealed to, in Mormon parlance — young (Clarissa Decker, 15) and old (Hannah Tapfield King, 65).
  85. ^ Snodgrass, Mary Ellen (May 15, 2009). Civil Disobedience: An Encyclopedic History of Dissidence in the United States (1st ed.). Rootledge. p. 220. ISBN 978-0765681270. Retrieved June 2, 2017. The name of each wife is followed by her age at marriage, the place of marriage, and the year the couple married. ... Lorenzo Snow ... Sarah Minnie Jensen, 16, Salt Lake City, 1871
  86. ^ Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher (January 10, 2017). A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women's Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835–1870. Knopf. p. 274. ISBN 978-0307594907. Retrieved June 3, 2017. Wilford Woodfruff & (Emma Smith born March 1st 1838 at Diahman Davis County Missouri) was Sealed for time & Eternity by President Brigham Young at 7 oclock P.M. March 13, 1853.
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  90. ^ Compton 1997, pp. 6, 606. These were Helen Mar Kimball and Nancy Maria Winchester. Kimball was fourteen-years old when Smith married her in May 1843; Winchester was either fourteen or fifteen, as the date of her marriage to Smith in relation to her birthday is uncertain. On Compton's conclusions about nonconsummation, see p. 231 in Compton, Todd. "Early Marriage in New England and Northeastern States, and in Mormon Polygamy: What Was the Norm?". The Persistence of Polygamy, in Bringhurst & Foster (2010, pp. 184–232){{cite book}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link); Compton writes, "my judgment is that it is unlikely that the marriage was consummated" and "it is not just not certain, it is unlikely, in my judgment."
  91. ^ Hirshon 1969, pp. 126–127
  92. ^ Compton, Todd. "Early Marriage in New England and Northeastern States, and in Mormon Polygamy: What Was the Norm?". The Persistence of Polygamy, in Bringhurst & Foster (2010, pp. 184–232){{cite book}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link).
  93. ^ Borger, Julian (June 14, 2005). "The lost boys, thrown out of US sect so that older men can marry more wives". The Guardian. Retrieved September 21, 2023.

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