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Fuzzy Presentations About Polygamy

Unable to trust anyone else to officiate, Lyman and the woman exchanged vows secretly. By , both were in their seventies. Lyman was excommunicated on November 12, , at age 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. Over time, many of those who rejected the LDS Church's relinquishment of plural marriage formed small, close-knit communities in areas of the Rocky Mountains. These groups continue to practice "the Principle".

Petersen coined the term " Mormon fundamentalist " to describe such people. 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. Mormon fundamentalists believe that plural marriage is a requirement for exaltation and entry into the highest level of the celestial kingdom.

These beliefs stem from statements by 19th-century Mormon authorities including Brigham Young although some of these leaders gave possibly conflicting statements that a monogamist may obtain at least a lower degree of "exaltation" through mere belief in polygamy. For public relations reasons, the LDS Church has sought vigorously to disassociate itself from Mormon fundamentalists and the practice of plural marriage.

Mormon fundamentalists themselves embrace the term " Mormon " and share a religious heritage and beliefs with the LDS Church, including canonization of the Book of Mormon and a claim that Joseph Smith is the founder of their religion. Although the LDS Church has abandoned the practice of plural marriage, it has not abandoned the underlying doctrines of polygamy.

According to the church's sacred texts and pronouncements by its leaders and theologians, the church leaves open the possibility that it may one day re-institute the practice. It is still the practice of monogamous Mormon couples to be sealed to one another. However, in some circumstances, men and women may be sealed to multiple spouses.

Most commonly, a man may be sealed to multiple wives: if his first wife dies, he may be sealed to a second wife. A deceased woman may also be sealed to multiple men, but only through vicarious sealing if they are also deceased. As early as the publication of the Book of Mormon in , Latter Day Saint doctrine maintained that polygamy was allowable only if it was commanded by God.

Joseph Smith: America's Hermetic Prophet

The Book of Jacob condemned polygamy as adultery, [71] but left open the proviso that "For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise, they shall hearken unto these things. According to this view, the Manifesto and Second Manifesto rescinded God's prior authorization given to Joseph Smith. However, Bruce R. McConkie controversially stated in his book, Mormon Doctrine , that God will "obviously" re-institute the practice of polygamy after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

In the case where a man's first wife dies, and the man remarries, and both of the marriages involve a sealing , LDS authorities teach that in the afterlife, the man will enter a polygamous relationship with both wives. Under LDS Church policy, a man whose sealed wife has died does not have to request any permission beyond having a current temple recommend and an interview with his bishop to get final permission for a living ordinance, to be married in the temple and sealed to another woman, unless the new wife's circumstance requires a cancellation of sealing.

However, a woman whose sealed husband has died is still bound by the original sealing and must request a cancellation of sealing to be sealed to another man see next paragraph for exception to this after she dies. In some cases, women in this situation who wish to remarry choose to be married to subsequent husbands in the temple "for time only", and are not sealed to them, leaving them sealed to their first husband for eternity.


As of , however, women who have died may be sealed to more than one man. In , the LDS Church created a new policy that a woman may also be sealed to more than one man. A woman, however, may not be sealed to more than one man while she is alive. She may only be sealed to subsequent partners after both she and her husband s have died.

Proxy sealings, like proxy baptisms, are merely offered to the person in the afterlife, indicating that the purpose is to allow the woman to choose the right man to be sealed to. A man who is sealed to a woman but later divorced must apply for a "sealing clearance" from the First Presidency in order to be sealed to another woman. Receiving clearance does not void or invalidate the first sealing.

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A woman in the same circumstances would apply to the First Presidency for a "cancellation of sealing" sometimes called a "temple divorce" , allowing her to be sealed to another man. This approval voids the original sealing as far as the woman is concerned. Divorced women who have not applied for a sealing cancellation are considered sealed to the original husband. However, it is generally believed that even in the afterlife the marriage relationship is voluntary, so no person could be forced into an eternal relationship through temple sealing that they do not wish to be in.

Divorced women may also be granted a cancellation of sealing, even though they do not intend to marry someone else. In this case, they are no longer regarded as being sealed to anyone and are presumed to have the same eternal status as unwed women. According to church policy, after a man has died, he may be sealed by proxy to all of the women to whom he was legally married while he was alive. The same is true for women; however, if a woman was sealed to a man while she was alive, all of her husbands must be deceased before she can be sealed by proxy to them.

Church doctrine is not entirely specific on the status of men or women who are sealed by proxy to multiple spouses. There are at least two possibilities:. Critics of polygamy in the early LDS Church claim that plural marriages produced unhappiness in some wives. 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.

Others conclude that many Latter-day Saints entered into plural marriage based on the belief that it was a religious commandment, rather than as an excuse for sexual license.

For instance, many of the figures who came to be best associated with plural marriage, including church president Brigham Young and his counselor Heber C. Kimball , expressed revulsion at the system when it was first introduced to them. Young famously stated that after receiving the commandment to practice plural marriage in Nauvoo , he saw a funeral procession walking down the street and he wished he could exchange places with the corpse. He recalled that "I was not desirous of shrinking from any duty, nor of failing in the least to do as I was commanded, but it was the first time in my life that I had desired the grave, and I could hardly get over it for a long time.

He was later shocked to learn that he was to marry a younger woman. Critics of polygamy in the early LDS Church claim that church leaders sometimes used polygamy to take advantage of young girls for immoral purposes. Smith studied men who took plural 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.

However, it seems that Brigham Young attempted to stamp out the practice of men being sealed to excessively young girls. In , he stated, "I shall not seal the people as I have done. I would not seal them to him. They would not be equally yoked together. Many get their endowments who are not worthy and this is the way that devils are made. As the type of polygamy practiced is primarily polygyny, critics of the early LDS Church argue that polygamy may have caused a shortage of brides in the early LDS community, [99] citing quotes by church leader Heber C.

Kimball who is purported to have said addressing departing missionaries :. Brethren, I want you to understand that it is not to be as it has been heretofore. The brother missionaries have been in the habit of picking out the prettiest women for themselves before they get here, and bringing on the ugly ones for us; hereafter you have to bring them all here before taking any of them, and let us all have a fair shake.

On another occasion, he said "You are sent out as shepherds to gather sheep together; and remember that they are not your sheep The first quote above is not attested in any Mormon source, but first appeared in a derisive article in the New York Times on May 15, The principle of plurality of wives never will be done away.

Some sisters have had revelations that when this time passes away and they go through the veil every woman will have a husband to herself. I wish more of our young men would take to themselves wives of the daughters of Zion and not wait for us old men to take them all ; go-ahead upon the right principle young gentlemen and God bless you forever and ever and make you fruitful, that we may fill the mountains and then the earth with righteous inhabitants. The precise number who participated in plural marriage is not known, but studies indicate a maximum of 20 to 25 percent of Latter-day Saint adults were members of polygamist households.

One third of the women of marriageable age and nearly all of the church leadership were involved in the practice. Critics of polygamy in the early LDS Church have documented several cases where deception and coercion were used to induce marriage, [] for example citing the case of Joseph Smith who warned some potential spouses of eternal damnation if they did not consent to be his wife.

Miles traveled to England and proposed to Caroline Owens, assuring her that he was not polygamous. She returned to Utah and participated in a wedding, only to find out after the ceremony that Miles was already married. She ran away, but Miles hunted her down and raped her. She eventually escaped, and filed a lawsuit against Miles that reached the Supreme Court and became a significant case in polygamy case law.

Critics of polygamy in the early LDS Church claim that polygamy was used to justify marriage of close relatives that would otherwise be considered immoral. Similar family sealings are practiced in Latter-Day Saint temples today, where children of parents who were not sealed at the time of their marriage are sealed to their parents and to one another in a group ceremony. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For the generalized concept, see polygamy. Current state of polygamy. Prominent practitioners. Related legislation. Related case law. Reynolds v. Related articles. Main article: Origin of Latter Day Saint polygamy. See also: List of Joseph Smith's wives. Main article: List of Latter Day Saint practitioners of plural marriage.

See also: List of Brigham Young's wives. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Utah War. Main article: Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act. Further information: Poland Act. Main article: Edmunds Act. Main article: Edmunds—Tucker Act. Main article: Manifesto. Main article: Second Manifesto. Main article: Current state of polygamy in the Latter Day Saint movement.

Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Latter Day Saint movement portal. The Politics of American Religious Identity. University of North Carolina Press. Retrieved April 15, For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things. Evans 7 October , Vol. Smith ," Millennial Star , vol. Tuttle, , ff. History of the Church.

Joseph Smith abandons Ohio

What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. Pratt clearly loud out arguments in favor of polygamy that the Saints would use for years to come. 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.

William E. Phipps noted that the belief that 'Jesus married, and married often! By the lates 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. Journal of Discourses. 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.

The Seer. Retrieved October 9, 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.

September The Eternal Father and His Son. Cedar Fort Inc. 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.

Jesus was the bridegroom at the marriage at Cana of Galilee I do not despise to be called I shall say here, that before the Savior died, he looked upon his own natural children. Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children.

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. Pearson's Magazine. The Scripture says that He, the Lord, came walking in the Temple, with His train; I do not know who they were, unless His wives and children; but at any rate they filled the Temple, and how many there were who could not get into the Temple I cannot say.

This is the account given by Isaiah, whether he told the truth or not I leave every body to judge for himself. Wilford Woodruff's Journal. July 22, Joseph F. He spoke upon the marriage on Cana of Galilee. He thought Jesus was the Bridegroom and Mary and Martha the brides. He also referred to Luke Also John , John Joseph Smith spoke upon these passages to show that Mary and Martha manifested much closer relationship then merely believer.

Quote reproduced at byui.

A "Gnostic" Joseph Smith?

Beecher, Maureen Ursenbach ed. BYU Studies. Retrieved July 10, Deseret Morning News. Critchlow and Philip R. Utah State Historical Society. Archived from the original on November 7, Retrieved December 31, Those involved in plural marriages after were excommunicated; and those married between and were not to have church callings where other members would have to sustain them.

Although the Mormon church officially prohibited new plural marriages after , many plural husbands and wives continued to cohabit until their deaths in the s and s. Associated Press. Archived from the original on September 2, Retrieved September 11, Frequently Asked Questions. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine , 2d ed.

McConkie , ed. Lee , Deseret News Church Almanac , p. Two years later I married Kristen McMain, the eternal companion who now stands at my side. However, if she was sealed to a husband during her life, all her husbands must be deceased before she can be sealed to a husband to whom she was not sealed during life. Arrington , Brigham Young: American Moses , p. The New York Times. Retrieved June 2, October 27, The Huffington Post. The sheer variety of Brigham Young's marriages makes it difficult to make sense of them.

The name of each wife is followed by her age at marriage, the place of marriage, and the year the couple married. Lorenzo Snow Retrieved June 3, March 13, The Journal of Southern History. August 28, Let truth and righteousness be your motto; and do not go into the world for anything else but to preach the Gospel, build up the kingdom of God, and gather the sheep into the fold.

You are sent out as shepherds to gather the sheep together; and remember that they are not your sheep: they belong to Him that sends you. Then do not make a choice of any of those sheep; do not make selections before they are brought home and put into the fold. You understand that. Macmillan p. Abanes, Richard Thunder's Mouth Press. Alexander, Thomas G. Journal of Mormon History. Archived from the original on September 23, University of Illinois Press. Andrus, Hyrum Leslie Doctrines of the Kingdom. Salt lake City, UT: Bookcraft.

Seeing each of these addressed rationally [Page 18] and within the context of the entire history of the movement makes the topics more understandable and less frightening. Chapters 12 and 13 both address Emma Smith and her difficulty in accepting plural marriage and her wide swings between acceptance and abhorrence.

They discuss her treatment of the wives, which vacillated for various reasons, her approval of some marriages, and they even address the oft-quoted story about her pushing Eliza R.

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Snow down the stairs, causing a miscarriage of the baby she was supposedly carrying. The photos in this last section helped me to visualize the setting where this was supposed to have taken place. Again, for me this was a very informative and useful chapter and is likely to be for others, too. I was well aware of the troubles Emma had with polygamy — indeed most members probably are, but it was good to see the entire story listed in a coherent timeline.

Despite that, it gives a fairly sympathetic picture of a woman caught in a very difficult situation. Chapter 14 discusses the last days before the martyrdom and how the Law brothers and their infamous article in the Nauvoo Expositor about polygamy brought about the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Again, I was aware of the Expositor situation, but it was worthwhile to see it in the context of the entire history of Nauvoo polygamy. That is, instead, the topic for other books.

It is true that people today have problems with some aspects of polygamy, but we are often remarkably incapable of looking back at people in the past and understanding that they lived by different societal rules than we do now. That process will undoubtedly continue, and years from now, our descendants will surely look at some of the things we [Page 19] do and think we were being primitive and unrefined. Joseph Smith had no obligation to live his life in order to make our lives easier somehow. He only had to justify himself to God.

And, if a reader has a testimony that he was a true prophet until he was killed in Carthage, that reader can be assured that he did so. The next section of the book leaves the history altogether and instead provides a listing of every woman Joseph Smith is thought to have married and a substantial biographical sketch. This is a fascinating section with many first-person histories, even including pictures.

Increasing understanding of scripture one article at a time

Oddly, the women are listed in alphabetical order by their first name. This is quite a strange way to do it, but it does work, once the reader realizes this is what was done. I enjoyed reading the histories and found the one about Emily Partridge, my direct ancestor, to be accurate and thorough. In conclusion, I can say that I enjoyed this book and found it very helpful. However, the book did help to place a lot of the information into a coherent timeline that allowed me to understand the relationships between events more clearly than I have before. I would recommend it for those struggling with the topic as well as those who want to know more so they can be prepared for questions from others.

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Plural Marriage from a Woman’s Perspective - Mormon Polygamy Answers 3/3

It is assumed that it is possible to disagree agreeably and intelligently and comments that intend to increase overall understanding are particularly encouraged. Your Website. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting. A very informative article which should lead many readers to the book. Add Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.