Criticism of Mormonism/Books/One Nation Under Gods/Use of sources/Approved marriages 1890-1899

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Approved marriages 1890-1899

A FairMormon Analysis of: One Nation Under Gods, a work by author: Richard Abanes

Author's Claims

One Nation under Gods, page 331 (hardback and paperback)

The author quotes his source as saying that number of plural marriages "jumped nearly five-fold" after Utah gained statehood.

Author's Sources

Endnote 2, page 593 (hardback); page 591 (paperback)

  • Kenneth L. Cannon II, "After the Manifesto: Mormon Polygamy 1890-1906," in D. Michael Quinn, ed., The New Mormon History, 203-204.

Detailed Analysis

A "five-fold" increase sounds like a lot. But, the number of marriages was small, so it doesn't take much to increase "five-fold." The author doesn't disclose that this increase was outside Utah.[1]

Date Number of marriages Location
1890 7 Mexico
1891 2 Mexico
2 Mexico
1892 1 Mexico
1 Canada
2 Utah temples
1893 2 Mexico
1894 1 Canada
6 Mexico
2 Utah temples
1895 "About the same" -
1896 (Utah gained statehood on 4 Jan 1896) "About the same" -
1897 2 On ships at sea
9 Mexico
1898 9 Mexico (no 1st Pres. approval needed; these were all local Saints in Mexico)
1899 Permission for marriages in Mexico halted, some Utah and Idaho marriages

The author's source should alert him to this, since Cannon mentions "two marriages" being performed per year. These two marriages were not in the United States. He uses Cannon's older figures, instead of Quinn's more precise tabulation. Yet, he elsewhere cites Quinn, so he should be aware of his work.


  1. D. Michael Quinn, "LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890–1904," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 18 no. 1 (Spring 1985), 57–59.