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Plural marriage/Relationship to the modern Church/Further Reading
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Plural marriage/Relationship to the modern Church/Further Reading
Plural marriage—or one man marrying multiple women—has been practiced since ancient times (see Genesis 16:1–3; Doctrine and Covenants 132:34–39). It was practiced among the Latter-day Saints as commanded by God (see Doctrine and Covenants 132:32–34, 40), until God directed that the Saints discontinue it (see Official Declaration 1).
To view articles about plural marriage, click "Expand" in the blue bar:
Doctrinal foundation of plural marriage
Introduction of plural marriage
Questions about Joseph Smith and plural marriage
Notable plural wives of Joseph Smith
Plural marriage in Utah
End of plural marriage
Top video from FAIR. Bottom video from the Church History Department.
Summary: Joseph Smith is frequently criticized for his introduction and practice of plural marriage (often called polygamy). From a Christian perspective, these attacks usually focus on arguing that polygamy is unchristian or unbiblical, and that Joseph hid the truth from the world. From a secular perspective, it is asserted that the practice of polygamy sprung from Joseph's carnal desires to marry young women. Of particular interest is the fact that Joseph was sealed to women who were already married to other men (polyandry).
Video published by the Church History Department.
Jump to Subtopic:
- Plural wives of Joseph Smith, Jr.
- Implementation of plural marriage
- Doctrinal issues related to plural marriage
- Critics' claimed motivations for Joseph's implementation of plural marriage
- Keeping plural marriage a secret
- Entering into plural marriage
- Joseph Smith and polyandry
- Emma Smith and polygamy
- Children of Joseph Smith by polygamous marriages
- Mormonism and divorce in the nineteenth century
FairMormon web site
|Plural marriage FAIR links|
- Suzanne Armitage, "O that my voice could reach the ears of those uninformed and misinformed." FairMormon link
- Claudia Bushman, "Lives of Mormon Women," FAIR presentation transcript, 2006. FairMormon link
- Gregory L. Smith, "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Plural Marriage (*But Were Afraid to Ask)," FAIR Conference presentation (7 August 2009).
- Gregory L. Smith, "Polygamy, Prophets, and Prevarication: Frequently and Rarely Asked Questions about the Initiation, Practice, and Cessation of Plural Marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," FAIR, 2005.
- Allen Wyatt, "Zina and Her Men: An Examination of the Changing Marital State of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young," FAIR presentation transcript, 2006. FairMormon link
|Plural marriage on-line articles|
- James B. Allen, "Line upon Line," Ensign (July 1979), 32–40. off-site
- Edwin B. Firmage, "The Judicial Campaign against Polygamy and the Enduring Legal Questions," Brigham Young University Studies 27 no. 3 (Summer 1987), 91–113. PDF link
- Danel Bachman, Ronald K. Esplin, "Plural Marriage," in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow, (New York, Macmillan Publishing, 1992), 3:1091–1095. off-site
- Stephen R. Gibson, "Does the Book of Mormon Forbid Polygamy," lightplanet.com. off-site
- Gordon Irving, "The Law of Adoption: One Phase of the Development of the Mormon Concept of Salvation, 1830–1900," Brigham Young University Studies 14 no. 3 (Spring 1974), 291–314. PDF link
- Stephen E. Robinson, Are Mormons Christians? (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1993),90–96. off-site FairMormon link
- Gilbert W. Scharffs, The Truth About “The Godmakers”: A Response to an Inaccurate Portrayal of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Publishers Press, 1986). FairMormon link
- Gregory L. Smith, "George D. Smith's Nauvoo Polygamy (A review of "Nauvoo Polygamy:...but we called it celestial marriage" by: George D. Smith)," FARMS Review 20/2 (2008): 37–123. off-site wiki
- W. John Walsh, "Is Plural Marriage Necessary for Exaltation?" off-site
- Robert B. White, "A Review of the Dust Jacket and the First Two Pages (A review of "Nauvoo Polygamy:...but we called it celestial marriage" by: George D. Smith)," FARMS Review 20/2 (2008): 125–129. off-site wiki
- Mormon-polygamy.org off-site
- Polygamy: Questions and Answers With the Los Angeles Times," lds.org, 31 May 2006. off-site
|Plural marriage printed references|
- Danel W. Bachman, “A Study of the Mormon Practice of Polygamy Before the Death of Joseph Smith,” (1975) (unpublished M.A. thesis, Purdue University).
- Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997). ( Index of claims )
- Reviews of In Sacred Loneliness:
- Richard Lloyd Anderson and Scott H. Faulring, "The Prophet Joseph Smith and His Plural Wives (Review of In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith)," FARMS Review of Books 10/2 (1998): 67–104. off-site
- Danel W. Bachman, "Prologue to the Study of Joseph Smith's Marital Theology (Review of In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith)," FARMS Review of Books 10/2 (1998): 105–137. off-site
- Danel W. Bachman, “’Let No One…Set On My Servant Joseph’: Religious Historians Missing the Lessons of Religious History,” Presentation to Mormon History Association, 22 May 1999.
- Kathryn Daynes, “Review of In Sacred Loneliness,” Pacific Historical Review 68 (August 1999): 466–468. off-site
- Alma G. Allred, “Variations on a Theme,” Presentation to Mormon History Association, 1999, updated on-line version of 6 December 1999.
- Todd M. Compton, "Truth, Honesty and Moderation in Mormon History: A Response to Anderson, Faulring and Bachman’s Reviews of in Sacred Loneliness," (July 2001).
- Todd M. Compton, Response to Jerald and Sandra Tanners' Review of In Sacred Loneliness (n.d.).
- Kathryn M. Daynes, More Wives than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System, 1840–1910 (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2001). ISBN 0252026810.
- Craig L. Foster, David Keller, and Gregory L. Smith, “The Age Joseph Smith’s Plural Wives in Social and Demographic Context,” in Newell G. Bringhurst and Craig L. Foster eds., The Persistence of Polygamy: Joseph Smith and the Origins of Mormon Polygamy (Independence, John Whitmer Books Press 2010), 152–183. [152–183]
- Stephen R. Gibson, One-Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions (Bountiful, Utah: Horizon Publishers, 1995).
- Brian Hales' works are probably the current definitive treatment on Joseph Smith's plural marriages:
- Brian C. Hales, Joseph Smith's Polygamy Volume 1: History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Greg Kofford Books, 2013).
- Brian C. Hales, Joseph Smith's Polygamy Volume 2: History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Greg Kofford Books, 2013).
- Brian C. Hales, Joseph Smith's Polygamy Volume 3: Theology (Salt Lake City, Utah: Greg Kofford Books, 2013).
- Jeni Broberg Holzapfel and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, eds., A Woman's View: Helen Mar Whitney's Reminiscences of Early Church History (Provo: Religious Studies Center, BYU, 1997).
- Joseph Fielding McConkie, Answers: Straightforward Answers to Tough Gospel Questions (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1998), 27–28. GospeLink (requires subscrip.)
- Ugo A. Perego, Natalie M. Myres, and Scott R. Woodward, 'Reconstructing the Y-Chromosome of Joseph Smith: Genealogical Applications," Journal of Mormon History 31/3 (Fall 2005): 42-60. (Discusses how DNA proves that the parentage of Moroni Pratt, Zebulon Jacobs, and Orrison Smith is not through Joseph Smith).
- John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations: Aids to Faith in a Modern Day, arranged by G. Homer Durham (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960), 340–344. GL direct link
- John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations: Aids to Faith in a Modern Day, arranged by G. Homer Durham (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960), 390–393. GL direct link