Question: What purposes could plural marriage possibly serve?

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Question: What purposes could plural marriage possibly serve?

Save for scriptural accounts, any other "reasons" which we attach, in retrospect, to plural marriage can only be based on supposition and intellectual deduction

Any such list as this is therefore tentative. Any or all of these things could have been intended by the Lord for the benefit of the Church and the Saints. A few of these benefits which have been suggested include:

  1. It was to try (prove) His people. Polygamy stood as an Abrahamic test for the saints.
  2. It was to "raise up" righteous seed.
  3. It served to "set apart" his people as a peculiar people to the world. This social isolation that gave the church space to solidify itself into an identity independent of the many denominations from which the membership was derived.
  4. Polygamy was part of the "restoration of all things."
  5. Numerous family ties were created, building a network of associations that strengthened the Church.
  6. Polygamy created a system where a higher percentage of women and men got married compared to the national average at the time.[1]

Other benefits which we do not yet see or understand could also have been intended. But, it reminds us plural marriage may have accomplished more than we sometimes appreciate.


  1. David R. Keller, "Where the Lost Boys Go," FAIR Blog (last accessed 9 May 2008)