Plural marriage

Revision as of 20:09, 18 December 2022 by SpencerMarsh (talk | contribs)

FAIR Answers Wiki Table of Contents

The Church and plural marriage (or polygamy)

Summary: Plural marriage was an integral part of the Church in the pioneer era.

Second video published by the Church History Department.

Jump to Subtopic:

Polygamy in Latter-day Saint scripture

Jump to Subtopic:

Polygamy in the 19th Century

Summary: Video published by the Church History Department.

Jump to Subtopic:

  1. REDIRECT The Church of Jesus Christ and plural marriage today

Polygamy as practiced anciently

Jump to Subtopic:

Joseph Smith and Plural Marriage (Polygamy)

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:

The First Manifesto

Jump to Subtopic:

Polygamy Book draft chapters written by Gregory L. Smith

Jump to Subtopic:

Gospel Topics, "Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah"

Gospel Topics, (2013)
In accordance with a revelation to Joseph Smith, the practice of plural marriage—the marriage of one man to two or more women—was instituted among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early 1840s. Thereafter, for more than half a century, plural marriage was practiced by some Latter-day Saints. Only the Church President held the keys authorizing the performance of new plural marriages. In 1890, the Lord inspired Church President Wilford Woodruff to issue a statement that led to the end of the practice of plural marriage in the Church. In this statement, known as the Manifesto, President Woodruff declared his intention to abide by U.S. law forbidding plural marriage and to use his influence to convince members of the Church to do likewise.

After the Manifesto, monogamy was advocated in the Church both over the pulpit and through the press. On an exceptional basis, some new plural marriages were performed between 1890 and 1904, especially in Mexico and Canada, outside the jurisdiction of U.S. law; a small number of plural marriages were performed within the United States during those years. In 1904, the Church strictly prohibited new plural marriages. Today, any person who practices plural marriage cannot become or remain a member of the Church.

Click here to view the complete article

Valerie Hudson, "A Reconciliation of Polygamy"

Valerie Hudson,  Proceedings of the 2011 FAIR Conference, (August 2011)
During the period of time when the restored Church was commanded by the Lord to practice polygamy, some practiced it without any discernible hardship and still others with great pain. Contemporary Church members may look back upon that period with acceptance, or indifference, or discomfort, and I would like to say at the outset that I don’t see that diversity of feelings is harmful that people differ in their reactions to polygamy I don’t think is the issue. Rather, since the New and everlasting covenant of marriage is at the heart of the work of eternal life and godhood; confusion about the nature and form of lawful marriage ordained by God is harmful.

Click here to view the complete article

To see citations to the critical sources for these claims, click here