Comments about ‘Amy Choate-Nielsen: Mormons say polygamy morally wrong, Pew poll shows’

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Published: Sunday, Jan. 15 2012 7:00 p.m. MST

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Immoral is not a word that can be used with anything. We all agree that murder and stealing is wrong unless Nephi is commanded to kill and steal from Laban. Circumstances determine the morality of an action. Drinking alcohol is considered by 54% to be immoral, but it is well documented that Jesus and Joseph Smith and many early leaders drank alcoholic drinks.

There shouldn't be a checklist of what to do and not do to be considered moral, "temple-worthy", or celestial deserving people. The Jews were great keeping the commandments, but Jesus spent all his time chastising them for how wicked they were. I believe we will be judged for what we become, and if our goal is to become a better Christ like person, our actions will be in harmony with the commandments.

Bountiful, Utah

I hope we see a report where this research group also asked Mormons if they over ate (to the point of putting excess fat on their bodies) if that would also be morally wrong. Would love to see the results of that survey, as the answers should be identical to those who believe that drinking alcohol is morally wrong.

Harwich, MA

a majority of the current membership doesn't have any idea that the Church practiced polygamy. I've met members that sincerely believe that Brigham Youngs polygamous activity is simply an anti-mormon propaganda. What won't the membership believe 100 years from now?

Sterling Heights, MI

Polygamy is a doctrinal law of God, from God to his people here on earth. A law that we dont understand fully because as a church we have been told not to practice it. We cant understand something we dont practice. The world as well as members of this church tend to include polygamy in with all the other moral issues and life styles that are practiced in our day.This is wrong. Polygamy is not a life style,its not a matter of choice, its not a moral issue,its not something we as individuals can say is correct or not correct,and so forth. It was revealed to the early church as a practice to follow and then it was taken away from the church through a prophet of God. I believe it is a law of God even today but He no longer allows His children to practice as a church.That is today. What happens tomorrow is up to God. We need to step away from the discussions on polygamy and listen more to what the prophets have to say about it and let it go.

sandy, ut

Polygamy is not only not practiced by the LDS church anymore, but it is no longer church doctrine either. Gordon B. Hinckley one stated that "I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal."

So then, if something isn't doctrinal, it was never doctrinal. Remember, the mormon church can't change its doctrine, because it claims to be the "one true church" and how could that be if it were changing doctrines?

Surrey, BC

to paperboy111 | 12:28 a.m. Jan. 16, 2012

This article is misleading because it is not official church policy nor church comments. Polygamy is not immoral; it is just not permitted at this time. God decides when something is sin or not.

As for the Blacks and the priesthood, the church did not decide to change the policy. It was direct revelation that changed that.

The church is not trying to go mainstream at all. It is simply getting out the message of the restored gospel. Core doctrines have not changed and most likely will not change. Yes, the church has grown and evolved over the years, but the Christ's church leads society, not the other way around.

Salt Lake City, UT

@LDS4: Behold David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me ,saith the Lord(Jacob 2:24 &see 27)

Exactly, Solomon took wives that were not given to him by God. God gave David those women and then God took them away and gave those women to another INDIVIDUAL man. This shows that polygamy isnt inherently wrong because God, at times, promotes it. If God hated polygamy, He would have given each of those women to single me instead of just one man.

Saint Paul, Appoint Elders in every town as I directed you if anyone is above reproach, the husband of ONE wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.. (Titus 1:5,6 NIV)

Exactly. Church leaders then were to have only one wife since having more than one would diminish the time they had to minister to the flock. If polygamy werent found and accepted in the primitive church, such a command wouldnt have been needed. There is no way a polygamous man would be a bishop or elder if he openly practiced something vehemently condemned.

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

Brahmabull. The 132 section of the D.C. is still there. Therefore Polygamy is still doctrinal whether practiced or not.

Salt Lake City, UT

It is interesting to note what the Pew poll shows. In actuality, Mormons do believe in polygamy using the principle in the temple to side step the law. When a couple first marry in the temple then decide to divorce at a later date, the divorced woman who remarries (but not in the temple) is still sealed to her first husband, not the one she marries. If she decides to marry outside the church (or never gets married again) and asks for a temple divorce, it is not granted because in the eyes of the church she would be "lost" not "belonging" to a husband any longer. She is told that when she marries IN the temple, THEN that first marriage may be dissolved. So, what's the difference between fundamentalists and Mormons? Not much when it comes to the principle of polygamy.

John Pratt
Manti, UT

Doesn't it strike anyone funny that according to the article 26% of current Mormons think homosexuality is acceptable, but then only 2% feel polygamy should be acceptable? Doesn't the irony and reversal of positions on such subjects raise any flags or questions? I mean really?

Current Mormons are among the most anti-polygamy of any (in spite of Biblical teachings, examples), attributing to people who do believe and practice it every vile motive, in just the same fashion as Mormons were treated by the Press in the nineteenth century. Yet it was a fundamental tenet of the former-day LDS Church, which declared continually and unequivocally that the practice couldn't be stopped and the religion remain intact.

Also, since when does God conduct the business of his kingdom by "opinion poll" (groundbreaking or not), or establish just what is "morally" right or wrong by polling the opinions of His people? BTW, Jacobs Admonition was about 2,400 years or so before Josephs teachings were given for this last dispensation.

But rest assured, I have no sympathy for Warren Jeffs. He is a pretty good example of what Section 121 was written about.

Eugene, OR

Is drinking immoral? Only for Latter Day Saints? Yes. Is it immoral for others? No, it's just dumb.

Is polygamy immoral? For today's Latter Day Saints? Yes. For others today? Yes. But was it okay in the past (Old Testament, early Restoration)? Yes. Will it be okay in mortality again? Most of us probably don't think so. Will it be practiced in the Celestial Kingdom? We have every reason to think it will be.

Do any of us want to practice it now? Hardly any. Certainly, not me. But if another Mother-in-Law was like mine has always been? Well, maybe.

Did the poll ask any of these questions these ways? No. Therefore its results are statistically significant...but totally unreliable.

L.A., California

According to rush Limbaugh, anyone who marries, divorces, then remarries is a polygamist. Serial polygamist.

As for whether polygamy should be acceptable... it is a biblically historical fact that great men of God were polygamists. So, go figure.

Cowboy Dude

EightOhOne "I wonder if we still had polygamy today if 86% of those polled would still find it "morally wrong"

I wonder if there would be enough Mormons to take the poll.


It is morally wrong as stated in the Book of Mormon. And it is against nature as it would make no sense since only 51% of the population is female.

It could only exist in isolated communities such as the early Utah settlers before the railroad. Wilford Woodruff was an LDS prophet too and abolished the practice from the Church when it had no more purpose as a survival tool in the lone wilderness.


@sharrona "Polygamy continued despite the promise to abandon it. In 1899, then Apostle Heber J. Grant President would plead guilty to unlawful cohabitation and be fined $100. In 1906, sixth LDS President Joseph F. Smith "pleaded guilty before Judge M. L. Rictchie in the District Court Friday to the charge of cohabitating with four women in addition to his lawful wife." He was fined $300, the maximum allowed."

Those are examples of relations that started before the LDS ban. True, the Church did not break up the existing families, but new plural marriages did not take place after the 1890 manifesto in the LDS temples.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

Polygamy is immoral unless it is the rare occasion that God commands it. Any "doctrine" around it (i.e. D&C 132, statements by early church leaders) was for those who were commanded to live it - we are under no obligation to have a testimony of that doctrine unless we are commanded to accept polygamy which is not the case now. To me, D&C is still useful in that I can understand the thinking behind it, but I don't need to "be like Abraham" nor does my wife need to worry about a "law of Sarah" unless it is commanded, which I seriously doubt it will be. No doctrine exists that says the members of the Church will be required to live polygamy in the Millenium or before - that is just pure speculation. Yes there are some men and women sealed to more than one spouse - that does not imply that is the norm - it is not.

It is that simple.

Lehi, UT

Michael Quinn is a respected LDS historian who wrote many articles for The Ensign and was a devout defender of the LDS faith. However Brother Quinn was allowed access to the church's private records which he used to accurately document the many post-manifesto polygamous marriages that occurred after 1890. As a result, the LDS church excommunicated Quinn in 1993. Quinn's essay on post-manifesto polygamy can be found on the web.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

@Mike in Texas
"Interesting how God can change His mind. Once Polygamy was "Moral" now its "Immoral" because the "Practice" has been rescinded. I'm afraid that's a distinction that is all too easily be lost on the general public."

The general public usually isn't too concerned when God changed his mind on other issues, such as circumcision. God adapts his commandments to different people and situations. That is not a problem, it is expected.

People who have a problem with the LDS Church "changing its mind" on polygamy are frequently critics who want that polygamy is still strongly tied to the Church because it is unpopular and makes the Church look bad and they enjoy that.

Frequently, people try to

Miami Area, Fl

"but new plural marriages did not take place after the 1890 manifesto in the LDS temples. "

There has been credible research by Michael Quinn and other Mormon Historians which suggests differently.

It looks to have occurred in Mexico and Canada as well as Utah.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

PA Rock Man,

The entire function of inductive arguments is guessing. While data MAY be accurate, there are often times it isn't. I personally believe those times are more often than we recognize and address.

Furthermore, you stated "I disagree with your point that polls only reflect the results of the sample, not the population. The whole point of statistics is that if you have a large and diverse enough sample size then the results of the study reflect the actual population."

But this is wrong. Inductive arguments can ONLY ever be probable. Deductive arguments can be valid, but reply on true premises and sound logic. This is basic debate/reason/logic knowledge. Polling reflect fact more accurately based on a diverse sampling or thorough methodology, it becomes more probable. There is a key difference between factual and probable. One is accurate, one is a guess. Even the most well-educated and most advanced guess is still a guess.

There is no "disagreeing" about this principle. People may disagree that my screen name is "A Voice of Reason" or that 1 + 1 = 2. But these are inherent and self-proven, as is the nature of inductive reason (guessing).

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