The church's policies regarding marriage have been widely misrepresented and misunderstood. Indeed, much of the misinformation circulating on this subject seems designed intentionally to fuel the flames of prejudice against the church.
The church's practices in this regard continue a long tradition of marriage in this country that would have been found to have been unremarkable in 19th century America. In the FLDS church, all marriages are consensual. The church insists on appropriate consent, including that of the woman and the man, in all circumstances.
Nevertheless, the church is clarifying its policy toward marriage. Therefore, in the future, the church commits that it will not preside over the marriage of any woman under the age of legal consent in the jurisdiction in which the marriage takes place. The church will counsel families that they neither request nor consent to any underage marriages. This policy will apply church-wide.
The church believes in purity, cleanliness and innocence. Our children and families are the cornerstones of our lives and our religion. We hope that this modest clarification in policy will alleviate recent concerns and allow the church and its families to reside in peace among our neighbors.