Is LDS polygamy history relevant to 2012 campaign?

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  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2012 6:27 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska said: At no time has the LDS Church ever condemned the practice of Polgamy

    Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley said: "I condemn it, yes, as a practice because I think it is not doctrinal"

    Bill is contradicting a prophets words. I know he will say it was only president Hinckley's opinion, but I disagree and that is a weak argument.
    So here you have Bill in Nebraska taking liberty to say what the church has and hasn't said concerning polygamy instead of listening to a prophets voice on the matter. I think a prophet of god, who supposedly has revelation from god, has more of a say than Bill.

    It WAS doctrinal 150 years ago because it was in the scriptures. The Manifesto, because it was sustained via Common Consent, made the continual practice NOT doctrinal. GBH was probably referring to practicing it today, not the practice as a whole. Unless ANYONE's opinion is backed up via scripture or by a sustained statement, it's just opinion.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2012 1:59 p.m.

    To say that gay marriage ties into polygamy is a farce on it's face.

    As, gay marriage is still MONOGAMY.

    Not, polygamy!

    How did two people who remain faithful to each other mean marrying...

    many wives??

    That is not, monogamy.

    The 'slippery slope' argument is based on hypotheticals. And does NOT take into account the damage done to marriage by:

    Britney Spears 55hr marriage.
    Kim Karsashian's $10 million dollar, 72 day marriage or..

    Bristol Palin having a child OUTSIDE, of marriage.

    **'Bristol Palin has book deal' - By Hillel Italie - AP - Published by DSnews - 03/01/11

    'Bristol Palin, 20, has become a celebrity in her own right, through her broken relationship with her child's father, Levi Johnston...' - article

    So, to claim that gay marriage will lead to 'other options' does NOT mean gay marriage advocates support....

    'open' marriages.

    As some of the 'family values' canidates, do.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 23, 2012 1:17 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska said: At no time has the LDS Church ever condemned the practice of Polgamy

    Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley said: "I condemn it, yes, as a practice because I think it is not doctrinal"

    Bill is contradicting a prophets words. I know he will say it was only president Hinckley's opinion, but I disagree and that is a weak arguement.
    So here you have Bill in Nebraska taking liberty to say what the church has and hasn't said concerning polygamy instead of listening to a prophets voice on the matter. I think a prophet of god, who supposedly has revelation from god, has more of a say than Bill. Either Bill is mistaken, or he simply chose to ignore it and pretend it wasn't said. That is a common practice - to quote prophets when it benefits your arguement, and to claim it is only opinion when it goes against your arguement.

    I would think that the highest authority in the church's opinion counts much more than Bill's, but that is just me.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 22, 2012 4:49 p.m.

    Sharrona: At no time has the LDS Church ever condemned the practice of Polgamy. We have never apologized for the practice, nor should we. It is not up to Mitt Romney to condemn it nor apologize for it. It was practiced in biblical times and by prophets of God. It is clear that YHWH (Jehovah, Jesus Christ) was okay with it as long as he ordained its use. It is also clear that he condemned it only when it was disobeyed as it was in David and Solomon when they took wives that were not given to them. It also was condemned in the Book of Mormon, but if approved by God it was okay as the Book of Mormon so states. This is the problem most evangelicals fail to understand. Since, Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and was told to practice it, he did so. That is all that needs to be said. If you check the laws when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints stated it would discontinue the practice that those who practicing polgamy were released from prison and allowed to live in it. Yes, the government did intervene, which is unconstitutional.

  • FreeAndClear SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 21, 2012 3:51 p.m.

    Glad Lane realizes that "polygamy did threaten women's equality." It still does and I wish Romney would condemn the practice rather than joke about it. This article however, really doesn't grasp the historical significance of the conflict between the US government and Brigham Young's theocracy. Back then the LDS church had political aspirations for ruling not only the US, but also the world under the auspices of the "Kingdom of God." This was an actual political, (though secret ) entity, composed of 50 men including 2 non members. Polygamy wasn't entirely the issue -the setting up of a territory within the United States, that was proposing to live under a different set of laws, was at the crux of the matter. This is not, I believe, the intention of the modern-day LDS church.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 21, 2012 2:45 p.m.

    LDS4, Genesis 2:22(The LORD(YHWH)GOD(Elohim)verse 24, Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
    In Genesis 2:24, when the marriage covenant is ordained, man and woman are designated as "one flesh"one unit. God is indeed creating a Family modeled after His own characteristics, but not all Godlike characteristics are found in one sex or gender, any more than they are found in one race. It bears repeating that God did not create a superior and inferior sex, any more than He created a superior and inferior race.

    The divine intention for husband and wife was for monogamy.He repeats it for the N.T Church, (YHWH) said, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? (Mt 19:5)

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 21, 2012 12:29 p.m.

    2Samuel 12 refers to God giving David "Saul's palace and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah"...We aren't told if these wives were for cohabitation.
    Since the INDIVIDUAL man God gave them to in v.11 was to lie with them, they were more than just window dressing.

    But in 2 Sam.5:13 David took many wives and concubines, direct disobedience, no "command" of God. What about "not multiplying wives" is unclear here?
    God, not David, gave David those wives in 2Samuel 12:8. David didn't multiply wives unto himself. God wanted David to have them and gave them to him and said that if they weren't enough, He 9GOD) would have given him more. God then gave the women to another INDIVIDUAL man thus allowing (commanding?) him to be polygamous.

    We also know that Paul's command that bishops and elders have only one wife shows that polygamy was at least tolerated in the early Church otherwise such a restriction would not have been given.

    To say that polygamy is definitionally sinful is clearly unbiblical.

    Jan. 21, 2012 3:05 a.m.

    KJK in SLC;

    I agree that 2Samuel 12 refers to God giving David "Saul's palace and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah". The spoils of fallen kings were given to their successors in ancient times, for care-taking and real estate claims. We aren't told if these wives were for cohabitation. But in 2 Sam.5:13 David took many wives and concubines, direct disobedience, no "command" of God. What about "not multiplying wives" is unclear here?

    The Book of Mormon had no problem with condemning it either.

    God made His covenant with Abraham, Jacob, David and Solomon- all human beings, imperfect, with their sins and blemishes published forever in God's Word. Neither David's adultery or murderous schemes, nor the others' plural wives and pathetic paternal mistakes nullified God's covenant. Neither did His covenant say anywhere that He approved of all of their life's actions.

    Everyone here making the same insinuative mistake is beyond "specious". It is unfounded and extra-biblical. We can agree on that.

    With regard to polygamy, there are no scriptures that command it and plenty that condemn it. Let's move on. You will never win this using God's Book or Mormon's.

    Jan. 21, 2012 2:20 a.m.

    I agree that saying something doesn't make it so. My definition of a prophet is when the God of the Bible gives him that office and gift, (Heb.5:4-11). Christ did not even take the office of High Priest, rather the Father bestowed it upon His Son. Prophets were first instituted in Deuteronomy 18:15-22.

    "Long ago God spoke in many different ways to our fathers through the prophets... but now in these days He has spoken to us through His Son..." (Heb.1:1) And the Son has said, one wife, in all four Gospels.

    Abraham did not have wives and concubines. He had Sarah, took Hagar without God's permission, and married Keturah as a widower.

    Gramajane: Your definiton makes perfect sense for Mormons, but not Biblical followers. A prophet is one to whom God gives that title. No Jews consider Abraham a prophet, because God's Word never does. He is called Father Abraham by all Jews and Biblical Christians.

    Your verses are not germain: Gen.25:1 simply says that Abraham married again, after Sarah's death. Hagar was never called his wife, nor was his and Sarah's coniving sanctioned by God.

    Please read.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Jan. 20, 2012 11:50 p.m.

    "A patriarch is not a prophet, and none are recorded with plural wives."

    Just because you state it, doesn't make it correct.

    Are you saying that Abraham is not a prophet? If so, what is your definition of prophet, then?

    It is clear, from the bible, that Abraham had wives and concubines (plural).
    It is clear, from the bible, that Abraham had spoken to God and recieved a covenant with him.
    It is clear, from the bible, that Abraham was considered a just a holy man.
    Of course if Moses "forbade" polygamy it would matter little to Abraham, as Abraham lived generations before.

    Bottom line: A patriach is a father. A prophet is one who speaks with/for God. I believe Abraham was both, and of all the things the bible is not ambiguous on was the fact that Abraham had children with more than one woman, yet was favored in the site of God.

  • crunchem Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 20, 2012 10:16 p.m.

    You know what's really funny? As more and more states allow gay marriage, and further corrode/evolve the concept of one man/one woman marriage, it is inevitable that there will be more pressure to allow "other choices". One of the first of those options will naturally be the allowance of some form of polygamy in states.

    My prediction? The pressure will be in "liberal" states, and/or states with a higher African and/or Muslim population. Some state will break the barrier and allow plural marriage in that state.

    The Mormon Church won't be behind the movement, won't sponsor the movement, may even condemn the movement (as in Prop 8). You will actually have the situation where there will be non-Mormon (of any sect) polygamists in other states, and it won't be Utah. And the church will not just gasp, "oh good, now it's OK again. All right everyone, line up and marry all those other single sisters."

    They will be the "hold outs" for the traditional marriage. How ironic.

  • oldirishman Van Wert, OH
    Jan. 20, 2012 9:15 p.m.

    My problem with Mitt Romney is that he will not take a position on polygamy, or say anything condemning it!

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 20, 2012 8:55 p.m.

    In the last General Conference Elder Christofferson gave a talk of counsel and teaching to us. There are many on this board who reflect upon these same teachings.

    "The Book of Mormon contains the account of a man named Nehor. It is easy to understand why Mormon, in abridging a thousand years of Nephite records, though it important to include something about this man and the enduring influence of his DOCTRINE. Mormon was seeking to warn us, knowing this philosophy would surface agin in our day." Many of the individuals represent Nehor and his followers especially Korihor. For those who have a firm commitment to the Gospel, I suggest you read these chapters in Alma about these two men.

    People who say the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints changes its Doctrine, clearly do not understand the Doctrine itself. They refuse to submit that further revelation comes as it is needed. Revelation is continuing and a Prophet 150 years may not have had the entire revelation, only what was needed then. As far as beer is concerned, President Young taught against it during his time frame and it was adapted as the standard still today.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 20, 2012 12:46 p.m.

    Some people on here are quick to dismiss quotes by mormon prophets from a hundred or more years ago, saying it doesn't apply to our day and time. Yet, they give quotes from the bible from thousands of years ago and cite them as truth for our time. It is a double standard.

    The church keeps flip-flopping on many issues. People say we abandoned polygamy because we have to keep the laws of the land. Polygamy was illegal while mormons practiced it for years. How does that work??

    We can drink beer, then we can't drink beer. We do believe in the doctrine of polygamy, then we don't believe it is a doctrine. Temple ceremony changing constantly. It just doesn't make sense.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Jan. 20, 2012 8:12 a.m.

    Mitt Romney emphasized in his opening statement at debate last night that fidelity to wife, family and country with it's constitutional guarantee of individual rights is what sets him apart from Gingrich.

    The reason legislators such as Gingrich are vulnerable to corruption is because they were not idependently wealthy and sought to make their fortune when the lobbyists came knocking at his door.

    Romney made his fortune on his own in private business and it allows him the opportunity to be self insured against the corruption found at the seat of power in our national government.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 11:08 p.m.

    Plural marriage was the popular issue. The real issue was the need for Utah to adopt American capitalism and a two party system in order to gain entry into the union.

  • Gramajane OAKLEY, ID
    Jan. 19, 2012 8:51 p.m.

    Humm, some think Bible patriarchs are not prophets?
    If God talks to a man, and tells him what to do, and to tell others to do, to me that is a prophet.
    Didn't God talk to Abraham (quite a lot if I remember) (no pun intended)
    and told him to do things etc. I sure think the Jews consider him a prophet? go figure?

  • Gramajane OAKLEY, ID
    Jan. 19, 2012 8:46 p.m.

    Here are some KJV Bible scripture references and some ref for further scriptures (LDS have the Bible listed FIRST, in our cannon) for any who want to go to the source for what the Bible and further LDS cannon says on plural marriage. (an easy way on line is to go to where there is a topical guide in the study helps-- that I got this list from, if you don't have a Bible handy.

    "See also Gen. 16:1â11; Gen. 25:1; Gen. 29:28; Gen. 30:4, 9, 26; Ex. 21:10; Deut. 17:15â17; Deut. 21:15; 2 Sam. 2:2; 2 Sam. 5:13; 2 Sam. 12:7â9; 1 Kgs. 11:1â4; 2 Chr. 13:21; 2 Chr. 24:3; Isa. 4:1; Ether 10:5; D&C 132:52, 61â62; Official Declaration 1."

    There were also about 3 ref from BofM from book of Jacob, but I didn't know if the copy paste of that much would work. -- the basis of those I didn't copy was that when God says it is to do, and when he says not, and if it is done wrong it causes grief and suffering.

  • Munk Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 8:25 p.m.

    "U.S. democracy was invented in the New World" Us democracy was based on the ancient Roman senate prior to the emperors. Now, correct me if I am wrong, were not very similar things said about Kennedy and his Catholicism? This is also akin to having a presidential candidate German descent whose grandparents fought on the side of Germany during WWII.... Oh wait.. the pope was part of the Hitlerjungend....

  • Gramajane OAKLEY, ID
    Jan. 19, 2012 8:22 p.m.

    So as someone on here indicated that they thought that Deut. 17:17 meant that plural marriage was spoken against-- I propose that it was taken out of context.
    The verses above indicated in the same wording that the king was not to "multiply horses to himself" -- do we take that to mean he was only allowed ONE horse? I rather doubt that. I do understand that some kinds had hundreds of horses and some whole harems of wives, and that what was really spoken against the MOST was taking wives from other faiths. --- while I find in 2 Sam 12:8 we find the prophet quoting God saying "I gave thee thy masters wives..." I believe when God says something is commanded to multiply (sex AFTER marriage with spouse) it is good, but when it is condemned by God (outside of marriage of a man to a woman) it is wrong. Again, I am really glad we are not called to practice it now. I also believe that in the KJV, you can read for yourself, Jesus is descended from a plural marriage line though his mother Mary.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Jan. 19, 2012 3:01 p.m.

    Capella posted:
    Deuteronomy 17:17: "Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away;". David and Solomon disobeyed God here. 2Sam.5:13; 12:11; 1Kings 11:3,4, to cite a few.

    key word is "Himself". A man can't arbitrarily choose to have multiple wives. The Lord has to authorize it.
    David's polygamy was OK when God gave him the wives. But when David took one on his own ambition, complicated by a murder, he was in the wrong.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Jan. 19, 2012 2:34 p.m.

    I think what is more relevant is who is practicing polygamy now (or more recently). Newt practice polygamy for 6 years, until he was caught by his 2nd wife in 1999. He ask her if they could have an "open marriage" (Polygamy) and she refused.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 2:06 p.m.

    Capella: Gramajane and others who purport that Biblical prophets practiced polygamy have no authorized Biblcal support. No polygamous prophet is recorded in the KJV and Moses forbade it.

    KJK: To claim that Abraham wasn't a prophet is specious.

    C: Receiving blessings from the Lord does not mean that He endorses every aspect of your life. Many early LDS prophets condemned David's adultery and said that his coniving Uriah's death cost him eternal condemnation.

    KJK: Agreed, but in 2 Sam 12:7-12, God reprimands David for his adultery and reminds David that He (God) was the one that gave David his wives and also said that if they weren't enough, He (God) would have given him more. God then says that as punishment, God was to take those wives from him and would give them to another INDIVIDUAL man who was to lie with them in the sun.

    If polygamy were wrong, God wouldn't have given David those wives nor offered to give David even more. Nor would God have turned around and given those women as wives to another INDIVIDUAL man.

    Solomon's sin wasn't polygamy, but that he married idolatrous women.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 1:15 p.m.

    As an issue, it is a non-starter. Only the liberal media cares about it. No one else does.

  • Kevin Surrey, BC
    Jan. 19, 2012 12:50 p.m.

    I love how easy it is to twist words,quote scripture and words of past leaders and then tie it into today's world. Plural marriage as a doctrine is not morally wrong when commanded by the Lord to practice it. None of us were alive in the 1800's so trying to analyze the why's and the mindset of those people is fruitless. So what if someone's past ancestors were practising plural marriage, were slave traders, horse thieves, bank robbers etc etc.

    A candidate should be judged on his integrity, honesty, and moral standing. The polygamy debate left the station a long time ago so let's get on with the real issues of the day. geesshhhhhh

    Jan. 19, 2012 12:43 p.m.

    Gramajane and others who purport that Biblical prophets practiced polygamy have no authorized Biblcal support. No polygamous prophet is recorded in the KJV and Moses forbade it. These incorrect statements should have been corrected by Bible-believers. A patriarch is not a prophet, and none are recorded with plural wives. Abraham, Jacob, (not Isaac, as Joseph and others here keep insisting), Saul, David and Solomon were biographed with their cultural practice. Jesus said God allowed divorce, but the New Testament gives the caveats. He obviously allows free agancy, from the Garden forward.

    Receiving blessings from the Lord does not mean that He endorses every aspect of your life. Many early LDS prophets condemned David's adultery and said that his coniving Uriah's death cost him eternal condemnation. So don't use David as your proof-text.

    Grama claims that "the Bible no where condemns this practice". So everyone here just accepts that, despite all the scriptural refs cited by Sharrona & others? Deuteronomy 17:17: "Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away;". David and Solomon disobeyed God here. 2Sam.5:13; 12:11; 1Kings 11:3,4, to cite a few.

    Really unbelievable.

  • AZCoug Mesa, AZ
    Jan. 19, 2012 11:41 a.m.

    My wife and I each have polygamy in our family history. We have talked a great deal about the families and the children that came as a result. We don't deny it or try to hide it. It is a fact and commandment our ancestors chose to obey at the time. Neither one of us would have any notion of trying it ourselves. I predict that polygamy will become a major legal issue in coming years, but not due to any LDS or FLDS connection. The Muslim population in this country is exploding and they will surely challenge the Christian based laws on the subject soon. They could easily piggyback off the whole gay marriage debate to question the constitutional basis of one man, one woman. We could all be in for a wild legal ride! It could easily happen during a Mitt Romney presidency. I would expect him to bring a balanced realistic perspective to the debate.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    Did you know that in countries where polygamy is practiced, men live an average of 9 years longer.

    Jan. 19, 2012 10:41 a.m.

    The key word of course is "practice." Plural marriage continues to be a correct Biblical principle of course, it's just that Utah in particular has incorporated serious anti-plural marriage statutes as well as constitutional clauses into the state's legal system, so that of all places in the world it is the most anti-"polygamy." The catch however, is that all the "Christian and civilized society" rationale used by the US Supreme Court in Reynolds V US to uphold these crippling laws have been utterly undermined. Santorum it correct. You will have gay marriage in all or most of the US states. And yes, tossing the Christian-biased court rulings aside, if you have that there is indeed no Constitutional validity in restricting plural marriage. So no, Mormons don't "practice" plural marriage. That's what Newt Gingrich does. In serial form. But for the LDS church to even state that plural marriage is a correct principle, even though conceding to obey prevailing legal regulations in the matter, is a "thought crime" also upheld by the Supreme Court, that puts the church in jeapardy of being dissolved and confiscated by the Federal Government...again.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    Wait - I thought Romney had 15 wives? You mean he only has one?? Somebody better tell MSNBC.

  • Captain Green Heber City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 9:47 a.m.

    Any Christian church who uses the Bible as its basis for their faith also had polygamy in their past. There were several highly revered Old Testament prophets who practiced it. That should end ANY criticism of the LDS Church on the topic.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 9:32 a.m.


    "Doctrine and Covenants section 132. Go read it and tell me the LDS Church doesn't still adhere to the principle of polygamy."

    Go to the Old Testament book of Genesis and read about circumcision and tell me that Christianity doesn't still adhere to the principle of circumcision.

    Anybody who thinks the LDS Church still adheres to polygamy can teach it in his/her next Sacrament meeting talk. Then that person can wait for a church court soon after.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 9:20 a.m.

    John Pack Lambert 8:13 The number of Evangelical Christian polygamists is significantly higher than people have admitted??

    Then they would not be Bible beleiving Christians(followers of Christ)and His Apostles and would be living in sin.

    And(Jesus) said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife(not wives): and they twain shall be one flesh?( MT: 19:5)

    ordain Elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of ONE wife(not wives), having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. (Titus 1:5,6). Disqualifies young LDS missionaries as well.

    But those who obey Gods WORD truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.(1 John 2:5 NLT).

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 19, 2012 8:51 a.m.

    Perhaps this polygmy thing is being given a bad wrap, maybe it would be a good thing to have thirty two first ladies.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 8:48 a.m.

    Thinkman: d&c 132 talks of polygamy and no the church does not practice it now. Religion shouldn't matter anyway.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 19, 2012 8:15 a.m.

    One problem is that the Romney family is tied to Polygamy in ways that most LDS members are not. When polygamy became illegal it was Mitt's great grandfather that moved to Mexico (where there was no law or enforcement) to continue the practice. There are still many Romney's that still live in Mexico. This fact alone will make it easy fodder for critical public review and late night TV

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 19, 2012 7:25 a.m.

    The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine & Covenants are in conflict regarding the historical morality of Polygamy as regards David and his wives. But the 132nd Section makes it clear that as a doctrine (not a practice)polygamy is still an eternal principal that cannot be denied. Because of this, whether Mormons like it or not, it remains an issue for discussion and condemnation.

    Joseph Smith said that some revelations were of God, some of Satan, and some of men.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 7:00 a.m.

    While were at it let's make candidates with ancestors that had slaves or fought for the South relevant to the campaign.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 6:10 a.m.

    Polygamy wasn't about necessity of the species, it was about a true test of obedience... the real question facing the early church, as splinters of apostate groups threatened to pull it apart at the seams, was whether one truly believed in the prophetic Restoration enough to abandon society altogether for God. Most of the men who initially practiced it, loathed it, but were committed to the cause of Zion.

    The prophet was the only man authorized by God to institutionalize it, and likewise the prophet abolished it. While it was practiced in the church it was a HUGE challenge, causing great stresses to the families it created--especially among the women who struggled to balance their commitment to God with the natural feelings of their hearts, loneliness, envy, and all that comes with sharing the love of your life.

    Likewise, when Polygamy was abolished, those most faithful to the cause of Zion, abandoned it posthaste, while those who were converted to something other than God and His Prophet refused to obey, and were cut off. God continues this process today, though not nearly as radical, he asks his saints to serve missions, do hometeaching, abstain from worldly influence... etc...

  • Stephen Kent Ehat Lindon, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 5:52 a.m.

    The issue of polygamy being practiced by ancestors of Mitt Romney is about as relevant as was the issue of slave holding practiced both by President Obama's Luo ancestors in Africa and by George Washington Overall, his fourth great grandfather, and Mary Duvall, his fifth great grandmother, both on his white mother's side. Not relevant.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 5:26 a.m.

    So, Mitt Romney's great grandfather was polygamous and supported his wives and children. Barack Obama's father was polygamous and abandoned his wives and children. Which is more meritorious?

  • Gregg Weber SEATTLE, WA
    Jan. 18, 2012 10:48 p.m.

    The only way polygamy can come into the debate is by linking it with gay marriage. But the discussion of polygamy is further away from modern events than is gay marriage. These candidates had no direct effect on the 1890 polygamy debate but can influence the gay marriage debate. Therefore that link is tenuous.
    If I was running and was asked about polygamy then that questioned would be answered by another question; "What does the President of the Church say?"

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 9:33 p.m.

    President Gordon B. Hinkley's response to polygamy on 60 minutes is; "It's behind us."

    So, why do some members want to bring the discussion back, especially online, as if they know more than the rest of us, even though it is contrary to any mission discussion?

    "When any Elder of the Church has used language which appeared to convey any such teaching, he has been promptly reproved." Willford Woodruff 1890

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 9:27 p.m.

    @what in tucket?
    "The demographics of the time the Church was in its early phase required polygamy."

    Utah was majority male until 1950.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:20 p.m.

    I wish people would avoid going to far when defending the Church.

    It is very hard to say what percentage of members "practiced polygamy". The 2% figure cited by Bill is generally considered a far to low figure. Of course it depends on how you count. 1-who is practicing polygamy. 2-how are you counting it? 3-who do you count as members (such as do you look at Utah, or the Church as a whole) 3-what of men on missions who have multiple wives at home?

    If you take the number of men at any given time who have multiple wives at that time and compare it to the total membership of the Church, you will get a much lower number as a percentage than if you take a longer range sample of men and look at if they ever have multiple wives at the same time and only compare them to the total adult male population in the Church.

    More relevant to this discussion Romney never knew his polygamists great-grandfathers since they died before his birth.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:13 p.m.

    Way more males than females die before the age of 8. This means it is very likely that more men than women will be in the celestial kingdom. How will God work this out. I don;t know, but claims to know how it will happen are odd. Decesed women can be sealed to multiple husbands. My great-grandmother has been sealed to at least three different men.

    The Bible dictionary makes no statements regarding plural marriage. The article about marriage does mention that marriages performed by the sealing power can last beyond this life, but makes no mention of mutiple spouses at a given time period.

    Bruce R. McConkie's "Mormon Doctrine" was never endorsed by the body of the Church in conference assembled as doctrinal. It was based on his opinions gained from reading the scriptures and other resources as well as considering issues in his own mind. Beyond this the Bible Dictionary says of itsefl "It is not intended as an official or revealed endorsement by the Church of the doctrinal ... maters sent forth". The part I skipped delineated other types of matters not endorsed.

    Many statements made by BRC were wrong.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 18, 2012 8:02 p.m.

    "quite a large group" is an extreme exageration. If you count all the people who accept that Polygamy is a permissible practice (among whom only about half the adult males ever actually have multiple wives) in British Columbia, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, South Dakota, Chihuahua and Morelos states in Mexico, and a few people largely living isolatedly in Wyoming and California and maybe even a few other states, the largest estimate of that population is 40,000. The number of Muslims in New York City who would at least affirm polygamy is a permissible practice may well rival this number, and the number of actual Muslim or Hmong polygamists in the United States probably exceeds the number of polygamists who claim to follow the teachings of Joseph Smith.

    The number of Evangelical Christian polygamists is significantly higher than people have admitted. It would not surprise me if Chicago has a higher percentage of polygamists than Salt Lake City, and Massachusetts than Utah.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 18, 2012 7:54 p.m.

    Gordon B. Hinckley clearly stated that practicing polygamy in our day and time is wrong. A reading of Jacob 3 clearly says that polygamy is immoral and repulsive in the sight of the Lord except when he specifically allows this practice.

    Obama has more recent ancestors who belong to religious groups that clearly accepted polygamy than does Romney.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 7:37 p.m.

    The demographics of the time the Church was in its early phase required polygamy. 15 religions failed because they had too few men. After a generation or two demographics improved and polygamy was not longer necessary. You would have to search a long time to find a member in favor of polygamy now. Of course bigamy is not unheard of.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 18, 2012 7:35 p.m.

    Actually to those who think the LDS Church wants to wash this under the rug are wrong. At NO TIME has the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day-Saints apologized for their practice of polgamy, nor do I ever see it being done.

    By the way as much as some would like to have it said, MORMON DOCTRINE is not formal LDS Church Doctrine, nor should it ever be construed as such. Though I may agree with it I don't endorse all of it. However, I do believe that polgamy will at some time be practiced again and when done under the direction of the Priesthood of God, will be fine. Those who condemn it because of the FLDS do not understand it nor do they wish to understand it. It is my opinion that the Lord was already in the process of rescinding the practice of polgamy before the legislature and courts interviened.

    If it was to be put back in force, though I feel inadequate to do so I would adhere to the voice of the Prophet of the Lord, hands down.

    Remember ONLY 2% of all members ever practiced polgamy.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 7:33 p.m.

    There is not enough space to write it here, but anyone can become clearer in his or her understanding and discussion of polygamy if he reads the "Manifesto" and accompanying excerpts from additional talks by Willford Woodruff on the subject. Taken at face value, they are powerful witnesses to his prophetic calling.

    These writings can put a lot of controversy and personal interpretations to rest. They can be found at the end of the Doctrine and Covenants published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. They are only 2-3 pages long but suffice to give an accurate description of why and how the practice was discontinued.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Jan. 18, 2012 6:41 p.m.

    Romney's tax returns going back to 1984 are just as important.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 6:38 p.m.

    It shouldn't be relevant though if I were a betting man I have to think at some point if it hasn't already happened Romney's going to get stuck with a "do you condemn Joseph Smith and Brigham Young's polygamous practices?" type question by someone who wants to trap him in a lose/lose situation.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    Jan. 18, 2012 6:36 p.m.

    I am still trying to figure out the relevance of this article to Romney and the campaign. This is old news at best and has been well discussed for years. It has nothing to do with selecting a candidate and helping America get things going in the right direction. I can read the history books to know about polygamy. What this has to do with politics now still is a mystery to me. Let's focus on how these candidates will make changes and help Americans. I am tired of hearing these side-shows. Show me the beef and how we are going to make America great again.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Jan. 18, 2012 6:34 p.m.

    What did I tell you?
    The story of it all will go on and on and on...

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Jan. 18, 2012 6:28 p.m.

    Assuming the question of polygamy didn't state which side of the veil was being referred to, one could say, yes, the Church still does believe in, and practice plural marriage. Not in this life, perhaps, however, but how many of our male members are sealed to more than one spouse? Without going into detail, there is much in our scripture telling us the polygamy question is not over, and in this country it is a question of the law, not of the Church's doctrine. I don't presume to know about other countries where multiple wives are legal. But if it does come up, I'm sure--I hope--the requirements surrounding the practice at the time, which kept it to a minimum and called for accountability from the men involved, will also be brought up. The trouble with living by the sound byte is, nothing is really understood as it should be, because no one takes the time to pay attention to the other person's thoughts. Each is too busy thinking up his own sound byte.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 5:57 p.m.

    Mitt will loase this argument every time. Mormons created this mess and cannot wipe the history under the rug like they would like.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 5:32 p.m.

    Does it go on unchecked with a nudge and a wink in Colorado city and hildale?

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 5:19 p.m.


    The LDS Church does practice polygamy. It may not be a practice in "this life" but the doctrine is still in place as it relates to the celestial kingdom.

    Joseph Smith needed a revelation to justify his taking on more wives than Emma. Wilford Woodruff needed a revelation to justify his staying out of jail and providing a way for Utah to become a State.

    Wilford Woodruff, nor has any president of the LDS Church since, rescinded the doctrine of polygamy (aka plural marriage). Go read the LDS KJV Bible Dictionary (aka, Bruce R Mckonkie's Mormon Doctrine). You will see that I am right.

    Jan. 18, 2012 5:19 p.m.

    While the LDS church no longer practices polygamy, it is still practiced by quite a large group within Utah as well as Arizona and Colorado. At the same time, most people do not know the differences between FLDS and LDS. They are as big as the differences between Baptists and Southern Baptists (which is quite a big difference, unless you aren't familiar with the two religions).

    Right or wrong, polygamy will play a part in the 2012 campaign. Gay marriage is a hot button topic that gets a ton of media attention. But polygamy continues on in Utah and even grows from year to year. It just doesn't get the media attention. Expect that to change soon. Also expect legislators that were quick to pass laws regarding gay marriage to suddenly jump on the enforcement bandwagon with regards to polygamy as the campaign season gets rolling.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 4:56 p.m.

    Rick Santorum's reference between Gay Marriage and Polygamy was not a swipe at Romney, although convenient.

    His argument was that if you change the definition of marriage of one man and one woman, how far done the slippery slope do we go?

    Polygamy will be the next debate and then the next debate will be there is no definition for marriage at all.

  • JP71 Ogden, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 4:51 p.m.

    Its becoming a common misconception among LDS that polygamy was bad and that it was discredited by LDS leaders. The LDS Church stopped practicing polygamy to follow the laws of the land. No Church leader has ever stated that the Church was wrong in practicing polygamy and they never will.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 4:49 p.m.

    @Thinkman "Doctrine and Covenants section 132. Go read it and tell me the LDS Church doesn't still adhere to the principle of polygamy."

    OK, I read it. The LDS Church does not adhere to the principle of polygamy in any country legal or illegal. If you practice it you will be excommunicated.

    Now go read the Book of Mormon and see the affirmation of polygamy's immorality.

  • Gramajane OAKLEY, ID
    Jan. 18, 2012 4:35 p.m.

    Since the Bible shows most all OT prophets practicing plural marriage and so Jesus has it in his mothers ancestors, and the Bible does not speak against it, but does say not to marry out of the faith, plus the Bible speaks against adultery in all it's forms ( pre marital sex is one form) --- I hardly think Evangelicals have a leg to stand on to condem Anyone for his ancestors Biblically condoned actions.
    There is not supposed to be any religious test.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Jan. 18, 2012 3:03 p.m.

    Polygamy has zero relevance to Romney or his presidential bid. However, with that said, it will be relevant because people (media) will make it an issue. It might be a plus for the church, however, as an explanation of that belief from Mitt to millions may put the myth to rest once and for all for the church.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 3:00 p.m.

    When Rick Santorum changed the subject when college students asked him about gay marriage, Rick Santorum instead chose to talk about polygamy.

    Many of my friends on the FB asked me 'Is that a shot at Romney?'

    Here is how I look at it: 'If the LDS church is NOT polygamys, then 'no' it would not APPLY to the lds church, correct?'

    While Utah was the final state to deny polygamy, it was done. In 1890.

    Even Amendment 3 in the Utah constitution changed marriage from 'two people' to 'one man and one woman' in 2004.

    It is the EXAMPLES like 'Sister wives' and examples of the FLDS that promote the idea that the LDS church still supports polygamy.

    Not, 'liberal propaganda.'

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Jan. 18, 2012 2:53 p.m.

    Doctrine and Covenants section 132. Go read it and tell me the LDS Church doesn't still adhere to the principle of polygamy. Will it be relevant in 2012 campaign? Likely no and shouldn't be.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Jan. 18, 2012 2:46 p.m.

    Taboo subject will be revealed, discussed, twisted, turned, etc. to the Nth degree.
    You can count on it!