BYU professor speaks on LDS polygamy

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  • FOR TYLER and anyone else
    June 5, 2009 9:41 a.m.

    You need to look at the history of the church, because there's documentation from the church and its members regarding the authenticity that Joseph DID in fact have posterity from other women, there is no question there. In fact, I have a good guy friend who's a product of it. I also lived in Provo and knew a selected few women who found they were direct decendants from Joseph Smith after doing geneological research, and get this, they WERE from other women.

    All I'm saying is that you need to look beyond what people have told you and into the lives of those who are products of this practice, whether good or bad in this dispensation and/or before Christ fulfilled all laws. Don't be a teacher to people if you aren't knowing the facts.

    And I agree with the guy above who says we need to get out there and help people, after responding to this discussion. This includes assisting members AND non-members, aside from teaching the gospel of Christ as a missionary in your ward.

  • LukeAir2009
    June 1, 2009 12:19 p.m.

    Plural marriage is still part of the doctrine of the LDS church. See D&C Section 132. We believe in it, we just don't practice it. The vast majority of these ladies were sealed to Joseph as his spiritual wives and nothing more. Joseph was sealed to Helen Mar Kimball at her father's insistence. He wanted her to be associated with the Prophet into the eternities. It has nothing to do with sex and lust. Nobody complains about Hugh Hefner but they would do if he married the girls. We're all hypocrites!

  • truthseeker
    June 1, 2009 9:42 a.m.

    Polygamy was illegal before the Edmunds Act.

    Polygamy was always illegal whenever and wherever the Mormons practiced it. It was even illegal in Canada and Mexico as they only recognize marriages that are legal in the person's home country. John Taylor, the third president of the church, claimed that he believed in keeping all the laws of the United States "except one"--i.e., "The law in relation to polygamy." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 20, page 317)

    Most of Joseph Smith's polygamous marriages occurred in Illinois in the early 1840s. The Illinois Anti-bigamy Law enacted February 12th, 1833 clearly stated that polygamy was illegal.

  • Mike
    May 29, 2009 7:49 a.m.

    All families contain oppression and wrongdoing. I'm sure of it. Can a woman be happy in polygamy? It's very subjective. At least they may experience solidarity instead of loneliness, if it works for them individually.

    So what does polygamy offer women?

    Isaiah 4 shows the Lord's mercy to proud young things that will be redeemed one day. To the women, who are the ones to feel the bitter, sharp end of (society's and the Lord's} reproach, the Lord has provided a way back, a promise of a righteous husband, even if these men are in the minority to the repentant women. "In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious"

    I believe that strict monogamy laws increase the plight of women, the opposite to what the politically correct would have us believe. Too many broken homes are caused by this unrealistic standard.

    Let liberals do what they want for their all important sex-lives but please don't let them structurally reform society any more in ways that weaken family bonds. People fall in love all the time. Get over it, we are polygamous.

  • Of note
    May 28, 2009 7:21 p.m.

    The first polygamist presented in the bible is a murderer...Lamech.

    While God may have tolerated the polygamy of multiple patriarchs, that does not mean he condoned such but merely that He had bigger fish to fry.

  • how very mormon
    May 28, 2009 6:17 p.m.

    all us regular folks know you all want to bring back polygamy. as soon as the fed govt changes the marriage contract to simple civil unions, and marriage doesn't matter anymore, then you can "marry" as many women or men as you want. They won't be legal contracts, but you'll have your sacred word "marriage" and can do with it as you please.

    hows that sound?

  • hellohellogoodbye
    May 28, 2009 6:06 p.m.

    so God commanded (in the old testament) or at least tolerated, or maybe somebody just wrote about it - we should be polygamists. God commanded, or at least tolerated, or maybe somebody just wrote about it - a lot of things in the old testament. Should they all be restored - how about we all go out for a jolly stoning of the adulterers next door! Oh, better yet let's cut off a couple of hands while we are at it.... invade a country ask everybody to convert and when they do circumcise them, and then kill them all.
    It we want to restore the old testament then you really ought to think about not living under the constitution

  • To Anonymous 12:22 p.m.
    May 28, 2009 4:55 p.m.

    You: That may be (IS) true, he was called to the apostleship in 1838. Do you also disregard statements made by current apostles when you don't like what they say, just because they are not president/prophet of the church or president of the quorum of twelve? Btw, there are similar quotes made by John Taylor, who WAS the prophet at the time.

    Me: It was a personal journal entry, not even meant for the public. Do I need to review every apostle's private journals now? Silly.

    The next prophet can and does provide new direction. John Taylor can say whatever he wants (some quotes attributed to him are of iffy origin, btw), but the next guy can propose a change (ie 1978 priesthood). The control is the sustaining vote of the FP, 12 and the membership.

    To accept something as doctrinally authoritative requires the approval of the FP and 12, plus a sustaining vote of the membership. To accept something as scriptural requires the same, but explicitly presented as future canon.

    Other statements can be good counsel (usually are), and interesting for reflection and study, and even personal adoption. But for doctrine, see above.

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 4:20 p.m.

    To Anti-PC Infidel,

    Bad assumption. I have my PhD and am worthy of it, unlike this professor at BYU who has sacrificed intellectual integrity for religious bias.

  • Anti-PC Infidel
    May 28, 2009 3:30 p.m.

    >I think your PhD should be revoked.

    And you should keep yours. Oh, wait. You haven't earned one, I assume...

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 3:27 p.m.


    "It has actually been quite often translated as wives, especially where the context points this out."

    Yes, and as you Mormons are fond of pointing out, the Bible has NOT been translated correctly!

    Yet, oddly, you invoke these "uncorrect" translations only when it suits you.

    The context of 2 Samuel 12 provides no definitive connotations or denotations supporting the translation as "wives", especially when "concubines" (which is another mistranslation) are referred to throughout the stories of the old testament. Nowhere in the OT do authors mistakenly refer to concubines as "wives". Similarly, no author would use "wives" if they were including "concubines" as well as daughters, female servants and slaves, as part of the "household" of David.

    Moreover, most of the translations you cited did not use the original Greek Septuagint, and simply propogated the erroneous translation, just as the foreign language translations you refer to are based on some other English translation and not on original Greek or Masoretic texts.

    You are wrong, my confused friend. Admit it and remove your embarrassment.

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 3:03 p.m.

    Wow! Arkad is good at Googling stuff!

    Did you actually read the Septuagint as you claimed, or not, Arkad?

    Do you actually know how to read Greek or not, Arkad? If so, why didn't you catch the abominable blunder of posting the wrong Greek text and the wrong "translation", and that by an old "scholar" that is the first one to come up on Google?

    You are a fraud, Arkad, and no amount of your pretending will convince anyone otherwise because you have already lied and been fundamentally wrong!

  • Cameron
    May 28, 2009 2:52 p.m.


    Are you trying to get us to believe anything you have to comment now, after your horrible lie was revealed?

    I trust the Anonymous who has cited the correct verses in the Septuagint because it is obvious Anonymous reads Greek.

    It is also obvious YOU DON'T! and are only googling stuff to try and APPEAR as something you are not!

    Go away and stop deceiving people.

  • LOL!
    May 28, 2009 2:16 p.m.

    When the whacks can't get any whackier. Sheesh!

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 2:06 p.m.

    "Unlike in past ages, in today's society, sex and marriage have become uncoupled; sex and reproduction have become uncoupled, she observed. "Through no-fault divorce, we have a rival to monogamy called serial polygamy," she said."

    Excuse me, Professor (choke), but most LDS apologists (the so-called Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship) insist that Joseph Smith never consummated most of his plural marriages, thereby uncoupling sex and marriage! And claims that Joseph fathered children by other women than Emma have been passionately attacked, thereby uncoupling marriage and sex and reproduction by Joseph Smith himself!

    I thought Joseph Smith lived in a "past age", and not in today's society?

    I think your PhD should be revoked.

  • Arkad
    May 28, 2009 2:01 p.m.

    RE to Arkad and Duped Readers:

    You said: "The operative word is γυναῖκας, which everyone knows means women"

    Everyone knows? It has actually been quite often translated as wives, especially where the context points this out. In 2 Samuel 12 Nathan is referring to David's adultery and uses a word which can alternatly be translated wifes or women. Since the subject is sexual intercourse with a woman the following translations have chosen wifes:

    New American Standard Bible
    Gods Word Translation
    King James Version
    American King James Version
    American Standard Version
    Bible in Basic English
    Darby Bible Translation
    English Revised Version
    Websters Bible Translation
    World English Bible
    Young's Literal Translation

    The Geneva Bible also uses the word wives.

    I could also point out many versions in Spanish & Portuguese which use the word wives.

    Apparently the overriding consensus on how to translate this word is "wives".

  • Festus
    May 28, 2009 1:48 p.m.

    Arkad, you have been gutted, cleaned, and mounted by a superior intellect!

  • Todd C.
    May 28, 2009 1:46 p.m.

    To Anonymous | 1:21 p.m.

    "The Lord holds Himself responsible to reveal the understanding for the laws He requires His children to do. When those laws or practices are recinded so is the understanding. No one knows what it is like to be commanded by God to live the law of polygamy. The fact is God has asked people to live it, people that most mainstream religions believe to be prophets, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David...etc. It is obvious from the posters that the understanding for this law has been taken from the earth. Until that understanding is restored, there will be nothing but lies, secrets, guesses, darkness and confusion."

    David Koresh said the same thing when he wanted to have relations with multiple female followers. Reverend Jim Jones said the same thing when he wanted to have several different partners in The People's Temple.

    You can always justify cultish practices by appeal to ignorance or lost knowledge. It works to fool the gullible, but it never works to fool thinking persons who have a sense of decency and morality.

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 1:36 p.m.

    Now, having thoroughly dispatched Arkad and the other pseudo-scriptorians and FARMS nincompoops, I will repeat:

    NOWHERE in the Old or New Testaments does God command, endorse, or approve of polygamy!

    I defy anyone to prove otherwise!

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 1:27 p.m.


    Are you SURE you actually read the Septuagint? It doesn't look like you did.

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 1:25 p.m.

    Joseph Smith was commanded to restore the Church of Jesus Christ. He knew as early as 1832 of the principle of plural marriage, but he did not reveal it nor did he want to reveal it because...well...look at how people react. But eventually an angel came to him with a sword in hand commanding him to preach it or die.

    This is the "dispensation of the fulness of times" as Paul prophesied would come. With that every principle and doctrine ever taugh in any dispensation has to be restored to the earth, including plural marriage.

    I for one see it as a great sifter which makes people use FAITH to follow the Lord. But we live in a Faithless world, where people rely on man more than God.

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 1:21 p.m.

    The Lord holds Himself responsible to reveal the understanding for the laws He requires His children to do. When those laws or practices are recinded so is the understanding. No one knows what it is like to be commanded by God to live the law of polygamy. The fact is God has asked people to live it, people that most mainstream religions believe to be prophets, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David...etc. It is obvious from the posters that the understanding for this law has been taken from the earth. Until that understanding is restored, there will be nothing but lies, secrets, guesses, darkness and confusion

  • Arkad
    May 28, 2009 1:14 p.m.

    RE to What's the big deal? (7:16)

    I agree with you. Polygamy was never easy! Genesis 29&30 will show you that 11 of the 12 tribes were named after a specific point in the conflict between Rachel and Leah. For example Naphtali's name (The wrestlings of God have I wrestled with my sister) was chosen because Rachel said "With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed".

    To have each wife naming children after their conflict with another wife... I wouldn't want to come home to that!

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 1:13 p.m.

    John Pack Lambert,

    Rather than waste time responding to each of your comments, let me just summarize: You have no clue what you are talking about.

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 1:12 p.m.

    This is not a Christian article.

  • To Arkad & Duped Readers
    May 28, 2009 12:57 p.m.

    Arkad said, You are just as dishonest about what the Septuagint as you are about the KJV. You need to remember that people on this board are literate and have access to copies of many different versions of the Bible.

    Apparently they were educated by the frauds at FARMS. You erroneously give the Greek Septuagint for what became the actual 2 Kings 12:8 rather than the 2 Samuel 12:8, perhaps thinking nobody would notice, or perhaps because YOU didnt notice!

    Here is the correct Septuagint text:

    8. καὶ ἔδωκά σοι τὸν οἶκον τοῦ κυρίου σου καὶ τὰς γυναῖκας τοῦ κυρίου σου ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ σου καὶ ἔδωκά σοι τὸν οἶκον Ισραηλ καὶ Ιουδα καὶ εἰ μικρόν ἐστιν προσθήσω σοι κατὰ ταῦτα.

    The operative word is γυναῖκας, which everyone knows means women NOT wives, just as οἶκον means household, not house. Thus, this verse is referring to the women of the household, which does NOT mean plural wives!

    Also as everyone knows, Sir Lancelot C.L. Brentons (1851) is old, outdated, and wrong more often than it is right!

    The name Satan means deceiver. You are a deceiver. Shall we give you your correct name?

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 12:22 p.m.

    That may be true, but he was called to the apostleship in 1838. So do you also disregard statements made by current apostles when you don't like what they say, just because they are not president/prophet of the church or president of the quorum of twelve? Btw, there are similar quotes made by John Taylor, who WAS the prophet at the time.

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 10:46 a.m.

    Oh, I see the Mormon apologetic argument now: as long as you don't have sex with them, it is OK to be married to as many women as you want.

    But if you never have sex with your "wives", you cannot possibly procreate, right?

    But why doesn't the same standard apply for same-sex marriage? Mormons are claiming same-sex marriage is immoral because it is not "natural" and does not procreate!

    If that is why same-sex marriage is bad, then Joseph Smith's non-sexual, non-procreating "marriages" were just as bad as same-sex marriage.

    Which is it going to me, Mormons? Is "traditional" marriage approved of God because it "procreates"? If so, then Joseph Smith's marriage were not approved by God.

    Or are you going to stick with your argument that Joseph Smith's "marriages" were good and approved by God even though he never "consummated" them? If so, then marriage must have other purposes and justification, right? Then what is wrong with same-sex marriage being justified for all the same reasons Joseph Smith's plural marriages were justified??

  • To @ Single LDS 8:46 am
    May 28, 2009 10:39 a.m.

    You date your WW quote from 4/21/1879.

    He was not church president/prophet until 18871898, and not sustained as church president until 1889.

    He was not even president of the Quorum of the 12 until October 1880.

    I think your quote is largely irrelevant.

    May 28, 2009 10:05 a.m.

    One good and wonderful thing about president Gordon B. Hinckley was that he worked on keeping the perversion down within the LDS church. He was a man of great morals, strength and good standing in every way against sin and perversion, and he did not covet other women. He loved his wife with all his heart and spoke continuously good and kind things of her to the end, who indeed is his only companion for all eternity. He was the way all men should be. God bless Gordon B. Hinckley for who he was and the wonderful legacy of good morals. We miss him so very dearly.

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2009 9:01 a.m.

    What is with you people? Quit surrounding your lives around adultery. I guarantee you, and coming from a large polygamist family myself, that there is much more to life then your sleep sac and committing adultery. Much of what you people write on here is ludicrous and nonsense. I suggest you folks get some counseling.

  • @ A Single LDS Woman
    May 28, 2009 8:46 a.m.

    "Polygamy was in the Old Testement. In the Aof F we state that we believe in living the law of the land. Therefore when polygamy became illegal we stopped."

    So if the government makes a law against baptisms, the church will stop performing them in order to obey the law of the land??? God is not governed by man.

    Wilford Woodruff stated in his journal on 4/21/1879
    "God says, 'We shall be damned if we do not obey the law.' Congress says, 'We shall be damned if we do.' It places us precisely in the same position that it did the hebrews in the fiery furnace, and Daniel in the den of lions. Our enemies have pursued the same course and made it a law of offense to obey one of the laws of our God. Now who shall we obey? God or man? My voice is that we obey God. So say I as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I will not desert my wives and my children and disobey the commandments of God, for the sake of accommodating the public clamor of a nation steeped in sin and ripened in the damnation of hell."

  • been there
    May 28, 2009 8:20 a.m.

    My great-great grandmother is the only ancestor of mine who practiced polygamy, but her daughter took her husband and family into the colonies to be near her. My grandfather was born in Pacheco Mexico while they were there, as were his 4 older sisters. They all remember their grandmother well, and that polygamist marriage was one of great love and affection between all. There was NO abuse that any of them knew of, and their grandmother chose to enter into that marriage as a mature, full-of-her-senses, woman. There are a few posters who claim there is NEVER such a relationship when polygamy is involved, but they speak without evidence to support it. I'm glad that polygamy is not an LDS practice today. The haterd of the world is its challenge, more-so than the practice itself when done correctly.

  • What's the big deal?
    May 28, 2009 7:16 a.m.

    all the best prophets were polygamists... Moses, Abraham, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young... I got no problem with it. I wouldn't be surprised if Jesus was married as such... Most men cringe at the idea, not because multiple partners hasn't occurred to them, but because of how the women would all fight and combine against you as a husband, and the logistical nightmare of caring for so many kids. Things are stressful enough nowadays without adding that to the mix... yet it's amazing nowadays how many young swinging men who remain unmarried to their many domestic partners leave behind a string of children and feel no obligations at all to them. At least polygamy left the philanderer with no excuses... nowadays the opposite's going on... so what' more dysfunctional?

  • To Fredd 4:18
    May 28, 2009 6:55 a.m.

    YOU: By the way, most LDS polygs did not marry widows or for the lack of men. If anything the frontier west had less women then men.

    ME: That was because on the frontier in general, explorers and men came alone. For Mormons, they brought their families. If you read about the handcart companies, it is clear that many more men died under the cold conditions than did women.

    YOU: Also women begin menstration much earlier now then even 50 years ago. So under age marriages were not common.

    ME: I don't know about menstral cycles or 50 years ago, abut 160 years ago your last statement is inaccurate. The 1850 census records show that for those who had been married in the previous year (non-Mormons, fyi), the most common age for women was 18-19. 3% of the new brides were 15 or younger. In my wife's own non-LDS family, she has a great-great grandmother who married a 25 year old at age 14 (in the 1840s).

    Compared to today, the marriage age for women/girls was much younger.

    We'd call some "underage" today, but at the time, they were legal aged.

  • Sorry, Jameson
    May 28, 2009 6:32 a.m.

    First, Bushman is not an official church historian. You undercut your credibility by stating this.

    I have read "Rough Stone Rolling" more than once. He never says that Joseph consummated a marriage with a woman married to another man and challenges the notion that he consummated his marriages with most of his other wives.

    As you say, Bushman is tough to argue with.

    And there is no evidence whatsoever that JS fathered any children other than with Emma. DNA has proven this in EVERY testable case!

    Brodie's conjectures regarding paternity have been entirely overturned as has her primary theses.

    What was it you said about twisting, distortion, etc?

  • John Pack Lambert
    May 27, 2009 7:39 p.m.

    To the 1:33 commentator,
    Brother Bushman never says that Joseph consumated a marriage with a woman married to another husband. He takes specific exception at Comptons assumption that Joseph consumated his marriages with most of his wives.
    However there was at least one of Joseph's wives who did testify later before a court of law that she had been wife to Joseph "in very deed".
    If you want a better answer go investigate what they have to say at FAIR.

  • To all polygamists
    May 27, 2009 7:32 p.m.

    Ten Commandments - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Go read the truth and get a life all you lawbreakers. Stop making up lies and being so self serving.

    May 27, 2009 6:56 p.m.

    Hey, John Pack Lambert, What's the problem buddy? Please stop your funny comments before I bust my gut open from laughing. Polygamy my son, is what it takes to make a real man.

  • Sarah Nichole
    May 27, 2009 6:46 p.m.

    Re: Anonymous | 3:51 p.m.

    I'm a woman, and the idea of polygamy doesn't bother me in theory. I can't say I'd be jumping for joy upon being asked to live it, and it certainly wouldn't be easy, but the idea of it, under the proper circumstances (i.e., when it's explicitly commanded by God), doesn't bother me. It wasn't easy to get to that point, it used to really bother me a lot. But over time, with prayer and study, I came to realize that when practiced the way it was originally designed, and when favored by God, it's not the great evil that many make it out to be.

    It wouldn't be my ideal relationship, but I can understand enough to know that after this life, things will be different. We will be different. I think that in the next life, we won't be so concerned with selfish ideas of yours and mine, but that we'll all be so excited to be together in our family units for eternity that the means of getting there aren't going to be important anymore.

  • Danielle
    May 27, 2009 6:32 p.m.

    Yes, people should obey the 10 commandments and not commit adultery, and stop coveting thy neighbors wife. It is a wicked people who do such things.

  • Skippy
    May 27, 2009 6:08 p.m.

    The people of God obey his laws.

  • John Pack Lambert
    May 27, 2009 3:56 p.m.

    To Sarah at 11:48,
    I think some of these people set up google news searches for Mormonsim, or polygamy and when they find an article they come and comment, normally with only a minimal amount of reading the article.

  • John Pack Lambert
    May 27, 2009 3:35 p.m.

    To the 6:02 commentator,
    with the exception of Sister Johnson who is not mentioned, few debate the AGES given by Compton.
    However, there are other questions. First, if Joseph Smith had been single and married a 14-year-old girl would this have been scandalous at the time. The answer is a resounding NO. 30 some year old men marrying teenage girls was a common occurance in frontier America at the time.
    Secondly, is there any evidence that Helen Mar Kimball ever had sex with Joseph Smith? The answer here is a resounding NO. Joseph Smith largely entered into this marriage to cement his connection with the Kimball family. Would he have had sex with her at an older age? Well, I do not know, but there is NO EVIDENCE he ever did, and there is plenty of evidence that there were many of Joseph's wives he never consumated his marriage with so people are arguing from false premises.
    Lastly, but hardly leastly, 14-year-olds are not pre-pubescent, so some of the extreme rhetoric against Joseph Smith is TOTAL LIES.

  • John Pack Lambert
    May 27, 2009 3:29 p.m.

    To the 5:02 commentator,
    "underage" according to whom. Not according to the laws of the land they lived in. You can not retroactively accuse people of statutory rape, since it is only a crime where there is a stuate broken, and Joseph Smith never violated a statue according to age.
    Lastly, you need to read Thomas Alexander's biography of Wilford Woodruff, published by Signature Books, where he argues that although President Woodruff married women under the age of 18 he never had sexual relations with them until they reached that age. If you are consistent in accepting anything by Signature Books as ture, than you have to recognize the validity of this work, or do you only accept stuff from signature books when it furthers your anti-Mormonism?

  • John Pack Lambert
    May 27, 2009 3:23 p.m.

    To the 3:21 commentator,
    Did you read any of the article? Kathryn Daynes is a WOMAN. I know this wil blow your world-view, but it is true.

  • John Pack Lambert
    May 27, 2009 3:03 p.m.

    Have some of you commentators ever bothered to read paragraph nine? I higly doubt it.
    The men did not have to have sex with their wives to be guilty, merely taking a sick child from the home of a wife for a ride was considered a violation of the law.
    These men violated the law by acknoledging their children and treating them as such. It would have been ok if they had ignored them and given them nothing, but by giving them full standing as children, by caring for them as such, it was these actions that violated the law.
    It is because the law was so unjust that people resisted it for so long and os often.

  • John Pack Lambert
    May 27, 2009 2:55 p.m.

    to the 8:15 commentator,
    Your claims fail to be supported by actual events. It was the people of Utah, lead by men who were polygamoists, who gave women the firht to vote, and it was the Federal Government in trying to take this right away who destroyed that right.
    When the women's vote was restroed in 1896, it was polygamists like John Henry Smith who helped restore it.
    If you think polygamy is about male-domination and exploitation of women, go read Sister Daynes book to learn the truth.

  • John Pack Lambert
    May 27, 2009 2:52 p.m.

    What you have to remember is that those who entered into polygamy had done so by making covenants before God to live with each wife they married that included the command to multiply and replentish the earth.
    What was greater, the law of man of the covenants they had entered into.
    Polygamy is not a universal evil. To say that casting the additional wives aside and acting as if the covenants to treat them in ever sense as wives made in the house of the Lord were of non-effect is easy for some 21st-century non-believer to say, but impossible for those who had made the covenants to do, and should be seen in this context by every member who has made and tries to keep sacred covenants, which is all members of the Church because you make covenants at baptism.

  • Takes one to know one
    May 27, 2009 1:29 p.m.

    I see many are saying that Joseph Smith was an adulterer on this post? I'm planning on looking into his many wives later.

    Why are some men so intent on proving and backing polygamy for themselves on here? Is it because you have grown bored with your own wife, so now you think it is time that God let you have a another round of excitement? How do your wives feel about the preaching you are doing? Are they as well bored with you and daydream about some younger and more affectionate guy? I mean to say, there are many woman in our very public schools, and some others who are out about who have families and end up committing adultery with some younger guy. So-- please don't tell me that woman don't have feelings for other men as well. It must be there polygamist side. Those polygamist woman must have also daydreams of there own prince charming who just wants them ONLY. I think being around women I know a little bit about how they think.

  • Anonymous
    May 27, 2009 11:53 a.m.

    What moral relativism is used to reconcile D&C 132 with this quote from Emma Smith?

    "we raise our voices and hands against John C. Bennett's 'spiritual wife system', as a scheme of profligates to seduce women; and they that harp upon it, wish to make it popular for the convenience of their own cupidity; wherefore, while the marriage bed, undefiled is honorable, let polygamy, bigamy, fornication, adultery, and prostitution, be frowned out of the hearts of honest men to drop in the gulf of fallen nature."

  • Arkad
    May 27, 2009 11:43 a.m.

    My earlier comments (10:46 & 11:06) were directed toward Anonymous (8:38; 8:40 & 11:49).

  • Andres
    May 27, 2009 11:42 a.m.

    Polygamy was nothing new. It was done back then and it was practiced when Joseph Smith was alive. If you want to question Joseph for the commandment he recieved from God then question God and ask him why he let Abraham and Issac and all those other people who had more tha one wife. Not everyone could have a second wife just be cause they wanted one. They were chosen by the leaders and they had to be able to have the means to feed and shelter them. In other words they had to have the money. If you dont understand why polygamy was practice do not critize it. Or better yet get the bible and try to figure it out before you make your mind up about something you dont even know or cant even begin to comprehend.

  • Arkad
    May 27, 2009 11:06 a.m.

    Greek Septuagint 2 Kings 12:7-8:

    12:7 και νυν καταστητε και δικασω υμας ενωπιον κυριου και απαγγελω υμιν την πασαν δικαιοσυνην κυριου α εποιησεν εν υμιν και εν τοις πατρασιν υμων

    12:8 ως εισηλθεν ιακωβ και οι υιοι αυτου εις αιγυπτον και εταπεινωσεν αυτους αιγυπτος και εβοησαν οι πατερες ημων προς κυριον και απεστειλεν κυριος τον μωυσην και τον ααρων και εξηγαγεν τους πατερας ημων εξ αιγυπτου και κατωκισεν αυτους εν τω τοπω τουτω

    English Translation by Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton (1851)

    7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man that has done this. Thus says the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee to be king over Israel, and I rescued thee out the hand of Saul;

    8 and I gave thee the house of thy lord, and the wives of thy lord into thy bosom, and I gave to thee the house of Israel and Juda; and if that had been little, I would have given thee yet more.

  • Arkad
    May 27, 2009 10:46 a.m.

    The law states that if someone steals they should repay what was stolen, in some cases there are harsher punishments. In other words the law clearly condemns stealing.

    In the case of plural marriage the OT states that you should treat both wives equally. It doesn't say that you shouldn't do it nor does it require a divorce. In fact polygamy is actually approved in 2 Samuel.

    And by the way, who are you to make broad claims about who has read and who hasn't read the Greek Septuagint? I for one have read the Septuagint. Guess what? You are just as dishonest about what the Septuagint as you are about the KJV.

    You need to remember that people on this board are literate and have access to copies of many different versions of the Bible.

    Septuagint 2 Kings 12:7-8 (Septuagint has 1,2,3&4 Kings rather than 1&2 Samuel and 1&2 Kings so 2nd Kings Septuagint is comparable to 2 Samuel KJV):

    "Thus says the Lord God of Israel... and I gave thee the house of thy lord, and the wives of thy lord into thy bosom"

  • A new episode
    May 27, 2009 8:48 a.m.

    Yippers, and the lies continue....

  • Born that Way
    May 27, 2009 8:15 a.m.

    [quote] "Through no-fault divorce, we have a rival to monogamy called serial polygamy," [/quote]

    Nofault divorce is nothing now. We have cohabitation and a societal glorification of victim status among single parents and the dismissal of the importance of the title mother and father when it pertains to childcare.

    For many, Marriage is no longer seen as a means to protect and provide for children--instead it is all about a sexual relationship... which is a tragic misappropriation of the whole point of why marriage has societal value at all.

    Adding gays to the mix will only make "marriage" more meaningless, because it completely divorces children from the relationship altogether, and places paramount a physical sexually-preferred relationship above all other considerations. Not that gays won't use it as a claim to gain access to children... that's been their point all along. In a way its their biological imperative.

    Sadly in all of this, the children suffer.

  • Joseph my Uncle
    May 27, 2009 5:48 a.m.

    I must respond, to those who do not believe Joesph Smith practiced polygamy. With limited space I can not quote all the journal entries from my ancestors, so I will quote only two. My 3rd Great Grand Uncle Benjamin F. Johnson: 'first of April, 1843, the Prophet (J.S.)came to Macedonia to hold a meeting..he said 'come Bennie let us have a walk'...Here as we sat, he began to tell me that the Lord had revealed to him that plural marriage was according to his law. He was required to take other wives and wanted to my sister Almira for one of them.' of course he goes on to write when this took place.
    Finally my GG Grand Mother, niece to Benjamin wrote:'In conclusion I declare myself a living witness to the fact Joseph Smith the Prophet not only taught but also practiced plural marriage, any one to the contrary notwithstanding.'

    They way the way early Mormons practice plural marriage is so much different than those of the FLDS and others of today. After reading so many journals and personal histories I know there was love within the family unit of these marriages.

  • This really takes the cake
    May 26, 2009 7:49 p.m.

    Now we have some polig coming on here posting as Noor! You people need to come clean and stop this silly business, this is not funny. You polygamist men always post as women, children and now some Islamic dude. Please quit this absolute abuse and nonsense.

  • NoorSaffiyah
    May 26, 2009 7:46 p.m.


    It was quite common n centuries past for one to be betrother or married to another without actually consummating the marriage until of an age to actually do so.

    In the 19th century, there were many brides (my grandmothers included who were 'under-age[something that didn't exist then[).

    One way in which the shortage of females was handled in the frontier was with the practice of 'mail order brides'.

  • NoorSaffiyah
    May 26, 2009 7:43 p.m.

    RE: A single LDS woman,

    If there are that many 40+ LDS women out there who can't find a husband because they won't lower their standards, then their standards are ridiculously high and unreasonable-and you leave alot of LDS men out there with no wife since they couldn't possibly ever reach the lofty heights they are expected to.

    Time to come back down to earth!!

  • Simple
    May 26, 2009 7:41 p.m.

    Mormons are nuts!

  • NoorSaffiyah
    May 26, 2009 7:30 p.m.

    To Anonymous---

    Islam does not condone terrorism, the murder of Westerners, or wives, or FGM (is an African practice done by a small number of Africans).It does not allow for the mistreatment of wives either!

    Islam does allow for polygamy (four wives MAX!!!)if you can treat them equally in love and provisions. If not, then it isn't allowed. It is practiced rarely in the Islamic world as a result!!

    What man does and what his religion tells him to do can be two very different things. It's called free will, has nothing to do with God!!

    Please do not speak about that which you know nothing about.

    "...We could use the same fallacious argument about any religion:
    If Islam is false than their ordinances have no strength in the next life which would mean that there really isn't any polygamy or terrorism or mutilation of females.

    If Islam is true than they know exactly what they are doing and the ordinance is not only valid but also proper, and Allah (God) has commanded Westerners to die, and Islamic men to take multiple wives and to kill the disobedient ones, and for women to be mutilated."

  • ferretz5
    May 26, 2009 7:26 p.m.

    I have a decent job, keep a clean house, find myself to be nice enough in looks, have a good sense of humor, etc etc.....tried marriage and he ended up going to jail for physical and mental abuse on my daughter and myself. So we moved, and went on with life. The men that are single, usually, especially at my age, are single for a reason.

    Considering the situation in the world, I remember the scripture talking about 7 women going to one man saying they will provide for themselves...just let them have his name...

    I am gradually gaining an appreciation for this, although I know many women who are very happy with their single life....

    It was not intended to be this way in life...but we have messed up the original Plan for happiness in the world.

    Polygamy is not the issue, selfishness, deceit and infidelity are....

  • A religion based on lies
    May 26, 2009 6:46 p.m.

    You guys make no sense whatsoever, and your so called religion is a mass of confusion, and you all tell historical lies. It is sad to see how confused Mormons truly are. Get some stable help folks.

  • Amused
    May 26, 2009 5:55 p.m.

    I guess it's better to be a teenaged plural baby mama than a plural wife...hmmmm

  • classicalmusic
    May 26, 2009 5:49 p.m.

    I'm astonished at how many "experts" there are on this topic. One individual gives a speech, and the "experts" continue to pile on.
    Objectivity, ... where art thou?

  • I don't get it.
    May 26, 2009 5:29 p.m.

    If LDS men remain sealed to all women they marry and an LDS woman can only be sealed to one man; if the woman is unsealed to the first husband to marry her 2nd husband, wouldn't the 1st husband no longer be sealed to her????? Or will the two men share the woman? Isn't that a concept.

  • Ernest T. Bass
    May 26, 2009 4:45 p.m.

    It's amazing to read the spin about this. No objectivity from the appologists. FARMS is alive and well today. Unfortunately for those who should know better.

  • Fredd
    May 26, 2009 4:18 p.m.

    Someone asked why non LDS people come to the DesNews and comment. I had read many things on anti web sites etc. When these opportunities to post began i found this to be a much greater place to get a range of beliefs and to hear faithful LDS defend them. It is very educational. By the way, most LDS polygs did not marry widows or for the lack of men. If anything the frontier west had less women then men. Also women begin menstration much earlier now then even 50 years ago. So under age marriages were not common.

  • Jameson
    May 26, 2009 4:05 p.m.

    3:17 p.m.

    How can you live with your twisting, distortion and lies?

    Go back to school. Read Bushman's biography, "Rough Stone Rolling". I would recommend you read some other reliable history, but you are so blind you would dismiss them out of hand. But Bushman is tough to argue with. He is the official church historian. And HE says you are wrong. there are PLENTY of documents establishing exactly what I stated.

    I pity you and your blindness.

  • Re: A Single LDS Woman
    May 26, 2009 4:02 p.m.

    What "A Single LDS Woman" comments on is somthing I have thought about for a long time. There truly are many, many awesome LDS women out there with little chance of being a wife and a mother in a LDS home. My wife has many friends and former college roommates and missionary companions that are approaching 40 and are still single.

    Most of them are amazing women and I am at a loss as to why they are still alone and approaching 40 years old. It is not that they don't desire wifehood and motherhood, they do. They just are not going to give up thier standards. I beleive there just aren't enough LDS men willing to live by the standards the church teaches, and they are the "odd-man out" so to speak. I have wept for thier them. I was 30 before my first child was born and I remember the joy I felt that day.

    The sorrow that these dear sisters must feel realizing that they probably will never be anyones loved wife or that they will never be a "mom" is truly heartbreaking for me.

  • @ Jameson
    May 26, 2009 3:17 p.m.

    Oh, wow. Where to begin...

    First of all, every single claim of Joseph Smith being the father of a child outside of his marriage to Emma has been proven false through DNA testing aside from one woman's child, and they can't prove that because the DNA went down through the mother's side of the family since then. That is the only unproven case, and there are heavy suspicions on that child as well because of certain descrepancies.

    There is not one shred of proof in any document that shows without question that Joseph Smith ever consumated a single marriage that was not with Emma. Not one single document. He very well may have, but we have no way to prove it until we die and ask them in person.

    In instances where the woman already had a husband, those were temple sealings only, because their husband was not a member of the church. There are multiple first-hand accounts proving this.

    The "new and everlasting covenant" is not plural marriage it's temple marriage. That includes monogamous ones.

    If you're legally married, it's not adultery. Joseph Smith was legally married to each woman in question.

  • Debbi
    May 26, 2009 2:56 p.m.

    FYI- In the days of polygamy in the church many men did not have plural wives. The men that did were called to do so because they could financially provide for additional women who had no other resources and they were worthy, righteous men. Every account I have read in my family tells of the anquish suffered by the husband when asked to take another wife.
    Also an underage wife was the norm in the 19th century. It wasn't uncommon for a 14, 15 or 16 year old to be married.

  • Some observations
    May 26, 2009 2:23 p.m.

    1. Many men are sexually polygamous by nature. Most women aren't. God gave humankind a way to compensate for this. It has been rejected by Western civilization.
    2. Because of #1 above, 74% of divorces are instituted by women, showing monogamous marriages aren't working for them or their men.
    3. More than one single mom has commented that they'd prefer having a full-time husband and part-time lover to their status as single moms without any man at all to help with finances and raising kids(except maybe a lover on the side that cares nothing about their children--and/or a bedside toy).
    4. Are children better off with an absentee father than they would be with a good man who loves them to emulate and receive support from? Anecdotal evidence suggests fatherless children are many times more prone to aberrant or criminal behavior than children with bona fide father figures.

    Never hear any discussion about any of these.

  • @ Dear Jonny
    May 26, 2009 2:12 p.m.

    I agree with your last sentence whole-heartedly. You probably didn't intend it the way it's written, but so be it.

  • just one more instance
    May 26, 2009 2:09 p.m.

    ...of a "principle of God" that makes me say, "Even if there is a god, I'll say, No Thanks!" I cannot even fathom an eternity of living under such laws and regulations. When I'm dead, I hope I am dead. Insanity forever, ad infinitum makes me nauseated at the thought.

  • To Jameson
    May 26, 2009 2:09 p.m.

    Thank you for your comment. You are a HERO on this blog, and one who seems to truly be knowledgeable with the true facts.

  • JS
    May 26, 2009 2:07 p.m.

    Polgamy is one of the things that help my testimony to be strong in this church.

    One of the scriptures that we as LDS saints use a lot is in Acts 3 : 21 where it speaks of a "restoration " of "ALL" things ever spoken of God Holy Prophets.
    As has been noted by other pologmy was given to ancient prophets therefore , for ALL things to be restored - it would also need to be restored. It does not say for how long though.

    I know of no other church who has had pologamy in there background and therefore cannot claim to have answered this scripture.... therefore to me it is a positive and helps to build not tear down my testimony of the Restoration of ALL things.

  • jonny
    May 26, 2009 1:59 p.m.

    I am not interested in controversy, th Book of Mormon is a testimony of the atonement of the Savior by his Grace and Mercy, and I hope we will always engage each other with both grace and mercy. I am also keenly aware we must be of one heart, before we can ever be of one mind. My faith does not depend on Joseph's personal life. I know the restoration is the work of Jesus Christ, and in him I have all faith.

  • A single LDS woman
    May 26, 2009 1:59 p.m.

    As a single LDS woman, I see a side of pologmy that many people to not grasp. There are many wonderful smart amazing women out there who will never have the opportunity to ever have an intimate relationship with a man or know the joy of giving birth or to know the wonder of knowing that she is loved.

    There are many single mothers out there who would love to be able to have the priesthood in their home and the financial support that comes from having a husband.

    Polygamy was in the Old Testement. In the Aof F we state that we believe in living the law of the land. Therefore when polygamy became illegal we stopped.

    Yes, men are sealed to more then one woman in the temple BIG DEAL!!!! there not living it here on earth so get over it and let God deal with it.

  • To Looking for an Honest Answer
    May 26, 2009 1:53 p.m.

    Why does the Church practice this? How can this be explained as anything other than a continuation of the principle?

    The New and Everlasting Covenant of [plural] Marriage must be understood holistically. According to D&C132, those who righteously enter into [plural] marriage shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and A CONTINUATION OF THE SEEDS forever and ever.

    You see, like any good breeder of cattle, Joseph Smiths conception of exaltation insists that the all-powerful, all-knowing God progresses, not by learning more, or gaining more power, but by breeding more offspring! As every breeder knows, one male can impregnate many females, which is what LDS doctrine says God has done in order to populate many worlds with his [spirit] children. LDS leaders silence those who talk about a heavenly mother not because the respect her, but because there are MANY such mothers in Gods Celestial harem!

    The Church could not change the policies you cite unless they changed all that doctrine and the concept of exaltation.

  • My 2 cents worth...
    May 26, 2009 1:51 p.m.

    My mother loved Polygamy. She was the 22nd child in her family, and had many nieces and nephews to play with...a lot of aunts and uncles who loved her. She was 26 when she wrote to and then married a lonely widower whose wife had died and had left 3 children. My mother loved raising those 3 children, along with her own, and those older children helped us throughout the years.

    Her parents were happy. The 1st wife chose her first cousin from Norway, to be the 2nd wife. But, when the church said to quit practicing it, They did, and she was very true to that as well. She was a very strong-willed person, as were my Grandfather and Grandmother.

    There is a time and place, and living out in the lonely desert of New Mexico at the time of her growing up, it was the right time. Now it is not...because we believe in obeying the laws of the land, and it is not necessary at this time, for survival and it was then.

  • A woman
    May 26, 2009 1:45 p.m.

    I would like to be sealed to all 3 of my dead husbands who fathered 8 children with me. I was the only woman they ever new. One died in a car accident, one died of cancer, and the last one i have out lived. They are mine and belong to none other.

  • Jameson
    May 26, 2009 1:33 p.m.


    There are several claims by women that Joseph was the father of their children. Only 5 had any real substance to them. We may never really know for sure on those 5.

    Even the well-regarded LDS Historian, Richard Bushman, concludes with no doubt whatsoever that Joseph Smith not only married a score of women or so, but consummated most of those marriages, even though some of those women were simultaneously married to other men! That is what interests me, the fact that LDS history is not just filled with plural wives, but PLURAL HUSBANDS as well! Yet there is no doctrinal or scriptural support, nor any revelations authorizing such a thing!

    Even if you believe Joseph received a revelation (Doc&Cov132) wherein God commanded him to take multiple wives under the "New and Everlasting Covenant of [plural] Marriage", these marriages to women who were already married to other men completely violates even that so-called revelation! No matter how you try to spin polygamy, these "polyandrous" marriages in which Joseph Smith was a party can be interpreted in no other way than that Joseph Smith committed adultery multiple times. Period.

  • Dear Jonny
    May 26, 2009 1:26 p.m.

    Joseph Smith NEVER fathered any other children other than with EMMA HALE SMITH. Don't listen to all these liars who mke up stuff to suit themselves. The church is full of LIARS!

  • If it will all work out
    May 26, 2009 1:24 p.m.

    I hear many members say that marital relationships will all be worked out in the next life by a just and loving God. I agree with this which is why it makes no sense whatsoever that women in the church cannot also be sealed to multiple men. The church goes to great lengths to require a woman to get the permission from a former husband to break that sealing in order to be sealed again. A man does not have to do that. If the former husband has died the woman has no ability to be sealed upon remarriage. The man of course can. I apologize if I am the only one that finds this pactice to obviously be a continuation of the law of plural marriage.

    And Jonny - it makes no difference whether or not JS fathered children with his plural wives. The fact, that many members either don't know or deny, is that he had many plural wives. Both the early and current church has made that perfectly clear. It is not at issue - except for people like you who for some reason can't accept it.

  • jonny
    May 26, 2009 1:02 p.m.

    what children did joseph father, other than to Emma?

  • Anonymous
    May 26, 2009 12:06 p.m.

    Sorry, my last comment was supposed to stop at "What part of NOWHERE can't you people understand?"

    The rest accidentally snuck in there from a previous commenter who was grossly mistaken.

  • To Jonny and @Jonny
    May 26, 2009 11:54 a.m.

    Are you two kidding? It is a FACT that Joseph Smith had multiple wives. The exact number is the only thing in dispute. Just google something like "Joseph Smith AND wives AND FARMS" to pull up articles by the church research branch at BYU for articles documenting, explaining, and defending this. You can also find this documented through the Church's own online geneology rewources. The early LDS Church went to great lengths to document and defend Joseph Smith's polygamy as well when the early Reorganized Church claimed this was a practice started by Brigham Young. They thought Brigham Young was a false prophet and used polygamy as evidence. But the LDS Church quickly and easily proved that Joseph Smith started and widely practiced it.

    It is interesting how some members blanket deny something just because it doesn't sit well with them.

  • Anonymous
    May 26, 2009 11:49 a.m.

    Exodus 21:10 "And if he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish".

    You completely misinterpret this passage. It does not say God commands any man to take multiple wives. Notice the word "If..."

    In Exodus22:1, god supposedly says, "If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen..."

    If we interpret this scripture YOUR way, we must conclude that God has commanded and approves of stealing oxen!

    Your logic is flawed.

    I repeat, there is NOWHERE in the Old Testament OR in the New Testament where polygamy is commanded, endorsed, or approved by god.


    What part of NOWHERE can't you people understand?

    Deuteronomy 21:15 "If a man have two wifes, one beloved, and another hated..."

    As you (and everybody else can see) plural marriage is mentioned... Maybe you prefer another word to "regulations" but without a doubt these scriptures provide guidelines for plural marriages.

  • Anonymous
    May 26, 2009 11:44 a.m.

    To Re: LDS Practice It Today,

    "If the LDS Church is false than their ordinances have no strength in the next life which would mean that there really isn't any polygamy.

    If the LDS Church is true than they know exactly what they are doing and the ordinance is not only valid but also proper."

    We could use the same fallacious argument about any religion:

    If Islam is false than their ordinances have no strength in the next life which would mean that there really isn't any polygamy or terrorism or mutilation of females.

    If Islam is true than they know exactly what they are doing and the ordinance is not only valid but also proper, and Allah (God) has commanded Westerners to die, and Islamic men to take multiple wives and to kill the disobedient ones, and for women to be mutilated.

    Perfectly logical, eh?

  • Looking for an Honest Answer
    May 26, 2009 11:43 a.m.

    I have heard many reasons why the LDS Church practiced plural marriage in the past. But I have never heard an answer as to why it continues (in a different form) today. So rather than labeling me angry or anti, I would genuinely like to gain a better understanding for the Church's current sealing practices.

    The fact is that today when an LDS man loses his wife to death or divorce, he is allowed to be sealed to an additional wife while maintaining the sealing of the first wife. This can be repeated upon further death or divorce resulting in an LDS man being sealed to multiple wives (I know several LDS men who are sealed to multiple wives - this practice is indisputable). However, an LDS woman must break the sealing of a previous husband upon death or divorce if she wants to be sealed to another man. Many LDS men today are sealed to more than one wife. No LDS woman is sealed to more than one husband.

    Why does the Church practice this? How can this be explained as anything other than a continuation of the principle of plural marriage within the bounds of the law?

  • Yello
    May 26, 2009 11:40 a.m.

    Anon said: "You have not read these verses in the original Greek from the Septuagint. If you did, you would find the meanings are not what you have portrayed. God has NEVER commanded or approved of polygamy."

    I don't believe you have ever read 2 Samuel in the original Greek as well... Because it was originally Hebrew. It was then translated into Greek, Latin, and English among other languages.

  • @ Jonny
    May 26, 2009 11:25 a.m.

    Brigham Young is the one who started polygamy. Some try to blame Joseph Smith but it was Brigham.

  • To - Re: LDS Practice It Today
    May 26, 2009 11:24 a.m.

    The response was made at 7:31 AM that "I think that the Lord is going to honor ALL of those familial relationships in the next life, so long as each spouse involved chooses to do so and goes through the necessary steps to obtain it".

    I agree. I am simply stating (not in anger) the fact that LDS men are allowed to be sealed to multiple wives while LDS women can only be sealed to one man at a time. The practice of plural mariage continues to the extent that the Church legally can. Why else would the Church allow men to be sealed to multiple wives and women only to one man? I am not placing a judgment on that. To me it is about honesty and transparency. PR attempts by the Church continually try to distance the modern church from plural marriage. No mention of ANY of JS or BY plural wives in our manuals for example. While the reality is that every week LDS men are being sealed to an additional wife in the case of death or divorce. Plural marriage is both a current and eternal practice. That is fine - but let's be honest.

  • Cosmo
    May 26, 2009 11:23 a.m.

    Wow, there is some "Major Emotional Baggage", being vented here today!

  • jonny
    May 26, 2009 11:16 a.m.

    I do not believe Joseph Smith had more wives than Emma. He had no children with anyone but Emma, and there are only blood decendants of Hiram that are with the Utah church.
    There has been some atibution to Joseph that may have originated with others.
    I think of the Cambelites who practiced polygamy, some coverted to the restoration, brought polygamy to movement, and it took on a life of its own.
    I believe Joseph was commanded to translate the Book of Mormon, and restore the priesthood. I believe he did other things he was not commanded to do.
    I believe he was the first prophet of the resoration, just as believe David was the King of Israel.

  • To KMD
    May 26, 2009 11:10 a.m.

    The law of polygamy is gone. So using it as an example for today - now, is not relevant. It is no more!!! Our ancestors lived it because they were asked to. They needed too because mothers without husbands couldn't go down to 7-11 and get a little job. In our families the women and children had been left when their husbands died.

  • RhettW
    May 26, 2009 10:19 a.m.

    The age of marriage in the 19th Century, was considerably younger than now. A Comparison can't take place. My grandmother, not LDS, just turned 15 when she married my grandfather, 26 at the time. In researching genealogy, it was a common practice then. A woman was literally an old maid if not married by 19.

    Another part of history related to marriage was the population of the brothels in the 19th Century. Where do you think all of these women came from? Every mining camp, cow town, even the US Capital. The laws at the time made it so that a woman couldn't be an owner of property. If she was unmarried, she could continue to live with her parents or enter the profession. Only so many seamstresses or laundresses were needed and that didn't provide a good living.

    So, which was better, a marriage to a loving man in a religious community, or living a life of a provider of services to 8 to 15 men a day?

    You can't apply today's thinking to practices of yesteryear. The Options were different. The FLDS do not practice polygomy, how the Mormon Church practiced it.

  • To Anonymous
    May 26, 2009 10:18 a.m.

    Since you continue to state only the GREEK is correct. You fail to understand that Prophets of God have maintained that as far as the English translation of the Bible that the King James Version is the most correct into English. With that in mind I will emphatically state that the King James Version states that Pologamy was authorized by the Lord to Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Isaac, David and Solomon. In fact, the Lord has recognized it when it is in his good graces to do so.

    Your argument based on the translation of Greek which some scholars believe may NOT be true. Until the Hebrew text is known I suggest you really look at it. Even the Jewish portions of the Bible they use have pologamy as a way of life for some prophets.

  • Boise Cougar
    May 26, 2009 10:01 a.m.

    I pray we can all get along and allow all men to worship (or not worship) according to the dictates of their own concience. Let them worship how, where, or what they may. The Lord would have us be this way, living without fear of abuse or ridicule. We as Latter-day Saints need not defend our religious concience; we deserve, as Americans, to be left alone so long as we are not breaking any laws. And so far as I can see, we are not currently breaking any laws. So don't bicker with us over doctrines. You can choose to believe or not, and that is fine with me; just take your meanspiritedness somewhere other than the pages of our Church-owned newspaper.

  • enrgzrbny
    May 26, 2009 9:58 a.m.

    the REAL LDS faith does NOT practice plural marriage any more that ended 1890 Manifesto.

    why does the world frown on this practice and yet
    grin and snicker over Adultery, Fornication, and Homosexuality?

    American laws should be reconstructed
    parents no consent, no contracts, or any types of promises legal
    woman must be 21 no exceptions
    woman must be mature, and sound mind
    NO welfare, No medicaid, No foodstamps,no tax benefits, no assistance that can benefit the parents only the children as long as they are married
    this sure would reveal the true intentions of the man wouldn't it.....

  • kathnavy1954
    May 26, 2009 9:42 a.m.

    To Big Love Justin - I sense a lot of anger in your comments. Additionally, as one of those 74 percenters, I was a woman with two children whose husband felt that it was ok to beat me, should I have stayed until he killed me to satisfy your one man one woman for life ideal? The Lord does not expect us to stay in unhealthy or unsafe situations. Yes, I agree, too many throw away marriages that can be fixed, but too many stay until they are dead.

    Now back to the subject of this article, polygamy CAN be evil if not practiced pursuant to God's instructions. I recall Solomon, didn't he have a number of wives?

  • d
    May 26, 2009 9:20 a.m.

    To ultra-secular courts: ultra-religious, fanatical fables, fiction, and fallacious rethorical devices are irrelevant inside ultra-secular courts.

    Debater's or writer's boilerplates notices as previously stated.

  • s
    May 26, 2009 8:58 a.m.

    The way its been explained to me was that polygamy was instituted so that more women could be taken care of.

    to Anonymous | 5:56 p.m. May 25, 2009
    We all sin. The people in the old testament sinned, we sin...only Christ was perfect. If God wanted only perfect people for prophets, the Bible would be quite different.

  • Re: LDS Practice It Today
    May 26, 2009 8:46 a.m.

    If the LDS Church is false than their ordinances have no strength in the next life which would mean that there really isn't any polygamy.

    If the LDS Church is true than they know exactly what they are doing and the ordinance is not only valid but also proper.

    It is either one or the other, you can't have it both ways. Either way your anger is illogical.

  • Anonymous
    May 26, 2009 8:41 a.m.

    To 7:35 p.m

    Who ever said I accept "prophets" of god?

  • Anonymous
    May 26, 2009 8:40 a.m.

    To Yello,

    You have not read these verses in the original Greek from the Septuagint. If you did, you would find the meanings are not what you have portrayed.

    God has NEVER commanded or approved of polygamy.

  • 5:56.....a swing and a miss!
    May 26, 2009 8:39 a.m.

    Mr/Miss Anonymous at 5:56 is simply a Biblical ignoramus. The Old Testament is EXCEPTIONALLY clear that God did from time to time command some of His children to enter in to polygamous relationships.

    Anyone who can open a book and read can see that.

  • Anonymous
    May 26, 2009 8:38 a.m.

    To 8:00,

    Hagar was not given to Abraham by God. She was "given" by Sarah. It was Sarah's idea. Later in the story, God faults Abraham for listening to his wife instead of to him. In fact, the great divide between the offspring of Hagar and the offspring of Sarah is the seed of the conficts in the world today.

    God has NEVER commanded or condoned polygamy. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER.

  • Arkad
    May 26, 2009 8:34 a.m.

    Re: Anonymous 4:10

    You stated:

    "Neither Exodus21:10 nor Deuteronomy21:15 contain "regulations on plural marriage." Plural marriage is not mentioned."

    Thi is the text of the Law:

    Exodus 21:10 "And if he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish".

    Deuteronomy 21:15 "If a man have two wifes, one beloved, and another hated..."

    As you (and everybody else can see) plural marriage is mentioned... Maybe you prefer another word to "regulations" but without a doubt these scriptures provide guidelines for plural marriages.

    Why do you lie under an anonymous name when anybody who is interested can search these scriptures for themselves?

  • to Anonymous 4:10 pm
    May 26, 2009 8:00 a.m.

    What about when Abraham was given Hagar since Sarah was baren? God condoned that one. The law is monogamy; it is apparent that polygamy has its place as an exception in circumstances that call for it. (Wait for God to let you know.) I'm glad I'm not in charge of calling for it. I don't think I could live that way.

  • Yello
    May 26, 2009 7:32 a.m.

    Anon said: "NOWHERE in the Old Testament can you find God commanding or approving of a polygamous marriage. NOWHERE! But you CAN find God commanding "Thou shalt not commit adultery".

    2 Samuel 12:1-8 states:
    1 And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
    8 And I gave thee thy masters house, and thy masters wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.

    vs 1 God sent Nathan the prophet
    vs 8 Nathan speaking a a prophet in the voice of God to David, saying God gave him "thy Master's wives..."

    But David wanted more than was given him and thus the rebuke in the next few verses.

  • Re: LDS Practice It Today
    May 26, 2009 7:31 a.m., by getting remarried after a divorce or the death of a spouse, the LDS are practicing polygamy? I guess that means that half of the Earth's population is practicing polygamy, too. Three-fourths of those who are widowed or divorced remarry.

    When a man truly loves his first wife, and she dies, and then he remarries, and truly loves his second wife, why should he get to heaven and have to choose which family he loves more? What kind of a Father in Heaven would make people choose between their families and cast aside the rest? Do you think it's just the LDS men who aren't going to be put in that position? I think that the Lord is going to honor ALL of those familial relationships in the next life, so long as each spouse involved chooses to do so and goes through the necessary steps to obtain it.

  • To re: Anonymous 5:56 6:43
    May 25, 2009 7:35 p.m.

    I am on your side, but it is usually acknowledged that (re: Numbers ch. 12) Moses' earlier marriage to the Ethiopian was in the past and was probably dissolved or not in force by that time. Bills of divorcement were not common in those days.

    As for Anonymous @ 5:56, your intrepretations are quite distorted, if not altogether wrong.

    You accept prophets of God, you say they sin? We ALL sin. That is the point. This does not negate the call nor the pronouncements. If that is what you have to defend your point of view, then I have no problem in rejecting your opinions.

    In my opinion, your logic and justifications are faulty.

    And as an added request, please show where in the OT God has condemned plural marriages in general.

    To the debate 6:52: I agree! Plural marriage was not a party. It was dang stinkin' hard work for all involved.

    To re: In Sacred Loneliness 5:56: Compton may have be off in some of his intrepretations, but he was being forthright and honest. If he was wrong (and I believe he was in some important cases), it was not an attempt to deceive.

  • KMD
    May 25, 2009 7:25 p.m.

    I grew up in the rural area of Michigan, and I am the only member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Just giving background to what I am typing. My sister in law's sister met this man who was the local Navy recruiter said he was separated. They have a relationship, she gets pregnant. He gets back with wife. Even though they keep dating. He even takes the child to his house to his wife(they had one child) for visitations. This goes on for years, while he is still married. She gets pregnant again. This finally gets his wife to divorce him. My point is, how much different is this from polygamy? And funny thing is once he was divorced from his wife, they tried to have a normal relationship and it fails. They both are married to other people and only see each other when its his time to have them for visitation. Or how about this, man has 21 children from 20 different woman, cannot afford to pay child support. This is in my local news recently.

  • To Sacred Loneliness 5:17pm
    May 25, 2009 7:20 p.m.

    Compton is pretty close. The evidence is solid on 28 wives. The additional 5 from Compton lack documentation and are possible, but impossible to confirm. For example, Nancy Winchester.

    Why mention only Emma and 7 others if we should honor each one?

    You will recognize that Compton used the term "dynastic" for marriages that occurred to link families together and typically did not involve conjugal relations.

    How many children did Joseph father from those other 7 wives you listed? None. He was certainly able, given that Emma gave birth to their youngest son 5 months after Joseph's death.

    The first purpose of these plural marriages was not sex, and often did not involve it at all.

  • The debate
    May 25, 2009 6:52 p.m.

    Why would anyone want to be a polygamist? Imagine all those mothers-in-law! Good grief!

  • RE: Anonymous 5:56 p.m
    May 25, 2009 6:43 p.m.

    Please check Numbers chapter 12. It totally blows away what you have written. Direct from God's mouth - God accepts Moses and reviles Aaron and Miriam for criticizing Moses for a polygamous marriage

  • RE: In Sacred Loneliness
    May 25, 2009 6:02 p.m.

    Tells us why shoud we believe anything Todd Compton writes?

    There is no honor in intentionally decieving others.

  • Anonymous
    May 25, 2009 5:56 p.m.

    To Arkad,

    "Abraham was polygamous" - Abraham was also a liar and a thief. Just because he was a polygamist does not mean God commanded it or endorsed it. The same is true for Issac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses. You have shown NOWHERE in scripture where God commanded or endorsed their polygamy. NOWHERE!

    You say these men were "righteous"... But in EVERY case, scriptures contain record of the SINS of these men - for example, Numbers 20 records Moses' blasphemy and sin against God.

    Neither Exodus21:10 nor Deuteronomy21:15 contain "regulations on plural marriage." Plural marriage is not mentioned. 2 Samuel also records oter "prophets" making false prophecies, and the "prophet" Nathan making several mistakes. His endorsement of David's harems is NOT the command or endorsement of God for polygamy.

    None of the Genesis citations you give supports your empty claim. I repeat, NOWHERE in the Old Testament does God command or approve of polygamy.

    You have failed.

  • Arkad
    May 25, 2009 5:40 p.m.


    You claim that nowhere in the Old Testament has God commanded or approved of polygamous marriage.

    1) Abraham was polygamous
    2) Issac was polygamous
    3) Jacob was polygamous
    4) Joseph was polygamous
    5) Moses was polygamous

    These men were all righteous men and well regarded by God. (David and Solomon both committed sin by marrying idolatrous women.)

    In Exodus 21:10; Deuteronomy 21:15 The Lords Prophet Moses is explaining the 10 commandments (given in Exodus 20) and providing the regulations on plural marriage. In 2 Samuel 12:8 The Lords Prophet Nathan is explaining to King David that The Lord gave David many wives, however (as explained in vs 9) David sinned in wanting that which had not been given him (adultery).

    See also: Genesis 16:1-11; Genesis 25:1; Genesis 29:28; Genesis 30:4,9 & 26; 2 Samuel 2:2; 2 Samuel 5:13; 2 Samuel 12:7-9; Isaiah 4:1.

  • In Sacred Loneliness
    May 25, 2009 5:17 p.m.

    Anybody who wants to understand polygamy should read the book "In Sacred Loneliness" by Todd Compton. This book recognizes the 33 wives of Joseph Smith Jr.

    Emma Hale - 22 years old
    Fanny Alger - 16 years old
    Sarah Ann Whitney - 17 year old
    Flora Ann Woodworth - 16 years old
    Lucy Walker - 17 years old
    Sarah Lawrence - 17 years old
    Helen Mar Kimball - 14 years old
    Nancy Winchester - 14 years old

    How dare we ignore these young women and pretend they never married Joseph. To do so would be a dishonor to their memories.

  • Re: to Cats
    May 25, 2009 5:10 p.m.

    I suggest you read B. Carmon Hardy's Solemn Covenant, Richard Van Wagoner's Mormon Polygamy: A History, Sarah Barringer Gordon's the Mormon Question, or, relating to Joseph Smith, Todd Compton's In Sacred Loneliness.

    I have read In Sacred Loneliness and other books. One thing you have neglected to mention is some of the accounts of the polygamous wives of Joseph Smith recounting angelic manifestations convincing them plural marriage was true. Reference Lucy Walkers account of an angel appearing to her. Several of Josephs plural wives also had remarkable spiritual gifts. When I read this I told myself there is something going on here that all anti-polygamist fail to mention about Mormon Polygamy. You know these things are in the book but you only point out the negative side of what you have read. Why must you do that. Withholding information about the sacred and not allowing people to make a fair judgment on the issue,.

  • lizybeth
    May 25, 2009 4:21 p.m.

    My dream is to have every single one of those polygamist men have to share their wives with other men. Then we'll see how "wonderful" the principal was. It first of all wasn't fair, sexist and abusive. Women got married, got knocked up and left on their own for most of the time. They were used. Like I say, if women could have as many husbands as they wanted, we would see how quickly those polygamists would see how unkind the whole thing was. People deserve better than to be in concubines.

  • Anonymous
    May 25, 2009 4:10 p.m.

    NOWHERE in the Old Testament can you find God commanding or approving of a polygamous marriage. NOWHERE!

    But you CAN find God commanding "Thou shalt not commit adultery".

  • Sarah
    May 25, 2009 11:48 a.m.

    I'm really curious. What motiviates all these anti-mormon folks to read deseret news, ldstoday, or whatever to find articles like this and make some comment about how wrong Joseph Smith was for example? Are they doing it because they think God will reward them for speaking the "truth"? Are they doing it because they feel mormons are preventing them from "marrying" someone of the same sex, or some other sin? Are they just trying to destroy anything that speaks against their choices. Are they bitter about something? What is it? Please, someone enlighten me.

  • Missionary work
    May 25, 2009 11:24 a.m.

    All my great grand pappys had multiple wives and each time they would get one a little bit younger then the last one and it was tasty for their new adventure. Then one of my grand pappys would be gone for a long period of time doing missionary work while his wives worked the farm and attended to the squealers and he return back home with a new wife. Now that was the life.

  • D
    May 25, 2009 11:23 a.m.

    TO: 10:54 a.m. May 25, 2009

    Polygamy is NOT for the GERONTOCRACY.

    Signed: Debater

  • D
    May 25, 2009 11:19 a.m.


    QUOTE:..."To have any influence, we have to pay tribute to all of the Caesars that rule in a democracy," she said. "For better or worse, we have met our Caesars, and they are us."


    Signed: Debater

  • Elaine
    May 25, 2009 11:04 a.m.

    With the passage of Same-Sex Marriage, polygamy will soon become legal. There will be no reason to stop it. If polygamy is legalized it will mean that bigamy will not longer be a crime. See how many of our laws are intertwined.

    Anyway who says that polygamy will be 1 man and multiple women. It could go the other way! Just think ladies this could be a good thing or a nightmare beyond belief.

  • wilma aebischer
    May 25, 2009 10:54 a.m.

    I think those who have written the present emails have no idea about History of the US let alone the LDS Church. My great Grandfather was a plygamous, he also was a great man who helped bring in the Handcart Company. One of his wives decided she wanted out of that Polygamous marriage, she was granted a divorce, and then he turned around and performed the marriage when she married another man. He also did not live with both women at the same time according to family history. As a woman, I am not strong enough to live polygamy, I have been married to the same man for 65 years. However in during the victorian time of the 1800's women did not work out of the home, a polygamous marriage many times was to provide support for the woman, and that only. So those of you who do not understand history or want to, you had better get educated as to what is really historical. You who are not members of the LDS church, have no idea what you are talking about.

  • Robo
    May 25, 2009 10:37 a.m.

    Polygamy is bashed and bashed ad naseum, yet infidelity and adultery are readily forgiven if not celebrated throughout most of society. Apparently it is OK to cheat on your spouse, have multiple sex partners, and range the earth like an alley cat, yet it is totally abhorent that someone be openly married to more than one person. Where is all of this energy to bash infidelity, sexual perversion, and the destruction of marriage? I also wonder how the debate would go if it were one woman and several husbands.

  • For the 9:51 Genius
    May 25, 2009 10:26 a.m.

    "no one here, was there | 9:51 a.m. May 25, 2009
    No one alive today was present for what took place in the 18th century. So all your conjecture stated as fact is about as smart as the cat that had a squirrel come up behind it, while the cat was looking for the squirrel in front of it. Funny to watch. Point is this: You can only see the present and look in front of you to the future. YOU WEREN'T THERE. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. STOP BOTHERING US WHO KNOW IT ALL. oops, didn't mean to let that slip out.

    FOR ALL YOU WHO COMMMENTED: GO GET A LIFE. Go do some good instead of prattling on making comments in a cyber environment. Get out and do some good somewhere."

    You mean all of us here who commented on the article like YOU did?


  • tyler
    May 25, 2009 10:18 a.m.

    It's sad that few people have even a remote idea why Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and others were inspired to take on polygamy. Read the bible and tell me that God was angry with Abraham and others for having many wives. He was not. In fact he condoned it. I know that scares people.

    I had a hard time understanding this revelation at first. For those who say Joseph Smith was merely trying to satisfy sexual desires consider this: There was no such thing as birth control in any form back then and he only had offspring from Emma... That's more than a coincidence to me. Also read and study church history. Truman G. Madson will tell you in his lectures what an incredibly hard thing it was for such a people with such conservative values.

    Polygamy served it's purpose at that time as it did in the time of Abraham and others. A loving God condoned it under his law to help women (many were widows) as well as build the kingdom. Please truly study the journals of those involved, before denouncing it.

  • no one here, was there
    May 25, 2009 9:51 a.m.

    No one alive today was present for what took place in the 18th century.

    So all your conjecture stated as fact is about as smart as the cat that had a squirrel come up behind it, while the cat was looking for the squirrel in front of it. Funny to watch. Point is this: You can only see the present and look in front of you to the future. YOU WEREN'T THERE. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. STOP BOTHERING US WHO KNOW IT ALL. oops, didn't mean to let that slip out.

    FOR ALL YOU WHO COMMMENTED: GO GET A LIFE. Go do some good instead of prattling on making comments in a cyber environment. Get out and do some good somewhere.

  • LDS Practice It Today
    May 25, 2009 8:43 a.m.

    Why is the fact that the LDS Church continues the spiritual practice of plural marriage rarely addressed? Today, LDS men who have either divorced or lost their wife through death can be sealed to another wife while retaining the sealing of the former wife. This can and does result in one LDS man having multiple wives spiritually sealed to him. Several of our general authorities have more than one wife sealed to them. However, LDS women cannot be sealed to more than one man. I am not criticizing this but it amazes me that every time a plural marriage thread comes up this is not discussed. The LDS Church believes in this principle and practices it today AS FAR AS THEY ARE LEGALLY ALLOWED TO. And before someone jumps on here and blanket denies this please do a little research. I have several active LDS friends who are sealed to more than one woman.

    Also, Cats is right that it was very easy for women in polygamous relationship to get a divorce and the rate was actually very high. But JS and BY DID state numerous times that it was an eternal principle and a celestial requirement.

  • coveting fools
    May 25, 2009 12:10 a.m.

    Quit making up stuff.

  • Here's another one...
    May 24, 2009 10:50 p.m.

    Luke 12: 51 "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:"

    How can this be, that the Son of God, whose very name is the Prince of Peace, said that he came not to unite, but to divide? Not to bring together, but to cause divisions?

    He WILL bring peace to all who choose to follow him, but first the wicked will be separated from the righteous and it is this "separating" that will cause contention, even often father against son, mother against daughter, son against daughter and even husband against the wife.

    Everyone will choose what they think of Christ. Even if you choose not to choose you still have made a choice.

    Polygamy is right only when God commands it. If He commands it, it is right. If He doesn't, it is most assuredly wrong. Will He command it again? That is up to Him.

  • How much do you love God?
    May 24, 2009 10:40 p.m.

    Was polygamy EVER God's will?

    The Old Testament has depictions saying it was.

    Joseph Smith said it was.

    The Book of Mormon says it can be.

    And yet, many people say that it absolutely, positively could NEVER be, primarily lumping their arguments under the banner of "it's just too much to expect".

    Foolish thinking.

    A person with faith in God, REAL faith, does whatever is asked of him by God. Abraham being willing to literally kill his own son is a perfect example of "weird but correct". True, Abraham was stopped by the angel but he was WILLING to carry out the sacrifice and IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

    The problem is that many of you think that God asks nothing but easy milk-and-cooky decisions.

    But here is what Christ said of our mortal existence:

    Matthew 10:34-35 - "Think NOT that I am come to send peace on earth: I came NOT to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."

    "Hard" doesn't equal "wrong".

  • Mike McSweeney
    May 24, 2009 9:42 p.m.

    I read of a survey conducted recently in Israel. More than half stated that in Israel marriage should come under control of the state. Ironically, the majority of those who answered in that way, also said they personally would never choose to marry at all.
    People seem to overlook that the attack on polygamous marriage is not the end of the secularist's battle - no, in fact all traditional marriage ideals remain permanently under review.

  • To: Shelly 1:22
    May 24, 2009 5:38 p.m.

    Polygmy is good because it is God's commandment to man. Joesph Smith and Bringham Young are great examples of the blessings of plural marriage. Today if the Mormon church would have honored the comandment for plural marriages, and had confidence in the Lord's will, the Mormon church would be a thousand times successful and millions of more people would be saved. Always follow and obey the Prophet Joseph Smith and you will never go wrong.

  • Too Bad
    May 24, 2009 5:36 p.m.

    It's too bad that the government ever got involved in marriage in the first place. Marriage should have stayed an event for the churches. If that were the case, Mormons would never have given up polygamy and would be seen today as the same type of cult the FLDS are. We wouldn't have been having these dumb arguments about what God said or says. We wouldn't care who marries who. We could concentrate on issues that count... like killing everybody else who doesn't believe like we do. Get it?

  • To Cats at 3:05 pm
    May 24, 2009 5:02 p.m.

    Have you ever read a book on polygamy that wasn't published by Deseret Book or CES? Most of what you said in your post is flat wrong. You need to engage in the scholarship before making a comment. I suggest you read B. Carmon Hardy's Solemn Covenant, Richard Van Wagoner's Mormon Polygamy: A History, Sarah Barringer Gordon's the Mormon Question, or, relating to Joseph Smith, Todd Compton's In Sacred Loneliness. In those books you will find that 1) the 5-10% estimate was wrong; 2) that Joseph Smith and others married underage girls; 3) that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young stated on several occasions that their followers needed to enter polygamous unions to inherit the celestial kingdom. And much, much, more. I suggest you start reading some serious scholarship on the subject before making a comment. You might be interested to know that all of these books have received major historical awards in the profession.

    May 24, 2009 4:10 p.m.

    Reader comments
    BYU professor speaks on LDS polygamy BUT:


    Signed: Debater

  • Anonymous
    May 24, 2009 4:01 p.m.

    GB there was no flood and no way to keep two of every species on earth. We still haven't successfully documented all of life on earth. Jew took the flood story during their Babylonian captivity. Read the story of Gilgamesh.

  • An Observer
    May 24, 2009 3:55 p.m.

    It's clear the negative nabobs of humanity have no understanding of TRUE polygamy as instituted by God.

    All we get from them now is profligated false notions and information about it, and historical inaccuracies,

    mixed with theor own supposedly learned and progressive view of how things should be,

    a reflection of their own twisted views of polygamy, womanahood, marriage, equality,...

    not helped by a liberal media promoting a corrupted version of it.

    I guess where you find true doctrines of God you will always find opposition.

  • Oh, please!!!
    May 24, 2009 3:47 p.m.

    Re Cats...oh sure! Polygamy has been the same through out time. It has always been abusive. Don't kid yourself unless you have lived in a polygamist relationship, AND please don't speak unless you know how polygamy truly is. Also, men are good for covering their tracks for you mindless ones out there who know nothing about polygamy! History is reported from A MANS POINT OF VIEW on polygamy and never a woman's.

  • Stewart
    May 24, 2009 3:43 p.m.

    The "serial polygamy" of today where men and women live together for awhile and then move on leaving millions of single mothers requiring support from the state is far worse than that of 19th Century polygamy. Today's "serial polygamy" causes much more harm to women and children than LDS polygamy of over a century ago. It is even more harmful than the FLDS polygamy of today. It is so common today that we don't even see it or even care.

  • c almond
    May 24, 2009 3:40 p.m.

    Re: Not condoning polygamy
    There are people who would not exist were it not for rape or incest, I hope that fact wouldn't cause people to question the morality of those.
    Re: Big Love Justin
    When laws were changed allowing women to initiate divorce, the suicide rate among women dropped 20%. While there are, in general, benefits to a child who has married parents, I do not believe they outweigh the drawbacks of a suicidal or dead mother.

  • Anonymous
    May 24, 2009 3:39 p.m.

    Put this article in the tribune so some of the rest of us can comment.

  • Proud of my past
    May 24, 2009 3:31 p.m.

    My grandfather would often say he was proud to be a polygamist child. He would add how happy they were as a family.

    It should have been noted that many Husbands/fathers left the U.S. and traveled to Mexico, so they could be with all their wives and children. There in Mexico within the Mormon Colonies they provided love and peace for all their children.

    Plural marriage was not a gospel principle easy to live, not every husband or wife lived it perfectly, it demanded true love, the love the Apostle Paul and for the LDS that Moroni taught. For pure love, suffereth long, is kind, envieth not, is not provoked, thinkth no evil.

    My Great Grandmother, who was the second wife wrote: "There was no jealousy or enmity between us. We loved and enjoyed each other. Learned to depend on each other."

    Through reading many journals I can firmly state the Polygamy lived by my ancestors have no resemblance to the way the FLDS or many others who now practice polygamy live.

    Like a monogamous marriage, plural marriage can work well or it can end in divorce. Is it immoral no I don't think so.

  • Re: Big Love Justin
    May 24, 2009 3:29 p.m.

    One of the things that often gets overlooked when people are criticizing the revelation to cease polygamy is that the members of the LDS church were already making plans to pick up and move out the country a second time. They had their debts closed, their homes and businesses ready to shut down at a moment's notice, food stored up, a plan to leave, and even a place to go. They'd left the country to live their lives as God told them to once before, and they were ready and willing to do it again. It wasn't like they had to stay put and take the abuse if they didn't feel it was what they were supposed to do. Their parents had left their homes and started over a number of times, and they were prepared to do it themselves. The only reason they DIDN'T leave was because the prophet and his apostles prayed for direction, and the answer they received was to stay put and to stop practicing polygamy.

    Funny how critics don't ever seem to acknowledge the plans that were in place, or the fact that the Mormons were used to moving.

  • Wasted people
    May 24, 2009 3:21 p.m.

    It is interesting how SOME but few men of the LDS church still defend polygamy. There are still deviates drawn to this religion of abuse.

  • Day dreamer
    May 24, 2009 3:16 p.m.

    Polygamy is true for the man who indulges.

  • Get A Brain
    May 24, 2009 3:12 p.m.

    Polygamy was never sanctioned by God. Some women once had the wool pulled down darn hard over their eyes.

    Only men sanctioned it for their fleshy desires.

  • Cats
    May 24, 2009 3:05 p.m.

    I'm no fan of polygamy, but it must be pointed out that the polygamy of today is a far cry from the polygamy of the 19th century. What goes on in the Jeffs situation is really sick and cannot be compared in any way to the polygamy that was strictly controlled over a hundred years ago. Those who fight polygamy, as it is practiced today, confirm this.

    In the 19th century only about 2%-5% of the membership practiced it. One had to be called to the practice and couldn't just do it at will. There were no arranged marriages and no underage marriages. In addition, divorce laws strongly favored women. It was very easy for a woman to get out of a polygamous marriage. It was very difficult for a man to get out of one because it was considered that he had responsibilities to his wife and children.

    Unlike the FLDS culture, no women in 19th century Utah were forced into polygamous marriages. Neither Joseph Smith or Brigham Young EVER taught that polygamy was necessary to enter the Celestial Kingdom.

    You can see the two situations are quite different.

  • D
    May 24, 2009 2:48 p.m.







  • GB
    May 24, 2009 2:41 p.m.

    Interesting article, especially the part describing the prosecutor's, defense attorney's, and judge's statements/positions. I wish the article had described more of the trials.

    To Big Love Justin @11:31 - I have similar suspicions about Noah. It seems suspiciously convenient that he just happened to receive a revelation about building an ark just before a flood came. His "revelation" would have been much more believable if its timing hadn't coincided so perfectly with world events.

    I'm being facetious (in case that's not obvious). The Lord helps people survive in the world they live in. I don't think the timing of the ark revelation or the polygamy revelation has to be disconnected from world events for it to be authentic.

  • Ummmmmmmmm Gag
    May 24, 2009 1:42 p.m.

    Polygamy is so gone, or should be. I get nauseated hearing about it all of the time.

  • Shelly
    May 24, 2009 1:22 p.m.

    First, polygamy today is not sanctioned by God. Only when it is, has it flourished and been acceptable to him. Prophets of old were given God's blessing in polygamy. We must keep this in perspective.

    The FLDS have perverted the practice and we are now seeing the shocking details of abuse and inequality as "men" lived their own definition of it. The LDS have a history of it, but no desires to revive it.

    It is not an institution that is compatible with today's society. We must do all we can to destroy any maladaptive behaviors (homosexuality included) in order for future generations to have a fighting chance at normalcy.

  • Not condoning polygamy
    May 24, 2009 11:12 a.m.

    but I was stunned to find out in my adult life that without it, I wouldn't be on this Earth.

    Say what you will about polygamy, but that fact alone has certainly altered my perception of the practice.

    The question of polygamy is can there be a fair, consenting relationship among all involved. It must be very difficult, to say the least.

  • Jancis M. Andrews
    May 24, 2009 8:15 a.m.

    Polygamy is not a question of morality. It's a question of women's equality rights. There is no equality in a relationship where there is one man and several women fighting for his emotional and sexual attention, and his financial support for them and their children. Only the first wife is protected legally, the remainder are merely concubines in his harem, and cannot benefit from the man's health insurance, dental benefits, life insurance, spousal pension,and an equal division of property on his death. This is why the UN has condemned polygamy as a contravention of women's rights which also harms their children because polygamy impoverishes them. Polygamy comes from the dark ages when women had no rights and were mere chattels to be traded among men. It's way past time this shameful practise was kicked into the garbage can of history where it belongs. The year is 2009 AD, not 2009 BC.

  • The Deuce
    May 23, 2009 11:54 p.m.

    Once Gay/Lesbian marriage is accepted into law, polygamy is not far behind. The same arguments that are used to sanction gay marriage can also be used for polygamy. I say we are a progressive society. Anyone disagree?

  • Big Love Justin
    May 23, 2009 11:31 p.m.

    The issue here is that Polygamy is oppressive and wrong. To sympathize with the painful consequences of this corruption is understandable. Children and women are the victims frankly...both during and after polygamy. But consequences are to be dealt with, no?

    The Warren Jeffs modern-day scandal is now being shown for how sick and controlling polygamy can be.
    A son of this guy has written a book on the atrocities they suffered.

    I find it odd that the LDS church had "prophetic revelation" as soon as the US Marshall's cracked down on the polygamy. It is foolish to believe they (either LDS or FLDS)are the "one-true church"

    GOOD POINT made in this article: Divorce...Remarriage is indeed "SERIAL POLYGAMY". Which is rampant in Evangelical Christianity. The stats are no different than those in mainstream culture.

    The benefits and sanctity of One Man-One Woman for life...are well documented. Too bad so many women
    (who now initiate 74% of all divorces) have bought into the lie that divorce is for the better.

    There are evil forces at work. The enemy has gotten "in the house" of all churches.