Mormon Polygamy Past & Present Research Paper

Length: 6 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Family and Marriage Type: Research Paper Paper: #321120 Related Topics: Twelve Angry Men, Abusive Relationships, Exodus, Marriage
Excerpt from Research Paper :

How could they take out an element that was supposed to aid in a person's salvation? A lot of church leaders continued a "sub rosa" promotion of polygamy, starting what is now called the post-Manifesto era (2011). President Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith, sent Mormons to church colonies in Mexico to take part in plural marriages (2011). (Some of those people included Brigham Young Jr.) a great deal of these marriages were sealed in Mexico by Anthony Ivins, who later became a member of the First Presidency. Other post-Manifesto marriages were done in Canada, on ships on the Pacific Ocean, and in Utah as well as other neighboring states (2011).

These marriages were not able to keep their secrecy, and when the news got out, there were many anti-polygamy activists who were incredibly angry. Apostle Reed Smoot, a monogamist and member of the Church of Latter-day Saints, was elected as a U.S. Senator in 1904, but the Senate refused him until he examined the Latter-day Saints' allegiance to its public Manifesto (Compton 2011).. The hearings caused a great deal of humiliation for the Latter-day Saints church. Joseph F. Smith came out with a "Second Manifesto" in 1904, which stated once again that the church had done away with polygamy (2011). John Taylor and Matthias Cowley, two apostles who were important in post-Manifesto marriages, were released from the Quorum of Twelve and excommunicated from the church in one case and disfellowshipped from the church in the other (2011). Since then, Latter-day Saints members who partake in plural marriages have been excommunicated when they are discovered. Mormons have thus had to choose monogamy in order to have a place in modern day American culture (2011).

There are still Mormon fundamentalists who insist on practicing "the principle" -- though there is the risk of being excommunicated from the church (Compton 2011). These people traced their...


Many of today's polygamists view Mormon church presidents after Taylor as betrayers to the restored religion that Joseph Smith founded (2011).

It is estimated that there are anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 polygamist "fundamentalists" living in Utah as well as other neighboring states (Compton 2011). The major groups are the United Apostolic Brethren, located just outside of Salt Lake City, and citizens of the twin border towns of Colorado City and Hildale (known earlier as Short Creek), which is straddling the Utah-Arizona border and known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (2011). The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is by far the more conservative and separatist of all the major fundamentalist groups (2011). In fact, the Latter-day Saint church worked with political leaders to organize a police raid on Short Creek polygamists in 1953 (2011). In this raid, mothers were separated from some 263 children and fathers were sent to jail (2011).

A number of Mormon fundamentalists still practice polygamy for religious reasons. Still, there has been quite a lot of controversy over this, especially over accusations made by teenage girls that they were forced into plural marriages where the older men were abusive (Compton 2011). One famous case occurred in 1998 when a 15-year-old girl claimed that her father, who was physically abusive, forced her to marry her uncle, becoming his fifteenth wife. When she tried to leave the marriage, she was abused physically by both her father and uncle (2011).

Many Mormons have allowed polygamy to become a part of their religion's past. However, because of its importance in the church, there is still a lot of mention of polygamy in texts written by Wilford Woodruff, Brigham Young, Joseph F. Smith -- and of course, Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism (Compton 2011). These texts state that polygamy is required for absolute salvation and so even though Mormons may not practice it personally, many believe that they will be polygamists in their next lives (2011). In the book Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie, he states that he is excited for the time when the "holy practice" of plural marriages would be practiced again (2011). If a man's…

Sources Used in Documents:


Abanes, R. (2003). One nation under Gods: A history of the Mormon church. Basic Books.

Compton, T.M. (2011). The four major periods of Mormon polygamy. The Signature Books

Library. Accessed on March 3, 2011:

Cite this Document:

"Mormon Polygamy Past & Present" (2011, March 03) Retrieved December 2, 2022, from

"Mormon Polygamy Past & Present" 03 March 2011. Web.2 December. 2022. <>

"Mormon Polygamy Past & Present", 03 March 2011, Accessed.2 December. 2022,

Related Documents
Mormons the Church of Jesus
Words: 1532 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 63203043

Stenhouse demonstrates remarkable insight into the gender roles and norms that plural marriage entails. The marriage is qualitatively different than a monogamous one. As Stenhouse notes, the husband "aims to be looked upon more as a ruler than as the head of a family," (149). Flowers confirms Stenhouse's observations, "the practice of polygamy tended to instill in people the attitude of despotism or authoritarianism" (22). Polygamy also reveals a

Mormon Fundamentalism the Rise and
Words: 890 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 39923965

Instead, it can be observed that the social environment changed, and the Mormons simply adapted to this social environment change in their society (Brehm & Eisenhauer, 2006:406). Based on McConkie and Boss's (2006) analysis of Mormon culture at present, it was observed that Mormons still observed the basic theological principles that Mormons of the early years (i.e., fundamentalist years) have practiced. That is, they still subsisted to the belief that

Polygamy Should the State of Missouri Legalize
Words: 1546 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Family and Marriage Paper #: 98656881

Polygamy Should the state of Missouri legalize polygamy? Comprising 114 counties, Missouri is a U.S. state located in mid-west of the country. The debate of whether or not legalize polygamy (i.e. one man marrying many women) is ethically evaluated here using ethical method and theories. Five-point analysis method for resolving ethical dilemmas Ethical questions are deep rooted in the emotions of individuals as well as the society. It is not easy to present and

Polygamy an Unwelcome Societal Practice in the United States
Words: 923 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Family and Marriage Paper #: 16321449

Polygamy, or the practice of having more than one spouse at a time, is a very controversial issue that provides many ethical, moral and practical questions that surround the idea and its implementation into society. The purpose of this essay is to describe the practice of polygamy and why this practice is unwise to participate in due to the many risks toward mental, physical and spiritual health. This essay will first

Past, Present and Future of Marijuana
Words: 1604 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Sports - Drugs Paper #: 96304325

Future of Marijuana in America: Marijuana or cannabis was first identified by the Chinese in c. 2737 BCE and has since been used for medicinal purposes for millennia. The introduction or arrival of medicinal cannabis in America was characterized with an amazingly colorful and checkered history. Medicinal cannabis was characterized with initial robust use in the United States, which faded after the development of aspirin and opioids. The decreased used

Past Present and Future Women S Issues in U S History
Words: 861 Length: 2 Pages Topic: History Paper #: 77725569

WOMEN'S ISSUES: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE The subjugation of women to men is a common theme in U.S. History. Our history is filled with illustrative examples, at least one of which continues to this day. The course has made me better informed, more appreciative and angrier, and I would convey my understanding of women's U.S. History through parallel timelines of domestic, political workplace and educational developments. What you would identify as a