Many questions arise regarding the legality of polygamy and polygamous marriages in the Mormon Church. This article will examine Joseph Smith's practice of polygamy, the renunciation of polygamy among Mainstream Mormons, and the Laws protecting those in polygamous relationships.
Polygamy is a controversial topic in Mormonism. The church's founder, Joseph Smith, has been attacked on several occasions for encouraging polygamy, which is against the law in most jurisdictions. Christian and secular attacks usually focus on Joseph Smith's unchristian practices and on his carnal desire to marry young women. These arguments fail to explain how polygamy came to be or how it arose.
However, polygamy was not always viewed negatively by Mormons. In fact, some fundamentalists view polygamy as necessary to get to heaven. Others practice it to follow Smith's teachings. The polygamists believe in large families, and many women give birth to as many as ten children. Some polygamist leaders have as many as 20 wives. Most men, however, only have two or three wives.
Joseph Smith had at least 21 wives and children. The practice of polygamy was intended to provide support for several families, and it also supported teenage girls. The church's leaders were able to use their charisma to persuade young women to marry older men. The resulting polygamy led to broken families and patriarchal favoritism.
While Joseph Smith and other early Church leaders publicly denounced polygamy, they never ended it as a doctrine. Men can still marry more than one wife in a Mormon temple, and the church has never imposed a ban on plural marriage. Old habits are hard to break.
Polygamy is a controversial topic in Mormonism. Many members of the Church have a difficult time accepting the practice.
Joseph Smith’s practice of polygamy
The Mormon religion has a long history of polygamy. The earliest Mormons practiced it and called it patriarchal or celestial marriage. The practice was a secret during Smith's lifetime, but became widespread with the Mormon exodus to Utah. Mormons in frontier Utah experienced life as members of large, plural families.
Although the practice of polygamy was controversial and secretive, the Mormon church has admitted to having as many as 40 wives. In fact, the church even published an essay acknowledging that Smith had married more than thirty women, including several who were already married. Further, some of these wives were still teenagers at the time of their marriages. Nonetheless, the church has maintained that Smith was devoted to his first wife, Emma, and his family.
Although Joseph Smith's polygamy was a controversial topic, it is difficult to defend it as an act of youthful indiscretion. The prophet often pursued young girls and women who were under his influence. This practice has raised questions about how much God loves his people.
Some historians argue that Joseph did not always inform others about the practice. However, he did attempt to teach the Saints about polygamy through his teachings. However, public preaching of polygamy was not practical. The critics of Joseph's decision to practice plural marriage want to ignore the danger it created to him and the Saints.
Hales' third volume explores the doctrinal and theological underpinnings of Joseph's polygamy. Unfortunately, the Prophet did not leave any written records of his plural marriages. Nonetheless, Hales has produced an excellent work, and this work will be referenced for many years.
Mainstream Mormons’ renunciation of the practice
One of the most controversial issues in the Church is the issue of polygamy. Polygamy was once a central part of the teachings of the Mormon Church. However, when the United States government made polygamy illegal, many Mormons were forced to end the practice. The church president Wilford Woodruff announced his intention to abandon the practice in 1890, but the decision was difficult for some members.
Mormonism was viewed as a dangerous cult, one that stifled the freedoms of non-Mormons. Its social order was inherently hierarchical and illegitimate, and many non-Mormons felt trapped by it. The cult's doctrines were viewed as anti-American and anti-democratic. The Mormon "prophet" governed the beliefs of his followers, including how they voted in secular elections. In addition, it was perceived as a threat to monogamy.
The renunciation of marriage was an effort to end polygamy, a practice practiced by a small percentage of Latter-day Saints. However, many church leaders were reluctant to do so, claiming that this would destroy the LDS way of life. Nevertheless, the call to end polygamy in the Mormon Manifesto paved the way for greater cooperation between Mormons and Gentiles, and it may have helped to preserve the religion's vitality.
The practice of polygamy has long been a controversial subject in Mormon history. The practice was first instituted by Joseph Smith in the 1830s. It was later adopted by a small number of Mormons. However, it remained controversial, and many ardent followers left the Church.
In 1890, the prophet Wilford Woodruff issued a manifesto declaring that the Mormon Church was abandoning polygamy. But many people in the LDS Church were unable to accept the new reality. They were branded "apostates" and the children of polygamists were barred from being baptized into the LDS Church.
Laws protecting those in polygamous relationships
The Utah State Legislature has taken action to protect those in polygamous relationships. This comes after a federal judge decriminalized bigamy among consenting adults in 2012. A federal appeals court, however, reversed this decision. In response, the Utah State Legislature "recriminalized" polygamy. Its sponsor, Sen. Deidre Henderson, argued that reducing the penalties for bigamy would encourage people to report abuses. However, some current polygamous groups disagree.
In 1879, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the religious freedom of polygamists in Reynolds v. United States. The polygamists argued that plural marriage was protected by the First Amendment. However, the court also upheld the right to privacy under Lawrence v. Texas. This decision has re-opened the debate over polygamy and the protection of polygamists.
Laws protecting those in polygamous relationships have been contested in many state and federal courts. The Utah Supreme Court rejected a free-exercise challenge to the bigamy conviction in Holm, but the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review it. This case suggests that the issue of polygamy and the First Amendment may persist well into the 21st century.
While polygamy was a major tenant of early Mormon church life, it was eventually banned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In the mid-1800s, both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young had scores of wives. By 1904, polygamy was banned by the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS Church. A committee of apostles was formed to look into the problem. The new policy was in place by the time the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles decided to grant Utah statehood.
Although many polygamists believe that the bill will be beneficial, anti-polygamy activists worry that it will embolden abusive polygamists. Utah's governor has yet to comment on the proposed legislation.
Laws prohibiting harassment of those in polygamous relationships
Laws prohibiting harassment of those in polygynous relationships in Mormon marriages are aimed at limiting the practice of polygamy. The practice is largely defined by the Mormon doctrine, which considers it a serious social problem. However, Mormon practice goes beyond this definition. In some communities, polygamy is a practice approved by Mormon church leaders, and it is allowed in some situations.
Law enforcement response to polygamy is often tepid to nonexistent, as many states and localities are more interested in other types of crimes. However, people who suspect polygamy can report any suspicious activity to law enforcement. Law enforcement officers can also investigate complaints filed by victims of harassment.
Mormon polygamy has always been controversial both within the LDS Church and the wider world. Even the Republican Party's platform once condemned the practice as barbaric. In 1833, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, dictated a revelation in which he said "all truth exists in the sphere of God" and "acts for itself." Although the Mormon Church has never condemned polygamy in public, it still remains a controversial topic.
In 1899, polygamous opportunities expanded in Mexico. The Mormon Church had previously been hesitant to permit plural marriages in the United States, but after a counselor overheard the prophet instructing a man who was unsatisfied with his marriage to leave the country, the Church suggested that U.S. residents travel to Mexico to obtain polygamous ordinances. At the time, Matthias F. Cowley was handling this request.
Despite the widespread opposition of polygamy in Mormon marriages, many members of Congress still believed that it was immoral. They even considered the practice of polygamy to be a violation of chastity, which was strongly condemned by Protestant ministers.