The negative images of Mormons far outlasted my expectations. Hutchison-Jones: I think a lot of what Americans think they know about Mormonism is wrong. There was a film in called September Dawn , about the Mountain Meadows massacre in [the slaughter of a wagon train by Mormon militia]. It is very historically inaccurate. There are a couple of reasons. You had the rise of evangelical Christianity in politics, and for conservative Protestant Christians, Mormons are not Christians; Mormons are a cult. So you had an increase in the amount of anti-Mormon propaganda coming out of religious communities.
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It also shaped 19th-century Mormon society in many ways: marriage became Polygamy had been permitted for millennia in many cultures and religions, but.
This summer, she became a mother. Getting married and having a child can be a heady time for anyone, but unlike most young married mothers, Laura, 19, knows that someday soon she could be in for yet another major life change: her husband could marry another wife. But, she added, “God changes people’s hearts. You know sometimes there are things you don’t think you can do but when God asks you, you do it.
Laura belongs to a community of independent Fundamentalist Mormons that includes her own parents — her father, Joe Darger, her biological mother, Alina Darger, and Joe Darger’s two sister wives, Vicki and Val Darger. They adhere to the tenet of plural marriage put forth by church founder Joseph Smith in the 19th century. Last year, the Darger family — which includes a total of 24 children — took their polygamist lifestyle public.
The Darger parents penned the book “Love Times Three,” about their unconventional family, seeking to fight the negative stereotypes of polygamous families and hoping that someday, laws could be changed that would allow families like theirs to live without fear of prosecution.
The Mormon leaders had been given little choice: If they did not abandon polygamy they faced federal confiscation of their sacred temples and the revocation of basic civil rights for all Mormons. The best available evidence suggests that the church founder, Joseph Smith, first began taking additional wives in , and historians estimate he eventually married more than 50 women. For a time, the practice was shrouded in secrecy, though rumors of widespread polygamy had inspired much of the early hatred and violence directed against the Mormons in Illinois.
After establishing their new theocratic state centered in Salt Lake City, the church elders publicly confirmed that plural marriage was a central Mormon belief in The doctrine was distinctly one-sided: Mormon women could not take multiple husbands. Nor could just any Mormon man participate.
4 Christine Talbot, Mormons, Polygamy and the American Body Politic: Contested. Citizenship As of February , the date of the cartoon, Congress was in.
For much of the 19th century, a significant number of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints practiced plural marriage—the marriage of one man to more than one woman. The initial command to practice plural marriage came through Joseph Smith, the founding prophet and President of the Church. In , President Wilford Woodruff issued the Manifesto, which led to the end of plural marriage in the Church. The end of plural marriage required great faith and sometimes complicated, painful—and intensely personal—decisions on the part of individual members and Church leaders.
Like the beginning of plural marriage in the Church, the end of the practice was a process rather than a single event. Between the s and the s, many Latter-day Saints lived in plural families as husbands, wives, or children. In many parts of the world, polygamy was socially acceptable and legally permissible.
But in the United States, most people thought that the practice was morally wrong. These objections led to legislative efforts to end polygamy. Beginning in , the U. In the face of these measures, Latter-day Saints maintained that plural marriage was a religious principle protected under the U. The Church mounted a vigorous legal defense all the way to the U.
Supreme Court. In Reynolds v.
Circa B. Lehi’s descendants divide into two tribes, the Nephites and the Lamanites, named after two of Lehi’s sons. The Nephites, initially more prosperous and religious, become corrupt over time and are locked into centuries of warfare with the nomadic Lamanites, whom Mormons consider the ancestors of Native Americans. After his crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus Christ appears in the Americas and preaches to the Nephites. Christ’s appearance inaugurates a period of harmony with the Lamanites that lasts years, but eventually the tribes fall into conflict again.
In Fundamentalist Mormonism, there is no set limit to the number of wives in one marriage. Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet who first delivered God’s directive.
But some say this may not have a large impact. The LDS church originally used the policy to set a precedent, later using similar ideology to establish an edict excluding children of same-sex couples in November Now, children from plural communities can join the church so long as they are at least 8 years old and have the permission of at least one parent or guardian. Shirlee Draper, a previous Short Creek resident who left the Utah-based polygamist sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, now works for Cherish Families, an organization that assists individuals who have left polygamous communities.
Draper told St. George News changes in church policies rarely affect faithful practitioners. In these cases, Draper said, survival trumps religious considerations. Draper said revoking policies like the one keeping polygamist children out of the church does affect a number of people who have left plural communities.
The more that organizations try to demonize underserved and ideologically rural or separate populations, the fewer services these communities receive, the less education the members earn and the less financially stable their children become, Draper said. Averee Ryann Richardson was raised in central Ohio and graduated with her bachelor of science degree from Dixie State University in
What emerges is a portrait that neither discounts nor exaggerates the historical evidence. He presents polygamy in context, neither condemning nor defending, while relevant contemporary accounts are treated sympathetically but interpreted critically. No period of Mormon history is emphasized over another. The result is a systematic view that is unavailable in studies of isolated periods or in the repetitions of folklore that only disguise the reality of what polygamy was.
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Follow this chronology that details Mormon beliefs and major events. Second, polygamy, or plural marriage, is not only permissible but in certain cases.
More Wives Than One offers an in-depth look at the long-term interaction between belief and the practice of polygamy, or plural marriage, among the Latter-day Saints. Focusing on the small community of Manti, Utah, Kathryn M. Daynes provides an intimate view of how Mormon doctrine and Utah laws on marriage and divorce were applied in people’s lives.
Daynes’s book is the most important study to date of plural marriage in nineteenth-century Utah and is especially significant for its detailed analysis of the demographics of Mormonism’s ‘peculiar institution. Clearly, this book is absolutely essential for anyone who wants to understand Mormonism’s nineteenth-century marriage relationships. Subtle and informative, Daynes’s book is social history at its best.
More than any previous work, More Wives Than One provides scholars and general readers specific information about the intersection between belief and practice of this often misconstrued marriage system.
Who’s It For? How Do You Discuss It? Relationships By The Numbers Indeed, when it comes to the strictly monogamous ideal being the status quo, the fantasy may be starting to stray ahem further from the reality. The still-escalating divorce rate speaks for itself — in , the number of Americans getting divorced climbed, for the third year in a row, to about 2. The stigma around non-monogamy, as represented in pop culture, may be starting to fade.
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The agonized question came from a concerned Latter-day Saint woman considering eternal marriage to a widower: Would she have her own house in the hereafter or would she have to live with her husband and his first wife? Dallin H. That troubled many believing Mormons, especially women, to whom the possibility of eternal polygamy is no laughing matter. It is the cause of anxiety, nightmares, deathbed promises, and, yes, earnest letters to authorities in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, begging for clarification.
The church has explicitly barred polygamy among its members, excommunicating any who try, for more than a century, but that has hardly ended the debate. Many members believe polygamy will be reinstituted in the afterlife and even the late Latter-day Saint apostle Bruce R.
On Saturday, the governor signed Senate Bill into law. It reduces the crime of bigamy among consenting adults to an infraction — on par with a traffic ticket. However, bigamy in concert with other crimes like abuse, fraud or child-bride marriages, becomes a felony. The bill faced a lot of controversy on Utah’s Capitol Hill, yet won overwhelming support among lawmakers.
That plays into dating issues, wedding plans, gender conflicts. One elderly gentleman was widowed and sealed twice, and, while in his 70s and.
While it’s true that this app isn’t just for polyamorous couples, like the aforementioned OkCupid, its user base polygamy to lean toward open-minded folks who think outside the box of conventional relationships. So if you’re having trouble finding a poly partner elsewhere, it’s definitely worth it to give POF a try. Bonny Albo is a dating expert, author, and writer with over 20 years of experience.