Mormonism and polygamy/Polygamy in the 19th Century

Table of Contents

Polygamy in the 19th Century

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The purpose of plural marriage

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Plural marriage as a requirement for exaltation

Summary: Some Church leaders taught that plural marriage was a requirement for those wishing to enter the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. Because the Church does not currently practice plural marriage, some claim this means that either the leaders were wrong, or that current members are not destined for exaltation.

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19th century statements from Church leaders regarding the practice of plural marriage

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John Taylor's statements regarding polygamy

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Brigham Young's statements regarding polygamy

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Early Church leaders' comments about the difficulties of plural marriage

Summary: It is claimed that early Church leaders "admitted" that there were many difficulties with plural marriage that caused "problems" and "great sorrow."

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Reports that the Lamanites were to become "white and delightsome" through polygamous marriage

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Divorce among Mormons in the 19th century

Summary: Some critics like to emphasize that some LDS members did not receive civil divorces before remarrying—either monogamously or polygamously. They either state or imply that this shows the Saints' cavalier attitude toward the law.

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Divine manifestions to plural wives and families

Summary: Did those who entered into plural marriage do so simply because Joseph Smith (or another Church leader) "told them to"? Is this an example of "blind obedience"? No, they bore witness that only powerful revelatory experiences convinced them that the command was from God.

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Polygamy practiced after the Manifesto

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Prevalence of polygamy in Utah

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The Law of Adoption: The sealing of men and women as children to prominent Latter-day Saint leaders

Summary: Critics point to the early practice of sealing men and women as children to prominent LDS leaders as an example of changes in LDS belief.

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Parley P. Pratt's marriage and murder

Summary: It is claimed that Parley P. Pratt's practice of polygamy was responsible for his murder, partly because he married a woman who hadn't been divorced from her first husband.

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Lorenzo Snow's statements about polygamy during the Temple Lot case

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