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Question: Does Church manual, ''The Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young'', attempt to "hide history" by portraying Brigham Young (a well-known polygamist) as having only one wife?
Question: Does Church manual, The Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, attempt to "hide history" by portraying Brigham Young (a well-known polygamist) as having only one wife?
It is fairly common knowledge, both inside and outside of the Church, that Brigham Young was not a monogomist
Some would like to suggest that the Church has been attempting to "fool" its membership into thinking Brigham was a monogamist, when it is fairly common knowledge, both inside and outside of the Church, that he was not. Many US history textbooks used in public high schools mention Brigham's polygamy, for example, and most news stories and other mentions of the Church in modern media will mention polygamy, so it would seem odd (and a bit futile) for the Church to attempt to rewrite this aspect of its history by means of a single lesson in a single manual.
Furthermore, the use of square brackets is an accepted editorial convention when a later author wants to use an earlier author's words but change them slightly to fit a different purpose without changing the overall message of the quote. In the case of the quote in question, Brigham Young is giving counsel to a group of men on how they can be good leaders in their families, which for many of them at the time would have included polygamous marriages. In the modern church, members would only have one spouse, yet the counsel on how to be good leaders of families is still relevant, though it would require an editorial change (clearly marked in square brackets) to change "wives" to "wife".