Mormons find Polygamy Morally Offensive

The Washington Post, click here for the entire article, recently published an arctile based upon the Pew Institute poll concerning Mormons. I found the results a sad commentary on the state of things. While it is encouraging that Mitt Romney went from not being a viable candidate four years ago to a front runner, and that in that time we have had a black president, this study shows that we still have along ways to go in tolerance in this country.

First of all it says that half of Mormons still feel a bad vibe from Evangelical Christians, though 97% of Mormons consider themselves Christians. For the record we definitely consider ourselves Christian, in that we believe that Jesus is the Savior, and in the necessity of His grace for our salvation. Mormons are generally devout in their religion, and according t0 the Washington Post, just want acceptance as opposed to assimilation.

Yet while Mormons struggle for acceptance, they still have a difficult time accepting their own past.  It is this past, that though the practice of polgyamy has been banned for over 100 years, continues to be an indentifying characteristic of Mormonism. We recently did a BBC interview for run in the UK and that is still the first thing they think of Mormons they told me, and wondered if it was the same in the States.

“Yes,” I told them, “very much so.”

Yet the real shocker of the article to me shows that 86% of Mormons believe that polygamy is morally wrong.  Now I know there are lots of reasons for this. It could be that because the Church leadership does not permit it they view it as morally wrong. We have consistently said we are fine with people making their moral judgments on our lifestyle, just give us the respect to choose for ourselves. But one has to wonder how Mormons can seriously consider it morally wrong when it is part of their theology. While they believe it is part of the next life and not to be lived now, it remains a part of their past and their future.

Each person is unique, and this survey leaves me with more questions than it does answers. But I do wonder how Mormons can ever get acceptance if they do not accept their own past. At least people can see from this study that Mormons do see themselves long past polygamy, and people can understand that they are no more polygamous than other Christian churches. However, lets hope that all American can see that we cannot impose our moral choices on everyone else.


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3 Responses to Mormons find Polygamy Morally Offensive

  1. Stephania says:

    It’s funny at times yet hypocritical as heck when say your group gets hung out to dry whether it be the arrangements of consenting adults, no one, adult or child is being abused or neglected- when so much of same goes on either in officially monogamous pairings or that which some would try to liken your lifestyle : a man with children from different mothers- the multitude of scenarios one would see on daytime TV gawk-fest shows- when this is a false comparison in essential and significant ways.
    Certainly, there are few relationships- whatever the agreements or configuration- that are perfect in every way. I know of none.

    Also , the way these polls are written may produce skewed results depending upon *how* the questions are framed or phrased. People may go ahead and agree with the
    “morally wrong” because maybe to them, it is- but if they asked the question differently, making a distinction between ‘wrong for me’ and ‘let other grown-ups who are not harming anyone do what they want’…or an answer that encompasses both of those, and also making a point of the things families such as yours do not do- i.e., kicking out the boys, underage marriages, forced/arranged marriages or close blood relations(to each other-your situation is not incestual)…

    It’s easy to be against something when all one has in one’s head is the only expression of such mainstream America has been exposed to is 1) big love, (and now sisterwives*) which people, though they (and I too) enjoyed the show- might see that as the exception and 2) the ‘compound-style’ as the rule, when actually, though it was hinted at in Big Love that there was the occasional modern-day style family- it was also implied that they were ‘closeted’ and shameful- and rare, when ideally, none of those things would be true.
    *and even with this new ‘reality’ show, people should get that even within modern-day , all families have different personality/marriage styles, you know, just like ‘regular people’- meaning Brown’s and Darger’s are polygamists but not all polygamists are like the Browns or Dargers. Unfortunately, some people, when faced with critical thinking, just default to whatever is easiest rather than try to wrap their heads around something unfamiliar and can’t acknowledge any of the positive aspects, even if they disagree theoretically, religiously or otherwise.

  2. HarryFromMA says:

    It’s telling of a church that evades and hides more and more their present official position that polygamy is a divine principle from Doctrine and Covenants 132, and other official LDS Church materials.
    * The Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith and the one for Brigham Young didn’t mention any of their polygamous wives, just the second after the first of Brigham Young. Mormons note well of the LDS Church’s cover-up to a greater extent. See below.
    Evangelicals are not shying away from Romney as much as too many assume. In exit polls for Arizona primary (or Michigan), Evangelicals went for Santorum by 37% & Mitt 33 or 35%. That is NOT a big difference.
    I am aga9nst Mormonism, but for Mitt Romney.
    Before I post this on Mormonism, I want to share these links on Mitt for another, deeper look beyond the shallow and common digs against Mitt, including an pro-Mitt Evangelical Christian website (that also has a Kindle e-book on why Evangelicals can certainly vote for Mitt):

    I’m an EX-Mormon for Mitt & seek to be accurate in explaining the LDS/’Mormon’ Church, and related issues.
    The Mormon/LDS Church DOES indeed still BELIEVE officially that polygamy, or the doctrine of plural marriage, is STILL a divine and true principle. They don’t practice it anymore, but the LDS Church, and many Mormons attest to it, while others are evasive, not knowledgeable, or worse, and deny their church has the current and consistent position that the PRINCIPLE of ‘plural marriages’ is a GODLY principle.
    Please read and check out these sources, official & unofficial ‘Mormon’/LDS sources, and otherwise:
    The current (as of 2012) heading admits the “principles” in Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) 132 were “known by the Prophet [Joseph Smith] since 1831.”
    Here’s the various headings & subtitles:

    {a} History of the Church (formerly DHC) ‘by Joseph Smith’ 5:501 (Chapter 26):
    “Revelation on the Eternity of the Marriage Covenant, including the Plurality of Wives. Given through Joseph, the Seer, in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, July 11th, 1843.”

    {b} The D&C Edition 1978:
    Heading Info:
    “Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, and also the plurality of wives. …Essentials for the attainment of the status of godhood– … The meaning of eternal lives–Plurality of wives acceptable only when commanded by the Lord– … Commandment to Emma Smith, wife of the Prophet.”
    - D&C 132 title heading. 1978 edition.

    {c} D&C 132 – Edition 1981/2012:
    “Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded 12 July 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, and also the plurality of wives (see History of the Church, 5:501–7). Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831.
    “1–6, Exaltation is gained through the new and everlasting covenant; …
    “15–20, Celestial marriage and a continuation of the family unit enable men to become gods;
    “21–25, The strait and narrow way leads to eternal lives; …
    ” 28–39, Promises of eternal increase and exaltation are made to prophets and Saints in all ages;
    “51–57, Emma Smith is counseled to be faithful and true;
    ” 58–66, Laws governing the plurality of wives are set forth.”
    - D&C 132 title heading. 1981 Print/ 2/28/12 edition{s}.

    {A} Doctrine and Covenants 132:
    “1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines
    2 Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter.
    3 Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.
    4 For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.
    5 For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world.
    6 And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God. …

    “29 Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne. …

    “32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.
    33 But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which he made unto Abraham.
    34 God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises.
    35 Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, commanded it. …

    “37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.
    38 David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me. …

    ” 46 And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven. …

    “48 And again, verily I say unto you, my servant Joseph, that whatsoever you give on earth, and to whomsoever you give any one on earth, by my word and according to my law, it shall be visited with blessings and not cursings, and with my power, saith the Lord, and shall be without condemnation on earth and in heaven.
    49 For I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father. …

    “51 Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice.
    52 And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.
    53 For I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice; and I give unto my servant Joseph that he shall be made ruler over many things; for he hath been faithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him.
    54 And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.
    55 But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds. …

    “61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthoodif any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.
    62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.
    63 But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.
    64 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.
    65 Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife.
    66 And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you, hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen. ”
    - Doctrine and Covenants 132:1-6,29,32-35,37-38,46,48-49,51-59,61-66

    {B} “Abraham … Isaac … Jacob did … that which they were commanded”
    - D&C 132:37

    {A} Official Website:
    “At certain times and for His specific purposes, God, through His prophets, has directed the practice of plural marriage (sometimes called polygamy), which means one man having more than one living wife at the same time. In obedience to direction from God, Latter-day Saints followed this practice for about 50 years during the 1800s …
    “God revealed the doctrine of plural marriage to Joseph Smith in 1831 and commanded him to live it …
    “, the Prophet, over a period of years, cautiously taught the doctrine to some close associates. Eventually, he and a small number of Church leaders entered into plural marriages in the early years of the Church. Those who practiced plural marriage at that time, both male and female, experienced a significant trial of their faith. The practice was so foreign to them that they needed and received personal inspiration from God to help them obey the commandment.
    “When the Saints moved west under the direction of Brigham Young, more Latter-day Saints entered into plural marriages.”
    - 2010: “Polygamy (Plural Marriage)”, Gospel Library > “Gospel Topics”:
    - 2012: “Polygamy (Plural Marriage)”, Gospel Study > “Study By Topics”:

    “In 1831, Church founder Joseph Smith made a prayerful inquiry about the ancient Old Testament practice of plural marriage. This resulted in the divine instruction to reinstitute the practice as a religious principle. …
    ” Even Brigham Young, who was later to have many wives and children, confessed to his initial dread of the principle of plural marriage.
    - “Polygamy: Latter-day Saints and the Practice of Plural Marriage”,, “The Official Resource for NEW MEDIA, OPINION LEADERS and the PUBLIC”. 2011

    xx) A website from Mormons (unofficial), “What Do Mormons Believe?”:
    “It is true that in our early history there were men who had multiple wives. The reason? We believe in continuing revelation from God as the method for guiding the Church and its people. … We also believe that God commanded Joseph Smith to institute this practice of polygamy and to his credit, he was obedient. We don’t know exactly why God commanded this …
    “As I said, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not practice polygamy.”
    - Polygamy by Ben . April 15, 2008

    The official LDS Church “Handbook of Instruction” says:
    “Living Women — A living woman may be sealed to only one husband. . . .
    “Living Men — If a husband and wife have been sealed and the wife dies, the man may have another woman sealed to him if she is not already sealed.”
    -Church Handbook of Instruction, p.72

    “LDS Leaders Still Believe There Will Be Polygamy in Heaven”
    By Sandra Tanner. Accessed 2/28/12.

    An LDS/Mormon woman asked ‘Ask Mormon Girl’ a question. In it, she said:
    “[Letter from 'AD':]
    “I’m an unorthodox lifelong Mormon. I consider myself to be well-versed on our religious doctrine, and in some BYU religion classes, had heard something about polygamy being “the exception, not the rule” in the celestial kingdom. I just put it on the back burner of my mind because a) I couldn’t even stomach it, and b) It sure as hell wasn’t going to apply to ME.
    “On Sunday, the Relief Society lesson was about the three degrees of glory. We of course addressed the fact that if a woman is not married in this life, she will have the opportunity in the next. During the last five minutes of class, the Relief Society President raised her hand to address the topic of exaltation and said, “Well, those of us who have righteous husbands need to be prepared in the Celestial Kingdom for him to take on other wives.” Ummmm, WHAT?! I had a feeling of absolute horror, and had a cold sweat and nausea instantly run over my body.”
    Letter from ‘AL’:
    “From my perspective, the LDS faith still practices polygamy, not overtly but by permitting men to be sealed to more than one woman.
    “[ANSWER from AMG:]
    “We learned not to talk about polygamy. We still do not talk openly about polygamy—by Joseph Smith, or Brigham Young, or as doctrine. We are still on the “underground.” The life account of Joseph Smith in the official church Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith manual does not mention any of his more than thirty plural wives. When I have mentioned his polygamy in public, angry Mormons have emailed me, incredulous, and demanding proof that Joseph Smith was polygamous. (If you doubt the facts, please see Todd Compton’s meticulously researched book In Sacred Loneliness. There really is no debate. Joseph Smith had at least 33 wives. …
    “We need to talk about polygamy. …
    “Polygamy remains on the books in Mormon scripture …
    “Indeed, there are plenty of bright LDS young men and women today who look at the current temple sealing policies and conclude that yes, we do still practice polygamy. They are not wrong. They want no part of polygamy, and they find the way the [Mormon/LDS] culture denies it or “undergrounds” it to be scary and discouraging. And some of them walk away from the Mormon tradition.”
    - I’m pretty sure Mormons still believe in polygamy. Am I wrong?
    By Ask Mormon Girl. January 22, 2012

    From a feminist Mormon woman:
    “We need to talk about polygamy.
    “In fact, the Mormon strategy for dealing with the public on polygamy is much like it was one hundred years ago: don’t talk about it. …
    “And yet the strategy of telling the world we don’t practice polygamy when polygamy remains a live Mormon doctrine may have some major drawbacks.
    “We need to talk about polygamy. …
    ” Growing up, I was taught not to worry about it. “Put it on a shelf,” as the classic Mormon line goes. …
    “I’ve lived with the reality of polygamy for a long, long time. I’ve seen the very real feelings it generates in people close to me. I’ve seen white-knuckling, and anger, and heard wives extract promises from husbands, and siblings tell siblings they don’t really count as “Mormon” if they so much as remain silent when the issue of polygamy comes round. Put it on a shelf? Hide it away? When we are taught to be a knowledge-seeking people? The fact is, Mormons live with polygamy every day. Even when we repress it. …”
    “Indeed, there are plenty of bright LDS young men and women today who look at the current temple sealing policies and conclude that yes, we do still practice polygamy. They are not wrong. They want no part of polygamy, and they find the way the [Mormon/LDS] culture denies it or “undergrounds” it to be scary and discouraging. And some of them walk away from the Mormon tradition.
    “And there are young people today who have no idea about Mormon polygamy or Joseph Smith’s plural marriages until they find it ON GOOGLE— …
    “On my twitter thread, @LDSBishop shared a story about an entire family that left the Church because they had no idea about polygamy until they read Richard Bushman’s Joseph Smith biography Rough Stone Rolling. …
    “But most of all, I dislike the way we hide polygamy, or seek to manage it with carefully-managed or contradictory messages. That strategy we developed back in the 1890s sticks with us to this day and shapes our guarded, nervous relationships with non-Mormons. I hate the shame the whole subject engenders. I hate getting screaming e-mail messages from Mormons who are extremely ashamed that I mentioned Joseph Smith’s plural wives—a matter of historical record—in public. And I hate getting e-mail messages from Mormons to whom I must gently break the news that such is historical fact.
    “We need to talk about polygamy. A subject that drives such strong feelings among us deserves to be handled with candor,
    - I’m pretty sure Mormons still believe in polygamy. Am I wrong?
    By Ask Mormon Girl. January 22, 2012

    FURTHER READING – I don’t claim they are perfect, but they are well worth checking out:

    “Mormon Polygamy – Frequently Asked Questions”
    Mormon Polygamy Overview. Accessed 2/28/2012.

    “Mormonism and polygamy”
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    ACCESSED 2/28/12: ” This page was last modified on 27 February 2012 at 18:20.”

    Rethinking Mormonism

    • HarryFromMA says:


      There’s the full link …..
      All 4 I listed are good, conservative, pro-Mitt sites.
      I do not want my post misconstrued as being anti-Mitt, or reasons someone should not vote for Mitt.
      I can list and refute the religiously-based objections or concerned, and show why they are not any reason not to vote for Mitt – primary/caucuses, or the general election.
      It’s even clearer when contrasted with Mitt & LDS Church and Obama/’Rev’ Jeremiah Wright/Trinity United Church of Christ.

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