Polygamy has been an issue for me ever since I can remember. It simply doesn’t feel right, nor is it justifiable, particularly given the way it was practiced. It included coercion, manipulation, threats, underage girls, secrecy, dishonesty, etc. None of that is okay and none of that is justifiable in any way. It was simply wrong.

Joseph Smith had at least 34 wives, of which 7 were teenagers and 1 was only 14 years old. He was 37 at the time. This is appalling, now as well as back then. Several of his “wives” were his own foster daughters. 11 of them were already married to other, living men. He used threats and manipulation to get them to marry him (i.e., told them an angel with a sword threatened to cut off his head if he didn’t marry them, told them they and their families would be exalted in heaven if they married him, sent one man away on a mission and then secretly married his wife while she was pregnant). He kept it secret from his 1st wife, Emma and then when she found out he had a “revelation” that told her she would be destroyed (!!) if she didn’t go along with it. This is still in the scriptures, in D&C section 132. He lied in public, denying that he was practicing polygamy. He ordered the destruction of a printing press (which is a federal crime) so that the newspaper wouldn’t expose his polygamy (this crime is the reason he was arrested and sent to Carthage jail, where he ended up being killed).

There are so many just disgusting and appalling details about polygamy in the church but suffice it to say, it was horrific and sexist and abusive. This is sexual predator behavior, and the prophets and church leaders who did it after Joseph were also awful and predatory. It was terrible at the time too – this was not something that was normal or acceptable at the time. It’s a main reason why people were so opposed to the Mormons back then. In fact, the United States was not going to give Utah statehood until they stopped practicing it (hence the convenient “revelation” that finally stopped the practice).

The church does not practice it now in this life. However, it is still a doctrine, still in the scriptures, and is still considered a practice that will be done in the afterlife according to church doctrine. And the church has been very deceptive about it. Polygamy is simply a deal-breaker. Brigham Young’s polygamy was even worse than Joseph Smith’s. I can’t consider anyone a prophet who did what these men did. There is no way it came from a loving God.

Want more detail? See https://read.cesletter.org/polygamy/, https://www.ldsdiscussions.com/polygamy-polyamory and http://www.mormonthink.com/joseph-smith-polygamy.htm

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