I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I am NOT a polygamist.

Joesph F. Smith, a former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his family. ©pbs.org

Today, the practice of polygamy is strictly prohibited in the Church, as it has been for over a century. Polygamy — or more correctly polygyny, the marriage of more than one woman to the same man — was a part of the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a half-century. The practice began during the lifetime of Joseph Smith but became publicly and widely known during the time of Brigham Young.

LDS Newsroom

Joseph Smith received revelation regarding plural marriage in 1831. He instated the practice privately; only those given permission or commandment to marry two or more women did so. Brigham Young‘s rather public, sizeable family drew attention to this peculiar tenet.

Even at that time, most men participating in a plural marriage only had two wives (LDS Study Manual, “Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah”). ‘Twas a unique practice, still, given that.

But, Latter-day Saints haven’t been polygamists for a really long time now.

In 1890, the Lord inspired Church President Wilford Woodruff to issue a statement that led to the end of the practice of plural marriage in the Church. In this statement, known as the Manifesto, President Woodruff declared his intention to abide by U.S. law forbidding plural marriage and to use his influence to convince members of the Church to do likewise.

LDS Study Manual

There are pockets of peoples still practicing plural marriage; none do so as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since “any person who practices plural marriage cannot become or remain a member of the Church” (LDS Study Manual). They’re splinter groups who formed awhile ago.*

Pretty much what these groups dress and groom like. You see them around border towns and at Costcos now and then. ©Route-Fifty

©2022 Chel Owens

*If you’re looking to understand the polygamist way of life, I recommend reading Love Times Three, by (ish) Joe Darger, Alina Darger, Vicki Darger, Valerie Darger; but mostly Brooke Adams who edited everyone’s words.


We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many recognize the nickname of ‘Mormon’ and it works with the alliteration so well, however, I will use the term.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.