In December 2013 the Church published an essay defending their history of polygamy and why they practiced it.
In response to their outlandish claims we’ve been addressing their rewrite of history, but this time around we’re doing things a bit differently. Woo-hoo! I’m pulling out some of their major lies and will address them here, so here we go.
1.”…—was instituted among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early 1840s.”
This is a lie. Smith began practicing polygamy in 1831 and major church leaders have admitted to this. Essentials in Church History 281-282
2.“…plural marriage was practiced by some Latter-day Saints.”
Not true. Many of the Saints were practicing polygamy in the days of Smith and everyone was held to a strict ‘do not tell’ policy.
3.“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.”
Not true. Woodruff did indeed issue ‘Manifesto 1’, however, polygamy was still being practiced, the families didn’t break up and in fact new marriages continued to take place.
4.“On an exceptional basis, some new plural marriages were performed between 1890 and 1904…”
This is a lie. Marriages that took place between 1890 – 1904 were not exceptional. And besides that, didn’t #3 above state they ended polygamy? Furthermore, contrary to what the Church says they weren’t just taking place in Mexico. They happened right there in Utah. My family stands as just one example of this.
5.”Plural marriage did result in the birth of large numbers of children within faithful Latter-day Saint homes.”
Not always true. By and large, marrying more women didn’t necessarily produce more kids. George D. Smith wrote ‘excluding the large families of Smith, Young and Kimball…the size of these Nauvoo families averaged 5.7 wives and 17.8 children per household’. See Nauvoo Roots of Mormon Polygamy, p 16, 35. You could’ve seen these numbers in non-polygamist families so to insinuate polygamy was instituted to create a large population is disingenuous.
In addition to that, many women didn’t produce any kids at all.
6.”… ethnic intermarriages were increased…”
Not always true. If they’re referring to ethnicity like the Brits marrying Scandinavians or any white European then okay, they’ve told the truth. Mormons were strictly forbidden from marrying non-Mormons and non-whites. Today in 2014 they’re still discouraged from marrying non-believers.
Mormons were always told that if they married blacks it meant death on the spot.
However, the exception to this rule was when they were told to go out and marry Indians so they could self-fulfill the prophecies in the BoM that the Lamanites would turn ‘white and delightsome’. Ezra Booth, Ohio Star, December 8, 1831
7.”… Church leaders taught that participants in plural marriages should seek to develop a generous spirit of unselfishness and the pure love of Christ for everyone involved…”
Not true. Brigham Young delivered a speech to remind husbands not to love their wives too much. Furthermore, Mormons were repeatedly told not to hang out with or do business with outsiders. Journal of Discourses 12:315, Journal of Discourses 3:354
8.”… Not all, however, were expected to live it. Indeed, this system of marriage could not have been universal due to the ratio of men to women. Church leaders viewed plural marriage as a command to the Church generally, while recognizing that individuals who did not enter the practice could still stand approved of God.”
BIG, BIG lie. We have numerous quotes from past leaders who said that if you don’t practice polygamy you’re damned. To date, D&C 132 is still firmly couched in LDS scriptures telling people that polygamy is the new and everlasting covenant and if not obeyed you face damnation.
9.”… Although some leaders had large polygamous families, two-thirds of polygamist men had only two wives at a time…”
As stated earlier, George D. Smith’s report refutes this statement. Think about this statement for a moment…they’re trying to justify their adultery.
10. “Women did marry at fairly young ages in the first decade of Utah settlement (age 16 or 17 or, infrequently, younger), which was typical of women living in frontier areas at the time.”
Not true. The average marrying age in the 19th century was 23 years of age and the frequency of children being married before the age of 16 was common, not something that took place ‘infrequently’. We’ve reported on this numerous times in our series Polygamy and Mormon Church Leaders.
11.“To help their husbands avoid prosecution, plural wives often separated into different households or went into hiding under assumed names, particularly when pregnant or after giving birth.”
This last statement is a classic example of what goes on in Utah. There is no straight-up, ‘here I am and what you see is what you get’ type of attitude. While the mainstream church isn’t hiding their leaders today, the same evasive behavior can still be seen in the way scripture is twisted and how they’ve changed the meanings of many English words to suit their purposes.
While the women were busy hiding their men to avoid prosecution (not persecution), they conveniently forgot their 12th Article of Faith;
“We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”
My question is this;
If they couldn’t tell the truth then what makes people think they’re telling the truth now?