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Amy Choate-Nielsen: Mormons say polygamy morally wrong, Pew poll shows

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  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 7:14 p.m.

    See the article on Warren Jeffs' latest edicts, and ponder whether we should do something about it.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 7:35 p.m.

    polls? they never contact me. the way they word questions of course you will get 86% i am sure most are thinking about Jeffs group. and of course due to the current church stance saying the practice is not to be followed at this time. but if you were to ask if they beleive in the law of plural marriage most would say yes. i do. the fact a man can be sealed to more than one woman proves that it is doctrine, we just can't have sexual relations with anyone other than the person we are legally married too. i also think most lds would agree plural marriage will happen again someday when the Lord says it is needed again. polls can show what ever the polster wants the outcome to be. doesn't mean it is true.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 7:58 p.m.

    It would be more appropriate to caption the included pictures as- Out of 1000 Mormons, "54 percent say that drinking alcohol is morally wrong."

    Saying "Mormons view" or "Mormons say" is inaccurate as polling does not accurately represent the membership of the church. I often voice my concern on here about inductive reason and how polls and statistics only reveal what we know about one sample and nothing about the unexamined majority.

    Consider- 14,131,467 members of the church. These numbers only reflect data about 1019 respondents. This poll says absolutely nothing, not even a spec of information about the 14,130,448 that weren't sampled. Even if they sampled appropriate numbers based on which countries they lived in, and only active members, and so on- the data will never be complete and the possibility that the data misrepresents the truth will always remain.

    While I'm pleased that attention is being drawn to the church, I simply wish that the reporting, captions, headlines would be more cautionary so as not to give people the wrong idea about the church or the beliefs of church members.

    Imo, inductive data simply equates to guessing, gambling, and inaccurate 'record' keeping.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Jan. 15, 2012 9:00 p.m.

    I cannot think of anything that could ever induce me to seek more than one mother-in-law.

    One is enough.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 9:09 p.m.

    I know why they had to ask this question, but being completely aware that the church disavows earthly polygamy at this time, I'd be more interested in questions like what percentage of LDS members believe that there are time periods when polygamy is acceptable and what percentage believe that it'll be practiced by at least some in the afterlife (seeing as there are even current apostles who were sealed to a second woman after the first wife passed away).

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 15, 2012 9:59 p.m.

    When polygmy is an essencial part of the Mormon scripture how can members be against it. Perhaps a better answer would be that they are against the practice of it for political reasons for the time being.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 10:18 p.m.

    How can Mormons say polygamy is morally wrong? That notion must be in reference to this earthly life because we continue to sanction more than one woman to be sealed (married) to a man for the hereafter. I am confused by the results of the survey.

  • DUPDaze Bakersfield, CA
    Jan. 15, 2012 10:25 p.m.

    What a difference a century can make. From D&C 132 to they despise the practice. My my. The prophets Joseph and Brigham would just be stunned. As would my gr.grandpas, who proudly served their sentences and returned to their families.

    And we wonder why the majority of Americans don't know much about Mormonism. Flip flops are never easy to adjust to, let alone justify.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2012 10:50 p.m.

    Polygamy is not, in and of itself, immoral. If it was, we wouldn't have practiced it. We know that many Old Testament prophets practiced it as well. Some Christians believe that God basically put up with it and didn't really approve. We know that this is false because in 2 Sam 12:7-12, God is reprimanding David for his adultery and reminds David that He (God) was the one that gave David his wives and also said that if they weren't enough, He (God) would have given him more. God goes on to say that as punishment, God was to take those wives from him and would give them to another INDIVIDUAL man.

    If polygamy were wrong, God wouldn't have given David those wives nor offered to given David even more. Nor would God have turned around and given those women as wives to another man.

    We also know that Paul, in 1 Tim. 3:2 (see also Titus 1:6) says that a bishop should only have one wife. This shows that polygamy was allowed in the early Church. If it wasn't, why would Paul mention that restriction?

    The bottom line is that polygamy isn't inherently immoral.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 15, 2012 10:59 p.m.

    This is really a loaded topic considering accurate Mormon history and current allowances for worthy LDS men to get married in the temple again after the death of other wives.

  • L Kaiser REDMOND, WA
    Jan. 15, 2012 11:23 p.m.

    The rock,

    Lol too funny so true!

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:10 a.m.

    Wow... I am of the 2%. I can't believe that all our early leaders who practice polygamy were immoral. Ditto the old testament prophets.

    Not sure how to explain this....
    OK, most would agree, sex in marriage is moral. Sex outside marriage is immoral.

    So, when Polygamy is authorized and allowed by God, it is moral. But if it isn't authorized by God, it is immoral.

    So, today, or since 1890, the practice of polygamy is immoral. The idea or concept of Polygamy in and of itself, is not immoral.

    OK, let the fireworks begin.....

  • paperboy111 Lindon, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:28 a.m.

    My Dad, who converted to Mormonism in 1955, says Plural Marriage (Polygamy) is the Word of God. He also said he's prepared to live the Law of Eternal Marriage (Polygamy) in the next life (life after death).

    I guess just like when the LDS Church changed its mind about Blacks not being worthy to hold the Priesthood in 1978, Polygamy is the latest LDS Church doctrine to be reversed.

    I wonder what else will change in the World of Mormonism as the LDS Church seeks to mainstream itself and become more acceptable to the world?

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:42 a.m.

    Isn't polygamy still Mormon doctrine (although it's practice has been suspended because it is against the law of the land)?
    See D&C Section 132. If so, then how can 82% of members believe it is immoral? Do the 82% not know the tenants of their own religion?

  • Shushannah Milnthorpe, Cumbria
    Jan. 16, 2012 5:30 a.m.

    @The Rock and L Kaiser...you could always select brides whose mothers have already passed beyond the veil...that way, you won't meet your mothers-in-law until the after-life, by which time you will have proved your worthiness as husband to your bride(s) :o)

  • PA Rock Man Allentown, PA
    Jan. 16, 2012 7:07 a.m.

    Re Voice of Reason:

    This poll never claimed to be about Mormons all over the world, it claimed to be about self-identified (active) Mormons in the United States, hence the title, "Mormons in America".

    I disagree with your point that polls only reflect the results of the sample, not the population. The whole point of statistics is that if you have a large and diverse enough sample size then the results of the study reflect the actual population. That is why a margin of error (5%) is attached to this study. When the pollsters say "54%..." it actually means between 49-59% of self-identified American Mormons think that alcohol consumption is morally wrong. I suspect if the population included lapsed members who do not consider themselves Mormons, then we would that 54% drop to 20% or even less.

  • PA Rock Man Allentown, PA
    Jan. 16, 2012 7:14 a.m.

    When I think of something being "morally" wrong I think of things that are inherently wrong, like murder, lying, or being mean to others. I am interested in why most of us Mormons consider alcohol and polygamy morally wrong when both were practiced by leaders and members in good standing in the 19th century church. Do Mormons really consider these practices "morally wrong" or just currently formally prohibited? This nuance in how we view these activities is important because it would influence, for example, how we treat non-Mormons who choose to drink alcohol.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Jan. 16, 2012 7:30 a.m.

    "So, when Polygamy is authorized and allowed by God, it is moral. But if it isn't authorized by God, it is immoral."

    But, to accept the "authorized and allowed by God" you must accept one mans word that it is what god wanted.

    Religious leaders throughout history have done that. Nothing new here.

    It could have been driven by gods will.

    But, isn't it just possible that it was merely one mans carnal desires?

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 7:32 a.m.

    The methods used by these surveys are proven statistical methods. I don't have any problem believing the results.

    It is made very clear in the scriptures (Book of Jacob) that polygamy is IMMORAL and it NOT to be practiced unless it is commanded by God. That is COMMANDED by God. You don't just get permission. It is to be commanded. No other situation is morally acceptable. It has been 122 years. I wish someone would finally cut us a break on this.

  • Gramajane OAKLEY, ID
    Jan. 16, 2012 7:38 a.m.

    First thanks to the author of the article for distinguishing between LDS and the fundamentalists!

    Though there were other things an earlier commenter posted on, about the "moral issues" being one of times when God said it was ok, and when he said cease. Like sex within the bonds of marriage is not only accepted, but expected and grounds for divorce if not taking place at all. Yet, any sex outside of marriage is so wrong that in the Bible it was something you could get stoned for.

    I would like the make a somewhat similar distinction with alcohol. If one has made a covenant with God, not to drink it, but does, that is morally wrong. For one who has made no such promise, then they are not breaking trust.
    I personally think drinking alcohol it is not needed or good for the body, and some people (and their families) are really hurt when it is abused or they drive drunk, but in moderation I do not think it is not morally wrong. Still it would be better for people to drink water, or fresh grape juice.

  • Mike in Texas Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2012 7:42 a.m.

    LDSARECHristians. Interesting how God can change His mind. Once Polygamy was "Moral" now its "Immoral" because the "Practice" has been rescinded. I'm afraid that's a distinction that is all too easily be lost on the general public.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 8:01 a.m.

    @LDSAreChristians

    I'm sure most were answering the question as to whether or not it's wrong in this day and age. I'd be interested in knowing results to a question about whether or not it can be morally okay in other times.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    Jan. 16, 2012 8:08 a.m.

    As a Catholic, I would clear up a misnomer. The Catholic Church believes in divorce but not remarriage. There are also a number of conservatives up in arms over the large number of annulments which have been granted. In addition, for all of the "flack" that the Mormons have taken for early views on polygamy, there are some interpretations of the Koran which appear to allow it. There is very little criticism and the Mormon religion continues to be castigated for something that happened many years ago.

  • crunchem Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    @LDSareChristians: I join you in the 2% you state my feeling about the issue succinctly. I'd guess, without seeing the survey questions, that the wording of the questions was important in deciding how to acquire and interpret answers to get a "98% against" ratio.

    Or, as Mike here points out, it's simply a distinction lost on most

    I might add, to avoid the two mothers-in-law thing, if you simply married sisters you'd be good. Hmmm, on second thought....

    BTW, people, God has historically "changed his mind" lots of times. The list is long of biblical commandments required in one era, discontinued in another. I have no problem with a creator that knows what's best for different people, different prophets, different times.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2012 8:16 a.m.

    How can Mormons say polygomy is morally wrong and still believe in their scriptures. It appears like a cafeteria religion.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Jan. 16, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    Polygamy is flat out immoral and sinful.

    That is, unless it is commanded by God.

    You see, God commands US what to do, not the other way around. And what God commands, WHATEVER that is, is only for our own blessing and benefit.

    Always? Yes, always.

    Any Latter-day Saint who possesses a true testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ would obey the same command today if the Lord directed the Prophet to do so. Having said that, I personally doubt he would tell Pres. Monson this today (different situation today), but we need to be willing if that were the case.

    (BTW, does it irk any other Latter-day Saints out there that we are often condemned by other Christians for once practicing polygamy despite the fact that the Bible has SEVERAL references to God's prophets practicing it?)

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 8:27 a.m.

    Hutterite: What does Warren Jeffs have anything to do with Mormonism?

  • EightOhOne St. George, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 8:36 a.m.

    I wonder if we still had polygamy today if 86% of those polled would still find it "morally wrong"

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 8:52 a.m.

    @crunchem
    "God has historically "changed his mind" lots of times. The list is long of biblical commandments required in one era, discontinued in another. I have no problem with a creator that knows what's best for different people, different prophets, different times. "

    True, but God changing his mind before doesn't mean that all changes denominations make are God's changes.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 16, 2012 8:57 a.m.

    How can polygomy be morraly wrong when a man/priesthodd holder's wife dies he is allowed to marry another woman in the temple for time and eternity? Polygomy might be practiced as an earthly principle now..but how can it possibly be morally wrong when it's practiced eternally?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    @Cats
    "I wish someone would finally cut us a break on this. "

    I think that as long as LDS members don't condemn Joseph Smith and Brigham Young's polygamy and as long as the LDS church allows men to be sealed to more than one woman in the temple (in situations like where a first wife has passed away) there's probably never going to be a break cut.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 9:42 a.m.

    @Voice of reason, While I'm pleased that attention is being drawn to the church, I simply wish that the reporting, captions, headlines would be more cautionary so as not to give people the WRONG idea about the church or the beliefs of church members??

    Polygamy continued despite the promise to abandon it. In 1899, then Apostle Heber J. Grant President would plead guilty to unlawful cohabitation and be fined $100. In 1906, sixth LDS President Joseph F. Smith "pleaded guilty before Judge M. L. Rictchie in the District Court Friday to the charge of cohabitating with four women in addition to his lawful wife." He was fined $300, the maximum allowed .

    @LDS4: Behold David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me ,saith the Lord(Jacob 2:24 &see 27)

    Saint Paul, Appoint Elders in every town as I directed you if anyone is above reproach, the husband of ONE wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination(Warren Jeffs&...). (Titus 1:5,6 NIV)

  • srw Riverton, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 9:49 a.m.

    "Official LDS pronouncements insist there is a distinction between (sexual) orientation and behavior, but the survey blurs that difference, probably leaving many Mormons unsure how to answer that question. What is clear, however, is that Mormons are trending toward greater acceptance of same-sex relationships, just as society as a whole is, although by a much smaller percentage."

    This quote from the article correctly points out that the interpretation of the questions can make a big difference, e.g., we can't be sure how respondents interpreted "homosexuality". The second quoted sentence therefore makes no sense. I would say, "It is impossible to conclude from this survey that Mormons are trending toward greater acceptance of same-sex relationships."

    As already pointed out, the same kind of interpretation issue has surely fouled up the question about polygamy. We would get very different results with "Do you feel it would be morally wrong for you to engage in polygamy?" versus "Do you feel the practice of polygamy is always morally wrong?"

  • redhat Fairfax Station, VA
    Jan. 16, 2012 9:50 a.m.

    The Pew Research is carefully designed to give results for an entire population based on the polling of a select few-that's how CNN can predict an election outcome after polling certain precincts and voters-so the results are solid. And two well known mormon experts, bowman and givens, were consultants on the project. So read the results and weep or shout for joy-they are an accurate reflection of Mormons in America.

    Many mormon families face the situation of a son or daughter who is actively homosexual- count the ones you know; thus the poll shows a softening from the official chruch stance of homosexual activity as wrong,wrong, wrong! families dealing with loving or turning out a homosexual son or daughter are opting for love, and IMHO that is good.

    just saying!

  • Ginger Ravenna, OH
    Jan. 16, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    This is typical if you try to live a godly life (Celestial law) by obedience or following the rules. You focus too much on the words of the commandments and lose the spirit. That's what Christ said was the failing which afflicted the Jews. Are we merely the latter-day chosen people gone wrong in the same way?

    Polygamy, homosexuality and alcohol consumption do not define a godly life either by avoidance or adoption. The harder parts are about living the principles of loving God and our neighbors, being humble, teachable, peaceable. How many words has Jesus spent on these issues? Few to none.

    It is our fixation with these matters that is the problem. We're sweating the small stuff. After we feed the poor, heal the sick, have no poor among us and lift up the downtrodden then maybe we will have a little time to work on these, but for now we stand in serious violation of the clearly spoken words of the Savior while being zealots on matters that He chose to pass over.

    When there is nobody in your town who is sick or hungry then you may make judgements about minor matters.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Jan. 16, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    I agree with most of the commenters above. Stating that Mormons surveyed hold moral objections to polygamy, really doesn't clarify much. The question not answered is that of what constitutes "morality"? If morality, as many religious people such as the non-Mormon religious philosopher William Lane Craig asserts, is simply a code obligations and duties imposed by a moral law-giver (God), then in the Mormon paradigm of modern Prophets, polygamy is immoral because the current "policy" forbids it. Still, this says nothing as to whether modern Mormons view polygamy as being inherently immoral. This is the question that needs to be answered.

    Anecdotally, in my conversations with Mormon friends I notice something of a divide in attitudes, where some feel quite convinced that in spite of our polygamous history, Joseph Smith was still wrong about the "principle", whereas others feel that God can and will command it at certain times and places and that ultimately Polygamy is the Celestial form. I don't know what the actual number would be, but I think they would reflect a little differently had the question of morality been qualified to a more specific standard, ie, "Why is polygamy immoral?"

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    Yet the guy who started it all had at least 32 wives, 9 of whom where married to other men and one as young as 14.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 9:57 a.m.

    D & C 132 still makes it a requirement for the celestial kingdom. It's still 100% doctrine.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Jan. 16, 2012 10:23 a.m.

    Is this "NEWSPEAK"?. "Oh, did you hear about this?" the host of CBS' Late Show with David Letterman asked his audience recently. "A campaign staffer on the Newt Gingrich campaign was fired because he was making negative comments about Mormons. I thought, now, wait a minute, isn't Newt in favor of multiple wives?." (The polygamy punch line is a familiar one when it comes to poking fun at Mormons as though Mormons and polygamy are synonymous in mainstream media. Ironically, the practice that's most linked to Mormons is a practice most Mormons oppose.) While Mitt Romney condemns polygamy and its prior practice by his Mormon church, the Republican presidential candidate's great-grandfather had five wives. Romney's family came from England, converted to Mormonism, came to America and quickly turned to plural marriage which led them to an unexpected exile and exodus to Mexico and then just as abruptly, they fled back to the USA to avoid a revolution. Smith's revelation that God authorized polygamy remains in Article 132 of the Church's doctrine and covenants. In addition, Mormon widowers who remarry today believe they will live in eternity with their multiple wives. Two of Romney's great-great grandfathers had 12-wives.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2012 10:30 a.m.

    It seems like in the game of Mormon polygamy ulitmately its the women who get the short end of the stick; so how do Mormon women rectify the practice of polygamy in their minds. It seems they would be looking for a female god so as to be more attuned to women's equal rights here on earth.

  • bebot SHAWNEE MISSION, KS
    Jan. 16, 2012 10:31 a.m.

    Immoral is not a word that can be used with anything. We all agree that murder and stealing is wrong unless Nephi is commanded to kill and steal from Laban. Circumstances determine the morality of an action. Drinking alcohol is considered by 54% to be immoral, but it is well documented that Jesus and Joseph Smith and many early leaders drank alcoholic drinks.

    There shouldn't be a checklist of what to do and not do to be considered moral, "temple-worthy", or celestial deserving people. The Jews were great keeping the commandments, but Jesus spent all his time chastising them for how wicked they were. I believe we will be judged for what we become, and if our goal is to become a better Christ like person, our actions will be in harmony with the commandments.

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:04 a.m.

    I hope we see a report where this research group also asked Mormons if they over ate (to the point of putting excess fat on their bodies) if that would also be morally wrong. Would love to see the results of that survey, as the answers should be identical to those who believe that drinking alcohol is morally wrong.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    a majority of the current membership doesn't have any idea that the Church practiced polygamy. I've met members that sincerely believe that Brigham Youngs polygamous activity is simply an anti-mormon propaganda. What won't the membership believe 100 years from now?

  • kenny Sterling Heights, MI
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:07 a.m.

    Polygamy is a doctrinal law of God, from God to his people here on earth. A law that we dont understand fully because as a church we have been told not to practice it. We cant understand something we dont practice. The world as well as members of this church tend to include polygamy in with all the other moral issues and life styles that are practiced in our day.This is wrong. Polygamy is not a life style,its not a matter of choice, its not a moral issue,its not something we as individuals can say is correct or not correct,and so forth. It was revealed to the early church as a practice to follow and then it was taken away from the church through a prophet of God. I believe it is a law of God even today but He no longer allows His children to practice as a church.That is today. What happens tomorrow is up to God. We need to step away from the discussions on polygamy and listen more to what the prophets have to say about it and let it go.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    Polygamy is not only not practiced by the LDS church anymore, but it is no longer church doctrine either. Gordon B. Hinckley one stated that "I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal."

    So then, if something isn't doctrinal, it was never doctrinal. Remember, the mormon church can't change its doctrine, because it claims to be the "one true church" and how could that be if it were changing doctrines?

  • Kevin Surrey, BC
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:13 a.m.

    to paperboy111 | 12:28 a.m. Jan. 16, 2012

    This article is misleading because it is not official church policy nor church comments. Polygamy is not immoral; it is just not permitted at this time. God decides when something is sin or not.

    As for the Blacks and the priesthood, the church did not decide to change the policy. It was direct revelation that changed that.

    The church is not trying to go mainstream at all. It is simply getting out the message of the restored gospel. Core doctrines have not changed and most likely will not change. Yes, the church has grown and evolved over the years, but the Christ's church leads society, not the other way around.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:18 a.m.

    Sharrona
    @LDS4: Behold David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me ,saith the Lord(Jacob 2:24 &see 27)

    LDS4
    Exactly, Solomon took wives that were not given to him by God. God gave David those women and then God took them away and gave those women to another INDIVIDUAL man. This shows that polygamy isnt inherently wrong because God, at times, promotes it. If God hated polygamy, He would have given each of those women to single me instead of just one man.

    Sharrona
    Saint Paul, Appoint Elders in every town as I directed you if anyone is above reproach, the husband of ONE wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.. (Titus 1:5,6 NIV)

    LDS4
    Exactly. Church leaders then were to have only one wife since having more than one would diminish the time they had to minister to the flock. If polygamy werent found and accepted in the primitive church, such a command wouldnt have been needed. There is no way a polygamous man would be a bishop or elder if he openly practiced something vehemently condemned.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:19 a.m.

    Brahmabull. The 132 section of the D.C. is still there. Therefore Polygamy is still doctrinal whether practiced or not.

  • dragon12 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    It is interesting to note what the Pew poll shows. In actuality, Mormons do believe in polygamy using the principle in the temple to side step the law. When a couple first marry in the temple then decide to divorce at a later date, the divorced woman who remarries (but not in the temple) is still sealed to her first husband, not the one she marries. If she decides to marry outside the church (or never gets married again) and asks for a temple divorce, it is not granted because in the eyes of the church she would be "lost" not "belonging" to a husband any longer. She is told that when she marries IN the temple, THEN that first marriage may be dissolved. So, what's the difference between fundamentalists and Mormons? Not much when it comes to the principle of polygamy.

  • John Pratt Manti, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:24 a.m.

    Doesn't it strike anyone funny that according to the article 26% of current Mormons think homosexuality is acceptable, but then only 2% feel polygamy should be acceptable? Doesn't the irony and reversal of positions on such subjects raise any flags or questions? I mean really?

    Current Mormons are among the most anti-polygamy of any (in spite of Biblical teachings, examples), attributing to people who do believe and practice it every vile motive, in just the same fashion as Mormons were treated by the Press in the nineteenth century. Yet it was a fundamental tenet of the former-day LDS Church, which declared continually and unequivocally that the practice couldn't be stopped and the religion remain intact.

    Also, since when does God conduct the business of his kingdom by "opinion poll" (groundbreaking or not), or establish just what is "morally" right or wrong by polling the opinions of His people? BTW, Jacobs Admonition was about 2,400 years or so before Josephs teachings were given for this last dispensation.

    But rest assured, I have no sympathy for Warren Jeffs. He is a pretty good example of what Section 121 was written about.

  • jimhale Eugene, OR
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:27 a.m.

    Is drinking immoral? Only for Latter Day Saints? Yes. Is it immoral for others? No, it's just dumb.

    Is polygamy immoral? For today's Latter Day Saints? Yes. For others today? Yes. But was it okay in the past (Old Testament, early Restoration)? Yes. Will it be okay in mortality again? Most of us probably don't think so. Will it be practiced in the Celestial Kingdom? We have every reason to think it will be.

    Do any of us want to practice it now? Hardly any. Certainly, not me. But if another Mother-in-Law was like mine has always been? Well, maybe.

    Did the poll ask any of these questions these ways? No. Therefore its results are statistically significant...but totally unreliable.

  • Alfred L.A., California
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:29 a.m.

    According to rush Limbaugh, anyone who marries, divorces, then remarries is a polygamist. Serial polygamist.

    As for whether polygamy should be acceptable... it is a biblically historical fact that great men of God were polygamists. So, go figure.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:49 a.m.

    EightOhOne "I wonder if we still had polygamy today if 86% of those polled would still find it "morally wrong"

    I wonder if there would be enough Mormons to take the poll.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 11:58 a.m.

    It is morally wrong as stated in the Book of Mormon. And it is against nature as it would make no sense since only 51% of the population is female.

    It could only exist in isolated communities such as the early Utah settlers before the railroad. Wilford Woodruff was an LDS prophet too and abolished the practice from the Church when it had no more purpose as a survival tool in the lone wilderness.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    @sharrona "Polygamy continued despite the promise to abandon it. In 1899, then Apostle Heber J. Grant President would plead guilty to unlawful cohabitation and be fined $100. In 1906, sixth LDS President Joseph F. Smith "pleaded guilty before Judge M. L. Rictchie in the District Court Friday to the charge of cohabitating with four women in addition to his lawful wife." He was fined $300, the maximum allowed."

    Those are examples of relations that started before the LDS ban. True, the Church did not break up the existing families, but new plural marriages did not take place after the 1890 manifesto in the LDS temples.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:23 p.m.

    Polygamy is immoral unless it is the rare occasion that God commands it. Any "doctrine" around it (i.e. D&C 132, statements by early church leaders) was for those who were commanded to live it - we are under no obligation to have a testimony of that doctrine unless we are commanded to accept polygamy which is not the case now. To me, D&C is still useful in that I can understand the thinking behind it, but I don't need to "be like Abraham" nor does my wife need to worry about a "law of Sarah" unless it is commanded, which I seriously doubt it will be. No doctrine exists that says the members of the Church will be required to live polygamy in the Millenium or before - that is just pure speculation. Yes there are some men and women sealed to more than one spouse - that does not imply that is the norm - it is not.

    It is that simple.

  • scotchipman Lehi, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:28 p.m.

    Michael Quinn is a respected LDS historian who wrote many articles for The Ensign and was a devout defender of the LDS faith. However Brother Quinn was allowed access to the church's private records which he used to accurately document the many post-manifesto polygamous marriages that occurred after 1890. As a result, the LDS church excommunicated Quinn in 1993. Quinn's essay on post-manifesto polygamy can be found on the web.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:34 p.m.

    @Mike in Texas
    "Interesting how God can change His mind. Once Polygamy was "Moral" now its "Immoral" because the "Practice" has been rescinded. I'm afraid that's a distinction that is all too easily be lost on the general public."

    ---------
    The general public usually isn't too concerned when God changed his mind on other issues, such as circumcision. God adapts his commandments to different people and situations. That is not a problem, it is expected.

    People who have a problem with the LDS Church "changing its mind" on polygamy are frequently critics who want that polygamy is still strongly tied to the Church because it is unpopular and makes the Church look bad and they enjoy that.

    Frequently, people try to

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    "but new plural marriages did not take place after the 1890 manifesto in the LDS temples. "

    There has been credible research by Michael Quinn and other Mormon Historians which suggests differently.

    It looks to have occurred in Mexico and Canada as well as Utah.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:42 p.m.

    PA Rock Man,

    The entire function of inductive arguments is guessing. While data MAY be accurate, there are often times it isn't. I personally believe those times are more often than we recognize and address.

    Furthermore, you stated "I disagree with your point that polls only reflect the results of the sample, not the population. The whole point of statistics is that if you have a large and diverse enough sample size then the results of the study reflect the actual population."

    But this is wrong. Inductive arguments can ONLY ever be probable. Deductive arguments can be valid, but reply on true premises and sound logic. This is basic debate/reason/logic knowledge. Polling reflect fact more accurately based on a diverse sampling or thorough methodology, it becomes more probable. There is a key difference between factual and probable. One is accurate, one is a guess. Even the most well-educated and most advanced guess is still a guess.

    There is no "disagreeing" about this principle. People may disagree that my screen name is "A Voice of Reason" or that 1 + 1 = 2. But these are inherent and self-proven, as is the nature of inductive reason (guessing).

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:47 p.m.

    It's a very tricky question. After all, we know that killing is immoral, right? Yet in the Old Testament, the Lord told the king through the prophets to leave nothing living, not even the animals, when they conquered some lands.

    The bottom line is that when the Lord commands, you do it.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Jan. 16, 2012 12:56 p.m.

    Dennis: "a majority of the current membership doesn't have any idea that the Church practiced polygamy. I've met members that sincerely believe that Brigham Youngs polygamous activity is simply an anti-mormon propaganda."

    Just because you have met members that believe that does not make it a majority. In a missionary church you will always find members who do not know the Church's history. Heck, my Dad is 5th gen LDS and does not know that there were black priesthood holders in the early Church.

    Before you spout off a comment about "a majority", why don't you poll 1019 people, instead of pulling factoids out of.....

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 1:16 p.m.

    25 percent of LDS think divorce is morally wrong---that number should haunt church leaders-----yes we all have a right to divorce---and nobody can control a spouse's actions, yet I think it was Pres. Kimball that said home breaking is a sin (in one of his few books). Because divorce is common and easy and everywhere---it is rare today to hear words like Pres. Kimball's.

  • scotchipman Lehi, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 1:20 p.m.

    Michael Quinn was a respected LDS historian who was allowed access to the church's private records which he used to accurately document the many post-manifesto polygamous marriages that occurred after 1890.

    Even today the church still allows men to be sealed to more than one women in temples as long as the second, third, .... are deceased.

  • zeba North Ogden, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 1:24 p.m.

    The title is interesting in that everyone is lumped together. And by the same token that same view was shared by some early church leaders on polygamy... And some of us know more than the white washed version on how that worked out in Nauvoo. So ironic to see how Jeffs is perceived in modern day.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Jan. 16, 2012 1:24 p.m.

    There are many of you who accept the early LDS church's practice of polygamy based on your belief in your prophet. There are many other examples also.

    I commend you for your discipline in that regard.

    Personally, I could not or would not put that much faith in a human being that I would follow their teachings to that level.

    I would never make a good LDS member.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 1:30 p.m.

    To Mr. Bass in Lovely Bountiful: there is no DNA evidence that Joseph Smith had any children with any woman except Emma. I think Joseph and Emma have like 2,000 descendants today so there is ample DNA with them. He had more than one wife, but we will never know the details. The prophet had so many building projects going on in Nauvoo as well as looking over his shoulder all the time for continual threats from Missouri, that he was too busy for one wife and 7 children. If the prophet commited major sin, he will pay for it the same as all the rest of us.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 16, 2012 1:31 p.m.

    This result should squelch the attacks on the Church for secretly harboring polygamists. Of course the 1943 raids on Short Creek that were orchestrated by people who were in part going after the FLDS for not following the prophet of God should have squelched such attacks. The swift excommunication of people in the French mission in the late 1950s who were advocating polygamy should have squelched the attacks.

    However, no lie is so weak it will die with one hit. So I do not expect this to have much of a change. I have decided I like Letterman even less, and that is hard.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 16, 2012 1:36 p.m.

    I think people should read Valerie Hudson's reflections on the subject. I think anyone who realiztically reads the scriptures will accept she has at least a possible interpretation.

    Polygamy is clearly only acceptable when God endorses it. For men to claim it as their own right leads to abuse.

    Eugene England made the insightful observation that many more boys than girls die before age 8, so it appears there may be more men than women in the Celestial Kingdom. This is an issue that is worth thinking about, not that it has any relevance to polygamy now.

    I suspect this number would be even higher if what was described was the polyamory advocated as the next step by some of the anti-8 types.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 16, 2012 1:37 p.m.

    God commands many things at one time that are forbidden at others. Drinking wine is part of LDS scripture, but we believe in following the commandments of a living prophet. We see that in our modern society of people driving cars drinking wine is a morally wrong thing.

  • VocalLocal Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 1:39 p.m.

    It's interesting that Church members find polygamy morally objectionable when even current practice allows for marriages to be performed that would result, according to their belief, in a polygamous marriage after death. A man sealed to his wife who then dies can be sealed to a new wife and both marriages are considered valid in the next life according to Mormon theology.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 16, 2012 1:42 p.m.

    Getting married in the temple to a second spouse after your first spouse dies is not Polygamy. The claim that it is in some way polygamy is just downright stupidity.

    Polygamy is maintaining sexual relations with multiple people you treat equally as wives who are both living. That is the defintion. That is what people think of when you invoke the word. To carry on the debates of accusing Mormons of polygamy using any other definition is just plain deceitful.

    The Church will excommunicate for polygamy faster than anything else. Baptizing people who have once been connected with polygamy, even if it was just the person's mother who had a connection that ended the before the person was born, will often require them to have an interview with an apostle first. The leaders of the Church treat this subject very seriously, and it is a very serious opposition.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Jan. 16, 2012 2:00 p.m.

    Utes Fan: "No doctrine exists that says the members of the Church will be required to live polygamy in the Millenium or before - that is just pure speculation."

    That was worth stating here again.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 2:13 p.m.

    JoeBlow,

    You never know, you could actually find things more rational in the LDS Church someday than you now realize.

    For instance, there is a different in placing faith in a human being and in God. I've never met President Monson. My faith isn't built by him speaking and my just blindly following it. Faith isn't even blind for that matter. Faith is seeing that there is evidence of things unseen and the pursuit of the unknown. I know there is more than myself and I desire to know it. The more I acknowledge possibility, the more I realize that many of my previous ideas have been very incomplete. With that, I am always trying to be more willing to listen and look for what is right. Because of this, I don't blindly follow another man just because I call him a prophet. I have learned over time and through experience, that there are those I can trust to guide me. I learned a long time ago that I could trust my father to help me. A prophet is really no different. I trust God and this work. President Monson simply serves the same purpose I place faith in.

  • scotchipman Lehi, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 2:22 p.m.

    @John Pack Lambert, Knowing is saying that the church currently openly practices polygamy but it continues to teach that it will be part of the afterlife which is why they allow men to be sealed to more than one wife in the temples.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 16, 2012 2:41 p.m.

    Mike in Cedar City - So president Hinckley was wrong when he stated as the prophet, seer, and revelator of the church that polygamy is "not doctrinal"?? Or was he lying? It is either one of the two. You can't have it both ways. If he was wrong, then I suppose you are more of an authority than president Hinckley was to clarify doctrines on behalf of the church? Now that is interesting.

  • Dob St. George, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 2:48 p.m.

    Between consenting ADULTS I don't see the problem with it. The way it is practiced by the FDLS is a huge problem and morally wrong.

  • wkb1005 Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 3:05 p.m.

    "The survey asked Mormons if homosexuality should be accepted by society or discouraged by society, with an option for neither, both or "don't know." The response 26 percent said homosexuality should be accepted, 65 percent said it should be discouraged puts Mormons as the least likely to say homosexuality should be accepted by society. But a 26 percent acceptance rate, with roughly 1 in 4 Mormons saying homosexuality should be accepted, might be surprisingly high to some."

    This survey question is confusing to a Mormon. Mormons are taught to be tolerant of other peoples beliefs and behaviors: love the sinner, despise the sin. The word "accepted" could be understood by a Mormon as a synonym for "tolerated",in which case, the answer would likely answered in the affirmative. If the interpretation for "accepted" were to be "viewed as normal behavior" or "acceptable to God", the answer would more likely be negative. I believe that "1 in 4" might be surprising due to the ambiguity of the survey language.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Jan. 16, 2012 3:37 p.m.

    scotchipman,

    I shall make it clear, LDS do not practice polygamy. I am married to one wife and haven't had relations with anyone else on this planet. It wouldn't matter how many woman I were sealed to, the fact still remains, I am married to one person.

    Oh, one can also practice polygamy without being married. There are many men out there who bed a different woman each night, lacking a legal document between parties doesn't make it any less a case for Polygamy. I also like Rush Limbaugh's view of serial polygamy, He has a great point.

    The government doesn't care what happens after this life. They don't believe in it.
    You can only go to jail for practicing Polygamy here and now. What I may imagine for the future is irrelevant to the Government.

    Personally, I believe in the principal of Polygamy, but not in the practice thereof.

    The Church's Proclamation to cease the practice of Polygamy in 1890, didn't nullify the basis of the doctrine itself.

    So, again, the LDS does/has not practiced polygamy since 1890.

  • Rapunzelthebrave HELOTES, TX
    Jan. 16, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    I want to clarify somethings:

    Being sealed to more than one spouse is not a prerequisite for the highest degree of the Celestial kingdom. There is no logical nor rational basis for this belief. If you live for eternity you have eternity to create spirits. One eternal wife can produce as many as 1,000 in that scenario.

    The Book of Mormon makes it very, very clear that polygamy is abhorrent in the site of God unless for very specific, very rare reasons He commands it to be practiced by a select few for a limited amount of time.

    Brigham Young once owned a distillery (in fact, many early members openly drank alcohol as did our prophets of old and Christ Himself). At one point in time black men were not allowed to hold the priesthood. Those things changed - drastically. Polygamy did as well. Who is to say that in a few years it won't be entirely permissible and reasonable for a widowed woman previously sealed in the temple to her deceased husband to be sealed to a new, living husband in the temple again?

  • Krissi Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2012 4:33 p.m.

    Hmmm . . . but according to Brigham Young - "The only men who become Gods, even the sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy" (Journal of Discourses 11:269). SO which is it?

    It's not the only part of their doctrine that is wrong. BTW - Prevalence does not imply permission - just because it "happened" in the Old Testament does not mean God ordained it. In fact, the first instance came through the evil line of Cain and it ALWAYS resulted in discord and sin.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 4:44 p.m.

    We are not Gods in the Celestial Kingdom. That is so far beyond Heaven I cannot comprehend it nor do I need to be preoccupied by it.

    Eternity is a really really long time. Line upon line, precept upon precept.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 4:53 p.m.

    The "Journal of Discourses" is not canonized as LDS scripture.
    B. Young also said, "The woman's place is in the store" because men were used primarily for manual labor. A prophet for the time does not always utter as prophet to the eternities.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 4:58 p.m.

    Razzle2 said, "A prophet for the time does not always utter as prophet to the eternities."

    Agreed or else we would have no need for modern day prophets. Wilford Woodruff and Gordan B. Hinkley denounced polygamy. (Just as the Book of Mormon)

  • JKayDS EULESS, TX
    Jan. 16, 2012 5:15 p.m.

    I am an active LDS mature(age wise) woman, I do not have a problem with polygamy.
    The fact that the church at one time practiced it is not a hindrance to my testimony but is something that makes it ever stronger. We are told that this is the dispensation of the FULLNESS of time. All things are to be restored. For how long is up to God himself. If the church practice of sealing more then one woman to a man (one at a time) then so what.. It will not be on this earth that they will be practicing polygamy and I would like to see all you nay sayers telling the God of this universe that it is wrong and He cannot do it.
    I know MANY wonderful single women that will never know the joy of an intimate relationship in this life and never know what it is like to hold her child and raise him/her where if polygamy were still legal they could.
    The church stopped the pratice in the US because it became the against the law in America. It was not illegal in Mexico and other places.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 16, 2012 5:15 p.m.

    The Lord has always taught the polgamy is wrong unless he has directed it. It was directed to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. It was not allowed to be practiced by the Nephites yet during their most wicked times it was. Read the Book of Mormon if you doubt me on that.

    Brahamabull: I've gone through the transcripts of the so called time President Hinkley stated such and that quote is no where in the transcripts which comes from CBS and CNN.

    As John Lambert states it really isn't polgamy if one is sealed again in the temple after his wife has died to another women. As also noted, Journal of Discourses are not formal LDS teachings. For the most part the Journal of Discourses are third and fourth hand statements made by the prophets. This is why they are not held as teachings. They may be referenced but any LDS who uses them must know they are not sactioned as true teachings. Many of you should really read, ROUGH STONE ROLLING by Bushman to gain a greater understanding of Joseph Smith's polgamy. You can't try a man based on today's morality for 1840.

  • Semper Fi BAKERSFIELD, CA
    Jan. 16, 2012 6:03 p.m.

    Man, these comments are priceless. I need go no further to prove my point to my evangelical friends. You can't make this stuff up.

    The Biblical facts:
    First God gives Adam one wife and equips them with all they need to obey His words. Then about 1,000 years later, Abraham and Sarah mess up, suffer consequences for which Jews and Arabs still suffer. Isaac learned from his dad's mistake, (sorry Joseph, Isaac was not a polygamist). Jacob causes problems in his household by giving in to cultural norms, but God still makes His pact with him. Then God comes out and has Moses set it straight again (Deut. 17:17). David and Solomon deviate and get scolded right in the text, "for multiplying wives, horses, gold and silver". The Lord gave David "wives to care for", (no explanation or Avenging Angel over him), but he gets scolded by the prophet Nathan.

    No Biblical prophet got ordered on pain of death to take a 2nd wife. But 4 centuries later the Apostle Paul tells Timothy exactly how God wants His leaders to live in monogamy.

    Permitted, always discouraged. Like Jesus' explanation on divorce. Free agency is a weighty responsibility.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Jan. 16, 2012 6:18 p.m.

    I wonder what the Brethren in Salt Lake might think needs to be corrected based on these survey results? 26% don't think homosexuality is morally wrong? Maybe some of those were thinking of same-sex attraction itself, rather than homosexual acts.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 6:33 p.m.

    Practice polygamy in Mexico and you will be excommunicated from the Church. Are you saying the Church is wrong?

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Jan. 16, 2012 6:49 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska said, "Brahamabull: I've gone through the transcripts of the so called time President Hinkley stated such and that quote is no where in the transcripts which comes from CBS and CNN."

    It is in the transcript of President Hinckely's appearance on Larry King Live, which aired September 8, 1998:

    "Gordon B. Hinckley: I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal..."

  • scojos Draper, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 6:55 p.m.

    Most Mormons I know think that obeying the law of the land was the reason for polygamy to be oblished. It wasn't a moral issue, it was a legal issue.The Manifesto said nothing about the morality of the issue. Quite the contrary, the Prophet actually informed all, after his revelation, that those who were already in polygamous relationships could remain , so that Mormonism could and would "honor" the families already united in polygamy. Ergo, if the revelation was about obeying the law of the land and if the revelation said polygamy was immoral then the Prophet could not have advised and sought permission from man and/or God to allow those already in a polygamous relationship permission to continue.Neither the revelation nor the prophet said anything about the inmorality of polygamy.If the Prophet had made a statement that polygamy was immoral then then those who stayed in the polygamous relationship did so at the peril of ascension into the Celestial Kingdom. Which all of reading this post knows DID NOT HAPPEN.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 16, 2012 8:18 p.m.

    Yes, President Hinkley said it so what. Fact is also that he said. "I think it is not doctrinal, which is an opinion, not doctrine itself." He is allowed to give his opinion. Fact is he also said we don't practice it now. That also is true. Why, he said it is anyone's guess, but it doesn't change my belief in him being a prophet of God, or that he had a mission to accomplish. Those things stand. When he said THINK, he was no longer speaking as a prophet but a man just as anyone else. That is my opinion.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 16, 2012 9:23 p.m.

    Mayfair - thank you, you beat me to the punch.

    Bill in Nebraska - you searched so hard, yet you couldn't find that quote? It took me 3 seconds to find it. Just another example of how you look to deceive by saying that my sources are incorrect. Then, after Mayfair tells you where the quote is from you change your story back to the "opinion" thing. Well, if the opinion of the highest authority in the LDS church can't be counted as doctrine then NO statement by any general authority is ever doctrine. Again, you can't have it both ways, either they speak for god or they don't. Then I suppose all of the talks given in conference are opinion too, right?

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 9:33 p.m.

    Semper Fi
    David and Solomon deviate and get scolded right in the text, "for multiplying wives, horses, gold and silver". The Lord gave David "wives to care for", (no explanation or Avenging Angel over him), but he gets scolded by the prophet Nathan.

    LDS4
    In 2 Sam 12:7-12, God reprimands David for his adultery and reminds David that He (God) was the one that gave David his wives and also said that if they weren't enough, He (God) would have given him more. God then says that as punishment, God was to take those wives from him and would give them to another INDIVIDUAL man who was to lie with them in the sun.

    If polygamy were wrong, God wouldn't have given David those wives nor offered to give David even more. Nor would God have turned around and given those women as wives to another INDIVIDUAL man.

    1 Tim. 3:2 says that a bishop should only have one wife. This shows that polygamy was allowed in the early Church. If not, why would Paul mention that restriction if polygamy was regarded as sinful?

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2012 9:40 p.m.

    Hope it's ok that I send all of this to the News Media for the next couple of Presidential debates.
    Should be such fun!

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2012 9:44 p.m.

    Brahmabull
    ..if the opinion of the highest authority in the LDS church can't be counted as doctrine then NO statement by any general authority is ever doctrine. Again, you can't have it both ways, either they speak for god or they don't. Then I suppose all of the talks given in conference are opinion too, right?

    LDS4
    Correct. Harold B. Lee and Joseph Fielding Smith both stated that if they say anything contrary to scripture, that scripture prevails and that their own words are to be rejected. The Brethren have stated that only scripture is the official doctrine of the Church and for anything to be on the level of scripture, that it has to be declared as a revelation and then brought to the Church for a sustaining vote via Common Consent as was done when Sections 137 & 138 were done in 1976.

    The Brethren have stated that anything anyone says that scripture doesn't address, then it is only their opinion.

    The bottom line is that if anything isn't sustained by the Church via Common Consent, it is NOT official Church doctrine. It is someone's private opinion and is NOT binding upon the Church as doctrine.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Jan. 17, 2012 4:41 a.m.

    "that it has to be declared as a revelation and then brought to the Church for a sustaining vote via Common Consent"

    So, to make sure I understand.

    The prophet gets a "revelation" from God, and it is then put to vote?

    Does anyone know if some "revelations" get "voted down"?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 7:58 a.m.

    Canyontreker says:

    "Wilford Woodruff was an LDS prophet too and abolished the practice from the Church when it had no more purpose as a survival tool in the lone wilderness. "

    ---

    That is one of the things I was taught as an active Mormon. It was untrue however. Every census in Utah from the time Mormons first arrived until 1900 indicate that there were always more MEN in Utah than women. Polygamy never was about "protecting the women and children". Never.

    ---
    Canyontreker says:

    "Those are examples of relations that started before the LDS ban. True, the Church did not break up the existing families, but new plural marriages did not take place after the 1890 manifesto in the LDS temples."

    ---
    That's just splitting hairs. Living with multiple women, having children with them, is STILL practicing polygamy.

  • scotchipman Lehi, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 8:16 a.m.

    @lds4gaymarriage, You said "The bottom line is that if anything isn't sustained by the Church via Common Consent, it is NOT official Church doctrine. It is someone's private opinion and is NOT binding upon the Church as doctrine." If this is true then the Mormon church has A LOT of doctrine that is not official that I don't even know where to start!

    @Bill in Nebraska, I just wanted to say that anyone looking for true church history is not going to find it by reading the Rough Stone Rolling by Bushman. Bushman is a well know church apologist that is only going to come to one conclusion in support of the church. Do a google search for "Mormon think" which is a more objective look at Mormon facts, scriptures, history, controversies, and contradictions much of it written by open-minded, active Mormons.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Jan. 17, 2012 8:40 a.m.

    @ scotchipman "If they are learned they think they are wise." Only Heavenly Father has all the answers and the whole vision and understanding of what has happened, who said what and what will transpire in the future to further His kingdom. To try to put the puzzle of Church history together in our own mortal minds is a sure step away from faith and towards apostacy. Basing our testimonies only on what we think happened in the past leaves us open for misinterpretation, taking statements out of context and relying to heavily on other imperfect individuals who made mistakes. For example, when President Hinckley said he didn't believe polygamy was doctrinal, did he then clarify by saying "it never has been", or "it isn't right now?" He was speaking to someone on national TV who wasn't a member of the church and wouldn't understand on a spiritual level much about church doctrine, nor did he have the time to delve into the intricasies of how polygamy worked in the church in the 1800s.

    We need to see these issues more with spiritual eyes and humble hearts. Rest assured Christ is in control of His church today.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 17, 2012 9:04 a.m.

    It all brings to mind Scott's quote:

    Oh what a tangled web we weave. When first we practice to deceive.

  • Wonthaggi SLC, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 9:47 a.m.

    "but new plural marriages did not take place after the 1890 manifesto in the LDS temples"

    Francis Lyman sealed a plural wife to my GGrandfather John W. Taylor (son of John Taylor) 3 days after the 1890 manifesto. Ironically, it was Francis Lyman who then conducted the "trial" of John W. Taylor (and Mathias Cowley) 20 years later.

    Daymon Smith has done some excellent work on this topic. Drew Briley will likely publish his work on this, as well. As has been mentioned, Quinn has documented the fact that plural marriages continued beyoned the 1890 manifesto.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 10:37 a.m.

    Polygamy is still very much a part of the present day LDS Church. See Doctrine and Covenants Section 132. Polygamy may not be practiced or accepted as current doctrine by the LDS church in mortal life, but in the next life, Polygamy is a central part of LDS Church doctrine.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Jan. 17, 2012 12:02 p.m.

    I have a theory:

    If the nation ever legalized gay marriage, then polygamy would soon follow. If gay marriage is a civil rights issue, then any laws prohibiting polygamy would have to be overturned in the true spirit of equal rights.

    That would pose an interesting dilemma for the LDS since plural marriage would be at its doorstep once again. Most LDS are ignorant of the fact the manifesto is in effect until plural marriage becomes legal. This was brought up in court before the turn of the century when the LDS Church was petitioning the government to return its property after it had obeyed the laws of the land regarding polygamous marriages. Both parties came to an understanding that the ban on plural marriages was to remain in effect until the present system of things changes.

    Here is the direct quote from the proceedings.

    The practice of plural marriage by the church was definitely abandoned without the expectation of its renewal AS LONG AS THE PRESENT ORDER OF THINGS REMAINS

    Latter-day, Comprehensive History v6 (B. Roberts),

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Jan. 17, 2012 12:03 p.m.

    I have a theory:

    If the nation ever legalized gay marriage, then polygamy would soon follow. If gay marriage is a civil rights issue, then any laws prohibiting polygamy would have to be overturned in the true spirit of equal rights.

    That would pose an interesting dilemma for the LDS since plural marriage would be at its doorstep once again. Most LDS are ignorant of the fact the manifesto is in effect until plural marriage becomes legal. This was brought up in court before the turn of the century when the LDS Church was petitioning the government to return its property after it had obeyed the laws of the land regarding polygamous marriages. Both parties came to an understanding that the ban on plural marriages was to remain in effect until the present system of things changes.

    Here is the direct quote from the proceedings.

    The practice of plural marriage by the church was definitely abandoned without the expectation of its renewal AS LONG AS THE PRESENT ORDER OF THINGS REMAINS

    Latter-day, Comprehensive History v6 (B. Roberts),

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 12:23 p.m.

    RE:LDS4 (Polygamy)Obviously the holy practice will commence again after the Second Coming of the Son of Man and the ushering in of the millennium. (Mormon Doctrine p. 578 Bruce R. McConkie).
    We(Mormons) believe marriage is an earthly ordinance and must be done here. We believe those who were sealed in the Temple here on earth, and live faithful to their covenants with God, continue their family relationships in Heaven. John Walsh,Fair LDS.

    Wrong, For when the DEAD rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven,(Mt 22:30 NLT). No marriage in heaven because Angels are heavenly beings Created by God (Psalm 148 2,5 )&( Col 1:16) Angels do not procreate, sexless.

    And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home Fallen angels(devils)Not(first estate) pre mortal beings. (Jude 1:6 NIV ).

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 1:29 p.m.

    JoeBlow: The prophet gets a "revelation" from God, and it is then put to vote?

    KJK: Yes. The D&C requires it. D&C 137 & 138, the priesthood revelation and the Manifesto halting polygamy were likewise put to a vote.

    Scotchipman: @lds4gaymarriage, You said "The bottom line is that if anything isn't sustained by the Church via Common Consent, it is NOT official Church doctrine. It is someone's private opinion and is NOT binding upon the Church as doctrine." If this is true then the Mormon church has A LOT of doctrine that is not official..

    KJK: Yep. Many things are pure speculation. The Brethren stated that not everything said in General Conference, is doctrinal. All people, LDS and non, like to speculate on things not discussed in scripture. Thats how various denominations were formed.

    Sharrona: For when the DEAD rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage.

    KJK: Christ was talking about those married under the Law of Moses (see v.23-29). Matt 16:19, 18:18 says that whatever is bound on Earth is bound in Heaven. We shall judge the angels (1 Cor. 6:3), not be them.

  • garybeac Chapel Hill, NC
    Jan. 17, 2012 1:32 p.m.

    Most of the critical nexuses in Israel's royal lineage involved polygamy. Abraham, Jacob, and David come to mind. Clearly, polygamy has a place in Heavenly Father's plans. It is also apparent that polygamy attracted and secured conversions vital to the early Restored Church. Whether polygamous marriages endure the final judgment is unclear. O My Father, help us understand the love you express and offer to us in eternal marriage.

  • RyaninOgden OGDEN, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 2:51 p.m.

    voice of reason,

    I would guess, of the 1,000 or so polled, that they were almost all self identified as mormon. You 14 M members of the church number is in itself inflated because it is including "inactive members" which would be in the millions. If you polled all of those 14 million people, I would guess the results would bother you more than the ones listed in this article.

    Lastly, take a statistics leason. IF you have a true random sample, AND your sample size is large enough (usually over 32 will do it) the sample should be representitive of the population... they will never ask all 14 million people what their thoughts about drinking are.... that's stupid. I will conceed that some of the questions could have been worded poorly to skew the results.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Jan. 17, 2012 4:54 p.m.

    Sharrona

    Your argument comes from a scripture in the New Testament.

    Jesus was approached by the the Sadducees which was a Jewish sect that did not believe in the resurrection. They posed an interesting question to Christ about seven men who had married their brothers wife. It seems like each brother died and the next brother married the same woman up until the last. The Sadducees wanted to know whose wife she would be in the resurrection.

    Now this is the important part of what Christ told them. First of all he said they were in error not knowing the scriptures. Then he pronounces judgment on this heretical sect that have denied the resurrection Saying For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. The THEY Christ was referring to was those Sadducees that were denying the resurrection, not the world in general. He further points out to them that God is not the God of the dead but of the living. Since the Sadducees denied the resurrection, he corrected them on their false belief. They had made a serious error.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 17, 2012 6:05 p.m.

    brahmabull: I forgot about two interviews done by Larry King. So what. No misleading at all.

    Now for lds4 and yourself in answer to what is and isn't scripture. Both of you are wrong on General Conference. Both of you have access to the Gospel Principles book so I suggest you both go back and read Chapter 10. You will find that the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and GENERAL CONFERENCE talks are all considered scripture. Now this doesn't mean that all are but all given by the Quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency are SCRIPTURE and binding to all LDS.

    Quote: "In addition to these four books of scripture, the inspired word of our living prophets become scripture to us. Their words come to us through conferences, the LIAHONA or ENSIGN magazine,and instructions to local priesthood leaders. 'We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and import things pertaining to the kingdom of God."

    However, when acting not in the capacity to teach as indicated above, their comments can be construed as opinion.

  • michaelm Waukesha, WI
    Jan. 17, 2012 8:36 p.m.

    The pollsters missed some important nuances about our opinions complexities. For example the drinking one, LDS members may not drink alcohol for the most part, however I've never met one in business who opposed other's drinking. If you asked me If I drink or if I approve of drinking in my home, or do I care if others I deal with socially or in business drink, each would get a deferent response from me as well as most members I would guess.

    People who are suspicious about Mormons because we don't drink should not think there is a superiority complex or that we would judge, most of us would not, perhaps the few idiots in every group but most of us have been taught to recognize everyones right to freedom of choice and free will, we expect people to be responsible for their own actions and accountable for our mistakes too.

    This holds true on homosexual issues; Ask me if I accept the many gay people I know and work with and the answer is completely yes, ask me if I support gay marriage, the answer is a clear no, or LGBT training in schools again no.

  • Capella BAKERSFIELD, CA
    Jan. 17, 2012 8:45 p.m.

    A lot of hot air. Just read ALL the comments, diaries, pulpit preaching, doctrinal statements and verified historical accounts on polygamy from 1838-1890. There's enough evidence to convince a 5th grader of the value and passionate adherence placed on the Principle. Why was it called The Principle?

    It was not considered immoral then, and the D&C makes it clear how God considers it eternally.
    Is modern Mormonism distancing itself from its founding leaders revelations?

    Next time, Pew should simply quote the appropriate verses from D&C and ask if members believe plural marriage is the order of the Celestial kingdom.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 9:11 p.m.

    Bill, FAIRLDS has an essay "What is Official LDS Doctrine?". It confirms my position.

    Consider -
    "As to the printed discourses of even leading brethren, the same principle holds. They do not constitute the court of ultimate appeal on doctrine. They may be very useful in the way of elucidation and are very generally good and sound in doctrine, but they are not the ultimate sources of the doctrines of the Church, and are not binding upon the Church. The rule in that respect is--What God has spoken, and what has been accepted by the Church as the word of God, by that, and that only, are we bound in doctrine." (B. H. Roberts).

    "With respect to the people feeling that whatever the brethren say is gospel, this tends to undermine the proposition of freedom of speech and thought.(W)e also have only to defend those doctrines of the Church contained in the four standard works: the Bible, The BoM, the D&C, and the PoGP. Anything beyond that by anyone is his or her own opinions and not scripture."
    (Hugh B. Brown)

    If things said in conference were scripture, why bother with Common Consent like we have?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 17, 2012 9:40 p.m.

    @KJK: Christ was talking about those married under the Law of Moses (see v.23-29). It has a universal application about marriage.

    @zoar63,A helpful modern translation, For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the Angels in heaven.[unable to marry/procreate](MT 22:30 NLT)

    The law of Marriage is for life on earth ,not heaven there will be no procreation and no death, Christians will be married to Christ in Heaven.

    I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. (2Cor 11:2 NIV),

    Christ who is frequently depicted in the N.T. as the bridgegroom with the church(elect) as his bridegroom.

    he said to me, Write: Blessed are those who are called to the MARRIAGE supper of the Lamb! And he said to me, These are the true sayings of God.(REV 19:9).

    Christian want to be with God,Mormons want to be God.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Jan. 18, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    Bill:

    When we demonstrate Brigham Young's teachings on Blood Atonement, or race, which were taught during conferences, it's still opinion. You can't win, and you can't lose when you have a policy that say's Prophets are only Prophets when they are right, and never when they are wrong, but they are only accountable for things they say when they are Prophets. In other words, you only allow Prophets to be accountable for things they say that are either right, or cannot be proven. Any way you look at it, your position is give Mormon Prophets the ultimate benefit of the doubt. That is faith!

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 18, 2012 11:42 a.m.

    What needs to be remembered is that Prophets are men first, and the world they live(d) in impacts the the lens by which the see doctrine. My grandfather, who was a prophet of the church sported a beard. Soon after his death, beards became taboo for church leaders and have not been worn since.

    Moses, a man who knew God as well as any, fell, and wasn't able to finnish the journey with his people, because he made a human mistake. Others who walked with Christ when he was here on earth, fell, or made mistakes.

    Those who watched Chirst himself pull fish from a bucket to feed a multitude still had questions and needed to have their faith readjusted. To suppose the men who lead the church now are immune from the same human traits goes beyond any logic or reasoning. There were things said and recorded by the early leaders of the church that were a refelction of the times they lived in. That changes nothing about the core of the gospel what so ever. That is why we are given the gift of the spirit, are asked to pray for ourselves for our own confirmation.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Jan. 18, 2012 12:14 p.m.

    @ Sharrona To each his/her own interpretation. You think yours is right. LDS feel that theirs is correct. There is no need to get snarky and insulting towards LDS just because their interpretation is different than yours. Fact: We'll ALL find out in the next life...or not if there is no next life. So till that time, just enjoy your own interpretation and let LDS enjoy theirs.

  • Vince here San Diego, CA
    Jan. 18, 2012 12:49 p.m.

    Even if you cite Old Testament prophets as practicing polygamy, there has never been a time when the practice of polygamy was free from trouble --- i.e. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob... David... Salomon, etc...

    In the most idyllic of times, City of Enoch, Garden of Eden, the Americas, 1st and 2nd centuries, polygamy is altogether absent.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 18, 2012 6:09 p.m.

    Kevin: The same suggestion goes to you as I gave to Brahmabull and LDS4: Read Chapter 10 of the Gospel Principles book that we finished studying the past two years. Why do you think the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve had both the Priesthood and the Relief Society study it for the past two years.

    The quote I gave you comes directly out of the manual itself.

    Now for another thing. How do we get scripture? How was the Book of Mormon, the Bible, the Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price given to us? The Bible and the Book of Mormon comes one via Judah and the other via Joseph. The Doctrine & Covenants are mainly the revelations given through Joseph Smith and the Pearl of Great Price from translations via Joseph Smith and his testimonies. All of which are listed as the standard works of the Church. Do you suppose then that revelation and scripture stopped via the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price? Since, we belive in continued revelation, continued modern scripture then it stands to reason that it is continued via the talks as I mentioned.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Jan. 19, 2012 12:10 a.m.

    Bill (Regarding the Shadow a Seminary Teacher Cast):

    Not so fast Bill. I never said that I won't accept a pro-LDS answer - I just won't accept your refusal to answer as a good answer to the question. So far you have completely evaded it, instead directing (again) your criticisms not at my argument, but at me! Re-read my question if you wish to comment, and respond to my points.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 8:57 a.m.

    Just so people know, Polygamy today is not what it was back in the time of Joseph Smith. Yes Joseph had a lot of wives but There were no children other than those he had with Emma. If you would look at a list of his wives you would know that at least 10 of them were had themselves sealed to him after he died.

  • Gemimi BAKERSFIELD, CA
    Jan. 19, 2012 9:49 a.m.

    I don't see any LDS comments here that are objective on this subject. Maybe it's me, but when 68% of a group feel a past practice is immoral today, you have to ask 'Why the paradigm shift?'

    Then you have to ask why the group still has all the former instructions and caveats present in its "by-laws, i.e., D&C 132. It is fairly incomprehensible to Biblical believers on all levels, to believe that any order of heaven would be considered immoral on earth.

    But that is the conundrum of this issue from its first introduction to Christian America. Mormons may not like the comparison, but it distanced Biblical believers on the same level as Muslims entering their communities. They were engaged in a lifestyle that was explicitly condemned in the text, yet they cited patriarchs and kings who practiced it, as if everything a Biblical king or patriarch did was okay because God blessed them on another level.

    No Biblical prophets practiced plural marriage, and the New Testament settled the issue for adherents to Biblical truth. No amount of debate or scripture-twisting will change that. And now you view Fundamentalists like America viewed you.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Jan. 19, 2012 1:05 p.m.

    Snowman:

    I agree that it is interesting that Joseph Smith has no known children on record from his polygamous marriages. Though Fanny Alger was not really a wife of Joseph Smiths, there is some account that he may have fathered a child with her, but we can't say with any certainty.

    All of this notwithstanding, your comment ignores the broader landscape of polygamy where most of the early "brethren" had many children with many women.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2012 1:22 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska
    Kevin: The same suggestion goes to you as I gave to Brahmabull and LDS4: Read Chapter 10 of the Gospel Principles book

    Since, we belive in continued revelation, continued modern scripture then it stands to reason that it is continued via the talks as I mentioned.

    KJK: Sorry, but the procedure regarding revelqation is as follows - The only one authorized to bring forth any new doctrine is the President of the Church, who, when he does, will declare it as revelation from God, and it will be so accepted by the Council of the Twelve and sustained by the body of the Church. And if any man speak a doctrine which contradicts what is in the standard Church works, you may know by that same token that it is false and you are not bound to accept it as truth. (Teachings of Harold B. Lee)

    Sections 137 & 138 were revelations and they needed to be sustained via Common Consent. The Manifesto and Priesthood revelation were presented in Conference and yet they too had to be sustained via Common Consent.

    The Gospel Principles book isn't a Standard Work.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Jan. 20, 2012 10:55 p.m.

    Are you people aware of the fact that the Journals of Discourses are not doctrine and not used for teaching purposes.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 21, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    Gemimi
    No Biblical prophets practiced plural marriage, and the New Testament settled the issue for adherents to Biblical truth. No amount of debate or scripture-twisting will change that. And now you view Fundamentalists like America viewed you.

    KJK
    As stated earlier, God, not David, gave David those wives in 2Sam. 12:7-12. David didn't multiply wives unto himself. God wanted David to have them and gave them to him and said that if they weren't enough, He (GOD) would have given him more. God then gave the women to another INDIVIDUAL man thus allowing (commanding?) that INDIVIDUAL man to be polygamous and to lie with them in the sight of the sun.

    We also know that Paul's command that bishops and elders have only one wife shows that polygamy was at least tolerated in the early Church otherwise such a restriction would not have been given.

    To say that polygamy is definitionally sinful is clearly unbiblical.

    I'd have NO problem with the Fundamentalists if they quit marrying underage girls. If consenting adults want to do it, they should be able to. 1 Cor. 10:29 condemns using subjective morals to justify infringing upon others' rights.

  • HotGlobe SAN RAFAEL, CA
    Feb. 2, 2012 2:59 p.m.

    The poll and this article are not very nuanced. Polygamy is an eternal principle that is currently disallowed. Thus people who say breaking the current regulations is morally wrong today may actually have a more complex belief about polygamy in the abstract. Fortunately the comments here provide a better understanding than the article.