20140608

A Brief Look at Polygamy and the Mormon Church (satire)

According to what I read about Mormonism, the practice of polygamy in the early Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-Day Saints is what led to bigamy laws in America, not bigamists. In short, American bigamy laws were used to stop polygamy among Mormons.

By the time the fourth president of the Mormons, Wilford Woodruff, wrote his 1890 Manifesto calling for the eventual abandonment of polygamy, the bigamy laws were being used to persecute the Mormons.

Rather than waste valuable money fighting costly court battles, Woodruff decided to give up polygamy and by 1904 when the second manifesto was written, polygamy was no longer practised among newly baptized members of the Church.

Of course, it took many more years before polygamy was abandoned by the Mormons. However, the Fundamentalists refused to reform, and later, split off into factions which descended into corruption, including one faction being led by a Fundamentalist leader who plotted assassinations of rival Fundamentalists.

I feel that this internecine warfare between rival Fundamentalists shows that Mormon Fundamentalists felt so strongly about Zion that keeping Joseph Smith Jr's polygamy alive was vital for Zion coming about e.g. the communal pureness of heart as symbolized by New Jerusalem on a New Earth (Zion).

Yet polygamy is what leads Fundamentalists to become so spiritually impoverished that sister wives might often live in poverty while their husbands commit welfare fraud by lying about their other wives.

Thus the abandonment of polygamy by Mormons by 1904 is what helped contribute to their current success and especially the survival of the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-Day Saints. This is because it reduces the temptation to commit welfare fraud just to avoid federal or state bigamy laws. As well, it inspires church members who marry to work within a monogamous relationship to achieve Zion.

References:

Wilford Woodruff - Presidents of the Church Teacher Manual - LDS: https://www.lds.org/manual/presidents-of-the-church-teacher-manual-religion-345/wilford-woodruff-fourth-president-of-the-church?lang=eng

Wilford Woodruff - Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilford_Woodruff

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