Polygamy is fairly widespread throughout Utah, and I don’t know many people who can’t tell you a polygamy story.
My children went to school with some Kingston children. An old friend worked for a polygamist. Another lived around the corner from a polygamist family.
YES, the mainstream LDS Church, the one that puts a claim on the term “Mormon,” does not–at this time–practice or condone temporal polygamy.
Spiritual polygamy is, of course, a different matter. This goes on every day, in temples everywhere. But they do follow the laws of the land. They also believe, however, that it is a tenet that is required for entrance into the Celestial Kingdom.
You will find mainstream Mormons who will argue this with you. Until they research it. Then they just shut up.
But the truth is, polygamy is pervasive throughout the state.
And the world is waking up to this fact.
Consider this article in the Chicago Tribune.
From the article:
Mainstream Mormons in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with 12 million members worldwide, have asserted that all polygamous denominations–including Jeffs’ Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–are aberrations in a state where the influential Mormon Church suspended the practice of polygamy more than a century ago. But Utah’s attorney general, pro-polygamy activists and other experts estimate there are 40,000 people living in polygamous families or communities like this one across the Western U.S.–with a large portion of them residing in suburban Utah.
Although it is rare that allegations of abuse are as systemic or egregious as those reported in the community led by Jeffs, virtually every other polygamous sect practicing in Utah today has been linked to financial, sexual or spiritual improprieties. Federal grand juries in Arizona and state investigators in Nevada are probing polygamist practices in those states, according to media reports.
This one isn’t going away, folks. You can thank Warren Jeffs for that. It’s interesting that polygamists are coming out of the woodwork–sorta–to defend their belief in polygamy. The SAME belief espoused by Brigham Young and Joseph Smith.
In the wake of such comments, Utah polygamists have come forward in unprecedented force to defend their faith, values and lifestyle. They say plural marriage fulfills the mission of all Mormons to be fruitful and multiply and to ascend to the highest reaches of heaven. They say it breaks their hearts that the mainstream church in 1890 abandoned polygamy–or what one expert called “the process of polishing the soul”–to appease the federal government and ensure Utah would earn statehood. They point to such communities as Eagle Mountain and Rocky Ridge, where polygamous families appear to be happy and prosperous, often with multiple wives of one husband living in palatial homes with adjoining yards.
“We’re really sickeningly boring,” said Jane, another wife to the same husband as Mary. “There is no high drama. We are the people next door–it’s just that there are more of us.”
Modern-day polygamists are living the MORMON faith the way JOSEPH SMITH and BRIGHAM YOUNG taught it. Which is why it is so absurd to say there is “no such thing as fundamental Mormonism.” Sorry, LDS.org. It’s not flying.