Plural Marriage
Church of Jesus Christ LDS

    The Church of Jesus Christ of LDS as a body rejected plural marriage with the acceptance of a Manifesto to the world in 1890.  When a similar Manifesto was proposed to Church President John Taylor in September 1886, he made it a matter of prayer.  During the night of September 26-27 while at the John Woolley home in Centerville, Utah, he was visited and instructed by Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith Jr.. On September 27, 1886, he wrote a revelation, copies were given to several present at a meeting there that day.  He said that rather than speak in favor of such an action as giving up plural marriage, he would have his tongue ripped out, rather than sign such a manifesto, he would have his hand cut off.  He was in hiding at that time, in the underground if you will.  US Marshals were out to get him, and there were some in the Church who were not true to him or the Lord.  He called and set apart men to keep the principle alive, outside the church.  It was a priesthood calling.  He died while in hiding at the Rouche home in west Kaysville, Utah, separated from much of his family, and church, because of conditions at the time.  While there he was married to a young woman Rouche. (sp?) who was caring for him.  In 1977 another man was visited by Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith Jr. and other messengers, and the keys were taken from the Church, and given to others.  This was in fulfillment of a revelation, received by the Prophet Joseph Smith, which is recorded in the D& C.  Those who are aware of these things know the reference.  There is another prophecy recorded by Isaiah chapter 11, referenced in D&C 113, which also foretold this event.

Why some members and former members of the Church of Jesus Christ believe in plural marriage.:

Here is an answer from an email, in answer to a person asking the question:

   When I was married to my first wife in the Logan Temple, I covenanted that I would live according to all the laws, rites and ordinances pertaining to that Holy Order of Matrimony.  That means a great deal to me.  There are few in the church that pay much attention to that commitment.  Without living the full law we have no promise. 
    When the Prophet Joseph Smith was translating the golden plates which became the Book of Mormon he came upon the second chapter of Jacob where because of the whoredoms of the people they were told that they should have but one wife, and concubines they should have none.  There were still questions in Joseph's mind, and so he went to the Lord for further direction.  He received a revelation and we have D&C 132 as a result of that.  There were few in Joseph Smiths day who were worthy of living that law.  He did not teach it openly in the church.  It was only under the strictest confidence that men and women entered into that Holy Order.  Openly Joseph taught that a man should have but one wife, for that was all that most understood.  Joseph, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and a few others entered into plural marriage, under the direction of the Lord.  It
was not until 1853 that Brigham Young openly taught plural marriage. His discourse on the subject was published to the church / world in the Millennial Star 1853..
    As for why I believe as I do let me quote a little of the Prophet Brigham Young: "Now where a man in this church says, " I don't want but one wife, I will live my religion with one," he will perhaps  be saved in the celestial kingdom; but when he gets there he will not find himself in possession of any wife at all.  He has had a talent that he has hid up.  He will come forward and say, " here is that which thou gavest me, I have not wasted it, and here is the one talent," and he will not enjoy it, but it will be taken and given to those who have improved the talents they received, and he will find himself without any wife, and he will remain single for ever and ever.  But if the woman is determined not to enter into plural marriage, that woman when she comes forth will have the privilege of living in single blessedness through all eternity.  Well, that is very good, a very nice place to be a minister to the wants of others.  " 
( Brigham Young - J of D 16:166)  

Before that he said "The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy.  Others attain unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the Father and the Son; but they cannot reign as kings in glory, because they had blessings offered unto them, and they refused to accept them.  (BY - J of D 11:269)

    Heber C. Kimball:  " You might as well deny Mormonism and turn away from it as to oppose plural marriage.  Let the Presidency of this Church, and the twelve apostles and all the authorities unite and say with one voice that they would oppose that doctrine, and the whole of them would be damned.  What are you opposing it for?  It is a principle that God has established for the human family.  He revealed it to Joseph the Prophet in this our dispensation;  and that which He revealed He designs to be carried out by His people."  ( J of D Vol. 5, pg.. 203)
    "Many of this people have broken their covenants by finding fault with the plurality of wives, and trying to sink it out of existence.  But you cannot do that, for God will cut you off and raise up another people that will carry out his purposes in righteousness unless you walk up to the line of your duty.  On the one hand there is glory and exaltation and on the other no tongue can express the suffering and affliction this people will pass through if they do not repent."  (J of D vol. 4, pg.. 108 Sep 28 1856)   "The principle of plurality of wives never will be done away.... (J of D 3:125)
    Wilford Woodruff:  " Father Abraham obeyed the law of the Patriarchal Order of Marriage.  His wives were sealed to him for time and all eternity, and so were the wives of the Patriarchs and Prophets that obeyed that law.  I desire to testify as an individual and as a Latter-day Saint that I know that God has revealed this law unto this people.  I know that if we had not obeyed that law we should have been damned; the judgments of God would have rested upon us; the Kingdom of God would have stopped right where we were when God revealed that law unto us." (J D 24:244)
        "If we do not accept the Principle (of plural marriage), the keys will be turned against us.  If we do not keep the same law that our Heavenly Father kept we shall not be able to go with Him.  The man that obeys a lesser law is not capable to preside over those that practice a superior law." (Life of Wilford Woodruff, pg.. 542) 
    There is so much more including personal revelation, but I do not wish to burden you.  You asked,  there is a principle there.  Ask and you shall receive, knock and it shall be opened to you.  I have asked and I have received.  There are many who take it upon themselves to enter into plural marriage to their detriment.  It is written that there is one upon the earth at a time who holds those keys. I have known  three of them personally.  This is a sacred matter.  The fullness of the Gospel is obeying all the laws and commandments, not just some of them!   I hope this gives you some of what you asked.  It is not the full story.  I would recommend you enter into very serious prayer on this matter, for it is serious business.
You asked a couple more questions:" How many children do you have and would you want
 more? "  ans.: three and yes.   I understand what you told me about your problem with having more children,  What has happened, has happened, we do the best with what we have.  That should not deter you from the correct  relationship.  Your other question: "What is it exactly you want from a woman? "  ans.:  I desire to find those with whom we covenanted in the pre life to get together here. I desire a righteous companionship with those the Lord gives to me.  I am not a demanding person.  I believe in working together using the talents we are blest with.  Righteous agency is a must, in other words teach a person the truth and they govern themselves.  We all have choices to make, hopefully we make the best choices.

a shepherd

for further questions or comments email

    I have heard the misinformed say that a man can not love more than one woman at a time.  I have also heard the misinformed say that a man or a woman can not love more than one child.  It is much like exercise.  It is like saying that a person who works or exercises gets weaker, instead of stronger.  When a loving man and a woman have a child the learn to love in a different direction, when they have another child they do not quit loving the first child, to the contrary, they gain a greater capacity for love. The more one practices love, the greater their ability to love becomes.  When a loving man and woman accepts another woman into the family, they are faced with additional challenges, but as they learn to love the new person, their capacity to love increases.  The more obstacles one overcomes in life the stronger the person becomes.  God does not cease to love one person because another comes into existence.  He does not love one wife more than another.  Though each may have different gifts and talents, it is not to detract from the gifts and talents of others, but by the sharing of gifts and talents of each person, the whole become greater in capacity.

and the

jfs.gif (5130 bytes)by JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH


            Written when President Smith was a young apostle (1905) and acted as one of the Church Historians, this work was a direct effort to "set the record straight" against active proselytizing in Utah by members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (RLDS) and the national publicity garnered by the various senate hearings to seat Reed Smoot. Using correspondence with President Richard C. Evans of the RLDS First Presidency, the reader is taken through various claims of the church which contradict teachings of the "Utah Mormons" and their answers by Joseph Fielding Smith. Following a clear definition of the titillating term "Blood Atonement," the author's thrust centers on plural marriage and demonstrates through affidavits, early editions of the Saints' Herald (the official RLDS periodical), and historical evidences that the doctrine developed during the time of Joseph Smith and was not, as the RLDS claimed, introduced in Utah. President Smith used his sources well and the book contains excellent evidences to help to both understand the doctrine as well as its origin. Following are two of the affidavits cited:


Lucy Walker Smith Kimball, being first duly sworn, says:

I was a plural wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and was married for time and eternity in Nauvoo, State of Illinois, on the first day of May, 1843, by Elder William Clayton. The Prophet was then living with his first wife, Emma Smith, and I know that she gave her consent to the marriage of at least four women to her husband as plural wives, and she was well aware that he associated and cohabitated with them as wives. The names of these women are Eliza and Emily Partridge, and Maria and Sarah Lawrence, all of whom knew that I too was his wife.

When the Prophet Joseph Smith mentioned the principle of plural marriage to me, I felt indignant, and so expressed myself to him, because my feelings and education were averse to anything of that nature. But he assured me that this doctrine had been revealed to him of the Lord, and that I was entitled to receive a testimony of its divine origin for myself. He counseled me to pray to the Lord, which I did, that thereupon received from Him a powerful and irresistible testimony of the truthfulness and divinity of plural marriage, which testimony has abided with me ever since.

On the 8th day of February, 1845, I was married for time to President Heber C. Kimball, and bore to him nine children. And in this connection allow me to say to his everlasting credit that during the whole of my married life with him, he never failed to regard me as the wife for eternity of his devoted friend, the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Lucy Walker Smith Kimball


Catherine Phillips Smith being first sworn, says:

I was married to Hyrum Smith, brother of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as his plural wife, and lived with him as his wife. The sealing was performed by the Prophet Joseph Smith himself in Nauvoo, Stato of Illinois in August, 1843, in the brick office belonging to my husband, and occupied at the time as a dwelling by brother and sister Robert and Julia Stone, and was witnessed by my mother, Sister Stone and her daughter Hettie.

After delivering this affidavit, the following occurred:

Sometime during the month of September (1902), four members of the Reorganized Church called on Catherine Phillips Smith at her home in East Jordan, with the object in view of having her deny her testimony regarding her marriage to the Patriarch Hyrum Smith, which she resolutely refused to do.

In a statement given on September 24th, two days before her death, she said: "They tried to get me to tell a lie and deny that I was married to the Patriarch Hyrum Smith: but I would not do it. I never have lied and will not now; my affidavit is true. They asked me if my mother knew of my marriage, and I told them that the Patriarch asked my mother if she was willing for him to marry her daughter, and she said he could ask the daughter, and she could do as she pleased. I told them that the Prophet Joseph sealed me to the Patriarch Hyrum Smith as his wife for time and all eternity, and they tried to get me to deny it; and I would not do it, for it is true. I told them the truth. They annoyed me very much, and I finally told them to leave my house, and never enter it again."

Catherine Phillips Smith

Blood Atonement and the Origin of Plural Marriage, 6.95

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