As you know, the US is rapidly moving toward legalizing and recognizing same sex marriage (SSM). The US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and many individual states have already legalized SSM. The remainder is somewhat inevitable, even Utah. In fact, the time will come when the States will realize they no longer have an interest in marriage and this will open the door for the legalization of plural marriage.
As you know, the United States Congress passed laws prohibiting the practice of polygamy (aimed at the Church) and these laws were upheld by the US Supreme Court. Thus, the practice of polygamy was halted by a revelatory manifesto given to President Wilford Woodruff, issued by the Church and sustained by the membership On October 6, 1890. (See Official Declaration 1) Again, in 1904, a “Second Manifesto” was issued completely prohibiting all plural marriages and subjecting those who entered into them to Church discipline and excommunication. A question was even added to the temple recommend interview regarding affiliating with apostate (meaning polygamous) groups.
As you also know, the Church did not disavow plural marriage as a correct gospel principle when the Lord commands it and, at the time, the practice was discontinued for political purposes and to be seen as complying with the law. Utah was applying for statehood, which was granted in 1896.
The practice of plural marriage does continue to this day in a special way. A man sealed in the Temple to a wife who passes away, can marry another women not currently sealed to another man in the Temple, for time and all eternity. Thus, he would have two or more wives, depending on how many times this process is repeated.
And while modern Church Leaders have bent over backwards to reassure the general public that we no longer practice plural marriage and we teach that the standard is monogamy, they never really repudiated the Doctrine. So, in our view, the door is open should the practice no longer be illegal. We await the day that that becomes reality.
We stand on firm Restored Gospel ground when it comes to this doctrine. The practice began with the Prophet Joseph Smith around the beginning of the Nauvoo period and was put into full effect by Brigham Young. The open practice occurred in Utah from 1852 to 1890 (though actually well into the 20th Century). Church leaders taught the principle over the pulpit on a regular basis and about 20 to 30% of the Church membership practiced it. It was thought that complete exaltation in the highest degrees of glory could only be achieved by entering into the practice. The Church has, subsequently, changed its position on this, citing sealing in the Temple as the essential ordinance, not plural marriage.
Given the strong doctrinal position of the past, the time has come to restore plural marriage as an essential practice of the Church. As faithful, active members of the Church we call upon the Leaders of the Church to prayerfully inquire of the Lord if the time is right to restore the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage(s).
Rules and Regulations
While we await that fateful day when the revelation is received, we have a few suggestions when the practice begins again.
- No child brides – Parents will not be permitted to marry off their daughters prior to their 18th birthday. There can be no more than a 15 year age difference between the husband and prospective wife.
- Consent – Plural wives must enter into a plural marriage of their own free will and choice, without coercion and, must receive with the intended husband, a Bishop’s Recommend in order to have the marriage solemnized in the Temple.
- Head Wife – The first wife is always the head wife. What she says, goes. But she also must get along with the other wives.
- Sister Wives Council – The council of wives is equal to the husband in power and authority over the family, but not Priesthood.
- Children or Career – Plural wives will be able to choose from being a stay at home Mother in Zion or have a career. They cannot do both, unless agreed to by the other wives who might have to care for the career wife’s children.
- Schedule – An agreed upon schedule must be put in place to allow the husband ample time with each wife, kind of like Kody Brown does.
- Divorce – is allowed after prayerful consideration
We think with these simple rules will make polygamy socially acceptable to the body of Saints, particularly the women.
Again, we are active, faithful members who know our history and the fact that the practice was suspended only to comply with the law. If the law changes, we hope the Lord will restore plural marriage to the earth. It is certainly a more viable option than the single adult programs of the Church.
Restore Polygamy Activities
We intend to make our feelings known by holding a rally at the south entrance of Temple Square and marching to The Lion House, residence of Brigham Young and many of his plural wives and family. At the Lion House, which we will rent for the event, we will have dinner and tell the stories of the families who lived there. At that time, we will hold a prayer vigil to ask Heavenly Father to re-instate the Principle followed by dessert. Please see the website for actual date and time.
We encourage all to go to the restorepolygamy.com website and create a profile indicating your support of the Brethren in their quest for further light and knowledge on the subject.
We also announce at this time, a new Website plogwifemingle.com. This website, when activated, will match prospective plural wives with brethren with a calling to expand their families. “Find Heavenly Father’s real match for you.” Look for the launch as soon as the revelation is received.
Just as a point of clarification, we are faithful, active, Temple-going members, who sustain our general and local leaders, but who think they need to ask the Lord about restoring Plural Marriage to the Church. We are only asking that they ask. We fully intend to keep the pressure on until they do.