With Tom Green
in the news I guess it's a good idea to clarify The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
stand on polygamy
, or, more correctly, polygyny
. I'm not too worried that people think that current members still practice polygamy. I am worried when I hear that the Church has "denounced" or "condemned" polygamy on the television
. The Church does not teach that polygamy was wrong
, or a mistake.
Joseph Smith taught that polygamy was sometimes made available to the Church when needed. Polygamy shows up in the Old Testament. The early Church had more women converts than men. Since marriage is somewhat necesary to enter the highest degree of glory of heaven there needed to be a way to find husbands within the small group. The Church also needed help with its population, and polygamy is certainly a good way to bolster it. Polygamy also helped greatly after the move to Utah. The conditions early on were very harsh, and having a husband was very helpful. Given these reasons for polygamy, it makes sense that it was removed when it was. The Church had its foundation (population wise) and there was no longer a great disparity in numbers of women and men. Having Utah join the US had obvious benefits.
Polygamy was removed from the Church by President Wilford Woodruffon October 6, 1890 in a document called The Manifesto. This meant that no more polygamous marriages would be accepted, but didn't, of course, break up currenlty polygamous families.