Why did polygamy start in mormonism?

Polygamy started in Mormonism due to a revelation received by the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, Joseph Smith, in the early 1830s. Smith claimed that God commanded him to practice polygamy as a way to restore the ancient practice and fulfill biblical teachings.

Why did polygamy start in Mormonism

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Polygamy started in Mormonism due to a revelation received by the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, Joseph Smith, in the early 1830s. Smith claimed that God commanded him to practice polygamy as a way to restore the ancient practice and fulfill biblical teachings. This controversial practice played a significant role in the early years of Mormonism and continues to be a topic of intrigue and curiosity.

Here are some interesting facts about the origins and practice of polygamy in Mormonism:

  1. Joseph Smith received the first revelation on polygamy, known as the “plural marriage revelation,” in the early 1830s. It was not publicly announced until 1852, four years after Smith’s death.

  2. The revelation allowed plural marriage for the purpose of “raising up seed unto God” and establishing an eternal lineage. It was often seen as a form of spiritual and social progression.

  3. Initially practiced secretly, polygamy became a more open and accepted practice within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) under the leadership of Brigham Young, who succeeded Joseph Smith as the second president of the Church.

  4. The LDS Church’s embrace of polygamy led to conflicts with the United States government, resulting in the famous 1879 Supreme Court case Reynolds v. United States. The court ruled that religious duty was not a valid defense against laws that prohibited polygamy.

  5. Polygamy was officially discontinued by the LDS Church in 1890 with the issuance of the “Manifesto” by then-president Wilford Woodruff. This was done to comply with federal laws and avoid further conflicts.

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One interesting quote about polygamy in Mormonism comes from Brigham Young, who said, “The only men who become gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy.” This quote highlights the significance placed on polygamy as a pathway to exaltation and godhood within early Mormon teachings.

Polygamy in Mormonism remains a topic of historical curiosity and continues to shape public perceptions of the faith. While the practice has been officially discontinued by the LDS Church, it has left a lasting impact on Mormon history and continues to be a subject of study and discussion.


Fact Description
Fact 1 Smith received the first revelation on polygamy in the early 1830s, but it was publicly announced only in 1852.
Fact 2 Polygamy allowed for “raising up seed unto God” and establishing eternal lineages.
Fact 3 Polygamy became more accepted under Brigham Young’s leadership and led to conflicts with the U.S. government.
Fact 4 The Supreme Court ruled against polygamy in the Reynolds v. United States case in 1879.
Fact 5 Polygamy was officially discontinued in 1890 with the “Manifesto” issued by Wilford Woodruff, the Church’s president.

Found more answers on the internet

Modern teachings of the church Other recent church documents point to an increase in children as being why Mormons believe God commanded them to practice polygamy. An article on the church’s website states that early Mormons believed that they would receive blessings from God by obeying the commandment of polygamy.

Early Mormons practiced polygamy because they believed that God had told them to do so. It was a difficult commandment from God and was a great test of faith for many involved. Some early church leaders argued that polygamy was the most moral form of marriage and that it prevented men from falling into sexual temptation. Contrary to popular belief, women did not always outnumber men on the frontier.

Answer in the video

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In this video, the speaker discusses the controversial topic of polygamy in Mormonism. She explains that polygamy was practiced in the LDS Church in the past due to a revelation received by Joseph Smith, but the practice was officially ended in 1890. The speaker emphasizes that today, there is no such thing as a Mormon polygamist, although there are splinter groups that continue to practice it. She also addresses the misconception that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy for his own sexual desires and provides evidence that he was actually a reluctant polygamist who believed it was God’s commandment. The speaker encourages skeptics to research the evidence and documentation about Joseph Smith to form a more informed opinion. She concludes by expressing her gratitude that monogamy is now the accepted practice in Mormonism.

More interesting questions on the topic

How did polygamy become part of Mormonism?
The reply will be: Polygamy was not openly practiced in the Mormon Church until 1852 when Orson Pratt, an apostle, made a public speech defending it as a tenet of the church. From 1852 until 1890, Mormon church leaders preached and encouraged members, especially those in leadership positions, to marry additional wives.

Regarding this, Why was polygamy introduced?
As an answer to this: Goody says, "The reasons behind polygyny are sexual and reproductive rather than economic and productive" (1973:189), arguing that men marry polygynously to maximize their fertility and to obtain large households containing many young dependent males.

In this regard, What is the truth about polygamy in Mormon Church? In reply to that: Today Church members honor and respect the sacrifices made by those who practiced polygamy in the early days of the Church. However, the practice is outlawed in the Church, and no person can practice plural marriage and remain a member.

Furthermore, Why is Utah known for polygamy?
Response: Utah was settled by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church for several decades during the 1800s practiced, on a limited basis, polygamy. Not always, but often, polygamy was used as a social welfare tool to provide support to aged widows or those with young children.

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Simply so, Does Mormonism condemn the practice of polygamy? Answer to this: Nobody doubts that polygamy played a vital role for the second half of the nineteenth century in the religion of Mormonism. Because the practice sounds unnatural, many Latter-day Saints are very protective of this teaching. A common tactic that is used is to utilize the Bible to show how the biblical saints married multiple women.

Why did the US government oppose Mormons’ polygamy? While the government does not excuse polygamy because of the nature of the offense it is difficult to prosecute. Lack of prosecution of these polygamist is due to lack of evidence, lack of priority within law enforcement, lack of resources, and a potential influx of orphaned children.

In this way, Do Mormons believe in monogamy or polygamy?
The reply will be: “Mormons practiced polygamy because women on the frontier far outnumbered men, and plural marriage gave every woman a chance to have a husband.” In actuality, men sometimes outnumbered women, especially in the early years of Mormon settlement. Some towns had three times as many unmarried men as women.

Beside this, Is polygamy still popular amongst Mormons? The short answer is no. Mainstream Mormons do not practice polygamy. They used to over a century ago but have now stopped the practice entirely and those engaging in it are excommunicated. However, there are off shoots from the church that do still practice polygamy, and by association only, many people wrongfully assume all Mormons do.

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