Thursday, January 02, 2014

Church article frankly discusses polygamy

Excerpts of Mormons can now discuss the P word — polygamy — at church  by Jana Riess, Flunking Sainthood

Utah Mormons incarcerated around 1885 for the practice of polygamy.
In the last few weeks the LDS Church has issued a series of groundbreaking statements about controversial issues in its own history, including the racist priesthood ban and controversies over Joseph Smith's methods of translating the Book of Mormon.

Among the group of "Gospel Topics" statements is a brief but refreshingly frank discussion of the Church's involvement in polygamy in the nineteenth century.

I'm glad this day has come, and here's why.

[Regarding the Priesthood / Relief Society failure to mention Brigham Young's polygamous marriages] I had to figure out a way to teach historical truth using a manual that seemed to encourage me to ignore important facts about Young's life and beliefs. Not only had he married some 55 times, but he also taught that "celestial marriage"—then defined as plural marriage—was necessary for eternal exaltation. ... denying polygamous history was embarrassingly inadequate—and, one might argue, morally wrong.