The LDS (Mormon) Church officially
ended polygamy in 1890.
Which just officially changed.
After years of claiming to have ended official polygamy with its 1890 “Manifesto,” the Mormon Church has admitted that, well, okay, no it didn’t. In a new, carefully worded statement issued last week, the new claim is that the Manifesto didn’t end but “led to” official polygamy’s end:
“In 1890, the Lord inspired Church President Wilford Woodruff to issue a statement that led to the end of the practice of plural marriage in the Church. In this statement, known as the Manifesto, President Woodruff declared his intention to abide by U.S. law forbidding plural marriage and to use his influence to convince members of the Church to do likewise.”
“We are not teaching polygamy or plural marriage, nor permitting any person to enter into its practice, and I deny that either forty or any other number of plural marriages have during that period been solemnized in our Temples or in any other place in the Territory.”
“After the Manifesto, monogamy was advocated in the Church both over the pulpit and through the press. On an exceptional basis, some new plural marriages were performed between 1890 and 1904, especially in Mexico and Canada, outside the jurisdiction of U.S. law; a small number of plural marriages were performed within the United States during those years.”
Told you told you told you that the church didn’t quit polygamy in 1820. As a matter of fact, we told you in Chapter 2 of “It’s Not About the Sex” My Ass, as highlighted in red in this excerpt:
The United States outlawed polygamy in 1862. Three years later, a few Mormon families would flee to Juarez, Mexico, where they could practice polygamy prosecution-free and remain in full fellowship with the mainstream Mormon Church. The polygamous emigrants’ leaders included Helaman Pratt, who surely never dreamed that half a century later his descendants would return to the United States, where eventually grandson George W. Romney and great-grandson Mitt Romney would become prominent politicians and Republican presidential candidates.
But the vast majority of Mormons remained in Utah Territory, where the Mormon Church ceased practicing polygamy in 1890—officially, anyway. In reality, the church looked the other way while phasing out polygamy over the next several decades. Ever since, rogue groups have been breaking away and reinstating it.
In 1993, my husband and I joined one of them ...