Some Saints additionally saw plural wedding as being a redemptive procedure for sacrifice and refinement that is spiritual

Trial and Religious Witness

Years later on in Utah, individuals in Nauvoo plural marriage discussed their motives for getting into the practice. Jesus declared into the Book of Mormon that monogamy ended up being the typical; often times, nevertheless, He commanded plural marriage therefore His people could “raise up seed unto Him.” 44 marriage that is plural end in an elevated quantity of young ones created to thinking moms and dads. 45

Relating to Helen Mar Kimball, Joseph Smith claimed that “the training of the concept is the trial that is hardest the Saints would ever need certainly to test their faith.” Though it had been one of several “severest” studies of her life, she testified it had already been “one of the most useful blessings.” 46 Her father, Heber C. Kimball, consented. “I never ever felt more sorrowful,” he said regarding the minute he discovered of plural wedding in 1841. “I wept times. … I’d a wife that is good. I happened to be pleased.” 47

The choice to accept this kind of wrenching test often arrived just after earnest intense and prayer soul-searching. Brigham younger stated that, upon learning of plural wedding, “it was the very first time in my entire life that I experienced desired the grave.” 48 “I had to pray unceasingly,” he said, “and I’d to work out faith plus the Lord unveiled in my experience the reality from it and that satisfied me.” 49 Heber C. Kimball discovered convenience just after their spouse Vilate possessed a visionary experience attesting towards the rightness of plural wedding. “She told me,” Vilate’s daughter later recalled, “she never ever saw therefore pleased a person as dad ended up being when she described the eyesight and told him she ended up being satisfied and knew it absolutely was from God.” 50

Lucy Walker recalled her internal chaos whenever Joseph Smith invited her to be their spouse. “Every sense russian brides of my heart revolted against it,” she published. Yet, after a few restless evenings on her behalf knees in prayer, she discovered relief as her room “filled having a holy impact” akin to “brilliant sunlight.” She said, “My soul had been filled up with a relaxed sweet comfort that we never ever knew,” and “supreme delight took control of my whole being.” 51

Not totally all had experiences that are such. Some Latter-day Saints rejected the concept of plural wedding and left the Church, although some declined to go into the training but remained faithful. 52 nonetheless, for several gents and ladies, initial revulsion and anguish ended up being followed closely by challenge, quality, and finally, light and comfort. Sacred experiences enabled the Saints to maneuver forward in faith. 53


The process of launching a concept as controversial as plural wedding is virtually impractical to overstate. a witness that is spiritual of truthfulness permitted Joseph Smith as well as other Latter-day Saints to just accept this concept. Hard since it ended up being, the development of plural marriage in Nauvoo did certainly “raise up seed unto God. A considerable wide range of today’s users descend through faithful Latter-day Saints who practiced marriage that is plural.

Church users not any longer exercise plural wedding. 54 in keeping with Joseph Smith’s teachings, the Church allows a guy whoever wife has died become sealed to a different girl as he remarries. More over, people are allowed to do ordinances with respect to dead people who married more often than once on the planet, sealing them to any or all regarding the partners to who they certainly were legitimately hitched. The particular nature of those relationships within the next life is as yet not known, and several household relationships are going to be sorted away within the life in the future. Latter-day Saints ought to rely upon our Heavenly that is wise Father whom really really loves their kiddies and does everything because of their development and salvation. 55


  1. See “The Family: A Proclamation towards the World”; Jacob 2:27, 30.
  2. Doctrine and Covenants 132:34–39; Jacob 2:30; see also Genesis 16.
  3. 1 Corinthians 13:12; Jeffrey R. Holland, “Lord, I Really Believe,” Ensign, Might 2013.
  4. See Andrew Jenson, “Plural Marriage,” Historical Record 6 (might 1887): 232–33; “Report of Elders Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith,” Millennial celebrity 40 (Dec. 16, 1878): 788; Danel W. Bachman, “New Light on a vintage Hypothesis: The Ohio Origins associated with Revelation on Eternal Marriage,” Journal of Mormon History 5 (1978): 19–32.
  5. See Doctrine and Covenants 132:1, 34–38.
  6. Doctrine and Covenants 112:30; 124:41; 128:18.
  7. “Polygamy,” in The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, ed. John Bowker (nyc: Oxford University Press, 1997), 757; John Cairncross, After Polygamy had been produced Sin: The Social History of Christian Polygamy (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1974).
  8. Lorenzo Snow, deposition, usa Testimony 1892 (Temple Lot Case), component 3, p. 124, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; Orson Pratt, in Journal of Discourses, 13:193; Ezra Booth to Ira Eddy, Dec. 6, 1831, in Ohio celebrity, Dec. 8, 1831.
  9. See Brian C. Hales, “Encouraging Joseph Smith to Practice Plural Marriage: The records of this Angel having a Drawn Sword,” Mormon Historical Studies 11, # 2 (autumn 2010): 69–70.
  10. See Andrew Jenson, Research Notes, Andrew Jenson Collection, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; Benjamin F. Johnson to Gibbs, 1903, Benjamin F. Johnson Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; “Autobiography of Levi Ward Hancock,” Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
  11. Parley P. Pratt, The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, among the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. Parley P. Pratt Jr. (Ny: Russell Brothers, 1874), 329.
  12. Hyrum Smith, sermon, Apr. 8, 1844, Historian’s workplace General Church Minutes, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
  13. They were the priesthood that is same Elijah had directed at Apostles anciently. (See Matthew 16:19; 17:1–9; Doctrine and Covenants 2.)
  14. Doctrine and Covenants 132:7; 131:2–3.
  15. Doctrine and Covenants 132:19–20, 63; see additionally “Becoming Like God.”
  16. Stephanie Coontz, Marriage, a brief history: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage (ny: Viking Penguin, 2005), 145–60; Lawrence rock, the household, Sex and wedding in England, 1500–1800, abr >The Church acknowledges the share of scholars towards the content that is historical in this essay; their tasks are combined with authorization.

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