Of all the aspects of church his­to­ry I found polyandry to be the most sur­pris­ing and the most shock­ing. But because I hold the Book of Mor­mon to be authen­tic and brought about how Joseph Smith stat­ed. I have to give Joseph Smith the ben­e­fit of the doubt that his actions were not mali­cious in anyway.

Hav­ing giv­en polyandry much thought I believe that those who also see Joseph Smith as a prophet who was not per­fect in any­way should not have any prob­lem with polyandry.

Because polyandry is not only prac­ticed by the church today but sanc­tioned by the church. I believe that polyandry was prac­ticed in Joseph Smiths day as it is prac­ticed today. An exam­ple of how it is prac­ticed today is as fol­lows. There are thou­sands of women who are sealed to their hus­band wid­owed or get a divorce and get remar­ried to anoth­er man hav­ing the wed­ding offi­ci­at­ed by their bish­op and in some cas­es mar­ried in the tem­ple for only time. In the church­es eye, unless a tem­ple divorce is sought after and grant­ed the women is mar­ried to two men. In some cas­es a women will be mar­ried longer to their sec­ond hus­band in their mor­tal exis­tence yet in the after life be with the man she is sealed to.

I would say that most peo­ple who were shocked and repulsed to hear about Joseph Smith’s polyandry but when it comes to our day when sealed divorced women mar­ry again those same feel­ing are none existent.

Of course if you believe that Joseph Smith is a fraud and a crook these views will mean noth­ing to you. On the oth­er hand, if you want to give Joseph Smith the ben­e­fit of the doubt polyandry prac­ticed by him is no dif­fer­ent than it is today.

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Jeff Burr
August 2, 2016 11:52 am

Even though Bish­ops per­form the sec­u­lar mar­riage, it would­n’t nec­es­sar­i­ly make it church-sanc­tioned. The fact that the Church has the anti-polyandry pol­i­cy regard­ing Tem­ple seal­ings shows more about where they stand on the sub­ject. How many Mor­mon Bish­ops have offi­ci­at­ed wed­dings for athe­ists or non-Mor­mons? That does­n’t mean that it’s rec­og­nized by the Church. In the Church’s eye, the Tem­ple seal­ing is the only “true” marriage. My Dad was mar­ried in the Tem­ple to some­one else before he mar­ried my Mom, also in the Tem­ple. After his divorce to his first wife, she stopped attend­ing Church and remar­ried a non-mem­ber. My Father is cur­rent­ly sealed to two dif­fer­ent women, even though his first wife is no longer active. The Church hap­pi­ly rec­og­nizes that my Dad has 2 wives through Tem­ple seal­ings, but does­n’t rec­og­nize the ex’s sec­ond marriage. If my sto­ry remained the same with the gen­ders reversed, it would… Read more »

Jeff Burr
Reply to  Dave Mack
August 3, 2016 11:20 am

Maybe I’m mis­tak­en, but isn’t your orig­i­nal post focused on how “polyandry is not only prac­ticed by the church today but sanc­tioned by the church” and that this jus­ti­fies Joseph’s polyandry? How do the poli­cies of Tem­ple mar­riage dur­ing Joseph/Brigham’s time change your orig­i­nal view­point? On that note, the offi­cial poli­cies of the ear­ly church were against polygamy/polyandry see this notice in the Mil­len­ni­al Star, Jan­u­ary 1844. How many holo­caust sur­vivors are on record say­ing how they feel about Hitler? By your log­ic, this means that they must have been okay with their treat­ment. Maybe it’s more accu­rate to pose the ques­tion like this: How many for­mer Naz­i’s are on record say­ing any­thing neg­a­tive about Hitler? The Nazis were sucked in to believ­ing that they were doing the right thing, when they real­ly weren’t. Ear­ly Mor­mons, espe­cial­ly a lot of Joseph’s wives took to polygamy and defend­ed it until their… Read more »

Jeff Burr
Reply to  Dave Mack
August 9, 2016 8:50 am

My point was that assum­ing one of Joseph’s wives must have loved Joseph and approved of every­thing he did because the lack of evi­dence is the same as assum­ing a for­mer Nazi must have loved Hitler because it’s not on record. What are your thoughts on slav­ery, human sac­ri­fice, racism, geno­cide or sex trade? Those atro­cious acts have been prac­ticed for thou­sands of years too, does that make it okay? You’re spend­ing so much time defend­ing polygamy that I think you’ve for­got­ten your orig­i­nal point (The LDS Church prac­tices polyandry today and this jus­ti­fies Joseph’s prac­tice). How many times is polyandry approved of in the scriptures? Per­haps I am ide­al­is­tic and have unrea­son­able expec­ta­tions of the Church. I think it might come from being raised hear­ing that the LDS Church stands apart from any oth­er insti­tu­tion on earth because it is the only one direct­ed by the Lord. I could… Read more »

Eugene Kovalenko
July 30, 2016 1:28 pm

I very much agree with your com­ment about polyandry and its prac­tice today if you give Joseph the ben­e­fit of the doubt! From today’s per­spec­tive, how­ev­er, espe­cial­ly in light of Dr. Michael New­ton’s research dis­cov­er­ies pre­sent­ed in his books on “life between lives” all that tem­ple seal­ing stuff ‘revealed’ by Joseph, and still pro­mot­ed and prac­ticed in the LDS Church, is unfor­tu­nate­ly moot.


John Krok
July 30, 2016 12:41 am

Dear David,

Don’t try to be an apol­o­gist — it does­n’t work. No mat­ter how much deodoris­er you use to cov­er up bad smells, even­tu­al­ly the bad smells resur­face. Your exam­ple of Polyandry does­n’t fit with the mar­riages of Zina Hunt­ing­ton Jacobs Smith Young. She was mar­ried to her hus­band Hen­ry Jacobs, then whilst still mar­ried to him was sealed to Joseph and when Joseph was assas­si­nat­ed, Brigham thought is was his right to have her sealed to him and sired a child with her, all whilst poor old Hen­ry was still liv­ing and ful­ly in love with Zina. I think that just about some up the val­ue of polyandry as a principle.

Reply to  Dave Mack
July 30, 2016 9:20 am

It does­n’t help your argu­ment to ignore her legal hus­band who loved her all of his life and had been screwed over by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. How about your wife David? Are you will­ing to give her to Dallin Oaks? If she is will­ing, would you do it? Most of us find this moral­ly wrong and a breach of one of the Ten Commandments.

Reply to  Dave Mack
July 31, 2016 11:08 am

Inter­est­ing how you include the con­di­tion of divorce. Zina was nev­er divorced from her first hus­band and he remained in love with her the rest of his life. Would you still be good with your wife remain­ing legal­ly mar­ried to you while hav­ing an unlaw­ful mar­riage to Dallin Oaks or anoth­er Gen­er­al Author­i­ty and birthing chil­dren from him? Would that be accept­able in the eyes of the God that you wor­ship? Because it isn’t accept­able for most peo­ple who con­sid­er it moral­ly wrong. Keep that up front when you try to defend Joseph Smith and Brigham Young’s sex­u­al con­quests. I have lit­tle use for defend­ers of adultery.

Reply to  tapirrider
August 2, 2016 8:41 pm

David, there was no divorce. That is not a mat­ter of “his­to­ry is messy”, it is sim­ply a fact that no divorce ever took place. David, your defense of adul­tery makes me sick.