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 BurrDave MacktapirriderEugene KovalenkoJohn Krok Recent comment authors
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Jeff Burr

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 »

Eugene Kovalenko

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

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.