Many of the topics on this page therefore are an attempt to point out information that was not available from Church-published information. Circumstances of Joseph's death Joseph said polygamy was a mistake? Mitt Romney and Polygamy Polygamy stories Interpreting polygamy - essay Responses by the LDS church Ending summary by critics Editor Comments Links The majority of Latter-day Saints know the LDS Church practiced polygamy in the 1800s.
(After the release of the essays, some people blamed the members themselves for not knowing more about Joseph Smith's polygamy. Although it's not mentioned in missionary discussions, most North American nonmembers are also aware of it since it's taught in American History classes throughout the USA. Until recently, for some reason, perhaps half of the LDS membership believed that polygamy started with Brigham Young and not Joseph Smith.
Joseph married 14-year-old girls Joseph lied about practicing polygamy Church denied polygamy/JS practiced it Church continued polygamy after 1890 The Reed Smoot hearings Quotes from the prophets Polygamy a doctrine of the Church? These beliefs are not just relegated to teachings of naive Sunday School teachers decades ago.
Note: Beginning in 2013 the Church started releasing essays addressing seldom talked about issues in the church.
Three of those essays concern polygamy: Mormon Think provides a link to each essay and a response to them.
John Taylor, the third president of the church, claimed that he believed in keeping all the laws of the United States "except one"…the law in relation to polygamy." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 317) Most of Joseph Smith's polygamous marriages occurred in Illinois in the early 1840s.
The Illinois Anti-bigamy Law, enacted February 12th, 1833, clearly stated that polygamy was illegal. Bigamy consists in the having of two wives or two husbands at one and the same time, knowing that the former husband or wife is still alive.