Mormonska cerkev se uradno odreka poligamiji

Mormonska cerkev se uradno odreka poligamiji

24. septembra 1890 so verski voditelji, ki se soočajo s skorjim uničenjem svoje cerkve in načina življenja, nejevoljno izdali "mormonski manifest", v katerem vsem svetnikom iz poslednjih dni zapovedujejo, naj spoštujejo zakone države proti poligamiji. Voditelji so imeli le malo izbire: če niso opustili poligamije, so se soočili z zvezno zaplembo njihovih svetih templjev in odvzemom osnovnih državljanskih pravic za vse člane cerkve.

Privrženci Cerkve Jezusa Kristusa svetih iz poslednjih dni so doktrino "pluralne poroke" izvajali že od leta 1840. Najboljši razpoložljivi dokazi kažejo, da je ustanovitelj cerkve Joseph Smith prvič vzel dodatne žene leta 1841, zgodovinarji pa ocenjujejo, da se je sčasoma poročil z več kot 50 ženskami. Nekaj ​​časa je bila praksa zavita v skrivnost, čeprav so govorice o razširjeni poligamiji navdihnile velik del zgodnjega sovraštva in nasilja, usmerjenega proti svetnikom iz poslednjih dni v Illinoisu. Po ustanovitvi svoje nove teokratske države s središčem v Salt Lake Cityju so cerkveni starešine leta 1852 javno potrdili, da je pluralna poroka osrednje prepričanje LDS.

Nauk je bil izrazito enostranski: ženske LDS niso mogle vzeti več mož. Prav tako ni mogel sodelovati noben moški LDS. Samo tisti, ki so pokazali nenavadno visoko stopnjo duhovne in gospodarske vrednosti, so lahko izvajali pluralno poroko, cerkev pa je zahtevala tudi, da prva žena privoli v to. Zaradi teh ovir je relativno malo moških imelo več žena. Najboljše ocene kažejo, da moški z dvema ali več ženami predstavljajo le 5 do 15 odstotkov prebivalstva večine skupnosti LDS.

Čeprav je le majhna manjšina svetnikov iz poslednjih dni izvajala pluralno poroko, so jo mnogi cerkveni voditelji zelo neradi opustili in trdili, da bi s tem uničil način življenja LDS. Ironično pa je, da je poziv Mormonskega manifesta k prenehanju poligamije dejansko utrl pot k večjemu sodelovanju med mormoni in pogani in je morda pomagal zagotoviti trajno vitalnost religije.


Razlaga poligamije in njene zgodovine v mormonski cerkvi

(POGOVOR) Aretacija voditelja poligamista Lylea Jeffsa, izselitve poligamističnih družin in nove študije o pohabljanju genetskih motenj med majhnimi ultraortodoksnimi ali "fundamentalističnimi" mormonskimi skupnostmi na podeželju Utaha so to naslovnico zabeležile to poletje.

Zaradi te pozornosti na poligamiji bo večina Mormonov, ki niso fundamentalisti, neprijetno. Cerkev Jezusa Kristusa svetih iz poslednjih dni (LDS)-mainstream mormonska cerkev s 15 milijoni članov po vsem svetu-je leta 1890 javno zavrnila poligamijo. Toda do danes se mainstream mormoni srečujejo s stereotipi o poligamiji.

Kot učenjak mormonizma in spola ter sam mormon vem, da je resnica o mormonizmu in poligamiji zapletena in zmedena. Več kot 175 let poligamija in napetosti, ki jo obdajajo, opredeljujejo, kaj pomeni biti mormon - še posebej mormonski človek.

Mormonsko gibanje, ki ga je leta 1830 ustanovil Joseph Smith, je ponudilo edinstven pogled na versko vlogo moških.

Eden najvplivnejših dogodkov v življenju Josepha Smitha je bila smrt njegovega 25-letnega brata Alvina leta 1823. Leta 1836 je imel Joseph Smith vizijo Alvina Smitha v nebesih. Na podlagi te vizije je razvil mormonski nauk, da bi bile družine lahko skupaj v nebesih, če bi v mormonskih templjih opravili verske obrede, imenovane "pečate". Vsak zvesti mormon, ki so ga odobrili cerkveni voditelji, bi lahko izvedel te pečate.

Delno zaradi te močne vloge, ki so jo imeli moški pri reševanju ljudi, ki so jih imeli radi in jih pripeljali v nebesa, je mormonizem pritegnil sorazmerno več spreobrnjencev moških kot katero koli drugo ameriško versko gibanje tistega časa.

V zgodnjih 1830 -ih je Smith ta pogled na vlogo moških razširil na poligamijo, kot so jo izvajali starozavezni preroki, kot je Abraham. Smith je učil, da bi pravičen človek lahko pomagal številnim ženskam in otrokom, da gredo v nebesa, če bi bili "zapečateni" v množinski poroki. Velike družine so v posmrtnem življenju pomnožile moško slavo. To učenje je bilo kot doktrina ustanovljeno leta 1843.

Govorice, da je majhen kader voditeljev cerkve LDS prakticiral poligamijo, so spodbudile nasilje mafije nad zgodnjimi mormonskimi naselji v Illinoisu in Missouriju. Ob tem nasprotovanju je Smith mormonskim moškim svetoval, naj bodo "spretni" - sodobni znanstveniki so to razlagali kot previdne, modre in "iznajdljive" - ​​v svoji praksi poligamije in uporabi "tesnil".

Po umoru Josepha Smitha leta 1845 so se mormoni leta 1847 preselili na ozemlje Utaha in tam pod vodstvom Brighama Younga, ki je nasledil Josepha Smitha, iz senc spravili prakso poligamije. Voditelji LDS so leta 1852 napovedali pluralno poroko kot uradno prakso mormonske cerkve.

Po Youngu so mormonski teologi oznanili poligamijo kot temeljno doktrino in kot dokaz patriarhalne moškosti. Do leta 1880 je približno 20-30 odstotkov mormonskih družin izvajalo poligamijo.

Vendar pa je po državljanski vojni v ZDA vse več polemik glede poligamije združilo Američane - tako na severu kot na jugu. Politiki, pridigarji in romanopisci so to obsojali kot zlo, ki je enako suženjstvu.

Vrhovno sodišče Združenih držav je v zadevi Reynolds proti Združenim državam (1878) odločilo, da je poligamija "odvratna" praksa. Sodišče je reklo,

»Poligamija je bila med severnimi in zahodnimi narodi Evrope vedno odvratna in je bila do ustanovitve mormonske cerkve skoraj izključno značilnost življenja Azijcev in Afričanov. Po običajnem pravu je bila druga poroka vedno nična, od najzgodnejše zgodovine Anglije pa je bila poligamija obravnavana kot prekršek proti družbi ... "

Kongres Združenih držav Amerike je sprejel Edmunds-Tuckerjev zakon (1887), ki dovoljuje zaseg premoženja Cerkve LDS in poligamijo za zvezni prekršek. Cele družine so šle "pod zemljo", da bi se izognile zaporu. Mormonski moški so bili stereotipizirani kot fanatiki, ki so izkoriščali nedolžne spreobrnjene, da bi zadovoljili svojo »spolno degeneracijo«. Mafije na ameriškem jugu so v osemdesetih letih 20. stoletja napadle mormonske misijonarje.

Pod pritiskom je predsednik cerkve LDS Wilford W. Woodruff leta 1890 napovedal, da mormonska cerkev ne bo več sankcionirala množinskih zakonskih zvez v skladu z zakonodajo Združenih držav. Kljub temu so se takšne poroke še naprej izvajale med mormoni v Mehiki - nekateri so se iz Utaha izselili v severno Mehiko, da bi nadaljevali poligamijo - ali z lošimi voditelji LDS v dvajsetih letih prejšnjega stoletja.

V tridesetih letih prejšnjega stoletja se je sedem vodilnih mormonskih poligamistov združilo v ohlapno konfederacijo mormonskih fundamentalistov, da bi ohranilo poligamijo. Več jih je bilo izobčenih iz običajne cerkve LDS in oblikovali tesno povezane fundamentalistične skupnosti po zahodu-od Kanade do Mehike-, ki so preživele do danes.

Medtem ko so se fundamentalistični mormoni v začetku 20. stoletja odcepili od cerkve LDS, da bi nadaljevali svojo odprto prakso poligamije, so se tisti, ki so ostali člani cerkve LDS, močno obrnili proti ameriškemu mainstreamu in asimilaciji.

Ti običajni mormoni so razvili nove norme mormonske moškosti, ki so se ameriški javnosti zdele varnejše.

Odmikajoč se od stereotipa, da so mormonizem vodili fanatični preroki z več ženami in dolgimi bradami, kot so se Mormoni asimilirali, so voditelji cerkve LDS razvili sodobnejši obrit videz in birokratski, korporacijski slog vodenja cerkvenih zadev.

Med letoma 1890 in 1920 so udeležba LDS v skavtih (ki se je začela leta 1911), prepovedi kajenja in alkohola ter konzervativna spolnost pripomogle k opredelitvi te nove mormonske moškosti. Donny Osmond, Steve Young in Mitt Romney ponazarjajo sodobno mormonsko normo.

Kljub temu pa imam izkušnjo kot vseživljenjskega mormona, da ljudje LDS z močnimi kulturnimi in družinskimi povezavami z vero običajno verjamejo, da bo poligamija dejstvo življenja v nebesih. Cerkev LDS se je leta 1890 javno odrekla poligamiji, vendar se nikoli ni odrekla poligamiji kot doktrini, kar je razvidno iz svetih spisov LDS. Vedno je dovoljevalo in dopušča moškim, da se poročijo v mormonskih templjih "za večnosti" z več kot eno ženo.

Zaradi napetosti med zasebnim prepričanjem in javno podobo je poligamija še danes občutljiva tema za mormone.


Zgodovina poligamije

Joseph Smith je ob ustanovitvi cerkve LDS zapisal številna razodetja, za katera je trdil, da jih je prejel, pogosto kot odgovor na vprašanja o Svetem pismu, ki so zdaj vključena v Nauk in zaveze, del kanona LDS. Kot odgovor na svoje vprašanje, zakaj so mnogi voditelji Stare zaveze imeli več kot eno ženo, je Smith prejel tisto, kar je danes znano kot oddelek 132. Čeprav je bilo razodetje zabeleženo šele leta 1843, ga je Smith morda prejel v 1830 -ih in se poročil s svojo prva množica, Fanny Alger, leta 1835. Poligamija se v mormonski cerkvi ni odkrito izvajala šele leta 1852, ko je apostol Orson Pratt javno nagovoril, da jo zagovarja kot načelo cerkve. Od leta 1852 do 1890 so mormonski cerkveni voditelji pridigali in spodbujali člane, zlasti tiste na vodilnih položajih, da se poročijo z dodatnimi ženami.

Večina svetnikov iz poslednjih dni nikoli ni živela po tem načelu. Število vpletenih družin se je na primer razlikovalo glede na skupnost: 30 odstotkov v Svetem Juriju leta 1870 in 40 odstotkov leta 1880 je izvajalo poligamijo, medtem ko je le 5 odstotkov v Južnem Weberju izvajalo načelo leta 1880. Namesto haremov, ki so jih pogosto predlagali pri nemormonih viri, večina mož mormonov se je poročila le z dvema ženama. Žene so običajno živele v ločenih domovih in so imele neposredno odgovornost za svoje otroke. Kjer so žene živele blizu drug drugega, so možje običajno obiskovali vsako ženo dnevno ali tedensko. Čeprav so bile med ženami in družinami pričakovane težave, poligamija običajno ni bila edini vzrok, čeprav bi zagotovo lahko povzročila večjo napetost. Ker so mormoni odkrito izvajali poligamijo le kratek čas, ni bilo določenih pravil o tem, kako naj se družinski člani med seboj povezujejo. Namesto tega se je vsaka družina prilagodila svojim posebnim okoliščinam.

Odzivi zunaj cerkve na izjave o poligamiji so bili takojšnji in negativni. Leta 1854 je republikanska stranka označila poligamijo in suženjstvo kot relikvije barbarstva. ” Leta 1862 je kongres Združenih držav sprejel zakon Morrill, ki je prepovedal množinsko poroko na ozemljih, ločil mormonsko cerkev in omejil cerkev. lastništvo nepremičnine. Narod je bil sredi državljanske vojne in zakon se ni uveljavil. Leta 1867 je ozemeljska zakonodaja Utaha prosila kongres, naj razveljavi Morrillov zakon. Namesto tega se je Odbor za pravosodje predstavniškega doma vprašal, zakaj se zakon ne izvaja, in uvedel je bil Cullom Bill, poskus okrepitve Morrillovega zakona. Čeprav ni sprejel, je večina njegovih določb kasneje postala zakon. Od številnih drugih zakonov, uvedenih v sedemdesetih letih prejšnjega stoletja proti poligamiji, je bil sprejet le zakon o Poljski leta 1874. Okrožnim sodiščem je podelil vso civilno in kazensko pristojnost, zapuščinska sodišča pa omejila na vprašanja poravnave zapuščine, skrbništva in razveze zakonske zveze.

Mormoni so kljub tem zakonom še naprej izvajali poligamijo, saj so menili, da je praksa zaščitena s klavzulo o svobodi veroizpovedi v Zakonu o pravicah. Da bi preizkusil ustavnost zakonov, se je George Reynolds, zasebni tajnik Brigham Young, strinjal, da mu bodo sodili. Leta 1879 je zadeva prišla do vrhovnega sodišča, ki je potrdilo zakon Morrill: “ Zakoni so narejeni za ravnanja vlade, čeprav ne morejo posegati v zgolj versko prepričanje in mnenje, lahko v prakso. ”

Leta 1882 je kongres sprejel Edmundsov zakon, ki je bil pravzaprav vrsta sprememb Morrillovega zakona. Ponovno je bilo zapisano, da je poligamija kaznivo dejanje, ki se kaznuje s petimi leti zapora in 500 USD globe. Nezakonito sobivanje, ki ga je bilo lažje ugotoviti, ker je moralo tožilstvo dokazati le to, da sta zakonca živela skupaj in ne da je prišlo do poročne slovesnosti, je ostalo prekršek, ki se kaznuje s šestmesečno zaporno kaznijo in 300 USD denarne kazni. Obsojeni poligamisti so bili brez pravice in niso mogli opravljati političnih funkcij. Tisti, ki so se ukvarjali s poligamijo, so bili izključeni iz porote, tisti, ki so verovali vanj, pa niso mogli služiti v primeru poligamije. Vsi uradniki za registracijo in volitve na ozemlju Utaha so bili razrešeni, za neposredne volitve pa je bil imenovan odbor petih komisarjev.

Ker Edmundsov zakon ni uspel pri nadzoru poligamije v Utahu, je kongres leta 1884 razpravljal o zakonodaji, ki bi zapolnila vrzeli. Nazadnje je leta 1887 sprejel zakon “hodge-podge ” Edmunds-Tucker Bill. Od množic je zahtevalo, da pričajo proti svojim možem, razpustilo podjetje Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company (posojilnico, ki je članom cerkve pomagalo prihajati v Utah iz Evrope), odpravilo milico Legije Nauvoo in zagotovilo mehanizem za pridobitev cerkvenega premoženja , ki je bil z zakonom Morrill že odpravljen. Leta 1889 so razpravljali o zakonu, ki ga je spopadel s še hujšimi ukrepi, vendar je mormonska cerkev pomagala preprečiti njegov prehod z obljubo, da bo odpravila poligamijo.

Vsi ti pritiski so imeli vpliv na cerkev, čeprav niso prisilili svetnikov iz poslednjih dni, da odpravijo poligamijo. Cerkveni voditelji in številni njeni člani so se skrivali —pod zemljo “podzemlje ”, kot so jo imenovali —, da bi se izognili aretaciji ali da ne bi pričali. Predsednik mormonske cerkve John Taylor je umrl med skrivanjem. Njegov naslednik Wilford Woodruff je sprva podpiral nadaljnjo prakso poligamije, vendar je s povečanjem pritiska začel spreminjati cerkveno politiko. 26. septembra 1890 je izdal sporočilo za javnost Manifest, v katerem je pisalo, “I javno izjavljam, da je moj nasvet svetnikom iz poslednjih dni, naj se vzdržijo sklepanja kakršnih koli zakonskih zvez, ki jih zakon dežele prepoveduje. ” Manifest je bil odobren na cerkveni generalni konferenci 6. oktobra 1890.

Mormonski poligamisti v zvezni kaznilnici

Namesto da bi rešil vprašanje poligamije, pa je po mnenju enega zgodovinarja: “ Tako za hierarhijo kot za splošno pripadnost cerkvi LDS je Manifest odprl dvoumno obdobje v praksi pluralne poroke, ki jo je v času konkuriral le status poligamije. Življenjska doba Josepha Smitha. Javne in zasebne izjave družbe Woodruff so bile v nasprotju s tem, ali je manifest veljal za obstoječe poroke. Zaradi Manifesta so nekateri moški zapustili žene v množini, drugi pa so to razlagali kot veljavno le za nove poroke. Vse poligamne splošne oblasti (cerkveni voditelji, vključno s prvim predsedstvom, svetom dvanajstih apostolov, cerkvenim patriarhom, prvim sedemdesetim koncilom in predsedujočo škofijo) so še naprej sobivali s svojimi ženami. Na podlagi impresionističnih dokazov v družinskih zgodovinah in rodoslovnih zapisih se zdi, da je “most ” poligamistov sledilo zgledu splošnih oblasti ’.

Prav tako se vse nove množinske poroke niso končale leta 1890. Čeprav so bile v Mehiki in Kanadi tehnično v nasprotju z zakonom, so bile v obeh državah sklenjene poligamne poroke. Mormonske množinske družine so odkrito izvajale poligamijo v Mehiki, kanadska vlada je mormonskim moškim dovolila, da imajo v državi samo eno ženo, zato so imeli nekateri moški zakonito ženo v ZDA in eno v Kanadi. Poleg tega je bilo v Združenih državah sklenjenih nekaj pluralnih porok.

Med preiskavo senata leta 1904 o sedežu izvoljenega senatorja Reeda Smoota, monogamista, vendar člana zbora dvanajstih apostolov, je predsednik mormonske cerkve Joseph F. Smith predstavil tisto, kar so zgodovinarji poimenovali “Drugi manifest ”. Aprila 1904. Vključeval je določbe, da bi cerkev ukrepala proti tistim, ki so še naprej sklepali pluralne poroke in se poročali z več ženami. Matthias Cowley in John W. Taylor, oba apostola, sta po letu 1904 še naprej sodelovala pri izvajanju ali zagovarjanju novih pluralnih zakonskih zvez, zato je bil Cowley izključen in Taylor izobčen iz cerkve. Leta 1909 se je sestal odbor apostolov za preiskavo poligamije po manifestu, do leta 1910 pa je imela cerkev novo politiko. Tisti, ki so bili vpleteni v pluralne poroke po letu 1904, so bili izobčeni, poročeni med letoma 1890 in 1904 pa naj ne bi imeli cerkvenih klicev, kjer bi jih morali vzdrževati drugi člani. Čeprav je mormonska cerkev po letu 1904 uradno prepovedala nove množinske poroke, so številni možje in žene v množini še naprej živeli do svoje smrti v štiridesetih in petdesetih letih.

Fundamentalistične skupine, ki menijo, da je cerkev prenehala s poligamijo le zaradi pritiska vlade, so nadaljevale to prakso. Ker jih je odkrila cerkev LDS, so bili izobčeni. Nekateri od teh poligamistov so imenovali voditelje in še naprej živijo v skupinah, vključno s tistimi v mestu Colorado City (prej Short Creek), Arizona in Hilldale, Utah. Drugi, na primer Royston Potter, se ukvarjajo s poligamijo, vendar niso povezani z organizirano skupino.


Razlaga poligamije in njene zgodovine v mormonski cerkvi

Avtor: Joanna Brooks
Objavljeno 27. avgusta 2017 19:29 (EDT)

DATOTEKA - Na tej fotografiji, 11. septembra 2014, kip angela Moronija stoji na vrhu templja Salt Lake na Temple Squareu v Salt Lake Cityju. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, datoteka)

Delnice

Ta članek je bil prvotno objavljen na The Conversation.

Aretacija poligamističnega voditelja Lylea Jeffsa, izselitve poligamističnih družin in nove študije o pohabljanju genetskih motenj med majhnimi ultraortodoksnimi ali "fundamentalističnimi" mormonskimi skupnostmi v podeželju Utaha so to naslovnico zabeležile to poletje.

Zaradi te pozornosti na poligamiji bo večina mormonov, ki niso fundamentalisti, neprijetno. Cerkev Jezusa Kristusa svetih iz poslednjih dni (LDS)-mainstream mormonska cerkev s 15 milijoni članov po vsem svetu-je leta 1890 javno zavrnila poligamijo. Toda do danes se mainstream mormoni srečujejo s stereotipi o poligamiji.

Kot učenjak mormonizma in spola ter sam mormon vem, da je resnica o mormonizmu in poligamiji zapletena in zmedena. Več kot 175 let poligamija in napetosti, ki jo obdajajo, opredeljujejo, kaj pomeni biti mormon - še posebej mormonski človek.

Začetek poligamije

Mormonsko gibanje, ki ga je leta 1830 ustanovil Joseph Smith, je ponudilo edinstven pogled na versko vlogo moških.

Eden najvplivnejših dogodkov v življenju Josepha Smitha je bila smrt njegovega 25-letnega brata Alvina leta 1823. Leta 1836 je imel Joseph Smith vizijo Alvina Smitha v nebesih. Na podlagi te vizije je razvil mormonski nauk, da bi bile družine lahko skupaj v nebesih, če bi v mormonskih templjih opravljale verske obrede, imenovane "pečate". Vsak zvesti mormon, ki so ga odobrili cerkveni voditelji, bi lahko izvedel te pečate.

Delno zaradi te močne vloge, ki so jo imeli moški pri reševanju ljudi, ki so jih imeli radi in jih pripeljali v nebesa, je mormonizem pritegnil sorazmerno več spreobrnjencev moških kot katero koli drugo ameriško versko gibanje tistega časa.

V zgodnjih 1830 -ih je Smith ta pogled na vlogo moških razširil na poligamijo, kot so jo izvajali starozavezni preroki, kot je Abraham. Smith je učil, da bi pravičen človek lahko pomagal številnim ženskam in otrokom, da gredo v nebesa, če bi bili "zapečateni" v množinski poroki. Velike družine so v posmrtnem življenju pomnožile moško slavo. To učenje je bilo kot doktrina ustanovljeno leta 1843.

Govorice, da je majhen kader voditeljev cerkve LDS prakticiral poligamijo, so spodbudile nasilje mafije nad zgodnjimi mormonskimi naselji v Illinoisu in Missouriju. Ob tem nasprotovanju je Smith mormonskim moškim svetoval, naj bodo "spretni" - sodobni znanstveniki so to razlagali kot previdne, modre in "iznajdljive" - ​​v svoji praksi poligamije in uporabi "tesnil".

Po umoru Josepha Smitha leta 1845 so se mormoni leta 1847 preselili na ozemlje Utaha in tam pod vodstvom Brighama Younga, ki je nasledil Josepha Smitha, iz senc spravili prakso poligamije. Voditelji LDS so leta 1852 napovedali pluralno poroko kot uradno prakso mormonske cerkve.

Po Youngu so mormonski teologi oznanili poligamijo kot temeljno doktrino in kot dokaz patriarhalne moškosti. Do leta 1880 je približno 20-30 odstotkov mormonskih družin izvajalo poligamijo.

Zakoni o poligamiji, fundamentalistične skupine

Vendar pa je po državljanski vojni v ZDA vse več polemik glede poligamije združilo Američane - tako na severu kot na jugu. Politiki, pridigarji in romanopisci so to obsojali kot zlo, ki je enako suženjstvu.

Vrhovno sodišče Združenih držav je v zadevi Reynolds proti Združenim državam (1878) odločilo, da je poligamija "odvratna" praksa. Sodišče je reklo,

»Poligamija je bila med severnimi in zahodnimi narodi Evrope vedno odvratna in je bila do ustanovitve mormonske cerkve skoraj izključno značilnost življenja Azijcev in Afričanov. Po običajnem pravu je bila druga poroka vedno nična, od najzgodnejše zgodovine Anglije pa je bila poligamija obravnavana kot prekršek proti družbi. . . . ”

Kongres Združenih držav je sprejel Edmunds-Tuckerjev zakon (1887), ki dovoljuje zaseg premoženja Cerkve LDS in poligamijo za zvezni prekršek. Cele družine so šle "pod zemljo", da bi se izognile zaporu. Mormonski moški so bili stereotipizirani kot fanatiki, ki so izkoriščali nedolžne spreobrnjene, da bi zadovoljili svojo »spolno degeneracijo«. Mafije na ameriškem jugu so v osemdesetih letih 20. stoletja napadle mormonske misijonarje.

Pod pritiskom je predsednik cerkve LDS Wilford W. Woodruff leta 1890 napovedal, da mormonska cerkev ne bo več sankcionirala množinskih zakonskih zvez v skladu z zakonodajo Združenih držav. Kljub temu so se takšne poroke še naprej izvajale med mormoni v Mehiki - nekateri so se iz Utaha izselili v severno Mehiko, da bi nadaljevali poligamijo - ali z lošimi voditelji LDS v dvajsetih letih prejšnjega stoletja.

V tridesetih letih prejšnjega stoletja se je sedem vodilnih mormonskih poligamistov združilo v ohlapno konfederacijo mormonskih fundamentalistov, da bi ohranilo poligamijo. Več jih je bilo izobčenih iz običajne cerkve LDS in oblikovali tesno povezane fundamentalistične skupnosti po zahodu-od Kanade do Mehike-, ki so preživele do danes.

Nove upodobitve moškosti

Medtem ko so se fundamentalistični mormoni v začetku 20. stoletja odcepili od cerkve LDS, da bi nadaljevali svojo odprto prakso poligamije, so se tisti, ki so ostali člani cerkve LDS, močno obrnili proti ameriškemu mainstreamu in asimilaciji.

Ti običajni mormoni so razvili nove norme mormonske moškosti, ki so se ameriški javnosti zdele varnejše.

Odmikajoč se od stereotipa, da so mormonizem vodili fanatični preroki z več ženami in dolgimi bradami, kot so se Mormoni asimilirali, so voditelji cerkve LDS razvili sodobnejši obrit videz in birokratski, korporacijski slog vodenja cerkvenih zadev.

Med letoma 1890 in 1920 so sodelovanje LDS v skavtih (ki se je začelo leta 1911), prepovedi kajenja in alkohola ter konservativna spolnost pripomogle k opredelitvi te nove mormonske moškosti. Donny Osmond, Steve Young in Mitt Romney ponazarjajo sodobno mormonsko normo.

Kljub temu pa imam izkušnjo kot vseživljenjskega mormona, da ljudje LDS z močnimi kulturnimi in družinskimi povezavami z vero običajno verjamejo, da bo poligamija dejstvo življenja v nebesih. Cerkev LDS se je leta 1890 javno odrekla poligamiji, vendar se nikoli ni odrekla poligamiji kot doktrini, kar je razvidno iz svetih spisov LDS. Vedno je dovoljevalo in dopušča moškim, da se poročijo v mormonskih templjih "za večnosti" z več kot eno ženo.

Zaradi napetosti med zasebnim prepričanjem in javno podobo je poligamija še danes občutljiva tema za mormone.

Joanna Brooks

Joanna Brooks, imenovana za eno od "50 politik za opazovanje", je avtorica knjige Mormonova deklica: zgodbe iz ameriške vere in višja dopisnica Religion Dispatches.


Kaj mediji ne govorijo o zgodovini mormonske poligamije v Mehiki

To je gostujoča objava Barbare Jones Brown

(RNS) — Grozljiv umor treh žensk in šestih otrok v Sonori v Mehiki je ta teden v središče pozornosti prinesel malo znano poglavje mormonske in mehiške zgodovine, eno globoko prepleteno s preteklo prakso svetih iz poslednjih dni. poligamija. Mormoni sami ne razumejo te zgodovine. Čeprav sem bil vseživljenjski svetnik poslednjih dni, o tem nisem izvedel vse do pred nekaj leti, ko sta me dva moža iz Utaha naročila, da napišem življenjepis svoje matere, ki se je rodila in odraščala v poligamni koloniji mormonov v mehiški Chihuahua.

Zgodba se začne v Nauvoou v Illinoisu, kjer je Joseph Smith, ustanovni prerok Cerkve Jezusa Kristusa svetih iz poslednjih dni, v začetku štiridesetih let uveljavil versko prakso poligamije. Smith je leta 1843 prejel razodetje, da je življenje v tem življenju po načelu pluralne ali nebeške poroke predpogoj za prejemanje polnosti Božje nebeške slave v naslednjem. Čeprav člani Cerkve LDS danes ne prakticirajo poligamije, se razodetje še vedno pojavlja v oddelku 132 Doktrine in Zaveze, ki velja za kanonizirano sveto pismo.

Svetniki poslednjih dni so svojo prakso poligamije kot versko načelo javno objavili leta 1852, nekaj let po tem, ko jih je nasilje mafije prisililo, da so bežali iz Illinoisa na ameriški zahod. Po državljanski vojni se je razprava o prepovedi poligamije v ameriškem kongresu začela vneti in dosegla krescendo v 1880 -ih. Leta 1882 in 1887 so zvezni zakoni sprejeli kriminalizacijo poligamije.

Od 1884 do 1895 je bilo več kot tisoč svetih iz poslednjih dni obsojenih za zločine, povezane z množinsko poroko. Mnogi poligamisti, od lokalnih voditeljev do najvišje cerkvene hierarhije, so se poskušali izogniti aretaciji tako, da so se skrivali. Ker so se protipoligamične križarske vojne še naprej osredotočale na poligamiste na ozemlju Utaha, se je veliko število množic razširilo na druga območja, med drugim v Kolorado, Wyoming in Arizono v ameriški Alberti, Kanadi in severni Mehiki.

Studio portret Wilforda Woodruffa leta 1889. Fotografija Charles Roscoe Savage/Knjižnica Harolda B. Leeja/Creative Commons

Leta 1889 je novi predsednik cerkve Wilford Woodruff videl neizogibnost priklona zveznemu zakonu, če naj bi cerkev preživela. Naročil je, naj se v treh cerkvah ne sklepajo nove množinske poroke, pod grožnjo, da jih bo zvezna vlada zaprla. Začel pa je intimno govoriti, da bi takšne poroke lahko sklenili v Mehiki ali Kanadi. ”

To kaže na nekaj, kar se mediji in celo nekateri zgodovinarji zmotijo ​​glede mormonizma in zgodovine v Mehiki: sveti iz poslednjih dni, ki so tja odšli konec 19. in v začetku 20. stoletja, se niso izselili kljub prizadevanjem cerkvenih voditeljev in#8217 prizadevanj, da bi končali praksa poligamije. Od leta 1885 so cerkveni voditelji ustanovili mehiške kolonije kot zatočišče, kjer bi poligamne družine lahko živele brez pregona, voditelji pa so te družine spodbudili, naj se preselijo v Mehiko.

Cerkvena hierarhija je upala, da bo odstranitev velikega števila pluralistov in potencialnih pluralistov v Mehiko osvobodila te družine pred kazenskim pregonom, hkrati pa odpravila zvezne ugovore glede kandidature ozemlja Utaha za državnost, ki je bila nazadnje odobrena leta 1896.

Poligamija je bila medtem tudi v Mehiki nezakonita, a cerkveni voditelji so mehiške zvezne voditelje prepričali, da bodo priseljenci mormoni okrepili mehiško gospodarstvo z razvojem kmetijskih zemljišč v sušni severni deželi. Mehiška uprava jim je povedala, da so dobrodošli, če mirno kolonizirajo in mirno živijo svojo zakonsko prakso.

Ameriški mormoni so se začeli resno seliti v Čivavo od konca leta 1885. V naslednjih četrt stoletja se jih je nekaj tisoč preselilo južno od meje.

Potem ko je ameriško vrhovno sodišče maja 1890 potrdilo ustavnost kongresne zakonodaje proti poligamiji, je Woodruff pripravil izjavo o pluralni poroki, ki bo postala znana kot “Uradna deklaracija 𔃉, ” ali v pogovornem smislu, & #8220manifest, ”, ki je bil prebran in podprt na cerkveni generalni konferenci tistega oktobra.

“Ne učimo poligamije ali pluralne poroke in ne dovoljujemo nobeni osebi, da bi vstopila v njeno prakso, "je zapisano v izjavi ” Woodruff ’s. V naših templjih ali kjer koli drugje na ozemlju (Utah) ni bilo sklenjenih več porok, niti od lanskega junija ali v preteklem letu. … Zdaj javno izjavljam, da je moj nasvet svetnikom iz poslednjih dni, naj se vzdržijo sklenitve kakršne koli poroke, ki jo prepoveduje deželni zakon. ”

Toda v Mehiki so kolonije mormonskih poligamistov rasle — z blagoslovom voditeljev LDS. Kljub javnim “svetom ”, da bi se mormoni morali vzdržati sklepanja novih pluralnih zakonskih zvez, sta Woodruff in eden od njegovih dveh svetovalcev pooblastila nekatere mormonske voditelje, da še naprej izvajajo majhno število takšnih zakonov.

Poleg tega so zasebno spodbujali nekatere svetnike iz poslednjih dni, ki so želeli odkrito izvajati poligamijo ali sklepati nove poligamne poroke, da se preselijo v mehiške kolonije.

Do decembra 1890 je približno 1.500 priseljencev LDS živelo v treh večjih kolonijah Chihuahua — Colonia Diaz v bližini meje z Novo Mehiko ter Colonias Juarez in Dublan, približno 50 milj južno od Diaza in 200 milj jugozahodno od El Pasa, Teksas. Z leti so mormonski naseljenci zgradili še več kolonij v Čivavi in ​​na zahodni državi Sonora.

Čeprav so se morali izolirati in ohraniti tiho zakonsko zvezo, so mormonski kolonisti v svojih tesno povezanih skupnostih lahko odkrito živeli svoj poligamni življenjski slog, brez strahu pred pregonom.

Reed Smoot je bil od leta 1903 do 1933 ameriški senator iz Utaha. Fotografija avtorja Kongresne knjižnice

V zgodnjih 1900-ih je kongres izvedel, da so nekateri sveti iz poslednjih dni še naprej prakticirali poligamijo. Potem ko je Utah leta 1902 v ameriški senat izvolil mormonskega apostola Reeda Smoota, je skupina ne-mormonov v Utahu poslala protest v Washington in prosila senat, naj ne zaseda Smoota, ker cerkev še vedno spodbuja poligamijo. Posledične obravnave v senatu so se začele leta 1904 in so trajale več kot tri leta. Čeprav je bil Smoot monogamen, se je soočal z obtožbami v zvezi z nadaljnjim širjenjem poligamije v cerkvi, zlasti v Mehiki.

Po tem, ko so se januarja 1904 začela zaslišanja v senatu, je Smoot pozval cerkvenega predsednika, takratnega predsednika Josepha F. Smitha (nečaka ustanovnega preroka Josepha Smitha), naj odpravi cerkveni ugled, ki je bil poškodovan. Smith soon issued what became known colloquially as the Second Manifesto, which declared that “no such marriages have been solemnized with the sanction, consent or knowledge of the Church.” Smith’s statement added that excommunication would be the penalty for any member who contracted or performed a new plural marriage.

The Second Manifesto resulted in a dramatic reduction, if not total cessation, of Latter-day Saint plural marriages even outside of the United States. President Smith traveled to the Mormon colonies in Mexico to reinforce the 1904 Manifesto. “There are no plural marriages being performed at present in the Church, in Mexico or anywhere else,” Smith told the men of the colonies in a meeting. “The Church is upon trial before the Government of the United States, and we must be very careful.” 

In Mexico, the colonists who married into polygamy before 1904 continued to live openly as plural families. But the Mexican Revolution of 1910󈞀 eroded their ability to live together in cohesive family units. Revolutionary violence forced Mormon colonists to flee north to the United States. In 1912 some 4,500 Mormon colonists — including Utah Senator Mitt Romney’s five-year-old father, George — fled their homes in a mass exodus. 

Inadvertently, Mexico’s revolution was bringing the final end to Latter-day Saint-sanctioned polygamy that the U.S. government had long sought to achieve. Although 90% of them never returned, a small number of polygamous families returned to their colonies in Chihuahua. Many of their descendants — mostly monogamous — remain there today. 

Thus Mexico, which provided a haven for plural marriage to thrive as anti-polygamy prosecution increased in the United States, also witnessed the last breaths of polygamy for adherents to the 20th-century Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mexican Revolution helped end what federal prosecution, Senate hearings and two manifestos had begun. 

(Barbara Jones Brown is a historian and executive director of the Mormon History Association, an independent organization dedicated to the scholarly study of the Mormon past. Her work on post-Manifesto polygamy is published in Bringhurst and Foster, eds., “The Persistence of Polygamy: Fundamentalist Mormon Polygamy from 1890 to the Present” (John Whitmer Books, 2015), and in Dormady and Tamez, eds., “Just South of Zion: The Mormons in Mexico and Its Borderlands” (University of New Mexico Press, 2015). Her co-authored book on the aftermath of the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Religion New Service.)


The Mormon Wars

Wikimedia Commons This 1851 lithograph depicts one of the darker moments in Mormon history as Joseph Smith’s body is mutilated in the street.

Mormon history is largely a repeating pattern: LDS members form an insular community somewhere, buy and sell principally with each other and dominate the local economy and political scene, followed by harassment and violence from the area’s prior residents, leading to guerrilla warfare and the expulsion of the Mormons to a new territory, where it all started again.

After their trek out of New York, the Mormons settled in Jackson County, Mo., which their leader Joseph Smith had identified as the site of the new Zion, a “center place” he hoped to build before the imminent end of the world.

Jackson residents were understandably wary of this sudden influx of thousands, and by 1833 they had forced the expulsion of LDS members to areas farther east, near the center of the state. There, in 1838, trouble began again, as LDS members were heard speaking openly about “enemy” land coming under the control of their church and preaching sermons about “exterminating” gentiles occupying the Holy Land of Missouri.

Residents retaliated by putting a measure on the August ballot to prevent Mormons voting or owning land outside of Clay County. This led to a brawl at a polling station and multiple confrontations between Mormon and non-Mormon lynch mobs.

By the middle of October, as the state militia was threatening to defect and join a mob laying siege to Mormons in De Witt, an armed Mormon militia rode down on the militia’s camp and drove off the men, killing one. Hearing of this, and thinking he had an insurrection on his hands, Governor Boggs issued the infamous Executive Order 44, authorizing the militia to drive off or kill every Mormon in the state.

After five years of underground warfare, locals were happy to oblige, and most of the Mormons were driven across the river to a new New Zion, Nauvoo, Illinois.

Before 1839, Nauvoo was a big swampy marsh and a tiny town called Commerce. The sudden influx of over 10,000 Mormons made it the second-largest city in the state overnight. More migrants arrived in the next few years from a Mormon mission in Britain, swelling the town’s population further.

When the commander of the Illinois State Militia converted to Mormonism, he was put at the head of the 2,000-member Nauvoo Legion, an armed fighting force that answered to “Lieutenant-General” Joseph Smith. Smith was also the president of the LDS church, chief justice of the municipal courts, and mayor of Nauvoo.

That authoritarian streak alarmed non-Mormon residents of Hancock County, as did the by-now-typical Mormon domination of local politics and the economy. By 1844, things had gone south again.

Smith had been using his position at the head of Nauvoo’s courts to deny extradition for Mormons accused of crimes in Missouri, including possibly an attempt on the life of Governor Boggs. This was also the time when Smith introduced polygamy as an official church practice, leading to a schism that saw a splinter group founding a newspaper critical of Smith.

When Smith sent the Nauvoo Legion to shut down the paper, non-Mormons in the area got legitimately scared of his unchecked power. Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyram, were arrested and held under guard in Carthage, Illinois, where a lynch mob attacked the jail and killed them both.

Open violence broke out between Mormons and their neighbors, which came to be known as the Illinois Mormon War. In January of 1845, Nauvoo’s town charter was revoked by the state legislature, whereupon the new leader, Brigham Young, created an informal theocracy called the City of Joseph.

Fighting continued on and off throughout the year until Young personally negotiated a truce to allow his people to peaceably evacuate the city. By the winter of 1844-45, as many as 15,000 Mormons had packed up their goods and hit what became known as the Mormon Trail west, to parts unknown.


The truth about Mormon Polygamy

Joseph Smith (the founder of mormonism was married to over 30 women, including women who were still married to living husbands (by the way, it is called polyandry, when a women is married to multiple men):

In 1869 Wilford Woodruff, Mormonism’s future fourth president, taught:

“If we were to do away with polygamy, it would only be one feather in the bird, one ordinance in the Church and kingdom. Do away with that, then we must do away with prophets and Apostles, with revelation and the gifts and graces of the Gospel, and finally give up our religion altogether and turn sectarians and do as the world does, then all would be right. We just can’t do that, for God has commanded us to build up His kingdom and to bear our testimony to the nations of the earth, and we are going to do it, come life or come death. He has told us to do thus, and we shall obey Him in days to come as we have in days past” ( Journal of Discourses 13:165 – p.166).

Even as late as 1879, Joseph F. Smith was insisting that plural marriage was essential for LDS exaltation. Speaking at the funeral of William Clayton, Mormonism’s future sixth president, stated:

“This doctrine of eternal union of husband and wife, and of plural marriage, is one of the most important doctrines ever revealed to man in any age of the world. Without it man would come to a full stop without it we never could be exalted to associate with and become god…” ( Journal of Discourses 21:9).

If you don’t think these quotes are accurate, you can look them up for your self on the BYU website (BYU is the Mormon church’s officially sponsored institution), where they cite the Journal of Discourses as scripture :

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Joseph married other men's wives while they were still married to their husbands

As admitted in the LDS essay, "Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo":

[C]areful estimates put the number [of Joseph Smith's wives] between 30 and 40.

Following his marriage to Louisa Beaman and before he married other single women, Joseph Smith was sealed to a number of women who were already married.

Estimates of the number of these sealings range from 12 to 14.

In other words, Joseph "married" or was "sealed" to 12-14 women who were already legally wedded to other men at the time. Following is a list of Joseph's wives that we know of (some researchers estimate that the number may have been higher). A name indicated with an * was a living husband of the woman to whom Joseph Smith was "married" (From the website, Remembering the Wives of Joseph Smith.)


Mormon Polygamy

The late Mormon prophet Gordon B Hinckley answered the question about Church policy on Mormon polygamy:

This Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this Church. . . . If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church.

Mormons do not practice polygamy or plural marriage and have not since 1890 (125 years ago), when Utah became a state. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are often called “Mormons” or “Latter-day Saints,” wishes to be distinguished from groups that practice polygamy. In 2008, one such group (which in the 1990s registered itself as The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) made the headlines because of underage marriages and possible child abuse occurring within the sect. The sect itself claims to be affiliated with the Mormon Church, but in reality it has no connection. Press reports have repeatedly referred to sect members as Mormons who are practicing Mormon polygamy. This is understandably very confusing to the public. The Associated Press style guide tells its reporters that the term Mormon “is not properly applied” to other churches that resulted from schisms occurring after founder Joseph Smith’s death. Such breakaway polygamist sects are small, reclusive, and have no prophetic guidance or priesthood authority.

Mormon polygamy, however, was an important part of the teachings of the Church for fifty years. The practice began during the lifetime of founder and prophet Joseph Smith but became publicly and widely known during the time of 2nd prophet, Brigham Young. In 1831 Joseph Smith made a prayerful inquiry to the Lord regarding the ancient Old Testament practice of plural marriage. This resulted in the divine instruction to reinstitute the practice as a religious principle. The reason for this is that the current dispensation is the dispensation of the “fulness of times,” or the last dispensation before the second coming of Christ. It is a dispensation of the “restoration of all things,” when all gospel principles are to be restored in their fulness. The law of plural marriage, often called Mormon polygamy, is that it is right only when the Lord orders His children to keep the law, usually to raise up a righteous generation of offspring unto the Lord, or to provide for a large population of women.

Joseph Smith, though he received the revelation regarding plural marriage in 1831, did not share the principle immediately. He himself was reticent and perhaps even fearful of living or causing other people to live according to the law. But the Lord made known that once the principle was revealed, it had to be kept. The revelation is recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132:

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David, and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines– Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter. Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same. . . . Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation . . . David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me. . . . I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and restore all things.

After God revealed the doctrine of plural marriage (Mormon polygamy) to Joseph Smith and commanded him to live it, the Prophet, over a period of years, cautiously taught the doctrine to some close associates. Eventually, he and a small number of Church leaders entered into plural marriages in the early years of the Church. The doctrine of Mormon polygamy and its practice were extremely difficult to accept, even for Joseph Smith. Brigham Young, after hearing the doctrine, said he envied the corpses in funeral processions, wishing he could trade places with them rather than embrace the doctrine of polygamy. Those who practiced plural marriage at that time, both male and female, experienced a significant trial of their faith. The practice was so foreign to them that they needed and received personal inspiration from God to help them obey the commandment. When the Saints moved west under the direction of Brigham Young, more Latter-day Saints entered into plural marriages, and yet, plural marriage was only practiced by a fraction of the membership of the Church.

Unlike the reclusive and male-dominated polygamous sects of today, 19th century plural marriage among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was not controlled by the arbitrary authority of one individual. On the contrary, decisions related to marriage were settled by consideration of the feelings of all interested parties. Furthermore, the consent of individual women was always honored in any marriage proposal. Though there was some social and cultural pressure, it was not determinative. Both men and women were free to refuse offers of marriage they found unacceptable, and prophet Brigham Young, as governor, readily granted divorces. Women were granted considerable autonomy. In distinction to the cloistered isolation of today’s polygamous groups, Mormon culture in the 19th century was characterized by a vibrancy of productive activity in various fields of endeavor: education, industry, politics, community-building, agriculture, and many professions. Latter-day Saints strived to embrace modernity, not thwart it (Marlin K. Jensen, Church Historian).

Mormon Polygamy is Discontinued

In 1889 in the face of increasing hardships and the threat of government confiscation of Church property, including temples, Wilford Woodruff, president of the Church at the time, prayed for guidance. He was inspired to issue a document that officially ended the sanction of plural marriage by the Church. The document, called the Manifesto, was accepted by Church members in a general conference held in October, 1890 and is published in the Doctrine and Covenants as Official Declaration 1. Describing the reasons for the Manifesto, President Woodruff told Church members, “The Lord showed me by vision and revelation exactly what would take place if we did not stop this practice. If we had not stopped it, you would have had no use for . . . any of the men in this temple . . . for all (temple sacraments) would be stopped throughout the land. . . . Confusion would reign . . . and many men would be made prisoners. This trouble would have come upon the whole Church, and we should have been compelled to stop the practice.”

Since the Lord has commanded that the practice of plural marriage should be stopped, plural marriage is now against the law of God, even in countries where civil or religious law allows the practice of a man having more than one wife. The Church does not accept into membership those practicing plural marriage (LDS.org:Gospel Topics:Polygamy).

The standard doctrine of the Church is now, and always has been, monogamy. In the Book of Mormon it says, “Wherefore my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife and concubines he shall have none. . . . For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people otherwise they shall hearken unto these things” (Jacob, chapter 2). In other words, the standard of the Lord’s people is monogamy unless the Lord reveals otherwise. Latter-day Saints believe the season the Church practiced Mormon polygamy was one of those exceptions.


Do Mormons Practice Polygamy?

Daniel Mallia is an HNN intern and an undergraduate at Fordham University.

A frequent charge raised against Mormonism is that Mormons practice polygamy, which many people oppose for various reasons ranging from religious or moral convictions to concerns about the treatment or degradation of women. There is no denying that polygamy was accepted and practiced by the mainstream Mormon church for part of the nineteenth century, though it was not practiced by the majority of Mormons. (The great-grandfather of GOP candidate Mitt Romney, Miles Park Romney, was a polygamist in Utah, and ultimately left to Mexico with his family to escape prosecution for the practice.) It is also true that the practice continues today among some fringe Mormon sects, but it's far outside the mainstream of the official church. The stereotype that all Mormons practice polygamy sticks because of history and popular abuse, but not only is polygamy not an accepted practice within the Church of Latter-day Saints, it was proscribed by the Church over a century ago.

Polygamy in Mormonism started with Joseph Smith himself. Sometime in the 1830s, possibly in 1831, he reportedly received a revelation from God instructing him that polygamy was in fact not adultery, it was proper if ordered by God, and that he himself should practice it. Polygamy can be found in the Old Testament, notably with Abraham and Jacob (see Genesis 16:1-3 and 29:23-30), and thus the concept would not have been alien to Mormonism, which supports returning to the traditions of the Old Testament. Mormons have offered explanations as to why God revealed these instructions to Smith at that time, but ultimately the revelation is understood as the definitive reason for beginning the practice. In any case, though Smith began to engage in polygamy in the 1830s (possibly beginning with the teen-aged Fanny Alger), he did not make an open statement about it until 1843. Around that time Smith began to raise awareness about God's order amongst Church leaders, notably Brigham Young, who was reportedly initially repulsed by the idea but later reversed his view and engaged in polygamy, much to the anger of his first wife. The number of women he ultimately married is unknown, though it probably exceeded fifty. He did not have conjugal relations with many of his wives.

In 1852 the Mormon Church officially and publicly announced the practice of polygamy. It was considered to be an important practice as not only had God commanded it, but it was believed that the practice would grant a Mormon entrance into the highest levels of heaven. Around this time, and continuing until the end of the century, many Church leaders engaged in polygamy. They were generally the exceptions, not the rule, as they took many wives, whereas outside of the Church leadership Mormon men tended to take only a couple of wives, in part because considerable wealth was required to support a larger family. Though the percentage can be debated, it is generally accepted that no more than one-third of Mormons ever engaged in polygamy.

The emergence of this Mormon practice was met with a furious uproar from the rest of America. Indeed, in 1856 polygamy was condemned by the Republican Party, as a "twin relic of barbarism" (the other being slavery), and in the subsequent decades it increasingly came under attack. This began in earnest with the passage of the 1862 Morrill Bigamy Act, which attempted to make polygamy illegal but suffered from ambiguity and problems of jurisdiction. Furthermore, in the midst of the Civil War, President Lincoln did not attempt to enforce the law rigorously. However, the crackdown on polygamy was renewed in the post-war period, as in 1874 the Poland Act was passed, giving federal judges the power to prosecute polygamists, and in 1882 the Edmunds Act was passed, making this task even simpler by making "unlawful cohabitation" punishable - an easier charge to prove. The final blow came in 1887 with the Edmunds-Tucker Act, which financially crippled the Mormon Church and drove home the dire threat facing the Church because of the practice.

During this period, Mormons did not take the prosecution passively. They frequently tried to fight back in legal cases and did everything to avoid and hinder legal prosecution, leading some Church leaders, such as John Taylor, president of the Church until his death in 1887, to go into hiding. While Taylor died opposed to the ending of polygamy, his successor Wilford Woodruff came to the conclusion that polygamy had to be brought to an end to save the Mormon Church. Thus in 1890, Woodruff officially announced an end to the practice, in his "Woodruff Manifesto," thus easing tensions between Mormons and the federal government, allowing for the restoration of Church funds and the admittance of Utah as a state. Because his manifesto did not carry the force of divine revelation, it was regarded in some quarters as less than definitive. It also failed to address the issue of pre-existing polygamous marriages. Resistance to the decree and the performing of new marriages by some Mormons, led to a follow up decree, or Second Manifesto, in 1904, under Joseph F. Smith, which made the practice of polygamy punishable by excommunication.

The actions of the turn of the century, of course, did not bring a sudden stop to polygamous relationships, but the tension continues today as polygamy is still practiced by thousands of Mormons in utter defiance of the decrees. Disregarding the manifestos, because they are not revelations, these Mormons believe that they are in the right for upholding the order from God, but in the syes of the officials of the Church of Latter Day Saints, these Mormons are radical non-members. There continue to be efforts to crack down on these practices, which remain illegal under Utah and federal law, and the prosecutions of Tom Green, Fredrick M. Jessop and Warren Jeffs are testament to this reality. There also remain questions over unresolved aspects of polygamy, such as whether polygamy is practiced in the afterlife. But for all intents and purposes, the answer to the question is no: accepted, qualifying members of the Church do not practice polygamy.


Poglej si posnetek: Mormonova knjiga: Alma 5:49-50