Saturday, March 7, 2015

Post Manifesto Polygamy

Lying for the Lord - Post Manifesto Polygamy

In 1890 then LDS President Wilford Woodruff presented a revelation to the body of the Church called "The Manifesto". It is still found in the LDS scriptures as Official Declaration #1.  It was in response to the very difficult situation that the church was in over polygamy. Many of the church leaders were in jail, others were in hiding and much of the church's property had been confiscated.
The Manifesto
As it turns out the "revelation" was only a ruse to get the federal authorities to back down. "Lying for the Lord" was something that Joseph Smith and others had done, and it worked again here. Life in the church returned to a measure of normality.

Church Leaders in Prison

The church continued to perform plural marriages in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The church recently released an essay that says, "For a time, post-Manifesto plural marriages required the approval of a member of the First Presidency."

President Wilford Woodruff

In 1905 the pressure was back on the Church. During the hearings to see if Reed Smoot could be seated as a U.S. Senator, the church faced very harsh scrutiny. At that time Joseph F. Smith issued was called the "Second Manifesto". This time the LDS Church really meant it. People who performed plural marriages were excommunicated.

D. Michael Quinn
D. Michael Quinn, a noted and prolific Mormon scholar and historian wrote several articles about Post - Manifesto Polygamy and was ultimately excommunicated for his work and was one of the "September Six".

Although the church has freely admitted to the continuation of post manifesto polygamy in some settings in March of 2015 a New Era article said the following:  "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints stopped practicing plural marriage in 1890."  Maybe they need to get their story straight.

Related Links - Essay on Post 1890 Polygamy
Wikipedia - Reed Smoot Hearings
Wikipedia - September Six
Quinn Essay 
LDS Scriptures - Manifesto

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