I’m spending a surprisingly pleasant Sunday listening to the Year of Polygamy podcast. This is a series dedicated to exploring polygamy in the Mormon Church; and let me tell you, as a practicing Mormon, polygamy has always been a sore point for me. On the one hand, I was brought up with a deep respect for the prophet Joseph Smith. On the other hand, I find the practice of polygamy (which Joseph Smith and subsequent prophets adopted) to be a hurtful practice.
Now, the LDS Church officially disavowed the practice of polygamy in 1890, but it has never withdrawn its assertion that this practice was instituted by God– and, arguably, the Church still practices plural marriage today. No, there aren’t men walking around with forty wives (sorry Brigham Young), but there are men who are married to multiple women in the temple. See, a man who has been widowed or divorced may, with special permission, be sealed (married) to another wife in the temple, without the previous marriage being annulled by the Church. However–and this should come as no surprise–a woman cannot.
Anyway, I’m having a fun time getting to know the history of this, erhm, interesting practice, and if you’ve ever wanted a primer on our “plural wifery”, this is the place to go.