Mormon leaders respond to the Polygamy Investigation in Texas

The following is their brief response:

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reiterated Sunday that it has no affiliation whatever with a polygamous sect in Texas that has been subject to investigation by state law enforcement officers and child protective services. The Church discontinued polygamy officially in 1890, but more than a century later some news and Internet reports fail to draw clear distinctions between the Church and practicing polygamous sects.”

Just a blanket “we’re not associated with them” statement. No words of compassion for the children and women. Just the usual claim that the LDS church discontinued polygamy in 1890 (which just ain’t so). They also forgot to mention that polygamy is still mormon doctrine, per D&C 132, and is still practiced in the temples, despite Gordon B. Hinckley telling Mike Wallace that polygamy is “not doctrinal” on national television. And of course there was no admission of the fact that the mainstream LDS church shares the exact same roots as the FLDS — that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and Heber C Kimball , Orson Pratt and Orson Hyde etc all taught and lived the lifestyle the FLDS now embrace and are in trouble for. They were marrying teenagers in their old age. Marriage was not about love (in fact the word never appears in the marriage ceremony). Just like the FLDS, they did not generally financially support their wives and generally had limited if any relationship with their numerous children. The LDS pretended to give up polygamy in 1890 so Utah could become a state. But that didn’t actually end anything, since polygamy continued long after the 1890 Manifesto with authorization by Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, and Joseph F. Smith. Even after the 1904 second Manifesto it was only political pressure that eventually ended polygamy in the mainstream LDS church (rather than merely suspending it as apparently was originally intended). It was not until 1911 that polygamy enthusiast apostle John W. Taylor was finally excommunicated and apostle Matthias F. Cowley had his “priesthood suspended”. The FLDS trace their authority back to a claimed revelation received by church president John Taylor in 1886, the original of which (along with John Taylor’s journal) has always been officially off limits in the LDS church archives. Regardless of whether or not the FLDS and similar Mormon fundamentalist groups are right or wrong in their claims, it is clear they are practicing a form of Mormonism that strongly parallels the form of Mormonism practiced by the early LDS church.

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