I think it’s pretty safe to assume you’re here for one of the following 3 reasons: You’re curious about “Mormons” and want to know what this funny business is about polygamy. Or, you are decidedly “anti-Mormon” and devote your time to shaking the faith of others (sorry, not accepting comments here.) Or, you’re currently a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are either struggling with your faith, when it comes to Church History, or you feel strong and simply want to learn more.
For those seeking quality, researched education, and for those hoping to feed their faith, I’m here for you. You are exactly who I was thinking of, when I put this blog post together. Below, you will find lists of the BEST resources out there to learn everything that is available to know about polygamy in the Church’s history.
Understanding Polygamy and The Mormon Church
I admit, as a woman, and lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormon” isn’t really the correct name), I’ve never loved the thought of polygamy in our history. There was actually a time that my testimony of the restored church nearly slipped away, because of the very subject. It was really scary to me. But, I am endlessly thankful that God helped me and taught me SO much, as I turned to Him in prayer. He blessed me to have very personal spiritual experiences that solidified my testimony and loyalty to the Prophet, Joseph Smith. I’m proud to be part of a church that has THAT KIND OF FAITH at its foundation. I hope to continue on that heritage of faith in my own life and with my children.
I highly recommend feeding your faith, over your doubts. When you come out on the other side, you will find greater strength, commitment, and peace. Nearly 20 years after that unnerving time in my life, I can look back and see all of the blessings and spiritual experiences I would have missed out on, if I had let my faith go. I’m so thankful… SO THANKFUL that I’m still here.
(My husband and I, on the Sea of Galilee)
3 Things I Learned from My Faith Crisis…
- God cares about your testimony. SERIOUSLY. When your faith is shaking, give Him a real chance to help you. Your testimony is so important to Him that there’s NO WAY He would treat it lightly. It’s an eternal matter, where the consequences of your choice (good or bad) can continue on forever. Turn to God. Trust in Him. Go to faith-building resources, and He will teach you.
- It’s so important to remember your spiritual experiences, and be loyal to them. If you knew the Church (Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith was a prophet, etc.) was true, because the Spirit confirmed it to you at some point(s) in your life… it’s still true. You didn’t “imagine it,” “make it up,” or anything else. Those spiritual experiences were real and you knew it at the time. It’s still real. Remember those times and turn to them when doubts creep in.
- You can never learn too much about church history. Church history used to be something I avoided because there were parts that made me uncomfortable. Not anymore. I’ve learned that the more I dive in and learn from great sources, the more it makes sense and the more I love it. When I approach it from a position of faith, I notice how God opens my mind to understanding and gives me peace in regards to anything I can’t understand *yet.* There is gobs of information available… lots of really, really good stuff. It’s not hiding, but it can get overlooked in the angry mess of anti-Mormon content and misinformation online. Again, that’s why I put this post together… to make it easy to find the helpful, most accurate information (much of it by notable historians, educators, and scripture scholars.)
(A couple church history trips with my favorite people)
Polygamy Questions You Will Find Answers to:
- Did Joseph Smith really have up to 40 wives?
- Why did the Mormon Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) practice polygamy?
- How many children did Joseph Smith have?
- Did Joseph Smith marry wives of other men?
- Do Latter-day Saints still practice polygamy?
- When was polygamy abolished in the Latter-day Saint church?
- Did Joseph Smith marry a 14 year old girl?
- Was Joseph Smith on a power trip and obsessed with sex?
- Who was Fanny Alger?
- What did Joseph Smith say about polygamy?
- How did Joseph Smith feel about polygamy?
- How did polygamist wives feel about their marriage?
… and much, much more!!
The BEST Website Reading on Early Mormon Polygamy
- Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo
- Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah
- Plural Marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Joseph Smith and Polygamy ~ Fair Latter-day Saints
- Polygamy, Prophets, and Prevarication by Gregory L. Smith
- Mercy Thompson and The Revelation on Marriage ~ Jed Woodworth
- Plural Marriage ~ Encyclopedia of Mormonism
YouTube Videos on the History of Polygamy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Historian Leaves Church Over Polygamy & Comes Back After Learning More and Part 2 ~ Don Bradley
- The Early Polygamy of The Latter Day Saints: an Embarrassment or Glorious? ~ David Alexander
- Did Joseph Smith Use Polygamy Just to Get With Women ~ Saints Unscripted
- Being Transparent About Mormon Polygamy ~ Saints Unscripted
- How Was Polygamy Once Ordained of God, but Not Anymore? ~ Saints Unscripted
- Unshaken ~ “Celestial Marriage & Plural Marriage, Part 2” by Jared Halverson (It’s worth starting with Part 1)
- Hard Questions in Church History with Lynne Hilton Wilson ~ The Law of Plural Marriage
- Talking Scripture ~ Episode 128 by Mike Day and Bryce Dunford (time stamp 37:08 to end)
- Teaching With Power ~ Episode “129-132” (time stamp 102 to end)
- An Act of Religious Conviction ~ Mormon Women & 19th Century Polygamy by Brittany Nash
- Toward a Better Understanding ~ Joseph Smith’s Polygamy by Laura Hales
- Joseph Smith and Plural Marriage ~ Brian and Laura Hales
- Perspectives on Polygamy ~ Book of Mormon Central
- Q&A with Joseph Smith ~ Book of Mormon Central
- Scripture Gems, Episode 45 ~ Brother Fuller
- Did Joseph Smith Cheat On His Wife? ~ Saints Unscripted
- Who Was Fanny Alger? ~ Saints Unscripted
- What is the CES Letter? ~ Saints Unscripted
The Most Helpful Books About Polygamy
- Joseph Smith’s Polygamy (four book series) by Brian C. Hales
- Let’s Talk About Polygamy by Brittany Nash
- Saints Volume 1 and Volume 2
- Early Mormon Polygamy from BYU Studies
- Emmeline B Wells ~ An Intimate Story by Carol Madsen
My FAVORITE Podcasts About Joseph Smith’s Polygamy
- Tough Questions About Mormon Polygamy ~ Brian and Laura Hales
- Sunday on Monday ~ Polygamy Q&A with Jenny Reeder and Brittany Chapman Nash
- All In ~ Polygamy and the Church’s Past
- All In ~ Dean Hughes, Diggint Into Polygamy and Other “Muddy” Issues
- What Does The Book of Mormon Say About Polygamy #64 ~ Book of Mormon Central Podcast
If you liked this information on plural marriage, check out:
- Where Do I Get a Free Book of Mormon?
- What is Life Like as a Latter-day Saint? I’ll Tell You!
- Life is Scary. How Can I Feel Peace from God?