Is Polygamy Still Mormon Doctrine?

John Dehlin Mormon

Stephen M and his comments about the recent PR film put out by the church entitled “Mormon Myths and Reality” inspired this post.

Today’s LDS Doctrine and Covenants Section 132:61 reads:

“And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse aanother, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.”

This is not defunct scripture, nor has this verse been removed from our canon. Yes we stopped practicing polygamy because of legal/political/governmental adversity, but I’m not sure that we ever renounced the belief. Doesn’t polygamy remain fundamental Mormon doctrine in 2008?

Am I wrong, or is Stephen trying to distance us from the scripture? How should members reconcile the scripture with PR videos like this, which seem to show a detestation for polygamy?

Is this doctrine one of the main reasons that our pioneer ancestors risked life and limb to cross the plains? Don’t we teach that the family is central to Mormon doctrine, and isn’t any scriptural teaching about family worth our respect? Especially if we’re still practicing it (as my mother) in our temples?

Should the scripture be changed, or should we stop speaking out so harshly against polygamy? I struggle with this sometimes.