1835 -- In the 1835 version of the D&C, Section
101:4 , it declares, "Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been
reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that
we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one
1838 -- Oliver Cowdery is excommunicated, at least in part, for accusing
Joseph Smith of adultery with Fanny Alger.
1844 -- In the History of the Church Vol. 6, Joseph Smith denies practicing polygamy. "What a
thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having
seven wives, when I can only find one."
June 7, 1844 -- William Law, 2nd counselor in
the 1st presidency, leaves the church over polygamy and Joseph's denial
of it. Soon thereafter, he publishes the 1st and only edition of the Nauvoo
Expositor, which claims 1st-hand testimony from several sources
that Joseph was practicing polygamy, counter to his public denials.
1851 -- Brigham Young acknowledges polygamy in
a meeting of the Utah Legislature. Brigham Young declares before the
Territorial Legislature, "I have more wives than one. I have many and I
am not ashamed to have it known. Some Deny in the States that we have
more wives than one. I never Deny it. I am perfectly willing that the
people at Washington Should know that I have more than one wife &
they are pure before the Lord and are approved of in his sight. I have
been commanded of God to persue this Course. . . ."
1852 - 1890 -- The U.S. Federal Government
heavily pressures LDS Church to cease polygamy
1866 -- Brigham Young declares that, " The only men who become Gods,
even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. Others attain
unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the
Father and the Son; but they cannot reign as kings in glory, because
they had blessing offered unto them, and they refused to accept them."
1904 -- LDS Church releases a "Second
Manifesto", after charges were confirmed that polygamous marriages
continued despite the 1890 revelation/announcement. This article reads:
"During the Senate investigation in 1904 concerning the
seating of Senator-elect Reed Smoot, a monogamist but a member of the
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Mormon Church President Joseph F. Smith
presented what historians have called the "Second Manifesto" on 7 April
1904. It included provisions for the church to take action against
those who continued to perform plural marriages and marry plural wives.
Matthias Cowley and John W. Taylor, both apostles, continued to be
involved in performing or advocating new plural marriages after 1904,
and, as a result, Cowley was disfellowshipped and Taylor excommunicated
from the church. In 1909 a committee of apostles met to investigate
post-Manifesto polygamy, and by 1910 the church had a new policy. Those
involved in plural marriages after 1904 were excommunicated; and those
married between 1890 and 1904 were not to have church callings where
other members would have to sustain them. Although the Mormon Church
officially prohibited new plural marriages after 1904, many plural
husbands and wives continued to cohabit until their deaths in the 1940s
"I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not
doctrinal. It is not legal. And this church takes the position that we
will abide by the law. We believe in being subject to kings,
presidents, rulers, magistrates in honoring, obeying, and sustaining
61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if
any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, 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.
62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law,
he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given
unto him; therefore is he justified.