New Mormon essay: Joseph Smith married teens, other men’s wives (10-22-14)
Mormon founder Joseph Smith took his first "plural wife," Fanny Alger, in the mid-1830s. He later married many additional women — including young teens and some who already were wed to other men — and introduced the practice of polygamy to select members in the 1840s.


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Alazeigh Dunne says...
"The Church no longer practices plural marriage (often referred to as polygamy) because the Lord no longer requires it. In Official Declaration #1 (Excerpts), President Wilford Woodruff makes it clear that he would “have let all the temples go out of our hands… gone to prison… and let every other man go there, had not the God of heaven commanded” him to stop the practice of plural marriage. He further adds that he was shown “by vision and revelation exactly what would take place if we did not stop.”
The Protestant world generally ignores the fact that the Lord condoned polygamy in the Old Testament (Genesis 16:3-4, 7-11; 17:15-17; 25:1-2, 6; 29:23-35; 30:1-26; 32:22; Exodus 2:21-22; 21:10-11; Numbers 12:1-10; Deuteronomy 21:15-17; 25:5; Judges 8:30; 1 Samuel 1:1-2, 19-20; 2 Samuel 2:2; 5:13; 12:7-12; 1 Kings 11:1-11; 15:5; Chronicles 13:21-22; 20:7; 24: 2-3; Hosea 1:2-3; 3:1, 3). According to scripture, the practice was part of the Law of Moses (Exodus 21:10-11 and Deuteronomy 21:15-17; 25:5) and Nathan, God’s prophet, stated that God gave David his wives (2 Samuel 12:7-8; D&C 132:39). The Lord later affirmed that polygamists would be “in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:28, D&C 132:37).
In New Testament times, the Lord abolished many portions of the Law of Moses and replaced them with higher laws (Matthew 5:21-48), but plural marriage was not specifically addressed. It is true that Paul recommended that bishops be “the husband of one wife” (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6), but he also alluded to worthy elders taking care of widows if they “be counted worthy of doubly honour” (1 Timothy 5:16-17).
The Lord has made it clear in the Book of Mormon under what circumstances plural marriage would be required. He stated, “if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people [to have more than one wife]; otherwise they shall hearken to these things” (Jacob 2:30).
The Lord reveals different principles to his people based on their needs and their abilities to live those principles. Higher laws may be revealed to those who are worthy but “unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation” (D&C 82: 3; see also D&C 58:21-22; 124:49). Plural marriage is not a product of man’s sinful nature. It is a higher law of marriage which was practiced by prophets and other worthy men when directed by the Lord (see also Answers to Gospel Questions, 3:158-162; 4:143-146, 212-215; and Daniel Peterson & Stephen Ricks, Offenders for a Word, pp. 153-56)." (11/13/14)
Rob Sivulka says...
"http://www.mormoninfo.org/discussion-35/Does-God-Condone-Polygamy-3833
and
http://www.andrews.edu/~davidson/Publications/Polygamy/Polygamy%20in%20OT.pdf" (11/13/14)
Rob Sivulka says...
"So taking care of widows means marrying them? Really? Then they can't be the husband of one wife. Bizarre logic here.

Also, if the exception to polygamy was raising up seed in the Book of Mormon, then why didn't God give Adam more than one wife? And why didn't we see any seed being raised up through Joseph Smith's other wives? And how does that excuse him from going against what 1 Tim. 3:2 and Tit. 1:6 advocate?" (11/13/14)
Rob Sivulka says...
"Here's what I have on our Home page chart of differences between Mormonism and Christianity under the section on Polygamy?: "God always disapproves of polygamy even when He allowed it.
Simply because something is the case doesn't entail that it ought to be the case. So just because individuals were polygamists in the Bible doesn't entail that they should have been. People murdered in the Bible, but that doesn't justify murder. The ideal of the one-flesh unit was given from creation (Gen. 2:24), and there are various indications in the Old Testament against polygamy. Nonetheless, God may have at times accomodated Himself to a temporary, fallen Near Eastern social structure (Paul Copan, Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God [Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011], 58-62, and 110-7). Similar to Jesus' teaching on divorce, it was given due to the hardness of their hearts (Mat. 19:8). Regardless of justifying the Old Testament practice, the New Testament is clear that the church leaders, who we are called to emulate, are to be husbands of one wife (1 Tim. 3:2, 12; and Titus 1:5-6). We are still in the New Testament, and thus, there is no excuse for Mormon Church leaders entering into polygamy. Finally, Jesus taught that we won't be married in the afterlife anyway, but will be like the angels (Mat. 22:23-30)."" (11/13/14)