Plural Marriage and Joseph Smith: A PR Nightmare in Mormonism

By Eric Johnson This article first appeared in the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL, volume 38, number 05 (2015). The full text of this article in PDF format can be obtained by clicking here. For further information or to subscribe to the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL go to: http://www.equip.org/christian-research-journal/ Publicly mention the religion of Mormonism and the first thought to come to mind is “polygamy” or, as … Read more

The Bible and the Practice of Polygamy

By Eric Johnson Nobody doubts that polygamy played a vital role for the second half of the nineteenth century in the religion of Mormonism. Because the practice sounds unnatural, many Latter-day Saints are very protective of this teaching. A common tactic that is used is to utilize the Bible to show how the biblical saints married … Read more

Polygamy (Plural Marriage)

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord. Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I … Read more

Whatever happened to Emily and Eliza Partridge?

By Bill McKeever Note: The following was originally printed in the September/October 2017 edition of Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription, please visit here. In early Mormonism, you might say some of  the women who became plural wives were kept as a set. Several Mormon leaders, including Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, married sisters. When Edward Partridge, Mormonism’s first … Read more

Chapter 10: Nurturing the Eternal Partnership of Marriage

During 2017, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley. We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. The quotes from Hinckley are in bold, with my comments … Read more

Was polygamy necessary because the LDS Church needed to have its growth “jump-started”?

By Eric Johnson According to some Mormon apologists, polygamy instituted by the LDS Church in the 19th century was necessary in order for the church membership to grow. According to LDS pollster Gary Lawrence in his book Mormons Believe…What? Because original Christianity needed to be re-established to be the forerunner for the Second Coming of the … Read more

Was polygamy necessary in the 19th century because there were more women than men?

By Eric Johnson If you speak to some Latter-day Saints regarding the issue of polygamy (the marriage on one man to multiple women), one of the most common arguments still used is pointing out how there were more women than men in the 19th century Utah. If that’s the case, single women needed to have a husband too. Right? … Read more

Chapter 16: Marriage—An Eternal Partnership

During 2016, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. The text that is in boldfaced is from the manual, … Read more

Did God command polygamous relationships in the Old Testament?

Note: The following was originally printed in the January/February 2016 edition of Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription, please visit here.  By Eric Johnson Polygamy, or plural marriage, is a sticky issue for many Mormons. Some have become deeply embarrassed when they found out how their founder, Joseph Smith, married at least 34 girls and women. In fact, a … Read more

Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah

By Eric Johnson More attention has been given to the topic of polygamy (plural marriage) than any other in the Gospel Topics essay series. This particular essay was published in December 2013 under the Gospel Topics section on the LDS Church website. The original full article is underlined, with my response following. The Bible and the Book of Mormon … Read more

The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage

By Eric Johnson Listen to the 10-part Viewpoint on Mormonism series on this Gospel Topics essay, which originally aired in late September/early October 2016. Part 1   Part 2    Part 3   Part 4    Part 5  Part 6   Part 7   Part 8   Part 9   Part 10 More attention has been given to the topic of polygamy (plural marriage) than any … Read more

Redefining celestial marriage

Mormon temples and the rituals performed in them constitute one of the more important disciplines of the LDS faith. While a great portion of the activity in a Mormon temple is on behalf of the dead (baptisms for the dead, endowments for the dead, etc.), marriage ceremonies for the living, called celestial marriage, also plays … Read more

Mormonism 201: Chapter 16 Rejoinder

Response to Michael W. Fordham Rejoinder by Richard Abanes In 2000, Mormonism 101 (Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson) was published by Baker Books. Within a few years, a group of Mormon apologists provided a rebuttal to the chapters in the book. We decided to respond to many of the chapters, including some written by our … Read more

Joseph’s Wives.com

Welcome to JosephsWives.com, a page that has been created to help people better understand the truth about the more than thirty wives of Joseph Smith. We invite you to look through the information we have made available here and see that what we are saying is historical fact, not anti-Mormon rhetoric. And please understand what … Read more

MRM’s Portrayal of the 34 wives of Joseph Smith

On June 26, 2015, a group of women went onto the streets of Manti, UT before the Mormon Miracle Pageant took place to illustrate what the 34 wives of Joseph Smith could have looked like. The illustration helped a number of people see that Joseph Smith was not within his moral rights to marry women … Read more

Doug Barton interviews Bill McKeever on the streets of Manti, UT

On June 26, 2015, MRM produced a dramatic portrayal of Joseph Smith’s 33 plural wives (plus Emma) on the streets of Manti before the Mormon Miracle Pageant. Doug Barton, who has been a part of the pageant since the very beginning and has been known “Mr. Sounds and Lighting,” decided to interview MRM’s Bill McKeever … Read more

Portrayal of Joseph Smith’s 34 wives

On June 26, 2015, a group of women went onto the streets of Manti, UT before the Mormon Miracle Pageant took place to illustrate what the 34 wives of Joseph Smith could have looked like. The illustration helped a number of people see that Joseph Smith was not within his moral rights to marry women … Read more

Nauvoo Polygamy

Nauvoo Polygamy: “…But We Called It Celestial Marriage”   By George D. Smith Reviewed by Eric Johnson Polygamy (or plural marriage as it is also called) was a major issue for the LDS Church in 2014, as three different Gospel Topic essays on this topic were published. For many Latter-day Saints, the information disseminated by the church—including … Read more

Gospel Topics Essay: Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo

On October 22, 2014, the LDS Church published another “Gospel Topics” essay titled “Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo.” There were a number of admissions made. However, all the facts were not included to give a complete picture. The information contained within should be disconcerting for any faithful Latter-day Saint, as history doesn’t lie. A 12-part Viewpoint on Mormonism series aired in November 2014.

Review of In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Signature Books, 1997)

Although many Mormons know that second LDS President Brigham Young was a practicing polygamist, some may not realize that Joseph Smith had many wives as well. When this issue is broached, I have heard it said more than once that we were connocting nothing more than an anti-Mormon lie. What LDS writer Todd Compton does in this book is explain details about each of Joseph Smith’s 33 wives. Reading it may cause you to forever change your opinon about the founder of the LDS Church.

Should a Mormon spouse be honest about being eternally sealed to someone else?

Should a Mormon spouse be honest about being eternally sealed to someone else?

The following was originally printed in the February 2010 edition of MRM’s Update, a special edition mailed to financial supporters who also receive the publication Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription of Mormonism Researched, please visit here The letter is printed as it was originally submitted.

A reader writes:

Warren Jeffs: Jesus Christ, Message to All Nations

Say the name “Warren Jeffs” out loud in a public place in Utah and you will get raised eyebrows. Latter-day Saints are very sensitive about having their religion tied to polygamous groups, which many ignorant bystanders have done over the years. Today, Jeffs—who is serving a life sentence behind federal prison bars in Texas—remains the official “prophet” of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is still based in two bordering towns, Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ. Although he was characterized in his free days as being shy in public and even a recluse, Jeffs was known for ruling the world’s largest polygamous group with an iron fist. This lenghty review considers the series of “revelations” compiled by Warren Jeffs that he titled Jesus Christ, Message to All Nations. What “Jesus” writes may…or may not…surprise you. 

 

Why the Priesthood Ban for the African Race?

Introduction: The following are notes used by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson on several broadcasts of Viewpoint on Mormonism that aired from March19th through March 29th. The purpose of the series was to demonstrate that the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been less than honest when it comes to the history and reasons behind a ban that prevented members of African heritage from holding either the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood. This guiding principle was in effect until 1978 when it was rescinded “by revelation” under 12th LDS President Spencer W. Kimball.

Persecution and Polygamy: How Many Mormons Actually Died as a Result of 19th Century Persecution?

By Bill McKeever

Listen

It is rare to hear a Mormon tell of his church’s history without a reference being made to the persecution the Mormons faced in Missouri and Illinois during the 1830s and 1840s. That Mormons were mistreated is a matter of actual history, and I certainly have no intention to downplay any atrocities against the LDS people during that period (despite the fact that some LDS historians have admitted that the Saints were not always without blame when it came to conflict between them and their “Gentile” neighbors).

What is "Celestial Polygamy"?

By Bill McKeever 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seems to be engaged in an uphill battle in its effort to convince the public that they no longer practice polygamy. An LDS Newsroom release posted on September 7, 2007, stated: 

A Look at Fundamentalist Mormonism

By Bill McKeever

The practice of plural marriage had been the center of controversy for Joseph Smith and his fledgling church ever since rumors began circulating about an extra marital affair he had while living in Kirtland, Ohio. According to George D. Smith:

A Former Polygamist: Out of Polygamy, Into Christ

I was born and raised in one of many groups of people who practice polygamy as their way to heaven and to eternal exaltation. All my life I was taught that the "god with whom we have to do" was a tyrant, with a celestial whip, ready and anxious to punish, hurt and humiliate those who don’t always please him—and he was very hard to please.

Under the Banner of Heaven

 By Jon Krakauer
Reviewed by Eric Johnson

Well-known author Jon Krakauer (Into Thin Air, Into the Wild) originally wanted to write a book titled History and Belief that would focus “on the uneasy, highly charged relationship between the LDS Church and its past.” In this not-yet-written book, he planned to see “how does a critical mind reconcile scientific and historical truth with religious doctrine? How does one sustain belief when confronted with facts that appear to refute it?”

John Taylor’s 1886 Revelation on Celestial Marriage

By Bill McKeever

As the nineteenth century was coming to a close, the United States government was putting more and more pressure on the Mormon Church to stop the practice of plural marriage. Several Mormon leaders brazenly defied federal intervention into what they believed was a divine doctrine, and several went to prison for their convictions.