Download More Wives Than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage by Kathryn M Daynes PDF

By Kathryn M Daynes

While Joseph Smith introduced his revelation that plural marriage was once necessary to reaching the top point of everlasting salvation, he brought what grew to become the main infamous element of Mormon tradition. "More better halves Than One" deals the 1st in-depth examine the long term interplay among trust and the perform of polygamy, or plural marriage, one of the Latter-day Saints. concentrating on the small group of Manti, Utah, Kathryn M Daynes indicates that plural marriage encompassed a number of different types of marriage recommended by way of the church, each one with its personal rights and obligations. She provides a transparent photograph of the criteria shaping the perform, who used to be prone to input right into a plural marriage, and the way the perform dovetailed with Mormon convictions concerning the an important function of households in fixing social difficulties. She additionally explicates the net of ideals approximately God-centered marriages and familial accountability that underlay how plural marriage was once skilled, together with inheritance practices that safe plural little ones and better halves; an easy, nonlegalistic approach of divorce; and 0 tolerance for adultery. Daynes offers an intimate view of the way Mormon doctrine and Utah legislation on marriage and divorce have been utilized in people's lives. She discusses how Mormon practices, firmly in accordance with a patriarchal version of marriage, diverged from the companionate excellent of marriage that was once taking carry in mainstream the United States. through the frontier interval, territorial legislation in Utah allowed the Saints adequate autonomy to improve their designated marriage styles. As payment improved, despite the fact that, the federal government-prodded by means of past due nineteenth-century relations reformers-took an more and more competitive position in squelching anomalous practices of either marriage and divorce, eroding the power of plural better halves and kids to inherit and finally disfranchising ladies and polygamists. Cogent and impeccably documented, "More better halves Than One" will enlighten either students and common readers on an exciting and much-misunderstood bankruptcy of Mormon historical past.

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Additional info for More Wives Than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System, 1840-1910

Sample text

He found a small house in Pottawatamie County into which he moved his younger wives. 6 By the time plural marriage was first publicly announced as a doctrine of the church in 1852 in Salt Lake City, it was already lived openly by the Saints and had had its first confrontation with the courts. The announcement, made by Apostle Orson Pratt, put the doctrine within its religious framework, drawing on the main points in the reve­ lation Joseph Smith dictated on July 12,1843. Pratt declared that because the spirits who will inhabit the bodies of humankind are already created and awaiting their opportunity to come to earth, it is incumbent on those now in mortality to prepare bodies for those spirits.

Disputes between members were to be settled be­ tween themselves, if possible, but if that failed, local officials, called teachers, tried to mediate the difficulty. If that did not produce reconcil­ iation, the case would go to a bishop's court, in which the bishop— lead­ er of the local congregation, the ward— and his two counselors sat as judges. This decision could be appealed to the stake high council (a stake is composed of several wards), consisting of the stake presidency and twelve high councillors.

27 Oliver Cowdery, however, viewed the meeting differently. He wrote his brothers in Kirtland vehemently denying that he had confessed to lying about Joseph Smith. "When [Joseph Smith] was here," he wrote, "we had some conversation in which in every instance, I did not fail to affirm that what I had said was strictly true. "28 Harris's comment that Oliver Cowdery insinuated Joseph Smith was guilty supports Cowdery's account of the meeting. What others at the meeting remembered and emphasized, however, was Cowdery's confession that Joseph Smith had not in fact acknowledged being guilty of adultery.

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