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kamenraider

OD - 1 (the Manifesto) -- How Seriously Did the 1st Pres & Twelve Regard It?

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Here are some notes I took from Solemn Covenant by B. Carmon Hardy, from THIS 1991 lecture by D. Michael Quinn, and from Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy books:

Wilford Woodruff -- Married another plural wife, Lydia von Finkelstein Mountford, in Sept 1897.

Lorenzo Snow -- Did not want to interfere with Matthias Cowley's comission to continue plural marriage from George Q. Cannon.

Franklin Richards -- Performed a plural marriage in 1898.

George Q. Cannon -- Authorized new plural marriages until his death in 1901, made polygamous vows with a 62 year old lady after 1890.

Joseph F. Smith -- Performed plural marriage for Abraham H. Cannon in 1896. Authorized Seymour B. Young and Alexander F. MacDonald to perform plural marriages without Lorenzo Snow's knowledge. Authorized plural marriages in 1906 & 1907. Protected men married plurally by Judson Tolman and John W. Woolley.

Brigham Young Jr. -- Married a plural wife Aug. 1901. Performed seven plural marriages after the manifesto. Counseled a local leader to take a plural wife in 1902.

Moses Thatcher -- Verbally transmitted authorization for a plural marriage in 1891.

Francis M. Lyman -- Performed a plural marriage immediately after the manifesto was issued, and another in 1894.

John Henry Smith -- Had Heber J. Grant perform two plural marriages in 1897 and had John W. Taylor perform six more in 1898.

George Teasdale -- Married plural wives in Oct 1897 and May 1900. Performed fifteen post-manifesto plural marriages, plus possibly a few in 1905 and 1906.

Heber J. Grant -- Performed two plural marriages in 1897. Courted several prospective plural wives 1900 -1903 and was advised by George F. Gibbs (1st Pres. Sec.) to take a plural wife in 1903.

John W. Taylor -- Married two plural wives in Aug 1901 and another in June 1909. Performed a number of post-manifesto plural marriages including two in Sept 1904. Authorized John A. Wolfe to perform plural marriages in 1903 after consulting with Joseph F. Smith. Gave permission for his daughter to become a plural wife in 1908 (she didn't go through with it though). Referred people to John W. Woolley for plural marriages and his wife later referred people to Joseph W. Musser.

Marriner W. Merrill -- Married a plural wife in Apr 1901. Performed plural marriage for his daughter in the Logan Temple in 1904, with a recommend from George Q. Cannon. Performed plural marriages for his sons in 1895, 1903, and 1905.

From this list of the First Presidency and Twelve at the time that Official Declaration-1 was issued, it looks like they were ALL involved with either marrying plural wives, performing plural marriages, or consenting to such activity, after OD-1 a.k.a the manifesto was issued. What does this tell us regarding how seriously they took it?

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Oops, I left off Anthon H. Lund (performed a plural marriage in 1892, handled plural marriage requests from Mexico) and Abraham Cannon (married a plural wife in Jun 1896).

Also forgot to mention that on the day that OD-1 was accepted in October of 1890, Wilford Woodruff personally approved seven new plural marriages.

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Quinn's 1985 Dialogue article describes it all in painful detail. The church really didn't end plural marriage until the second manifesto in 1904. I think President Smith had to throw two apostles (John W. Taylor and someone else) under the bus to satisfy Congress.

IIRC, there was initially a lot of uncertainty about whether the manifesto was a revelation.

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Some of the marriage dates above are after the second manifesto as well.

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Some of the marriage dates above are after the second manifesto as well.

True. The first manifesto really didn't do much. The church performed a LOT of plural marriages after the first manifesto (IIRC, it is up around 6,000). After Joseph F. Smith excommunicated two apostles and issued the second manifesto (mainly in response to pressure from Congress), things pretty much ground to a halt even though a few marriages may have been performed after that time.

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True. The first manifesto really didn't do much. The church performed a LOT of plural marriages after the first manifesto (IIRC, it is up around 6,000). After Joseph F. Smith excommunicated two apostles and issued the second manifesto (mainly in response to pressure from Congress), things pretty much ground to a halt even though a few marriages may have been performed after that time.

If we admit that OD-1 didn't do much then I guess the question becomes, what did they intend it to do?

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If we admit that OD-1 didn't do much then I guess the question becomes, what did they intend it to do?

OD-1 was intended to stop the U.S. from confiscating the church's property - temples mainly. OD-1 combined with a couple of stake conference messages from top leaders convinced the feds that the church really would stop plural marriage. The feds backed off from trying to confiscate the church's property. Once the heat was off, the church practiced polygamy sort of like they did in Nauvoo in the early 1840s - deny it publicly and practice it secretly. This was all fine until apostle Reed Smoot was elected to the Senate. That lead to the infamous Senate hearings and eventually to the excommunication of apostle John W. Taylor and another apostle and the issuance of the second manifesto.

Quinn's article that I linked to above describes all this in excruciating detail (it is really long).

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EbedInteresting.png

OD-1 was intended to stop the U.S. from confiscating the church's property - temples mainly. OD-1 combined with a couple of stake conference messages from top leaders convinced the feds that the church really would stop plural marriage. The feds backed off from trying to confiscate the church's property. Once the heat was off, the church practiced polygamy sort of like they did in Nauvoo in the early 1840s - deny it publicly and practice it secretly. This was all fine until apostle Reed Smoot was elected to the Senate. That lead to the infamous Senate hearings and eventually to the excommunication of apostle John W. Taylor and another apostle and the issuance of the second manifesto.

The other apostle that is associated with polygamy discension was Matthias F. Cowley. He and John W. Taylor both resigned from the quorum in 1905 over the issue of polygamy.

Matthias had his priesthood suspend in 1911. He was not excommunicated. It was well over 20 years before he was able to exercise the priesthood.

John W. was excommunicated in 1911. He died in 1916. It was not until 1965 that his membership was restored by proxy.

The Smoot hearings started in 1904 and ended in 1907. Smoot retained his seat in the Senate. He was reelected in 1908 and served in the Senate until 1933.

Therefore, only one former apostle was excommunicated and neither individual was disciplined until four years after the Smoot hearing ended.

That said, don't let a few facts spoil your fun. Enjoy!

Just an FYI, in the April General Conference of 1906, George F. Richards, Orson F. Whitney, and David O. McKay were the apostles who filled vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve caused by the resignations of John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley and the death of Marriner W. Merrill â?? good men all.

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IIRC, it is up around 6,000 (plural marriages between the manifestos)

I'm interested in some details on that. My impression has been that the actual number of plural marriages dropped significantly. One estimate that I saw...from a long, long time ago...that I do not have the reference for...was about 200-400 plural marriages in 14 years. Most of those were in the immediate time frame around the first manifesto.

My overall impression is that after the manifesto, there were a few leakers and issues with the custom dying out. The second manifesto was intended to authoratively squelch the last vestiges of the practice. I do not have the impression it was business as usual after the first manifesto.

Six

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That said, don't let a few facts spoil your fun. Enjoy!

Thanks for the corrections. I was going from memory late at night. I was thinking of the 1905 resignations as the events that seemed to mollify Congress somewhat.

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I'm interested in some details on that. My impression has been that the actual number of plural marriages dropped significantly. One estimate that I saw...from a long, long time ago...that I do not have the reference for...was about 200-400 plural marriages in 14 years. Most of those were in the immediate time frame around the first manifesto.

My overall impression is that after the manifesto, there were a few leakers and issues with the custom dying out. The second manifesto was intended to authoratively squelch the last vestiges of the practice. I do not have the impression it was business as usual after the first manifesto.

Quinn provides the estimate in his article. It is almost 100 pages long and I don't really want to find it.

Business as usual probably isn't a correct way to describe post-manifesto polygamy. I think the manifesto slowed things down, but there sure were a lot of post-manifesto marriages.

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While I have been well aware of the fact that there were plenty of plural marriages performed between 1890 and 1904 (which isn't surprising since the first Manifesto outlines no related disciplinary measure, and even refers to what it has as "advice"), it is my understanding that at least the claim of Pres. Woodruff having married Lydia Mountford is somewhat questionable. Ms. Mountford was never a member of the Church, and so far as I've ever read never lived as a wife of Pres. Woodruff either. It would not surprise me if some of these other "marriages" had similar issues with regard to their historicity.

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Regarding the claim that Mme. Mountford "was never a member of the Church":

The "Biblical Orientalisms," as Mountford described her presentations, were featured throughout the world. But in Utah she was a particularly big hit, because Mormons read their scriptures and the formidable lady from Palestine visually and colorfully brought them to life. She was equally fascinated by Mormons. She told them her father had entertained the first Mormon missionary in Jerusalem in the 1840s and had told her he always wanted to know more about the "boy-prophet and his golden plates." Before leaving Utah and continuing her world tour, Mountford became involved in a series of gospel discussions with Talmage and within a few weeks was baptized and confirmed a member of the LDS church.23

--Nelson Wadsworth, Set in Stone Fixed in Glass, SLC: Signature Books 1992 pg.292.

In Wilford Woodruff's biography by Thomas Alexander we read:

On November 23, 1920, Anthon H. Lund, who was then serving as Salt Lake temple president, performed a vicarious sealing for Woodruff and Mountford.

--Thomas G. Alexander, Things in Heaven and Earth, pgs. 328-329.

Here's some info. about Mountford from Quinn's article linked to above by dblagent007:

Circumstantial evidence indicates that Wilford Woodruff married Madame Mountford as a plural wife in 1897. President Woodruff recorded attending her lecture on 7 February 1897, the first of ninety references to her in his diary during the next eighteen months. By April, he was recording frequent "private" or "personal" talks with her in the First Presidency's office, and she was a dinner guest at the Woodruff home. She left Salt Lake City on 28 April to stay in San Francisco. By 8 May 1897, President Woodruff indicated his increasing interest in the charismatic forty-nine-year-old woman:

Bro Nuttall came. I had some talk on private matters with him and in some writing I wished to send to San Francisco....

I went to the office & attended to some personal writing with Bro Nuttall....

Nine days later, he recorded a further conversation with his trusted secretary about "Madam Mountford who is now in California." President Woodruff's letters to and from her were the only references to correspondence in his diary for 1897-98. She returned to Salt Lake City from July to August, when she was a frequent guest at the Woodruff home. After her return to California, Wilford Woodruff began referring to her as "M," and asked his secretary to go with him "on the quiet" to the Pacific coast, waited until the day before his departure to inform his wife Emma of the trip, and irritated her by declining her request to accompany him because it was to be "a very quiet trip." On the train from Utah to Portland, President Woodruff "talked with Bro Nuttall confidentially in regard to some of my personal affairs," and once the two were on the coast they not only avoided the usual visits with Mormon officials and non-Mormon friends, but President Woodruff also noted that they made all their hotel and travel arrangements under "assumed names." Nuttall manifested uneasiness about the trip that seemed less and less than merely "for a change of air and exercise," and while in their Portland hotel room, he vocally prayed that he would do nothing on the trip to offend God. In response, President Woodruff "then laid my hands on Bro Nuttall's head and blessed him for any emergency that may arise and which may be necessary now or in the future in mine or our behalf."

In view of the abundant references to Madame Mountford's residing in San Francisco before this trip, there is a deafening silence concerning her name during the trip, particularly during their stay in that city from 18 to 20 September 1897, when they boarded a steamship for the return trip to Portland. Their train did not reach Ogden until 25 September 1897, after which they corresponded several times a week, and she visited President Woodruff twice before she traveled to Palestine from which she did not return until after his death. Four years after L. John Nuttall accompanied President Woodruff on this trip to the Pacific coast, Madame Mountford wrote him a letter from New York City, to which Nuttall responded, "I have not forgotten the Ogden & other days with our Mutual friend."

Although there is no presently available document that records the sealing ceremony specifically, the evidence seems compelling that L. John Nuttall performed a polygamous marriage for Wilford Woodruff and Madame Lydia Mary Mountford aboard ship on the Pacific Ocean on 20 September 1897. That such a marriage has never been acknowledged in the Woodruff family's published genealogies is no argument against its existence: those genealogies also fail to mention that he married Eudora Young Dunford as a plural wife in 1877, even though she bore him a child that died the day of its birth. Their divorce less than two years after this pre-Manifesto plural marriage was apparently the reason neither the Woodruff nor Young family histories acknowledges the marriage, and President Woodruff's manifesto was greater cause to ignore the polygamous wife the ninety-year-old Church president married a year before his death. At any rate, there is documentary evidence of the polygamous ceremony President Woodruff authorized Apostle Anthon H. Lund to perform "on the Pacific Ocean" a month later; and at the meeting in December 1897 where President Woodruff apparently gave final authorization to Lund for the second aboard-ship ceremony Lund would perform, President Woodruff confided the "astonishing" news about Madame Mountford. President Woodruff's nephew, Apostle Matthias F. Cowley, later told the Quorum of Twelve, "I believed President Woodruff married a wife the year before he died, of course, I don't know, I can't prove it," and still later, Mormon Fundamentalists (who had no access to the Lund diary) stated that Madame Mountford was the plural wife Wilford Woodruff married after 1890.

--Dialogue, Vol.18, No.1, pg. 64.

I also ran into this quote which I thought was funny because plural marriage has never been legal:

The practice of plural marriage ceased because the government of the United States forbade it. Our Heavenly Father has always directed that we sustain the constitutional law of the land, and the Supreme Court being the highest authority had declared the law forbidding plural marriage was constitutional.

From then until now, there has been little said by us, and now, after all these years, I would like to say that from that time on, approximately fifty years, there have been no plural marriages solemnized in violation of the laws of this land by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

--President George Albert Smith, Conference Report, October 1947, Afternoon Meeting, pg. 165.

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From this list of the First Presidency and Twelve at the time that Official Declaration-1 was issued, it looks like they were ALL involved with either marrying plural wives, performing plural marriages, or consenting to such activity, after OD-1 a.k.a the manifesto was issued. What does this tell us regarding how seriously they took it?

Interesting stuff Kamenraider.

So I understand correctly, you are active LDS, and a fan of polygamy, correct?

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The first manifesto ended publicly acknowledged plural marriages prospectively, and probably many plural marriages that might otherwise have occurred among "rank and file" members, as distinct from the core leadership and their families. It also largely ended public preaching about the principle.

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EbedLaughable.png

Thanks for the corrections. I was going from memory late at night. I was thinking of the 1905 resignations as the events that seemed to mollify Congress somewhat.

You are most welcome. Perhaps you should consider the evidence that the resignations of Matthias F. Cowley and John W. Taylor had far less to do with Smootâ??s acceptance as a senator than the support of President Theodore Roosevelt and three eloquent Republican senators.

The U.S. Senate website gives President Roosevelt the credit for Smootâ??s continuance as senator:

â??In permitting Smoot to retain his seat, the U.S. Senate took a stand in support of religious freedom for all Americans. In practical terms, the staunch support of Republican President Theodore Roosevelt had helped to ensure the margin of victory by encouraging wavering Republican senators to stand firm.â?

Possibly the most persuasive and constitutionally-based endorsement of Smoot speeches came from Pennsylvania Senator Philander Chase Knox. Senator Knox had previously served as U.S. attorney general under both Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. Senator Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana made an inspirational call for religious tolerance. You can read both in the records of the second session of the 59th Congress.

However, the best sound-bite came from the powerful and politically influential Boise (pronounced Boyz like the town in Oklahoma rather than the city in Idaho) Penrose. Penrose was the senator from Pennsylvania who stated emphatically, "As for me, I would rather have seated beside me in this chamber a polygamist who doesn't polyg than a monogamist who doesn't monog."

You seem to have also forgotten that Cowley and Taylor failed to appear at the Smoot hearings. When he testified, President Joseph F. Smith got hammered by the committee for this failure. Furthermore, Cowley and Taylor did not make a showing at the October 1905 General Conference. Also note that during that conference Smoot refused to sustain his fellow apostles, Cowley and Taylor, as members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. These two then resigned, publically humiliated.

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You are most welcome. Perhaps you should consider the evidence that the resignations of Matthias F. Cowley and John W. Taylor had far less to do with Smoot's acceptance as a senator than the support of President Theodore Roosevelt and three eloquent Republican senators.

My recollection is that Cowley and Taylor were the most vociferous apostles in support of polygamy and that they may have even entered polgamous marriages after the manifesto. They didn't testify before the Senate because they knew they were in an impossible situation. They resigned so that from outward appearances it would look like these two apostles were rogues that had ignored the manifesto when in reality most of the apostles had ignored the manifesto (at least most of them performed or authorized plural marriages). After their resignations, the church could then say that unauthorized plural marriages had been dealt with, something that helped Smoot's chances of being confirmed.

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I think we need to understand how many families would be affected by the dismantling of plural marriage. To have done it immediately and all at once would have been disastrous for many of these families. I believe that there had to be a cross-over period in which it would not be openly taught or encouraged and in which the membership would have time to adjust. The second manifesto attached disciplinary action to it. This is not unlike the WOW being given first as guidance and then as commandment.

from http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/daily/h...History_EOM.htm

Earlier polygamous families continued to exist well into the twentieth century, causing further political problems for the Church, and new plural marriages did not entirely cease in 1890. After having lived the principle at some sacrifice for half a century, many devout Latter-day Saints found ending plural marriage a challenge almost as complex as was its beginning in the 1840s. Some new plural marriages were contracted in the 1890s in LDS settlements in Canada and northern Mexico, and a few elsewhere. With national attention again focused on the practice in the early 1900s during the House hearings on Representative-elect B. H. Roberts and Senate hearings on Senator-elect Reed Smoot (see Smoot Hearings), President Joseph F. Smith issued his "Second Manifesto" in 1904. Since that time, it has been uniform Church policy to excommunicate any member either practicing or openly advocating the practice of polygamy. Those who do so today, principally members of fundamentalist groups, do so outside the Church.

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In Wilford Woodruff's biography by Thomas Alexander we read:
On November 23, 1920, Anthon H. Lund, who was then serving as Salt Lake temple president, performed a vicarious sealing for Woodruff and Mountford.

--Thomas G. Alexander, Things in Heaven and Earth, pgs. 328-329.

Just to clarify, Woodruff's biographer considers it doubtful that he married Madam Mountford:

"Whether Woodruff and Mountford were sealed during their lifetime remains a mystery. . . . Other than later statements by Matthias F. Cowleyâ??who had a personal interest in vindicating his own participation in post-manifesto polygamous sealingsâ??that Woodruff was sealed in 1897, we have no evidence of such a sealing. . . . My own belief is that a marriage sealing did not take place but that the two were good friends and admired each other" (Alexander, Things in Heaven and Earth, 328-29).

Even Carmon Hardy now expresses uncertainty about this marriage, mentioning it only as a possibility (see B. Carmon Hardy, "That 'Same Old Question of Polygamy and Polygamous Living:' Some Recent Findings Regarding Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century Mormon Polygamy," Utah Historical Quarterly 73 [summer 2005]: 221).

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From this list of the First Presidency and Twelve at the time that Official Declaration-1 was issued, it looks like they were ALL involved with either marrying plural wives, performing plural marriages, or consenting to such activity, after OD-1 a.k.a the manifesto was issued. What does this tell us regarding how seriously they took it?

It tells me they had a hard time accepting that authorization given by a higher power had been rescinded. It's doesn't appear the the actual priesthood authority to do so had also been recinded however. I would give them a few months/years leeway because, IIRC, OD-1 was given at a time when the Church still believed it could win in the Supreme Court. I may be thinking of an earlier statement on that though......

Doesn't cover such marriages performed into the 20th century and I do believe it was then the Church began excommunicating people for it. I certainly don't consider it to be an important or damaging issue for the Church.

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It tells me they had a hard time accepting that authorization given by a higher power had been rescinded. It's doesn't appear the the actual priesthood authority to do so had also been recinded however. I would give them a few months/years leeway because, IIRC, OD-1 was given at a time when the Church still believed it could win in the Supreme Court. I may be thinking of an earlier statement on that though......

Doesn't cover such marriages performed into the 20th century and I do believe it was then the Church began excommunicating people for it. I certainly don't consider it to be an important or damaging issue for the Church.

Authorization had been rescinded to perform plural marriages, but not actual authority to perform them? So these marriages did not have the Lord's authorization, but only that of Church leaders?

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Regarding the claim that Mme. Mountford "was never a member of the Church":

Sorry. It's news to me. I was under the impression from what I had read in the past that while she may have become well acquainted with Pres. Woodruff, she remained a Jew.

I also ran into this quote which I thought was funny because plural marriage has never been legal:

Before the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act and other subsequent legislation, how exactly was plural marriage illegal? In the sense of cohabitating with plural wives, how was it illegal before 1882 when the Edmunds Act came around? Nevermind of course that all these laws are in fact unconstitutional. But the Church had little recourse after they were declared to be such by the Supreme Court. But even if you assume that these laws were perfectly legitimate, I don't see how you can argue that plural marriage was not at least legal until 1862 when Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, which he then chose not to enforce.

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Authorization had been rescinded to perform plural marriages, but not actual authority to perform them? So these marriages did not have the Lord's authorization, but only that of Church leaders?

I didn't say "authority", I said priesthood authority as in don't use your preisthood authority to perform these ordinances. There does seem to be precedence for this; the case of Balaam in which he was commanded not to curse Israel. He had the authority to do so and made the attempt. Why did the Lord try so hard to stop him instead of simply removing the authority to use the power?

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I didn't say "authority", I said priesthood authority as in don't use your preisthood authority to perform these ordinances. There does seem to be precedence for this; the case of Balaam in which he was commanded not to curse Israel. He had the authority to do so and made the attempt. Why did the Lord try so hard to stop him instead of simply removing the authority to use the power?

Are you saying that you don't think the Lord approved of the marriages that took place after OD-1?

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Are you saying that you don't think the Lord approved of the marriages that took place after OD-1?

I'm saying the Lord probably respected the priesthood authority of those doing the sealings as evidenced by no talking donkey getting in the way.

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