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What did the Manifesto do to Polygamy?


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In a previous thread, Juliann suggested that polyandry in the eternities is as doctrinal as polygamy in the great beyond. The implication is that we don't know that one is any more doctrinal than the other.

Despite pointing to Abraham (and the fact that Joseph Smith said that he is exalted) and all the others that practiced polygamy within the law of the land and the church, Juliann wants more proof. The problem for her, is the Manifesto says NOTHING about the doctrinal position of polygamy, rather only the practice of it. As such, Juliann cannot provide any document that eviscerates the doctrine surrounding polygamy. To the contrary, the history surrounding the Manifesto goes directly against any such insinuation:

"This Manifesto only refers to future marriages, and does not affect past conditions. I did not, I could not, and would not promise that you would desert your wives and children. This you cannot do in honor."

Diary entry of Marriner W. Merrill, 1890-10-06 (LDS Church archives), cited in B. Carmon Hardy (1992). Solemn Covenant: The Mormon Polygamous Passage (Urbana: University of Illinois Press) p. 141.

So...considering polygamy WAS doctrinal, what reference can anyone point to that says the eternal doctrine was incorrect? And please don't get confused - my observation isn't normative. I have no polygamous aspirations or personal beefs. If only others could say the same.


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In a previous thread, Juliann suggested that polyandry in the eternities is as doctrinal as polygamy in the great beyond.

Curious, as fairwiki itself claims that the evidence for polyandry in mortality is inconclusive. That a woman cannot be sealed to more than one man certainly is significant evidence against. There certainly is no evidence whatsoever that polyandry is, was, or ever will be doctrine.

The problem for her, is the Manifesto says NOTHING about the doctrinal position of polygamy, rather only the practice of it.

That is right. There is doctrine on plural marriage currently and that includes the notion that prior plural marriages are valid in the sight of God and that plural marriage might be practiced again if God so wills. Plural marriage is a doctrine of the Church. But I've been over this with her myself and I never saw her provide any evidence to the contrary. There are even carefully worded statements by Church leaders which eschew the practice but don't deny the doctrine. She erroneously equates the lack of practice with a lack of doctrine as no doubt you have found.

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I think the fact that a men may be sealed to more than one woman, but a living woman cannot be sealed to more than one man says it all.

I have suggested that the only reason we perform sealings of deceased women to any husband they have been legally married to is the same as why we perform proxy baptisms for any individual regardless of their mortal religious affiliations. We are giving them the option to accept the ordinance or to refuse it. I believe all women are treated equal in the church, and since a living woman may have only one valid sealing to a husband, then that applies to deceased women also. And by performing all the possible sealings, the woman is able to chose to accept one of the sealings, or maybe none at all. But this does not, in m mind, say that women may have more than one husband in the eternities.

It wold certainly be possible for the practice to be that since all deceased women may be sealed to all legal husbands, then a living woman could be sealed to any husband she was married to. But that is clearly not the practice.

I wish to state this is my opnion, before anyone jumps on me that I am declaring doctrine. I simply look at the thing logically, and see what is consistent.

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Juliann may or may not appear, she generally visits the board when she has too much time on her hands which she did this weekend, but she's back at work now I believe so even if she does find out about the thread in a timely manner, she may consider that she made her point clear enough in the locked thread....or just isn't interested enough at this time to redo it so soon.

Also considering the misreadings and interpretations that were going on in the thread, rather than paraphrasing what Juliann said, I'm CFRing the direct quote with context and a link to the post, please.

PS: please see Juliann's thread in Social Hall: http://www.mormonapologetics.org/topic/51248-to-charity/

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A living man may be sealed to more than one woman in the special circumstance that his first wife dies and then he chooses to remarry another living woman. I don

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I am asking this, and not stating this as fact. I think that a man may marry a second living woman if he has been divorced, and with First Presidency approval, does not need to have that sealing cancelled beforee being sealed to a second living woman. But, of course, he does not live with the divorced spouse.

That is correct. I have a brother who was divorced from a wife to whom he had been sealed. He did not have to have the sealing canceled before marrying and being sealed to his current wife, but he did have to obtain permission from the first presidency before the second sealing.

The former wife, remarried also, to a nonmember. She had become inactive and I do believe that she had her name removed from the church membership rolls.


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D&C 132:41 And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed.

If a woman has been released from an unfaithful man through cancellation of her sealing, she may be sealed and anointed (assuming she had received the second anointing) as a queen and priestess to another faithful man. A woman could not possibly be anointed a queen and priestess to multiple men at the same time -- that's a ridiculous and impossible idea.

March 19th 1889

President John D.T. McAllister,

St. George Temple.

Dear Brother:--Your letter of Feb. 27th, asking certain ques-

tions pertaining to Temple ordinances, has been received and con-


In regard to your last question, pertaining to a woman having

been sealed and anointed [second anointing] to her husband, but

subsequently divorced from him, he continuing a faithful, good man,

etc, is she to be anointed to a second good man as though she never

had been anointed? I answer, No. In such a case it will not be

proper for the sister to be again anointed.

Your second question as to my having any word for you in re-

lation to adoption---

I would say it will be well to leave the matter of adoption

for the present as they have been, and not make any changes. This

will also answer your question in regard to going back as far as

records can be obtained correctly in adoptions.


In relation to children who are old enough to be baptized [&]

who are dead, receiving their endowments. I will say that in per-

forming ordinances for the dead it is safe to follow the rules

observed in regard to the living, unless there may be special

occasions which can be attended to when the circumstances require.

With kind regards,

I am you Brother,

W. Woodruff

--32. First Presidency Letterpress Copybooks, 1877-1949, pp. 430-431,


As far as the Manifesto (OD 1) goes, it is a press release issued in order to get the public to believe that plural marriages had stopped. It is issued "To Whom It May Concern," and Wilford Woodruff says "I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land." That's not very strong language. It doesn't say that polygamy was true but is now false. It doesn't say that the Lord's law of marriage is now monogamy. Joseph Smith said (TPJS pg. 181) this in 1841 -- "A key: every principle proceeding from God is eternal, and any principle which is not eternal is of the Devil."

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