Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Official Answer

President Gordon B. Hinckley, prior president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made the following statement in 1998 about the Church’s position on plural marriage:

“This Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this Church.... If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church.”

At various times, the Lord has commanded His people to practice plural marriage. For example, He gave this command to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon (Doctrine and Covenants 132:1). At other times the Lord has given other instructions. In the Book of Mormon, the Lord told the prophet Jacob “for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife: and concubines he shall have none... for if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things (Jacob 2:27-30).

In this dispensation, the Lord commanded some of the early Saints to practice plural marriage. The Prophet Joseph Smith and those closest to him, including Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, were challenged by this command, but they obeyed it. Church leaders regulated the practice. Those entering into it had to be authorized to do so, and the marriages had to be performed through the sealing power of the priesthood. In 1890, President Wilford Woodruff received a revelation that the leaders of the Church should cease teaching the practice of plural marriage (Official Declaration 1).

The Lord’s law of marriage is monogamy unless he commands otherwise to help establish the House of Israel (see Encyclopedia of Mormonism Vol. 3, pp. 1091-1095).

  • Nope. That ended over a hundred years ago. Show more

  • No. Mormons do NOT practice polygamy. There are many people outside the Church that say otherwise, but that doesn't change the truth of the matter. There is nobody living on this earth right now who can truly claim to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who practices polygamy. It is against the law, both of the land and of the Church. We do not approve of such things. There are some groups of people who do practice this and also claim to be Mormons, but I assure you that they are not in any way affiliated with this Church. Show more

  • Today, Mormons are commonly associated with polygamy, even though the practice was discontinued in the Mormon Church in 1890 - over 120 years ago! Today there are still some who claim to be Mormon and who practice polygamy, but it should be recognized that they are not part of our Church - anyone belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints today who practices polygamy is excommunicated and their names are removed from our rosters. In modern revelation, we learn that we are never supposed to practice this unless specifically told to by the Lord (through the prophet) as was the case with Solomon and David in the Old Testament. Know that we do not want to practice polygamy. I don't know any Mormons who do. We know that if we were asked to, the Lord would help us to understand why, as He will with any commandment. However, until that day (which we do not expect to ever come), we will neither practice it nor look forward to doing so. Show more

  • No we do not. God has, at some points in time, commanded certain man to practice polygamy (i.e. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon) but monogamy is always the norm and polygamy the exception even during these times. It is true that certain early Saints were called to practice plural marriage, however this was always closely monitored and had to be authorized through church leaders. Through President Wilford Woodruff in the year 1890, God commanded this practice to end and is no longer practiced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Show more

  • No, Mormons do not practice polygamy and discontinued the practice over a century ago. Yet, whenever I discuss my faith, often the first question asked is, "how many wives do you have?" It is important to know that the religious groups that currently practice polygamy, as often seen on the news, have no affiliation with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Even though some of these groups may claim otherwise. Show more

  • No. I am aware that there is a religious sect that does practice polygamy, however, our doctrine is definately about a one man and one woman relationship within marriage. Show more

  • Absolutely not!! This is one of the many myths about Mormon's that hollywood and the media continue to propogate. It is true that the early memebrs of the church did practice polygamy, but the church oficcialy denounced the practice 150 years ago!! If any church member today practices polygamy they are excommunicated. There are people who leave the LDS church and start their own religion base loosely on LDS beliefs. Some of them practice polygamy. They are NOT memebrs of the LDS (Mormon) chruch, nor do they have any affiliation with the LDS church. Show more

  • We certainly do not. As a Mormon I've constantly been taught about the importance of family and how to strengthen those bonds. My mother and father exemplify the ideal of loving parents and I am so grateful for that loving bond my 5 siblings and I share with our mom and dad. Our faith does not teach, condone, accept, or defend polygamy in any way. Show more

  • No, we don't. People typically mix up Mormons with their reformed break offs. Several of those groups practice polygamy, even though historically the commandment from the Lord to have plural marriages has been repealed. Show more

  • No! The practice of polygamy by faithful Mormons ended September 24, 1890. Mormons today do not practice or preach or in any way condone the practice of plural marriage. If you hear or read about any group of people practicing polygamy you can be absolutely certain that they are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Any LDS church member practicing polygamy today would be immediately excommunicated from the church. QUESTION: Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)? This is a good honest question that deserves an honest answer. My great-great-grandfather who joined the church in 1835 was a polygamist. If you are a Christian that believes in the Holy Bible and ancient prophets, you believe in and accept the fact that God has the right to authorize plural marriage when He sees the need, and He has the right to revoke that same commandment when He sees the need to do so. Many of the ancient prophets had plural wives such as Moses, Abraham, and Isaac. If you believe in the Holy Bible, you must accept this fact. But you also know that for most of human history God commanded men to have only one wife. The key here is to do what God commands, and don’t do what He forbids. The period of time when Joseph Smith (1820-1844) was called of God to restore the “fullness of the gospel” to the earth, many important laws and ordinances were revealed and restored to the earth that had existed anciently. The power of the priesthood, temple ordinances, and the practice of plural marriage were part of that restoration. But in 1890 the Lord directed the living prophet Wilford Woodruff to end the practice of Plural marriage. Since that time the Mormon Church has not authorized any such practice. This is a great example that demonstrates how important it is to follow living prophets who receive direction from the living God for our day. Show more

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