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Mormons do not
practice polygamy
Mormons believe the Lord’s law of marriage is monogamy, or marriage between one man
and one woman.
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Mormons do not practice polygamy. The practice of polygamy is strictly prohibited in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormons believe God’s standard of marriage is monogamy, or marriage between one man and one woman.

Since polygamy is not practiced today, modern polygamists portrayed in popular culture and on television should not be confused with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the proper name for “Mormons.”

Why are some people still confused about this topic?

For a period of about 75 years starting in the 1830s, some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints practiced plural marriage. Mormons believe this was one of the rare instances where God has commanded polygamy. The other best-known period was during the early history of the Hebrew nation, when the Bible records that the patriarchs Abraham and Jacob, and kings David and Solomon among others, practiced polygamy (see 2 Samuel 12:8).

In 1890, Church President Wilford Woodruff issued a declaration which led to the end of the practice of plural marriage in the Church. Today it is not possible to be a polygamist and remain a member of the Church.

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Articles in the media

BBC: Polygamy and Latter-day Saints

Beliefnet: What About Polygamy?

Newsroom: Polygamy Then and Now

Newsroom: Senior Church Leader Appeals to media to Make Polygamy Distinction

Newsroom: Reports of Polygamy Story Vary Across the World

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Answers from Mormons
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  • Jessica
    Jessica answered...


    The Church has not practiced polygamy since 1890. Any member found to be practicing plural marriage is excommunicated from the Church. We are not affiliated with any group currently practicing polygamy.

  • Kim
    Kim answered...

    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...He has the right to revoke that same commandment...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...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.

  • Jason
    Jason answered...

    The practice of polygamy was officially banned in 1890. When polygamy was being practiced in the early church, it was not the norm. There were many more Mormons that were monogamous than were polygamous.

  • Sean
    Sean Michael answered...

    We did in the early days of the Church, and only when instructed to by the Lord. It must have been difficult for many of those involved, but I'm thankful for the lives it blessed - the women who were able to receive emotional and financial support, the children who were in a more protected situation than a fatherless existence could have provided...

  • Veronica
    Veronica answered...

    There are those practicing polygamy who are commonly referred to as Mormons, but they do not belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Those who practice it are in direct violation of the law of the land and of our church.

    In the Bible, there were times that the Lord commanded his people to practice plural marriages and times that they were commanded otherwise. The only times it is acceptable to the Lord to have plural marriages is when He commands it and it is always to 'bring up seed' unto Him. Early in the church's history, some members were commanded to practice plural marriages.

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