A Plethora Of Wives
Of all the Mormon Misconceptions, this might be the most pervasive. I don’t know how many times I’ve had people ask me, “Is it true that you can have multiple wives?” The media (think Big Love and Sister Wives) has fueled the common misconception that Mormon’s practice polygamy. During my 2-year church mission to Quito, Ecuador, it was fairly common for people to ask, “If I join your church, how quickly can I get married to another woman? I’d like to have at least two wives.” My response was typically something like, “You’re looking in the wrong place. Try another church.”
One Wife. No Exceptions.
The subject of polygamy has followed the Mormon church for well over a century. To set the record straight, Mormons can only have one wife. No exceptions. The Mormon church has not practiced polygamy, in any form, since the 1800’s. And even then it was only practiced by certain individuals.
There are a handful of Mormon spin-off religions that practice polygamy. These “religions” are not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“This Church Has Nothing To Do With Those Practicing Polygamy”
In 1998, Gordon B. Hinckley made the following statement, “I wish to state categorically that this Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this Church. Most of them have never been members … 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.”
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