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Persistence of Polygamy, The

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Newell G. Bringhurst and Craig L. Foster.  Independence, Missouri: John Whitmer Books, 2010.  Softbound, 6" x 9", 306 pages.

"Polygamy will not die. Though long since ended in the mainstream church, it still stains the public image of Mormonism and arouses concern among Latter-day Saints about gender relations today. This collection of essays, which tackles some of the most troublesome issues, teen-age brides, polyandry, Fannie Alger, and Joseph Smith's children by other women, will prove useful to all serious researchers on plural marriage."

—RICHARD L. BUSHMAN, author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

"This volume is most impressive in its scope of interpretation, os well as the depth and voriety of viewpoints."

—MARK A SCHERER, Church Historian of the Community of Christ

"lhe essays in this volume, the first of three on the persevering theme of Mormon plurality, all make important contributions to our understanding of Mormon polygamy. The investigations range from Joseph Smith's early marriages, to sexuality, to discussion of the prophet's 1843 revelation approving the practice. Well-documented, they juxtapose and explore different interpretations associated with the commencement of Mormonism's most controversial nineteenth century practice. The authors provide greater insight into both the seminal circumstances of Mormon polygamy and the character of its founder. It is a splendid addition to the shelf of modern scholarship on the ever-renewing subject of Mormon plural morricqe."

—B. CARMON HARDY, author of Solemn Covenant: The Mormon Polygamous Passage

"Newell Bringhurst and Craig Foster's diverse collection of articles reveal both the fascinating and complex nature of Joseph Smith Jr., along with the difficulties encountered by historians in their attempts to understand the origins of Lotter Day Saint polygamy. A highlight of their work includes the unique look into the Community of Christ's painful and often times stormy relationship with polygamy stretching from 18405 Nauvoo, Illinois, to 19705 Orissa State in East India. This volume is an excellent resource in furthering our understanding of the unusual story and timeless impact of Latter Day Saint polygamy."

—BARBARA B. WALDEN, Executive Director. Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation

Table of Contents

Forward by Linda King Newell

Introduction by Newell G. Bringhurst and Craig L. Foster

Mormon Polygamy Before Nauvoo? The Relationship of Joseph Smith and Fanny Alger by Don Bradley

Section 132 of the LDS Doctrine and Covenants: Its Complex Contents and Controversial Legacy byNewell G. Bringhurst

Doctrine and Covenants Section 132 and Joseph Smith's Expanding Concept of Family by Craig L. Foster

Joseph Smith and the Puzzlement of "Polyandry" by Brian C. Hales

The Age of Joseph Smith's Plural Wives in Social and Demographic Context by Craig L. Foster, David Keller, and Gregory L. Smith

Early Marriage in the New England and Northeastern States, and in Mormon Polygamy: What Was the Norm? by Todd M. Compton

Joseph Smith, the Question of Polygamous Offspring, and DNA Analysis by Ugo A. Perego

RLDS Church Reaction to the LDS Doctrine and Covenants' Section 132: Conflicting Responses and Changing Perceptions by Newell G. Bringhurst

Afterword by Jessie L. Embry

Appendix: Joseph Smith's Plural Wives: Total Number, Reasons for, and Methods of Selection

About the Contributors


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Persistence of Polygamy, The

Persistence of Polygamy, The

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