Information on sectarian polygamy

Disclaimer: I find the FLDS church and its practice of polygamy very, very disturbing. I have no sympathy for their beliefs. I think that polygamy as practiced by the nineteenth-century Mormon church is something completely different (especially manifest in the uber-liberal divorce laws), though it was not without its own problems. I also hope that people that are clambering the constitutional bells would be so ready for causes far removed from religious groups that claim a similar heritage to Mormonism.

Many people in and out of the media are asking for more information about the FLDS church and other sectarian polygamists. What follows are some helpful resources.

Utah and Arizona Offices of the Attorneys General, “The Primer: Helping Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in Polygamous Communities,” updated June 2006.

Brian C. Hales is one of the most prolific authors on polygamist sectarian groups, their history and doctrine. His website has a lot of information, including electronic copies of a few books he helped author. His recent volume, Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto (Salt Lake City: Kofford Books, 2007), is the most up to date one volume treatment of the subject.

Martha Sonntag Bradley, professor at the University of Utah, wrote an important history of the first verse in the Federal removal of children from polygamist compounds, Kidnapped from that Land: The Government Raids on the Short Creek Polygamists (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1993).

Irwin Altman and Joseph Ginat, Polygamous Families in Contemporary Society (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996) is another important volume.

Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought has several articles available, including:

Marianne T. Watson, “The 1948 Secret Marriage of Louis J Barlow: Origins of the FLDS Placement Marriage,” vol. 40 (Spring 2007), 83.

Ken Driggs, “Imprisonment, Defiance, and Division: The History of Mormon Fundamentalism in the 1940s and 1950s,” vol. 38 (Spring 2005), 65.


As many people might also be interested in Mormonism’s practice of polygamy, the following is a brief outline of the practice followed by a non-exhaustive bibliography on the topic.

Polygamy was introduced to Mormonism by its founding prophet Joseph Smith. He introduced the practice secretly and the controversy of its implementation fueled generations of sectarian strife. Polygamy was made public in 1852 and was a definitive characteristic of nineteenth-century Mormonism. The practice, coupled with Utah’s very liberal divorce laws fueled desire for a Federal marriage amendment to the constitution and a series of anti-Mormon legislation. Ultimately due to the pressure of the Federal government, the Mormon Church announced a “Manifesto” in 1890 that publically ended the practice. Over one hundred new secret polygamous marriages were formalized in the church until 1904, when Church President Joseph F. Smith delivered the “Second Manifesto,” which ended the Mormon practice of plural marriage completely. In the following decades, the Church acted to purge the Church of active polygamists and cooperated with government officials to identify polygamists for prosecution.

B. Carmon Hardy, Doing The Works of Abraham: Mormon Polygamy: Its Origin, Practice, and Demise (Norman, OK: Arthur H. Clark Company, 2007).

Kathryn M. Daynes, More Wives Than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System, 1840-1910 (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2001).

Sarah Barringer Gordon, The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001).

Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997),

B. Carmon Hardy, Solemn Covenant: The Mormon Polygamous Passage (Urban and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1992).

Jessie L. Embry, Mormon Polygamous Families: Life in the Principle (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987).


  1. Great stuff, J. Bradley’s book on Short Creek looks excellent.

  2. Researcher says:

    I took a class from Dr Bradley back when she was at BYU. Excellent teacher. I haven’t read her book but she was working on it at the time.

    The discussion today on Talk of the Nation is on this subject. One lady recommended Banner of Heaven as a good resource for learning more….

  3. Researcher, Banner of Heaven is a great resource!

  4. One lady recommended Banner of Heaven as a good resource…


  5. Kevin Barney says:

    The Primer on polygamy done jointly by the Attorneys General of the States of Utah and Arizona is also very useful.

  6. Researcher, Banner of Heaven is a great resource!

    Double Ugh.

  7. Thanks for pulling these resources together J.

  8. I forgot about that Kevin, I’ll add that to the post.

  9. Bradley also published an article in Dialogue in 1990 on Short Creek.

  10. Ken Driggs, “Twentieth-Century Polygamy and Fundamentalist Mormons in Southern Utah,” Dialogue 24 (Winter 1991): 44-58.

    D. Michael Quinn, “Plural Marriage and Mormon Fundamentalism,” Dialogue 31 (Summer 1998): 1-68.

    Marianne T. Watson, “Short Creek: A Refuge for the Saints,” Dialogue 36 (Spring 2003): 71-87.

  11. Okay, this is a good bibliography. I have a specific question, though. When I was barely a teenager, a friend of mine from another faith told me that people had sex in LDS temples. I was positive that such was completely false, and had no nervousness at all when I was endowed or married. (Well, at least not while I was in the temple…) But I’ve noted that other non- or anti-Mormons do promulgate the idea that sexual things happen in the temple. And now there are BEDS found in the FLDS temple, and the rumors are rapant–and often not stated as rumors. Right after marriage, commentators say, young brides and their much older husbands consummate the marriage while a small crowd witnesses.

    What is going on here? The question should be framed, is there any reason to believe that these beds were used in this way, but I’m going to frame it differently: Is there any reason to believe they WEREN’T?

    What I know for sure is that people will now look at our temples and imagine what ungodly things we’ve got in there. The PR folks must be scrambling.

  12. What make you think, Margaret, some LDS Temples might not have a bed or two in them?

  13. The only beds I saw in the Provo temple were the emergency cots for the tired old workers.

  14. Margaret, I don’t know anything about the FLDS temple ceremonies. However, sexual activities have never been a part of the Mormon liturgy, in the temple or out of it.

    I’m not sure who would be the person to answer quesitons about the FLDS rituals…Hales, perhaps?

  15. What make you think, Margaret, some LDS Temples might not have a bed or two in them?

    The only beds I saw in the Provo temple were the emergency cots for the tired old workers.

    The Manti temple has a small bedroom, though it is also used for tired workers or potential emergencies.

  16. Is there any chance that an altar was being described as a bed? I mean, we’re not getting pictures of these beds in the FLDS temples. If someone had never seen an altar, might they describe it as a bed? Maybe FLDS altars are larger than the norm. When they say “There were beds in the temple,” I picture a huge tassled pillow from a brothel, for some reason.

  17. Out of curiosity, what’s the relevance of the “uber-liberal divorce laws” with regards to early church polygamy?

  18. Margaret, the affidavit references messed-up linens and a female hair found on the scene.

  19. FHL, it meant that a women could get out of a marriage at her volition and without much red tape (something that happened quite frequently). That is a huge deal, when you compare the FLDS control of its members.

  20. Yeah, there’s a big difference between what Warren Jeffs was doing and Brigham Young. Consider his nearly just having a date where marriages were all annulled and all the women dissatisfied in their marriages could leave. I’d have to look it up but I don’t think he went through with this – I think it was probably a bit of hyperbole. But it shows the different mindset.

  21. The practice, coupled with Utah’s very liberal divorce laws fueled desire for a Federal marriage amendment to the constitution and a series of anti-Mormon legislation.

    Ahhh, the irony…Yet the persecuted have little trouble becoming the persecutors.

  22. Thanks for this great reading list. This will keep me occupied for a good while.

    Could someone answer a (hopefully) simple question for someone not so well-versed in polygamy? When did the marriage age for the plural wives creep so low? I realize that Fanny Alger was a teenager, but it seemed to me that she was the exception. Am I incorrect in that assumption?

    And according to this dude over here, the census data suggests that it wasn’t the norm for the time, as I was taught growing up.

  23. Nick, don’t wax too poetic. When it comes to homosexuality Mormons have always been persecutors. There’s no irony in having a consistent position.

    p.s. does it really always have to be about homosexuality for you? Come on.

  24. Steve (18)–so am I to understand that these FLDS couples not only had sex in their temples but then did NOT make the bed afterwards? That is really sick.

  25. I heard that same exact rumor about our temples years ago before the FLDS were big news. I think the provenance for this rumor is pretty obvious: Wedding ceremonies, where “outsiders” aren’t allowed… OBVIOUSLY the bride and groom are having sex in front of all their friends and family. As far as the rumor applying to FLDS temples, there may very well be beds in there. And then again it might just be people who heard that rumor about us and don’t know the difference.


    Although, we took a trip down to St. George once and went to the temple visitors’ center. The senior missionary fellow who gave us the tour let us in a fun historical fact which he may or may not have made up: back in the day when St. George was (one of) the only temple(s), folks went down to get married, and things were still pretty primitive and there just weren’t very many nice hotels in town. So they did have some sealing rooms that converted into honeymoon suites… AFTER all the guests left. Anyone have any documentation on that or was he just gettin’ a giggle out of the BYU students?

    I think our friend Phil best phrased our thoughts on that one: “….Intimidating.”

  26. LOL, Margaret. Agreed — clear signs of a CULT!!

  27. Regarding the 19th century. I think it very incorrect to read back our contemporary notions to then. For one a lot less is demanded of people today. Whereas even up to WWII people were going off on their own at 16. Perhaps we’ve infanticized young men especially too much such that we’ve extended adolescence to 30 for many people. (Probably myself included)

    However having said that I think there are tons of positive reasons to keep young people from making commitments like marriage before they are 17 or 18. (Yeah, I think 16 is too young myself, even if they are pregnant) That’s something partially due to what one has to learn to function in our society today as opposed to the 19th century. But it also reflects I think something our culture has learned about relationships and cognitive maturity.

    Given that folks in the 19th century didn’t know this it is unfair to judge them as if they did.

    Having said that though it wasn’t uncommon to have older people marry younger people. My great grandmother (not-Mormon) married at 15 a guy in his 30’s and was quite happy. Having said that though it wasn’t nearly as common as some apologists make out. And, as I said, I think it’s better to not allow such relationships as a society.

  28. For one a lot less is demanded of people today

    That should have read, “for one a lot less was demanded of people then.” Certainly in some ways more was demanded. (i.e. to survive you needed to work harder than most American adults let alone teenagers can conceive) However the intellectual maturity was quite a bit different. There were fewer choices available and a lot less maturity (cognitive) and education were needed to achieve them. In 1850 it was rare if you finished school and starting a family at 16 probably wasn’t much worse than someone starting it at 25. Today if you have kids as a teenager chances are you will be in poverty most of your life.

  29. I don’t have the reference off-hand, but a senator presented this accusation way back in the 1880’s or so on the senate floor, so this false accusation has been around for a while. I know it is quoted a the beginning of a chapter in Given’s Viper on the Hearth.

  30. Regarding that link at wives of Joseph Smith. Unfortunately the statistic he gives (mean age of first marriage) is completely useless for judging how common younger marriages were in the 19th century.

    After all 90% of women might have married between the ages of 20 and 22 in their first marriage or 40% may have. They both have the same average but very different implications for how common younger (or older) marriages were.

    What he really ought give is the median age along with some ideas of standard deviation. Even more useful would be a statistic of what percentage of women had their first marriage at 17 or younger. If it is between 10 – 15% then it can hardly be considered uncommon.

  31. C. Biden says:

    The interesting thing to me about the 19th c. is how “modern” it actually was. To say one shouldn’t “read back” because our “contemporary notions” are unreliable or so different, is usually used to justify something, either in the present or the past, with which we are uncomfortable.

  32. Sometimes but I don’t think it is true in this case. In the 19th century America was largely an agrarian civilization with people largely working manual labor. By the 1980’s we had only a small number working in agriculture and even there large corporate interests were ‘industrializing’ agriculture. That’s a huge change.

  33. 26. Just rub salt in my wounds, Steve. Nice.

  34. Steve Evans says:

    Any chance I get, Jami.

  35. How do they know it is female hair? Have they tested it?

    Yes, some of the temples have beds/cots….for the elderly workers. But explain this – Why does the presence of a bed prove that sexual activity took place? Sexual activity does not require a bed. So big deal, they have a bed that someone actually climbed into.

  36. Just as a note, for those curious, here’s the best article I could find on the age of marriage demographics in the US. (It’s a bunch of scanned in pages so only click if you enjoy tedious statistical papers)

    These don’t go back to the era in question (1830 – 1850) but at least give a hint of what was going on. One should note that there were pretty significant social changes with regards to how Americans viewed youth that started around 1820.

  37. Deborah – wrt the female hair, FLDS women don’t cut their hair, so if it was long at all, it would be pretty likely it was a woman’s.

  38. #19 Okay, I can see the contrast, but why did that cause ire at the government level? Was divorce something the Feds got involved with back then?

    Am I being dense?

    It makes me wonder – what if they hadn’t called it marriage back then but only sealing? As in, sealed to multiple wives, legally married to only one. (Or would that have made it seem like some sort of orgy cult?)

  39. Why is it that they don’t cut their hair, btw? I see the same phenomena among Evangelical fundamentalists.

  40. Clark,
    They don’t want to lose their superhuman strength.

  41. One last link. Here’s a more interesting paper on marriage demographics going back to 1860. (Once again scanned it – so only click if you’re really interested in reading a long paper) The most interesting and surprising bit to me is that marriage age was youngest right after WWII. There’s a strong theory that war has a lot to do with how young people marry. The second factor being how available land is.

    The statistics do suggest that young (14-16) marriage wasn’t supper common in the 19th century. Here’s the key information. The age of females where only 10% of females are younger. (That is the age of the first decile)

    1865-1874: 19.7
    1875-1884: 19.4
    1885-1894: 19.1
    1805-1914: 18.9
    1915-1924: 19.0
    1925-1934: 18.3

    The Massachusetts figures are even more interesting. One has to be careful given the difference of that state in the 20th century from the 19th. The statistics for first decile are only had from 1958 onward.

    1958: 16.5
    1963: 16.5
    1965: 18.2
    1967: 18.4
    1969: 18.4
    1971: 18.1

    That’s much lower than I’d have expected. Were statistics available for 1944 – 1957 I would expect a younger first decile than even 16.5.

    Anyway, a lot of the data was quite surprising to me. I knew there was a post WWII marriage boom but I didn’t realize just how dramatic the social changes were.

  42. Brad, that was awesome.

    FHL, of course divorce wasn’t viewed even close to polygamy in its level of barbarity. Still Utah’s liberal divorce laws were viewed as the decline of western civilization (remember that divorces used to be hard to come by). For example the Century, a popular periodical of the 19th and early 20th centuries ran stories in 1886:

    Marriage, Divorce and the Mormon Problem

    Marriage and Divorce again

  43. #39 – They believe in the literalness of Paul’s preaching for women to keep their heads covered. (e.g., 1 Cor. 11:5-6)

  44. My answer was better, Ray…

  45. I agree completely, Brad.

  46. Regarding the beds in the FLDS temple.

    This morning on Good Morning America, they used the line about beds in the temple as the tease for the story. The first time, they said something about the beds being for men to have sex with their young wives immediately after the ceremony. The next time, they said there were beds and asked could they be some sort of alter?

    Then when they got to the story, no mention of the beds at all.

    This just seems like a sensationalized part of the story, that is likely not based in reality.

    Our American culture is all too willing to believe the strangest things about a religious sect, even when they turn out to be false.

  47. the bed in the temple most likely was for the workers. How many women were in the compound? was it possible for a worker to have given/gotten a hug from a mother/sister/wife or daughter? hair clings, I know because my hair is the same. the “confidantial source was a FORMER flds that has been out for at least 4 years according to sheriff Doran. use your own judgment on how reliable the information might be

  48. Bubba smith says:

    these folks are sick, sick, sick. As a father I can’t imagine allowing any of my 3 daughters to be married and have sex at age 13. All these men need to be castrated and sent to prison where the will find out what a real spiritual marriage means. Say hi to bubba!!!

  49. “Bubba” I think everyone agrees with that. I think the worry by some is that there are a bunch of people who didn’t do that but are being treated as if they did with no due process. Personally I think folks on both extremes are leaping to judgment before the facts come in.

  50. Also on marriage age, my understanding was that on the Western frontier marriage ages were younger then the national numbers.

  51. Also, it’s been a long time since my Utah history class- but I do vaguely remember the statistics about plural wives.

    The first wife was on average 19 or something, while the second wife was usually 22 at marriage, and the third wife was something like 24.

    Multiple marriages after the third tended to trend back downward in age though.

  52. I believe that the St. George temple had rooms that couples could stay in after they were married. One of my wife’s ancestors was married there and he made reference to “boarding” at the temple. This was in the 1880s. They traveled with two other couples from central Utah to St. George and the trip took them several days. I imagine that without a room at the temple, their options would have been to stay in the home of a stranger, in their wagon, or in a tent. I really don’t see anything creepy about a wedding night at the temple. FLDS members that want to be married in their temple may face similar circumstances today.

  53. Aaron Brown says:

    J., any particular reason why you left Van Wagoner’s book off your short list?


  54. Aaron, no particular reason.

  55. Lulubelle says:

    You know, I actually feel sorry for a lot of these men in the FLDS. Most of them have been heavily indoctrinated since birth that they are to kind of the house, can abuse their women in any way they see fit, and have s*x with multiple child brides. In fact, they see this as their divine obligation and part of their priesthood rights and responsibilities. Most no no differently and have never seen it done any other way. I think the whole thing is a travisty and this cult should be dismantled. I’m all for religious freedom but very few of those in the FLDS have the exposure to any other thoughts or ideals and, therefore, are not “choosing” their lives. And for the women– it’s nothing short of slavery.

  56. Lulubelle,
    That may all be true, but how do you know that the men have been indoctrinated, the treatment of women is nothing short of slavery, etc.?

    (That’s not to say you’re not right; I have no idea what goes on in FLDS communities, but most other people similarly have no idea.)

  57. Lulubelle says:

    Well, obviously, I don’t have first hand knowledge. But it’s always been an interest of mine and I’ve read up on first hand accounts as much as they are available– i.e. Tapestry, the book Escape, interviews on Oprah, etc. If this women (and the Lost Boys) are to be believed, which I believe they are, it’s hard to have much of a choice when one is cloistored, set apart from anyone else of a different mindset, to only have a few pre approved reading materials available, taken out of public schools, not allowed to watch TV or have access to the Internet, not allowed to associate with anyone outside of the community, told what to wear down to the colors allowed, and on and on… Well, if that’s not a cult, what is? And if you’re part of a cult, allowing to think and decide for yourself is simply not allowed. Read the accounts of some of the very brave women who did escape and it’s a harrowing story.

  58. J. Stapley,

    What are the divorce procedures for the FLDS, and how do they differ from the temple divorces in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?


    Would you encourage others to learn about the LDS from ex-members? If not, then why the double standard?

  59. Amanda, I don’t know anything about FLDS temple rites. However, the distinction of divorce in nineteenth century divorce didn’t really have anything to do with the temple. It was a civil affair, but really it was a distinction of community. Basically a woman could get out of a marraige at her volition and take the kids.

    Look at, for example, Charles Ora Card who was in the Cache Valley Stake presidency (basically a general authority back in those days). His first wife decides to leave him and took the house and her children, including Charles’ namesake. It is my understanding that FLDS women do not have the measure of autonomy (the idea of placement marriages further exacerbates this).

  60. J. Stapley,

    FLDS temple rites are just like LDS temple rites without the modern changes to the ordinances.

    I thought that since you made the comparison between 19th century polygamy and FLDS polygamy while mentioning the uber-liberal divorce laws of the 19th century that you might have some special insight into the divorce laws of the FLDS today. I must have been mistaken about your comparison. My bad.

  61. Amanda,
    How do you know they are the same? I am assuming you have only experienced your own odinances. Seeing there has been many changes, I’m not sure what you mean by ‘modern’.

  62. I’m assuming you refer to the pre-1990 endowment, and not the earlier changes, Amanda. Now, my I ask how you know about the FLDS temple rites?

  63. mmiles,

    By modern I mean all those changes made from 1904 on, or from the time that Adam-God was removed from the lecture at the veil on. Every fundamentalist that I know also believes and practices second annointings as well. We also use the garment as God revealed and not, as Joseph F. Smith put it, the “mutilated” version of the garment.

    I just think it’s kind of funny that LDS people view the fundamentalist as being so different. As far as beliefs go, we are just like the LDS minus the changes. We use the same scriptures, we sing the same hymns, we practice the same ordinances, and the priesthood lineages of the two go back to the same source.

  64. J., Amanda stated on the 400 kids thread that she is FLDS, if I recall correctly.

  65. At least, that is the message I got from this comment over there.

  66. Thomas Parkin says:

    “As far as beliefs go, we are just like the LDS minus the changes.”

    Or, one might say, minus the learning.

    Progression, development, makes change neccesary – it _means_ change. Often, and the history of the church is nothing if not proof of this, that change sometimes comes as we are forced to adjust to outside pressures. The Lord might use the Assyrians as a scourge, but not to calcify us in our traditions, but to see that our traditions are not sufficient, and that we don’t yet possees a full repetoire of righteous responces to existence. And that we need to rely on the Lord, and not on tradition. We read that we lose light and truth not only by iniquity, but by the traditions of our fathers. If LDS society looks the same in twenty or fifty years as it looks today, that will be because we have failed to grow.

    But I am very sympathetic to what your community in Texas is going through, Amanda. I hope that the end result is greater tolerance and understanding. I doubt that will be the result, but I hope for at least a smidgen of it.


  67. Amanda, while maintaining the sanctity of temple. It is my understanding, that the now public lecture at the veil did not persist longer than a few years after Brigham’s death in 1877. I’d be curious how you reconstructed the the pre-1921 endowment in its extended (6 hour) form.

    Also, as the 19th century Utah divorce laws were written by Church authorities, it wasn’t simply a non-church issue. Can FLDS women leave the Church and retain custody of their children and property?

  68. J., Amanda stated on the 400 kids thread that she is FLDS, if I recall correctly.

    john f., based on the link you provided to her comment on that thread, it appears that Amanda is a fundamentalist Mormon, but not affiliated with the FLDS.

  69. Paul Sant says:

    People need to relax and admit to themselves what everyone at one point has seriously pondered about: the fact that polygamy is nothing more than a huge mistake.

    When men obtain high levels of power, one of the first things that happens is they start sleeping around. It’s happened with plenty of former U.S. presidents, other politicians, civic leaders, religious leaders, and so on.

    Joseph Smith simply invented ‘polygamy’ as a means to cover up his affair with Fanny Alger.

    This doesn’t mean everything else in the church is false, it simply means that Joseph was human. Seriously, the whole polygamy thing was nothing more than a huge mistake. Just like many other mistakes the church made and subsequently abandoned (e.g. Ban on the priesthood, overzealous Word of Wisdom enforcement, full-length garments, etc.) The church needs to own up to this.

  70. I truly think it is appalling that people are so eager and willing to cast judgement on the whole of this group rather than focusing on the reality, that in no part outside of their sect walls,,,in our own society are we free from young girls becoming pregnant, and that none of these women have been accused of a crime, none of them has been accused of rape or abuse of her children. These people are indoctrinated and know what they have been taught and their values tailored to believe in, based on doctorine introduced for a very different time and circumstance. I dont think forcing young girls to marry is right to do, nor men to take advantage of their status to a non consentual act on anyone under the age of consent. But for the most part, these are probably some of the most decent and respectable women who are righteous and innoent of abusing anyone… why are we throwing stones? Condemning an entire group for what sins of the very few have committed and likely even the men were taught that this was gods plan for them and they were fulfilling gods calling for them. Any other misguided and horrible traditions aside, if we are so quick to rip these children away from their mothers, without due process or their having been charged with a crime, we are by extention raping them in a sense ourselves of their heritage their siblings, and the right to a separation of church and state that does not punish people for their beliefs, but on their actions. It seems just as rude as raping a young girl is, to continue the victimization of that raped woman by stealing her children from her afterward….. Just what exactly are these women guilty of ? Being forced to marry and bear children, only to have them ripped from their bosom, because we think the women are victimized and girls abused. Arent we continuing the victimization of these women by further humiliating them and treating them as criminals and aparty to the “Crime” Didnt the call from the girl who first initiated this raid, turn out to be completely unaffiliated with it and a hoax? What happened to our sense of fairness and freedom. Havent the women suffered enough? Taught to believe, and follow in this polygamy.. were the decendants of the persecuted and dwindling population of mormons in 1880. These were marriages of women to the only men left in the group, it is not only a marraige to the men though, they became family and community with the entire group of women. These original marriages./who otherwise would have remained unmairred due to no available men to marry them within the group. Persecuted to the extreme these women would have suffered fates much worse had they not had some sort of supporting group, during that time. They didnt come up with the idea of polygamy all on their