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Did Woodruff Marry After the 1890 Manifesto?

In 1890 Wilford Woodruff issued what’s known as the Manifesto, Official Declaration One in the Doctrine & Covenants, prohibiting polygamy. What many Mormons don’t know is that polygamy did not end in 1890.  This is often referred to as post-Manifesto polygamy.  Wilford Woodruff himself may have married another wife in 1897, a year after statehood in Utah.

GT:  Do you have any comments on whether you think that 1890 Manifesto was meant for public consumption, but privately we were still going to practice it, or how does that work?

Anne:  I don’t know what was in the back of Wilford Woodruff’s mind.  I don’t know, other than the fact that he took—as far as we know, there’s pretty good evidence that he took a plural wife seven years after the Manifesto, himself.  We also have very good evidence that many of the apostles, the Quorum of the Twelve, took additional wives after 1890.  That’s one reason why the 1904 Manifesto had to come out is to put teeth in it because so many people were very quietly taking additional wives, especially in Canada and Mexico.

We’re going to talk in this episode about post-Manifesto polygamy.  What are some of the things that led to the Second Manifesto in 1904?  Could it have something to do with newly elected senator Reed Smoot, an apostle?

GT:  It seems to me that there was also another big issue in the early 1900s that may have led to the Second Manifesto and that was the Reed Smoot hearings.


Anne:  They didn’t want to seat him, but he didn’t have more than one wife.

Anne Wilde, a polygamy expert will tell us why.  Check out the conversation…..   (Don’t forget to check out our previous episode on an uncanonized polygamy revelation in 1886!)


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Taylor’s 1886 Polygamy Uncanonized Revelation

Is it true that President John Taylor had a revelation in 1886 proclaiming that polygamy is an eternal principle?  Polygamist Mormons think so.  In this episode, I’d like to introduce Anne Wilde.  She’s a fundamentalist polygamist herself, and is one of the biggest experts on modern-day polygamy that I know of.  I’m really excited to talk to her.  We’ll ask her about the split between the LDS Church and mainstream polygamists in this day.

I guess it kind of started then but when they issued the Manifesto in 1890,[1] that was a key part of the whole history.  1904 was the Second Manifesto, with Joseph F. Smith, that put a few more teeth in doing away with it.  Then of course in the 1930s, Heber J. Grant issued what we call the Third Manifesto.  That really put—that was kind of the final straw as far as polygamists were concerned because if they were found out to be living it then they were excommunicated from the church.

We’ll also ask her if she thinks the current LDS Church is in apostasy.

Anne:  The D&C says, “I will set the house of God in order.”  It has to be out of order before it can be set in order.  So yes I think to some—and people will disagree on to what level it needs to be set in order, but yes I think the time will come, even the Lord said, “I will send one mighty and strong to set in order the inheritance the saints and set in order the kingdom, or the house of God,”[2] house meaning kingdom.  The church is part of the kingdom.  Yes I do believe that things will reach a point where things have to be set in order.

Check out our conversation!  Don’t forget to listen to our conversations with Brian Hales on Joseph Smith’s polygamy, or Jim Vun Cannon proclaiming Joseph was a monogamist!

[1] In 1890, church president Wilford Woodruff issued “The Manifesto” declaring that he advised Mormons not to contract in any more polygamous marriages.  This is canonized as Official Declaration 1 in the Doctrine and Covenants.  See

[2] Anne seems to be referring to D&C 85:7.  See



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Christmas Party Plea Deal

This is our last conversation with Shannon Flynn.  In this episode we’ll talk about Mark Hofmann’s lawyer, Ron Yengich.  Ron has defended some of Utah’s most notorious criminals.  We’ll talk about the plea bargain in which Ron was able to plea bargain down to second degree murder, rather than first degree murder.  How did that come about? It may have been a Christmas Party Plea Deal.  We’ll also ask, why doesn’t Mark grant interview requests?

Shannon:  I think he still harbors an idea that he will get out some day.  I believe that’s what drives most of his denials of talking to anybody, corresponding with news people or anything like that.

GT:  You think that he doesn’t want to do interviews because he wants to still get out.  Is that what you’re saying?

Shannon:  Yes.  See his attorney was Ron Yengich….

Check out our conversation…