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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.

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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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Ouija boards, Spiritualism, Manifesto, & Endowments for the Dead

You’ve probably heard lots of ghost stories, Ouija boards, and other supernatural phenomenon.  I was surprised to hear Dr. Richard Bennett, a BYU professor of Church History tell us that Spiritualism, the idea of communing with the dead, may have had some impact on the LDS endowment.  Some quotes from Dr. Bennett:

Spiritualism, the practice of communing with the dead, adulterated today by Ouija boards and things like this and telekinesis and paranormal, but Spiritualism is well-known in American history as flowering after the Civil War with so many dead and lost and the great desire of many families to know what happened to their sons or their fathers or their brothers.

In the 1870s there’s a lot of comment by general authorities, leaders of the church, particularly Orson Pratt about this is a counterfeit, but it has its place.  We understand why people are seeking the dead.  Was that a factor in the beginning of endowments for the dead for the church in 1877?  I claim that it may have been one of the factors to begin to address how we really think about them.  There is redemption for the dead but it’s not that way.  So was it a factor?  I argue that it probably was one of the factors.

We also talked about the start of the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper!

There were a small number of astute, intellectual Latter-day Saints who broke with Brigham Young in the 1870s, who thought they knew the gospel a little bit better than Brigham Young did.  But they thought that they knew economics better than Brigham Young did and they broke with the church over that.  The Salt Lake Tribune starts with the Godbeite movement which was very negative,of course against the church.  It still tends to be a little bit on that side, but that’s its history.

There’s also a discussion about the revelation that preceded the Manifesto.  Check it out!

 

Ouija Boards, Spiritualism, the Manifesto, and Endowments for the Dead