More Wives Than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System, 1840-1910

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University of Illinois Press, 2001 - Religion - 305 pages
6 Reviews
When Joseph Smith announced his revelation that plural marriage was essential to attaining the highest level of eternal salvation, he introduced what became the most notorious aspect of Mormon culture. More Wives Than One offers the first in-depth look at the long-term interaction between belief and the practice of polygamy, or plural marriage, among the Latter-day Saints.

Focusing on the small community of Manti, Utah, Kathryn M. Daynes shows that plural marriage encompassed several forms of marriage endorsed by the church, each with its own rights and responsibilities. She gives a clear picture of the factors shaping the practice, who was likely to enter into a plural marriage, and how the practice dovetailed with Mormon convictions about the crucial role of families in solving social problems. She also explicates the web of beliefs about God-centered marriages and familial responsibility that underlay how plural marriage was experienced.

During the frontier period, territorial laws in Utah allowed the Saints sufficient autonomy to develop their distinctive marriage patterns. As settlement progressed, however, the federal government -- prodded by late nineteenth-century family reformers -- took an increasingly aggressive role in squelching anomalous practices of both marriage and divorce, eroding the ability of plural wives and children to inherit and ultimately disfranchising women and polygamists.

Cogent and impeccably documented, More Wives Than One will enlighten both scholars and general readers on an intriguing and much-misunderstood chapter of Mormon history.

  

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Review: More Wives Than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System, 1840-1910

User Review  - Jennifer Mackley - Goodreads

Fascinating and detailed. Read full review

Review: More Wives Than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System, 1840-1910

User Review  - Jesse Stay - Goodreads

(follow http://faithful.staynalive.com for the full review coming soon) I picked up this book originally to do a little family history. My ancestors were Orson Pratt and Heber C. Kimball. In fact, I'm ... Read full review

Contents

A cknowledgm en ts ix
1
GENESIS TO REVELATION INTRODUCTION
15
Plural Marriage under Mormon Control
36
NineteenthCentury Marriage Law in Utah
55
PATTERNS OF MANTI WOMEN
89
Women Who Became Plural Wives
116
g Civil and Ecclesiastical Divorce
141
Incidence of Divorce and Remarriage
160
10 The Decline of Plural Marriage
175
The NineteenthCentury Mormon Marriage System
188
Description of Demographic Data
215
Selected Bibliography
283
Index
297
Copyright

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