Current State Of Polygamy In The Latter Day Saint Movement
According to the consensus of historians, the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, Joseph Smith, Jr., privately taught and practiced polygamy. After Smith's death in 1844, the church he established splintered into several competing groups. Disagreements over Smith's doctrine of "plural marriage" was one of the primary reasons the church divided.
The members of the largest group that resulted, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), continued to teach and practice polygamy throughout the 19th century. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the practice was formally abandoned as the LDS Church came under intense criticism by the United States government. The LDS Church no longer sanctions polygamy and its members do not practice it, although there are still elements of the doctrine in its theology.
The second-largest Latter Day Saint church, the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or RLDS Church), has a history of opposing the LDS Church's practice of polygamy. Other smaller Latter Day Saint churches were also formed as a means of opposing the LDS Church's polygamy. The formal shift in doctrine by the LDS Church later in the early 20th century gave rise to the Mormon fundamentalism movement, which has since fragmented into a number of separate churches, the most well-known being the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS Church). The FLDS Church and other Mormon fundamentalists believe the practice of polygamy should continue and was wrongfully abandoned by the LDS Church.
Read more about Current State Of Polygamy In The Latter Day Saint Movement: Current State of Polygamy in The LDS Church, Current State of Polygamy in The Community of Christ, Current State of Polygamy in The Strangite Church, Current State of Polygamy in The FLDS Church, Other LDS Denominations That Practice Polygamy
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