We at JI were very happy to see the LDS Church’s release of three essays on plural marriage yesterday. The histories of Nauvoo Era, Utah Era, and Post-Manifesto polygamy have not been told by institutional sources in such a clear, open way. Facebook conversations and Twitter dialogues popped up quickly; many are still ongoing. The Bloggernacle has begun to respond already.
With that said, we at JI couldn’t help but notice that many individuals still had burning questions on plural marriage. Although many of the questions people had were actually answered by the essays, there are still more nuanced questions that were not answered by the essays. There are also questions of a more personal nature that, for obvious reasons, could not be answered by an essay aimed at a western, if not global, audience. Often, the questions asked on social media were not answered by folks with an academic knowledge of plural marriage. While many people know a lot about polygamy and polyandry, many of the responses to people’s questions were not based in history.
Juvenile Instructor wants to try and answer people’s questions about plural marriage with reference to sources, where available. As an academic Mormon History blog, we have a duty to not only analyze the essays themselves, but to engage with those interested in Mormon History and do our best to answer people’s questions about plural marriage. All questions, from academics or non-academics, are welcome.
There are a few ground rules to participating:
- We are not here to evaluate truth claims or whether or not plural marriage is “true” in any sense. That is not the point of this blog.
- Be kind. We know that plural marriage can raise a lot of powerful feelings, but there are human beings reading and answering the questions.
- We do not know the answers to every question. We cannot make any promises in regards to finding exact sources or firm answers.
Please submit your questions here. You can also ask questions in the comments. We will answer the questions in future posts.