24.09.

1890: Mormons Officially Abolish Plural Marriage

1890: Mormons Officially Abolish Plural Marriage
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ Portrait of Wilford Woodruff

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 24 September 1890
  • The rejection of polygamy led to improved relations between the Mormons and the U.S. Government.

On this day in 1890 Mormon leaders issued a manifesto according to which the practice of polygamy was to be abolished within their community.

Church president Wilford Woodruff was the lead author of the manifesto, and claimed to have been prompted by a vision of Jesus Christ himself. Woodruff was the fourth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as the Mormons). He had seven or eight wives during his lifetime, which was relatively little compared to the second president, Brigham Young, who had had as many as 55.

In practice, the manifesto signified that the Mormons had abolished polygamy in principle, but the already extant polygamous marriages remained valid. The rejection of polygamy led to improved relations between Mormons and the American government. Namely, after the American government had previously rejected many Mormon appeals for Utah to become a U.S. state, the issuing of the manifesto led to the appeal finally being accepted in 1896. Utah became the 45th U.S. State, with Salt Lake City as its capital. Even today, the majority of the population of Utah are members of the Mormon Church.

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