In Revelation, Resistance, and Mormon Polygamy historian
Merina Smith explores the introduction of polygamy in Nauvoo, a
development that unfolded amid scandal and resistance. Smith
considers the ideological, historical, and even psychological
elements of the process and captures the emotional and cultural
detail of this exciting and volatile period in Mormon history. She
illuminates the mystery of early adherents' acceptance of such a
radical form of marriage in light of their dedication to the
accepted monogamous marriage patterns of their day.
When Joseph Smith began to reveal and teach the doctrine of plural
marriage in 1841, even stalwart members like Brigham Young were
shocked and confused. In this thoughtful study, Smith argues that
the secret introduction of plural marriage among the leadership
coincided with an evolving public theology that provided a
contextualizing religious narrative that persuaded believers to
accept the principle.
This fresh interpretation draws from diaries, letters, newspapers,
and other primary sources and is especially effective in its use of
family narratives. It will be of great interest not only to
scholars and the general public interested in Mormon history but in
American history, religion, gender and sexuality, and the history
of marriage and families.
Subjects: History, Religion
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