Brigham Young was the most visible practitioner having been sealed to 55 women.
Sanction of the practice was supposed to officially end with the 1890 Manifesto from Church president Wilford Woodruff.
Cannon (center with cane), William Gimbert Saunders (second from right), and William Morley Black (right of Cannon with white beard). Note: the photo is from an LDS supplementary lesson manual titled 'My Kingdom Shall Roll Forth: Readings In Church History', 1979. Why were these wanted posters made for the LDS leaders of the Church? Polygamy was always illegal whenever and wherever the Mormons practiced it.
For over 180 years the Church did not explicitly teach its members the full truth about many aspects of polygamy.In fact, it seems at times that they purposely obfuscated the truth.John Taylor, the third president of the church, claimed that he believed in keeping all the laws of the United States "except one"…the law in relation to polygamy." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 317) Most of Joseph Smith's polygamous marriages occurred in Illinois in the early 1840s.The Illinois Anti-bigamy Law, enacted February 12th, 1833, clearly stated that polygamy was illegal. Bigamy consists in the having of two wives or two husbands at one and the same time, knowing that the former husband or wife is still alive.If polygamy is still part of LDS doctrine, why does the Church insist that new converts in polygamous families (in countries where it is legal) split up their families before they can be baptized?
In direct opposition to Article of Faith 12, the Church broke the laws of the land by practicing polygamy.
Polygamy as a doctrine was introduced into the LDS Church by Joseph Smith.
The practice continued after Joseph’s death in 1844, and was publicly announced in 1852, five years after the Saints arrived in Utah.
The Bible and the Book of Mormon teach that monogamy is God’s standard for marriage (emphasis added) The Lord sometimes authorizes plural marriage to have more children ("raise up seed"), as He did with Abraham, Isaac, Moses, etc.
For this reason, the Lord revealed polygamy to Joseph Smith.
If any person or persons within this State, being married, or who shall hereafter marry, do at any time marry any person or persons, the former husband or wife being alive, the person so offending shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by a fine, not exceeding one thousand dollars, and imprisoned in the penitentiary, not exceeding two years.