Mormons say polygamist sects a headache

April 16, 2008

Salt Lake Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, 28 May 2007/Lucy NicholsonNow here’s something new for us — a story that began with a post on FaithWorld last week, prompted a slew of comments and now features in an interview for the wire. Ed Stoddard’s post “Mormons have ‘fundamental’ PR problem” highlighted the confusion caused by the case of a breakaway sect whose Texas compound was raided this month. The post has over 130 comments so far. As the debate raged, Ed interviewed Quentin Cook, a spiritual elder with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to get the official view:

DALLAS (Reuters) – The mainstream Mormon church renounced polygamy over a century ago, but it says the breakaway sects that practice plural marriage are giving it a public relations headache.

Attention has once again been drawn to the issue by the raids this month on a Texas compound run by followers of jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. More than 400 children were removed in the raids sparked by an abuse complaint and their fate remains in legal limbo.

Quentin Cook, a spiritual elder with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told Reuters in a telephone interview that his church of 13 million had to constantly contend with public misconceptions stirred by the actions of a few thousand polygamists who were not attached to it.

Read the full interview here.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

There is no such position as spiritual elder in the Mormon Church…. unless God has just
created a new office in the priesthood now that we have a new Prophet…

Posted by don barker | Report as abusive

The Mormon church denounced plural marriages years ago, but there is no denying that the leaders demanded plural celestial marriages.It also denounces the discrimination of blacks, who were deemed not good enough to be full members of God’s Temple. My feelings are that when the secular society judged polygamy and racist discrimination distasteful, then the church leaders get “revelations” to ban them. So now that their stepchildren, the Fundamental LDS are in trouble they want to declare they are not related, distancing themselves like treating lepers.
This definitely is not a church pleasing to God!

Posted by kiki | Report as abusive

[…] ‘put off joining Met’ (BBC News Online) Video: Pope speaks out against abuse (Guardian) Mormons say polygamist sects a headache (Tom Heneghan, […]

Posted by Crime, Migrants, Prisons « The Daily Terror | Report as abusive

You have to understand that the LDS church still believes in plural marriage (polygamy). Its part of LDS scripture(D&C 132). The church discontinued the practice because the US government would have destroyed the church if the practice had continued. Its mockery of God and a betrayal of the founders of the church, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young etc. to say that we’re opposed to this practice – especially in a day when the government approves of men marrying men and women marrying women. I’m a mormon (LDS) and I believe in plural marriage. I just don’t practice it.

Posted by lukeair2006 | Report as abusive

Polygamy in the early church was a means to an end – It created an amazing people and church that grew in both numbers and commitment like no other. It ran its course and became a hinderance. Don’t get the principle confused with the doctrine of eternal marriage. Lukeair2006 – you’re just hoping…

Posted by hottamale | Report as abusive

According to the Book of Mormon and the Bible, polygamy is not permitted unless specifically directed by God. God has no directed it to be permitted.

Posted by Elliot | Report as abusive

I really hope that the state actually stays on this. And that the media will continue with the coverage and the pressure…. I grew up in a home that as a girl … “if you wore pants” you were going to hell”, and it takes many years to get past that sort of thing….. plus in all of the news footage …. where are the children’s toys, playground, stuffed animals …????????? They have stolen these children’s childhood in the name of their God!

Posted by Sherry | Report as abusive

The mainstream Mormon church renounced polygamy over a century ago, but it says the breakaway sects that practice plural marriage are giving it a public relations headache.

My temple sanctioned LDS church practiced polygamy and no one was excommunicated and I am no where near a century old. So from my point of view the LDS just decides to say whatever fits the moment not necessarily the truth. I no longer am in this church. I joined a very nice Christian Church.

Posted by darla | Report as abusive

I was raised in the LDS church, and all of this sickens me. The LDS church believes in respecting and honoring the laws of the nation in which they reside.

These freaks are criminals disgusting… maybe misled… but still sick

Let the court system return the children to the compound, and at the same time arrest every single one of the “adults” and so called “leaders”, the “Fathers”, the “husbands”, and yes even the Mothers as they are as much pedophiles, and are as guilty of child endangerment, sexual assault, and abuse as any of the other adults.

Posted by Take2nonasprin | Report as abusive

Great Post

Posted by LDS Art Collector | Report as abusive