24 January 2008

Mormon church finally admits polygamous past

Just in time for the Florida primaries, comes this article from the Salt Lake Tribune about the Mormon church admitting--finally--that Joseph Smith was a polygamist.


Like we who study Mormonism have been trying to tell people for years.

Of course, the LDS Authorities put their own spin and damage control teams to work right quick. Here's the gist of the article (HT: Mormonism Research Ministry Blog):
For the first time in recent memory, a new manual Mormons will use to study the writings of founder Joseph Smith acknowledges Smith's role in introducing the practice of polygamy.

The acknowledgment may not seem groundbreaking to many Mormons or historians, nor will it likely satisfy most critics, but its inclusion in an official course of study is a departure from past practices and may signal a new openness about Mormon history.

The change is "not a response to critics who think the church has not been straightforward about its involvement with plural marriage in the 19th century," said David Marsh, manager of curriculum development for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "It is included . . . to illustrate a few of the doctrines or principles that do not have application to our day and which are therefore not included in the book."

Still, it is noteworthy.

Noteworthy? Yeah, you could say that. The Mormon church being honest and upfront about anything is noteworthy. It don't happen too much, so mark your calendars for this one.

But, no, it wasn't in response to critics or anything. Just like the change they made in the intro to the Book of Mormon wasn't a response to studies that have been debunking the BOM for years.

No comments: