The Mormon Church Essay

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Abstract This paper examines the controversial issue of polygamy, as a practice of religious identity of the Mormon Church during its creation, and how it is still practiced today as such, in the radical sect of Fundamentalist Church of Latter-day Saints. Legislative actions taken by the government are noted in order to demonstrate the general anti-polygamist sentiment in the United States. Societies reactions to these responses by the government are used to give a better picture of how polygamy has been viewed by society through time, and the prevalence of polygamy, past and present is documented to confirm why it serves as a function for the FLDS followers, while causing conflict within the Mormon Church, with the United States government, and with society as a whole. This paper serves to answer the question of how polygamy functions to shape the Mormon identity, while at the same time causing conflict with various parts of society since the birth of the religion. Polygamy Introduction The debate over the practice of plural marriage has been a controversial subject in American society throughout time. The Mormon religion, whose fundamental religious practice of polygamy, functioned to distinguish them from other Christian denominations, yet put them at the center of this debated issue, and surrounded them in conflict since the construction of the Church. Because of the practice of polygamy, they faced opposition from the majority of society, legal action by the United States government, and tension within the Mormon religion itself. Plural marriage functioned to shape the Mormon religious identity, yet put them in conflict with the beliefs and values of the society surrounding them. To evaluate the tension caused by the practice of plural marriage in the United States, we can examine legislative action taken against those who still practice plural

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