Though Mormons such as Mitt Romney are now viewed as thoroughly in the conservative mainstream of America, his forefathers and mothers just a few generations back were counter-cultural crusaders, upholding a non-standard marriage system they believed was commanded by God, and that was illegal, often secret, and publicly denied by Church leaders, and which often forced them to go into exile in Mexico and elsewhere. Many of Mitt’s ancestors, such as Parley P. and Mary Wood Pratt, Archibald Newell Hill, Charles Henry and Eliza Christine Wilcken, Miles Park and Hannah Hood Hill Romney, and Helaman and Dora Wilcken Pratt, participated in this unique marriage system. Their life histories offer a revealing cross section of the Principle, showing what it meant to live in plurality in nineteenth-century Nauvoo, Utah, Arizona, and Mexico.

Todd Compton