Where Have All of Brigham Young’s Wives Gone? Mormon Ambivalence Toward its Polygamous Past

This presentation focuses on changing LDS perceptions of polygamy as practiced by Brigham Young. Based on an examination of various biographical accounts of the Nineteenth Century Mormon leader, we’ll consider three questions: How have Latter-day Saint perceptions of Brigham Young as the polygamist husband to 55 women have changed and evolved over past 140 years? What explains the declining emphasis on Young’s polygamous role during the 20th century, as reflected in semi-official LDS Church writings and official statements? What does this tell us about changing perceptions of polygamy among Latter-day Saints in general?

Newell G. Bringhurst, Georgia Platts