Welcome to MormonFundamentalism.com.
This site is dedicated to providing a
historical and doctrinal examination of the teachings of Mormon
Fundamentalism, showing their errors and unsound doctrines. The most prominent difference between Mormon
fundamentalists and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(commonly called the "Mormon Church")
is the practice of plural marriage or polygamy.
Members of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that
the principle of plural
marriage, which was practiced by the ancient patriarchs such as Abraham or
Jacob, was restored to this earth sometime in the 1830s through a new prophet
Smith. Through angelic ministrations, he was given
authority to authorize such marriages. That authority has been passed down
to each Church president, allowing strict order to govern all such
marriage ceremonies. Polygamous marriages contracted without his permission
were not recognized.
Between 1835 and 1852, Church members
secretly practiced polygamy under the direction of the Church president. In
1852, Brigham Young, who had succeeded Joseph Smith, announced the principle of
plural marriage to the world. Between 1852 and 1890, plural marriage was
openly taught and practiced among the Latter-day Saints.
In 1890, such
teachings were discontinued, but history shows that each year a few members
continued to secretly participate in plural marriages with the permission of
Church presidents Wilford Woodruff (died 1898), Lorenzo Snow (died 1901), and
Joseph F. Smith, until 1904. In April of 1904, President Joseph F. Smith
stopped permitting new polygamous marriages. Since 1904, the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints excommunicates anyone engaging in plural marriages
of any kind.
Between 1904 and 1934, some Church members
and other nonconformists continued to seek new polygamous marriages. Unable to
obtain authorization from the Church president, they resorted to several unique
and previously unknown sources of alleged authority.
By 1934 however, most of these budding
"Mormon Fundamentalists" had united
behind a new doctrine introduced in the 1920s by a man named
Lorin C. Woolley.
Woolley professed that the authority to solemnize new plural marriages was held
by men who were not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
These men, Woolley taught, held an office of High Priest
Apostle and were members of a Council of Seven Friends.
From 1934 to the
present day, Woolley’s authority claims have been utilized to ostensibly approve
up to ninety per cent of all Mormon Fundamentalist plural marriages. During the
past decades, a few other claimants have asserted other unique sources of
priesthood authority. The chart below provides a chronological overview of
the various groups and the individuals who participated. Click on an item
for more information.