Fundamentalist vs. mainstream LDS doctrine on polygamy
Fundamentalists believe they are following the "true" Mormon
faith as laid down by founder Joseph Smith, while the mainstream
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is "out of order"
because of its disavowal of plural marriage, the United Order
and other early doctrines.
The LDS Church's 1978 decision to give the
priesthood to black men, in particular, galls fundamentalists.
But it is their marriage views that are most
often noted by outsiders.
All trace their priesthood authority to conduct
plural marriage back to LDS Church President John Taylor, whom
they say had the doctrine confirmed to him in a 1886 revelation.
Fundamentalists believe monogamy is limiting
for both men and women -- men because their sexual drive enables
them to father more children than one woman can bear, and women
because a certain percentage will never find a worthy man to
marry and thus be unable to fulfill God's edict to "be fruitful
and multiply and replenish the earth."
Plural marriage allows a man and his "ladies"
greater opportunity to provide bodies for waiting heavenly spirits
and increases their ability to populate this and future worlds;
righteous plural marriage brings access to the highest degree
of the Celestial Kingdom.
This belief aside, Utah's three largest fundamentalist
groups have developed distinctive cultures. The FLDS church
is the most restrictive when it comes to lifestyle.
Independent fundamentalists believe these
organized groups are in error given early counsel to avoid structure
or collection of tithing.
-- Brooke Adams