BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly


Mormon studies, book notice, polygamy


NEWELL G. BRINGHURST, CRAIG L. FOSTER, editors. The Persistence of Polygamy: Joseph Smith and the Origins of Mormon Polygamy. Independence, Missouri: John Whitmer Books, 2010.

NEWELL G. BRINGHURST, JOHN C. HAMER. Scattering of the Saints: Schism within Mormonism. Independence, Missouri: John Whitmer Books, 2007.

CARDELL K. JACOBSON, LARA BURTON. Modern Polygamy in the United States: Historical, Cultural, and Legal Issues.New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Each of these three anthologies collects a variety of scholarly articles on the interrelated topics of Mormon schismatic groups, contemporary polygamy, and the history of plural marriage. Each book is geared not only to scholars but also to a general readership interested in such topics as part of the history of one's own family and faith, or--in the case of Jacobson and Burton's book--as part of one's responsibilities as legal, scholarly, policy-making, or social-service professionals. It seemed appropriate to combine these three recent publications into a poly-book notice.

Each of these three books provides much material for anyone seeking to better understand the practice of plural marriage in nineteenth-century Mormonism and its modern aftermaths. Collectively they also impart a wealth of information to enable readers to distinguish the teachings of mainstream Mormonism from the uses of polygamy today by those who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.