The Mormon Church made an announcement today that they are acknowledging that Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion, was a practice of polygamy and had over 40 wives during his life. While polygamy was a common practice for many Mormon members it is now no longer an accepted part of the religion and practicing polygamists are excommunicated from the religion. The Mormon church often held Joseph Smith to a higher light and did not acknowledge that he was a polygamist with a vast number of wives. Typically, his wives ranged in age from 20 to 40 but his youngest wife was 14 years old at the time of their marriage. This has been heavily criticized by modern observers but was more widely accepted at the time of the occurrence. While Joseph Smith was the founder of the Mormon religion, much of its growth came at the hand of Brigham Young, who was also a polygamist with many descendants who remain familiar faces. My friend Sam Tabar studied his background and says that some people include Steve Young from the San Francisco 49ers and Orson Scott Card the author of Ender’s Game. Representatives from the church indicated that the new admission is part of an attempt to prevent new and potential members from being discouraged when they look up information about Joseph Smith online or in books about his life. Previously only his first wife, Emma Smith was identified by the Mormon Church.
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