Religion: Mormons and Polygamy

Every schoolboy knows that the Mormons (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) used to practice "celestial marriage," better known as polygamy. Last summer sombre Idaho Novelist Vardis Fisher, no Mormon himself though of pioneer Mormon stock, won the $7,500 Harper Prize Novel Contest with Children of God, a 769-page epic of Mormons and their two famed leaders, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Author Fisher told in lusty detail of Prophet Smith's plural marriages before his lynching by a mob at Carthage, Ill., in 1844. To Reorganized Mormons, who believe that Joseph Smith neither practiced nor preached polygamy, the book...

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