Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

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Spicy McHaggis
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Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

Post by Spicy McHaggis » Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:45 am

I swear I read somewhere that there was still a prophet or apostle who had at least two living wives up until around the 1950s or 60s.

I can't find anything online. Do any of you have the information about who would have been the last living polygamist in church leadership?

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Hagoth
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Re: Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

Post by Hagoth » Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:23 pm

Hi Spicy!

I believe Heber J. Grant was the last polygamist prophet. He died in 1945 and was survived by one of his wives.

There were probably polygamist apostles and/or seventies that hung on longer, but I'm not sure.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Palerider
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Re: Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

Post by Palerider » Mon Oct 04, 2021 7:46 pm

Can't remember what his name was. You could find it with a little research, but either Harold B. Lee or Spencer W. Kimball were called as apostles to replace an apostle who was exed for "adultery".

I believe in reality he was just hiding a plural wife and the "Brethren" didn't want it advertised as a plural marriage issue so they just called it adultery.

I'm too tired right now to do the search but I feel confident that if you look to see which apostles were replaced about that time you will run on to him.

ETA:

Richard R. Lyman excommunicated in 1943 for adultery.

Not sure what the real scoop was here. "Adultery" or was it plural marriage in reality?

ETA 2:

From wiki

In 1925, Lyman had begun what he called a polygamous relationship without the knowledge of his first wife. Lyman was excommunicated on November 12, 1943. The Quorum of the Twelve provided the newspapers with a one-sentence announcement, stating that the ground for excommunication was violation of the law of chastity.
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Red Ryder
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Re: Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:51 pm

I did a quick search and couldn’t find anything about other marriages. Just this
Despite the greatness of his intellect, his spiritual achievements and a star studded ancestry, Elder Lyman fell into transgression and was excommunicated November 12, 1943. It is not the policy of the Church to publicize the reasons for disciplinary action, but it appears that this was the result of a personal transgression and not apostasy.

Richard R. Lyman was rebaptized into the Church October 27, 1954.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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moksha
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Re: Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

Post by moksha » Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:16 pm

Palerider wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 7:46 pm
Richard R. Lyman excommunicated in 1943 for adultery.
If I remember the story right, it was arranged that he be met at the door where he stayed with his polygamist wife, by a Salt Lake Police officer and a photographer from the Deseret News, in the middle of the night. He was photographed in his garments and was taken to the station wearing nothing but those same garments. This was arranged by a couple of the Brethren. He was met at the station by a kinder apostle who arranged his release (the kindness part suggests Hugh B. Brown). Anyway, I searched down that story by following Google leads about a year ago.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Not Buying It
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Re: Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

Post by Not Buying It » Tue Oct 05, 2021 5:28 am

moksha wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:16 pm
Palerider wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 7:46 pm
Richard R. Lyman excommunicated in 1943 for adultery.
If I remember the story right, it was arranged that he be met at the door where he stayed with his polygamist wife, by a Salt Lake Police officer and a photographer from the Deseret News, in the middle of the night. He was photographed in his garments and was taken to the station wearing nothing but those same garments. This was arranged by a couple of the Brethren. He was met at the station by a kinder apostle who arranged his release (the kindness part suggests Hugh B. Brown). Anyway, I searched down that story by following Google leads about a year ago.
I assume he had the Second Anointing, so don't worry about Elder Lyman, he still goes to the Celestial Kingdom. Dude was in a rough spot - his wife had decided she didn't want to have sex anymore, and while I am not endorsing cheating, I guess he decided celibacy wasn't his bag.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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Hagoth
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Re: Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

Post by Hagoth » Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:30 am

Heber Grant was still alive after Lyman's excommunication, so maybe he still holds the title. His marriages were not "adultery" but priesthood-sanctioned plural marriage.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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wtfluff
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Re: Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

Post by wtfluff » Tue Oct 05, 2021 11:15 am

Lindsay Hansen Park could give you this answer in a half a millisecond with references. I'm pretty sure that somewhere in her "Year of Polygamy" podcast there are answers also. I'm too lazy to poke through the episodes myself. :oops: (If you feel the need, It wouldn't be too hard to contact her.)

You could also spend some time on Family Search. There's probably some "evidence" there if you're willing to put in some time searching (and if you have access.)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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no1saint
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Re: Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

Post by no1saint » Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:19 pm

Technically Oaks, RMN, Hunter and another are as they have married again after first wife has passed.

There is a great mormon stories podcast on Proc 1, Proc 2 and the secret 1886 revelation/letter that FLDS and others (and people like Matthias Cowley) justified their living the principle under.

https://youtu.be/0VZFzK4jBZE

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wtfluff
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Re: Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

Post by wtfluff » Sat Oct 30, 2021 7:51 pm

In case you never got your answer Spicy.

Just read this on another message board:
ColoredMessageBoard wrote:The last prophet who had actually practiced Earthly Polygamy was Heber Grant. He died in NINETEEN ******* FORTY FIVE. That was only 76 years ago. Chew on that.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

The Beauty of Gray

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moksha
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Re: Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

Post by moksha » Sun Oct 31, 2021 3:10 am

Not Buying It wrote:
Tue Oct 05, 2021 5:28 am
moksha wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:16 pm
Palerider wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 7:46 pm
Richard R. Lyman excommunicated in 1943 for adultery.
If I remember the story right, it was arranged that he be met at the door where he stayed with his polygamist wife, by a Salt Lake Police officer and a photographer from the Deseret News, in the middle of the night. He was photographed in his garments and was taken to the station wearing nothing but those same garments. This was arranged by a couple of the Brethren. He was met at the station by a kinder apostle who arranged his release (the kindness part suggests Hugh B. Brown). Anyway, I searched down that story by following Google leads about a year ago.
I assume he had the Second Anointing, so don't worry about Elder Lyman, he still goes to the Celestial Kingdom. Dude was in a rough spot - his wife had decided she didn't want to have sex anymore, and while I am not endorsing cheating, I guess he decided celibacy wasn't his bag.
While he was excommunicated at the time, he later had his membership restored.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Palerider
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Re: Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

Post by Palerider » Sun Oct 31, 2021 8:35 am

It might help if this question were clarified.

Although Grant had practiced plural marriage he had ostensibly withdrawn from the practice as probably others in the Q12 when it became verboten. As I understand it, some of Grant's disavowed wives felt deserted by him as he offered little support after the practice was stopped and upon his death he left nothing of his considerable wealth to his offspring of plural marriages. Apparently there were some hard feelings on that score.

Lyman may have never practiced "the principle" while it was considered acceptable in Utah but had decided to initiate his own unsanctioned plural marriage.

I suppose the last "leader" who was a polygamist would depend on how you looked at it.
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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blazerb
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Re: Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

Post by blazerb » Sun Oct 31, 2021 10:32 am

Since Grant was succeeded by McKay, who was chosen as an apostle as a monogamist I believe, it is very possible that Grant was the last living polygamist leader of the LDS church.

However, I did some checking on the five apostles who died just after Grant. I noticed something about their lives. With one exception, they all married at an age that would be considered a "menace to society" even today. Charles A Callis was born in 1865 and married in 1902. He was about 37 when he was married. George F. Richards was born in 1861 and married in 1881. He married at the Mormon-appropriate age of 20. Joseph F. Merrill was born in 1868 and married in 1898. He was about 30 when he was married. John A. Widstoe was born in 1872 and married in 1898. He was about 26 when he was married. Finally, Albert E. Bowen was born in 1875 and married in 1902. He was about 27 when he married.

I don't know if there is any meaning here at all, but it interested me.

ETA: I only consulted Wikipedia, so I did not research this very thoroughly.

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Yobispo
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Re: Is there any way to find out who the last living polygamist church leader was?

Post by Yobispo » Mon Nov 01, 2021 11:58 am

no1saint wrote:
Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:19 pm
Technically Oaks, RMN, Hunter and another are as they have married again after first wife has passed.

There is a great mormon stories podcast on Proc 1, Proc 2 and the secret 1886 revelation/letter that FLDS and others (and people like Matthias Cowley) justified their living the principle under.

https://youtu.be/0VZFzK4jBZE
I think this is the real answer. The doctrine is still in the canon, even the Manifesto didn't revoke or denounce polygamy. And if you asked Nelson or Oaks they would absolutely tell you they'll be with both wives forever. You can't go around teaching that this life's purpose is to prepare for ETERNITY out of one side of your mouth, and then out of the other hand-waive polygamy because it's "only for eternity". These fellows need to be held to account on their actions.

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