Polygamy, specifically polygamy Mormon, has a history that includes a great deal of pain and suffering in the United States. Polygamy is the belief that it is good or even encouraged for a man to have more than one wife, and it is the actual meaning of life.
In the past, women caught up in the life of polygamy had an unbearable life. Once more wives were married than just the first, a wife stopped being a life companion and started becoming a way to exaltation (becoming a God) in the practice of this belief. Polygamy Mormon was brought about as a supposed revelation that Joseph Smith had afterlife from God. The more children he could get her to bear, the larger his kingdom became. In fact, early Mormon text and even song pressed women to make an active effort to help their husband marry other women.
Such pressure led to polygamy Mormon being simply the way to increase men's spiritual power. This dominance of men, spiritually, led to them being dominant over their wives to the point where wives became little more than slaves.
So if Joseph Smith had such a revelation from God, why, then, is Christian Polygamy not encouraged right along with polygamy Mormon? The answers lie in the interpretations the Bible. The greatest argument against Christian polygamy lies in the New Testament's picture of marriage. According to Paul in Corinthians, each man will have his very own spouse and each wife will have her own husband. Along with several other passages, the inference is that Christian Polygamy is not encouraged or sanctioned by the Church.
Finally, in 1890, a Manifesto was issued by the Mormon Church that rescinded the revelation of polygamy. The Manifesto threatened excommunication for those convicted of polygamy, but still the practice continued on. Even today, the practice of polygamy Mormon is not dead. Despite the fact that the Mormon Church does not official sanction the practice, some studies estimate that as many as 100,000 women, children, and men are involved in polygamy throughout the United States and Canada.
Despite the fact that most Christians are against the idea of polygamy, Christian polygamy has been and still is practiced by some. One believer in Christian polygamy is Reverend Steven John Butt. Reverend Butt claims he is adhering to the fundamental Christian ideals. He believes that even though the polygamy Mormon practice was tainted with stories of abuse and violence that society should not give up on polygamy altogether. Ironically, however, Reverend Butt was left by one of his wives and she is now a founding member of Tapestry Against Polygamy.
There is really no way around the fact that polygamy is a part of the history (and to a degree, the present) of this country. Many of those who still practice polygamy Mormon or Christian polygamy seek protection under the shelter of the idea that what happens in a couple's bedroom is not the business of the law. However, since many polygamous relationships include girls under the age of consent as well as some cases of incest, laws against polygamy will remain on the books as a way to protect those who cannot always protect themselves.