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"I'll just come out and tell you, I feel very blessed--this lifestyle is wonderful," one of Centennial Park’s residents, a businessman with three wives, told TV reporter Lisa Ling in 2007."We bring these women into the home and they are treated incredibly.In the 1830s or 1840s, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints founder Joseph Smith, after being asked by Old Testament leaders had multiple wives, claimed to have had a revelation that his followers should practice polygamy.Beginning in 1852, when an LDS leader named Orson Pratt made a public speech defending plural marriage as an important tenet of the faith, the church began publicly to encourage members to become polygamists. Embry, however, only a minority of Mormons who settled Utah actually followed that directive.And the three were so comfortable sharing a husband that they had become close friends.So close, in fact, that if Richard ever died, they “probably” would simply search for a new husband for the entire trio.With little outside scrutiny, the polygamists became increasingly powerful and autocratic in their isolated corner of the Southwest.By the early 2000s, the main polygamist group, which became known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, had grown to an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 in strength, and largely controlled the communities of Colorado City and Hildale, with its influence extending even into local police departments.

But based upon various journalistic accounts, those conceptions seem to bear little resemblance to the staid, clean-cut lifestyle followed by the residents of Centennial Park.They have every convenience and every single thing that can be provided for them.So it's a very mutual relationship." Richard’s wives, Ling discovered, turned out to be in agreement. We wanted to," explained one, who noted that nothing prevented them from leaving if they became unhappy.But Mormon polygamy met with disapproval from other Americans. In 1882, Congress passed an even tougher law, the Edmunds Act, which made polygamy a felony punishable by five years’ imprisonment and a then-steep 0 fine, and disqualified polygamists from holding political office or serving on juries. LDS President Wilford Woodruff publicly issued a statement recommending that Mormons “refrain from contracting any marriages forbidden by the law of the land." In 1910, church leaders prohibited the polygamy outright, and excommunicated anyone who had entered into a plural marriage after 1904.In 1854, the Republican Party denounced it and slavery as the “twin relics of barbarism,” and in 1862, Congress outlawed it in the territories by passing the Morrill Act, which was upheld by the U. But some Mormons believed that the church wrongly had given in to government pressure, and refused to obey.

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