Beliefs Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion

Mormon polygamy on NPR

love-times-three-bookThe new episode of NPR’s religion news show, “Interfaith Voices,” features Terryl Givens and yours truly talking about polygamy, Mormon history, and the future of the LDS Church.

Our hour-long conversation has been edited down to 20 minutes, which distills the best of the conversation. The only part I remember that I’m sad didn’t make it into the final cut was my complimenting Terryl on having Jedi mind powers of persuasion in Mormon apologetics. I said that if anyone could make me believe the story about an angel threatening Joseph Smith’s life if he didn’t take up the practice of polygamy, it would be Mormonism’s most effective apologist!

Also in the episode: a fundamentalist polygamous family with three wives and 24 children. The authors of Love Times Three, the four adults reflect on their childhoods and how they came into plural marriage. (All were raised in polygamous homes for at least part of their childhoods.) They discuss the differences between Mormonism and polygamous fundamentalism, their understanding of what it means to be an eternal family, and their standing under the law.

About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church," which will be published by Oxford University Press in March 2019. She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.