Residents of a fundamentalist Mormon sect in the small British Columbia commune of Bountiful believe they are adhering to the original word of the religion’s prophet, says a former plural wife and advocate of polygamy.
The B.C. court case examining the constitutionality of Canada’s anti-polygamy law watched a video Thursday of an interview with Anne Wilde, a member of the Salt Lake City-based group Principle Voices.
In the video posted on Wilde’s website, she detailed the origins of polygamy within the Mormon church and the split within the community after the mainstream church abandoned polygamy in the late 1890s.
Several polygamous groups have emerged since, including the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or FLDS. Residents of Bountiful, B.C., and several communities in the U.S. are members of the FLDS.
The mainstream church has rejected any connection to the FLDS or other fundamentalists, and insists those groups don’t have the right to call themselves Mormons.
Fundamentalist Mormons have answered the Mormon church‘s attempts at falsifying history.
Jon Krakauer in his book Under The Banner Of Heaven — regarding the FLDS — explains that Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, described plural marriage as part of “the most holy and important doctrine ever revealed to man on earth” and taught that a man needed at least three wives to attain the “fullness of exaltation” in the afterlife. He warned that God had explicitly commanded that “all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same … and if ye abide not that covenenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.
But the doctrines of Mormonism have always been — and continue to be — subject to change.
Christians consider the Mormon Church to be, theologically, a cult of Christianity.