Essay: Mormon founder had teen bride during early days of faith when polygamy was practiced
SALT LAKE CITY – A new church essay reveals Mormon church founder Joseph Smith had an underage bride and was married to other men's wives during the early days of the faith when polygamy was practiced.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says most of Smith's wives were adults, but one was a 14-year-old girl who was the daughter of Smith's close friends. Research shows the marriage might not have involved sex.
The essay posted this week is part of a recent push by the Salt Lake City-based religion to explain or expand on sensitive issues within the faith, many of which are unflattering or uncomfortable to discuss.
Mormons don't practice polygamy today. Splinter groups who call themselves fundamentalist Mormons still practice plural marriage, including Warren Jeffs' faction.