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Comment: About 15-20 pages of highlighting. Two or three instances of underlining. Tight binding. Cover has minimal wear. DJ has minor edge and corner wear.
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Solemn Covenant: THE MORMON POLYGAMOUS PASSAGE Hardcover – CLV, April 1, 1992

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Adroitly delivered ... gripping in topic ... heartrending in description of the human experience... compelling in its social arguments." -- American Historical Review

From the Back Cover

In his famous Manifesto of 1890, Mormon church president Wilford Woodruff called for an end to the more than fifty-year practice of polygamy. Fifteen years later, two men were dramatically expelled from the Quorum of Twelve Apostles for having taken post-Manifesto plural wives and encouraged the step by others. Evidence reveals, however, that hundreds of Mormons (including several apostles) were given approval to enter such relationships after they supposedly were banned. Why would Mormon leaders endanger agreements allowing Utah to become a state and risk their church's reputation by engaging in such activities--all the while denying the fact to the world? This book seeks to find the answer through a review of the Mormon polygamous experience from its beginnings. In the course of national debate over polygamy, Americans generally were unbending in their allegiance to monogamy. Solemn Covenant provides the most careful examination ever undertaken of Mormon theological, social, and biological defenses of "the principle". Although polygamy was never a way of life for the majority of Latter-day Saints in the nineteenth century, Carmon Hardy contends that plural marriage enjoyed a more important place in the Saints' restorationist vision than most historians have allowed. Many Mormons considered polygamy a prescription for health, an antidote for immorality, and a key to better government. Despite intense pressure from the nation to end the experiment, because of their belief in its importance and gifts, polygamy endured as an approved arrangement among church members well into the twentieth century. Hardy demonstrates how Woodruff's Manifesto of 1890 evolved from a tactic to preservepolygamy into a revelation now used to prohibit it. Solemn Covenant examines the halting passage followed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as it transformed itself into one of America's most vigilant champions of the monogamous way.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 488 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1St Edition edition (April 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252018338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252018336
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,948,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on December 28, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Carmon Hardy has done an excellent job of describing the Mormon church's doctrinal change from a polygamous to a monogomist ethic. The first part of his book deals with the polygamous beginnings and early Mormon justification for the practice. Polygamy was considered the "family order of heaven" and was sanctioned by revelation given to the founding prophet Joseph Smith. Polygamy was practiced in secret until the Mormons came to Utah, were it was openly taught. Early church leaders even taught that polygamy was a requirement to reach the highest Heaven, where God dwells. Hardy spends the rest of his book describing the slow death of polygamy. Even though polygamy had always been against the law, the Federal government started passing tougher laws against the practice. The most strict law became the "Edmunds-Tucker act" in 1887, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1890. This law disincorporated the church and most of its properties. The church realized that it could not survive and so that same year the manifesto was issued, which publically stated the church would abandon plural marriage. However, it was not that simple. Hardy shows how many members of the church, including high church leaders, continued to practice polygamy well into the beginning of the next century. This created a discrepancy between what the church was saying (that they had given up polygamy) and what they were still doing (allowing some to continue in taking new wives). Hardy's final chapter deals with the issue of deception used by some in the church to try to keep the practice alive. "Solemn Covenant" is very well written and Hardy's keen sense of irony manifests itself throughout the book. Especially in the chapters that deal with the church being so strong in the doctrine of polygamy, to a church that is now strongly anti-polygamous. This is the best book about Mormon polygamy that I have read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Examines the practice of polygamy among the Mormons, from its concealed beginnings to its evolution into extinction in the mainline LDS church.
Presents pro and con arguments from the 1800's for the practice, historical background of the Utah territory becoming a state and the role polygamy played in that process.
Last section focuses on the continuation thereof AFTER the 1890 Manifesto, examines authorization of plural marriages and concealment, as well as false testimony. Attempts to analyze reasons for the ongoing deception.
Includes relevant photographs, abundant footnotes; is well indexed.
This is not designed for the casual reader. It might well be used as supplemental reading in a collegiate setting--US History, sociology or even psychology..
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I really liked this book. It was extremely readable, yet gave us great historical and doctrinal insight into the 19th century LDS mindset. That is a great combination that is all too rarely found. I have enjoyed each of Hardy's books that I have read. He is a historian/theologian, yet writes in a clear readable manner.
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By A Customer on August 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The author uses literary styles with superb grace, with supple documentation throughout. This book is certainly not for the recreational reader, who is bound to be overwhelmed with its intellectual and scholarly approach to a subject consumed with controversy. The author stops short at doing justice to the topic by failing to adequately attribute the origin of polygamy to providential revelation. He instead ascribes its origin to naturalistic reasons, almost as though Joseph Smith read a sociological history of the eastern United States and then decided to carry forth those ideas. Joseph himself admitted that the introduction of Polygamy would rock the church and that he really had great reluctance in becoming involved himself. He went forward due to divine command. Overall, Hardy did well and deserves the utmost credit. But true history views its path in a panoramic fashion.
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