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In 1841 in Nauvoo, Illinois, Joseph Smith began to secretly teach that Old Testament polygamy as practiced by Abraham, Jacob, and Moses was to be restored. It appears he first taught devout followers and then members of the Church’s highest leadership quorum. Before his death on June 27, 1844, 115 men and women had entered into plural unions, and two or three hundred more had been officially taught regarding the practice. While there are no contemporaneous accounts, many later recorded reminiscences of their experiences with plural marriage. Perhaps there is no better way to understand Nauvoo polygamy than to view it through the eyes of those who learned of it firsthand.

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