Brian and Laura Harris Hales are both active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The research presented on this website is the result of their curiosity regarding the peculiar practice of polygamy among the early Latter-day Saints. The information on these pages is a recitation rather than an endorsement or condemnation of the practice, presented to help others with questions.
Brian C. Hales is the author of seven books dealing with Mormon polygamy—most notably the three-volume, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: History and Theology (Greg Kofford Books, 2013). His Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto received the “Best Book of 2007 Award” from the John Whitmer Historical Association. He has presented at numerous meetings and symposia and published articles in the Journal of Mormon History, Mormon Historical Studies, Dialogue, as well as contributing chapters to The Persistence of Polygamy series. Much of his research materials are available at www.MormonPolygamyDocuments.org.
He served a mission to Venezuela for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for fourteen years. He was the 2015-1016 president of the John Whitmer Historical Association.
Brian works as an anesthesiologist and has served as the president of both the Utah Medical Association and the Medical Staff at the Davis Hospital and Medical Center in Layton, Utah.
He has an almost insatiable appetite for both learning and movie theater popcorn. He is also an avid runner and enjoys running half-marathons with his four children and their spouses.
Laura Harris Hales earned a BA in international studies from BYU and an MA in professional writing from New England College. In 2015, Laura and Brian co-authored Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding (Kofford Books, 2015).
Though unashamed of her polygamous roots, she was initially disturbed when she learned details of Joseph Smith’s practice of polygamy. Her work on the website and the book are efforts on her part to contextualize the events of the 1840s for others who may be troubled by what they learn.
Recently she compiled an anthology addressing seventeen controversial topics regarding LDS history and doctrine. Chapters are written by leading LDS scholars and are directed toward members of the LDS Church curious about controversial issues (Laura Harris Hales, ed., A Reason for Faith: Navigation LDS Doctrine and History (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2016).
Currently, Laura is the executive director of LDS Perspectives Podcasts bringing faith-building interviews of top LDS scholars speaking about LDS doctrine, history, or culture.
She has recently matriculated into a second post-graduate degree program, seeking masters in history from Arizona State University. “Learning,” she says, “Is her happy place.”
Webmasters Brian and Laura Hales are solely responsible for material on this website, which is NOT officially associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The tabs to the left provide additional details regarding why this website has been developed and information concerning the webmasters.