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This can be a sensitive issue to some students, but to others it’s simply a fact that polygamy was once practiced by Mormons. It, of course, stopped with LDS President Wilford Woodruff’s Manifesto (a.k.a. Official Declaration 1) in 1890. It’s important to remind students that even though there were some polygamists, and many people that came from polygamous families, the majority Mormon pioneers were monogamous (married to only one person at a time).

In the Utah History textbook we currently use, “Utah: A Journey of Discovery”, there is an excerpt from a book called, “The Bishop’s Horse Race”, by Blaine and Brenton Yorgason. This excerpt tells of a polygamist who quickly hides himself in a ditch from a nearby “co-hab hunter”. Teachers may want to share this excerpt when explaining the relation of polygamists and non-Mormons in Utah’s history, and how many went into hiding during this critical time.

If you do not currently use this particular textbook, and would like to share the excerpt for your students, let me know and I will include it in this post.

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