- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 17, 2001

When I moved to the Washington area, I was overjoyed finally to find a newspaper that I could trust. I was dismayed, however, by your March 25 front-page article “Too many wives,” which perpetuates the myth that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be polygamists.

Your article refers to certain polygamists as “fundamentalist Mormons.” This misnomer created confusion in my friends and acquaintances of various faiths. A fundamentalist is a person belonging to a religious or political movement based on a literal interpretation of and strict adherence to basic doctrine. Though it is widely accepted today, “Mormon” is a term of derision coined by early groups hostile to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The current practice of polygamy is against one of the most basic principles of the church continuing revelation taught by the church´s prophet Joseph Smith. Polygamists reject this doctrine and the last hundred years of prophets.

I was relieved that it was mentioned midway through the article that members who practice polygamy are “threatened with excommunication by the main church.” However, that one phrase may not have been enough to counter the overall impression conveyed by most of the article.


KRISTINE NICHOLLS

Vienna

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