SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Polygamy is part of the history of the Mormon Church. But since 1890, the church has repudiated it. As a matter of fact, Mormons are excommunicated from the church today if it is learned they are polygamists.
But there are by most accounts, many thousands of people who think the Mormon Church has gone against God's intentions by banning polygamy. However, these people have for the most part kept low profiles about their beliefs, since plural marriage is against the law and they fear arrest.
That's what made what just happened in downtown Salt Lake City so unusual. For the first time that anyone can remember, a large-scale demonstration supporting polygamy was held in the open -- a demonstration that was led by the children of polygamists.
Some 250 people turned out to a rally site just down the street from the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to express their support for polygamy.
Children as young as 10 took to the podium to declare that they and their parents have the religious right to practice polygamy and that they feel they live perfectly normal lives with multiple mothers and huge numbers of siblings. Children and teens came up to me saying they can't imagine living a childhood without having more than one mother.
Although polygamy is against the law (a felony in Utah), authorities say they won't arrest ordinary polygamists, although they do want to prosecute polygamists accused of molesting children, like Warren Jeffs.
There were husbands who attended the rallies with multiple numbers of wives. They stayed low-key out of habit. But one man did tell us he did not mind appearing on the news for the first time in his life because he wanted to show his support for polygamy rights. But he, like everyone else at the rally, did not use last names because of their long held fears.
The Mormon Church says these people can no longer consider themselves Mormon because they violate the church's rules. But these polygamists believe they are doing what the revered founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, would want them to do.