Bountiful, B.C. Polygamous Group No Longer Allowed to Formally Call Themselves “Mormons” or “Latter-day Saints”
New religious movements are religious beliefs and practices that have origins within modern times, are different from previous existing religions, and hold a marginal place outside of the nation’s dominant religious culture. A prime example of one of these ever expanding new religious movements (NRM’s) includes the public religious group known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or less formally, Mormons. Joseph Smith founded the Mormon religion in the 1820’s. The Mormon religion teaches many of the same beliefs as Christianity though it still falls within a modern origin. One of the more outlandish practices of Mormons includes the teaching of plural marriage. Though the Mormon Church formally abandoned the practice of plural marriage in 1890, the use of polygamy still persists today in many areas. However, in the polygamous community of Bountiful, British Columbia the label of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Mormon has been banned for this community. In the community of Bountiful, there is a fundamental form of Mormonism that still allows polygamy marriage, even though the Utah-based religion banned the practice of multiple marriages in 1890. The issue here is that some of those practicing the fundamental Mormonism and still participating in polygamous marriages are creating confusion among the Mormon faith and others. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also has taken measures to make sure that the community of Bountiful, B.C. and more importantly their estranged leader, Winston Blackmore, does not and cannot portray himself and his community as a part of mainstream Mormonism. Winston Blackmore, himself, has 24 wives and has been “charged with unlawfully removing a child under 16 from Canada with the intent that an offence of a sexual nature would be committed outside of Canada” (DailyTownsMen).
Though New Religious Movements occur with different beliefs and practices, this form of polygamous, fundamental Mormonism found in Bountiful is a practice that not even the Church itself supports and thus Blackmore and Bountiful are no longer legally allowed to claim their faith as Mormon or a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Polygamist group banned from using ‘Mormon’, ‘Latter-day Saints’” Daily Towns Men. 14 January 2015. (http://www.dailytownsman.com/breaking_news/288610691.html)