In tandem with the recent efforts to decriminalize polygamy in Utah, BYU has thrown its hat into the ring. With recent honor code changes, the stigma against multiple wives for men is being swept away. While married men previously had to keep their girlfriends secret, now they can be more open and proud on BYU campus.
That’s not to say the Law of Chastity and Church teachings have been discarded. Sexual intimacy is of course strictly forbidden and will not be tolerated for anytime in the foreseeable future; however, so long as it’s simply holding hands with your girlfriend (or second girlfriend!), going on dates, hugging, and chaste kissing (no tongue), these will no longer be subject to reprimand or censure. While certain questions have yet to be answered and the exact boundaries as of yet are unknown, this is a major step towards polygamists and polygamist-curious men being able to live openly.
The news, as to be expected, was met with mixed reception. Some brave souls began to take pictures with their wife and girlfriend, even sharing a kiss with both on campus. They joyfully shared how freeing it was on social media. One anonymous account said he was super excited to start being able to date his wife’s sister. Another said he hoped the dark looks he got for holding his wife’s and girlfriend’s hands on campus would disappear or at least be reprimanded by the administration.
However, some backwards people took umbrage at these changes. They decried these as “being against Church doctrine” and “setting BYU down a dark path.” These changes do not justify polygamous marriage though. So long as you are dating WITHOUT intending to marry or have sexual intimacy, there’s no harm in having two, three, or even four girlfriends whom you date. This can even be seen as progressive AND a return to tradition. Some people can’t seem to let go of their prejudices and quaint doctrinal ideas in the current year.
The General Authorities have yet to weigh in, but it’s an exciting time. Maybe eventually, even Official Declaration 1 will be revised or perhaps repealed! We can only pray that the Church continues to follow the wise counsel of the world. Hopefully, the cheers of polygamist activist groups will help push them to being on the right side of history.