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The Mormon faith
  The question of polygamy in the Mormon ChurchI first got into contact with Mormons and their religion when I met two missionaries from theUSA. They were both from Utah, the centre of the religion. The missionary activity of theMormons is well known all around the world. It is typical of them that they do not ask for anyfinancial support, and they do not offer anything for sale. These young people of both sexesdo this service at their own expenses because evangelising without pay is a regulation. Oftenthey save money for years to be able to travel and stay abroad. The service lasts for 18-24months and they visit the families in pairs. (The two people I met had already learntHungarian for two and a half years in the USA before they came here. I have met manymissionaries and all of them spoke Hungarian surprisingly well.)The church was recognised in Hungary as early as November 1911. In 1988 it was officiallyrecognised again. The mission’s centre is in Budapest. The number of its missionaries is morethan 60 thousand, and the members of the church exceeds 12 million in 150 countries aroundthe world. In Hungary they are about 4000. There are significant communities in Budapest,Győr, Debrecen and Dunaújváros.The American public was especially shocked by the practice of polygamy among Mormonsand they did everything they could to forbid it. Because of all this, the Mormons were facedwith serious conflicts and distress. They viewed this custom of theirs as a religious obligation because according to their faith a woman who does not get married will not find salvation.They found polygamy in the Bible, they saw it at the pagans. They also believe that Jesus hadmore wives as well if we consider the women in his retinue (Mary, Martha, Mary Magdalene)his wives. They called it holy marriage.In history, polygamy evolved in areas where widows and single women without male protection were a burden to the society. Bigger families traditionally had bigger power.  Women could replace each other when looking after the children, and work could be shared inthe group as well. That is why many people saw advantages in polygamy, which is approved by the Mormons, before the United States came into being. **Ez a mondat elég furcsa,szerintem, mert még most is sokan látnak előnyöket a poligámiában**Mormons, who played an important role in populating the Rocky Mountains, lived a hard lifeat the beginning. In 1862 the Congress passed an Act forbidding polygamy in the wholeterritory of the United States, but it could not be enforced. The condition of admitting Utah,the Mormon empire, to become a member of the United States of America was to outlaw plural marriages.The courts could only achieve success when they tried to seize the assets of the Mormons onthe ground that the Church is the centre of organised resistance. That is why in 15 September 1890 Wilford Woodruf, who was the third president of the Church, officially prohibited polygamy and advised not to marry in a way which is against the laws of the state. As a resultof this Utah became a full member of the United States in 4 January 1896.The first congressman from Utah could not take his place because he was suspected of  polygamy. But in 1903 Apostle Smoot became a senator without a problem.The church considers family an order of God, and family in a broader sense should offer support when it is needed. According to Mormon teachings at time of the Second Coming of Jesus the souls who find Salvation can freely live in plural marriages. However, until that timerules of the secular world should also be obeyed– this is how Mormons accept social order. Nevertheless, it is estimated that around 50000 people still practice illegal polygamy incertain parts of Utah.Financial matters have always played an important role in the church’s life. They do not praise indigence from the pulpit, but they preach material gain. The president in power is notonly the leader of the Church but also the president of banks, insurance companies and  factories. The financial basis of the Church does not only consist of donations but allmembers pay tithe as well. It is a Church tax, and it means that every Mormon pays ten per cent of their gross income. The congregation pays the tithe punctually and they also makeadditional sacrifices towards their Church. A part of the tithe is spent on welfare institutions,Sunday schools and on other educational purposes.During the baptism those who wish to join the Church are “immersed”. The touch of the handgives the gift of the Holy Spirit to the baptised. Only those who are over 8 years old can be baptised. Holy Communion is held every Sunday in a way that worshippers remain sitting inthe benches and bread and water is given around. They have secret rituals as well, especiallyin connection with marriage: the ceremony of Endowment House. **Utána néztem a neten, ezaz E.H. ez egy épület, nem egy szertertás... De te biztosan jobban utána néztél** They alsokeep their oath in secret with which they pledge obedience to the prophets and the clergy.Their most important sanctuary is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt LakeCity where strangers can not enter.The Church service consists of singing, prayer and sermon. The language of their sermons issimple. The most common things are just as well part of them as more complicatedtheological reflections. Religion is so much interwoven with their everyday life that even their  balls and dances are opened with prayer.Despite their worldly way of thinking they have high moral values. Some of their ethical rulesinclude the abstention from alcohol, coffee, tea and drugs; however on special occasions the president sometimes lifts the ban of drinking wine.It is also forbidden to smoke and to eat too much meat; they prefer the vegetarian lifestyle.The Sunday supper consists of bread and water, so as to remember the alliance between Godand people. The first Sunday of every month is a fast. Apart from the Sunday services it isalso very important to put emphasis on family life.  The Church also prescribes norms and rules for the youth, which embrace all fields of life(clothing, dates, honesty, speech, making friends, mental and physical health). Sexualrelationship before marriage is forbidden. One of their moral principles is that idle and lazy people can not be blessed. That is why they are diligent and hard-working. They consider luxury worthless. Their wealth come from the fact that they are controlled and supported bythe Church in their financial and economic matters as well, and also because they exploit theimmigrants who get into contact with them. *Ez meg nem tűnik politikailag túlságosankorrektnek, de ez csak az én véleményem.** 
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