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Although the Second Manifesto ended the official practice of new plural marriages, existing plural marriages were not automatically dissolved.Many Mormons, including prominent LDS Church leaders, maintained existing plural marriages well into the 20th century.

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In North America polygamy has not been a culturally normative or legally recognized institution since the continent's colonization by Europeans.

Polygamy became a significant social and political issue in the United States in 1852, when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) made it known that a form of the practice, called plural marriage, was part of its doctrine.

Polygamy is the practice of taking more than one spouse.

Polygyny is the specific practice of one man taking more than one wife: it is a common marriage pattern in some parts of the world.

Mormon fundamentalists often use an ambiguous September 27, 1886 revelation to John Taylor as the basis for continuing the practice of plural marriage.