There’s a story from the infancy of the church that Emma Smith, the first wife of Joseph Smith, pushed another wife, Eliza, down the stairs in a jealous rage, resulting in Eliza losing her unborn child. It’s used as proof that Smith practiced polygamy, but the story doesn’t bear out under investigation or at least is impossible to confirm.
There are also some who think that Smith forbade his wives to admit they were all married to him, though the practice was not outlawed, and it seems to have been a commonly accepted practice within the community that Smith started. Eliza herself never made a statement about the event.
One of the early presidents of the LDS Church was a man named Brigham Young. If you're into college sports or happened to go to school in Utah, you're probably familiar with Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The university is a private college sponsored by the LDS Church.
Named after the church's second president, the university has 179 majors in undergraduate studios, as well as sixty-two master's degrees and twenty-six doctoral degree programs. It has two satellite campuses — one in Salt Lake City and one in Jerusalem. With over thirty thousand students, it's the biggest private university in the country.
Following the Honor Code
As you might expect, students that attend Brigham Young University are required to follow a code of honor that mandates behavior in the spirit of LDS teachings. These include adherence to grooming and dress standards, academic honesty, no extramarital sex, and no consumption of illegal substances, coffee, tea, alcohol, or tobacco.
About ninety-nine percent of the school's students are members of the LDS Church. 66% percent of the students either delay their studies or take a hiatus from it in order to serve as missionaries. The university is significantly cheaper than many other private universities since it is subsidized by the church's tithing funds.
The Explanation Behind Bigfoot
One of the more amusing myths about the Mormon and LDS Church communities is the idea that Cain, the son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother Abel and was cursed by God. Some sat that the curse was, actually, transforming him into a hairy beast that wouldn't die — Sasquatch, Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman.
However, this isn't part of LDS Church doctrine, just a simple story that started popping up in a few places. A man named Patten stated that he spotted the beast, but the claim, as well as the attached story, was unverifiable. And it's quite the story. Read on to learn the entire wild tale.
We get a second-hand recount of the story from a letter by Abraham O. Smoot, recounting David Patten's 1835 account of the meeting.
“A very remarkable person who [introduced] himself as being Cain. His head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle. He [...] was covered with hair. His skin was very dark. I asked him where he dwelt, and he replied that he had no home, that he was a wanderer in the earth and traveled to and fro. He said he was a very miserable creature, that he had earnestly sought death during his sojourn upon the earth, but that he could not die, and his mission was to destroy the souls of men.”