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University of Richmond

Mormons acknowledge early polygamy days at renovated museum

The Mormon church's renovated history museum set to reopen this week features a small and surprising display about an uncomfortable part of the faith's history that for generations has been glossed over: polygamy.

The display is tucked inside a modern revamped museum that tells the story of how the church was founded and formed in the eastern U.S. from 1820-1846 before Mormons trekked across the country to settle in Utah. Inside a special 220-seat theater, visitors can watch a theatrical dramatization of founder Joseph Smith's much-dissected visit from God and Jesus in 1820 in the woods of upstate New York that led to the foundation of the religion.

The decision by the...

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