Having said that, I think I do agree with your overall impression. At Sunstone a few years ago, Brian made the claim that there were no polyandrous marriages. In the Q&A, I asked him about an unusual situation in Utah where a non-LDS family was travelling through Utah and converted. They had children (2 girls if memory serves), but could have no more children because the man had been injured or something like that. Many women of the day told her that she should divorce her husband since he could no longer father children. They decided to consult Brigham Young to see what they should do.
In the New Testament, if a man dies with no children, his brother is supposed to marry the wife and raise seed up to the dead brother. This is called a levirate marriage. Brigham Young said to Sister Richardson
(I blogged about it in more detail at http://mormonheretic.org/2009/11/08/sur ... es-part-3/ You really should read the whole story, it is amazing!!“If I was imperfect and had a good wife I would call on some good bror. to help me that we might have increase, that a man [her husband] of this character will have a place in the Temple, receive his endowments and in eternity will be as tho nothing had happened to him in time.”76 According to Young, her husband’s sterility would not bar him from the most important temple ordinances, and his eternal reward would not be adversely affected. As for having additional children, Mary Ann could be married in a civil ceremony to another man who would father her children. By being sealed for eternity to Edmund, Mary Ann as well as all her children, would belong to him.
The couple eventually accepted the plan, but only reluctantly.
I related the story (minus the names because I couldn't remember them.) Hales finished the story for me and stated that he had pretty good evidence that this wasn't true polyandry, because the Richardsons were divorced while Sister Richardson got pregnant twice with Frederick Cox as the father. After giving birth to the 2 sons, the Richardsons remarried and raised the boys as their own.
To me, this seems like a pretty good case of polyandry, but Hales insists that because they were legally divorced, it is not polyandry--in that she was sexually monogamous to consecutive men--she wasn't having sex with both men in a three-way or anything. Well, I guess technically Hales is right, but in my mind, if the divorce was always assumed to be temporary, arguing that it was serial sexual monagamy instead of polyandry is splitting hairs a bit. It seems like he is arguing the point a bit too hard.For about twenty years Cox did not see his sons. When he did, he shook their hands heartily, looked at them and listened to them unceasingly during their visit, but never mentioned the relationship between them.80
I purchased his 3 volume set, but have only read about 2 chapters of vol 3 so far. There seems to be a big deal about a "scrape" vs "affair" that I don't really understand why he is making such a distinction. I even had Don Bradley stop by and give his 2 cents, but I'm not clear what the significance of the disctinction that Hales/Bradley are making. See the comments at http://mormonheretic.org/2013/03/10/bri ... -polygamy/