What is more important than defending the institution of marriage by passing "tough" divorce laws, is for the state to do what it can to make sure that for any child born that there is at least two responsible adults, who have the wherewithal and the dedication to the long term business of rearing that child.
The final nail in the coffin which demonstrates polygamy's illegality was when Ann Eliza Webb filed for "divorce" from Brigham Young and sued him for alimony in 1877. Young successfully argued that their relationship was "an ecclesiastical affair, not a legal one," and the judge rightly ruled that since there was never any legal marriage, Webb could not file for divorce nor seek alimony.
In short, in marriage the woman inspires, and the man must do the work, the woman must sacrifice her will, the man his selfishness."Balzac's views on the micro level, as Justice Gest further developed, are reflected in his views on the macro level:
"He [Balzac] believed in a constitutional monarchy and an aristocracy of the feudal type; aristocracy, he said, was the intellect of the social system.
In fact, I would venture to say that this is a dangerous notion, for as soon as the married couple figure they are no longer in love with one another, they immediately, and for no other reason head off to divorce court with little regard to the commitments each to the other, to their family and to their children.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Consider the standard two-person married couple, and consider them, for a moment, not as a bastion of heterosexuality or a living witness to Jesus or any other such high-minded abstraction.
"Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of superfluity, or nonessential to the salvation of mankind. In other words, some of the Saints have said, and believe that a man with one wife, sealed to him by the authority of the Priesthood for time and eternity, will receive an exaltation as great and glorious, if he is faithful, as he possibly could with more than one. I want here to enter my protest against this idea, for I know it is false… Therefore, whoever has imagined that he could obtain the fullness of the blessings pertaining to this celestial law, by complying with only a portion of its conditions, has deceived himself. He cannot do it. When that principle was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith,… he did not falter, although it was not until an angel of God, with a drawn sword, stood before him and commanded that he should enter into the practice of that principle, or he should be utterly destroyed, or rejected….
…it will be seen that the great messiah who was the founder of the Christian religion, was a polygamist, …the messiah chose…by marrying many honorable wives himself, show to all future generations that He approbated the plurality of wives under the Christian dispensation, as well as under the dispensation in which His Polygamist ancestors lived. We have now clearly shown that God the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity, by whom He begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus His first Born, and another being upon the earth by whom He begat the tabernacle of Jesus, as his only begotten in this world. We have also proved most clearly that the Son followed the example of his Father, and became the great Bridegroom to whom kings' daughters and many honorable wives were to be married. We have also proved that both God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ inherit their wives in eternity as well as in time;… And then it would be so shocking to the modesty of the very pious ladies of Christendom to see Abraham and his wives, Jacob and his wives, Jesus and his honorable wives, all eating occasionally at the same table, and visiting one another, and conversing about their numerous children and their kingdoms. Oh, ye delicate ladies of Christendom how can you endure such a scene as this?… If you do not want your morals corrupted, and your delicate ears shocked, and your pious modesty put to the blush by the society of polygamists and their wives, do not venture near the New Earth; for polygamists will be honored there, and will be among the chief rulers in that Kingdom.
But if the woman is determined to not enter into plural marriage, that woman, when she comes forth, will have the privilege of living in single blessedness through all eternity. Now sisters, do not say, `I do not want a husband when I get up in the resurrection.' You do not know what you will want. If, in the resurrection, you really want to be single and alone and live forever and ever and be made servants, while others receive the higher order of intelligence, and are bringing worlds into existence, you can have the privilege. They who will be exalted cannot perform all the labor, they must have servants, and you can be servants to them.
Monogamy, or restrictions by law to one wife, is no part of the economy of heaven among men. Such a system was commenced by the founders of the Roman empire….Rome became the mistress of the world, and introduced this order of monogamy wherever her sway was acknowledged. Thus this monogamic order of marriage, so esteemed by modern Christians as a holy sacrament and divine institution, is nothing but a system established by a set of robbers…. Why do we believe in and practice polygamy? Because the Lord introduced it to his servants in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, and the Lord's servants have always practiced it. 'And is that religion popular in heaven?' it is the only popular religion there,…
President Joseph F. Smith on April 6, 1904, issued a "Second Manifesto," which reaffirmed the first regarding polygamy. He also declared any church officer who performed a plural marriage, as well as the offending couple, would be excommunicated. He clarified that the policy applied worldwide, not just in North America. Two members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley, resigned in October 1905 following the manifesto. This change to the Twelve was made public in April 1906, when George F. Richards, Orson F. Whitney, and David O. McKay were added to the quorum.
"I understand the law of celestial marriage to mean that every man in this Church, who has the ability to obey and practice it in righteousness and will not, shall be damned, I say I understand it to mean this and nothing less, and I testify in the name of Jesus that it does mean that." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 20, pp. 28-31)