Year of Polygamy

Kim’s story

Bio: Kim is a scientist and works as a microbiologist technician in Utah.

I met my roommate Veronica during my freshman year at BYU. Veronica was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. She had long blond hair and big blue eyes with a perfect smile. Everyone loved her and I did too. We couldn’t help it, she was such a fun person and such a great roommate. Our first year together was a blast. We decided to room together our second year too. It was around Christmas break that Veronica started to change. She became sullen and withdrawn. I asked her what happened. At first she told me she had a fight with her parents. Then one day she broke down and started crying. She told me that she had gone home for break and become engaged. I was shocked! I didn’t even know she was dating anyone.

That’s when I learned that Veronica was part of an independent fundamentalist Mormon family. I was really naive at the time and didn’t understand what all of it meant. I remember an evil feeling coming over me when she told me that her mom was a plural wife and she’d had to keep this secret her whole life. She made me promise to keep the secret too. Her family had basically arranged a marriage between her and an older man. The older man’s name was Jim and Veronica did not want to marry him. He already had several wives. She believed God wanted her to do it but felt like she wanted to finish school first.

Jim started visiting campus to “court” Veronica. That’s what they called it. “Courting.” I promised her I wouldn’t tell anyone and I intended to keep that promise but I was really unsettled. Jim was in his forties and had two wives already. He seemed creepy to me and I know that Veronica didn’t like him. He would take her out for ice cream and she sometimes brought me so she wouldn’t be alone. Jim started trying to teach me polygamy. At first it all sounded wrong to me but after a while I just got used to the weirdness. I never really liked what he was saying but I tried to empathize because I knew it was important to Veronica.

The wedding was supposed to happen that spring and Veronica was going to leave after the semester was over. We both were really sad and spent the weekend crying in our dorm. Veronica said that Jim had suggested that I join their family too. I wasn’t too surprised because I had gotten a weird feeling whenever I was around Jim. Veronica asked me what I thought about that. I again was shocked. If I’m honest, I did consider it. Only because I didn’t want Veronica to be alone and she meant a lot to me. I ultimately said no and Veronica ended up marrying him. We lost contact shortly after and I never saw or heard from her again.

I’ve tried several times to look her up but never had luck connecting with her. I hope she’s okay. I often wonder what life would be like if I had gotten sucked into that lifestyle. Something deep down in my gut told me it was wrong but Jim and Veronica always had scripture and doctrine to counter my doubts with. I can totally see why many people still believe in this doctrine. I’m really glad I didn’t do it though, but I think about Veronica a lot.


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