While it was ground-breaking, the Kody Brown polygamy lawsuit seems to have been pushed on to the back burner because Utah’s same-sex marriage ban was overturned. However, what does Kody Brown mean for the church?
The wording of OD1 states
Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws….I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.
Now that Utah’s cohabitation laws have been struck down, Woodruff’s “advice” means that Kody is not contracting in any marriage forbidden by the law of the land (nor will anyone else that wants to enter into polygamist relationships.) Brown’s marriages while not recognized by the state bear strong similarities to the marriages performed prior to the Manifesto. Obviously the reason for the suspension of the practice in 1890 was because of the laws of the United States. If the practice of plural marriage is now legal, is there any reason why Mormons should be excommunicated for participating in plural marriage?