You are not currently logged in.

Login through your institution for access.


Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Plural Wife

Plural Wife: The Life Story of Mabel Finlayson Allred

Edited by Martha Bradley-Evans
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 216
Stable URL:
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Plural Wife
    Book Description:

    Mabel Finlayson Allred was a wife of Rulon Allred, leader of the Apostolic United Brethren, one of the major groups of fundamentalist Mormons who, since about the 1930s, have practiced plural marriage as separatists from the mainstream Latter-day Saints Church. Mabel's autobiography maintains a mood of everyday normalcy strikingly in contrast with the stress of the ostracized life she was living. Her cheerful tone, expressive of her wish to live simply and gracefully in this world, is tempered by more somber descriptions of her personal struggle with clinical depression, of Rulon Allred's inner struggles, of tensions with the law and with Allred's fundamentalist colleagues, and ultimately by her forthright account of his assassination. Emerging from this unique narrative is the portrait of a woman buoyed by faith in both her religion and her husband, a window into the interior life of a woman seeking a resilient simplicity in an uncommonly challenging life. Plural Wife, conntextualized by Martha Bradley's introduction, gives us insight into Mabel's experience of history during an important period of the 20th century and advances our understanding of life ways of 20th century polygamy and the growth of the fundamentalist movement.

    eISBN: 978-0-87421-875-6
    Subjects: History
    × Close Overlay

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations
  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-v)
  3. Illustrations (pp. vi-vi)
  4. Introduction (pp. 1-62)
    Martha Bradley-Evans

    I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah in the 1950s in a subdivision of ranch style homes at the foothill of Mount Olympus. Our family had one father and one mother, three brothers and myself, the sole and lonely sister. We were Mormons. We read the Bible and the Book of Mormon. We sang the hymns, “The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning” and “Come, Come Ye Saints” with all the fervor of the righteously indignant. The persecution narrative of our pioneer forefathers and mothers inscribed our memory. Their story was in us, their journey our journey....

  5. Preface (pp. 63-65)
    Mabel Finlayson Allred
  6. My Life Story (pp. 67-186)
    Mabel Finlayson Allred

    “Run across the street and tell Mrs. Basset to come over right away. And tell her to hurry!” My oldest sister Birdie, eleven and a half years old, ran across the street as the doctor ordered her to do on a cold January 11th morning in 1919 in Seattle, Washington. The midwife, Mrs. Basset, hurried into the kitchen of our home to find me, a black new-born baby, wrapped in a towel, lying on the kitchen table. She snatched me up, opened the oven door of the big, black kitchen stove, pulled up a chair, and held me in the...

  7. Postlude: Dedication to their parents (pp. 187-190)
    The Allred children

    The ending of the life story of Mabel Finlayson Allred came early on the morning of May 6, 2005. Mama, or Mom, as she is called by her six children, and Grandma as she is to hundreds of children and grandchildren, her own and others’, young and old, in the big family, the polygamist groups, and the church and community, passed on at age eighty-six. Still she abides in the hearts and memories and lives of so many she has blessed with her being. Many in turn bless her journey home to the heaven she believed she came from, where...

  8. “My Darling Mabel”: Letters and poetry (pp. 191-193)
    Rulon C. Allred