Anybody and everybody is welcome. Visitors become investigators, investigators become converts, and converts become members. Members become tithe-payers, and tithe-payers pay for the fancy granite signs like this one boldly placed in front of your local LDS chapel.
I have some friends up in Utah who epitomize the perfect Mormon plural family. The guy is a humble, hard-working husband. He has two beautiful wives and a bundle of cute little kids. He minds his own business and is loved by everyone who knows him.
Recently he shared with me a rather remarkable experience he had. He moved into a Wasatch Front suburb a few years ago, and encountered some members of the local LDS ward. He politely explained to them that he had two wives, and that he didn't want to cause a stir in the neighborhood. They would keep largely to themselves and be respectful of the neighbor folks.
The ward members were taken aback by this revelation, but decided that such reticence was ill-placed. They told my friend that he should not feel unwelcome and should certainly not hesitate to attend the ward's Sunday sacrament services (see the picture above). He said, "Well, won't it be a little bit awkward - me sitting there with the ladies on either side of me? I don't want to make people feel uncomfortable." "Silly," they pressed, "please come, we would love to have you!"
This humble, uncynical friend of mine decided to take them up on the invitation. The next Sunday, husband, wife, wife, and toddlers all showed up for sacrament meeting. When they got to the chapel, the ushers shepherded them to the front pews that had been deliberately vacated to make room for them. Wow !!!!!!! Such unprecedented glasnost. !!!
More remarkable still - the trio felt so welcomed, they came back to church again and again, and not just for several Sundays. For TWO LONG YEARS this sweet family attended church faithfully, mingling and participating and sharing the fellowship and goodwill of people who embrace the restored Gospel.
The two ladies were so well received and respected by the ward members that they were eventually asked if they would accept some assignments and callings in the ward.
I guess that upset the applecart. As you can expect, word of this development wafted up into the nostrils of the dark blue suits at 50 E. North Temple, and the fat hit the shin. The edict came down. But wait, there's more. Not only did the General Authorities override the local leaders regarding giving Church callings to polygamists (of course), but they actually told them to ask this beloved family of longtime visitors that they were NOT ALLOWED TO COME TO SUNDAY CHURCH MEETINGS ANY MORE.
That was the end of my friends' attendance at Mormon Church meetings. What can you say?