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Prophesy and polygamy often go together. When God speaks to a man and tells him he is the new prophet and must now take charge of the only true church, the next thing He often tells the man is to become a polygamist. This is because one of the responsibilities of being the new prophet is to spread "the seed of David" and produce the new chosen people. This takes a lot of women and a lot of effort.
Many people in Salt Lake City, Mormon and non-Mormon, are opposed to polygamy, but very few are in favor of prosecuting and punishing the crime. This is because there are a lot of polygamists in these parts, and it would be very expensive and socially chaotic to go after them. Polygamy is a long-established part of the local culture, and, then, we all live in something that resembles a polygamous culture, where affairs and serial monogamy are common. So who will be the first to throw a stone? And what will become of it?
In this way, we tolerate polygamy, apparently even among crazy homeless people dressed as characters out of the New Testament. People who saw Mitchell walking around downtown with Wanda and Elizabeth in tow assumed he had taken a young polygamist wife, and nobody questioned him about it, even though the new wife looked very young.