Manual Joseph Smith and His Legions (Plural Wives of Joseph Smith Book 1)

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Unlike Louisa, fourteen of the wives were already married and typically had children. Todd Compton starts his list of Smith's wives with Fanny Alger, followed by Lucinda Harris, thus making Louisa Beaman Joseph's third plural wife, with a total of thirty-three. Whether the final count is thirty-three, thirty-seven or more, scholars generally agree that the list includes about a dozen women with living husbands.

By marrying Zina and Presendia, Smith disobeyed the directive given to Moses that a man was not to marry sisters. Later he would also disobey the command that a man was not to marry both a mother and daughter.


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Smith had proposed to Zina in , prior to her marriage to Jacobs, and was refused. Even though Zina was now married, Smith persisted in his pursuit of her.

Mormon Conflict and Controversy at Nauvoo, | Guided History

Compton tells the story:. Again according to family tradition, she and Henry saw Smith soon after the marriage and "asked why he had not come. Smith told them that God had commanded him to marry her. However, he apparently also told them they could continue to live together as husband and wife. According to family tradition, Henry accepted this, but Zina continued to struggle.

Zina remained conflicted until a day in October, apparently, when Joseph sent [her brother] Dimick to her with a message: an angel with a drawn sword had stood over Smith and told him that if he did not establish polygamy, he would lose "his position and his life.

She finally consented and entered into a polyandrous marriage with Smith while six months pregnant with Jacobs' child. Later in Utah, Jedediah M. Grant, second counselor to President Brigham Young, gave a sermon in the Tabernacle in which he confirmed that Joseph Smith asked for other men's wives:.

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When the family organization was revealed from heaven—the patriarchal order of God, and Joseph began, on the right and on the left, to add to his family, what a quaking there was in Israel. Says one brother to another, "Joseph says all covenants are done away, and none are binding but the new covenants; now suppose Joseph should come and say he wanted your wife , what would you say to that?

What would a man of God say, who felt aright, when Joseph asked him for his money? He would say, "Yes, and I wish I had more to help to build up the kingdom of God. Did the Prophet Joseph want every man's wife he asked for? He did not. If such a man of God should come to me and say, "I want your gold and silver, or your wives ," I should say, "Here they are, I wish I had more to give you, take all I have got.

When Brigham Young returned from his missionary trip to England in he was soon introduced to the secret practice. Some of my brethren know what my feelings were at the time Joseph revealed the doctrine;. However, once converted he was diligent in expanding his kingdom, eventually marrying fifty-five women. In April of Joseph Smith secretly approached Nancy Rigdon, the nineteen-year-old daughter of Sidney Rigdon, to be his wife but was refused.

Shortly after that Smith sent her a letter, laying out his rational for undertaking an action that on the surface might appear wrong. Even though she was instructed to destroy the letter after reading it she saved the letter, which was later published in the August 19, , Sangamo Journal and then in John C. Bennett's History of the Saints. It read in part:.


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Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God ; but we cannot keep ALL the commandments without first knowing them. That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another.

Emphasis in original. Nancy Rigdon showed the letter to her father. Rigdon immediately sent for Joseph, who reportedly denied everything until Sidney thrust the letter in his face. George W. Robinson, Nancy's brother-in-law, claimed he witnessed the encounter and said Joseph admitted that he had spoken with Nancy but that he had only been testing her virtue. Even though Sidney Rigdon was a member of the first presidency and stayed in the church, the event put a strain on Smith and Rigdon's friendship. A couple of months later Brigham Young would face a similar situation.

He was first married at age twenty-three in , then widowed a few years later. After converting to Mormonism he married Mary Ann Angell in Years later he secretly entered plural marriage, taking Lucy Ann Decker Seely, possibly separated from her husband, as his plural wife in June of But his next attempt at courting turned into a public scandal.

Brigham Young approached a young English convert, Martha Brotherton, but was rejected. Her story was then published in the St. Louis Bulletin on July 15, She made a sworn affidavit that Heber C. Kimball escorted her to a private meeting with Brigham Young where she was locked in the room and pressured to marry Brigham Young in polygamy.

Martha gave this report of the meeting:.

When and in what context did Joseph Smith begin to learn about plural marriage??

M[artha] B[rotherton]: My feelings are just the same towards you that they ever were, sir. BY: But to come to the point more closely, have not you an affection for me, that, were it lawful and right, you could accept of me for your husband and companion? MB: If it was lawful and right perhaps I might; but you know, sir, it is not. BY: Well, brother Joseph has had a revelation from God that it is lawful and right for a man to have two wives;.

MB: Sir, I should not like to do anything of the kind without the permission of my parents. BY: Well, that does not make any difference.

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Polygamy book/Initiation of the practice/Joseph Smith practiced plural marriage

You will be of age before they know, and you need not fear. BY: Well, I will have a kiss any how. When it was obvious that she was hesitant to accept his proposal Joseph Smith was brought into the room to try and convince her:. J[oseph] S[mith]: Well, Martha, it is lawful and right before God.

I know it is. Look here, don't you believe in me? Well Martha, just go ahead and do as Brigham wants you to, he is the best man in the world except me. Yes, and I know that this is lawful and right before God, and if there is any sin in it I will answer for it before God, and I have the keys of the kingdom, and whatever I bind on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever I loose on earth is loosed in heaven; and if you will accept of Brigham, you shall be blessed. God shall bless you, and my blessing shall rest upon you, and if you will be led by him, you will do well; for I know Brigham will take care of you, and if he don't do his duty to you, come to me and I will make him; and if you do not like it in a month or two, come to me and I will make you free again; and if he turns you off I will take you on.

M[artha] B[rotherton]: Sir, it will be too late to think in a month or two after. I want time to think first. Finally, after Martha was able to convince them that she needed time to pray about it and that she would tell no one of the conversation, she was allowed to leave the room. The next day she wrote down the conversation and soon left for St.

Her statement was given wide distribution in various newspapers and was included in ex-Mormon John C.

Under the Banner of Heaven

Bennett's expose, History of the Saints. However, Joseph and his brother Hyrum continued to make public denials of any such doctrine or practice. Richard Van Wagoner comments:. Even before Martha left Nauvoo, rumors of the incident began to circulate. Hyrum Smith, believing Joseph's public posture that polygamy was not being practiced, publicly addressed the Saints on 7 April "in contradiction of a report in circulation about Elders Heber C. Kimball, Brigham Young, himself, and others of the Twelve, alleging that a sister had been shut in a room for several days, and that they had endeavored to induce her to believe in having two wives.

Martha's statement would cost her dearly. Bennett on August 27, It charged that Martha Brotherton and all such females were "mean harlots. George Smith explains that "Brotherton eventually returned to England, where she died in While Joseph Smith was publicly denying any doctrine or practice of plural marriage, he was secretly taking more wives.

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Only a week after Martha Brotherton's accusations were printed in the St. However, the transaction was carefully kept from Emma Smith. Richard Van Wagoner relates:.