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inquiringmind

Plural Marriage/Polygamy?

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BookofMormonLvr,

So it appears from the list you posted that David has no living descendents.

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So firsthand accounts of many of Joseph Smith's closest associates are to be dismissed as "confusing?" If the RRLDS claim that Joseph NEVER practiced polygamy, and that the true successor to the prophetic line rests within the line of David Hyrum, don't you find it a little ironic that David believed his father was a polygamist?

If you don't believe me, go ahead an read his journals from his missions through Utah and Southeast Idaho.

http://www.press.uil...0252023996.html

As Richard Howard notes:

Instead of continually linking me to Mrs. Avery's book. Why not give me a quote or two from David, instead of apologists of polygamy, or anti-Mormons, interpretation of what he said?

Whatever confusion David may have had (awaiting quotes) concerning plural marriage really has no bearing on the claims of the RRLDS. Anybody is welcome to have questions or be confused on certain matters. His mother wasn't confused, brothers weren't confused, his own son, Elbert, wasn't confused, and his cousins weren't confused. One man's confusion does not a truth make.

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BookofMormonLvr,

So it appears from the list you posted that David has no living descendents.

Where?

It just indicates that the descendants are unknown to the author of the list. It doesn't mean they don't exist.

Also, I was careful to point out that a prophet from David's line is my own personal belief at this time (reread my post), it is not a teaching of the RRLDS. But the list does indicate that there are plenty of male Smith's that the Lord could potentially work through. Many believe that Israel (Ike) Smith will eventually be moved upon by the Lord. Only time will tell.

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BookofMormonLvr,

Thanks for the clarification. Please don't misunderstand me, I am not antagonistic to the RLDS in the least. In fact, I used to be a member.

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Instead of continually linking me to Mrs. Avery's book. Why not give me a quote or two from David, instead of apologists of polygamy, or anti-Mormons, interpretation of what he said?

Whatever confusion David may have had (awaiting quotes) concerning plural marriage really has no bearing on the claims of the RRLDS. Anybody is welcome to have questions or be confused on certain matters. His mother wasn't confused, brothers weren't confused, his own son, Elbert, wasn't confused, and his cousins weren't confused. One man's confusion does not a truth make.

Instead of continually claiming Joseph Smith never practiced polygamy, why don't you try opening said book? Avery was neither an apologist for polygamy, or an anti-Mormon. Your utter ignorance is breathtaking.

Emma showed a great deal of courage by rejecting plural marriage, along with her sons. But that is not to say that her husband never practiced it. You still have yet to account for those who lived as Joseph's contemporaries and who had first hand knowledge of said plural marriages.

In fact, everything you've said here has amounted to a "nuh uh" and nothing more. You can side-step the facts all you want, but it doesn't change the truth.

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Instead of continually claiming Joseph Smith never practiced polygamy, why don't you try opening said book? Avery was neither an apologist for polygamy, or an anti-Mormon. Your utter ignorance is breathtaking.

Emma showed a great deal of courage by rejecting plural marriage, along with her sons. But that is not to say that her husband never practiced it. You still have yet to account for those who lived as Joseph's contemporaries and who had first hand knowledge of said plural marriages.

In fact, everything you've said here has amounted to a "nuh uh" and nothing more. You can side-step the facts all you want, but it doesn't change the truth.

Then Emma would be a liar, because she testified to her dying day that he never engaged in the practice. If she was lying, that Joseph practiced it, she would have shown no courage, but simple cowardice. So either accept her testimony or call her a liar- because she is one or the other.

Joseph either is a liar, a perjurer, and a hypocrite or he was telling the truth when he said he was innocent of the practice. There is no way around the issue.

And you have to account for those who were Joseph's contemporaries who say he did not practice or teach plural marriage. There are sworn affidavits on both sides.

Somebody was lying.

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And this...

Your utter ignorance is breathtaking.

is completely unnecessary. I haven't resorted to such attacks, and I would appreciate it if you would do the same.

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Then Emma would be a liar, because she testified to her dying day that he never engaged in the practice. If she was lying, that Joseph practiced it, she would have shown no courage, but simple cowardice. So either accept her testimony or call her a liar- because she is one or the other.

Joseph either is a liar, a perjurer, and a hypocrite or he was telling the truth when he said he was innocent of the practice. There is no way around the issue.

And you have to account for those who were Joseph's contemporaries who say he did not practice or teach plural marriage. There are sworn affidavits on both sides.

Somebody was lying.

There is evidence not only that Emma lied about her husband's practice of plural marriage, but that others did as well. The RLDS Church, in its genesis as part of the Strang movement, actually practiced plural marriage and eventually abandoned it. I accept that Emma had a reputation to defend, and out of practicality lied in order to protect herself and her family. Is lying about having Jews in one's basement "cowardice?"

Fundamentalist approaches to history and scripture do not and cannot stand for long. As one scholar has noted:

Joseph was not trying to simply act as he pleased and keep everyone else in the dark. He was anxious to teach the principle of plural marriage to any who would accept it; Church leaders such as Hyrum Smith and the Twelve were introduced to it. This is strange behavior for a deceiver, since each of these high Church leaders was in a position to denounce and ruin him. (Joseph had ample experience with such scenarios given the earlier departure of such key figures as the Three Witnesses, and many of the original Twelve Apostles during the Kirtland-era apostasy.) One source reports that over one hundred adults were taught the doctrine in Nauvoo before Joseph's murder. (George D. Smith, "Nauvoo Roots of Mormon Polygamy, 1841-46: A Preliminary Demographic Report," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 27:1 (Spring 1994): 12, 15-16.)

Suppose you're threatened with violence if you revealed you practiced polygamy....what would you do? What efforts would you undertake to protect your family? Emma's own biographers give credence to the fact that Emma witnessed more than one of her husband's plural marriages.

If there is anyone lying here, that is, quite literally denying evidence as it slaps them in the fact out of malice against the truth, it is Richard Price. If over a score of women were married to Joseph Smith in his lifetime (a certifiable fact), and his wife denied it (in face of criticism) who is telling the truth?

I have engaged Price's work before and find it demonstrably lacking, which is why I have adamantly rejected fundamentalism. I've held up my end, now it's time for you to educate yourself.

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There is evidence not only that Emma lied about her husband's practice of plural marriage, but that others did as well. The RLDS Church, in its genesis as part of the Strang movement, actually practiced plural marriage and eventually abandoned it.

This is my last post to you...

The above portion of your quote is intellectually dishonest, and I believe you know it...

Strang did not begin practicing plural marriage until several years into his "reign". By the time he instituted the practice, many of the men, who later became some of the leading men of the RLDS Movement, had already realized their error and left, and when Strang began teaching it many more left. And to say the RLDS Church had its genesis in Strang's church is not accurate, and you know it.

Your above post proves to me that you are willing to bend the truth to get to your conclusion. I have no time for that.

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This is my last post to you...

The above portion of your quote is intellectually dishonest, and I believe you know it...

Strang did not begin practicing plural marriage until several years into his "reign". By the time he instituted the practice, many of the men, who later became some of the leading men of the RLDS Movement, had already realized their error and left, and when Strang began teaching it many more left. And to say the RLDS Church had its genesis in Strang's church is not accurate, and you know it.

Your above post proves to me that you are willing to bend the truth to get to your conclusion. I have no time for that.

Nearly every member of the Voree Saints went on to join the Reorganization, including all of the Reorganization's founding members.

If by "several years into his 'reign'" you mean five years, then you're correct. However, that practice continued for another seven years before Strang was murdered. The movement essentially dissolved in 1856, only to be picked up again in 1860 as the Reorganization. In 1851 the New Organization accepted polygamy as a legitimate practice. Jason Briggs himself (a founding member of the Reorganization) accepted what he called the "Celestial Law" of plural marriage. When the RLDS Church began revising its history in 1880 to exclude early references to polygamy, Briggs left directly as a result of this issue. Under oath Briggs notes in 1886:

"I heard something about a revelation on Polygamy or Plural Marriage, when I was in Nauvoo in 1842. I heard there was one; there was talk going on about it at the time, and continued to be; but it was not called Plural Marriage, it was called sealing.

You ask me what I understood this Sealing to be, ar the time the talk was going on. What I understood it to be was sealing a woman to a man to be his wife, to be his wife hereafter, his wife in the Spirit World.

I was asked in direct examination if I did not hear of the doctrine of Polygamy, etc., and I answered that I talked with members with reference to Sealing, and I understood that the doctrine of Sealing, was for eternity; it was sealing a man's wife to him for eternity, or wives either." The Fallacy, 111

Two years later, Briggs attested to the fact that Joseph Smith introduced the practice.

"I was in Nauvoo in 1843, the year it was found necessary to legalize polygamy by revelation. No, I have no doubt as to the authorship of that (so called) revelation of July 12, 1843. It was all the earmarks to identify it as the prodction of the mouthpiece of those days." Polygamy for the New Organization, was an issue of "prayer and revelation" well into 1853. Not only is there an intense interest in polygamy among the New Organization prior to Brigham Young's 1852 public declaration (the purported origin of polygamy by RRLDS members), but Zenos Gurley actually acknowledges it, as does James Whitehead and David Whitmer. Later testimonies from Sidney Rigdon and Thomas Ford were given, all of which testified that Joseph Smith not only introduced plural marriage, but practiced it. The very first issue of The Saints Herald not only acknowledges that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy, but also goes on to claim that Joseph repudiated the practice shortly before his death. The original RLDS' own press acknowledged that were it not for polygamy, Joseph would have lived much longer.

"He [Joseph Smith] caused the revelation [D&C 132] to be bured, and when he voluntarily came to Nauvoo and resigned himself into the arms of his enemies, he said that he was going to Carthage to die. At that time he also said that if it had not been for that accursed spiritual wife doctrine, he would not have come to that. By this conduct at the time he proved the sincerity of his repentance, and of his profession as a Prophet. If Abraham and Jacob, by repentance and obtain salvation and exaltation so can Joseph Smith."

There is no fact bending going on here. I have a passion for history and for the truth. There is no need to cover one eye (or both) in order to maintain a belief about something that is factually inaccurate.

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The very first issue of The Saints Heraldnot only acknowledges that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy, but also goes on to claim that Joseph repudiated the practice shortly before his death. The original RLDS' own press acknowledged that were it not for polygamy, Joseph would have lived much longer.

From "Joseph Smith fought Polygamy"...

</h2>

<h2 class="center" style="font-size: 16pt; text-align: center; ">Chapter 17

Isaac Sheen Was Not a Credible Witness Concerning Polygamy

josephemmacloseup.jpgWriters in the Mormon Church often use statements by RLDS Editor Isaac Sheen in an effort to prove that Joseph Smith taught and practiced polygamy. Isaac Sheen, editor of the True Latter Day Saints' Herald for January 1860, indicated that it was his (Sheen's) opinion that Joseph had been involved in polygamy, but had "repented of his connection with this doctrine" before his death.

Editor Sheen's statement has no foundation, however, because:

He gave no evidence nor documentation to support his allegations;He did not live close enough to Joseph to know personally whether or not the Prophet practiced polygamy;He had associated with polygamists and had received his information from them;The leaders of the Reorganized Church, who were sponsoring Editor Sheen and the Herald, believed that Joseph was not a polygamist

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Then Emma would be a liar, because she testified to her dying day that he never engaged in the practice. If she was lying, that Joseph practiced it, she would have shown no courage, but simple cowardice. So either accept her testimony or call her a liar- because she is one or the other.

Emma and Joseph were, by necessity (and biblical precedent), very careful in choosing their words when speaking of Plural Marriage. In her interview with her son, Joseph III, she used exactly the same "code words" she had used in the 1840 Nauvoo period to obscure the fact that she knew of his (Joseph's) plural wives, and had approved of at least some of them.

Mormon Enigma was not exclusively "the Avery book", it had a co-author, Linda Newell, who was RLDS, as I recall, who reached the conclusion that Joseph had practiced Plural Marriage in very deed.

"Uncle Dale", a one time RLDS and sometime poster here, reached the conclusion that he'd been "snookered" (I believe that was his word) when his church claimed that Joseph had never had any wife but Emma.

Lehi

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Emma and Joseph were, by necessity (and biblical precedent), very careful in choosing their words when speaking of Plural Marriage. In her interview with her son, Joseph III, she used exactly the same "code words" she had used in the 1840 Nauvoo period to obscure the fact that she knew of his (Joseph's) plural wives, and had approved of at least some of them.

Mormon Enigma was not exclusively "the Avery book", it had a co-author, Linda Newell, who was RLDS, as I recall, who reached the conclusion that Joseph had practiced Plural Marriage in very deed.

"Uncle Dale", a one time RLDS and sometime poster here, reached the conclusion that he'd been "snookered" (I believe that was his word) when his church claimed that Joseph had never had any wife but Emma.

Lehi

"No, you honor, I wasn't committing perjury- I was carefully selecting my words."

"No, honey, I wasn't lying- I was carefully selecting my words."

I will have to use that from now on. rolleyes.gif

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BoMluvr, I thought you said you were done posting, and yet your pride says otherwise. Then you copy and paste word for word from a source that fails to engage most work on the subject (or curtsies around it). If Isaac Sheen lived 25 miles from Joseph Smith, that doesn't mean he couldn't and didn't know what was going on with plural marriage in Nauvoo. Not only that, the author of said posting continually and emphatically insists that it was Brigham Young, not Joseph Smith, who introduced plural marriage....which is categorically untrue, and as you like to claim about myself, "intellectually dishonest."

Was Price a member of the Clinton defense team '98-'99?

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But the evidence that Joseph had no children stems from extensive DNA research. All of the descendents of those thought to be possibly Joseph's children from plural wives have been examined and it has been established that they are not. Not one of them; including Josephine Fischer. You're right, she does claim that her mother told her she was the daughter of Joseph Smith, but the DNA evidence proves otherwise. So someone was lying - so much for the value of affidavits.

So the one peice of evidence that would prove conclusively that Joseph had multiple wives in the fullest sense is missing.

The testimonies of people like Oliver Cowdrey are not reliable either unless he states that he was in the bedroom at the time - and he doesn't.

In the end it comes down to one thing. Was Joseph a truthful man or a liar? I believe he was truthful and therefore I accept his statement that he had only one wife. Like I said previously, sealings were not the same as marriages and sex was not involved. Joseph could be sealed to any number of people and still truthfully say that he had only one wife.

I have not heard of this "extensive DNA research". Can you point it out to us?

If Josephine Fischer's descendants prove negative it only shows that Sylvia's assumption was incorrect: Joseph Smith was not the father, her legal husband was instead. As the affidavits only state that the polygamous wives lived with Joseph Smith "as wives" "for time", nothing more is required as evidence that Joseph Smith in fact had sex with them. Josephine's mother could not have believed that her daughter was the daughter of Joseph Smith unless Sylvia had had sex with him. And that is the entire issue (no pun intended). As Joseph Smith is the single constant factor in these polygamous relationships, it follows that if there were no children it was because he had become almost functionally infertile. His last child by Emma would have been that rare exception. But I don't see how you can impugn the character of scores of men and women (especially the polygamous wives of Joseph Smith) by asserting that they were all lying under oath; and only Joseph Smith was telling the truth. It is unarguable that he lied publicly to protect himself and the other polygamists. The Church's "official" policy was monogamy while secretly practicing the exact opposite....

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CFR

Just in case people missed the link, here's the references provided. Many of these were court cases in which the LDS women were testifying to prove Joseph Smith had practiced polygamy.

Ahhh...the irony.

Faithful Mormon Melissa Lott (Smith Willes) testified that she had been Joseph's wife "in very deed." (Affidavit of Melissa Willes, 3 Aug. 1893, Temple Lot case, 98, 105; Foster, Religion and Sexuality, 156.)

- In a court affidavit, faithful Mormon Joseph Noble wrote that Joseph told him he had spent the night with Louisa Beaman. (Temple Lot Case, 427)

- Emily D. Partridge (Smith Young) said she "roomed" with Joseph the night following her marriage to him and said that she had "carnal intercourse" with him. (Temple Lot case (complete transcript), 364, 367, 384; see Foster, Religion and Sexuality, 15.)

In total, 13 faithful latter-day saint women who were married to Joseph Smith swore court affidavits that they had sexual relations with him.

- Joseph Smith's personal secretary records that on May 22nd, 1843, Smith's first wife Emma found Joseph and Eliza Partridge secluded in an upstairs bedroom at the Smith home. Emma was devastated.

William Clayton's journal entry for 23 May (see Smith, 105-106)

- Smith's secretary William Clayton also recorded a visit to young Almera Johnson on May 16, 1843: "Prest. Joseph and I went to B[enjamin] F. Johnsons to sleep." Johnson himself later noted that on this visit Smith stayed with Almera "as man and wife" and "occupied the same room and bed with my sister, that the previous month he had occupied with the daughter of the late Bishop Partridge as his wife." Almera Johnson also confirmed her secret marriage to Joseph Smith: "I lived with the prophet Joseph as his wife and he visited me at the home of my brother Benjamin F." (Zimmerman, I Knew the Prophets, 44. See also "The Origin of Plural Marriage, Joseph F. Smith, Jr., Deseret News Press, page 70-71.)

- Faithful Mormon and Stake President Angus Cannon told Joseph Smith's son: "Brother Heber C. Kimball, I am informed, asked [Eliza R. Snow] the question if she was not a virgin although married to Joseph Smith and afterwards to Brigham Young, when she replied in a private gathering, "I thought you knew Joseph Smith better than that."" (Stake President Angus M. Cannon, statement of interview with Joseph III, 23, LDS archives.)

- Stake President Angus Cannon also testified: "I will now refer you to one case where it was said by the girl's grandmother that your father [Joseph Smith] has a daughter born of a plural wife. The girl's grandmother was Mother Sessions . . . She was the grand-daughter of Mother Sessions. That girl, I believe, is living today, in Bountiful, north of this city. I heard prest. Young, a short time before his death, refer to the report . . . The woman is now said to have a family of children, and I think she is still living." (Stake President Angus M. Cannon, statement of interview with Joseph III, 25-26, LDS archives.)

- Faithful Mormon and wife of Joseph Smith, Sylvia Sessions (Lyon), on her deathbed told her daughter, Josephine, that she (Josephine) was the daughter of Joseph Smith. Josephine testified: "She (Sylvia) then told me that I was the daughter of the Prophet Joseph Smith, she having been sealed to the Prophet at the time that her husband Mr. Lyon was out of fellowship with the Church." (Affidavit to Church Historian Andrew Jenson, 24 Feb. 1915)

- In her testimony given at a Brigham Young University devotional, Faithful Mormon Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner stated that she knew of children born to Smith's plural wives: "I know he [Joseph Smith] had six wives and I have known some of them from childhood up. I know he had three children. They told me. I think two are living today but they are not known as his children as they go by other names." (Read her full BYU testimony here: http://www.ldshistory.net/pc/merlbyu.htm)

- Faithful Mormon Prescindia D. Huntington, who was Normal Buell's wife and simultaneously a "plural wife" of the Prophet Joseph Smith, said that she did not know whether her husband Norman "or the Prophet was the father of her son, Oliver."

(Mary Ettie V. Smith, "Fifteen Years Among the Mormons", page 34; also Fawn Brodie "No Man Knows My History" pages 301-302, 437-39)

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It is a rare man, indeed, who becomes a father every time he has sex. Given that Joseph was trying to keep the lid on regarding many (if not most) of his 30+ wives, and since they were under a fair amount of stress to begin with (you know, trying to avoid jail/mobsters/people who were mad at him for supposedly marrying multiple women), what are the chances that he and a wife-other-than-Emma would actually be able to get together during the brief window in which the woman was at her most fertile? And if he was actually having lots of sex, his own fertility rate would likely have been minimized to begin with, thus reducing his chances of fatherhood even more.

So it shouldn't be any surprise that there aren't a lot of children-of-Joseph showing up. But the lack of children is not clear evidence that he didn't consummate those marriages.

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"No, you honor, I wasn't committing perjury- I was carefully selecting my words."

...

I will have to use that from now on.

It's copyrigthed (not really, but I wish I could).

If one tells the truth but does not reveal sacred things by carefully selecting his words, then there was no lie, no perjury. Let others rush off to whatsoever conclusion they may.

have you read Mormon Enigma? Because, if you haven't you have missed the best biography ever written on Emma.

Lehi

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BookofMormonLvr,

While I know the history of the RLDS genesis very well (Briggs, Gurley etc), it is accurate to point out that most of the early leading lights and general membership, came from the ranks of the Strangites. It is, I suggest, unlikely the reorganisation would have happend without James Strang.

So my question to you is this. Where those Saints right or wrong to follow Strang instead of the Apostles?

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Thanks for the link!

@Alan: ...Not one of them; including Josephine Fischer. ...

Got that one wrong. None of the asserted female descendants of Joseph Smith have been tested. The research is currently incapable of rendering an accurate conclusion:

"Plural wife Sylvia Sessions Lyon left a deathbed affidavit for her daughter, Josephine, telling her that her father was Joseph Smith. In terms of circumstantial evidence, "that is probably the strongest case out there, but it involves a daughter. I've collected maybe 120 samples from descendants of Josephine, but as of today, there is not an accurate method" to prove parentage."

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CFR
I would think it would be obvious that he consummated all his marriages - Brigham certainly did. Why this needs a CFR is a mystery to me. Marriage is about procreation.

Brigham Young had lots of children with various wives. But JS so far has children by Emma only despite DNA testing on other possibilities. This is pretty good evidence that perhaps multiple sealings were viewed quite a different way than you are assuming.

Anyway, not having time to dig up the original sources, this site references many. It's an ex-mormon site, but as far as I know the quotes and citations are correct.

If you make the claim, why should we have to dig up the sources?

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