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DonBradley

Wrestling With Polyandry

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I can only go by the spiritual experiences of those women involved when they prayed about the principle. Many had spiritual experiences that were profound. And not one women who was sealed to Joseph claimed that he was a lustful toad.

And what did Emma say? My view is that because Joseph did all the polygamy and polyandry behind Emma's back, what the other women said about it is immaterial. They may not have seen him as a "lustful toad", who cares? None of them are alive today for us to get their considered opinions. But Emma did not approve and he, nevertheless, took a long list of women without her knowing. Joseph was in a position of power and he exploited it. Joseph even lied about the situation when confronted.

A man, any man, but especially a so-called man of God, who cheats on his wife, does not get my respect.

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Oh, I don't think it would be necessary to go quite that far. Consider this thought experiment. According to Compton, for example, there is reason to believe Helen Mar Whitney did not fully understand what she was getting into when she was sealed to Joseph. Assuming she had a spiritual experience prior to the sealing (mind you, I do not have the full story), then, in theory, one could say her experience was based on asking the wrong question. We would therefore be justified in setting aside that experience without having to deny one's own experience about the Book of Mormon.

If one reads Helen Mar's words on the matter, she did not fully understand the matter when it was first informed about it. She evidently did not pray about the matter either, but accepted it because it came from the prophet Joseph and her father. She had complete confidence in Joseph as a prophet, and just as important, in her father and his righteousness and understanding of the gospel, and knew that he would never knowingly steer her into a wrong path.

It is evident that Helen did later obtain a witness that polygamy was a commandment from God, as she wrote a very strong endorsement for it later in life.

Glenn

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And what did Emma say? My view is that because Joseph did all the polygamy and polyandry behind Emma's back, what the other women said about it is immaterial. They may not have seen him as a "lustful toad", who cares? None of them are alive today for us to get their considered opinions. But Emma did not approve and he, nevertheless, took a long list of women without her knowing. Joseph was in a position of power and he exploited it. Joseph even lied about the situation when confronted.

A man, any man, but especially a so-called man of God, who cheats on his wife, does not get my respect.

Firstly, Joseph did not do all of the polygamy behind Emma's back. Emma knew about some of those to whom sealed. Her acceptance of the command was a varying thing, though.

I would suggest that the response by so many to those matters is emotional rather than rational. Because it offends one's sensibilities, then Joseph could not have been a prophet.

The "polyandry" issue is one that seems to really cause some people problems. However, Joseph's relations to any of those women were not polyandrous. As has been pointed out by several posters, Joseph was sealed to several woman who were already married to another man, for eternity, meaning that the actual husband and wife relationship will only be effective in the next life. Up to this point, that is all that has been established. As Don, has pointed out, there is little to no reason to believe that Joseph had sexual relations with any of them. And, as has been pointed out a couple of times also, the women received spiritual confirmation that polygamy was a commandment from God and that they had been selected by God to become Joseph's celestial wives. It is presumptuous and disrespectful to denigrate the testimonies of those women as being brainwashed into believing those things, of being so afraid for their salvation and exaltation that they submitted willy nilly to the blandishments of the prophet.

As I stated in an earlier post, if it were to be shown convincingly that Joseph did have sexual relations with some of those women who were married to other men, it would be troubling in the extreme to me. But it would not abrogate any of the other things that Joseph had accomplished, i.e. the production of the Book of Mormon, the Book of Moses, the Book of Abraham, and the restoration of the gospel. It is just something that I would have to leave to God.

And as for respect, shouldn't we try to find out how God feels about Joseph? As has been pointed out by several posters, since Joseph has passed through the mortal portal, he has been seen in visions by several people who all attest that Joseph seems to be in pretty high regard by God. maybe God knows a bit more than we do on the subject.

Glenn

Edited by Glenn101

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I do not find the any problem with the sixth of the ten commandments, "Thou shalt not commit adultery", Nor can I find any fault with the additional scripture that says "But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. in Matthew 5: 27-28. Nor do I find fault with the 9th commandment, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife"

So if you're going to pick and choose which scriptures you choose to follow, I state my preferences. Which ones you choose are up to you and your mate to decide upon.....as long as you tell your spouse your intentions.

I don't pick and chose and after 37 years of marriage, my wife knows my limitations. Keep it mind what you call disgusting is a Christian Worldview. A modern day one, given birth too by sons of polygamist, who God (Christ) identifies himself with, and thought the NT and other places extol their virtues. Odd that you reject four of the Ten Commandments, but why, if you are going to reject some of God's law, why not be intellectually honest and reject everything, including all the laws of our Nation which are based on the Judeo-Christian worldview....just pray your neighbors don't.

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Hi Don,

Yes, I remember your former stance quite well, having attempted on at least one occasion (probably not very successfully) to defend Joseph's behavior to you. In fact, the question you put then was similar to your question in this thread: "The proper challenge of the apologist confronted with the harm caused by Joseph's polyandrous marrying is not to justify the harm, but to explain how Joseph Smith can still be a prophet despite how deeply he wronged others."

I made a good faith effort then to defend the Prophet but I'm not so sure anymore that all aspects of his practice of polygamy can or ought to be defended. This was confirmed to me recently when I read Gary Bergera's JWHA Journal article, "Vox Joseph, Vox Dei," which left me with the uncomfortable sense that the doctrine was at least as much Joseph's as it was God's.

We all live with our western worldview, in scripture from the Bible seems God had.a different one. We don't condemn God, nor his commands, but now we are supposed to just say Joseph taught great truth, wrote and received some of the greatest scripture even known, but he was a bad man. Does anyone remember how our beloved Prophet GBH, spoke of seeking to skip aspects of Joseph's life and how no success, until he taught the whole truth. Evil and good on levels being implied here cannot coexist. He was either a womanizer or a Prophet. He knew back in the 1830's when he refused to put the revelation on pa pater that if he ever did, it would lead to his death. It was Hyrum that finally pleaded with him to put it on paper so he could take it to Emma who did not understand. But his love and devotion to Emma are not disputed by any...their writing to one another throughout their lives was a testament to an undying love. As far as those who want just call a adulterer, evil and so forth...this is why something does not add up...he gets Emma pregnant 11 times, but of the other 34 women sealed too, not a single pregnancy? I was adopted at six, my bio-father was a bigamist, being out of town and got his second wife pregnant, when her brothers threatened to kill him unless her married her, he neglected to tell them he was already married. My family and I ended up homeless, until a good man adopted me. I know of not such stories with Joseph, did lie about being sealed to other women, but just as Abraham did he knew the truth would lead to his death...which for Joseph it did, Emma stood by him his entire life and died 34 years later with his name one her lips. So their is nothing simple about this whole matter, and none of us have a right to sit as his judge, until we have all the information which will "not" come in this life.

Add to edit...the human condition is to try to makes things we don't understand fit, and in the absence of facts or truth we try to create our own. This can lead to many things, one of the worst is loss of faith, this is why God tells us not to "lean unto our own understanding, but in all our ways acknowledge him", even in our lack of understanding we can find peace, even our minds (parts of it only want, cold hard facts). There is much I don't understand, and this morning I will be in Church as I always am when I can...maybe I will understand more about the world while there just enjoy fellowship, if not that feel closer to God and forget about my woes for a few mins maybe. Oh my greatest wish is for all my brothers and sister who have not been able to deal with complicated questions to come home again.

Edited by Pa Pa

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And what did Emma say? My view is that because Joseph did all the polygamy and polyandry behind Emma's back, what the other women said about it is immaterial. They may not have seen him as a "lustful toad", who cares? None of them are alive today for us to get their considered opinions. But Emma did not approve and he, nevertheless, took a long list of women without her knowing. Joseph was in a position of power and he exploited it. Joseph even lied about the situation when confronted.

A man, any man, but especially a so-called man of God, who cheats on his wife, does not get my respect.

Please provide a reliable reference that Emma was totally ignorant of each and every sealing Joseph had. You will be searching for quite some time because it does not exist. But let's see what you have.

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.And, as has been pointed out a couple of times also, the women received spiritual confirmation that polygamy was a commandment from God and that they had been selected by God to become Joseph's celestial wives. It is presumptuous and disrespectful to denigrate the testimonies of those women as being brainwashed into believing those things, of being so afraid for their salvation and exaltation that they submitted willy nilly to the blandishments of the prophet.

I agree we shouldn't belittle the women's claim of spiritual experiences. But this whole spiritual experience thing is tricky business. So, when modern LDS members decide to up and join a polygamous group, and a married women is sealed to another man all with accompanying spiritual experience, what would be your counsel to them? Follow what you believe God has told you to do?

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Prophets and of our ecclesiastical leaders are vessels to move the work forward, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. They should not always be expected to be examples for us. By nature of the fall all men will sin, no exception. Just because someone is called as a leader of the flock does not mean they stop sinning. It means they are the person that is best able to move the work forward. It is faulty to look to men for examples of a perfect life. There is only one way we should look and that is towards Jesus Christ.

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The "polyandry" issue is one that seems to really cause some people problems. However, Joseph's relations to any of those women were not polyandrous. As has been pointed out by several posters, Joseph was sealed to several woman who were already married to another man, for eternity, meaning that the actual husband and wife relationship will only be effective in the next life. Up to this point, that is all that has been established. As Don, has pointed out, there is little to no reason to believe that Joseph had sexual relations with any of them.

I would respectfully submit that the claim that there is "little or no" reason to believe that any of Joseph's polyandrous relationships were anything other than ceremonial is not quite true. While Don says he believes Brian Hales's arguments on this issue are "substantive," I think Don would also acknowledge that the evidence for the contrary view is not completely lacking.

Consider the following:

  • Joseph taught that the major purpose of plural marriage was reproduction (D&C 132:63; cf. Jacob 2:30). A recent article on Joseph's polygamy related the following incident: "[W]hen one of Joseph Smith's followers asked about marrying two elderly sisters who were more acceptable to this particular follower's civil wife, Smith reportedly declared that such an 'arrangement is of the devil[;] you go and get you a young wife[,] one you can take to your bosom and love and raise children by'" (Stan Larson, ed., Prisoner for Polygamy: The Memoirs and Letters of Rudger Clawson at the Utah Territorial Penitentiary, 1884-87, 12, quoted in Gary James Begera, "Vox Joseph, Vox Dei: Regarding Some of the Moral and Ethical Aspects of Joseph Smith's Practice of Plural Marriage " John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 31, no. 1 [2011]: 34).

  • Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, a publicly identified plural wife of Joseph Smith, stated in 1905: "I know he [Joseph Smith] had six wives and have known some of them from childhood up. I knew 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." As D. Michael Quinn observes, "such a claim would occur only if each child's mother thought that Joseph Smith had impregnated her. DNA testing can disprove assumptions and speculations about paternity, but cannot disprove . . . [Lightner's claim] that three already-married women (besides herself) had borne a child they each assumed was produced by their literal relationship with the Prophet Joseph Smith, not by their legally recognized husbands with whom they were cohabiting" (D. Michael Quinn, "Evidence for the Sexual Side of Joseph Smith's Polygamy, unpublished paper delivered at the Mormon History Association Conference, 29 June 2012, 4).

  • Historian Gary Bergera notes: "From a strictly pragmatic point of view, such marriages to already married women would have functioned to deflect attention away from Joseph Smith in the event of a pregnancy." Indeed, Sarah Pratt alleged that "[Joseph] had mostly intercourse with married women." Mary Lightner is also quoted as saying "I could explain some things in regard to my living with [my civil husband] after becoming the Wife of another which would throw light on what now seems mysterious—and you would be perfectly satisfied with me" (see Bergera, "Vox Joseph, Vox Dei," 42).

  • In 1915, Joseph Lyon Fisher signed an affidavit stating the following: “Just prior to my mother’s death in 1882 she called me to her bedside and told me that her days on earth were about numbered and before she passed away from mortality she desired to tell me something which she had kept as an entire secret from me and from all others but which she now desired to communicate to me. She then told me that I was the daughter of the Prophet Joseph Smith.” Josephine Lyon's mother, Sylvia Session Lyon, wife of Windsor P. Lyon, was sealed to Joseph Smith in 1842 or 1843.

  • Phebe Louisa Welling wrote: "I heard my mother [Elvira Ann Cowles Holmes] testify that she was indeed the Prophet Joseph Smith's plural wife in life and lived with him as such during his lifetime" ([Emma Taylor Moon and Marlene Moon Bowen], comps., The Ancestors and Descendants of Job Welling: Utah Pioneer from England, 9 Jan 1833-7 Mar 1886 ([Farmington, UT]: Job Welling Family Organization; Bountiful, UT: Carr Printing, 1982), 24, quoted in Quinn, "The Sexual Side of Joseph Smith's Polygamy," 5). Elvira Ann Cowles Holmes, wife of Jonathan Holmes, was sealed to Joseph Smith in 1843.

  • In May 1843, Joseph was accused of "improper conduct" with Hannah Ann Dubois Smith Dibble, the wife of Philo Dibble, by Benjamin Winchester—a charge Joseph emphatically denied. However, polygamy insider Benjamin F. Johnson later stated in his autobiography that "At this time [May 1843], I knew that the Prophet had as his wives . . . Sisters Lyon and Dibble" (see D. Michael Quinn, "Evidence for the Sexual Side of Joseph Smith's Polygamy," 4).

Additional evidence is marshaled in Quinn's paper, cited above. I readily concede that none of these examples (and others that could be added) proves that sexual relations occurred in Joseph Smith's polyandrous sealings, but at the very least we cannot say that there is "no evidence" for it.

Edited by Nevo

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I agree we shouldn't belittle the women's claim of spiritual experiences. But this whole spiritual experience thing is tricky business. So, when modern LDS members decide to up and join a polygamous group, and a married women is sealed to another man all with accompanying spiritual experience, what would be your counsel to them? Follow what you believe God has told you to do?

I know that God will not reveal anything to me that is not in accord with established or revealed doctrine and will do it through established channels, to avoid confusion.

Glenn

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Yes, as I think a couple of folks here have sagely pointed out, it seems rather sexist to reject all the accounts by the women sealed to Joseph Smith who reported spiritual experiences testifying of polygamy, and to instead just view them as "dupes." It is far more respectful to these women to take them, and therefore their own spiritual experiences and consequent decisions, seriously.

Don

And this is often overlooked by both critics and members who come to doubt because of polygamy. The experiences of the women are just written off without due respect for the women. These women were not brainwashed individuals but rather they reflected about the principle, prayed about it and received a powerful experience that they could not refute or forget.

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To answer Don's original post, sexual polyandry could be a deal-breaker for me. Not for the truth of the Book of Mormon. But for what Joseph Smith became.

Then of course, Zina's testimony of the principle means nothing to you. She had a wonderful spiritual experience when she prayed about the principle. And her testimony stands for all to read.

“When I heard that God had revealed the law of celestial marriag...I obtained a testimony for myself that God had required that order to be established in this church...I made a greater sacrifise than to give my life for I never anticipated again to be looked upon as an honerable woman by those I dearly loved...”. Zina continued, “It was something too sacred to be talked about; it was more to me than life or death. I never breathed it for years”

Edited by why me

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I would respectfully submit that the claim that there is "little or no" reason to believe that any of Joseph's polyandrous relationships were anything other than ceremonial is not quite true. While Don says he believes Brian Hales's arguments on this issue are "substantive," I think Don would also acknowledge that the evidence for the contrary view is not completely lacking.

Consider the following:

  • Joseph taught that the major purpose of plural marriage was reproduction (D&C 132:63; cf. Jacob 2:30). A recent article on Joseph's polygamy related the following incident: "[W]hen one of Joseph Smith's followers asked about marrying two elderly sisters who were more acceptable to this particular follower's civil wife, Smith reportedly declared that such an 'arrangement is of the devil[;] you go and get you a young wife[,] one you can take to your bosom and love and raise children by'" (Stan Larson, ed., Prisoner for Polygamy: The Memoirs and Letters of Rudger Clawson at the Utah Territorial Penitentiary, 1884-87, 12, quoted in Gary James Begera, "Vox Joseph, Vox Dei: Regarding Some of the Moral and Ethical Aspects of Joseph Smith's Practice of Plural Marriage " John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 31, no. 1 [2011]: 34).

  • Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, a publicly identified plural wife of Joseph Smith, stated in 1905: "I know he [Joseph Smith] had six wives and have known some of them from childhood up. I knew 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." As D. Michael Quinn observes, "such a claim would occur only if each child's mother thought that Joseph Smith had impregnated her. DNA testing can disprove assumptions and speculations about paternity, but cannot disprove . . . [Lightner's claim] that three already-married women (besides herself) had borne a child they each assumed was produced by their literal relationship with the Prophet Joseph Smith, not by their legally recognized husbands with whom they were cohabiting" (D. Michael Quinn, "Evidence for the Sexual Side of Joseph Smith's Polygamy, unpublished paper delivered at the Mormon History Association Conference, 29 June 2012, 4).

  • Historian Gary Bergera notes: "From a strictly pragmatic point of view, such marriages to already married women would have functioned to deflect attention away from Joseph Smith in the event of a pregnancy." Indeed, Sarah Pratt alleged that "[Joseph] had mostly intercourse with married women." Mary Lightner is also quoted as saying "I could explain some things in regard to my living with [my civil husband] after becoming the Wife of another which would throw light on what now seems mysterious—and you would be perfectly satisfied with me" (see Bergera, "Vox Joseph, Vox Dei," 42).

  • In 1915, Joseph Lyon Fisher signed an affidavit stating the following: “Just prior to my mother’s death in 1882 she called me to her bedside and told me that her days on earth were about numbered and before she passed away from mortality she desired to tell me something which she had kept as an entire secret from me and from all others but which she now desired to communicate to me. She then told me that I was the daughter of the Prophet Joseph Smith.” Josephine Lyon's mother, Sylvia Session Lyon, wife of Windsor P. Lyon, was sealed to Joseph Smith in 1842 or 1843.

  • Phebe Louisa Welling wrote: "I heard my mother [Elvira Ann Cowles Holmes] testify that she was indeed the Prophet Joseph Smith's plural wife in life and lived with him as such during his lifetime" ([Emma Taylor Moon and Marlene Moon Bowen], comps., The Ancestors and Descendants of Job Welling: Utah Pioneer from England, 9 Jan 1833-7 Mar 1886 ([Farmington, UT]: Job Welling Family Organization; Bountiful, UT: Carr Printing, 1982), 24, quoted in Quinn, "The Sexual Side of Joseph Smith's Polygamy," 5). Elvira Ann Cowles Holmes, wife of Jonathan Holmes, was sealed to Joseph Smith in 1843.

  • In May 1843, Joseph was accused of "improper conduct" with Hannah Ann Dubois Smith Dibble, the wife of Philo Dibble, by Benjamin Winchester—a charge Joseph emphatically denied. However, polygamy insider Benjamin F. Johnson later stated in his autobiography that "At this time [May 1843], I knew that the Prophet had as his wives . . . Sisters Lyon and Dibble" (see D. Michael Quinn, "Evidence for the Sexual Side of Joseph Smith's Polygamy," 4).

Additional evidence is marshaled in Quinn's paper, cited above. I readily concede that none of these examples (and others that could be added) proves that sexual relations occurred in Joseph Smith's polyandrous sealings, but at the very least we cannot say that there is "no evidence" for it.

The only conclusive proof is a DNA test. To date none of the potential offspring of Joseph, other than those with Emma, have shown up. Don't you find it rather odd that with a fertile man with dozens of fertile women that at least one wouldn't show up?

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We also have the problem with the spiritual experience of Zina when she prayed about the principle. What to make of that experience. Should we just exclude it? One thing that I find amazing is that those future sealed wives who prayed about the principle before they accepted usually had a spiritual experience that they could not deny. Zina, Lucy, etc. are examples. If i deny their spiritual experiences than I can more or less deny my own spiritual experiences within the church, especially the spiritual experience that I received after praying about the book of mormon.

I would recommend you watch a new TV series called polygamy USA on NatGeo. I talked about this in more depth on the "Are our spiritual experiences superior" thread, but the show follows a polygamous community in Centennial Park, AZ. A major theme of the show is how the women pray to Heavenly Father to know who they are to marry. Some of the women describe receiving an answer exactly how we receive answers to our prayers, leaving them no doubt of who they are to marry. Do you trust these women's spiritual confirmations as much as you trust Zina's?

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I would recommend you watch a new TV series called polygamy USA on NatGeo. I talked about this in more depth on the "Are our spiritual experiences superior" thread, but the show follows a polygamous community in Centennial Park, AZ. A major theme of the show is how the women pray to Heavenly Father to know who they are to marry. Some of the women describe receiving an answer exactly how we receive answers to our prayers, leaving them no doubt of who they are to marry. Do you trust these women's spiritual confirmations as much as you trust Zina's?

While I have no desire for the earthly return of polygamy. I can find no rational legal reason to deny it to others, as long as it is freely entered into and doesn't involve fraud. In the long run polygamy is a nonstarter.

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Nevo,

I appreciate your citations. I am not going to answer each of them individually and what I have to say will not be proof, but it is more than anecdotal.

On the purpose of polygamy. Section 132 lists four purposes, "for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish" the earth, according to my commandment (noted), and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.

The last part seems as important as the first part, maybe more so. I think that maybe your quote about taking and elderly wife as being of the devil to be maybe a bit hyperbolic looking at the ages of some of the women that Joseph was sealed to. Patty Bartlet Sessions was 47, Elizabeth Davis was 50, Sarah Maryetta Kingsley was 53, Rhoda Richards was 58, and Fanny Young was 56.

So, let's take the cases of Josephine Sessions Lyons and the three children mentioned by Mary Lightener. I would agree that those children were probably told much the same as was Josephine, by their mothers. However, in view of the nature of sealings, that is just as readily explained by being born under the covenant. Mary Lightner did not claim that the three children who told her they were Joseph's children were born to women already married to men other than Joseph. That is an assumption.

The situation with Elvira Cowles is less than clear. She did live with Joseph prior to her marriage with Jonathan Holmes and in her 1869 sworn affidavit she said she wassealed to Joseph on June 1 1843, six months after her civil marriage to Jonathan Holmes. There is no historical hint that she lived with Joseph at any time after her marriage with Holmes.

So far, the DNA testing that has been completed has been negative for any paternity by Joseph with any woman other than Emma.

At this point, the best evidence for a sexual relationship with any of the married women is entirely anecdotal, and that only by inference.

Of course, there are unsupported allegations galore, including one woman who reportedly said that she had been Joseph's mistress for quite some time.

A person may believe what they wish, of course.

Glenn

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I would recommend you watch a new TV series called polygamy USA on NatGeo. I talked about this in more depth on the "Are our spiritual experiences superior" thread, but the show follows a polygamous community in Centennial Park, AZ. A major theme of the show is how the women pray to Heavenly Father to know who they are to marry. Some of the women describe receiving an answer exactly how we receive answers to our prayers, leaving them no doubt of who they are to marry. Do you trust these women's spiritual confirmations as much as you trust Zina's?

I have no idea to trust them or not. However, I can trust my own experiences or can I? What can we trust when it comes to the spiritual? Some would say just nothing. One way to down the church is to claim a generic response to spiritual experiences. But with zina, it was more than just one spiritual experience. Rather it was a life of spiritual experiences which kept her faithful.

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The only conclusive proof is a DNA test. To date none of the potential offspring of Joseph, other than those with Emma, have shown up. Don't you find it rather odd that with a fertile man with dozens of fertile women that at least one wouldn't show up?

I don't find it that odd. Fanny Alger's alleged child, which apparently died at birth or not long afterwards, left no descendants and was therefore not part of Perego's DNA study. Polyandrous wife Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner's daughter, Florentine (b. 23 March 1844), was not included in the study. Neither was Esther Dutcher Smith's son, Joseph (b. September 1844). Josephine Lyon Fisher was included in the study, but the paternity test results in her case were inconclusive.

Edited by Nevo

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I do find it odd that not one of the alleged offspring of Joseph, other than those with Emma, have been confirmed.

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The only conclusive proof is a DNA test. To date none of the potential offspring of Joseph, other than those with Emma, have shown up. Don't you find it rather odd that with a fertile man with dozens of fertile women that at least one wouldn't show up?

DNA studies used to prove Joseph fathered no children with polygamous wife's = good science/conclusive results

DNA studies used to prove Native Americans don't have Jewish ancestry = bad science/inconclusive results

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DNA studies used to prove Joseph fathered no children with polygamous wife's = good science/conclusive results

DNA studies used to prove Native Americans don't have Jewish ancestry = bad science/inconclusive results

There is no proof that Joseph fathered no children with polygamous wife's. You can't prove a negative.

What would Jewish DNA look like?

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I don't find it that odd. Fanny Alger's alleged child, which apparently died at birth or not long afterwards, left no descendants and was therefore not part of Perego's DNA study. Polyandrous wife Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner's daughter, Florentine (b. 23 March 1844), was not included in the study. Neither was Esther Dutcher Smith's son, Joseph (b. September 1844). Josephine Lyon Fisher was included in the study, but the paternity test results in her case were inconclusive.

Nevo, help me understand why it matters if Joseph had children from any of his plural wives as we know that sexual relations with plural wives was expected or even commanded. It says in the D&C that plural marriage is for "the raising up of seed" and we know with absolute certainty that most who did enter into polygamous marriages had children. Or were all the others including future prophets practicing an impure form of polygamy that involved relations with their plural wives?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but in the affidavits taken in SLC of JS's former plural wives didn't they mention they had sexual relations with him?

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There is no proof that Joseph fathered no children with polygamous wife's. You can't prove a negative.

What would Jewish DNA look like?

Not being a geneticist I don't know, but I'm sure there are some out there that could tell you.

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I'm not a geneticist either, however I can tell you that there is no Jew gene. Any more than there is a Christian gene, a Hindu gene, etc., etc., etc..

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The only conclusive proof is a DNA test. To date none of the potential offspring of Joseph, other than those with Emma, have shown up. Don't you find it rather odd that with a fertile man with dozens of fertile women that at least one wouldn't show up?

But not all who were potential children have been tested due to limitations of the DNA tests.

Anyone know what percentage of those who claimed as children were able to be tested at this time (or rather their lines)?

Edited by calmoriah

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      2. In light of the Jacob 2:30 provision for the allowance of polygamy to "raise up seed unto me..." why are there no (known) children that emerged from Joseph Smith's plural wives?  Joseph apparently did not use polygamy to 'raise up seed.'
    • By Bernard Gui
      In Helaman 13, Samuel the Lamanite gives dire prophetic warnings to the Nephites from the walls of Zarahemla. He predicts their destruction will come in 400 years as the result of wickedness, rejecting the Prophets,  pride, and seeking after wealth. He warns, 
      Then he says, 
      Two questions:
      1. Is anyone aware of other literary references to such notions as slippery treasure, tools, swords, etc., especially in the Early Moden English time period?
      2. This is often used by BoM critics as evidence Joseph Smith was writing from his experience with the treasure-seeking atmosphere in early 19th-century upstate New York. Does the EModE theory that Joseph was not the author of the BoM text but was reading someone else’s words, whatever their source, resolve this issue?
    • By HappyJackWagon
      I want to respond to a couple of statements made by Julianne from the now closed "Weed" thread, because she absolutely nails it. She is spot on and I think the discussion at this level needs to occur before any progress can be made on the SSM issue.
      She wrote...
      Speaking as a straight, white, man, I recognize that I come to the traditional church teachings of priesthood, sealing, polygamy/polyandry, and SSM from a certain privileged position. The church's teachings and practices benefit me and they always have. Even though there is little to no evidence for how celestial families will actually be organized and function in the CK I used to think I had it all figured out. Obviously, I thought, marriage is essential to have legal physical intimacy which is necessary for creating offspring with one or multiple wives. Yet there is no firm teaching about how spirits are created. Are they born like a baby is born into mortality? There is no evidence or teaching for that, but it is widely assumed. That assumption then justifies polygamy while discrediting polyandry and even SSM. After all, if the entire purpose is to create spirit offspring and it is thought that it happens in a way similar to creating biological offspring, then it makes sense. But that is ALL based on assumptions.
      Based on these assumptions many are willing to condemn others to lives (and possibly even an eternity) of loneliness.
      So (we) don't even know what the afterlife looks like. It is unknown. Yet we think (we) have enough information to condemn and judge others, and since most of us come at it from positions of privilege, we are in the position to enforce our dogma upon the less privileged. The church is not unique in behaving this way. It is how society has always worked. But recognizing the assumptions for what they are and being humble about how much we really don't know, can help society improve.
      Julianne also stated...
      How can one categorically dismiss SSM when there is little to nothing known about family organization in the next life, even regarding a variety of heterosexual family organizations. Which sealings will be valid? Polygamy/polyandry? Only those which benefit men? Who are the children sealed to? There is a lot of "The Lord will work it out" mentality, which is fine because it acknowledges a lack of understanding and knowledge. The problem comes when one then loses all humility and attempts to define how family relationships will or will not work for other people. I agree with Julianne that the polygamy/polyandry topic is closely tied to the SSM topic and must be ironed out.
      So maybe this can be a thread that can be commented on instead of derailing other threads when this subject comes up.
       
      *Julianne, I hope I didn't misunderstand or misrepresent you. I really appreciated where you were trying to take the discussion.
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