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Questions About Polyandry


karl61

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From Tod Compton's book in sacred lonliness: (this caused me to laugh)

"Another theory is that Joseph married polyandrously when the marriage was unhappy. If this were true, it would have been easy for the woman to divorce her husband, then marry smith. But none of these women did so; some of them stayed with their "first husbands" until death. In the case of Zina Huntington Jacobs and Henry Jacobs - often used as an example of Smith Marrying a woman who's marriage was unhappy - the Mormon leader married her just seven months after she married Jacobs and then she stayed for years after Smith's death. Then the separation was forced when Brigham Young (who had married Zina Polyandrously in the Nauvoo tempole) sent Jacobs on a mission to England and began living with Zina Himself"

another quote not so funny: "Orson Hyde was an apostle on his mission to Palestine when Smith married his wife".

I wonder what type of "Dear John" letter they receievd.

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[quote name='karl61' date='Aug 18 2007, 12:20 AM' post='1208242018']

From Tod Compton's book in sacred lonliness: (this caused me to laugh)

"Another theory is that Joseph married polyandrously when the marriage was unhappy. If this were true, it would have been easy for the woman to divorce her husband, then marry smith. But none of these women did so; some of them stayed with their "first husbands" until death. In the case of Zina Huntington Jacobs and Henry Jacobs - often used as an example of Smith Marrying a woman who's marriage was unhappy - the Mormon leader married her just seven months after she married Jacobs and then she stayed for years after Smith's death. Then the separation was forced when Brigham Young (who had married Zina Polyandrously in the Nauvoo tempole) sent Jacobs on a mission to England and began living with Zina Himself"

another quote not so funny: "Orson Hyde was an apostle on his mission to Palestine when Smith married his wife".

I wonder what type of "Dear John" letter they receievd.

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I'm not prepared to get into a debate about whether Brother Joseph physically consummated any/some/all of his "marriages" to these women. I will say, though, that I think you are confusing the terms "marriage" and "sealing." Today, the two words are often used interchangeably in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but I don't think that has always been the case. Today, sealings are confined to relatives, but that wasn't always the case. What are we to make of the fact that men were also sealed to Joseph, as well? D. Michael Quinn posits a whole non-heterosexual love-nest dynamic going on ... personally, I think he's not only superimposing 21st-century sensibilities onto a 19th-century setting, I think he was smoking something when he wrote that, but ... to each his own.

Not that my observations should count for anything in your little world, but ... :P

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I'm trying to figure out the purpose of this thread.

I think its that the idea of someone supposed to be a prophet marrying his friends wives after sending them on missions is a little unsettling for someone trying to "keep the faith."

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I think its that the idea of someone supposed to be a prophet marrying his friends wives after sending them on missions is a little unsettling for someone trying to "keep the faith."

Considering how little we actually know about the events of that day, I would suggest that someone so struggling put this aside as something to be understood later and move on with what they do understand.
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From Tod Compton's book in sacred lonliness:

While researching plural marriage I've discovered that Todd Compton was very selective in what he included in his book. In the introduction he writes, "My central thesis is that Mormon polygamy was characterized by a tragic ambiguity" and so, not surprisingly, material that supported his "central thesis" is what he chose to include in his book.

You may find the following of note:

Full reports of the women's mass meetings were often published in the Woman's Exponent10 and the Deseret News but, as noted earlier, historical documents are usually reduced to a sentence or two, a duly footnoted quotation, or ignored altogether. For example, in his book In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith author Todd Compton's chapter on Helen Mar Whitney never mentions the March 6th mass meeting.

Compton is also the author of a lengthy introduction to A Widow's Tale: The 1884-1896 Diary of Helen Mar Kimball Whitney. In his introduction, Compton reduces Helen's many diary entries about the mass meeting to one sentence:

She attended a pro-polygamy mass meeting of women on March 6, 1886, and was asked to speak but declined.11

Although Compton is technically correct, Helen did refuse "to make a verbal speech,"12 she did agree to provide a written speech to be read at the mass meeting. This was not unusual at that time as women were unaccustomed to public speaking in front of a very large audience such as this one.13 But a speech wasn't Helen's only contribution. We read in her diary that a week before the mass meeting, on February 27, 1886, Helen met with Isabella Horne to help organize it:

...to talk over the subject of having a Mass meeting to protest against the outrages committed upon "Mormon" women, and insults heeped upon them in district courts etc who are the subjects of abuse from United States officials & their sneaks thieves, etc, and taking from the women the right of franchise, that they may more easily accomplish their robbing scheme. I was one of those appointed to write a speach.14

Isabella Horne was president of the Relief Society of the Salt Lake Stake; Helen Mar Whitney was her counselor.15 Notice of the meeting was published in the Deseret News and "Mrs. H.M. Whitney" is listed just below Isabella Horne's name.16 Helen also noted in her diary that she spent several days prior to the mass meeting composing her speech. In the end, due to time constraints, Helen's speech was not read aloud but it was published in "Mormon" Women's Protest. On March 9th, she writes: "Spent going over my speach, adding to it, as it was cut down to suit the Mass meeting. I have gained by not having it read there." Two days later, she handed in her "improved copy."17

Four other plural wives of Joseph Smith participated in the mass meeting yet Todd Compton does not mention the significant participation and contributions of these women to the 1886 mass meeting in his book In Sacred Loneliness. In addition to Helen Mar Whitney we find Zina D.H. Young, the chaplain at the Great Mass Meeting, who opened the meeting with prayer (p. 7) and gave the closing benediction; Prescindia L. Kimball who delivered the opening address (p. 10); Eliza R. Snow Smith who wrote a brief letter (p. 67); and Mary Ann Pratt who also contributed a letter (p. 59).

The full article is on FAIR's website:

O that my voice could reach the ears of those uninformed and misinformed

In a recent blog, Compton noted that FAIR's article was:

"... a wonderful contribution, and though you clearly donâ??t like my writing (both at that website and in your recent blog here), Iâ??m really delighted that you have web-published an important primary document relating to Mormon women, the proceedings of a March 1886 Womenâ??s Mass Meeting. I recommend that everyone go over and read the document, Suzanneâ??s excellent introduction, and her equally excellent notes identifying and discussing the women who took part in the meeting. Suzanne focuses on Helen Mar Whitney in her introduction, which is a good strategy to bring that historical moment to life."

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While researching plural marriage I've discovered that Todd Compton was very selective in what he included in his book. In the introduction he writes, "My central thesis is that Mormon polygamy was characterized by a tragic ambiguity" and so, not surprisingly, material that supported his "central thesis" is what he chose to include in his book.

You may find the following of note:

The full article is on FAIR's website:

O that my voice could reach the ears of those uninformed and misinformed

In a recent blog, Compton noted that FAIR's article was:

"... a wonderful contribution, and though you clearly donâ??t like my writing (both at that website and in your recent blog here), Iâ??m really delighted that you have web-published an important primary document relating to Mormon women, the proceedings of a March 1886 Womenâ??s Mass Meeting. I recommend that everyone go over and read the document, Suzanneâ??s excellent introduction, and her equally excellent notes identifying and discussing the women who took part in the meeting. Suzanne focuses on Helen Mar Whitney in her introduction, which is a good strategy to bring that historical moment to life."

Here is a site that pulls from different sources; if 90 % is true then they still get an A.

http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/

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Karl, the thread "questions about" ought to include some questions. And if it mentions "David" in the subtitle it might be a good idea to include something about David in the post itself, as well.

I always thought that people would know some basics: David sent a husband of a lady that he liked to war knowing he wouldn't come back - that's what I always understood . Although Joseph and Brigham assumed that the husbands were coming back from missions they still went ahead following their desires. I don't know why they didn't just marry widows since there was so much death during that time. Why someone elses wife or daughter? :P

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Since Zina was brought up, I think this is the most complete article to date on her:

http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/20...nd_Her_Men.html

This article is also very relevant and talks about Zina.

http://www.fairwiki.org/index.php/Plural_m..._manifestations

do these guys have no boundries:

"For instance, Zina reports that when she and Henry were courting, Joseph proposed to her on three separate occasions. On each occasion she turned him down.16 Zina did this even though she had received a testimony of Joseph's prophetic call well before this time."

"Shortly before 6:00 PM, Zina was sealed for time to Brigham Young, as "husband & wife." This was done in the presence of Zina's father and husband, as well as John D. Lee. This ceremony occurred only one week before leaving Nauvoo, and Zina was heavy with child at the time--her second child, fathered by Henry Jacobs, would be born on the banks of the Chariton River less than seven weeks later"

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No, they really had no boundaries. Polyandry is an issue where the rubber hits the road for many people. There are far too many moral questions that arise.

I don't get this at all - for many reasons. If a man can have more than one wife, what is the difficulty with a woman having more than husband?

Is there any evidence that the husband's objected to these sealings?

What do you know about the relationships between JS and his wives that had more than one husband?

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Just because JS or BY was sealed or married to another man's wife, does that mean there was sexual contact between them?

from page 13: in sacred lonliness:

When Angus Cannon, a Salt Lake City stake president, visited Joseph Smith III in 1905, RLDS president asked rehtorically if these were his father's wives, then "how was it that there was no issue from them" Cannon replied:

All I knew what that which Lucy Walker herself contends. They were o nervous and lived in such contant fear that they could not cocieve. He mad light of my reply. He said, " I am informed that Eliza Snow was a virgin at the time of her death. " I in turn said, "brother Heber C. Kimball, I am informed, asked her the question if she was a virgin although married to Joseph and afterwards to Brigham Young, when she replied in a private gathering, "I thought you knew Joseph Smith Beter than that."

"Melissa Lott Willes testified that she had been Smith's wife "in very deed" "Emily Partridge Young said she "roomed" with Joseph the night her marriage to him, and she she had "carnal intercourse" with him.

"Other witnesses also affirmed this. Benjamin Johson wrote: "on the 15th May...the Prophet again Came at my Hosue {house} occupied the Same Room & Bed with my Sister that the month previous he had ocupied with the Daughter of the Later Bishop Patridge as his wife"

it appears to be a faith promoting rumor that he was only sexually involved with Emma.

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from page 13: in sacred lonliness:

When Angus Cannon, a Salt Lake City stake president, visited Joseph Smith III in 1905, RLDS president asked rehtorically if these were his father's wives, then "how was it that there was no issue from them" Cannon replied:

All I knew what that whih Lucy Walker herself contends. There were o nervous and lied in such contant fear that they could not cocieve. He mad light of my reply. He said, " I am informed that Eliza Snow was a vergin at the time of her death. " I in turn said, "brother Heber C. Kimball, I am informed, asked her the question if she was a virgin although married to Joseph and afterwards to Brigham Young, when she replied in a private gathering, "I thought you knew Joseph Smith Beter than that."

"Melissa Lott Willes testified that she had been Smith's wife "in very deed" "EMily Partridge Young said she "roomed" Joseph the night her marriage to him, and she she had "carnal intercourse" with him.

"Other witnesses also affirmed this. Benjamin Johson wrote: "on the 15th May...the Prophet again Came at my Hosue {house} occupied the Same Room & Bed with my Sister that the month previous he had ocupied with the Daughter of the Later Bishop Patridge as his wife"

it appears to be a faith promoting rumor that he was only sexually involved with Emma.

I never stated that he only had relations with other women, but did he have them with the wives of other men?

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from page 13: in sacred lonliness:

When Angus Cannon, a Salt Lake City stake president, visited Joseph Smith III in 1905, RLDS president asked rehtorically if these were his father's wives, then "how was it that there was no issue from them" Cannon replied:

All I knew what that which Lucy Walker herself contends. They were o nervous and lived in such contant fear that they could not cocieve. He mad light of my reply. He said, " I am informed that Eliza Snow was a virgin at the time of her death. " I in turn said, "brother Heber C. Kimball, I am informed, asked her the question if she was a virgin although married to Joseph and afterwards to Brigham Young, when she replied in a private gathering, "I thought you knew Joseph Smith Beter than that."

"Melissa Lott Willes testified that she had been Smith's wife "in very deed" "Emily Partridge Young said she "roomed" with Joseph the night her marriage to him, and she she had "carnal intercourse" with him.

"Other witnesses also affirmed this. Benjamin Johson wrote: "on the 15th May...the Prophet again Came at my Hosue {house} occupied the Same Room & Bed with my Sister that the month previous he had ocupied with the Daughter of the Later Bishop Patridge as his wife"

it appears to be a faith promoting rumor that he was only sexually involved with Emma.

Yep.. he said she said...

And then when DNA testing proves other wise? :P

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I never stated that he only had relations with other women, but did he have them with the wives of other men?

since civil marriages were not recognized by him then why do you think he did not have intercourse with them given his method of operation and history of doing things in secret.

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. –Blaise Pascal

Without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion. -Stephen Weinberg

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