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We have no proof of sex with any of his wives except Emma.

Again, I ask: 'Why wouldn't he have had sex with them?" Why have an issue with him having sex with his plural wives and then have absolutely no issue with Brigham Young and all the others living polygamy having sex with their plural wives? I really would like a clear answer for that.

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I'm not accusing Joseph Smith of abuse or harsh treatment.  

 

You're not saying that lack of plural wives saying that Joseph Smith was "in it for the sex" is evidence that Joseph Smith wasn't having sex with his plural wives are you?

What I am saying is that for the critics, joseph was in it for the sex. But it doesn't seem likely that that would be true. So, the question is rather moot if he had sex with these women or not. Critics do not want to see any other way except the lust angle.

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I don't really much care whether Joseph was having sex with his plural wives.

 

But he's often portrayed as living in essentially a perpetual orgy, and the distinct shortage of non-Emma-line offspring seems to make that very, very doubtful.

 

I was perhaps a bit sloppy in the way I phrased my answer.  I felt slightly awkward, frankly, being required to discuss such things in front of a bunch of fourteen-year-old boys and girls, and was trying not to go too far.  I was particularly focused on casting doubt on the accusation that Joseph was molesting very young girls.

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Wasn't it for parents as well? Were you there due the ward members reaction to a Bishopric member leaving the Church? Perhaps a different question, what was your purpose in being there, especially without notes?

 

No, it wasn't for parents, though they were welcome.  It was -- or so I was told -- a little fireside for the ward's young people.

 

I have no idea what the specific motivation for the fireside was.  The person who invited me is a youth leader in the ward who had once been quite active with FAIR.  That suggests some interest, on his part, in apologetics.

 

My purpose in being there was to do a requested favor for my friend.  As for notes, I rarely use them.

Edited by Daniel Peterson
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I don't really much care whether Joseph was having sex with his plural wives.

 

But he's often portrayed as living in essentially a perpetual orgy, and the distinct shortage of non-Emma-line offspring seems to make that very, very doubtful.

 

I was perhaps a bit sloppy in the way I phrased my answer.  I felt slightly awkward, frankly, being required to discuss such things in front of a bunch of fourteen-year-old boys and girls, and was trying not to go too far.  I was particularly focused on casting doubt on the accusation that Joseph was molesting very young girls.

 

Honestly that's the impression I left with.  Not sure why Brian 2 is making an issue of it.

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Why say, "Well yes, he took plural wives.....BUT....he did not have sex with them!"? Isn't part of living the principle to multiply?

No. But it would be part of the Abrahamic covenant. It was also a test that the early saints had to struggle with. And when we look at about polygamy we have joseph taking fanny as a plural wife and then several years later, he began to live the principle again. Why did he wait several years to begin the practice? Something seems to imply that he was not on board with it but felt pressure to restart the principle.

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I don't really much care whether Joseph was having sex with his plural wives.

 

But he's often portrayed as living in essentially a perpetual orgy, and the distinct shortage of non-Emma-line offspring seems to make that very, very doubtful.

 

I was perhaps a bit sloppy in the way I phrased my answer.  I felt slightly awkward, frankly, being required to discuss such things in front of a bunch of fourteen-year-old boys and girls, and was trying not to go too far.  I was particularly focused on casting doubt on the accusation that Joseph was molesting very young girls.

One can almost say that it was even perverted to ask the question of you considering the age of the audience. Looking at hindsight, one could have said that now is not the right time to answer such questions but after the presentation when the crowd left it would be.

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Yes, I know that Joseph Smith publicly denied living polygamy but most of us know that the evidence shows he did live it. So, why do members go as far as admitting he lived polygamy but claim he lived it differently than any of the other early church members and leaders? Why say, "Well yes, he took plural wives.....BUT....he did not have sex with them!"? Isn't part of living the principle to multiply?

I agree. I can't understand why members don't just embrace the idea that he had sex with his polygamous wives. If they truly believe that polygamy was a commandment from the Lord, what does it matter if he had sex with 14 year old girls and women who were married to other men? God's commandments tump all right? 

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One can almost say that it was even perverted to ask the question of you considering the age of the audience. Looking at hindsight, one could have said that now is not the right time to answer such questions but after the presentation when the crowd left it would be.

I have not seen the video.  Was it mainly young people who were in attendance?

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As long as we're on on the subject of Rip[ping] It Up, we might as well do it right. B:)

 

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I agree. I can't understand why members don't just embrace the idea that he had sex with his polygamous wives. If they truly believe that polygamy was a commandment from the Lord, what does it matter if he had sex with 14 year old girls and women who were married to other men? God's commandments tump all right? 

I don't know. First, the critics would claim lust and libido as the prime movers for joseph. Also, one cannot claim as fact until one knows that it is a fact. One thing that I do know is that his first polygamous wife's father, mother and brother were okay with the marriage. In fact, they seemed rather proud that their daughter and sister was sealed to JS. I can't say that they considered it an unholy relationship.

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I have not seen the video.  Was it mainly young people who were in attendance?

Yes, I believe so. When we consider the age of the audience and the questioning from the individual, one can reach the conclusion that the thought process of the secret filmer was a little off.

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I have not seen the video.  Was it mainly young people who were in attendance?

You can't see the audience in the video only Dan at the front of the room taking these questions from Mr. Norton.  I had seen the video before I knew the circumstances and I agree that with an audience that young the question should have been held till after the presentation.  It was ill timed to say the least.  I haven't pulled it up on youtube since but someone should note that in the comments section that it is a fireside for youth 14-17 so that the full scenario can be understood to the commoner watching that video. 

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You can't see the audience in the video only Dan at the front of the room taking these questions from Mr. Norton.  I had seen the video before I knew the circumstances and I agree that with an audience that young the question should have been held till after the presentation.  It was ill timed to say the least.  I haven't pulled it up on youtube since but someone should note that in the comments section that it is a fireside for youth 14-17 so that the full scenario can be understood to the commoner watching that video. 

The questioner was so enthralled with his questioning and with his plan to embarrass dan, that he forgot the audience. If I were a parent there, I would be angry as heck about the questioning and the tone of the person asking the question. It was not for a teenage audience.

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Why is it such a big deal to debate and figure out whether or not Joseph Smith had sex with his plural wives?

Because there is currently no contemporary significant evidence from Joseph himself that we have currently so some who are comfortable with the idea of sexual plural marriage are not comfortable with making a definite historical claim...iow for them it is about methodology, not the actual claim.

Some people don't want him to have had sex with some because then it opens up the possibility that he had it with his polyandrous wives and even the two youngest wives, though I think that last is a huge stretch given what we do know.

As for the polyandrous, for some reaon it is more acceptable in our culture for a man to have sex with multiple women than it is for a woman to have sex with multiple men even if marriage is involved.

And some people feel that if JS had sex with any of his plural wives this makes him a liar based on somethings he stated at the time and they find that not an appropriate conclusion to draw even if one assumes he was lying to protect others as much as himself.

Edited by calmoriah
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I was perhaps a bit sloppy in the way I phrased my answer.  I felt slightly awkward, frankly, being required to discuss such things in front of a bunch of fourteen-year-old boys and girls, and was trying not to go too far.  I was particularly focused on casting doubt on the accusation that Joseph was molesting very young girls.

 

Understandable. I'm surprised you said as much as you did on it period. Considering the audience I would have freaked out if I were in your shoes and those questions started coming in front of a group of Mia Maids.

 

Honestly that's the impression I left with.  Not sure why Brian 2 is making an issue of it.

I didn't think I was making that big of an issue of it other than asking for clarification. I haven't seen much apologetics arguing for Joseph Smith not have sexual relations with ANY of his plural wives so I was curious.

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Is statements under oath from still faithful wives of Joseph Smith saying they had sex not considered proof in your mind?

Evidence but not proof.

There are those who claim they were motivated to lie in hopes of the Church winning.

It is either Joesph lying or the women.

Some feel more comfortable with the women lying as none of them had authority in the church.

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I agree. I can't understand why members don't just embrace the idea that he had sex with his polygamous wives. If they truly believe that polygamy was a commandment from the Lord, what does it matter if he had sex with 14 year old girls and women who were married to other men? God's commandments tump all right?

And thus the gotcha is demonstrated....
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Why is it such a big deal to debate and figure out whether or not Joseph Smith had sex with his plural wives? Can someone give me a direct answer to that question?

I just don't understand why everyone has no problem with all of the other early polygamous Prophets having sexual relations with their plural wives and yet, some will fight and argue vehementally that Joseph Smith did not (or that we just don't know for sure).

Why would anyone assume that Joseph Smith lived the principle of polygamy differently than any of the other early church members and leaders lived it? To me, it's no big deal that he had relations with his wives. Why wouldn't he have with most of them?

 

Why is it such a big deal to debate and figure out whether or not Joseph Smith had sex with his plural wives? Can someone give me a direct answer to that question?

 

 

Because the critics and anti-Mormons seem to have a fixation on sex and somehow think that sex is evil, even in marriage it seems.  Oh if only they would live their precepts well enough to refrain from that which they consider evil we would soon be rid of their hypocritical little minds.

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It is either Joesph lying or the women.

Some feel more comfortable with the women lying as none of them had authority in the church.

But there are other witnesses that stated he was at least sleeping with his wives, right?  I need to look this up and refresh my memory.

 

I personally have no problem with him having marital relations with his plural wives.  It does seem odd to me that many are willing to concede that Joseph lied about living polygamy, but will not go to the next logical step of conceding he had sexual relations with his wives.  

 

Edited to add that I also understand why Joseph had to publicly hide his polygamy.  

Edited by ALarson
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