Ezra Taft Benson
Journal of Discourses 6:181; “The next man who came on to the carpet wanted to know how many wives brother Brigham had. I replied, “I have not come here to lay before this people the domestic affairs of my Governor. It is a question I never asked him myself, for I never took the pains to inquire anything about it. But still, as I am a Yankee, I will guess, if that will do you any good. Now,” said I, “I will be honest with you, for your pastor has given me the freedom of speech; and if I may judge for appearances, I should presume he has some fifty or sixty.””
George Q. Cannon
Journal of Discourses 23:280; “…Whatever men’s laws may be we cannot deny the truth of God, the revelations of God. I cannot do it, I would be damned and go to hell if I were to do it….” – Salt Lake City, October 8, 1882
Jedidiah M. Grant
Journal of Discourses 1:346; “The grand reason of the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon Christ and his disciples, causing his crucifixion, was evidently based upon polygamy, according to the testimony of the philosophers who rose in that age. A belief in the doctrine of a plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus and his followers. We might almost think they were “Mormons.”” – Salt Lake City, August 7, 1853
Journal of Discourses 2:13; “When the family organization was revealed from heaven—the patriarchal order of God, and Joseph began, on the right and on the left, to add to his family, what a quaking there was in Israel. Says one brother to another, “Joseph says all covenants are done away, and none are binding but the new covenants; now suppose Joseph should come and say he wanted your wife, what would you say to that?” “I would tell him to go to hell.” This was the spirit of many in the early days of this Church.” – Salt Lake City, February 19, 1854
Journal of Discourses 2:80; ““Then you really mean to hold to the doctrine that the Savior of the world was married; do you mean to be understood so? And if so, do you mean to be understood that he had more than one wife?”” – Salt Lake City, October 6, 1854
Journal of Discourses 2:82; “Gentlemen, that is as plain as the translators, or different councils over this Scripture, dare allow it to go to the world, but the thing is there; it is told; Jesus was the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana of Galilee, and he told them what to do.J72Now there was actually a marriage; and if Jesus was not the bridegroom on that occasion, please tell who was. If any man can show this, and prove that it was not the Savior of the world, then I will acknowledge I am in error.” – Salt Lake City, October 6, 1854
Journal of Discourses 2:209-210; “But if a man, in good faith and integrity, with righteousness as the girdle of his loins, take unto himself many wives, acknowledge and sustain them, and honorably care and provide for their offspring, it is all right with me, and with God.” – Orson Hyde, Salt Lake City, March 18, 1855
Journal of Discourses 2:210; “I discover that some of the Eastern papers represent me as a great blasphemer, because I said, in my lecture on Marriage, at our last Conference, that Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children. All that I have to say in reply to that charge is this—they worship a Savior that is too pure and holy to fulfil the commands of his Father. I worship one that is just pure and holy enough “to fulfil all righteousness;”” – Orson Hyde, Salt Lake City, March 18, 1855
Journal of Discourses 4:259; “We also wish to be counted Abraham’s children, to whom the promises were made, and also with whom the covenants were established; and being told that if we are the children of Abraham, we will do the works of Abraham, we are not a little anxious to do as he did. Among other things that he did, he took more than one wife. In this he was not alone, for this example was copied by most of the ancient worthies and others who succeeded him under the same everlasting covenant.” – Salt Lake City, March 1857
Journal of Discourses 4:259; “It will be borne in mind that once on a time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha, and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper to say the best of it.” – Salt Lake City, March 1857
Journal of Discourses 5:282; “If a man have forty wives, and they all receive his mind and spirit, and are thus one in him, he can as easily love them all (because they are one,) as a father can love a half-score of children who copy his mind and spirit. But if a woman rebel in her feelings against a good man, and yield to the temptations of the Devil, she may know that her husband may pity, but cannot love her, because she has ceased to be one with him and to partake of his mind and spirit. If, therefore, your husband be a good man, and you copy his mind and his spirit, he cannot help loving you, though he have forty other wives in the same situation.” – Orson Hyde, Salt Lake City, October 4, 1857
Heber C. Kimball
Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Deseret News, April 22, 1857; “I have noticed that a man who has but one wife, and is inclined to that doctrine, soon begins to wither and dry up, while a man who goes into plurality looks fresh, young, and sprightly. Why is this? Because God loves that man, and because he honors his word. Some of you may not believe this, but I not only believe it but I also know it. For a man of God to be confined to one woman is small business… I do not know what we should do if we had only one wife apiece.”
Journal of Discourses 4:82; “It is the duty of a woman to be obedient to her husband, and unless she is, I would not give a damn for all her queenly right and authority; nor for her either, if she will quarrel, and lie about the work of God and the principle of plurality.” – Salt Lake City, November 9, 1856
Journal of Discourses 4:108; “Many of this people have broken their covenants by speaking evil of one another, by speaking against the servants of God, and by finding fault with the plurality of wives and trying to sink it out of existence. But you cannot do that, for God will cut you off and raise up another people that will carry out His purposes in righteousness, unless you walk up to the line of your duty. On the one hand there is glory and exaltation; and on the other no tongue can express the suffering and affliction this people will pass through, if they do not repent.” – Salt Lake City, September 28, 1856
Journal of Discourses 5:204; “Some quietly listen to those who speak against the Lord’s servants, against his anointed, against the plurality of wives, and against almost every principle that God has revealed. Such persons have half-a-dozen devils with them all the time. You might as well deny “Mormonism,” and turn away from it, as to oppose the plurality of wives.” – Heber C. Kimball, October 12, 1856, Salt Lake City
Journal of Discourses 11:211; “The revelations which Joseph Smith has given to this people were given to him by Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world; and this people cannot be blessed if they lightly esteem any of them…For this purpose did He give the revelation on plurality of wives, as sacred a revelation as was ever given to any people, and fraught with greater blessings to us than we can possibly conceive of, if we do not abuse our privileges and commit sin. This doctrine is a holy and pure principle, in which the power of God for the regeneration of mankind is made manifest…” – Heber C. Kimball, Salt Lake City, April 4, 1866
Life of Heber C. Kimball, pg. 323; “Before he would trust even Heber with the full secret, however, he put him to a test which few men would have been able to bear.It was no less than a requirement for him to surrender his wife, his beloved Vilate, and give her to Joseph in marriage!The astounding revelation well-nigh paralyzed him. He could hardly believe he had heard aright. Yet Joseph was solemnly in earnest. His next impulse was to spurn the proposition, and perhaps at that terrible moment a vague suspicion of the Prophet’s motive and the divinity of the revelation, shot like a poisoned arrow through his soul.” – Orson F. Whitney
Harold B. Lee
Teachings of Harold B. Lee, pg. 14; “You asked about the birth of the Savior. Never have I talked about sexual intercourse between Deity and the mother of the Savior. If teachers were wise in speaking of this matter about which the Lord has said but very little, they would rest their discussion on this subject with merely the words which are recorded on this subject in Luke 1:34-35: “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Remember that the being who was brought about by [Mary's] conception was a divine personage. We need not question His method to accomplish His purposes. Perhaps we would do well to remember the words of Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Let the Lord rest His case with this declaration and wait until He sees fit to tell us more. (1/2/69)””
John D. Lee
Confessions of John D. Lee, p. 132; “… in his [H.B. Jacobs] absence, she [Mrs. Jacobs] was sealed to the Prophet Joseph and was his wife.”
Journal of Discourses 13:188-189; “According to the good old book called the Bible, when God saw proper to call out Abraham from all the heathen nations, and made him a great man in the world, He saw proper, also, to make him a polygamist, and approbated him in taking unto himself more wives than one. Was it wrong in Abraham to do this thing? If it were, when did God reprove him for so doing? When did He ever reproach Jacob for doing the same thing? Who can find the record in the lids of the Bible of God reproving Abraham, as being a sinner, and having committed a crime, in taking to himself two living wives? No such thing is recorded. He was just as much blessed after doing this thing as before, and more so, for God promised blessings upon the issue of Abraham by his second wife the same as that of the first wife, providing he was equally faithful. This was a proviso in every case.”
Journal of Discourses 13:189; “Again, what says the Lord in the days of Moses, under another dispensation? We have seen that in the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He approved of polygamy and blessed His servants who practised it, and also their wives and children.” – Salt Lake City, October 7, 1869
Journal of Discourses 13:195; “Let us speak for a few moments upon another point connected with this subject—that is, the reason why God has established polygamy under the present circumstances among this people. If all the inhabitants of the earth, at the present time, were righteous before God, and both males and females were faithful in keeping His commandments, and the numbers of the sexes of a marriageable age were exactly equal, there would be no necessity for any such institution. Every righteous man could have his wife and there would be no overplus of females.” – Salt Lake City, October 7, 1869
Journal of Discourses 13:196; “There are hundreds and thousands of [unmarried] females in this boasted land of liberty, through the narrow, contracted, bigoted State laws, preventing them from ever getting husbands. That is what the Lord is fighting against; we, also, are fighting against it, and for the re-establishment of the Bible religion and the celestial or patriarchal order of marriage. It is no matter according to the Constitution whether we believe in the patriarchal part of the Bible, in the Mosaic or in the Christian part; whether we believe in one-half, two-thirds, or in the whole of it; that is nobody’s business.” – Orson Pratt, Salt Lake City, October 7, 1869
Journal of Discourses 17:225; “Now I want to prophecy a little. It is not very often that I prophecy, though I was commanded to do so, when I was a boy. I want to prophecy that all men and women who oppose the revelation which God has given in relation to polygamy will find themselves in darkness; the Spirit of God will withdraw from them from the very moment of their opposition to that principle, until they will finally go down to hell and be damned, if they do not repent.” – Orson Pratt, October 7, 1874, Salt Lake City
The Seer, pg. 37; “Each God, through his wife or wives, raises up a numerous family of sons and daughters; indeed, there will be no end to the increase of his own children: for each father and mother will be in a condition to multiply forever and ever. As soon as each God has begotten many millions of male and female spirits, and his Heavenly inheritance becomes too small, to comfortably accommodate his great family, he, in connection with his sons, organizes a new world, after a similar order to the one which we now inhabit, where he sends both the male and female spirits to inhabit tabernacles of flesh and bones. Thus each God forms a world for the accommodation of his own sons and daughters who are sent forth in their times and seasons, and generations to be born into the same. The inhabitants of each world are required to reverence, adore, and worship their own personal father who dwells in the Heaven which they formerly inhabited.” – Orson Pratt
The Seer, pgs. 123-124; “To be moral is to be innocent of crime: to be immoral I to be guilty of crime. It can neither be shown from reason nor the word of God that plurality is criminal, and hence it cannot be immoral, and therefore the morals of society are not in the least endangered by its practice. On the contrary, plurality is a great and powerful antidote against immorality…Because of the vast numbers of un-virtuous females with which the nations are curded, many young men neglect marriage, and seek to gratify their sexual propensities by unlawful and sinful connections. If no public female prostitutes existed, or if they rarely could be found, the natural consequences would be, that young men, instead of abandoning themselves to prostitution, would seek to unite themselves in honorable marriages with partners of their choice…if the cause be destroyed the effect ceases.” – Orson Pratt
The Seer, p. 172 ; “… it will be seen that the great Messiah who was the founder of the Christian religion was a polygamist… the Messiah chose… by marrying many honorable wives himself, to show to all future generations that he approbated the plurality of wives under the Christian dispensation in which His polygamist ancestors lived.
“We have clearly show that God the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity, by whom He begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus His First Born, and another being upon the earth by whom He begat the tabernacle of Jesus, as his only begotten in this world. We have also proved most clearly that the Son followed the example of his Father, and became the great Bridegroom to whom Kings’ daughters and many honorable wives were to be married. We have also proved that both God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ inherit their wives in eternity as well as in time… And then it would be so shocking to the modesty of the very pious ladies of Christendom to see Abraham and his wives, Jacob and his wives, Jesus and his honorable wives, all eating occasionally at the same table, and visiting one another, and conversing about their numerous children and their kingdoms. Oh, ye delicate ladies of Christendom, how can you endure such a scene as this?… If you do not want your morals corrupted, and your delicate ears shocked, and your pious modesty put to the blush by the society of Polygamists and their wives, do not venture near the New Earth; for polygamists will be honored there, and will be among the chief rules in that Kingdom.”
Parley P. Pratt
Millennial Star, August 1842, No. 4, Vol 3, pg. 74; “But, for the information of those who may be assailed by those foolish tales about the two wives, we would say that no such principle ever existed among the Latter-day Saints, and never will; this is well known to all who are acquainted with our books and actions, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants; and also all our periodicals are very strict and explicit on that subject, indeed far more so than the bible.” – Published by Parley Pratt and T. Wood
George A. Smith
Deseret News, April 16, 1856, Prophet George A. Smith, Apostle; “We breathe the free air, we have the best looking men and handsomest women, and if they envy our position, well they may, for they are a poor, narrow minded, pinch-backed race of man, who chain themselves down to the law of monogamy and live all their days under the dominion of one wife. They aught to be ashamed of such conduct, and the still fouler channel which flows from their practices.”
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Contributor 5:259; “”They accuse me of polygamy, and of being a false Prophet, and many other things which I do not now remember; but I am no false Prophet; I am no impostor; I have had no dark revelations; I have had no revelations from the devil; I made no revelations; I have got nothing up of myself. The same God that has thus far dictated me and directed me and strengthened me in this work, gave me this revelation and commandment on celestial and plural marriage, and the same God commanded me to obey it. He said to me that unless I accepted it and introduced it, and practiced it, I, together with my people, would be damned and cut off from this time henceforth. And they say if I do so, they will kill me! Oh, what shall I do? If I do not practice it, I shall be damned with my people. If I do teach it, and practice it, and urge it, they say they will kill me, and I know they will. But,” said he, “we have got to observe it. It is an eternal principle and was given by way of commandment and not by way of instruction.””
Discourses of Joseph Smith, pg. 270; “Do the Mormons believe in having more wives than one?” No, not at the same time. But they believe that if their companion dies, they have a right to marry again.”
At the time Smith made this announcement it was 1838. He was already practicing polygamy with three wives. Also see History of the Church 3:28-29.
Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., 1831 revelation, recorded in a letter from W.W. Phelps to Brigham Young, dated August 12, 1861; “Verily, I say unto you, that the wisdom of man, in his fallen state, knoweth not the purposes and the privileges of my hold priesthood, but ye shall know when ye receive a fullness by reason of the anointing: For it is my will, that in time, ye should take unto you wives of the Lamanites and Nephites, that their posterity may become white, delightsome and just, for even now their females are more virtuous then the gentiles.”
History of the Church 5:500-501; “Revelation on the Eternity of the Marriage Covenant, including the Plurality of Wives. Given through Joseph, the Seer, in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, July 11th, 1843, Verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I the Lord justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David, and Solomon my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines… Therefore prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same; for, behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned…and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God…Abraham received promises concerning his seed and of the fruit of his loins,—from whose loins ye are—viz., my servant Joseph,—which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed out of the world, they should continue…Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law, and ye shall be saved…”
History of the Church 6:411; “Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet… What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers.” – 10:00 a.m., Sunday, May 26, 1844, Nauvoo
At the time of this announcement made by Smith, he had at least 43 wives.
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 332; “I * * * spoke to the people, showing them that to get salvation we must not only do some things, but everything which God has commanded. Men may preach and practice everything except those things which God commands us to do, and will be damned at last. We may tithe mint and rue, and all manner of herbs, and still not obey the commandments of God. The object with me is to obey and teach others to obey God in just what He tells us to do. It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular, I will always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it. (Feb. 21, 1844.)”
Joseph F. Smith
Gospel Doctrine: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Joseph F. Smith, pg. 280; “Official Statement—”Inasmuch as there are numerous reports in circulation that plural marriages have been entered into contrary to the official declaration of President Woodruff, of September 26, 1890, commonly called the Manifesto, which was issued by President Woodruff and adopted by the Church at its general conference, October 6, 1890, which forbade any marriages violative of the law of the land; I Joseph F. Smith, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, hereby affirm and declare that no such marriages have been solemnized with the sanction, consent or knowledge of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I hereby announce that all such marriages are prohibited, and if any officer or member of the Church shall assume to solemnize or enter into any such marriage he will be deemed in transgression against the Church and will be liable to be dealt with according to the rules and regulations thereof, and excommunicated therefrom.”Joseph F. Smith,Plural Marriagea-Smith, Joseph F.TP”President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Plural Marriagea-Smith, Joseph F.TP—Apr. C. R., 1904, p. 75.”
Journal of Discourses 20:27; “A man that is not honest in his heart, who does not desire to be just and impartial, even as God is just and impartial, has no business in plural marriage; and before he enters into the practice of that principle he needs to repent, to learn wisdom to get the Spirit of God, to get understanding in relation to the purpose God has in view in regard to this principle; that he may go into the practice of it understandingly, that his heart and mind may be set upon practicing it in righteousness.” – Joseph F. Smith, July 7, 1878, Salt Lake City
Journal of Discourses 20:28-29; “Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of superfluity, or non-essential, to the salvation or exaltation of mankind. In other words, some of the Saints have said, and believe, that a man with one wife, sealed to him by the authority of the Priesthood for time and eternity, will receive an exaltation as great and glorious, if he is faithful, as he possibly could with more than one. I want here to enter my solemn protest against this idea, for I know it is false.” – Salt Lake City, July 7, 1878
Journal of Discourses 20:29-30; “To put this matter more correctly before you, I here declare that the principle of plural marriage was not first revealed on the 12th day of July, 1843. It was written for the first time on that date, but it had been revealed to the Prophet many years before that, perhaps as early as 1832…When the time came to introduce this doctrine to those who were worthy in the church, God commanded the Prophet and he obeyed. He taught it as he was commanded to such as were prepared to receive and obey it, and they were commanded to enter into it, or they were threatened that the keys would be turned against them, and they would be cut off by the Almighty. It need scarcely be said that the Prophet found no one any more willing to lead out in the matter in righteousness than he was himself…none excelled, or even matched the courage of the Prophet himself.” – Salt Lake City, July 7, 1878
Journal of Discourses 20:30; “Man may receive great reward, exaltation and glory by entering into the bond of the new and everlasting covenant, if he continue faithful according to his knowledge, but he cannot receive the fullness of the blessings unless he fulfills the law, any more than he can claim the gift of the Holy Ghost after he is baptized without the laying on of hands by the proper authority, or the remission of sins without baptism, though he may repent in sack-cloth and ashes.” – Salt Lake City, July 7, 1878
Journal of Discourses 20:31; “I understand the law of celestial marriage to mean that every man in this Church, who has the ability to obey and practice it in righteousness and will not, shall be damned, I say I understand it to mean this and nothing less, and I testify in the name of Jesus that it does mean that.” – Salt Lake City, July 7, 1878
Reed Smoot Case, v. 1, p. 201; “Senator Pettus. Have there been any past plural marriages without the consent of the first wife?
Mr. [Joseph F.] Smith. I do not know of any, unless it may have been Joseph Smith himself.
Senator Pettus. Is the language that you have read construed to mean that she is bound to consent?
Mr. Smith. The condition is that if she does not consent the Lord will destroy her, but I do not know how He will do it.
Senator Bailey. Is it not true that in the very next verse, if she refuses her consent her husband is exempt from the law which requires her consent?
Mr. Smith. Yes; he is exempt from the law which requires her consent.
Senator Bailey. She is commanded to consent, but if she does not, then he is exempt from the requirement?
Mr. Smith. Then he is at liberty to proceed without her consent, under the law.
Senator Beveridge. In other words, her consent amounts to nothing?
Mr. Smith. It amounts to nothing but her consent.”
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1369; “…Snow was tried and imprisoned for violation of the 1882 Edmunds Act, which prohibited the practice of polygamy. The territorial governor, Caleb W. West, promised amnesty if he would renounce plural marriage, but Elder Snow replied, “I thank you, Governor, but having adopted sacred and holy principles for which we have already sacrificed property, home and life on several occasions,…we do not propose, at this late hour, to abandon them because of threatened danger” (Romney, p. 381). He remained in prison for eleven months before being released under mandate of the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, pg. 23; “Laying aside the gospel is dangerous. Nothing can be more foolish than the idea of a man laying off his religion like a cloak or garment. There is no such thing as a man laying off his religion unless he lays off himself. Our religion should be incorporated within ourselves, a part of our being that cannot be laid off. If there can be such a thing as a man laying off his religion, the moment he does so he gets onto ground he knows nothing about, he gives himself over to the powers of darkness. (9 October 1867, JD, 12:148.)”
Journal of Discourses 25:309; “God has given us a revelation in regard to celestial marriage. I did not make it. He has told us certain things pertaining to this matter, and they would like us to tone that principle down and change it and make it applicable to the views of the day. This we cannot do; nor can we interfere with any of the commands of God to meet the persuasions or behests of men. I cannot do it, and will not do it.” – Salt Lake City, October 6-7, 1884
Life of John Taylor, pg. 255; “In this our first issue it may be expected that something would be said in relation to this matter. This we undertake as cheerfully as any other task; for we are not ashamed here in this great metropolis of America * * * to declare that we are polygamists.” – B.H. Roberts
The Mormon Prophet and his harem on, An Authentic History of Brigham Young, his numerous wives and children, pg. 222; “Utah Census of 1850…it will appear that there was, at that time, an excess of males in every county in the Territory, amounting, in the aggregate, to 712; the total number of males being 6,046, and of females, 5,334. The national census of 1860 shows the following result: males, 20,255 – females 20,018.”
The Mormon Prophet and his harem on, An Authentic History of Brigham Young, his numerous wives and children. pg. 223-224; “This practice tends necessarily to the degradation of woman. Instead of being a companion of man, socially his equal, sympathizing with his moral and intellectual nature, and sharing in all his pursuits and enjoyments, she becomes, under this system, merely the minister to his passions and physical comfort, or the servant to assist in the increase of his worldly store.
It is impossible that several women should live on terms of such intimacy with the same man, all at the same time on a social equality with him and with each other. The idea of plurality necessitates that of subordination and inferiority. Rules must be established and observed, to insure even the appearance of harmony…The husband loses respect for her who sits at his feet, rather than by his side…It need scarcely be asked whether this is an evil.”
The Mormon Prophet and his harem on, An Authentic History of Brigham Young, his numerous wives and children. pg. 229; “In July, 1850, at a discussion held at Boulogne, France, John Taylor, a well-known Mormon Apostle, when charged with the belief and practice of this doctrine, said; – “We are accused here of polygamy, and actions the most indelicate, obscene, and disgusting such that none but a corrupt and depraved heart could have contrived. These things are too outrageous to admit of belief. Therefore, leaving the sisters of the “White Veil,” the “Black Veil,” and all the other veils, with those gentlemen to dispose of, together with their authors, as they think best, I shall content myself by reading our views of chastity and marriage, from a work published by us, containing some of the articles of our faith.” He then read from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, the article on marriage, already quoted from.”
At the time he spoke, he had 12 wives.
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1583; “Woodruff’s ordination as President came at a crucial time in the Church’s history. Like other leaders, he had gone into seclusion to avoid imprisonment under provisions of federal antipolygamy legislation before word came of President Taylor’s death. By the summer of 1890, legislation had been enacted that dissolved the Church as a legal entity, confiscated much of its property, and drove many of its leaders into hiding or prison. Federal legislation against polygamy had almost totally destroyed the effectiveness of the Church. For weeks President Woodruff “wrestled mightily with the Lord,” and then, on September 24, 1890, after seeing in vision the consequences of inaction, he issued his now-famous Manifesto of 1890, which announced the end of the official practice of plural marriage (D&C, Official Declaration-1).”
Journal of Discourses 13:166; “If we were to do away with polygamy, it would only be one feather in the bird, one ordinance in the Church and kingdom. Do away with that, then we must do away with prophets and Apostles, with revelation and the gifts and graces of the Gospel, and finally give up our religion altogether and turn sectarians and do as the world does, then all would be right. We just can’t do that, for God has commanded us to build up His kingdom and to bear our testimony to the nations of the earth, and we are going to do it, come life or come death.” – Wilford Woodruff, Salt Lake City, December 12, 1869
Journal of Discourses 23:127; “I received my endowments under the direction of Joseph Smith. Emma Smith, the widow of the Prophet, is said to have maintained to her dying moments that her husband had nothing to do with the patriarchal order of marriage, but that it was Brigham Young that got that up. I bear record before God, angels and men that Joseph Smith received that revelation; and I bear record that Emma Smith gave her husband in marriage several women while he was living, some of whom are to-day living in this city, and some may be present in this congregation, and who, if called upon, would confirm my words.”
Prophet Brigham Young, Deseret News, August 6, 1862; “Monogamy, or restrictions by law to one wife, is no part of the economy of heaven among men. Such a system was commenced by the founders of the Roman Empire… Rome became the mistress of the world, and introduced this order of monogamy wherever her sway was acknowledged. Thus this monogamic order of marriage, so esteemed by modern Christians as a hold sacrament and divine institution, is nothing but a system established by a set of robbers.”
“Why do we believe in and practice polygamy? Because the Lord introduced it to his servants in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, and the Lord’s servants have always practiced it. ‘And is that religion popular in heaven?’ It is the only popular religion there…”
Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 197; “Birth Control—There are multitudes of pure and holy spirits waiting to take tabernacles, now what is our duty?—To prepare tabernacles for them; to take a course that will not tend to drive those spirits into the families of the wicked, where they will be trained in wickedness, debauchery, and every species of crime. It is the duty of every righteous man and woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits they can. 4:56. This is the reason why the doctrine of plurality of wives was revealed, that the noble spirits which are waiting for tabernacles might be brought forth. 4:56.”
Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 197; “The Husband—Let the father be the head of the family, the master of his own household; and let him treat them as an angel would treat them; and let the wives and the children say amen to what he says, and be subject to his dictates, instead of their dictating the man, instead of their trying to govern him. 4:55.”
Brigham Young, “A Few Words on Doctrine,” speech at tabernacle, October 8, 1861; “The Second Way in which a wife can be separated from her husband, while he continues to be faithful to his God and his priesthood, I have not revealed, except to a few persons in this Church; and a few have received it from Joseph the prophet as well as myself. If a woman can find a man holding the keys of the priesthood with higher power and authority than her husband, and he is disposed to take her he can do so, otherwise she has got to remain where she is… there is no need for a bill of divorcement… To recapitulate. First if a man forfeits his covenants with a wife, or wives, becoming unfaithful to his God, and his priesthood, that wife or wives are free from him without a bill of divorcement. Second. If a woman claims protection at the hands of a man, possessing more power in the priesthood and higher keys, if he is disposed to rescue her and has obtained the consent of her husband to make her his wife he can do so without a bill of divorcement.” Also see In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, by Todd Compton, p. 17.
Prophet Brigham Young, quoted in The Abominations of Mormonism Exposed, pp. 58-59; “We are now going to the Lamanites, to whom we intend to be messengers of instruction… We will show them that in consequence of their transgressions a curse has been inflicted upon them – in the darkness of their skins. We will have intermarriages with them, they marrying our young women, and we taking their young squaws to wife. By these means it is the will of the Lord that the curse of their color shall be removed and they restored to their pristine beauty…”
Times and Seasons 6:955; “And I would say, as no man can be perfect without the woman, so no woman can be perfect without a man to lead her, I tell you the truth as it is in the bosom of eternity; and I say so to every man upon the face of the earth; if he wishes to be saved he cannot be saved without a woman by his side. This is spiritual wives.” – Brigham Young
Journal of Discourses 1:51; “Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him.”
Journal of Discourses 1:188; “I will now say, not only to our delegate to Congress, but to the Elders who leave the body of the Church, that he thought that all the cats and kittens were let out of the bag when brother Pratt went back last fall, and published the Revelation concerning the plurality of wives: it was thought there was no other cat to let out. But allow me to tell you, Elders of Israel, and delegates to Congress, you may expect an eternity of cats, that have not yet escaped from the bag. Bless your souls, there is no end to them, for if there is not one thing, there will always be another.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, June 19, 1853
Journal of Discourses 1:362; “Admit, for argument’s sake, that the “Mormon” Elders have more wives than one, yet our enemies never have proved it. If I had forty wives in the United States, they did not know it, and could not substantiate it, neither did I ask any lawyer, judge, or magistrate for them. I live above the law, and so do this people.” – Salt Lake City, August 1, 1852
Journal of Discourses 3:266; “Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned; and I will go still further and say, take this revelation, or any other revelation that the Lord has given, and deny it in your feelings, and I promise that you will be damned.” – Provo, July 14, 1855
Journal of Discourses 9:37-38; “Love your duties, sisters. Are you sealed to a good man? Yes, to a man of God. It is for you to bear fruit and bring forth, to the praise of God, the spirits that are born in yonder heavens and are to take tabernacles on the earth. You have the privilege of forming tabernacles for those spirits, instead of their being brought into this wicked world, that God may have a royal Priesthood, a royal people, on the earth. That is what plurality of wives is for, and not to gratify lustful desires. Sisters, do you wish to make yourselves happy? Then what is your duty? It is for you to bear children, in the name of the Lord, that are full of faith and the power of God,—to receive, conceive, bear, and bring forth in the name of Israel’s God, that you may have the honour of being the mothers of great and good men—of kings, princes, and potentates that shall yet live on the earth and govern and control the nations. Do you look forward to that? or are you tormenting yourselves by thinking that your husbands do not love you? I would not care whether they loved a particle or not; but I would cry out, like one of old, in the joy of my heart, “I have got a man from the Lord!” “Hallelujah! I am a mother—I have borne an image of God!”” – Salt Lake City, April 7, 1861
Journal of Discourses 9:195; “A few years ago one of my wives, when talking about wives leaving their husbands said, “I wish my husband’s wives would leave him, every soul of them except myself.” That is the way they all feel, more or less, at times, both old and young.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, February 9, 1862
Journal of Discourses 11:268-269; “The man Joseph, the husband of Mary, did not, that we know of, have more than one wife, but Mary the wife of Joseph had another husband. On this account infidels have called the Savior a bastard. This is merely a human opinion upon one of the inscrutable doings of the Almighty. That very babe that was cradled in the manger, was begotten, not by Joseph, the husband of Mary, but by another Being. Do you inquire by whom? He was begotten by God our heavenly Father.” – Brigham Young, August 19, 1866, Salt Lake City
Journal of Discourses 11: 269; ” It is the word of the Lord, and I wish to say to you, and all the world, that if you desire with all your hearts to obtain the blessings which Abraham obtained, you will be polygamists at lest in your faith, or you will come short of enjoying the salvation and the glory which Abraham has obtained…The only men who become Gods, even the sons of God are those who enter into polygamy.” – Brigham Young, August 19, 1866, Salt Lake City
Journal of Discourses 11:328; “There is another class of individuals to whom I will briefly refer. Shall we call them Christians? They were Christians originally. We cannot be admitted into their social societies, into their places of gathering at certain times and on certain occasions, because they are afraid of polygamy. I will give you their title that you may all know whom I am talking about it—I refer to the Freemasons…Yes, one of the relics of Adam, of Enoch, of Noah, of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, of Moses, David, Solomon, the Prophets, of Jesus, and his Apostles. And the other relic they have—you know whether they have used it up or not.” – Salt Lake City, February 10, 1867
Journal of Discourses 12:262-263; “Just ask yourselves, historians, when was monogamy introduced on to the face of the earth? When those buccaneers, who settled on the peninsula where Rome now stands, could not steal women enough to have two or three apiece, they passed a law that a man should have but one woman. And this started monogamy and the downfall of the plurality system. In the days of Jesus, Rome, having dominion over Jerusalem, they carried out the doctrine more or less. This was the rise, start and foundation of the doctrine of monogamy; and never till then was there a law passed, that we have any knowledge of, that a man should have but one wife.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, August 9, 1868
Journal of Discourses 13:309; “The Scripture says that He, the Lord, came walking in the Temple, with His train; I do not know who they were, unless His wives and children; but at any rate they filled the Temple, and how many there were who could not get into the Temple I cannot say. This is the account given by Isaiah, whether he told the truth or not I leave every body to judge for himself.” – Ogden City, November, 13, 1870
Journal of Discourses 13:317; “Talk about polygamy! There is no true philosopher on the face of the earth but what will admit that such a system, properly carried out according to the order of heaven, is far superior to monogamy for the raising of healthy, robust children! A person possessing a moderate knowledge of physiology, or who has paid attention to his own nature and the nature of the gentler sex, can readily understand this.” – Ogden City, November, 13, 1870
Journal of Discourses 14:43-44; “I will say a few words on a subject which has been mentioned here—that is, celestial marriage. God has given a revelation to seal for time and for eternity, just as he did in days of old. In our own days he has commanded his people to receive the New and Everlasting Covenant, and he has said, “If ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned.” We have received it. What is the result of it? I look at the world, or that small portion of it which believes in monogamy. It is only a small portion of the human family who do believe in it, for from nine to ten of the twelve hundred millions that live on the earth believe in and practice polygamy.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, May 8, 1870
Journal of Discourses 17:159; “Now Latter-day Saints, I want to say this to you, when a man lifts his heel against the counsel that we give him, I know that man will apostatize, just as sure as he is a living being, unless he repents and refrains from such conduct. Brother George A. Smith has been reading a little out of the revelation concerning celestial marriage, and I want to say to my sisters that if you lift you heels against this revelation, and say that you would obliterate it, and put it out of existence if you had the power to nullify and destroy it, I say that if you imbibe that spirit and feeling, you will go to hell, just as sure as you are living women. Emma took that revelation, supposing she had all there was; but Joseph had wisdom enough to take care of it, and he had handed the revelation to Bishop Whitney, and he wrote it all off. After Joseph had been to Bishop Whitney’s he went home, and Emma began teasing for the revelation. Said she—”Joseph, you promised me that revelation, and if you are a man of your word you will give it to me.” Joseph took it from his pocket and said—”Take it.” She went to the fire-place and put it in, and put the candle under it and burnt it, and she thought that was the end of it, and she will be damned as sure as she is a living woman. Joseph used to say that he would have her hereafter, if he had to go to hell for her, and he will have to go to hell for her as sure as he ever gets her.” – Brigham Young, Lehi City, August 9, 1874
Mormon Scripture and Other Sources
Contributor vol. 2 (October 1880-September 1881): pg. 339; “In the resurrection they stand side by side and hold dominion together. Every man who overcomes all things and is thereby entitled to inherit all things, receives power to bring up his wife to join him in the possession and enjoyment thereof.”
D&C 42:22; “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.”
D&C section 101, pg. 251; “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again.” 1835 Edition of D&C
D&C 131:1-4; “In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.”
D&C 132:4-6; “For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory. 5 For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world. 6 And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.”
D&C 132:19-21; “And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—…Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.”
D&C 132:61; “And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.”
Deseret News, May 20, 1866; “Polygamy in the ordinary and Asiatic sense of the term, never was and is not now a tenet of the Latter-day Saints. That which Joseph and Hyrum denounced… was altogether different to the order of celestial marriage including a Plurality of wives…. Joseph and Hyrum were consistent in their action against the false doctrines of polygamy and spiritual wifeism, instigated by the devil and advocated by men who did not comprehend sound doctrine nor the purity of celestial marriage which God revealed for the holiest of purposes.” Prophet Joseph F. Smith, editor.
Deseret Evening News, November 23, 1906; “… President [Joseph F.] Smith appeared forthwith and entered a plea of guilty and was fined three hundred dollars. The fine was promptly paid and the defendant discharged.”
Doctrines of the Kingdom, pg. 452-453; “Though Joseph Smith may have had other women in mind to be plural wives at an earlier time, evidence can only be found to support the claim that Fanny Alger was the first woman with whom he had a plural connection. Benjamin F. Johnson said: “Without doubt in my mind, Fanny Alger was, at Kirtland, the Prophet’s first plural wife, in which, by right of his calling, he was justified of the Lord.” The Prophet probably entered into this relationship sometime during the latter part of 1836, or early in 1837, and in doing so he sought the aid of some trusted men.” – Hyrum L. Andrus
Doctrines of Salvation 2:67; “We believe that the family will go on. I get a great deal of comfort out of the thought that if I am faithful and worthy of an exaltation, my father will be my father, and I will be subject to him as his son through all eternity; that I will recognize and know my mother and she will be my mother in all eternity; and my brothers and sisters will be my brothers and sisters for all eternity; and that my children and my wives will be mine in eternity. I don’t know how some other people feel, but that is a glorious thought to me. That helps to keep me sober.”
Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1890, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 52; “In 1890 after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the seizure of Church property under the Edmunds-Tucker Act in The Late Corporation of the Mormon Church v. United States and the Idaho test oath in Davis v. Beason, it became clear that plural marriage was leading toward the economic and political destruction of the Church. Shortly after these decisions, a revelation was received by President Wilford Woodruff, who then withdrew the requirement for worthy males to take plural wives and announced the manifesto, formally stating his counsel to Latter-day Saints to abide by antibigamy laws (see D&C Official Declaration-1). The Manifesto ended the legal confrontation between the U.S. government and the Church.”
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1092; “In 1843, one year before his death, the Prophet Joseph Smith dictated a lengthy revelation on the doctrine of marriage for eternity (D&C 132; see –>Marriage: Eternal Marriage). This revelation also taught that under certain conditions a man might be authorized to have more than one wife. Though the revelation was first committed to writing on July 12, 1843, considerable evidence suggests that the principle of plural marriage was revealed to Joseph Smith more than a decade before in connection with his study of the Bible (see –>Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible), probably in early 1831.”
Evidences and Reconciliations, pp. 390-392; “The implied assumption in this theory, that there have been more female than male members in the Church, is not supported by existing evidence. On the contrary, there seems always to have been more males than females in the Church….
“The United States census records from 1850 to 1940, and all available Church records, uniformly show a preponderance of males in Utah, and in the Church. Indeed, the excess in Utah has usually been larger than for the whole United State… there was no surplus of women.” – Apostle John A. Widstoe
Historical Record, 1887, v. 6, p. 144; “The severest prosecutions have never been followed by revelations changing a divine law, obedience to which brought imprisonment or martyrdom. Though I go to prison, God will not change his law of celestial marriage.” – Prophet Lorenzo Snow
Historical Record, v. 6, p. 240; “I was married to Joseph Smith on the 4th of March 1843… My sister Eliza was also married to Joseph a few days later. This was done without the knowledge of Emma Smith.” – Emily Dow Partridge
History of the Church 2:247; “Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife, and one woman but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband; neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband. All children are bound by law to obey their parents, and to influence them to embrace any religious faith, or be baptized, or leave their parents without their consent, is unlawful and unjust. We believe that husbands, parents, and masters, who exercise control over their wives, children and servants, and prevent them from embracing the truth, will have to answer for that sin.”
History of the Church, introduction vol. 5 xxxiii; “On the morning of the 12th of July, 1843; Joseph and Hyrum Smith came into the office in the upper story of the brick store, on the bank of the Mississippi river. They were talking on the subject of plural marriage. Hyrum said to Joseph, ‘If you will write the revelation on celestial marriage, I will take it and read it to Emma, and I believe I can convince her of its truth, and you will hereafter have peace.’ Joseph smiled and remarked, ‘You do not know Emma as well as I do.’ Hyrum repeated his opinion, and further remarked, ‘The doctrine is so plain, I can convince any reasonable man or woman of its truth, purity and heavenly origin,’ or words to that effect. Joseph then said, ‘Well, I will write the revelation and we will see.’ He then requested me to get paper and prepare to write. Hyrum very urgently requested Joseph to write the revelation by means of the Urim and Thummim, but Joseph in reply, said he did not need to, for he knew the revelation perfectly from beginning to end.”Joseph and Hyrum then sat down and Joseph commenced to dictate the revelation on celestial marriage, and I wrote it, sentence by sentence, as he dictated. After the whole was written, Joseph asked me to read it through, slowly and carefully, which I did, and he pronounced it correct. He then remarked that there was much more that he could write on the same subject, but what was written was sufficient for the present. “Hyrum then took the revelation to read to Emma. Joseph remained with me in the office until Hyrum returned. When he came back, Joseph asked him how he had succeeded. Hyrum replied that he had never received a more severe talking to in his life, that Emma was very bitter and full of resentment and anger.”Joseph quietly remarked, ‘I told you, you did not know Emma as well as I did.’ Joseph then put the revelation in his pocket, and they both left the office.”
In Sacred Loneliness, pg. 463; “In the year 1842 President Joseph Smith sought an interview with me, and said, ‘I have a message for you, I have been commanded of God to take another wife, and you are the woman.’ … He asked me if I believed him to be a Prophet of God. … He fully Explained to me the principle of plural or celestial marriage … that it would prove an everlasting blessing to my father’s house. … [Joseph encouraged her to pray] ‘that the grave would kindly receive me that I might find rest on the bosom of my dear [recently deceased] mother … Why Should I be chosen from among thy daughters, Father I am only a child in years and experience.’ And thus I prayed in the agony of my soul. … [The marriage] was not a love matter—at least on my part it was not, but simply the giving up of myself as a sacrifice to establish that grand and glorious principle that God had revealed to the world.” – Todd Compton
J. Golden Kimball: The Story of a Unique Personality, pg. 19; “Mother married Heber C. Kimball at Nauvoo, Illinois, and she knew not her number as one of his polygamous wives. I don’t know either. Mother didn’t have any idea, as father never told her. My mother was no concubine, but an acknowledged wife. She was a wife and mother. And not many lived who, to my mind, were quite so good.” – Claude Richards
Jacob 2:24; “Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.”
Millennial Star, v. 19, p. 475; “The Latter-day Saints, from the rise of the Church in 1830, till the year 1843, had no authority to marry any more than one wife each. To have done otherwise, would have been a great transgression.”
Millennial Star, v. 40, pg. 226-227; “And we… are believers in the principles of plural marriage or polygamy… as a principle revealed by God, underlying our every hope of eternal salvation and happiness in heaven… we cannot view plural marriage in any other light than as a vital principle of our religion.”
Millennial Star, v. 47, pg. 711; “Damnation was the awful penalty affixed to a refusal to obey this law [polygamy]. It became an acknowledged doctrine of the Church; it was indissolubly interwoven in the minds of its members with their hopes of eternal salvation and exaltation in the presence of God…”
Mormon Doctrine, pg. 219; “Thus the gospel of Abraham was one of celestial marriage (including plurality of wives); it was a gospel or commission to provide a lineage for the elect portion of the pre-existent spirits, a gospel to provide a household in eternity for those who live the fulness of the celestial law. This power and commission is what Elias restored, and as a consequence, the righteous among all future generations were assured of the blessings of a continuation of the seeds forever, even as it was with Abraham of old. (D. & C. 132.)”
Mormon Doctrine, pg. 578; “From such fragmentary scriptural records as are now available, we learn that the Lord did command some of his ancient saints to practice plural marriage. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — among others (D. & C. 132) — conformed to this ennobling and exalting principle; the whole history of ancient Israel was one in which plurality of wives was a divinely accepted and approved order of matrimony. Those who entered this order at the Lord’s command, and who kept the laws and conditions appertaining to it, have gained for themselves eternal exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world.”
The thirty polygamous husbands from 1841 up to Joseph Smith’s death on June 27, 1844, had married a total of 114 legal and plural wives, who had borne 131 children.
Nauvoo Roots of Mormon Polygamy 1841-1846; A Preliminary Demographic Report, George D. Smith, pg. 16, 32; “The thirty polygamous husbands from 1841 up to Joseph Smith’s death on June 27, 1844, had married a total of 114 legal and plural wives, who had borne 131 children…Over the six years when polygamy was practiced in Nauvoo, 1841 to 1846, Smith, Kimball, and Young were the most-married men in Nauvoo; they accounted, in fact, for 117 of the 434 Nauvoo polygamous marriages, over one-fourth of the marriages by the community of 153 polygamous husbands. After Nauvoo, Young married fifteen more wives and Kimball married eight. At the funeral of his wife, Vilate, Kimball, pointing to the coffin, said: “There lies a woman who has given me forty-four wives.””
Mormonism: Its Leaders and Designs, John Hyde, Jr., pp. 109-110; “… Brigham now teaches that ‘the way God has revealed for the purification of the Indians, and making them “a white and delightsome people,” as Joseph prophesied, is by us taking the Indian squaws for wives!!’ Accordingly several of these tawny beauties have been already ‘sealed’ to some of the Mormon authorities.”
No Man Knows My History, by Fawn Brodie, Preface to Second Edition; “… over two hundred women, apparently at their own request, were sealed as wives to Joseph Smith after his death in special temple ceremonies. Moreover, a great many distinguished women in history, including several Catholic saints, were also sealed to Joseph Smith in Utah. I saw these astonishing lists in the Latter-day Saint Genealogical Archives in Salt Lake City in 1944.”
Reed Smoot Case, v. 1, pg. 480; ““The Chairman: That is the Book of Mormon?
Joseph F. Smith: Yes, sir; that is the Book of Mormon.
The Chairman: Is the doctrine of polygamy taught in that revelation?
Mr. Smith: Taught in it?
The Chairman: Yes.
Mr. Smith: It is emphatically forbidden in that book.
The Chairman: In that book it is emphatically forbidden?
Mr. Smith: It is.””
Songs of Zion, Early Pioneer Song; “Now, sisters, list to what I say; with trials this world is rife. You can’t expect to miss them all; help husband get a wife! Now this advice I freely give, if exalted you will be, Remember that your husband must, be blessed with more than thee. Chorus: Then, oh, let us say, God bless the wife that strives, And aids her husband all she can to obtain a dozen wives.” – See also Abanes One Nation Under Gods, pg. 303
The Lion of the Lord, by Stanley P. Hirshon, pp. 129-130; “Kimball always kept an eye out for romance. ‘Brethren,’ he instructed some departing missionaries, ‘I want you to understand that it is not to be as it has been heretofore. The brother missionaries have been in the habit of picking out the prettiest women for themselves before they get here, and bringing on the ugly ones for us; hereafter you have to bring them all here before taking any of them, and let us all have a fair shake.”
The Lion of the Lord, pp. 229-230, Zina Huntington, wife of Prophet Brigham Young, New York World, November 17, 1869; “It is the duty of the first wife to regard her husband not with a selfish devotion… she must regard her husband with indifference, and with no other feeling than that of reverence, for love we regard as a false sentiment; a feeling which should have no existence in polygamy… we believe in the good old custom by which marriages should be arranged by the parents of the young people.”
The Restored Church: A Brief History of the Growth and Doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by William E. Berrett, Deseret Book Co., p. 247; “In 1840 the doctrine [of polygamy] was taught to a few leading brethren who, with the Prophet, secretly married additional wives in the following year…”
The Women of Mormonism, Ann Eliza Young, letter to Mormon Women, “Letter Number Two,” in Froiseth, ed. pp. 169-170; “It is the very refinement of cruelty, this polygamy, and it hurts are deeper and more poisonous than any other wounds can be. They never heal, but grow constantly more painful, until it makes life unendurable.”
The Women of Mormonism: or the Story of Polygamy as Told by the Victims Themselves, 1886 by Jennie Anderson Froiseth/Also see Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, pg. 295; “I think no more of taking another wife than I do of buying a cow, and if you want to build up the kingdom you must take more wives.” (Apostle Heber C. Kimball)
Times & Seasons 4:143; “We are charged with advocating a plurality of wives, and common property. Now this is as false as the many other ridiculous charges which are brought against us. No sect have a greater reverence for the laws of matrimony, or the rights of private property, and we do what others do not, plactice [sic] what we preach.”
Times & Seasons, vol. 5 (1844-January 1, 1845): pg. 423; “As we have lately been credibly informed, that an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter day Saints, by the name of Hiram Brown, has been preaching Polygamy, and other false and corrupt doctrines, in the county of Lapeer, state of Michigan.This is to notify him and the Church in general, that he has been cut off from the church, for his iniquity; and he is further notified to appear at the Special Conference, on the 6th of April next, to make answer to these charges.” – Joseph Smith, Jr., Hyrum Smith
Times and Seasons, Nov. 15, 1844, v. 5, p. 715; “The law of the land and the rules of the church do not allow one man to have more than one wife alive at once…”
Wife No. 9, Ann Eliza Young, wife of Brigham Young, 1876, pp. 70-71; “Joseph not only paid his addresses to the young and unmarried women, but he sought ‘spiritual alliance’ with many married ladies…. He taught them that all former marriages were null and void, and that they were at perfect liberty to make another choice of a husband. The marriage covenants were not binding, because they were ratified only by Gentile laws. These laws the Lord did not recognize; consequently all the women were free…
“One woman said to me not very long since, while giving me some of her experiences in polygamy: ‘The greatest trial I ever endured in my life was living with my husband and deceiving him, by receiving Joseph’s attentions whenever he chose to care to me.’ … some of these women have since said they did not know who was the Father of her children; this is not to be wondered at, for after Joseph’s declaration annulling all Gentile marriages, the greatest promiscuity was practiced; and, indeed, all sense of morality seemed to have been lost by a portion at least of the church.”
Caroline Owens, in Matilda Joslyn Gage, Women, Church and State, 1998, pp. 238-240; “I can never tell the horrors of the next few hours…. I went to my room and dressed for the reception, which took place at Cannon’s other house, where he kept his three wives. When I went down, there was a crowd there, among the rest a plain looking girl in a calico dress, to whom I was introduced. It was Emily Spencer…. I told her to get up. Miles came forward and said, ‘Sit still Emily Spencer, my wife.’ I felt as though I had been shot. I said, Your wife! Then what am I?’ He said, ‘You are both my wives.’ All at once my shame flashed over me. Here I was dishonored, the polygamous wife of a Mormon. I ran out of the house, bent only on escape, I did not think where. I could not do it, though for Miles and young Cannon, a son of the Delegate, ran after me and dragged me back…. [B]ut I stole away and returned to the other house, where I had been living the three weeks since my arrival from England. I noticed there was no key in the lock, but shot a little bolt and piled chairs against the door. I cried myself to sleep. The next thing I knew, I don’t know what time it was, Miles stood in the room and was locking the door on the inside. I screamed… Miles said I need not take on, for Brother Cannon had anticipated that I would make trouble and had the house cleared of everyone else. I found out that it was so. He told me that I might as well submit; there was no law here to control the saints. There was no power on earth that would save me.”