Monday, June 30, 2014

God and the Golden Rule

GOD DOES NOT TREAT PEOPLE AS HE WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED. He doesn't treat them how they would like to be treated either. Basically God just dumps on people a whole lot and throws us a bone from time to time. But the Mormon promise is that he will treat us as equals someday if we're good enough to deserve it. Well, kind of. He'll still be our dad and demand total reverence and obedience to his rules. Good enough, right?

Whittling our wicks

Even though Jesus supposedly fulfilled the Law of Moses and the uncircumcised have been initiated into God's covenant people since the days of Paul, Mormons in the United States still think it's a very good idea to have their newborn sons' prepuce paired down a tich.

I'm really can't imagine why God thought circumcision was a good practice in the first place. Or why it would be necessary. Didn't God create our bodies just the way he wanted them? So why'd he come back at us with a design adjustment?

 (Circumcision comes at the end...)

For some strange reason, God thought circumcision might be an effective sign of fidelity to him even though the only people who would see this physical sign were the circumcised men and their wives. It would have made more sense to trim down earlobes or something more visible and less functional. Oh well, God's not exactly known for his logic - mystery is more his game.

Let me ask you this: WHY WOULD YOU WORSHIP A BEING WHO SAYS "IF YOU LOVE ME  CUT YOUR PENIS!"? That's pretty messed up. If this reminds you of any of your intimate relationship I recommend you get out of them before you incur any further abuse.

Moving now to modern Mormonism, why exactly it is that members are so okay with this painful and presumptuous practice puzzles me. My guess is that it has more to do with being a part of American culture than than it does God's culture. (Then again, maybe God's insecure enough that he requires all his boys' penises to look like his.)

Mormons (and Americans in general), please stop cutting your sons. If they want the snip they can decide for themselves later. InthenameofOiledJoshua,Amen!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Filling pockets full of virgins

Isn't it at least a little strange that following Joseph Smith's death many of his wives were divvied up between Brigham Young and Heber Kimball? It's a fact that many of those women didn't meet the requirements for plural marriage in the first place and should not have been married to Joseph, but why would they end up automatically marrying other early Mormon bigwigs? Is there another rule about wives trickling down the chain of hierarchy upon a prophet's death?

What about Brigham and Heber's other wives? I'm sure if we were to look at the lives of each of these sister wives and the situations surrounding their polygamous marriage, as has been done with Joseph's wives, we would find plenty of instances to doubt the divinity and righteous practice of the Law of Plural Marriage. Maybe some day I'll get around to it, but then where would I then stop? How many early Church leaders practiced polygamy? How many women had to cope with the practice despite their better judgement?

Years ago we heard that polygamy helped house and provide for widows. Taking care of the surplus of women is a good thing. We heard that polygamy was needed to boost the Mormon population even though polygamy doesn't actually do that. We were told that only a very small percentage of Mormon men practiced it as if that would somehow make how it was practiced ethical. We even heard our prophet say he did not think polygamy was doctrinal even though the commandment and explanation of it is still contained our scripture.

There's a lot of history here that we could discuss - a lot - and the LDS Church is trying to discuss it as little as possible while still appearing open and willing. What I would like to see is more focus on the people who felt constrained to practice and not on the institutional justifications.


One of the most horrible ideas I grew up with had to do with making a matrimonial union official. It's a practice called consummation and the idea is that a couple has to have sex to make their marriage legitimate. The man must "take" the bride for her to "be his" in very fact. No sex, not a real marriage.

It's not a Mormon-born concept and I'm not sure if it counts as Mormon doctrine, but belief in it was alive and well in the Church during my formative years (but probably even more alive in the years Joseph Smith was prophet). My friends and I would sometimes talk about how soon after being sealed we were going to go consummate the marriage. Sometimes we would joke about doing it right away because we'd obviously be so horny right after the ceremony, but just as often we would choose the ASAP option because, according to our logic back then, you wouldn't want a terrible tragedy to happen and not have the marriage count. Either way, there was no time for delay.

Let's get some virgin blood on the sheets!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Wives #37-#49 and beyond

In addition to the 36 known wives of Joseph Smith, there are thirteen more known possible wives:

#37 - Mary Houston
#38 - Sarah Scott
#39 - Olive Andrews
#40 - Jane Tippets
#41 - Sophia Sanburn
#42 - Phoebe Watrous Woodworth
#43 - Vienna Jacques
#44 - Clarissa Reed Hancock
#45 - Mrs. Blossom
#46 - Mary Huston
#47 - Cordelia Clarista Morley
#48 - Nancy Maria Smith
#49 - Sophia Woodman

Yes, these marriages are not widely accepted, but neither were the other 36. ALL OF JOSEPH'S MARRIAGES WERE OFFICIATED IN SECRET, BEHIND SOMEONE'S BACK. Typically it was behind Emma's back.

Why should we not believe that Joseph married more women than we now know of?

We do know that Joseph propositioned men for their wives. Sometimes he told them it was an Abrahamic test (which was really quite shitty of him, if you ask me, partially because the proposed sacrifice of Isaac was such a horrible thing in the first place). Obviously he propositioned a number of women without their husband's knowledge or consent. Even his marriage to Emma took place against Isaac Hale's wishes.

How many women did Joseph really marry? Why did he have to marry so many? Why did none of his plural marriages conform to the rules he received? Are we honestly to believe that the angel commanding him to start polygamy showed up with a flaming sword but not a simple set of rules?

In addition to Fanny Alger, how many women did Joseph seduce without using the whole plural marriage scheme? It's no secret that he deeply enjoyed the company of women. Who else succumbed to his charm and power?

What are we to believe is godly and right about any of this? Is this how God works? Is it not clear why so many people find out about these things and begin to seriously doubt?

Fanny Young Murray (Smith) - wife #36

Fanny Young (November 8, 1787 - June 11, 1859) was Brigham Young's older sister. She took on much of the responsibility for raising her younger siblings after her mother died in 1815. She was also close to the Kimball family and young Helen referred to her as Aunt Fanny.

Fanny married Heber Kimball's father-in-law, Roswell Murray, in 1832, the same year she and other members of the Young family joined the Church. Roswell, however, did not join, but he still moved with the saints to Kirtland, Missouri, and then Nauvoo, where he fell ill and died in 1839.

Fanny's marriage to Joseph Smith was extremely abrupt. She found herself disagreeing with Brigham and Joseph in a conversation about the necessity of plural marriage in order to reach the highest glory of the Celestial Kingdom, and Joseph rebutted her expressed desire to simply be an administering angel with "you talk very foolishly, you do not know what you will want" and followed that up by having Brigham seal her to him then and there.

To me the story reads as an example of how Joseph liked to flash his prophetic mantle and shoot to close the sale quickly. Fanny's marriage to the prophet comes across as yet another example of how Joseph was good at pressuring people to reassert himself and get what he wanted.

Unlike many of the other plural wives, Fanny was not resealed to Joseph in the Nauvoo temple following his murder.

Nancy Mariah Winchester (Smith) Kimball Arnold - wife #35

Nancy Winchester (August 10, 1828 - March 17, 1876) moved to Kirtland with her recently converted parents and older brother at the age of about five. She herself was likely baptized three years later at the "age of accountability." The Winchesters later moved to Missouri, but by 1842 were in Nauvoo.

Nancy was fourteen or fifteen when she was secretly married to Joseph Smith. When he died, she and other wives of Joseph were married to Heber Kimball. Nancy separated from Heber and married Amos George Arnold after arriving in Utah. They had one son, George, together.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Melissa Lott (Smith) Bernhisel Willes - wife #34

Melissa Lott (January 9, 1824 - July 13, 1898) moved with her family to Nauvoo in 1842. Her father, Cornelius, managed the Smith family farm a couple of miles south of town. Melissa soon moved in with the Smiths and helped out with Joseph and Emma's children. She moved back home as a single teen.

Then, towards the end of June, 1843, Joseph sent an entourage of secret wives to convince Melissa that she needed to marry him. Eliza Snow, Elvira Holmes, Elizabeth Durfee, and Elizabeth Whitney (mother of one of Joseph's teenage wives, Sarah Ann Whitney) dropped by the Lott farm for a chat.

Nineteen-year-old Melissa was secretly married to Joseph in September. Her parents were present as Melissa and Joseph vowed to keep themselves "wholly for each other" in the capacity of husband and wife. Melissa later confirmed that she was Joseph's wife "in very deed," which is to say they had sex. She even returned to the Smith home that winter. I wonder if Emma noticed anything.

Less than year after Joseph was murdered, Melissa married again, this time to a man named John Milton Bernhisel. Three years later, now in Utah, she married Ira Jones Willes, with whom she had six children: Achsa, Stephen, Lyman, Ira, Cornelius, and Polly.

Melissa lost her husband and son Cornelius in 1863. Achsa and Stephen also died before reaching adulthood.

Mary Ann Frost Stearns Pratt (Smith) - wife #33

Mary Ann Pratt (January 14, 1809 - August 24, 1891) was Olive's sister. She married apostle Parley P. Pratt in 1837, four years after the death of her first husband, Nathan Stearns, and two years after joining the Mormon church.

Mary Ann, Parley, and Olive served a mission to England together from 1840 to 1843. Mary Ann returned to Nauvoo without Parley and the two divorced shortly after his later return.

Marry Ann was secretly sealed to Joseph Smith by Heber Kimball about the same time as her sister. In 1852 she moved to Utah with her children Olivia and Moroni.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Olive Grey Frost (Smith) Young - wife #32

Olive Frost (July 24, 1816 - October 6, 1845) converted to Mormonism in October 1839. Her sister, Mary Ann, had joined three years early and had married the apostle Parley P. Pratt. Olive embarked with them on a mission to England in early 1840.

In 1843, at the end of her mission, Olive and the Pratts moved to Nauvoo. There Olive stayed with Patty and David Sessions and was soon introduced to the concept of plural wifery. She was secretly married to Joseph Smith that summer.

When Joseph was killed Olive lost it. She married Brigham young in October, but died the next year.

Desdemona Wadsworth Fullmer (Smith) Benson McLane - wife #31

Desdemona Fullmer (October 6, 1809 - February 9, 1886) was a devout believer from an early age. She had her own First Vision of sorts about ten years before reading The Book of Mormon. She was praying to know which church to join when she was struck down and paralyzed by the power of God. It was in that state that a voice came to her and told her that she would have to wait a while yet before finding the true church.

Desdemona went through a lot with her fellow Mormons. Her family gathered in Kirtland and then in Missouri, where she witnessed the Haun's Mill massacre. She felt resolved to stay in Missouri and weather the persecution, but she and her family were eventually pushed out to Nauvoo in 1842.

In Nauvoo Desdemona first stayed with Joseph Smith and his family. (She most likely knew a few of Joseph's other secret wives, like Emily and Eliza Partridge, Elvira Cowles, and others) She moved out after a year without having married Joseph Smith, but that would be resolved less than six months later.

Desdemona's secret marriage to Joseph caused her to worry that Emma might find out and poison her, so obviously Joseph was not following the first wife's consent rule. On the plus side, she was probably a virgin!

Joseph was murdered less than a year later. Desdemona married Ezra Benson early on in 1846. Some time after Ezra died she married Harrison Parker McLane, with whom she had a daughter, Desdemona, who died the year she was born.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rhoda Richards (Smith) Young - wife #30

Rhoda Richards (August 8, 1784 - January 17, 1879) makes 30 known wives for Joseph Smith by mid-June of 1843, barely a year before he would be killed. Thirty wives, people! Rhoda was nearly sixty when she married Joseph, but other wives were as young as fourteen. Joseph was having sex with a good number of these plural wives.

Age is no obstacle. Never has been.

Rhoda's brother Willard was one of Joseph's main marrying men, so perhaps it isn't too strange that she would end up married to the prophet. She was also Brigham Young's first cousin, so obviously she was well connected to the sacred inner circle of Nauvoo Mormonism.

Brother Will.

Years before becoming an old polygamous wife, Rhoda was engaged to a man named Ebenezer Damon. He was known as a good man. He had a young daughter named Susan from a previous marriage and Rhoda grew very fond of her. Unfortunately Ebenezer died young. Rhoda, who was still in her twenties at the time, was, of course, devastated. Ebenezer's death weighed heavily on her for the decades to come.

Rhoda joined the Church in the mid-1830 via Brigham Young. She moved to Nauvoo in 1842. In Nauvoo she finally met Joseph, and the following year her brother married her to Joseph in an act she seems to have understood as confirming her spot in heaven.

After Joseph was killed Rhoda married her cousin Brigham. She moved to Utah with the Brighamite saints to live out the remainder of her life.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Elvira Annie Cowles Holmes (Smith) - wife #29

Elvira Holmes (November 23, 1813 - March 10, 1871) joined the Church in 1835 at the age of 22. Her father Austin Cowles had joined earlier.

Austin moved his family to Nauvoo in 1840 where Elvira gained employment at the Smith residence.

It was there she met Joseph Smith's long time friend Jonathan Holmes, to whom she was married (by Joseph) and with whom she bore two children. Six months after her marriage to Jonathan, Elvira was sealed to Joseph. Jonathan deeply resented that his children with Elvira would be given to Joseph in the Celestial Kingdom.

Elvira's father Austin disaffected from the Church and helped with the Nauvoo Expositor, the paper denouncing Joseph's secret polygamy and contributing to the local anger felt towards Joseph.

Elvira moved out west with the saints. Her husband Jonathan married his second wife, Sarah Ingersoll Harvey Lloyd, in 1862.

Elvira died in Farmington, Utah.

Hanna S. Ells Benbow(?) (Smith) - wife #28

Hanna Ells (March 4, 1813 - ca. 1845) was an English woman who was living in Philadephia and making money as a seamstress before moving out to Nauvoo with the saints. She set up her own dressmaking business there. 

Hanna married Joseph Smith in the first half of 1843. Shortly after Joseph's death, she also died. It seems they had no children.

John Benbow later told of Josesph frequently visiting his wife "Hannah." Is this our Hanna? Was she married? Did John know what Joseph was up to? Wilford Woodruff did. He wrote of climbing to the top of the unfinished Nauvoo temple and invoking vengeance on behalf of Joseph, Hanna's husband. Not the most Christlike thing to pray for, I know.

Helen Mar Kimball (Smith) Whitney - wife #27

Helen Kimball (August 22, 1828 - November 13, 1896) was the daughter of Heber Kimball, perhaps biggest horse's dick of all the early Mormon polygamists. Heber was so fucking classy he decided it was a great idea to hand fourteen-year-old Helen - his only daughter - over to Joseph Smith as a wife. Fourteen years old! Then again, Heber would have done anything to be eternally close to Joseph. Even Helen saw that her dad was obsessed enough with being sealed to Joseph Smith and saw herself as a spotless offering on her father's behalf. (Heber stayed obsessed by the desire to be sealed to Joseph to the day he died when on his death bed he asked his wife Sarah, who was sealed to Joseph, to intercede on his behalf.)

Helen was three when her parents joined the Church. They moved to Kirtland, where Heber was ordained an apostle, in 1835. They eventually moved to Nauvoo, where they settled near the temple lot.

Heber, not Joseph, was the one to approach Helen about polygamy. He gave her 24 hours to think things over. Helen was repulsed by the idea, as was her mother, Vilate Murray, who had seen how challenging plural marriage was for other women. But this was all about Heber's salvation. Helen agreed to do it and Vilate sorrowfully consented.

Helen was Joseph's fourth teen bride in a row in less than a month. So many virgins! Yay!

I'm not sure who the hell decides to marry his friend's fourteen year old. I actually doubt it was Joseph's idea; I think it was Heber's. I also think Joseph should have told Heber to cool his fucking jets and at least give it a few more years. I don't know if Joseph slept with a Helen, but I also can't see why he wouldn't. Either way, the marriage changed Helen's life significantly. She was no longer allowed to be a young girl and enjoy her previous social life. She absolutely hated polygamy.

No dancing for you, young Mrs.!

Almost two years after Joseph was killed at Carthage jail Helen married Horace Whitney (pictured above). Helen was still sealed (in fact, resealed at the time of her marriage to Horace) to Joseph, and Horace was sealed to Elizabeth Sykes, who was dead. They had eleven children: Helen, William, Horace, Vilate, Orson, Elizabeth, Genevieve, Helen (again), Charles, Florence, Phebe.

I wonder what their eternal family will look like. Will Helen and Joseph get the kids? Will Helen and Horace? Will Horace and Elizabeth? Will they all just share? Why don't these sealings resemble our sealings today?

Not surprisingly, Helen came around to polygamy. In her later years she became an advocate for it. She died in Salt Lake City.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Maria Lawrence (Smith) Young Babbitt - wife #26

Maria Lawrence (December 18, 1823 - ca. 1846) and her sister Sarah were left orphans at the respective ages of 16 and 19 after moving with their parents from Canada to Nauvoo. Joseph Smith became their legal guardian and the sisters lived with the Smiths alongside Emily and Eliza Partridge. Like the Partridge sisters, Sarah and Maria were drawn into polygamy with Joseph Smith with Emma's consent. They continued living with the Smiths until Joseph's assassination, caused in part by William Law's accusation that Maria was one of Joseph's secret wives.

Joseph, of course, publicly denied practicing polygamy.

Maria and Sarah tried unsuccessfully to get their parents property back from the Smiths.

Her next husband was Brigham Young, but that relationship was short lived and followed by a marriage to one Col. Babbitt. Maria died young at 22.

Sarah Lawrence (Smith) Kimball Mount - wife #25

Sarah Lawrence (May 13, 1826 - ca. 1890) and her sister Maria (December 18, 1823) were left orphans at the respective ages of 16 and 19 after moving with their parents from Canada to Nauvoo. Joseph Smith became their legal guardian and the sisters lived with the Smiths alongside Emily and Eliza Partridge. Like the Partridge sisters, Sarah and Maria were drawn into polygamy with Joseph Smith with Emma's consent. They continued living with the Smiths until Joseph's assassination.

Sarah was married to Heber Kimball, had four children, but divorced him less than a decade later. She later married Joseph Mount and started denying any connection to Joseph Smith and Heber Kimball. Her life ended in California.

Lucy Walker (Smith) Kimball - wife #24

Lucy Walker (April 30, 1826 - October 5, 1910) moved with her parents and siblings to Nauvoo in the spring of 1841. She saw her family fall apart the following January when her mother died of malaria, Joseph Smith sent her devastated father, John, on a mission, and her and her nine siblings were split up upon Joseph's instruction. Lucy, along three of the other older children, were taken in by the Smiths. She was fifteen at the time.

 "You have Just such a family [daughter?] as I could love." Joseph Smith, Jr.

One day Joseph decided to teach Lucy about plural marriage. He told her that God told him to marry her. He told her it would save her mother. He told her it had to be secret for now but he would recognize her openly as a wife one day beyond the Rocky Mountains. He told her to pray about it. When Lucy hesitated he told her she had until the next day to decide adding that it was a commandment from God. He told her that if she refused heaven's gates would be closed to her forever.

What would you have done? Lucy was distraught. She, of course, decided to place herself on the altar. They were married by William Clayton on May 1, 1843 - the day after her seventeenth birthday. Emma, who was away on business, was not privy in the slightest to this marriage. Neither was Lucy's father.

Lucy, speaking of her marriage to Joseph, stated that she lived with him as a wife (THEY HAD SEX) but it "was not a love matter [...] - at least on my part it was not, but simply the giving up of myself as a sacrifice."

Lucy married Heber Kimball after Joseph's death. They had nine children: Rachel, John, Willard, Lydia, Ann, Eliza (mother of Spencer Kimball), Washington, Joshua, and Franklin.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Almera Woodward Johnson (Smith) Barton - wife #23

Almera Johnson (October 12, 1812 - March 4, 1896), Delcena's younger sister. Joseph Smith approached Benjamin Johnson, Almera and Delcena's brother, about plural marriage and marrying Almera at the beginning of April, 1843 during a stay with them in Macedonia, Illinois. Benjamin was shocked (apparently he had not yet found out about Delcena) but came around after hearing Joseph preach that same night about the parable of the talents.

Almera did not buy Benjamin's explanation when he nervously approached her, so Joseph had Benjamin bring her to Nauvoo, where Almera got a talking to from Joseph's brother and right hand man, Hyrum. Hyrum's endorsement tipped Almera over the edge. William Clayton married her to Joseph that same April.

Almera stayed at the Mansion House for three weeks before going back to Macedonia with Benjamin. Joseph would visit and sleep with her again there.

After Joseph's assassination Almera married Reuben Barton. They had five daughters, the third of which, Lois, was mentally impaired and cause of deep guilt for Almera, who felt she was being punished by God for marrying again.

Almera separated from Reuben in 1860. She died in Parawan, Utah.

Nephite ward lists

To all of you out there who are struggling with the recent excommunication news, let me just say, PEACE! BE STILL! This is all part of God's plan for his church. We read in The Book of Mormon that excommunication is a divinely inspired practice that brings order. It can be very hard for the faithful, it's true, but we've got to be strong. No slipping up! Heaven forbid you lapse into apostasy too!

Now if only we could find some of these Nephite lists of believers. Wouldn't it be great to see if Nephites blotted out the names of the unrepentant completely or if they just earmarked them in their database as excommunicated so they could more easily reinstate those lost sheep once they returned like we do today? I mean the Church totally has it figured out now! Don't delete anybody! Keep them all signed up! Just hide the names of excommunicated members until they return to the fold! It might not be honest, but you have to agree it's generous and loving.

Eliza Maria Partridge (Smith) Lyman - wife #22

Eliza Partridge (April 20, 1820 - 1885), the older and less attractive sister of Emily Partridge, only found out about the principle of plural marriage after moving in with the Smiths following her father's passing. Eliza and Emily were approached by Elizabeth Durfee, another of Joseph's secret wives, and they give in - Emily because she was lured into the Kimball home and pressured, Eliza because... because... I don't know. Maybe she saw that her sister went through with it, remembered, Elizabeth's talk, and reasoned that Joseph could not possibly be doing anything inappropriate. Either way she joined in the game within a week of her sister Emily, and, like Emily, was kicked out of the house once Emma hit her limit.

Following Joseph's death, Eliza married Amasa Mason Lyman, a member of the First Presidency at the time, not to mention a polygamist. His third wife, Caroline Partridge, was Eliza and Emily's sister (Eliza was his fourth). Another sister, Lydia, would become his eighth and final wife.

Eliza had a baby on her way west, but that child died. She had another child before arriving in Utah. She had five children in all.

Amasa was later excommunicated for apostasy and the Partridge sisters left him. Eliza remarried.

Eliza, who had been so disgusted by polygamy in her early twenties, spend her later years as an activist for polygamy.

Read her autobiography here.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Emily Dow Partridge (Smith) Young - wife #21

Emily Partridge (February 28, 1824 - 1899) ended up nannying for the Smiths after her father, Edward Partridge, bishop of Nauvoo, died in 1840. A year in Joseph asked Emily if she would be willing to read a secret letter and then burn it. She wouldn't.

Not long after that Elizabeth Durfee stepped in and had a sit down with Emily and her sister Eliza. The topic? Plural marriage.

Joseph approached Emily again on her nineteenth birthday, this time with words she couldn't decline to hear. Days later Elizabeth approached Emily again and send her to meet Joseph at Heber Kimball's home. It was a plot to get Joseph married to her right then and there. Heber's two children were sent to the neighbor's house and Emily was to leave with them, only she was immediately called back with loud whispers. She found herself alone with Joseph and Heber. Joseph explained that God had given her to him. She decided it best to go along with things and marry Joseph. The newly weds didn't consummate their marriage that night, but did sleep together on various occasions afterward.

This, people, sounds like an abduction, not a holy covenant. It resembles abuse, not love.

As usual the marriage took place without Emma's knowledge or permission. Joseph then used the temple endowment oath of wifely obedience to her husband to leverage Emma into accepting plural marriage. Emma was endowed only after accepting the Partridge sisters as sister wives and standing witness to a second farcical wedding.

 Denounce your husband and lose your crown? I think not!

Emma's acceptance of the situation did not last long. She eventually sent Emily and Eliza out of the house.

After Joseph's assassination Emily married Brigham Young, with whom she had seven children.

You can read her autobiography here.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Johnny "Gone Rotten" Dehlin & Kate "Machine Gun" Kelly

Well members of the LDS Church can now officially hate John Dehlin and Kate Kelly, two horrible people advocating for the fair treatment of gays and women in the Church, because just a few days ago they were both informed via post that their heads are going to roll! That's right! Excommunication, that most glorious of loving practices!

Sorry, John and Kate, but we will not tolerate your evil liberal ways. We hope you have fun getting shit on by your family and community from here on out because you now wear the sign of the Beast on your brow. Or maybe try repenting or something. Show us how sorry you are. We love that shit!

And for all you assholes out there who actually like what John and Kate have done, REPENT YE MOTHERFUCKERS, FOR THE CHURCH OF GOD IS PISSED! You have now been given a fair warning with the examples of John and Kate that love and compassion are not enough. The same goes for you followers of brother Waterman, too! (Sister Colvin, you might be next!) Mend your ways or you might be next! (Unless you don't have enough people listening to you, in that case let all your crazy out whenever you feel like it.)

In efforts to clarify the situation the Church has released an explanation of sorts. I just have a few questions about this press release. Did John and Kate really do this to themselves or isn't it really the Church doing the excommunicating? When can we expect our leaders to clarify John and Kate's false teachings? What exactly have they said that is so horribly incongruous with LDS doctrine? And is the "door" really and truly "always open" to people who are excommunicated? I thought there was policy that getting excommunicated twice locks that door for the rest of your mortal existence. Dieter, can you help us with any of these questions and doubts? 

Truly this is God's work, I solemnly declare, in the name of Greasy J, amen.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Flora Ann Woodworth (Smith) Grove - wife #20

Joseph Smith's third teenaged bride was Flora Woodworth (November 14, 1826 - ca. 1850). The two met through Flora's father, Lucien, who was the architect of the Nauvoo House hotel. She was all of sixteen years old (and likely a virgin) when she married the prophet early in 1843.

William Clayton

Joseph seems to have been very excited about Flora and, according to William Clayton, met with her fairly regularly. He even gave her some bling: a gold watch.

The marriage complicated life for at least a few people. Emma found out about the relationship (no, she hadn't given her permission) and the gold watch, found Flora, bitched her out, and demanded the watch back. Joseph tried to reprimand her and got hell in return. Upon returning from a mission, Orange Wight, Flora's would be suitor, found out about the marriage and stopped his pursuit. He was nineteen.

Still not used to it, Emma?

After Joseph's assassination Flora married a non-member named Carlos Grove, with whom she had three children (but none with Joseph). She confessed to Helen Mar Kimball that marrying a non-member had caused regrettable ostracization in the Mormon community. The Groves tried to move out to Utah, but Flora died en route. She was in her mid-twenties.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ruth Daggett Vose Sayers (Smith) - wife #19

Ruth Sayers (February 26, 1808 - 1884) was an upholsterer from Boston. She was baptized there by Brigham Young in 1836, about four years after she had first heard of the Mormons. While living in Boston she donated significantly to the Kirtland temple construction.

Ruth married Edward Sayers in 1841 and the couple soon headed to Nauvoo. In August of the following year, Ruth got to know Joseph Smith better when he stayed with the Sayers for a week while hiding from the law. Ruth and Joseph were married six months later.

Ruth stayed living with Edward in Nauvoo and for the rest of her life. After Joseph's death the Sayers moved back to Boston for a few years before moving out to Utah.

Sarah Bapson (Smith?) - wife #18

Here's the first of the very mysterious possible wives of Joseph Smith. A "Miss B*****" is mentioned in John C. Bennett's The History of the Saints, and in 1899 Lorenzo Snow authorized a proxy sealing for Joseph and "Sarah Rapson." It gets more mysterious still. She's also been identified as Sarah Poulter, Sarah Poulterer, Sarah Davis, and Sarah Royson. I don't know the details.

Suffice it to say that if we are to believe the "Miss" we can perhaps assume she was a virgin. However, I would also assume that Joseph kept this marriage - like the others - from Emma. What I mean is, this marriage, if it happened, didn't follow the rules of plural marriage.

Martha McBride Knight (Smith) Kimball - wife #17

Martha Knight (March 17, 1805 - November 20, 1901), wife of Vinson Knight, joined the Church with her husband in 1835, the year after meeting Joseph Smith. They moved with the saints to Ohio, Missouri, and in 1841 Nauvoo, where Vinson was appointed as one of the city's three bishops.

Joseph taught Vinson about plural marriage, and in 1842 Martha had gained a sister wife, a woman named Philinda Merrick. That same year Vinson took ill and died, and within a month Martha was married to Joseph.

Before Vinson's death he and Martha would have seven children together: Almira, Rizpah, Adaline, James, Nathaniel, Martha, and Rodolphus.

Joseph tried to set up Almira with his brother Hyrum, but Almira refused. Adaline, on the other hand, would end up in a polygamous marriage. Seeing Adaline's marriage troubles, Almira was always grateful to have avoided polygamy, not knowing that her mother had participated in three polygamous marriages.

Martha's third polygamous marriage was with Heber Kimball a few short months after Joseph's death. She had a child with him and moved to Utah with his harem, but lived most of her life there with relatives. Toward the end of her life she spoke of feeling homeless and lonesomeness.

I'm sure she had some say about what she wanted, but I get the feeling that Martha was a woman who was passed around as decisions were made for her. I hope she enjoys the eternities somehow despite being sealed to three questionable men.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sarah Ann Whitney (Smith) Kingsbury Kimball - wife #16

Sarah Whitney (March 22, 1825 - September 4, 1873) was only seventeen when her father, Newel K. Whitney, officiated her marriage to Joseph Smith. Newel, who was a close friend of Joseph, was even given a revelation (through Joseph, naturally) that this marriage was a wonderful idea - it would bring earthly blessings and seal the Whitney family's place in the Celestial Kingdom!

Let me emphasize this point: Newel and his wife Elizabeth secretly married their eldest (but still teenaged) daughter to a man 20 years her senior in exchange for a golden ticket to heaven.

People, if this sounds like a huge, manipulative con to you, let me say right now that there's nothing wrong with you. This arrangement looks shady and disgusting, and don't you doubt it!

It gets even shadier still. In mid-August Joseph, hiding from the law, tells Sarah and her parents that it is "the will of God that you should comfort me now" only to follow up with a warning to watch out for Emma, who, according Joseph, was dangerous. Joseph, on the other hand, was just a sick bastard (but at least he followed the divine mandate to marry a virgin).

The shadiness of this arrangement continues. Joseph then arranged a faux-marriage between Sarah and Joseph Kingsbury. I can only assume this was so it would be easier for Joseph to drop by on Sarah without creating suspicion. Very classy stuff. Very holy.

Joseph was killed less than two years later, at which point Sarah's marriage to Kingbury was disolved and Sarah went on to marry Heber Kimball, with whom she had seven children: David, David Orson, David Heber, Newel, Horace, Sarah, and Joshua. Her life ended in Utah before the age of 50.

Eliza Roxcy Snow (Smith) Young - wife #15

Eliza Snow (January 21, 1804 - December 5, 1887) was one messed up lady. She was known as a poet from her early years so maybe we should say she was more of a trouble artist type. Some say she lived a life of celibacy, some say she was raped by persecutors of the Church, some say she had sex with both her husbands, some say she was pregnant at one point with Joseph Smith's child. However mysterious her sex life may be, her poetry and autobiographic writings reveal someone who needed some serious help. To put it mildly, she was dramatic as fuck and completely full of herself. I'm amazed anyone wanted to be around her.

Eliza seems to have had a taste for Primitive Church movements. She first joined Alexander Campbell's Christian primitivist movement and then the Mormons. She moved to Kirtland, where she stayed with Joseph and Emma, even after being given her own lot. She moved with the saints to Missouri and then Nauvoo, where Joseph gave her an appointment in the newly organized Relief Society and told her about plural marriage. She was disgusted by the idea for all of a couple of months, and then she married Joseph.

Joseph eventually invited Eliza to live with him and Emma in Nauvoo for what Eliza hoped would be a permanent stay. She took up teaching the Smith children.

Living conditions soon got out of hand. About six months in Emma found out that Eliza was a sister wife, freaked out (Eliza says she kept her cool), and sent her down a flight of stairs (some say with a broom, other say by her hair). Eliza's fall might have prematurely ended a pregnancy, either way, it ended her stay with the Smiths.

It still hurts like like before, doesn't it Emma? 
Maybe worse because Joe didn't learn the first time?
Maybe worse now that it's a self-righteous bitch your own age?

Eliza was a staunch and dishonest defender of polygamy. The same year she married Joseph she sent around a petition in Nauvoo collecting signatures from a thousand women denying Joseph's involvement in polygamy. Later that year she produced a Relief Society document denouncing the practice. 

When Joseph died Eliza stayed close to power; she married Brigham Young (yet another reason why Emma would have no interest in moving out to Utah). Eliza never had any children of her own but she raised or help raise many by other women. She fought for women's suffrage and refused to be powerless. Today she is one of the most celebrated women in the LDS Church.

Delcena Johnson Sherman (Smith) Babbitt - wife #14

With Delcena Johnson (Novermber 19, 1806 - October 21, 1854) we have yet another widow. She was first married to Lyman R. Sherman, with whom she had six children, so right off the bat we can see that Joseph Smith wasn't following the virginal bride requirement. The couple joined the Church together in 1831 in New York. They moved Kirtland, then to Far West, and, following Lyman's death, Nauvoo. Delcena's brother Benjamin took her and her children in.

Then Benjamin was sent on a mission to Canada and before he returned in 1842 Delcena was married to Joseph. Benjamin accepted the marriage without question. Delcena was living with her sister wife, Louisa Beaman. The three of them - Benjamin, Delcena, and Louisa - would eventually all pitch in to convince Almera Johnson, Benjamin and Delcena's younger sister, to marry Joseph as well.

Delcena married a third time after Joseph's assassination, this time to Almon Babbitt. In 1850 he left for Utah without her. She made the trip four years later, eager to no longer be left lonely, only to die within a couple of months of arriving in Utah.