Thursday, June 26, 2014
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.