Monday, June 16, 2014

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.

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