Tuesday, June 10, 2014

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.

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