Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Presendia Lanthrop Huntington Buell (Smith) Kimball - wife #6

Zina's older sister, Presendia Huntington (September 7, 1810 - February 1, 1892), also married Joseph Smith about two months later. Like Zina, Presendia was already married. She and her husband Norman, with whom she would have seven children, had been following Joseph Smith since joining the Church together in 1836.

Again, Joseph deserves a little credit for being upfront with Presendia about plural marriage (even if he was going behind Emma's back). To his discredit, it seems as though this marriage was likely part of a salvation bargain with Dimick Huntington, the brother of Zina and Presendia who officiated the marriage. That's right, Dimick gave off his sister in exchange for a place with Joseph and the Smith family in the Afterlife.

Dimick Baker Huntington, brother.

After the marriage Presendia continued to live with her first husband, Norman, until 1846 when he couldn't handle the Mormons anymore. She left him and one of her two surviving children, 16-year-old George, and took the other child, six-year-old Oliver, to go live as Heber C. Kimball's plural wife (his sixteenth at that point).

"I think no more of taking another wife than I do of buying a cow." (actual quote!)
Heber Chase Kimball, good man

Unaware that she had already married Heber, Norman tried to get back with Presendia only to be denied. Presendia and Heber had two children together: Presendia Celestia Kimball and Joseph Smith Kimball.

Presendia is yet another example of someone who according to the rules of polygamy should never have taken on a second husband. In the case of her marriage to Joseph Smith, she was not a virgin and the two never produced children; in the case of her marriage to Heber Kimball, she still wasn't a virgin and she was definitely sealed to another man.

But you don't need the rules to get a sense of how messed up the marriage game was in Nauvoo. If there is any righteousness in Presendia's story, you'll have to help me find it.

No comments:

Post a Comment