Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Becoming Gods/Chapter 9

Table of Contents

Response to claims made in "Chapter 9: More Than One Wife"

A FairMormon Analysis of: Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century Mormonism, a work by author: Richard Abanes
Claim Evaluation
Becoming Gods
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Response to claims made in Becoming Gods, "Chapter 9: More Than One Wife"

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Response to claim: 225 - In Mormon theology, "creating" includes not only making a world, but peopling it through procreating, through sexual union with one's spouse

The author(s) of Becoming Gods make(s) the following claim:

In Mormon theology, "creating" includes not only making a world, but peopling it through procreating, through sexual union with one's spouse.

Author's sources: Melodie Moench Charles, "The Need for a New Mormon Heaven," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 21 no. 3 (Fall 1988), 77-78. The reference to "sexual union" comes from Melodie Moench Charles, who is not representative of orthodox LDS teaching.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda and/or spin - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The offensive term "celestial sex" is the creation of critics, not Latter-day Saints. Latter-day Saints do not claim to know the process by which spirits are created.



Question: Do Latter-day Saints believe in a practice called "celestial sex," and that this is the manner in which "spirit children" are formed?

It is the critics of the Church that invented and use the offensive term "celestial sex"

This is not a term used by Latter-day Saints. It has, in fact, never been used by Latter-day Saints. The use of the term "celestial sex" by critics is intended to be demeaning and shocking to Latter-day Saints or interested readers. The use of such tactics may say much about the mainstream culture's preoccupation with sexual behavior. However, it says nothing about the actual beliefs of Church members.

Critics of the Church twist LDS beliefs into a form that makes them look ridiculous. Quotes made by early LDS leaders are often used to support the claim that Latter-day Saints believe in “Celestial sex.” It should be noted, however, that LDS leaders have never used the term "Celestial sex." This phrase was coined by critics of the Church, likely for its “shock value” in portraying the following concepts in LDS belief:

  1. The belief that God the Father has a physical body.
  2. The belief that there exists a Heavenly Mother who also possesses a physical body.
  3. The belief that our Heavenly Father and Mother together are capable of creating “spirit children.”

Critics take these ideas and combine them, leading to a declaration that Latter-day Saints therefore believe in “Celestial sex.” Various anti-Mormon works then use this idea to mock LDS beliefs or shock their readers—though this claim does not describe LDS beliefs, but the critics' caricature of them.

One of the earliest uses of the term "celestial sex" was in the anti-Mormon film The God Makers

For example, the 1982 anti-Mormon film The God Makers makes reference to “engaging in celestial sex with their goddess wives." One woman in the film, who is claimed to have once been a Latter-day Saint, expresses the idea that the primary goal of women in the Church is to "become a goddess in heaven" in order to "multiply an earth" and be "eternally pregnant." The claim that Latter-day Saints expect to have "endless Celestial sex" in order to populate their own planet is very popular among critics of the Church, though members themselves would not explain their beliefs in that way.

The critics' assumptions simply take what we know about our physical world and naively apply it to the afterlife. When one examines the critics’ point further, a key question ought to be raised: How does the union of two immortal beings in a physical manner produce spirit offspring? Latter-day Saint belief is that “spirit children” only receive a physical body upon being born on earth.

This question, of course, cannot be answered. It is pointless to speculate on the exact manner in which “spirit children” are produced, and to assume that this occurs through “Celestial sex” and being "eternally pregnant" is to apply a worldly mindset to a spiritual process. The bottom line: Latter-day Saints do not know the mechanism by which “spirit children” are produced, and no LDS doctrine claims that "celestial sex" and being "eternally pregnant" are the means.


Response to claim: 226 - The statement in the 1835 D&C condemning polygamy was "perhaps in an attempt to conceal Smith's affair"

The author(s) of Becoming Gods make(s) the following claim:

The statement in the 1835 D&C condemning polygamy was "perhaps in an attempt to conceal Smith's affair."

Author's sources: D&C CI:4 (1835 edition), p. 251.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda and/or spin - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

This is the author's fantasy.



Question: Why did the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants include a statement of marriage that denied the practice of polygamy at a time when some were actually practicing it?

Polygamy was not being taught to the general Church membership at that time

The Article on Marriage was printed in the 1835 D&C as section 101 and in the 1844 D&C as section 109. The portion of the Article on Marriage relevant to polygamy states:

Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. [1]

This was true—the Church membership generally was not being taught plural marriage, and were not living it at that time.

The statement itself was not changed between the 1835 and 1844 editions of the D&C

In fact, the statement remained in the D&C until the 1876 edition, even though plural marriage had been taught to specific individuals since at least 1831, practiced in secret since 1836, and practiced openly since 1852. The matter of not removing it in 1852 was simply due to the fact that a new edition of the D&C was not published until 1876.

The available evidence suggests that Joseph Smith supported its publication

While some have suggested that the article was published against Joseph's wishes or without his knowledge, the available evidence suggests that he supported its publication. It was likely included to counter the perception that the Mormon's practice of communal property (the "law of consecration") included a community of wives.

The statement was not a revelation given to Joseph Smith - it was written by Oliver Cowdery

This statement was not a revelation given to Joseph Smith—it was written by Oliver Cowdery and introduced to a conference of the priesthood at Kirtland on 17 August 1835. Cowdery also wrote a statement of belief on government that has been retained in our current edition of the D&C as section 134. Both were sustained at the conference and included in the 1835 D&C, which was already at the press and ready to be published. Joseph Smith was preaching in Michigan at the time Oliver and W.W. Phelps introduced these two articles to the conference; it is not known if he approved of their addition to the D&C at the time, although he did retain them in the 1844 Nauvoo edition, which argues that he was not opposed to them. (Phelps read the article on marriage, while Cowdery read the one on government.) [2]

Some have suggested that the manner in which the conference was called suggests that Joseph was not the instigator of it, since it seems to have been done quite quickly, with relatively few high church leaders in attendance:

The General Assembly, which may have been announced on only twenty-four hours' notice, was held Monday, August 17[, 1835]. Its spur-of-the-moment nature is demonstrated by observing that a puzzling majority of Church leaders were absent. Missing from the meeting were all of the Twelve Apostles, eight of the twelve Kirtland High Council members nine of the twelve Missouri High Council members, three of the seven Presidents of the Quorum of Seventy, Presiding Bishop Partridge, and...two of the three members of the First Presidency. [3]

However, there is also some evidence that an article on marriage was already anticipated, and cited four times in the new D&C's index, which was prepared under Joseph's direction and probably available prior to his departure. Thus, "if a disagreement existed, it was resolved before the Prophet left for Pontiac." [4]


Response to claim: 233, 422n47 - Mormons believed that plural marriage was necessary for deification in the Celestial Kingdom

The author(s) of Becoming Gods make(s) the following claim:

Mormons believed that plural marriage was necessary for deification in the Celestial Kingdom.

Author's sources: J.W. Musser, "The New And Everlasting Covenant Of Marriage: An Interpretation Of Celestial Marriage, Plural Marriage, Polygamy."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

It is true the 19th-century Mormons believed this. This does not mean that present members of the Church believe that the principle of plural marriage is false—rather, they believe that it is a principle only to be practiced when the Lord commands it for His purposes.



Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual: "Do not speculate about whether plural marriage is a requirement for the celestial kingdom"

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual, LESSON 140:

Do not speculate about whether plural marriage is a requirement for the celestial kingdom. We have no knowledge that plural marriage will be a requirement for exaltation.[5]


Gospel Topics: "During the years that plural marriage was publicly taught, all Latter-day Saints were expected to accept the principle as a revelation from God"

Gospel Topics on LDS.org:

During the years that plural marriage was publicly taught, all Latter-day Saints were expected to accept the principle as a revelation from God. Not all, however, were expected to live it. Indeed, this system of marriage could not have been universal due to the ratio of men to women. Church leaders viewed plural marriage as a command to the Church generally, while recognizing that individuals who did not enter the practice could still stand approved of God. Women were free to choose their spouses, whether to enter into a polygamous or monogamous union, or whether to marry at all. Some men entered plural marriage because they were asked to do so by Church leaders, while others initiated the process themselves; all were required to obtain the approval of Church leaders before entering a plural marriage.[6]


Charles W. Penrose (Improvement Era): "it is not stated that plural marriage is thus essential"

Charles W. Penrose in the September 1912 Improvement Era:

Question 4: Is plural or celestial marriage essential to a fulness of glory in the world to come?
Answer: Celestial marriage is essential to a fulness of glory in the world to come, as explained in the revelation concerning it; but it is not stated that plural marriage is thus essential.[7]


Question: Did early Mormon leaders teach the plural marriage was a requirement for exaltation?

Some 19th century Church leaders taught that plural marriage was a requirement for those wishing to enter the highest degree of the celestial kingdom

To obey the Lord's commands in all things is necessary for exaltation. (Our inevitable failure to live perfectly requires the grace of Christ's atonement.) Members of the Church in, say, 1860 who refused to follow the counsel of prophets and apostles put their spiritual standing in jeopardy. Likewise, members who refuse to obey present counsel are at risk.


Question: Because Mormons do not currently practice plural marriage, does this mean that early leaders who taught that is was required were wrong?

The purpose of modern prophets is to give the Saints the will of God in their particular circumstances

Joseph Smith wrote specifically of the issue of plural marriage:

This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed...in obedience there is joy and peace unspotted, unalloyed; and as God has designed our happiness—and the happiness of all His creatures, he never has—He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of his law and ordinances. [8]

LDS doctrine also holds that the prophet, when speaking in an official capacity, speaks on behalf of the Lord:

whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. (DC 1:38)

Critics of the Church often come out of an inerrantist background, or draw on arguments first formulated by religious inerrantists or fundamentalists. In an inerrantist religion, God's instructions cannot change with circumstances—if they did, then the Biblical record would not be sufficient, on its own, to guide us. Since inerrantists require, above all, that the Bible be the sole authority, they must assume that God's requirements are always the same.

However, even the Bible gives many examples of God giving new instructions because of new circumstances, or contravening previous instructions:

In each case, failure to obey carried significant penalties. Yet, when proper authority altered or rescinded a command, spiritual disaster followed those who did not obey the new instructions.

President John Taylor said:

Where did this commandment come from in relation to polygamy? It also came from God. It was a revelation given unto Joseph Smith from God, and was made binding upon His servants. When this system was first introduced among this people, it was one of the greatest crosses that ever was taken up by any set of men since the world stood. Joseph Smith told others; he told me, and I can bear witness of it, "that if this principle was not introduced, this Church and kingdom could not proceed." When this commandment was given, it was so far religious, and so far binding upon the Elders of this Church that it was told them if they were not prepared to enter into it, and to stem the torrent of opposition that would come in consequence of it, the keys of the kingdom would be taken from them. When I see any of our people, men or women, opposing a principle of this kind, I have years ago set them down as on the high road to apostacy, and I do to-day; I consider them apostates, and not interested in this Church and kingdom. [9]


Question: If early Church leaders taught that plural marriage was required, does this mean that current members are not capable of achieving exaltation?

There is no doctrine in the Church that states that plural marriage is the norm, or that it is something that will be required for exaltation

The fact that the modern Church does not approve of or practice polygamy does not mean that present members of the Church believe that the principle of plural marriage is false—rather, they believe that it is a principle only to be practiced when the Lord commands it for His purposes.(See Jacob 2:27-30.) There is no doctrine in the Church that states that plural marriage is the norm, or that it is something that will be required for exaltation.


Response to claim: 233, 422n48-49 - Brigham Young said, "The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy"

The author(s) of Becoming Gods make(s) the following claim:

Brigham Young said, "The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy."

Author's sources: Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 11:268-269

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains mistakes and/or errors - The author has stated erroneous or incorrect information or misinterpreted their sources

If you read the entire passage from which this quote is taken, you will see that Brigham is also acknowledging those who do not actually practice plural marriage. Critics of the Church, however, only extract this single phrase.

Question: Is plural marriage required in order to achieve exaltation?

Brigham Young said "The only men who become Gods, even the sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy"

Critics of the Church point to a statement made by Brigham Young to make the claim that Latter-day Saints believe that one must practice plural marriage in order to achieve exaltation: [10] Brigham Young once said,

The only men who become Gods, even the sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy" (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 11:269.)

This quotation is often used in anti-Mormon sources. They do not include the surrounding text which explains what Brigham Young had in mind on this occasion (italics show text generally not cited by those trying to worry modern-day readers):

Brigham Young also said "if you desire with all your hearts to obtain the blessings which Abraham obtained, you will be polygamists at least in your faith"

We wish to obtain all that father Abraham obtained. I wish here to say to the Elders of Israel, and to all the members of this Church and kingdom, that it is in the hearts of many of them to wish that the doctrine of polygamy was not taught and practiced by us...It is the word of the Lord, and I wish to say to you, and all the world, that if you desire with all your hearts to obtain the blessings which Abraham obtained, you will be polygamists at least in your faith, or you will come short of enjoying the salvation and the glory which Abraham has obtained. This is as true as that God lives. You who wish that there were no such thing in existence, if you have in your hearts to say: "We will pass along in the Church without obeying or submitting to it in our faith or believing this order, because, for aught that we know, this community may be broken up yet, and we may have lucrative offices offered to us; we will not, therefore, be polygamists lest we should fail in obtaining some earthly honor, character and office, etc,"—the man that has that in his heart, and will continue to persist in pursuing that policy, will come short of dwelling in the presence of the Father and the Son, in celestial glory. The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. Others attain unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the Father and the Son; but they cannot reign as kings in glory, because they had blessings offered unto them, and they refused to accept them.[11]

Brigham was stating that the command to practice plural marriage was from God, and it is wrong to seek to abolish a command from God

It is clear that Brigham was making several points which the critics ignore:

  • The command to practice plural marriage is from God, and it is wrong to seek to abolish a command from God.
  • To obtain the blessings of Abraham, the Saints were required to be "polygamists at least in your faith": i.e., it was not necessary that each enter into plural marriage in practice, but that they accept that God spoke to His prophets.
  • It was wrong to avoid plural marriage for worldly, selfish reasons, such as believing the Church would fail, and hoping to have political or monetary rewards afterward.
  • Faithful Saints cannot expect to receive "all that the Father has" if they willfully disobey God. When the people have "had blessings offered unto them," and if they refuse to obey, God will withhold blessings later because of that disobedience now.

Finally, it must be remembered that Brigham Young is speaking to a group who had been commanded to live the law of polygamy. There is no basis for speculating about what he would have said to a group who did not have that commandment given to them, as present-day members do not.


Response to claim: 237 - "Although wives continued to live with their husbands, they would receive conjugal visits from Smith whenever the need arose"

The author(s) of Becoming Gods make(s) the following claim:

"Although wives continued to live with their husbands, they would receive conjugal visits from Smith whenever the need arose."

Author's sources:
  • Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy: A History (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1989), 62.
  • Jedediah Grant, Journal of Discourses 2:14.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is a falsehood - The author has disseminated false information

The sources quoted in the endnotes do not say anything about "conjugal visits" to women to whom Joseph was sealed who already had husbands for time.



Response to claim: 237, 424n71 - Zina Huntington married Brigham Young while still married to Henry Jacobs, and Henry stood as a witness

The author(s) of Becoming Gods make(s) the following claim:

Zina Huntington married Brigham Young while still married to Henry Jacobs, and Henry stood as a witness.

Author's sources: Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), 20, 48-49. ( Index of claims )

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains mistakes and/or errors - The author has stated erroneous or incorrect information or misinterpreted their sources

Zina and Henry had ended their marriage before she was married to Brigham Young.

Question: Why would Joseph be sealed to the wife of someone who was not only married to someone else, but pregnant with her husband's child?

Joseph asked Zina three times to marry him before she married Henry

Zina huntington jacobs 2.jpg

In 1839, at age 18, Zina arrived with her parents in Nauvoo after being driven out of Missouri. Faithful LDS missionary Henry Jacobs courted her during 1840–41. At the same time, Joseph Smith had taught Zina the doctrine of plural marriage, and thrice asked her to marry him. She declined each time, and she and Henry were wed 7 March 1841. [12] Zina and Henry were married by John C. Bennett, then mayor of Nauvoo. They had invited Joseph to perform the ceremony, but Bennett stepped in when Joseph did not arrive:

…Zina asked the Prophet to perform the marriage. They went to the Clerk’s office and the Prophet did not arrive, so they were married by John C. Bennett. When they saw Joseph they asked him why he didn’t come, and he told them the Lord had made it known to him that she was to be his Celestial wife. [13]

Zina and Henry were aware of Joseph's plural marriage teachings and his proposal to Zina

Family tradition holds, then, that Zina and Henry were aware of Joseph's plural marriage teachings and his proposal to Zina. While this perspective is late and after-the-fact, it is consistent with the Jacobs' behaviour thereafter. Zina's family also wrote that Henry believed that "whatever the Prophet did was right, without making the wisdom of God's authorities bend to the reasoning of any man." [14]

On 27 October 1841, Zina was sealed to Joseph Smith by her brother, Dimick Huntington. She was six months pregnant by Henry, and continued to live with him.


Question: Did Joseph Smith and Brigham Young steal Henry Jacobs' family?

This plaque located in the Church History Museum mentions Zina's sealing to Joseph Smith and marriage to Brigham Young (Photo taken in 2012)

Zina had refused Joseph's suit three times and chosen to marry Henry, but then decided to be sealed to Joseph

Joseph Smith and Brigham Young's "mistreatment" of Henry and their "theft" of his family have received a great deal of publicity, thanks to late 19th century anti-Mormon sources, and Fawn Brodie increased their cachet for a 20th century audience. [15] For present purposes, we will focus on Zina. She had refused Joseph's suit three times, and chosen to marry Henry. Why did she decide to be sealed to Joseph?

Zina stated that God had prepared her mind for Joseph's teachings even before she had heard them

When interrogated by a member of the RLDS Church, Zina refused to be drawn into specifics. She made her motivations clear, and explained that God had prepared her mind for Joseph's teachings even before she had heard them:

Q. "Can you give us the date of that marriage with Joseph Smith?"
A. "No, sir, I could not."
Q. "Not even the year?"
A. "No, I do not remember. It was something too sacred to be talked about; it was more to me than life or death. I never breathed it for years. I will tell you the facts. I had dreams—I am no dreamer but I had dreams that I could not account for. I know this is the work of the Lord; it was revealed to me, even when young. Things were presented to my mind that I could not account for. When Joseph Smith revealed this order [Celestial marriage] I knew what it meant; the Lord was preparing my mind to receive it." [16]

Henry Jacobs stood as proxy for Zina's post-martyrdom sealing to Joseph, and her marriage for time to Brigham Young

Henry was to stand as proxy for Zina's post-martyrdom sealing to Joseph, and her marriage for time to Brigham Young. He and Zina separated soon thereafter, and Henry was soon gone on one of his many missions for the Church. [17]

Zina herself clearly explains the basis for her choice:

…when I heard that God had revealed the law of Celestial marriage that we would have the privilege of associating in family relationships in the worlds to come, I searched the scriptures and by humble prayer to my Heavenly Father I obtained a testimony for myself that God had required that order to be established in his Church. [18] Faced with questions from her RLDS interviewer that she felt exceeded propriety, Zina became evasive. She finally terminated the interview by saying, "Mr. Wight, you are speaking on the most sacred experiences of my life…."[19]


Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs

Question: What did the husband of Zina D. Huntington know about her sealing to Joseph Smith for eternity?

Zina married Henry Jacobs in 1840, and was sealed to Joseph Smith for eternity in 1841

Zina married Henry Jacobs in 1840, and was sealed to Joseph Smith for eternity in 1841,

Be it remembered that on this first day of May A.D. eighteen sixty nine before me Elias Smith Probate Judge for Said County personally appeared, Zina Diantha Huntington ^Young^ who was by me Sworn in due form of law, and upon her oath Saith, that on the twenty-Seventh day of October A.D. 1841, at the City of Nauvoo, County of Hancock, State of Illinois, She was married or Sealed to Joseph Smith, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, by Dimick B. Huntington, a High Priest in Said Church, according to the laws of the same; regulating marriage; In the presence of Fanny Maria Huntington. [20]

There are many stories and accusations related to the marriage of Zina and Henry, and her sealing to Joseph. For details regarding each of these allegations, see Brian and Laura Hales, "Zina Diantha Huntington," josephsmithspolygamy.org off-site.

See also: Allen Wyatt, "Zina and Her Men: An Examination of the Changing Marital State of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young," FAIR Conference, 2006.


Question: Did Brigham Young tell Henry Jacobs in front of hundreds of people that he needed to find another wife?

The immediate problem with such a statement is that there is no contemporary corroboration for it from among the "hundreds" who supposedly observed it

Allen Wyatt explains how this story originated,

The Charge by William Hall

Critics of the early Saints have, often with glee, latched onto William Hall’s story and used it as a prime example of ecclesiastical abuse, pitting a powerful Brigham Young against a penniless and ill Henry Jacobs, with Zina as some kind of prize for the winner of their imagined contest. It is easy to understand how one might see things that way; it is certainly the way that William Hall portrayed the episode:

At a place called, by the Mormons, Pisgah, in Iowa, as they were passing through to Council Bluffs, Brigham Young spoke in this wise, in the hearing of hundreds: He said it was time for men who were walking in other men’s shoes to step out of them. “Brother Jacobs,” he says, “the woman you claim for a wife does not belong to you. She is the spiritual wife of brother Joseph, sealed up to him. I am his proxy, and she, in this behalf, with her children, are my property. You can go where you please, and get another, but be sure to get one of your own kindred spirit.”37

The immediate problem with such a statement is that there is no contemporary corroboration for it. Hall states that Brigham’s statement was made in the hearing of hundreds of people, yet there are no other diaries that indicate such a statement or, indeed, any statement from Brigham to Henry. The statement itself would need to have been made sometime between Henry’s arrival at Mt. Pisgah (May 18) and his departure on his mission (approximately June 1).

For instance, Patty Bartlett Sessions, who was a detailed journal writer, arrived at Mt. Pisgah in the same company as the Jacobs’ and left Mt. Pisgah on June 2, 1846. None of her diary entries for the period refer to any such statement by Brigham Young, and it is safe to assume that she would have been among the “hundreds” referenced by William Hall. In fact, Sessions continues to refer to Zina as either “Zina Jacobs” or “sister Jacobs” as late as June 3, 1847,38 which reference would seem unlikely if she had heard Brigham claim Zina (and her children) as his property and exile Henry.

The diary of William Huntington records only one semi-public and one fully public meeting between May 18 and the first of June. There was a prayer meeting for selected individuals held on May 31,39 and a meeting in the grove near Huntington’s house on June 1 that turned into a “special conference” at which “considerable business” was done.40 There is, however, no record in his diary of any denouncing of his son-in-law by Brigham.[21]

For more information, see Allen Wyatt, "Zina and Her Men: An Examination of the Changing Marital State of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young," FAIR presentation transcript, 2006. FairMormon link


Response to claim: 237, 425n73-75 - "Wife swapping" was "wholly acceptable"

The author(s) of Becoming Gods make(s) the following claim:

"Wife swapping" was "wholly acceptable."

Author's sources:
  • Jedediah Grant, Journal of Discourses 2:14.
  • Lee, Confessions of John D. Lee, p. 165
  • C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. 1, p. 73.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is a falsehood - The author has disseminated false information

Jedediah Grant's quote is about consecrating everything to God's service: money, wives, etc. It does not sanction "wife swapping."



Question: Did Jedediah Grant sanction "wife swapping"?

The theme of Grant's remarks was consecration, not an endorsement of "wife swapping"

Grant insists that God will try his people; some were tried by plural marriage, some by the command to consecrate all their worldly goods, and some by other things. Consecration is his theme, not an endorsement of "wife swapping."

Grant's talk is about sacrifice and consecration; it is not about legitimizing "swapping wives."

Men used to talk on this wise—"But would you believe in the Prophet if he should demand all your property?" Lucifer would suggest this idea to them. "No." says another, "I would not." "Suppose he should come to you, and tell you, you must sell your farm in the east, and go to Kirtland, and consecrate your property to the Lord, would you do it?" "No, answers his neighbor, "the Lord has no use for my property, I would not do it." "Well," says one, "do you think Joseph is right to dictate in temporal matters?" "No," There were quite a majority, I believe, in the days of Joseph, who believed he had no right to dictate in temporal matters, in farms, houses, merchandize, gold, silver, &c.; and they were tried on various points.

When the family organization was revealed from heaven—the patriarchal order of God, and Joseph began, on the right and on the left, to add to his family, what a quaking there was in Israel. Says one brother to another, "Joseph says all covenants are done away, and none are binding but the new covenants; now suppose Joseph should come and say he wanted your wife, what would you say to that?" "I would tell him to go to hell." This was the spirit of many in the early days of this Church.

If you maintain the fact that the Priesthood of God is upon the earth, and God's representatives are upon the earth, the mouth-piece of Jehovah, the head of the kingdom of God upon earth, and the will of God is done upon earth as it is in heaven, it follows that the government of God is upon the earth. I allude to the church which it dictates; and then to the whole earth which it will dictate. Satan may succeed for a season to curtail the extent of this government, and the free working of its machinery, but if the Lord Almighty has organized a government upon the earth, and has committed the keys and Priesthood of it to His Prophet, that Prophet holds jurisdiction over the earth, the same as Adam did in the beginning. And righteous men in every dispensation since the creation, if they had any keys, had the keys of the kingdom of God; and they extended over this wide world wherever God had a people and a government; and just as far as the Priesthood exercised its authority, just so far the rule of the Almighty reached.

If Joseph had a right to dictate me in relation to salvation, in relation to a hereafter, he had a right to dictate me in relation to all my earthly affairs, in relation to the treasures of the earth, and in relation to the earth itself. He had a right to dictate in relation to the cities of the earth, to the natives of the earth, and in relation to everything on land and on sea. That is what he had a right to do, if he had any right at all. If he did not have that right, he did not have the Priesthood of God, he did not have the endless Priesthood that emanates from an eternal being. A Priesthood that is clipped, and lacks length, is not the Priesthood of God; if it lacks depth, it is not the Priesthood of God; for the Priesthood in ancient times extended over the wide world, and coped with the universe, and had a right to govern and control the inhabitants thereof, to regulate them, give them laws, and execute those laws. That power looked like the Priesthood of God. This same Priesthood has been given to Joseph Smith, and has been handed down to his successors....

What would a man of God say, who felt aright, when Joseph asked him for his money? He would say, "Yes, and I wish I had more to help to build up the kingdom of God." Or if he came and said, I want your wife?" "O yes," he would say, "here she is; there are plenty more."

There is another main thread connected with this; that I have not brought out. You know in fishing with the hook and line, if you draw out suddenly on the line when you have got a large trout, you may break your line; you must therefore angle a little, and manage your prize carefully. I would ask you if Jehovah has not in all ages tried His people by the power of Lucifer and his associates; and on the other hand, has He not tried them and proved them by His Prophets? Did the Lord actually want Abraham to kill Isaac? Did the Prophet Joseph want every man's wife he asked for? He did not, but in that thing was the grand thread of the Priesthood developed. The grand object in view was to try the people of God, to see what was in them. If such a man of God should come to me and say, "I want your gold and silver, or your wives," I should say, "Here they are, I wish I had more to give you, take all I have got." A man who has got the Spirit of God, and the light of eternity in him, has no trouble about such matters.

I am talking now of the present day. There was a time when we could be tried pretty severely upon these points, but I now could pick you out hundreds of men that cannot be tried in this way, but they will hand over every thing they possess. They understand the nature of such doctrines, and the object of such requirements. They know it is to prove the people, both men and women, and to develop what they will do. How can the Priesthood judge the people, if it does not prove them.

If ever you are brought into the presence of God, and exalted to a seat in His celestial kingdom, it will be by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, therefore you have got to be proved, not only by being tempted by the devil, but the Priesthood will try you—it will try you to the core. If one thing won't try you, something else will be adopted, until you are like the passive clay in the hands of the potter. If the Lord our God does not see fit to let the devil loose upon you, and mob you, He will employ some other means to try, you as in a crucible, to prove you as gold is tried seven times in the furnace.


Response to claim: 237 - The Bible does not sanction or command polygamy. "Most Israelites were monogamous"

The author(s) of Becoming Gods make(s) the following claim:

The Bible does not sanction or command polygamy. "Most Israelites were monogamous." Abraham's polygamy "portrays his acceptance of plural marriage as a mark of disobedience to, and a lack of faith in, God."

Author's sources: Author's interpretation.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda and/or spin - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

This claim is simply nonsense.



Question: Does the Bible forbid plural marriage?

The Bible does not forbid plural marriage

Some Christians claim that plural marriage has no Biblical precedents—they point to condemnation of King David and King Solomon as evidence that polygamy is always forbidden by God. Some claim that Abraham's polygamy "portrays his acceptance of plural marriage as a mark of disobedience to, and a lack of faith in, God." It is claimed that since the Bible didn't allow a man to marry two sisters, this proves that LDS plural marriage was "unbiblical" because some Mormons did so.

The Bible does not forbid plural marriage. In fact, many of the most noble Biblical figures (e.g., Abraham) had more than one wife. Furthermore, Biblical laws quoted by critics forbid kings from being led astray by plural spouses, or entering relationships not sanctioned by God's authority. However, the same Biblical laws provide guidelines for legitimate plural relationships.

It is true that David and Solomon were condemned for some of their marriage practices

This problem was mentioned in Deuteronomy:

15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother...17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away... (Deuteronomy 17:15,17

Only four chapters later, the Lord gives instructions on how to treat equitably plural wives and children

Critics ignore the fact that only four chapters later, the Lord gives instructions on how to treat equitably plural wives and children. (See Deuteronomy 21:15-17.) Why does He not simply forbid plural marriage, if that is the intent of chapter 17? Why does He instruct the Israelites on how to conduct themselves in plural households, if all such households are forbidden?

So, rather than opposing plural marriage, the command to kings is that they:

  1. not multiply wives to themselves (i.e., only those who hold proper priesthood keys may approve plural marriage—see 2 Samuel 12:8, Jacob 2:30, DC 132:38-39);
  2. that these wives not be those who turn his heart away from God (1 Kings 11:3-4);
  3. not take excessive numbers of wives (see Jacob 2:24).

David and Solomon are excellent examples of violating one or more of these Biblical principles, as described below.

David is well-known for his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah

David is well-known for his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah (see 2 Samuel 12:1-27. Nathan the prophet arrived to condemn David's behavior, and told the king:

7 ¶ And Nathan said to David...Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

8 And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.

9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. (2 Samuel 12:7-10)

Nathan here tells David that the Lord "gave thee...thy master's wives." And, the Lord says, through His prophet, that He would have given even more than He has already given of political power, wives, and wealth.

But, David sinned and did evil in the matter of Uriah. If plural marriage is always a sin to God, then why did Nathan not take the opportunity to condemn David for it now? Or, why did the prophet not come earlier?

Solomon's wives turned his heart away from the Lord, as Deuteronomy cautioned

Solomon's problem is described:

1 BUT king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;

2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love...

7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.

8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. (1 Kings 11:1-8

Solomon's wives turned his heart away from the Lord, as Deuteronomy cautioned. Nothing is said against the plurality of wives, but merely of wives taken without authority that turn his heart away from the Lord.

Abraham and other Biblical examples demonstrate that plural marriage may, on occasion, be sanctioned

David and Solomon do not prove the critics' point, but in fact demonstrate that plural marriage may, on occasion, be sanctioned (as in David's case certainly).

But, we need not rely on these examples only to demonstrate that plural marriage was practiced by righteous followers of God in the Bible. Other cases include:

and also possibly:

The Law of Moses provides rules governing Israelites who have plural wives

As noted above, Deuteronomy 21:15 provides rules governing Israelites who have plural wives. Further instructions are also given in Exodus 21:10. Why did God not ban plural marriage through Moses if it is always an immoral act?

The Law of Moses did not allow plural marriages to two sisters

Latter-day Saint plural marriage did not rely on biblical authority or interpretation (though they used biblical parallels to explain and understand the command which they believed they had received from God via a modern prophet.)

Marrying two sisters was quite frequent, possibly because sisters had already learned to get along together, which made for more harmonious plural families. One researcher noted:

Marriage to the wife's sister, defined as incest only by Anglican canon law, is the only form of polygamous marriage of the [potentially 'incestuous] categories...that occurs in significant numbers. [23]

The Saints did not claim to be restoring Mosaic plural marriage—they only used Moses' example as precedent for the fact that God could and had commanded plural marriage in the past. The specific structure, rules, and restrictions varied from time to time as guided by prophets.


Response to claim: 239, n. 80-83 - "Early Mormon leaders" believed that Jesus and his apostles were polygamists

The author(s) of Becoming Gods make(s) the following claim:

"Early Mormon leaders" believed that Jesus and his apostles were polygamists.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains mistakes and/or errors - The author has stated erroneous or incorrect information or misinterpreted their sources

A few believed this, but it was never official doctrine of the Church.

Question: Did early Mormon leaders believe that Jesus Christ was a polygamist?

A few Church leaders believed this, but the idea was never official Church doctrine

Since members in the nineteenth century were commanded to practice polygamy, many presumed that Jesus would have had to also practice this law.

Jedediah M. Grant

Jedediah M. Grant said:

This ancient philosopher says they were both John's wives. Paul says, "Mine answer to them that do examine me is this:—.Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas." He, according to Celsus, had a numerous train of wives.

The grand reason of the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon Christ and his disciples, causing his crucifixion, was evidently based upon polygamy, according to the testimony of the philosophers who rose in that age. A belief in the doctrine of a plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus and his followers. We might almost think they were "Mormons."

But if you pass on in their history to seek for uniformity and beauty, you will find some grand flare-ups among them. Look, for instance, at Paul and Peter, disputing and quarrelling with each other....[24]

Grant believed that early writers, hostile to the Christians, charged members and even Jesus, with polygamy (a charge which would have offended sophisticated Roman opinion in the day). Grant sees the obvious parallels with how the Saints have been treated over the same issue, but Jesus' marital state is not his main point, but conflict and persecution. (It is not clear, however, to which source Grant is referring—FAIR has been unable to locate any such reference to Celsus.)

Orson Hyde

Likewise, Orson Hyde remarked:

I discover that some of the Eastern papers represent me as a great blasphemer, because I said, in my lecture on Marriage, at our last Conference, that Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children.

All that I have to say in reply to that charge is this—they worship a Savior that is too pure and holy to fulfil the commands of his Father. I worship one that is just pure and holy enough "to fulfil all righteousness;" not only the righteous law of baptism, but the still more righteous and important law "to multiply and replenish the earth." Startle not at this! for even the Father himself honored that law by coming down to Mary, without a natural body, and begetting a son; and if Jesus begat children, he only "did that which he had seen his Father do."[25]

Hyde is again not focused on Jesus' matrimonial state, and notes that being married and begetting children—polygamously or otherwise—is no evil, but is in accordance with God's commandments from time to time.


Response to claim: 240 - The Book of Mormon "seems to condemn polygamy," but Latter-day Saints "deny that this is the case"

The author(s) of Becoming Gods make(s) the following claim:

The Book of Mormon "seems to condemn polygamy," but Latter-day Saints "deny that this is the case."

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains mistakes and/or errors - The author has stated erroneous or incorrect information or misinterpreted their sources

The author does not mention Jacob 2:30, which states "For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things" as the reason that Latter-day Saints "deny that this is the case."

Question: Does the Book of Mormon condemn polygamy?

"For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things"

Jacob 2:24-29 states:

24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.

26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.

27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;

28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.

29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.

Critics of the Book of Mormon generally refrain from citing the very next verse:

30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things. (Jacob 2:30).

The Book of Mormon makes it clear that the Lord may, under some circumstances, command the practice of plural marriage. </blockquote>


Response to claim: 241 - How could Jesus have been a god before he was born, before he had a physical body?

The author(s) of Becoming Gods make(s) the following claim:

How could Jesus have been a god before he was born, before he had a physical body?

Author's sources: No source given

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains mistakes and/or errors - The author has stated erroneous or incorrect information or misinterpreted their sources

Critics ignore that the gospel teaches us what we must do to fulfill God's commandments and purposes. It does not spend much time telling us what Jesus was required to do—clearly, he had many duties and abilities which far outstripped ours.

Question: How did Christ achieve deification before mortality?

It was necessary that at some point Jesus receive a body, but the specific time in which He did so is not particularly important

It is claimed that Latter-day Saint doctrine, which teaches that a physical body is necessary for a fulness of glory, is inconsistent, since Jesus was God prior to his mortal birth. However, having a body is necessary for a fullness of joy (DC 93:33). The Holy Ghost is also God, but does not at present have a body in LDS doctrine.

It was necessary that at some point Jesus receive a body, but the specific time in which He did so is not particularly important. (To travel overseas, one needs both a passport and an airplane ticket. It doesn't matter in which order one gets the passport or the ticket, but one must eventually have both in order to reach one's destination.)

If a specific sequence is an absolutely requirement, then all Christians would need to explain how Christ's atonement could be efficacious to those who were born, lived, and died prior to His crucifixion. The fact that the atonement was effective should caution us against adopting an absolute requirement for sequence concerning Christ's receipt of a physical body.

Critics ignore that the gospel teaches us what we must do to fulfill God's commandments and purposes. It does not spend much time telling us what Jesus was required to do—clearly, he had many duties and abilities which far outstripped ours. That is why he was God and Savior before we came to this earth, and why we must rely upon his grace for salvation.


Response to claim: 241 - How could the Holy Ghost be a god, since he does not have a physical body?

The author(s) of Becoming Gods make(s) the following claim:

How could the Holy Ghost be a god, since he does not have a physical body?

Author's sources: No source given

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains mistakes and/or errors - The author has stated erroneous or incorrect information or misinterpreted their sources

Jehovah, the premortal Jesus Christ, was part of the Godhead before his mortal birth. Why not the Holy Ghost?

Question: Can the Holy Ghost not be fully God, because he does not have a physical body?

It is not known by revelation that it will be necessary for the Holy Spirit to receive a body at some point

Critics charge that since LDS doctrine teaches that a body is required for exaltation, the Holy Ghost cannot be fully God, because he does not have a physical body.

Modern scriptures indicate that having a body is necessary for a fullness of joy (DC 93:33). It is assumed by some Latter-day Saints—but not known by revelation—that it will be necessary for the Holy Spirit to receive a body at some point, but the timeframe in which He does so is not particularly important. (To travel overseas to another country, one needs both a passport and an airplane ticket. It doesn't matter in which order one gets the passport or the ticket, but one must eventually have both in order to reach one's destination.)

Jehovah, the premortal Jesus Christ, was part of the Godhead before his mortal birth. He was the God of Israel, and his yet-future atonement was efficacious to those who were born, lived, and died prior to His crucifixion. The fact that it was effective should blunt any feigned requirement for sequence concerning the Holy Ghost's receipt of a physical body, a matter about which the Church has no official doctrine.


Response to claim: 244 - "...nowhere in the Old Testament is polygamy linked with any mandates to practice it"

The author(s) of Becoming Gods make(s) the following claim:

"...nowhere in the Old Testament is polygamy linked with any mandates to practice it."

Author's sources: *No source given.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is a falsehood - The author has disseminated false information

Levirate marriage was mandated by the law of Moses (Deuteronomy 25:5-6). Even if true, this claim is immaterial. God did not condemn the practice of plural marriage in the Bible. If it was everywhere and always forbidden, God could and would have done so. Early Christian authors understood this.



Response to claim: 245, n97 - Plural marriages were performed after the 1890 Manifesto

The author(s) of Becoming Gods make(s) the following claim:

Plural marriages were performed after the 1890 Manifesto.

Author's sources: 1911 telegram to Reed Smoot from Joseph F. Smith, Apr. 1, 1911.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

This is correct.



Gospel Topics: "The Second Manifesto. At first, the performance of new plural marriages after the Manifesto was largely unknown to people outside the Church"

"The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage," Gospel Topics on LDS.org:

At first, the performance of new plural marriages after the Manifesto was largely unknown to people outside the Church. When discovered, these marriages troubled many Americans, especially after President George Q. Cannon stated in an 1899 interview with the New York Herald that new plural marriages might be performed in Canada and Mexico.40 After the election of B. H. Roberts, a member of the First Council of the Seventy, to the U.S. Congress, it became known that Roberts had three wives, one of whom he married after the Manifesto. A petition of 7 million signatures demanded that Roberts not be seated. Congress complied, and Roberts was barred from his office.41

The exclusion of B. H. Roberts opened Mormon marital practices to renewed scrutiny. Church President Lorenzo Snow issued a statement clarifying that new plural marriages had ceased in the Church and that the Manifesto extended to all parts of the world, counsel he repeated in private. Even so, a small number of new plural marriages continued to be performed, probably without President Snow’s knowledge or approval. After Joseph F. Smith became Church President in 1901, a small number of new plural marriages were also performed during the early years of his administration.[26]—(Click here to continue)


Notes

  1. Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 edition, Section 101.
  2. History of the Church, 2:246–247. Volume 2 link
  3. Brian C. Hales, Joseph Smith's Polygamy Volume 1: History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Greg Kofford Books, 2013), 154.
  4. Hales, Joseph Smith's Polygamy Vol. 1, 173, see pp. 171–1731 for full details.
  5. "LESSON 140: Doctrine and Covenants 132:1–2, 34–66," Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual, 488 (2013).
  6. "Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah", Gospel Topics (2013)
  7. "Peculiar Questions Briefly Answered," Improvement Era 15:11 (September 1912)
  8. Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 volumes, edited by Brigham H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 5:135. Volume 5 link
  9. John Taylor, "Our Religion Is From God," (7 April 1866) Journal of Discourses 11:221.
  10. The following critical works use this quote from Brigham to claim that Latter-day Saints must accept polygamy as a requirement to enter heaven. Contender Ministries, Questions All Mormons Should Ask Themselves. Answers; Richard Abanes, Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century Mormonism (Harvest House Publishers: 2005). 233, 422 n. 48-49. ( Index of claims ); George D. Smith, Nauvoo Polygamy: "...but we called it celestial marriage" (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2008), xiv, 6, 55, , 356. ( Index of claims , (Detailed book review)); Jerald and Sandra Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism (Moody Press, 1979), 29, 258.( Index of claims )
  11. Brigham Young, "Remarks by President Brigham Young, in the Bowery, in G.S.L. City," (19 August 1866) Journal of Discourses 11:268-269. (emphasis added) See Quote mining—Journal of Discourses 11:269 to see how this quote was mined.
  12. Compton, In Sacred Loneliness, 263–264.
  13. Allen L. Wyatt, "Zina and Her Men: An Examination of the Changing Marital State of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young," in FAIR Conference (Salt Lake City, Utah: FAIR, 1st draft, 2006).
  14. Oa J. Cannon, "History of Henry Bailey Jacobs," (L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University, n.d.), 1; cited by Wyatt, "Zina and Her Men: An Examination of the Changing Marital State of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young," (emphasis added). See also Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy, 44; Van Wagoner, "Mormon Polyandry in Nauvoo," 78; Compton, In Sacred Loneliness, 80.
  15. These charges are examined in detail (here).
  16. Cannon, "History of Henry Bailey Jacobs," 5; cited in Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy, 44.
  17. See here for a more in-depth analysis of attacks on Brigham and Joseph regarding Zina and Henry.
  18. Interview of John Wight [RLDS] with Zina D.H. Young, October 1, 1898, "Evidence from Zina D. Huntington-Young," Saints’ Herald, 52 (11 January 1905), 29; cited in Wyatt, "Zina and Her Men: An Examination of the Changing Marital State of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young".
  19. Autobiography of Zina D. Young, no date, part of the Zina Card Brown Family Collection (1806-1972), LDS Church Archives, MS 4780, box 2, folder 17, cited by Wyatt, "Zina and Her Men: An Examination of the Changing Marital State of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young,"; John Wight with Zina D.H. Young, 1 October 1898, “Evidence from Zina D. Huntington-Young,” Saints Herald, 52 (11 January 1905): 28.
  20. Joseph F. Smith Affidavit Books, 1:5, CHL.
  21. Allen Wyatt, "Zina and Her Men: An Examination of the Changing Marital State of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young," 2006 FAIR Conference.
  22. Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 2:10. off-site
  23. Jessie L. Embry, "Ultimate Taboos: Incest and Mormon Polygamy," Journal of Mormon History 18/1 (Spring 1992): 93–113.
  24. Jedediah M. Grant, "UNIFORMITY," (7 August 1853) Journal of Discourses 1:346.
  25. Orson Hyde, "The Judgements of God on the United States--The Saints and the World," (18 March 1855) Journal of Discourses 2:210.
  26. "The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage," Gospel Topics on LDS.org