Joseph Smith/Polygamy/Plural wives/Elizabeth Davis Goldsmith Brackenbury Durfee

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Elizabeth Davis Goldsmith Brackenbury Durfee

Summary: The inclusion of "Mrs. Durfee," as she was known, on the list of Joseph's wives is strongly contested among historians. Durfee is not found on Andrew Jenson's list of Joseph's plural wives. Todd Compton argues that Durfee's post-martyrdom proxy sealing to Joseph is evidence of a living marriage, as is the fact that she taught plural marriage to other prospective wives. Compton also holds that two hostile sources (John C. Bennett and Sarah Pratt) confirm Durfee as a plural wife.

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Question: What did the husband of Elizabeth Davis know about her sealing to Joseph Smith for eternity?

Elizabeth's husband Jabez Dufee was active in the Church, but Elizabeth chose to be sealed for eternity to Joseph Smith

Elizabeth's husband Jabez Dufee was active in the Church. Elizabeth chose to be sealed for eternity to Joseph Smith. Brian Hales notes that, "It appears that the couple experienced some marital turmoil before the sealing or perhaps as a consequence of it. Jabez was endowed on a different day than Elizabeth when the Nauvoo Temple opened in the winter of 1845 and Elizabeth was resealed by proxy to Joseph Smith on January 22, 1846, but Jabez did not participate either as a proxy husband or witness." [1]

A biography of Elizabeth Davis may be viewed on Brian and Laura Hales' website "josephsmithspolygamy.org". off-site

Elizabeth Davis Goldsmith Brackenbury Durfee as a polyandrous wife of Joseph Smith

Emma Smith remark to Zina

Summary: Zina Huntington remembered a conversation between Elizabeth [Davis] and Emma [Smith] in which Elizabeth asked the prophet’s wife if she felt that Joseph was a prophet. Yes, Emma answered, but I wish to God I did not know it.

Joseph Smith's Polygamy: "Elizabeth Davis", by Brian C. Hales

Summary: Elizabeth Davis was born to Gilbert Davis and Abigail Reeves on March 11, 1791. She joined the Church on April 10, 1831. Two years later the twice widowed Elizabeth married Jabez Durfee on March 3, 1834. Casting their lot with the Saints, she and Jabez moved to Missouri and later Nauvoo.

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Joseph Smith's Polygamy: "After Louisa Beaman, Joseph Smith Seeks Almost Exclusively “Eternity Only” Sealings", by Brian C. Hales


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  1. Brian and Laura Hales, "Elizabeth Davis," josephsmithspolygamy.org off-site