Polygamy book

Table of Contents

Polygamy book (draft chapters)

A FairMormon Analysis of: Polygamy book, a work by author:

Polygamy Book draft chapters written by Gregory Smith

Initiation of plural marriage

Summary: When and how did plural marriage begin in the Church?

Joseph Smith practiced plural marriage

Summary: Church sources and authors that discuss Joseph Smith's plural marriages

Introduction of eternal marriage

Summary: This chapter also discusses Fanny Alger

Early womanizer

Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith had a long history of "womanizing" before practicing plural marriage. This chapter includes Eliza Winters and Marinda Nancy Johnson.

Illegal marriages in Ohio?

Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith performed monogamous marriages for time of already-married members, violating Ohio law in Kirtland. Such claims are false and represent a misunderstanding about the law of the day.

Age of wives

Summary: Critics of Joseph Smith are sometimes filled with righteous indignation when they raise the issue of his wives' ages.

Children of polygamous marriages

Summary: While the record is frustratingly incomplete regarding sexuality, it does little but tease us when we consider whether Joseph fathered children by his plural wives. Fawn Brodie was the first to consider this question in any detail, though her standard of evidence was depressingly low. Subsequent authors have returned to the problem, though unanimity has been elusive.


Summary: Nothing in plural marriage mystifies—or troubles—members of the Church more than Joseph's polyandrous sealings. Marriage to multiple wives may seem strange, but at least it intrudes on our historical awareness, while many remain unaware of polyandry's existence in LDS history.

John C. Bennett

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