Polygamy book/John C. Bennett

Table of Contents

John C. Bennett

Polygamy book, a work by author: Gregory L. Smith

John C. Bennett

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John C. Bennett Prior to Nauvoo

Summary: Bennett's early behavior can teach us much about how to interpret his behavior and claims from the Nauvoo period.

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Was there a brothel in Nauvoo near the temple?

Summary: Bennett had a brothel, and some have claimed that the Mormons' tolerance of it illustrates their moral depravity. In fact, the Saints destroyed the brothel and ultimately excommunicated Bennett for this and related acts.

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Rise and Fall of John C. Bennett

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John C. Bennett and Sarah Pratt

Summary: John C. Bennett and Joseph Smith exchanged charges, each claiming that the other had attempted the seduction of Sarah Pratt, wife of apostle Orson Pratt. Learn about this complex period of LDS history here.

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Bennett and Prostitution

Summary: Bennett was charged with procuring women for purposes of prostitution, and teaching others in Nauvoo how to religiously manipulate women into sexual intercourse. These events eventually led to Bennett's excommunication. Individuals drawn into Bennett's schemes would later play a role in the events that led to Joseph's incarceration and murder in Carthage.

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Nancy Rigdon and Plural Marriage

Summary: Even more complex than the Sarah Pratt episode, Sidney Rigdon's daughter Nancy was approached by Joseph Smith regarding plural marriage.

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Sidney Rigdon and Bennett's charges

Summary: In part due to Bennett's determination to disgrace Joseph, the Nancy Rigdon episode almost led to a rupture between Joseph and his long-time friend and counselor in the First Presidency. A miraculous series of events convinced Sidney to continue to support Joseph, though the Prophet's confidence in his counselor was never entirely restored.

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See also Brian Hales' discussion: Joseph Smith’s resumes practicing plural marriage--1841
Joseph's first plural marriage after Fanny Alger. (Link)
Changes in polygamy implementation after the angelic visit of February 1842
Joseph Smith made his second proposal to a previously unmarried woman in Nauvoo and the first proposal since his marriage to Louisa Beaman. (Link)
John C. Bennett Impacts the Secret Expansion of Plural Marriage
John C. Bennett arrived in Nauvoo in September of 1840 and stayed less than two years. In spite of his relatively brief time living among the Saints, his impact upon the secret expansion of plural marriage was immense. (Link)
Joseph Smith’s proposal to Nancy Rigdon
One unmarried woman Joseph approached was Nancy Rigdon, the nineteen-year-old daughter of his First Counselor in the First Presidency, Sidney Rigdon. The proposal turned out badly. (Link)
William and Jane Law and the Prophet
Plural Marriage and the Martyrdom
Did Joseph Smith Intend to Abandon Plural Marriage?
William Marks related that Joseph’s conversation denouncing plural marriage occurred “three weeks before his death” or around June 6. Perhaps Joseph had such a change of heart during the first week of June, but this seems unlikely and other parts of Marks’ recollection are implausible. (Link)