“For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.
“Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.”
- Book of Mormon, 1830 edition, p. 111, verses 23-24
“Verily, thus saith the Lord... you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord justified my servants... David and Solomon... as touching the principle and doctrine of-having many wives and concubines – David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me...”
- Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132, verses 1, 39
“... if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouses the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then he is justified.”
- Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132, verse 61
“Some of the nations of Europe who believe in the one wife system have actually forbidden a plurality of wives by their laws; and the consequences are that the whole country among them is overrun with the most abominable practices: adulteries and unlawful connections through all their villages, towns, cities, and country places to a most fearful extent.”
- Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 12
“This law of monogamy, or the monogamic system, laid the foundation for prostitution and the evils and diseases of the most revolting nature and character under which modern Christendom groans…”
- Apostle Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, v. 13, p. 195
“Verily, I say unto you, that the wisdom of man, in his fallen state, knoweth not the purposes and the privileges of my hold priesthood, but ye shall know when ye receive a fullness by reason of the anointing: For it is my will, that in time, ye should take unto you wives of the Lamanites and Nephites, that their posterity may become white, delightsome and just, for even now their females are more virtuous then the gentiles.”
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., 1831 revelation, recorded in a letter from W.W. Phelps to Brigham Young, dated August 12, 1861
“In addition to this, and to co-operate with it, it has been made known by revelation, that it will be pleasing to the Lord, should they forma matrimonial alliance with the Natives; and by this means the Elders, who comply with the thing so pleasing to the Lord, and for which the Lord has promised to bless those who do it abundantly, gain a residence in the Indian territory, independent of the agent. It has been made known to one, who has left his wife in the state of N.Y. that he is entirely free from his wife, and he is at liberty to take him a wife from among the Lamanites. It was easily perceived that his permission was perfectly suited to his desires. I have frequently heard him state, that the Lord had made it known to him, that he is as free from his wife as from any other woman; and the only crime that I have ever heard alleged against her is, she is violently opposed to Mormonism.”
- Ezra Booth, Ohio Star, December 8, 1831
“The response of the men who were introduced into polygamy between 1841 and 1846 was anything but enthusiastic. The same was true of the women who were offered the chance of becoming plural wives. Apart from the fact that the new system collided with moral assumptions they had grown up with, there were practical difficulties that made polygamy less attractive. For the men to support additional wives was seldom easy. And for women to be married on this basis without being legally acknowledged as wives can hardly have been reassuring. It was not the kind of scheme that aroused cheers and applause.”
- Mormon Experience, by Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton, p. 197
“One Mormon raised the question with his spouse, who minched no words in replying, ‘All right Jody – you get another wife and I'll get another husband!'”
- Mormon Experience, by Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton, p. 200
“Martin Harris... claimed he had a revelation when he first came to Kirtland for him to go to Missouri, and obtain a Lamanite squaw for a wife to aid them in propagating Mormonism. Martin told me soon after Joseph, the prophet, left Kirtland, that two years before, he had told him that as his wife had left him he needed a woman as other men.”
- S.F. Whitney, Naked Truths About Mormonism, 1888, p. 3
“We are now going to the Lamanites, to whom we intend to be messengers of instruction... We will show them that in consequence of their transgressions a curse has been inflicted upon them – in the darkness of their skins. We will have intermarriages with them, they marrying our young women, and we taking their young squaws to wife. By these means it is the will of the Lord that the curse of their color shall be removed and they restored to their pristine beauty...”
- Prophet Brigham Young, quoted in The Abominations of Mormonism Exposed, pp. 58-59
“... Brigham now teaches that ‘the way God has revealed for the purification of the Indians, and making them “a white and delightsome people,” as Joseph prophesied, is by us taking the Indian squaws for wives!!' Accordingly several of these tawny beauties have been already ‘sealed' to some of the Mormon authorities.”
- John Hyde, Jr., Mormonism: Its Leaders and Designs, pp. 109-110
“The Latter-day Saints, from the rise of the Church in 1830, till the year 1843, had no authority to marry any more than one wife each. To have done otherwise, would have been a great transgression.”
- Millennial Star, v. 19, p. 475
Joseph Smith was married to at least 12 women prior to July 12, 1843
“The charge of adulterous relations ‘with a certain girl' was leveled against Smith by Cowdery in Missouri in 1837; this accusation became one of the complaints the Church had against Cowdery in his excommunication trial in Far West, April 12, 1838. In rationalizing Cowdery's accusation, the Prophet testified that Oliver Cowdery had been his bosom friend, therefore he entrusted him with many things.”
- Conflict at Kirtland, by Max Parkin, 1966, p. 166
“When he [Joseph Smith, Jr.] was there we had some conversation in which in every instance I did not fail to affirm that what I had said was strictly true. A dirty, nasty, filthy affair of his and Fanny Alger's was talked over in which I strictly declared that I had never deviated from the truth in the matter, and as I supposed was admitted by himself.”
- Oliver Cowdery, Letter dated January 21, 1838
“The law of the land and the rules of the church do not allow one man to have more than one wife alive at once...”
- Times and Seasons, Nov. 15, 1844, v. 5, p. 715
“Now for my proposition; it is more particularly for my sisters, as it is frequently happening that women say they are unhappy. Men will say, ‘My wife, though a most excellent woman, has not seen a happy day since I took my second wife; No, not a happy day for a year,' says one; and another has not seen a happy day for five years. It is said that women are tied down and abused: that they are misused and have not he liberty they ought to have; that many of them are wading through a perfect flood of tears, because of the conduct of some men together with their own folly.
“I wish my own women to understand that what I am going to say is for them as well as others, and I want those who are here to tell their sisters, yes, all the women of this community, and then write it back to the States, and do as you please with it. I am going to give you from this time to the 6th day of October next, for reflection, that you may determine whether you wish to stay with your husbands or not, and then I am going to set every woman at liberty and say to them, No go your way, my women with the rest, go your way. And my wives have got to do one of two things; either round up their shoulders to endure the afflictions of this world, and live their religion, or they may leave, for I will not have them about me. I will go into heaven alone, rather than have scratching and fighting around me. I will set all at liberty. ‘What, first wife too?' Yes, I will liberate you all....
“I wish my women, and brother Kimball's and brother Grant's to leave, and every woman in this Territory, or else say in their hearts that they will embrace the Gospel – the whole of it.... say to your wives, ‘Take all that I have and be set at liberty; but if you stay with me you shall comply with the law of God, and that too without any murmuring and whining. You must fulfill the law of God in every respect, and round up your shoulders to walk up to the mark without any grunting.' Now recollect that two weeks from tomorrow I am going to set you at liberty. But the first wife will say, ‘It is hard, for I have lived with my husband twenty years, or thirty, and have raised a family of children for him, and it is a great trial to me for him to have more women;' then I say it is time that you gave him up to other women who will bear children. If my wife had borne me all the children that she ever would bare, the celestial law would teach me to take young women that would have children....
“Sisters, I am not joking, I do not throw out my proposition to banter your feelings, to see whether you will leave your husbands, all or any of you. But I do know that there is no cessation to the everlasting whining of many of the women in this Territory; I am satisfied that this is the case. And if the women will turn from the commandments of God and continue to despise the order of heaven, I will pray that the curse of the Almighty may be close to their heels, and that it may be following them all day long....
“Prepare yourselves for two weeks from tomorrow; and I will tell you now, that if you will tarry with your husbands, after I have set you free, you must bow down to it, and submit yourselves to the celestial law. You may go where you please, after two weeks from tomorrow; but, remember, that I will not hear any more of this whining.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 4, pp. 55-57, also printed in the Deseret News, v. 6, pp. 235-236
“Yes, [polygamy is] one of the relics of Adam, of Enoch, of Noah, of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, of Moses, David, Solomon, the Prophets, of Jesus, and his apostles.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 11, p. 328
“The Scripture says that He, the Lord, came walking in the Temple, with His train; I do not know who they were, unless His wives and children; but at any rate they filled the Temple, and how many there were who could not get into the Temple I cannot say. This is the account given by Isaiah, whether he told the truth or not I leave every body to judge for himself.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 13, p. 309
“... it will be seen that the great Messiah who was the founder of the Christian religion was a polygamist... the Messiah chose... by marrying many honorable wives himself, to show to all future generations that he approbated the plurality of wives under the Christian dispensation in which His polygamist ancestors lived.
“We have clearly show that God the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity, by whom He begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus His First Born, and another being upon the earth by whom He begat the tabernacle of Jesus, as his only begotten in this world. We have also proved most clearly that the Son followed the example of his Father, and became the great Bridegroom to whom Kings' daughters and many honorable wives were to be married. We have also proved that both God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ inherit their wives in eternity as well as in time... And then it would be so shocking to the modesty of the very pious ladies of Christendom to see Abraham and his wives, Jacob and his wives, Jesus and his honorable wives, all eating occasionally at the same table, and visiting one another, and conversing about their numerous children and their kingdoms. Oh, ye delicate ladies of Christendom, how can you endure such a scene as this?... If you do not want your morals corrupted, and your delicate ears shocked, and your pious modesty put to the blush by the society of Polygamists and their wives, do not venture near the New Earth; for polygamists will be honored there, and will be among the chief rules in that Kingdom.”
- Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 172
“The next man who came on to the carpet wanted to know how many wives brother Brigham had. I replied... ‘I will guess, if that will do you any good.... if I may judge from appearances, I should presume he has some fifty or sixty.'”
- Apostle Ezra T. Benson, Journal of Discourses, v. 6, pp. 180-181
“Verily, thus saith the Lord unto my servants N.K. Whitney, the thing that my servant Joseph Smith has made known unto you and your family and which you have agreed is right in mine eyes... These are the words which you shall pronounce unto my servant Joseph and your daughter S.A. Whitney. They shall take each other by the hand and you shall say, You both mutually agree, calling them by name, to be each other's companion so long as you both shall live... If you both agree to the covenant and do this, I then give you, S.A. Whitney, my daughter, to Joseph Smith, to be his wife... Let immortality and eternal life hereafter be sealed upon your heads forever and ever.”
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. revelation, in The Strange Marriages of Sarah Ann Whitney, by Michael Marquardt, p. 23
This revelation was given July 27, 1842, a year earlier than the one published in the Doctrine and Covenants
“Emma [Smith] took the revelation, [on polygamy] supposed she had all there was; but Joseph had wisdom enough to take care of it, and he had handed the revelation to Bishop Whitney, and he wrote it all off.... She went to the fireplace and put it in, and put a candle under it and burnt it, and she thought that was the end of it, and she will be damned as sure as she is a living woman. Joseph used to say that he would have her hereafter, if he had to go to hell for her, and he will have to go to hell for her as sure as he ever gets her.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 17, p. 159
“Wednesday, 12 – I received the following revelation... Revelation on the Eternity of the Marriage Covenant, including the Plurality of Wives. Given through Joseph, the Seer, in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, July 12, 1843.”
- History of the Church, v. 5, pp. 500-501
Joseph had married at least 12 women prior to July 12, 1843
“If I had forty wives in the United States, they did not know it, and could not substantiate it, neither did I ask any lawyer, judge, or magistrate for them. I live above the law, and so do this people.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 1, p. 361
“The Chairman: That is the Book of Mormon?
Joseph F. Smith: Yes, sir; that is the Book of Mormon.
The Chairman: Is the doctrine of polygamy taught in that revelation?
Mr. Smith: Taught in it?
The Chairman: Yes.
Mr. Smith: It is emphatically forbidden in that book.
The Chairman: In that book it is emphatically forbidden?
Mr. Smith: It is.”
- Reed Smoot Case, v. 1, p. 480
“Sat. 25. – Joseph Smith learned that the grand jury at Carthage had found two indictments against him, one of them for polygamy.”
- Church Chronology, p. 25
“I was married to Joseph Smith on the 4th of March 1843... My sister Eliza was also married to Joseph a few days later. This was done without the knowledge of Emma Smith.”
- Historical Record, v. 6, p. 240
“... my father... was taught the plural wife doctrine, and was told by Joseph, the Prophet, three times, to go and take a certain woman as his wife; but not till he commanded him in the name of the Lord did he obey. At the same time Joseph told him not to divulge this secret, not even to my mother, for fear that she would not receive it... This was one of the greatest test of his faith he had ever experienced. The thought of deceiving the kind and faithful wife of his youth... was more than he felt able to bear.... his sorrow and misery were increased by the thought of my mother hearing it from some other source, which would no doubt separate them, and he shrank from the thought of such a thing, or of causing her any unhappiness.”
- Life of Heber C. Kimball (Apostle), by Orson F. Whitney, pp. 335-336
“Senator Pettus. Have there been any past plural marriages without the consent of the first wife?
Mr. [Joseph F.] Smith. I do not know of any, unless it may have been Joseph Smith himself.
Senator Pettus. Is the language that you have read construed to mean that she is bound to consent?
Mr. Smith. The condition is that if she does not consent the Lord will destroy her, but I do not know how He will do it.
Senator Bailey. Is it not true that in the very next verse, if she refuses her consent her husband is exempt from the law which requires her consent?
Mr. Smith. Yes; he is exempt from the law which requires her consent.
Senator Bailey. She is commanded to consent, but if she does not, then he is exempt from the requirement?
Mr. Smith. Then he is at liberty to proceed without her consent, under the law.
Senator Beveridge. In other words, her consent amounts to nothing?
Mr. Smith. It amounts to nothing but her consent.”
- Reed Smoot Case, v. 1, p. 201
“Kimball always kept an eye out for romance. ‘Brethren,' he instructed some departing missionaries, ‘I want you to understand that it is not to be as it has been heretofore. The brother missionaries have been in the habit of picking out the prettiest women for themselves before they get here, and bringing on the ugly ones for us; hereafter you have to bring them all here before taking any of them, and let us all have a fair shake.”
- The Lion of the Lord, by Stanley P. Hirshon, pp. 129-130
“The implied assumption in this theory, that there have been more female than male members in the Church, is not supported by existing evidence. On the contrary, there seems always to have been more males than females in the Church....
“The United States census records from 1850 to 1940, and all available Church records, uniformly show a preponderance of males in Utha, and in the Church. Indeed, the excess in Utah has usually been larger than for the whole United State... there was no surplus of women.”
- Apostle John A. Widstoe, Apostle, Evidences and Reconciliations, pp. 390-392
“But then the proportion of the sexes in Utah would not, at present, admit of an extensive practice of plural marriage. When the census was taken five years ago, there were 143,963 souls in Utah Territory, not counting untaxed Indians. In this number there was an excess of 5,055 males over females. This does not have the appearance of permitting an extensive practice of plural marriage...”
- Juvenile Instructor, v. 20, p. 133
“There is a great deal of quarrelling in the houses, and contending for power and authority; and the second wife is against the first wife, perhaps, in some instances.”
- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, v. 4, p. 178
“A few years ago one of my wives, when talking about wives leaving their husbands said, ‘I wish my husband's wives would leave him, every soul of them except myself.' That is the way they all feel, more or less, at times, both old and young.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 9, p. 195
Sisters, do you wish to make yourselves happy? Then what is your duty? It is for you to bear children... are you tormenting yourselves by thinking that your husbands do not love you? I would not care whether they loved a particle or not; but I would cry out, like one of old, in the joy of my heart, ‘I have got a man from the Lord! Hallelujah! I am a mother...'”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 9, p. 37
“It is the duty of the first wife to regard her husband not with a selfish devotion... she must regard her husband with indifference, and with no other feeling than that of reverence, for love we regard as a false sentiment; a feeling which should have no existence in polygamy... we believe in the good old custom by which marriages should be arranged by the parents of the young people.”
- Zina Huntington, wife of Prophet Brigham Young, New York World, November 17, 1869, as cited in The Lion of the Lord, pp. 229-230
“Plural marriage... is calculated in its nature to severely try the women even to nearly tear their heart strings out of them...”
- Journal and Autobiography of Joseph Lee Robinson, p. 50
“When James Hunter took his second wife, the first who had accompanied the couple to the Endowment House for the ceremony could not sleep and walked the floor all night as she thought of her husband lying in the arms of his bride...
“A person brought up in a polygamist household... told this story: ‘There is one real tragedy in polygamy that I can remember. One evening a man brought home a second wife. It was winter and the first wife was very upset. That night she climbed onto the roof and froze to death.'”
- Isn't One Wife Enough?, by Kimball Young, pp. 147-148
“Thus did Satan sow the seeds of discord in the Prophet's own home, cause a torment of mind to Emma, distress to Joseph, and lay the groundwork of the apostate Reorganized Church, eventually taking Emma and their sons outside the true Church.”
- Brigham Young and His Wives, by John J. Stewart
“Mr. W.: ‘Joseph kept eight girls in his house, calling them his “daughters.” Emma threatened that she would leave the house, and Joseph told her, “All right, you can go.” She went, but when Joseph reflected that such a scandal would hurt his prophetic dignity, he followed his wife and brought her back. But the eight “daughters” had to leave the house.'”
- Mormon Portraits, by Dr. W. Wyl, 1886, pp. 57-58
“Willard realized that Emma had refused to believe that any of the young women boarding at the Mansion when it was first used as a hotel had been married to Joseph. She had struck Eliza Snow at the head of the stairs, and Eliza, it was whispered, had lost her unborn child.”
- Intimate Disciple, a Portrait of Willard Richards, by Claire Noall, 1957, p. 407
“... over two hundred women, apparently at their own request, were sealed as wives to Joseph Smith after his death in special temple ceremonies. Moreover, a great many distinguished women in history, including several Catholic saints, were also sealed to Joseph Smith in Utah. I saw these astonishing lists in the Latter-day Saint Genealogical Archives in Salt Lake City in 1944.”
- No Man Knows My History, by Fawn Brodie, Preface to Second Edition
“The contract when I married Mr. Kimball was that I should be his wife for time, and time only, and the contract on the part of Mr. Kimball was that he would take care of me during my lifetime, and in the resurrection would surrender me, with my children, to Joseph Smith...
“I decline to answer whether I had any children while I was sealed to Joseph Smith. I have nine children since I was married to Heber C. Kimball.”
- Lucy W. Kimball, as quoted in The Temple Lot Case, 1893, p. 379
“... Young often joked about his wives. ‘Tell the Gentiles,' he once observed, ‘I do not know half of them [his wives] when I see them.' Laer, asked the usual question by a Gentile governor of Utah, Young answered: ‘I don't know myself! I never refuse to marry any respectable woman who asks me, and it is often the case that I separate from the woman at the marriage alter, never to meet her again to know her. My children I keep track of, however. I have fifty-seven now living, and have lost three.'”
- The Lion of the Lord, by Stanley P. Hirshon, pp. 188-189
“Brother Cannon remarked that people wondered how many wives and children I had. He may inform them that I shall have wives and children by the million, and glory, and riches, and power, and dominion, and Kingdom after Kingdom, and reign triumphantly.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 8, pp. 178-179
“Do you think that I am an old man? I could prove to this congregation that I am young; for I could find more girls who would choose me for a husband than can carry any of the young men.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 5, p. 210
“THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 1894... I met with the Quorum and Presidency in the temple... President Woodruff then spoke... ‘In searching out my genealogy I found about four hundred of my femal[e] kindred who were never married. I asked Pres. Young what I should do with them. He said for me to have them sealed to me unless there were more than 999 of them. The doctrine startled me, but I had it done.”
- Daily Journal of Abraham H. Cannon (Apostle), April 5, 1894, v. 18, pp. 66-67
“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...
“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.'…Did the Prophet Joseph want every man's wife he asked for? He did not.... 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.”
- Apostle Jebediah M. Grant, Journal of Discourses, v. 2, pp. 13-14
“Joseph Smith finally demanded the wives of all the twelve Apostles were at home then in Nauvoo.... Vilate Kimball, the first wife of Heber C. Kimball... loved her husband, and he... loved her, hence a reluctance to comply with the Lord's demand that Vilate should be consecrated... They thought the command of the Lord must be obeyed in some way, and a ‘proxy' way suggested itself to their minds. They had a young daughter only getting out of girlhood; and the father apologizing to the prophet for his wife's reluctance to comply with his desires, stating, however, that the act must be right or it would not be counseled... asked Joe if his daughter wouldn't do as well as his wife. Joe replied that she would do just as well, and the Lord would accept her instead. The half-ripe bud of womanhood was delivered over to the Prophet.”
- Mormon Portraits, by Dr. W. Wyl, pp. 70-72, also in The Life of Heber C. Kimball, p. 339
“... in his [H.B. Jacobs] absence, she [Mrs. Jacobs] was sealed to the Prophet Joseph and was his wife.”
- Confessions of John D. Lee, p. 132
“He [Joseph] preached polygamy... It was given to him before he gave it to the Church. An angel came to him and the last time he came with a drawn sword in his hand and told Joseph if he did not go into that principle he would slay him...
“I know he had six wives and I have known some of them from childhood up. I know he had three children. They told me. I think two of them are living today, they are not known as his children as they go by different names.”
- Mary E. Lightner, wife of Joseph Smith, Jr., Speech given at Brigham Young University, April 14, 1905
“Joseph not only paid his addresses to the young and unmarried women, but he sought ‘spiritual alliance' with many married ladies.... He taught them that all former marriages were null and void, and that they were at perfect liberty to make another choice of a husband. The marriage covenants were not binding, because they were ratified only by Gentile laws. These laws the Lord did not recognize; consequently all the women were free...
“One woman said to me not very long since, while giving me some of her experiences in polygamy: ‘The greatest trial I ever endured in my life was living with my husband and deceiving him, by receiving Joseph's attentions whenever he chose to care to me.'…some of these women have since said they did not know who was the Father of her children; this is not to be wondered at, for after Joseph's declaration annulling all Gentile marriages, the greatest promiscuity was practiced; and, indeed, all sense of morality seemed to have been lost by a portion at least of the church.”
- Ann Eliza Young, wife of Brigham Young, Wife No. 9, 1876, pp. 70-71
“... the only thing to be careful of, is to find out when Emma comes then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safety... I think Emma won't come tonight – if she don't, don't fail to come tonight, I subscribe myself your obedient and affectionate companion and friend. Joseph Smith.
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., letter to Mr. and Mrs. Whitney and their daughter, Sarah Ann, as cited in Mormonism – Shadow or Reality?, by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, p. 58
“They did not abide by the rules of plural marriage as set forth in the Bible. Pratt himself had married two sisters. Others had done the same thing and even married mothers and daughters.”
- Orson Pratt: Early Mormon Leader, by T. Edgar Lyon, Thesis (M.A.), University of Chicago, Dept. of Church History, 1932, p. 104
“Sylvia Pratt, Patty's daughter and the wife of Windsor J. Lyon, was already sealed to Joseph. This afternoon she was to put her mother's hand in the Prophet's.”
- Intimate Disciple: A Portrait of Willard Richards, Apostle to Joseph Smith, cousin of Brigham Young, by Claire Augusta Wilcox Noall, 1957, p. 317
“The marriage to the Lawrence sisters became public knowledge when William Law, Joseph's [Joseph Smith, Jr.] second counselor in the First Presidency, became alienated from the prophet.... On May 23 he filed suit against the Mormon leader in Hancock County Circuit Court, at Carthage, charging that Smith had been living with Maria Lawrence ‘in an open state of adultery' from October 12, 1843, to the day of the suit. In response, Smith flatly denied polygamy in a speech delivered on May 26.... As polygamy was illegal under U.S. law, Smith had little choice but to repudiate the practice.”
- In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, pp. 476-477
“It would be quite impossible, with any regard to propriety, to relate all the horrible results of this disgraceful system.... Marriages have been contracted between the nearest of relatives; and old men tottering on the brink of the grave have been united to little girls scarcely in their teens; while unnatural alliances of every description, which in any other community would be regarded with disgust and abhorrence, are here entered into in the name of God....
“It is quite a common thing in Utah for a man to marry two and even three sisters... I know also another man who married a widow with several children; and when one of the girls had grown into her teens he insisted on marrying her also, having first by some means won her affections. The mother, however, was much opposed to this marriage, and finally gave up her husband entirely to her daughter; and to this very day the daughter bears children to her stepfather, living as wife in the same house with her mother!”
- T.B.H. Stenhouse, former polygamist wife, Tell It All: The Story of a Life's Experience in Mormonism: An Autobography, 1874, pp. 468-469
“Some Utah matches were even more startling. A man named Winchester married his mother, and Young himself sealed a mother and daughter to their cousin Luman A. Surtliff... He also sealed an elderly man to a fifty-seven-year-old woman and her fourteen-year-old granddaughter.”
- The Lion of the Lord: A Biography of Brigham Young, Stanley P. Hirshon, 1969, p. 126
“The following named deceased persons were sealed to me (John M. Bernhisel) on Oct. 26th, 1843, by Pres. Joseph Smith –
Maria Bernhisel – Sister
Brother Samuel's wife, Catherine Kremer
Mary Shatto (Aunt)”
- Joseph Smith's Diary (Prophet), Oct. 26, 1843, recorded by Robert L. Cam[p]bell, July 29, 1868
“She said that her brother John the late President John Taylor had told her some 30 years ago that if she could not be reconciled to continue with any of her husbands she might be sealed to him. This is a very curious proceeding and which I don't understand.”
- Journal of L. John Nuttall, v. 2, pp. 362-363
“I have noticed that a man who has but one wife, and is inclined to that doctrine, soon begins to wither and dry up, while a man who goes into plurality looks fresh, young, and sprightly. Why is this? Because God loves that man, and because he honors his word. Some of you may not believe this, but I not only believe it but I also know it. For a man of God to be confined to one woman is small business... I do not know what we should do if we had only one wife apiece.”
- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Deseret News, April 22, 1857
“Monogamy, or restrictions by law to one wife, is no part of the economy of heaven among men. Such a system was commenced by the founders of the Roman Empire... Rome became the mistress of the world, and introduced this order of monogamy wherever her sway was acknowledged. Thus this monogamic order of marriage, so esteemed by modern Christians as a hold sacrament and divine institution, is nothing but a system established by a set of robbers.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Deseret News, August 6, 1862
“Why do we believe in and practice polygamy? Because the Lord introduced it to his servants in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, and the Lord's servants have always practiced it. ‘And is that religion popular in heaven?' It is the only popular religion there...”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Deseret News, August 6, 1862
“Since the founding of the Roman empire monogamy has prevailed more extensively than in times previous to that. The founders of that ancient empire were robbers and women stealers, and made laws favoring monogamy in consequence of the scarcity of women among them, and hence this monogamic system which now prevails throughout all Christendom, and which has been so fruitful a source of prostitution and whoredom throughout all the Christian monogamic cities of the Old and New World, until rottenness and decay are at the root of their institutions both national and religious.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 11, p. 128
“It is a fact worthy of note that the shortest-lived nations of which we have record have been monogamic. Rome, with her arts, sciences and warlike instincts, was once the mistress of the world; but her glory faded. She was a mono-gamic nation, and the numerous evils attending that system early laid the foundation for that ruin which eventually overtook her.”
- Apostle George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, v. 13, p. 202
“We breathe the free air, we have the best looking men and handsomest women, and if they envy our position, well they may, for they are a poor, narrow minded, pinch-backed race of man, who chain themselves down to the law of monogamy and live all their days under the dominion of one wife. They aught to be ashamed of such conduct, and the still fouler channel which flows from their practices.”
- Prophet George A. Smith, Apostle, Deseret News, April 16, 1856
“... the one-wife system not only degenerates the human family, both physically and intellectually, but it is entirely incompatible with philosophical notions of immortality; it is a lure to temptation, and has always proved a curse to people.”
- Millennial Star, v. 15, p. 227
“[Children of polygamists] besides being equally as bright and brighter intellectually, are much more healthy and strong.”
- Apostle George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, v. 13, p. 207
“Talk about polygamy! There is no true philosopher on the face of the earth but what will admit that such a system, properly carried out according to the order of heaven, is far superior to monogamy for the raising of healthy, robust children!”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 13, p. 317
“When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 1, p. 50
“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.'”
- Apostle Jebediah M. Grant, Journal of Discourses, v. 1, p. 346
“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.”
- Apostle Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, v. 2, p. 210
“We have now clearly shown that God the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity, by whom He begat our spirits as well as the Spirit of Jesus His first Born...”
- Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 172
“Yes, sir, President Woodruff, President Young, and President John Taylor, taught me and all the rest of the ladies here in Salt Lake that a man in order to be exalted in the Celestial Kingdom must have more than one wife, that having more than one wife was a means of exaltation.”
- Temple Lot Case, p. 362
“We, the first presidency and apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, beg to respectfully to Your Excellency the following facts:
We formerly taught to our people that polygamy or Celestial Marriage as commanded by God through Joseph Smith was right; that it was a necessity to man's highest exaltation in the life to come.”
- Reed Smoot Case, v. 1, p. 18
“And we... are believers in the principles of plural marriage or polygamy... as a principle revealed by God, underlying our every hope of eternal salvation and happiness in heaven... we cannot view plural marriage in any other light than as a vital principle of our religion.”
- Millennial Star, v. 40, pp. 226-227
“Damnation was the awful penalty affixed to a refusal to obey this law [polygamy]. It became an acknowledged doctrine of the Church; it was indissolubly interwoven in the minds of its members with their hopes of eternal salvation and exaltation in the presence of God...”
- Millennial Star, v. 47, p. 711
“... [Joseph Smith taught] the doctrine of plural and celestial marriage is the most holy and important doctrine ever revealed to man on the earth, and that without obedience to that principle no man can ever attain to the fullness of exaltation in the celestial glory.”
- William Clayton, Joseph Smith's secretary, Historical Record, v. 6, p. 226
“[If I] had not obeyed that command of God, concerning plural marriage, I believe that I would have been damned.”
- Apostle George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, v. 23, p. 278
“The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 11, p. 269
“One man recalled a Stake Conference in Southern Utah where the brethren were bluntly told to marry in polygamy or ‘resign their church offices.'”
- Kimball Young, Isn't One Wife Enough?, 1954, p. 108
“The Church ever operates in full light. There is no secrecy about its doctrine, aim, or work.”
- Apostle John A. Widtsoe, Evidence and Reconciliations: Aids to Faith in a Modern Day, 1943, p. 282
“In 1840 the doctrine [of polygamy] was taught to a few leading brethren who, with the Prophet, secretly married additional wives in the following year...”
- The Restored Church: A Brief History of the Growth and Doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by William E. Berrett, Deseret Book Co., p. 247
What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers.”
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church, May 26, 1844, p. 411
* Even Mormon scholars admit that Smith had entered into polygamy before May 26, 1844 *
“We are accused here of polygamy, and actions the most indelicate, obscene, and disgusting, such that none but a corrupt and depraved heart could have contrived. These things are too outrageous to admit to belief...”
- Prophet John Taylor, as cited in Orson Pratt's Works: Or the Doctrines of the Gospel, by Orson Pratt, 1851 ed., p. 8
* At the time of this statement in 1850, Taylor had at least 6 wives *
“We are charged with advocating a plurality of wives, and common property. Now this is as false as many other ridiculous charges which are brought against us... we do what others do not, practice what we preach.”
- Times and Seasons, v. 4, p. 143
“But, for the information of those who may be assailed by these foolish tales about two wives, we would say that no such principle ever existed among the Latter-day Saints, and never will... the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants; and also all our periodicals are very strict on that subject, indeed for more so than the Bible.”
- Millennial Star, v. 3, p. 74
“The principle of plurality of wives never will be done away...”
- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Deseret News, November 7, 1855
“You might as well deny ‘Mormonism,' and turn away from it, as to oppose the plurality of wives.”
- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, v. 5, p. 203
“It would be as easy for the United States to build a tower to remove the sun, as to remove polygamy, or the Church and Kingdom of God.”
- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Millennial Star, v. 28, p. 190
“On the morning of the 12th of July, 1843; Joseph and Hyrum Smith came into the office.... They were talking on the subject of plural marriage. Hyrum said to Joseph, ‘If you will write the revelation on celestial marriage, I will take it and read it to Emma, and I believe I can convince her of its truth, and you will hereafter have peace.' Joseph smiled and remarked, ‘You do not know Emma as well as I do.'…Joseph then said, ‘Well I will write the revelation and we will see.'...
“Hyrum then took the revelation to read to Emma. Joseph remained with me in the office until Hyrum returned. When he came back, Joseph asked him how he had succeeded. Hyrum replied that he had never received a more severe talking to in his life, that Emma was very bitter and full of resentment and anger.
“Joseph quietly remarked, ‘I told you you did not know Emma as well as I did.' Joseph then put the revelation in his pocket, and they both left the office.
“... Two or three days after the revelation was written Joseph related to me and several others that Emma had so teased, and urgently entreated him for the privilege of destroying it, that he became so weary of her teasing, and to get rid of her annoyance, he told her she might destroy it and she had done so, but he had consented to her wish in this matter to pacify her, realizing that he knew the revelation perfectly, and could rewrite it at any time if necessary.”
- History of the Church, Introduction to v. 5, pp. XXXII-XXXIII
“God has told us Latter-day Saints that we shall be condemned if we do not enter into that principle [of polygamy]; and yet I have heard now and then (I am very glad to say that only a low such instances have come under my notice) a brother or a sister say, ‘I am a Latter-day Saint, but I do not believe in polygamy.' Oh, what an absurd expression! What an absurd idea! A person might as well say, ‘I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, but I do not believe in him.' One is just as consistent as the other.... If the doctrine of polygamy, as revealed to the Latter-day Saints, is not true, I would not give a fig for all your other revelations that came through Joseph Smith the Prophet; I would renounce the whole of them, because it is utterly impossible, according to the revelations that are contained in these books, to believe a part of them to be from the devil... The Lord has said, that those who reject this principle reject their salvations, they shall be damned, saith the Lord...”
- Apostle Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, v. 17, pp. 224-225
“Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned; and I will go still further, and say that this revelation, or any other revelation that the Lord had given, and deny it in your feelings, and I promise that you will be damned.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Deseret News, November 14, 1855
“'Do you think that we shall ever be admitted as a State into the Union without denying the principle of polygamy?' If we are not admitted until then, we shall never be admitted.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Deseret News, October 10, 1866
“If plural marriage be divine, as the Latter-day Saints say it is, no power on earth can suppress it, unless you crush and destroy the entire people.”
- Apostle George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, v. 20, p. 276
“I believe in plural marriage as a part of the Gospel, just as much as I believe in baptism by immersion for the remission of sins.... I bear my testimony that it is a necessity, and that the Church of Christ in its fullness never existed without it. Where you have the eternity of marriage you are bound to have plural marriage...”
- Apostle George Teasdale, Journal of Discourses, v. 25, p. 21
“If we were to do away with polygamy, it would only be one feather in the bird... Do away with that, then we must do away with prophets and Apostles, with revelation and the gifts and graces of the Gospel... and finally give up our religion altogether.... We just can't do that....”
- Prophet Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, v. 13, p. 166
Woodruff did away with polygamy in the Manifesto of 1890
“The doctrine of polygamy with the ‘Mormons,' is not one of that kind that in the religious world is classed with ‘nonessentials.' It is not an item of doctrine that can be yielded, and faith in the system remain. ‘Mormonism' is that kind of religion the entire divinity of which is invalidated, and its truth utterly rejected, the moment that any one of its leading principles is acknowledged to be false...”
- Millennial Star, October 28, 1865
“There is no halfway house. The childish babble about another revelation [ending polygamy] is only an evidence how half informed men can talk...”
- Millennial Star, October 28, 1865
“At a priesthood meeting... the strongest language in regard to Plural Marriage was used that I ever heard, and among other things it was stated that all men in position who would not observe and fulfill that law should be removed from their places.”
- Daily Journal of Abraham H. Cannon (Apostle), April 6, 1884
“The Lord showed me by vision and revelation what would happen if we did not stop this practice... all ordinances would be stopped... many men would be made prisoners... I went before the Lord, and I wrote what the Lord told me to write...”
- Evidences and Reconciliations, by Apostle John A. Widtsoe, 1 vol. ed., pp. 105-106
“President Wilford Woodruff issued the manifesto... suspending the general practice of it in the Church, while still retaining it as a doctrine.”
- Brigham Young and His Wives, by John J. Stewart, pp. 29-30
“During our meeting a revelation was read which Pres. Woodruff received Sunday Evening, Nov.'r 24th . Propositions had been made for the Church to make some concessions to the courts in regard to its principles. Both of Pres. Woodruff's counselors refused to advise him as to the course he should pursue, and he therefore laid the matter before the Lord. The answer came quick and strong. The Word of the Lord was for us not to yield one particle of that which he had revealed and established. He had done and would continue to care for His work and those of the Saints who were faithful, and we need have no fear of our enemies when we were in the line of duty.”
- Daily Journal of Abraham H. Cannon (Apostle), December 19, 1889
“When the statement called ‘The Manifesto,' which was signed by President Wilford Woodruff, was voted upon for acceptance by the membership of the LDS Church... it appeared that there was a unanimous vote of support for abandonment of the practice of plural marriage. As time passed, however, it became apparent that not even among the general authorities of the Church was there unanimous support for abolishing the practice.”
- BYU Leadership Week, “Those Who Would Be Leaders,” by Russell R. Rich, p. 71
“I feel like saying ‘Damn the Law.'”
- Apostle George Q. Cannon, as recorded in The Daily Journal of Abraham Cannon, October 7, 1890
“Q. I want to ask you, President Woodruff, whether in your advice to the church officials, and the people of the Church, you advised them that your attention was, and that the requirement of the Church was, that the polygamous relations already formed before that should not be continued; that is, there should be no association with plural wives; in other words, that unlawful cohabitation as it is named and spoken of should also stop, as well as future polygamous marriages?
A.Yes, sir; that has been the intention.”
- Testimony of Wilford Woodruff (Prophet), in Reminiscences of Early Utah, p. 246
“It was, however, resolved that ‘we use our private influence at present to prevent our brethren from going into court and promising to obey the law; and as soon as possible we take steps to get some flavors from the government for those who already have more wives than one.'”
- Daily Journal of Abraham H. Cannon (Apostle), Oct. 2, 1890
“Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of superfluity, or non-essential, to the salvation or exaltation of mankind. In other words, some of the Saints have said, and believe, that a man with one wife, sealed to him by the authority of the Priesthood for time and eternity, will receive an exaltation as great and glorious, if he is faithful, as he possibly could with more than one. I want here to enter my solemn protest against this idea, for I know it is false. There is no blessing promised except upon conditions, and no blessing can be obtained by mankind except by faithful compliance with the conditions, or law, upon which the same is promised. The marriage of one woman to a man for time and eternity by the sealing power, according to the will of God, is a fulfillment of the celestial law of marriage in part--and is good so far as it goes--and so far as a man abides these conditions of the law, he will receive his reward therefore, and this reward, or blessing, he could not obtain on any other grounds or conditions. But this is only the beginning of the law, not the whole of it. Therefore, whoever has imagined that he could obtain the fullness of the blessings pertaining to this celestial law, by complying with only a portion of its conditions, has deceived himself. He cannot do it. When that principle was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith…[common background on Joseph Smith, skipped here]…he did not falter, although it was not until an angel of God, with a drawn sword, stood before him; and commanded that he should enter into the practice of that principle, or he should be utterly destroyed, or rejected, that he moved forward to reveal and establish that doctrine.”
- Prophet Joseph F. Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol.20, p.28 - p.29, July 7, 1878
“Patriarchal marriage involves conditions, responsibilities and obligations which do not exist in monogamy, and there are blessings attached to the faithful observance of that law, if viewed only upon natural principles, which must so far exceed those of monogamy, as the conditions responsibilities and power of increase are greater. This is my view and testimony in relation to this matter. I believe it is a doctrine that should be taught and understood.”
- Prophet Joseph F. Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol.20, p.30, July 7, 1878
“The benefits derived from the righteous observance of this order of marriage do not accrue solely to the husband, but are shared equally by the wives; not only is this true upon the grounds of obedience to a divine law, but upon physiological and scientific principles. In the latter view, the wives are even more benefitted, (sp) if possible, than the husband physically. But, indeed, the benefits naturally accruing to both sexes, and particularly to their offspring, in time, say nothing of eternity, are immensely greater in the righteous practice of patriarchal marriage than in monogamy, even admitting the eternity of the monogamic marriage covenant.
“... As before stated no man can obtain the benefits of one law by the observance of another, however faithful he may be in that which he does, nor can he secure to himself the fullness of any blessing without he fulfills the law upon which it is predicated, but he will receive the benefit of the law he obeys.…I understand the law of celestial marriage to mean that every man in this Church, who has the ability to obey and practice it in righteousness and will not, shall be damned, I say I understand it to mean this and nothing less, and I testify in the name of Jesus that it does mean that....”
- Prophet Joseph F. Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol.20, p.31, July 7, 1878
“When did I ever teach anything wrong from this stand? When was I ever confounded? I want to triumph in Israel before I depart hence and am no more seen. I never told you I was perfect; but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught. Must I, then, be thrown away as a thing of naught?”
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Six 1843 44, p.368
(At the Stand, May 12, 1844, Nauvoo, Ill.), also in History of the Church, v. 6, p. 366
Note that he is complaining that the saints were not obeying him or believing him to his satisfaction. What doctrine was it Joseph was advocating that was being resisted, yet one which he could not name publicly?
“Second, in the midst of all these things, Joseph like his colleague prophets was so busy being a special witness for the Savior that he had little time to heed all of the false witness being borne about him. Joseph was usually more inclined to endure than explain himself, even though the drumbeat of dissent was at certain points almost unrelieved. In Nauvoo, in March 1842, for instance, while intensively engaged "day and evening" in translating the Book of Abraham, he said that he simply did not have time to attend to all his public duties. His duties as a seer were more important than his ceremonial chores.
Joseph did not respond at times, of course, such as by issuing a summational disclaimer as from the temple stand in Nauvoo, saying, "I never told you I was perfect; but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught."
- Apostle Neal A. Maxwell, Meek and Lowly, pp. 105-106
“President John Taylor went to the Lord in the True Order of Prayer and asked the Lord concerning His mind and His will concerning continuing practice of plural marriage in the LDS Church? The voice of the Lord came to President Taylor saying - "My son John: You have asked me concerning the New and Everlasting Covenant and how far it is binding upon my people. Thus saith the Lord All commandments that I give must be obeyed by those calling themselves by my name unless they are revoked by me or by my authority and how can I revoke an everlasting covenant. For I the Lord am everlasting and my everlasting covenants cannot be abrogated nor done away with; they stand forever. Have I not given my word in great plainness on this subject? Yet have not great numbers of my people been negligent in the observance of my law and the keeping of my commandments, and yet I have borne with them these many years and this because of their weakness because of the perilous times. And furthermore it is more pleasing to me that men should use their free agency in regard to these matters. Nevertheless I the Lord do not change and my word and my covenants and my law do not. And as I have heretofore said by my servant Joseph all those who would enter into my glory must and shall obey my law. And have I not commanded men that if they were Abraham's seed and would enter into my glory they must do the works of Abraham. I have not revoked this law nor will I for it is everlasting and those who will enter into my glory must obey the conditions thereof, even so Amen."
- John Tayor Papers (Prophet), Church Historian's Office, Sept. 27th, Unpublished Revelations of the Prophets and Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by Fred C. Collier, 1979
"The Prophet did not say that any law passed by Congress is the supreme law of the land. He knew better. He knew that Congress would pass laws that would be invalid. What he said was this - 'When a people or a church have received a divine command and a law is enacted against it, do they not know whether the law is constitutional or not, seeing that Congress is prohibited by that sacred instrument from passing any law respecting an establishment of religion? And if the Supreme Court, yielding to popular clamor against an unorthodox body rules that the unconstitutional law is constitutional, does that alter the stubborn, patient, invincible fact that the law is in violation of the great guarantee of religious freedom? Any man who says that he really and firmly believes a certain law of God binding on him, and who will not obey it in preference to a conflicting law of man or a decision of a court, has either an unsound mind or a cowardly soul, or is a most contemptible hypocrite.' A law has been specially framed against the establishment of their religion.
The issue is obedience to God or submission to man; choice between a divine decree about which they have no doubt, and a human enactment that they firmly believe to be unconstitutional and void. It is a matter of conscience"
- Deseret News, July 6th, 1886
“I speak of plurality of wives as one of the most holy principles that God ever revealed to man, and all those who exercise an influence against it, unto whom it is taught, man or woman will be damned, and they and all who will be influenced by them, will suffer the buffetings of Satan in the flesh; for the curse of God will be upon them, and poverty, and distress, and vexation of spirit will be their portion; while those who honor this and every sacred institution of heaven will shine forth as the stars in the firmament of heaven, and of the increase of their kingdom and glory there shall be no end. This will equally apply to Jew, Gentile, and Mormon, male and female, old and young.”
- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, v. 11, p. 211
“But one thing I will name, and that is in regard to plural marriage. A great many men say--"Oh, well, I can get along, I can live, and I believe I shall only have one wife." Well, that is your privilege, nobody compels you to take more than one; but with the commandment of the Lord before us like a blaze of light, can we disregard it and serve him acceptably? If we can, then why not retain those laws and commandments in heaven, and not send them down here to earth? These commandments are sent for our good, for our salvation and exaltation. Here is a woman who, in speaking of celestial marriage, says, "It will do very well for others, but it will not do in my house;" "it may do very well for somebody else, because her feelings are not quite so fine as mine, she has been differently raised from what I have." I do not know that the Lord will pay any particular respect as to how we are raised, and how fine and delicate our feelings may be, or how coarse and uncultivated they may be. I believe that if we submit to the law of heaven, that law has power to refine us and to fit us for immortality and eternal life. That is my opinion. Now hear this good sister, she says--"It will not do for me, I am not going to submit to it." Another sister says--"I am willing to submit to the law of Christ." Let these two sisters come together and talk over the law of marriage, and see whether their spirits will run together. They will no more run together than water and oil will unite.…I am thankful for this privilege of saying a few words. I hope I have done no harm, and that I have not said anything that is contrary to the will of God, or to the feelings of the pure in heart, for they are just as sacred to me as the law of God, and I do not want to unnecessarily offend the ungodly; but I am not so particular to spare or shield them. I want to tell the truth, and bear a faithful testimony. I have been in this Church about forty-three years--almost from the beginning, for I was baptized into the Church on the 31st of October, 1831, and ordained the same day and sent to preach the Gospel, and more or less, most of the time since, I have been engaged in that work.”
- Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, v. 16, p. 236
“Now, in relation to the position that we occupy concerning plurality, or, as it is termed, polygamy it differs from that of others. I have noticed the usage of several nations regarding marriage; but, as I have said, we are not indebted to any of them for our religion, nor for our ideas of marriage, they came from God. 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 apostasy and I do to-day; I consider them apostates, and not interested in this Church and kingdom. It is so far, then, a religious institution, that it affects my conscience and the consciences of all good men--it is so far religious that it connects itself with time and with eternity. What are the covenants we enter into, and why is it that Joseph Smith said that unless this principle was entered into this kingdom could not proceed? We ought to know the whys and the wherefores in relation to these matters, and understand something about the principle enunciated. These are simply words; we wish to know their signification.”
- Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, v. 11, p. 221
“It would be as easy for the United States to build a tower to remove the sun, as to remove polygamy, or the Church and kingdom of God.
- Millennial Star, v. 28, p. 190
“This is our position, this is where we are to-day. We have accepted this doctrine, this principle of faith from the Lord Jesus Christ, and we, or some of us, have lived it more than thirty years in this Territory. And in the matter of our appeal, inasmuch as the government is determined to eradicate this item of our faith, and us with it, of course, and inasmuch as we can get no redress therefrom, our appeal must be to the government of heaven, to which we have vowed allegiance. Jehovah will hold a contention with this nation, and will show them which is the higher and eternal law, and which is the lesser and more recent law. While they are carrying on this high-handed proceeding, regardless of life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, the God of heaven and earth will notify the earthly government that the rights and liberties of His citizens must be respected and maintained. “
- Apostle Frankilin D. Richards, Journal of Discourses, v. 20, p. 315
“In the Latter-day Saints Millennial Star the following was printed:
Shortly before the revelation known as the manifesto (which put a stop to the practice of polygamy) was given, Lorenzo Snow, who later became President of the Mormon Church, was declaring that no such revelation would ever come. When Lorenzo Snow was on trial for practicing polygamy, Mr. Bierbower (the prosecuting attorney) predicted that if he was convicted, 'a new revelation would soon follow, changing the divine law of celestial marriage.' To this Mr. Snow replied: "Whatever fame Mr. Bierbower may have secured as a lawyer, he certainly will fail as a prophet. The severest prosecutions have never been followed by revelations changing a divine law, obedience to which brought imprisonment or martyrdom.
‘Though I go to prison, God will not change his law of celestial marriage. But the man, the people, the nation, that oppose and fight against this doctrine and the Church of God, will be overthrown.”
- Historical Record, p. 144
“As to President Young his labors have been with us. It has been remarked sometimes, by certain individuals, that President Young has said in public that he was not a prophet nor the son of a prophet. I have travelled (sp) with him since 1833 or the spring of 1834; I have travelled (sp) a good many thousand miles with him and have heard him preach a great many thousand sermons; but I have never heard him make that remark in my life. He is a prophet, I am a prophet, you are, and anybody is a prophet who has the testimony of Jesus Christ, for that is the spirit of prophecy. The Elders of Israel are prophets. A prophet is not so great as an Apostle. Christ has set in his Church, first, Apostles; they hold the keys of the kingdom of God. Any man who has travelled (sp) with President Young knows he is a prophet of God. He has foretold a great many things that have come to pass. All the Saints who are well acquainted with him know that he is governed and controlled by the power of God and the revelations of Jesus Christ. His works are before the world; they are before the heavens; before the earth; before the wicked as well as the righteous; and it is the influence of President Young that the world is opposed to. This Priesthood, these keys of the kingdom of God that have been sealed upon him, the world is at war against; let them say what they may, these things are what they are at enmity with. Their present objection to the Latter-day Saints, they say, is plurality of wives. It is this principle they are trying to raise a persecution against now. But how was it in Missouri, Kirtland, Jackson county, Far West, Caldwell county, in all our drivings (sp) and afflictions, before this principle was revealed to the Church? Certainly it was not polygamy then. No, it was prophets, it was revelation, it was the organization of an institution founded by revelation from God. They did not believe in that, and that was the objection in those days. If we were to do away with polygamy, it would only be one feather in the bird, one ordinance in the Church and kingdom. Do away with that, then we must do away with prophets and Apostles, with revelation and the gifts and graces of the Gospel, and finally give up our religion altogether and turn sectarians and do as the world does, then all would be right. We just can't do that, for God has commanded us to build up His kingdom and to bear our testimony to the nations of the earth, and we are going to do it, come life or come death. He has told us to do thus, and we shall obey Him in days to come as we have in days past.”
- Prophet Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, v. 13, pp. 165-166
“Efforts have been made among us to change this condition of affairs. There have been, and still are, perhaps, some who call themselves Latter-day Saints, who are almost ready to lend themselves to any scheme that has for its object the obtaining of a State organization for Utah. Such persons look upon this as so great a blessing and so great a boon, that they are almost willing to forego their religious belief and to pander to those who have got power, and to make some sort of a concession to them, in order to achieve this, what they consider, very desirable end. There has been some agitation in years past respecting plural marriage, and some people, calling themselves Latter-day Saints, have been almost ready to go into the open market, and bid for a State government, at the price of conceding this principle of our religion, for the privilege of becoming a State of the Union. Those who are ready to do this are ready also to cast off obedience to the Priesthood of the Son of God, and to say, "We do not believe that men who hold an office in the Church should have any voice in the affairs of the State." They are ready to sell out their belief as Latter-day Saints, and their veneration and reverence for that power which God has restored, for the sake of obtaining a little recognition of their rights as citizens, on the part of those in power. It does not require much familiarity with the Spirit of God, or with the principles of our holy religion to understand exactly the position that such persons as these to whom I allude, occupy among us. When a man is ready to barter any principle of salvation for worldly advantage, that man certainly has reached the position that he esteems worldly advantage above eternal salvation. Can such persons retain the Spirit of God, and take such a course as this? No, they cannot. That other spirit will lead such persons astray, and they will be left to themselves. Will there be such persons continue among us and be associated with us? I do not question it. I expect we shall have such characters with us, during our future career as we have had in the past. We have had all sorts of people connected with this Church. As the work rolls forth, as it increases in numbers, so will these characters increase--that is, for a certain time, until the day comes when the kingdom of God and the reign of righteousness shall be fully ushered in.”
- Apostle George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, Vol.26, pp. 8-9
“Now, I wish to say that I realize that there are some in our midst--whether they are in your midst in this Stake of Zion or not, I am not prepared to say with any certainty, for I can only judge of the condition and feeling of the people as I am informed from time to time--I say, there are some whom Satan would stir to disobedience and try to make an impression upon their minds that the system of plural marriage, and those things that pertain to the sealing of men and women for time and for eternity, and the revelation which has been read in our hearing, given through the Prophet Joseph pertaining to this subject--that it was the work of man and not the work of God. We have recently had published in some of the Utah papers some letters on this subject, and one from Joseph Smith, the eldest son of the Prophet, in which a great deal of sophistry is made use of, special pleading, such as the lawyer that he is, seems only capable of using. And the object of this special pleading and the sophistry is to try to leave an impression upon the ignorant, those who know no better, that plural marriage was not introduced and sanctioned and practiced by his father, but that it has been an innovation of man, and does not belong to the system of religion which he believed and practiced and taught the people. And there are some among us who would fain take this view of the subject; not that there are many who believe it, but there are some who would like to believe it. And so there are in the world many people who fear that "Mormonism" as a whole is true and of God; they are very much afraid that it is, but they hope that it is not. They do not want to receive it; they do not want to live it, but they are afraid it is true, and multitudes of people have been convinced of its truth, but have not the honesty to acknowledge it; and many who would acknowledge it for a little season, would afterwards, because of the love of the world, fall away, and thus condemnation has fallen upon the world because they will not obey the truth when they hear it. And so it is with some among the Latter-day Saints. They are pretty well satisfied that this doctrine of plural marriage is true, and that it was revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith, but they would like an excuse for disavowing and rejecting it. And why so? Mainly because their minds are closed up and have not been able to comprehend the principles that are embraced in this doctrine and connected with it. Their minds are contracted and limited. They think more of this present life than they do of the future. They want to lay up riches; they want to gather personal comforts around them; they want to gratify the pride of life and the lusts of the flesh. They do not understand that which is for their real good, their real happiness. But I testify that there is more real happiness in serving God and abiding in His law, and submitting to all its conditions and requirements than there can be in taking an opposite course. This is the testimony of all who receive and abide in the truth, and there is abundant evidence in their lives and conduct to prove that they, in receiving the truth, enjoy more comfort and happiness than those who reject it. And touching our plural families, I will say that, with all the weaknesses that are common to frail humanity, and that manifest themselves in our midst-- the men who enter into this order in the sincerity of their hearts and with devotion to God, and the women who also enter into it in the love of the truth and in the earnestness of their souls, fearing God and desiring to do His will--that with all the weaknesses that manifest themselves, I say there is treble the genuine comfort and happiness in those families who enter into this order and abide in it, than is to be found in the same number of families in monogamy in this Church, to say nothing of the Gentile world. And then we will take the Latter-day Saints as a whole, whether in plural marriage or single marriage, and we will say that there is ten times more genuine happiness and comfort in believing and obeying the Gospel--whether in plural or single wedlock--than is to be found among the same number of people in any part of the world outside of this Church. Now, in this you are all my witnesses. Many of you have been in the world. You know what you were, and how you felt, and how your neighbors felt, and what kind of enjoyment you had before you heard the fullness of the Gospel. You know pretty well the condition of the world now--the condition of those who have not received the Gospel--and you know what your condition is and has been since you received the Gospel. And who among you, Latter-day Saints, would exchange your present condition for the condition of the outside world? Are we not prepared to testify that our happiness is trebled, through having believed and obeyed the Gospel?”
- Apostle Erastus Snow, Journal of Discourses, v. 24, p. 162
“I bear my testimony that it is a necessity, and that the Church of Christ in its fullness never existed without it. Where you have the eternity of marriage you are bound to have plural marriage; bound to; and it is one of the marks of the Church of Jesus Christ in its sealing ordinances. ‘Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven.' We know how sensitive the Prophet Joseph was to introduce this principle. He knew the feeling that was against it. It had been taught from the days of heathen Rome down to the present time that a man should have but one wife, which has resulted in the prostitution of many of the fair daughters of Eve as mistresses. Here we have too much love for women to see them trampled in the dust. Here we have too much respect for unborn spirits to have them come into the world branded as bastards, illegitimate, in shame, without knowing their fathers. The children we have are legitimate. They are our own. We honor them and our wives. Our children are given unto us of God, for our wives are given to us of God. We never should have thought of practicing this principle if God had not revealed it from the heavens and commanded it, and we must stand by it and by every principle that He has revealed. It is more than I dare, to go back on that principle or any other principle; and I have besought the Lord with all my heart that He would give me strength according to my day that I might never fail in my integrity, but that I might stand firm as the pillars of heaven to the truths that He has revealed for the redemption of the human family. I understand my own weaknesses; I understand my own insufficiency; but my trust is in the living and true God. And I have a testimony that for over thirty years He has sustained my through some very crooked and tight places by His Almighty power. He has stood by me, been my friend; and so far my testimony and my love for the principles of righteousness are as deep and earnest as my first love, and more so; for I have witnessed His loving kindness in the sealing powers and bonds of the everlasting covenant; I have been privileged to see the magnificent manner in which He has provided for His children, in placing them in a position that they may become like unto Him--eternal, without end of years.
That God may give us grace to stand true and faithful to our covenants, and endure to the end, is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
- Apostle George Teasdale, Journal of Discourses, v. 25, pp. 19-22
“Now, treat your wives right, but do not subject yourselves to the infamous provisions of the Edmunds' act more than you can help, avoid all harsh expressions and improper actions, act carefully and prudently in all your social relations. Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. A gentleman in Washington told another, who related it to me, in answer to the question, What will the ‘Mormons' do with their wives and children when this bill passes? he was told: Turn them out in the streets as we do our harlots. I say in the name of God we will not do any such thing, and let all Israel say Amen. (The vast congregation, amounting to from 12,000 to 14,000 persons, responded Amen.) We will stand by our covenants, and the Constitution will bear us out in it. Among other things, that instrument says that Congress shall make no law impairing the validity of contracts. You have contracted to be united with your wives in time and in eternity, and it would not do for us to break a constitutional law, would it? (Laughter.) Others may do it, but we cannot. We cannot lay aside our honor, we cannot lay aside our principles; and if people cannot allow us freedom, we can allow freedom to them and to all men. We will be true to our wives and cherish them and maintain them, and stand by them in time, and we will reign with them in eternity, when thousands of others are weltering under the wrath of God. Any man that abuses his wife, or takes advantage of this law to oppress her, is not worthy of a standing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and let the congregation say Amen. (The immense congregation responded by a loud Amen.)
- Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, v. 23, p. 68
“God has given us a revelation in regard to celestial marriage. I did not make it. He has told us certain things pertaining to this matter, and they would like us to tone that principle down and change it and make it applicable to the views of the day. This we cannot do; nor can we interfere with any of the commands of God to meet the persuasions or behests of men. I cannot do it, and will not do it.”
- Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, v. 25, p. 309
“‘But,' says this Christian, ‘I really do not like this; I see this is a polygamous city. I wonder if there is not some other place for me! I do not like the company of polygamists. They were hated very badly back yonder. Congress hated them, the President hated them, the cabinet hated them, the Priests hated them, and everybody hated them, and I engendered the same hatred, and I have not got rid of it yet. I wonder if there is not some other place for me?' Oh yes, there is another place for you. Without the gates of the city there are dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, adulterers and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Now take your choice, Amen.”
- Apostle Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, v. 17, p. 229
“Result of the manifesto. Following the issuance of the Manifesto the sentiment grew that those who had entered into plural marriages before that date should not be interfered with, and men were not to be compelled to desert their wives and children….
“The Granting of Amnesty. December 19, 1891, the First Presidency and apostles petitioned for amnesty. This petition was endorsed by the governor, Arthur L. Thomas, and Charles S. Zane, who had again become chief justice, and many leading “Gentiles.” It was read before the senate committee on territories and became a part of the published record of that body. President Benjamin Harrison, who a short time before had visited Utah, on January 4, 1895, issued a proclamation of amnesty to polygamists for past offenses limited to those who entered into that relation before November 1, 1890. The Utah commission acting on the pardon of the President, ruled that restrictions against voters in the territory should be removed.”
- Essentials of Church History, by Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, p. 496
“W[ilford]. Woodruff: ‘This manifesto only refers to future marriages, and does not affect past conditions.'”
- Prophet Wilford Woodruff, as quoted in The Daily Journal of Abraham H. Cannon, Oct. 7, 1890
“Brother Wolfe, don't you know that the Manifesto is only a trick to beat the devil at his own game?”
- Apostle John H. Smith, according to the testimony of Walter M. Wolfe, in the Reed Smoot Case, v. 4, p. 13
“President Joseph F. Smith admitted that he had had eleven children borne to him by his five wives, since pledging himself to obey the ‘revealed' manifesto of 1890... apostle Francis Marian Lyman... made a similar admission of guilt, though to a lesser degree. So did John Henry Smith and Charles W. Penrose, apostles... So did a score of others.... And they confessed that they were living in violation of their pledges to the nation and the terms of their amnesty, against the laws and the constitution of the state, and contrary to the ‘revelation of God' by which the doctrine of polygamy had been withdrawn from practice in the Church!... Bishop Chas. E. Merrill, the son of an apostle, testified that his father had married him to a plural wife in 1891... Mrs. Clara Kennedy testified that she had been married to a polygamist in 1896, in Juarez, Mexico, by Apostle John W. Taylor had taken two plural wives within four years, and that Apostle M.F. Cowley had taken one; and both these men fled from the country in order to escape a summons to appear before the senate committee.”
- Frank J. Cannon, Under the Prophet in Utah, pp. 268-270
“There is nothing in my teachings to the Church or in those of my associates, during the time specified, which can be reasonably construed to inculate or encourage polygamy... And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.”
- Prophet Wilford Woodruff, “Official Declaration 1” (also known as "The 1890 Manifesto") in the Doctrine and Covenants, 1981 ed.
“The Chairman: Do you obey the law in having five wives at this time, and having them bear to you eleven children since the manifesto of 1890?
Mr. Joseph F. Smith: Mr. Chairman, I have not claimed that in that case I have obeyed the law of the land.
The Chairman: That is all.
Mr. Smith: I do not claim so, and I have said before that I prefer to stand my chances against the law.”
- Reed Smoot Case, v. 1, p. 197
“Mr. Tayler. You say there is a state law forbidding unlawful cohabitation?
Mr. [Joseph F.] Smith. That is my understanding.
Mr. Tayler. And ever since that law was passed you have been violating it?
Mr. Smith. I think likely I have been practicing the same thing even before the law was passed.”
- Reed Smoot Case, v. 1, p. 130
“The Chairman.…you are violating the law?
Mr. [Joseph F.] Smith. The law of my state?
The Chairman. Yes.
Mr. Smith. Yes, sir.
Senator Overman. Is there not a revelation published in the Book of Covenants here that you shall abide by the law of the state?
Mr. Smith. Yes, sir.
Senator Overman. If that is a revelation, are you not violating the laws of God?
Mr. Smith. I have admitted that, Mr. Senator, a great many times here.”
- Reed Smoot Case, v. 1, pp. 334-335
“Senator Hoar.…You have said more than once that in living in polygamous relations with your wives, which you do and intend to do, you knew that you were disobeying this revelation?
Mr. Francis M. Lyman. Yes, sir.
Senator Hoar.…And that in disobeying this revelation you were disobeying the law of God?
Mr. Lyman. Yes, sir.
Senator Hoar.…Very well. So that you say that you, an apostle of your church, expecting to succeed, if you survive Mr. Smith, to the office in which you will be the person to be the medium of Divine revelations, are living and are known to your people to live in disobedience of the law of the land and the law of God?
Mr. Lyman. Yes, sir.”
- Reed Smoot Case, v. 1, p. 430
“Mr. Tayler. And the next marriage took place in 1891?
Mr. [Charles E. Merrill]. Yes, sir.
Mr. Tayler. Who married you in 1891?
Mr. Merrill. My father.
Mr. Tayler. Was your father then an apostle?
Mr. Merrill. Yes, sir.”
- Reed Smoot Case, v. 1, p. 409
“Mr. [Walter M.} Wolfe. In the summer of 1897 I was in Colorado. On my return, at the beginning of the school year, I found that Ovena Jorgensen was not in attendance. She returned to school some time during the month of October. Shortly after her return, she came to my house and asked to see me privately. She said: ‘Brother Wolfe, I have something that I must tell you, the reason why I have been late in coming back to school. I have been married.' I said, ‘Not in polygamy.' She said: ‘Yes, sir; in polygamy. I have married Brother Okey.'
Mr. Worthington. I say, it was in October, 1897, that she told you?
Mr. Wolfe. Yes, sir... she said that some years before she had gone into service at the house of this man Okey; that he had loved her and she loved him. He had asked her to marry him and she had declined, saying that it was impossible on account of the manifesto.... In August, 1897, Okey and the girl went together to see President Wilford Woodruff, and they laid the case before him. He brushed them aside with the wave of his hand and said he would have nothing to do with the matter, but referred them to President George Q. Cannon. George Q. Cannon asked if the girl had been through the Temple and received her endowments. They told him no. He said that that must be done first and then he would see as to the rest of it. They went through the Temple and the girl received her endowments. Then they were given a letter by President George Q. Cannon to President Ivins, of the Juarez Stake, and they went to Mexico.
The Chairman. Who was this letter to?
Mr. Wolfe. President A.W. Ivins, of the Juarez Stake.
The Chairman. Mexico?
Mr. Wolfe. Mexico; yes, sir. They went to Mexico, and there the girl told me the marriage ceremony was performed, and they returned to Utah.”
- Reed Smoot Case, v. 4, pp. 10-11
“With a sweep of his hand toward [Joseph F.] Smith at his desk – a gesture and a look the most unkind I ever saw him [George Q. Cannon] use – he answered: ‘A few weeks ago, Abraham [H. Cannon] took a plural wife, Lillian Hamlin. It became known. He would have had to face a prosecution in Court. His death has saved us from a calamity that would have been dreadful for the Church – and for the state.' ‘Father!' I cried. ‘Has this thing come back again!... How did it happen?'
“My father replied:…‘I was asked for my consent, and I refused it. President [Joseph F.] Smith obtained the acquiescence of President Woodruff, on the plea that it wasn't an ordinary case of polygamy but merely a fulfillment of the biblical instruction that a man should take his dead brother's wife. Lillian was betrothed to David, and had been sealed to him in eternity after death. I understand that President Woodruff told Abraham he would leave the matter with them if he wished to take the responsibility – and President [Joseph F.] Smith performed the ceremony. ‘... here was the beginning of a policy of treachery which the present church leaders, under Joseph F. Smith, have since consistently practiced, in defiance of the laws of the state and the ‘revelation of God,' with lies and evasions, with perjury and its subordination, in violation of the most solemn pledges to the country, and through the agency of a political tyranny that makes serious prosecution impossible and immunity a public boast.”
- Apostle Frank J. Cannon, Under the Prophet in Utah, pp. 176, 177, 179
“Mr. Tayler. What relation are you to Lilliam Hamlin?
Mr. Hamlin. Brother.
Mr. Tayler. And whom did she marry?
Mr. Hamlin. I only know what I heard.
Mr. Tayler. What was your family conviction and understanding about that?
Mr. Hamlin. That she was married to a Mr. Cannon.
Mr. Tayler. An apostle of the church?
Mr. Hamlin. I believe so. I understand so.
Mr. Tayler. That was in the summer of 1896, was it not?
Mr. Hamlin. Yes, sir.
Mr. Tayler. And where did you understand she was married?
Mr. Hamlin. On the Pacific Coast.
Mr. Tayler. By whom?
Mr. Hamlin. Well, our understanding was that President Joseph F. Smith married her.”
- Reed Smoot Case, v. 2, pp. 67-68, testimony confirmed by Mrs. Wilhelmina L. Ellis in Reed Smoot Case, v. 2, pp. 141-144.
“The Presidents Woodruff and Smith both said they were willing for such a ceremony to occur, if done in Mexico, and Pres. Woodruff promised the Lord's blessing to follow such an act.”
- Daily Journal of Abraham H. Cannon (Apostle), October 24, 1894, v. 18, p. 170
“It is a fact of no little significance in itself, bearing on the question whether polygamous marriages have been recently contracted in Utah by the connivance of the first presidency and twelve apostles of the Mormon Church, that the authorities of said church have endeavored to suppress, and have succeeded in suppressing, a great deal of testimony by which the fact of plural marriages contracted by those who were high in the councils of the church might have been established beyond a shadow of a doubt....
“Subpoenas were issued for each one of the witnesses named, but in the case of Samuel Newton only could the process of the committee be served. Mr. Newton refused to obey the order of the committee... John W. Taylor was sent out of the country by Joseph F. Smith on a real or pretended mission for the church... It would be nothing short of self-stultification for one to believe that all these most important witnesses chanced to leave the United States at about the same time and without reference to the investigation. All the facts and circumstances surrounding the transaction point to the conclusion that every one of the witnesses named left the country at the instance [sic] of the rulers of the Mormon Church and to avoid testifying before the committee....
“In the case of other witnesses who were believed to have contracted plural marriages since the year 1890 all sorts of shifts, tricks, and evasions were resorted to in order to avoid service of a subpoena to appear before the committee and testify....
“The list of those who are guilty of violating the laws of the state and the rules of public decency is headed by Joseph F. Smith, the first president, prophet, seer, and revelator.'”
- Reed Smoot Case, v. 4, pp. 476-482
“... President [Joseph F.] Smith appeared forthwith and entered a plea of guilty and was fined three hundred dollars. The fine was promptly paid and the defendant discharged.”
- Deseret Evening News, November 23, 1906
Heber J. Grant was also convicted of unlawful cohabitation. (Daily Tribune, September 9, 1899)
“ ‘... 72 percent of Utah's 900,000 citizens are Mormon. And while most practiced monogamy, they are aware of their polygamous heritage.... This, coupled with the Mormon history of persecution,' says Rogers, ‘makes them sympathetic toward the Fundamentalists. They feel that prison – and excommunication – is too harsh a penalty. And they refuse to testify against their polygamous neighbors.'”
- William M. Rogers, former special assistant to the Utah State Attorney General, Ladies Home Journal, June 1967, p. 78
“... the Lord frequently did command his ancient saints to practice plural marriage... the whole history of ancient Israel was one in which plurality of wives was the divinely accepted and approved order of matrimony. Millions of those who entered this order have, in and through it, gained for themselves eternal exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world... the Prophet and leading brethren were commanded to enter into the practice, which they did in all virtue and purity of heart... plural marriage was openly taught and practiced until the year 1890. At that time conditions were such that the Lord by revelation withdrew the command to continue the practice.... Obviously the holy practice will commence again after the Second Coming of the Son of Man and the ushering in of the millennium...
“Any who pretend to assume to engage in plural marriage in this day, when the one holding the keys has withdrawn the power by which they are performed, are guilty of gross wickedness. Thy are living in adultery, have already sold their souls to Satan, and (whether their acts are based on ignorance or lust or both) they will be damned in eternity.”
- Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 522-523
“The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 11, p. 269
“Plural marriage is not essential to salvation or exaltation.”
- Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 523.
“Now, where a man in this church says, ‘I don't want but one wife, I will live my religion with one.' He will perhaps be saved in the Celestial Kingdom; but when he gets there he will not find himself in possession of any wife at all.... and he will remain single forever and ever.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Deseret News, September 17, 1873
“The Church has never, and certainly will never, renounce this doctrine. The revelation on plural marriage is still an integral part of LDS scripture, and always will be.”
- John J. Stewart, Brigham Young and His Wives, pp. 13-14.
“Polygamy in the ordinary and Asiatic sense of the term, never was and is not now a tenet of the Latter-day Saints. That which Joseph and Hyrum denounced... was altogether different to the order of celestial marriage including a Plurality of wives.... Joseph and Hyrum were consistent in their action against the false doctrines of polygamy and spiritual wifeism, instigated by the devil and advocated by men who did not comprehend sound doctrine nor the purity of celestial marriage which God revealed for the holiest of purposes.”
- Deseret News, May 20, 1866, Prophet Joseph F. Smith, editor, is most likely the author of this statement
“Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy; and one woman, but one husband, except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again.”
- Doctrine and Covenants, Section 101, verse 4
“This doctrine of polygamy, or spiritual wife-system, that has been taught and practiced among us, will prove our destruction and overthrow. I have been deceived; it is a curse to mankind, and we shall have to leave the United States soon, unless it can be put down, and its practice stopped in the Church. Now Brother Marks, you have not received this doctrine, and I want you to go into the high council, and I will have charges preferred against all who practice this doctrine, and I want you to try them by the laws of the Church, and cut them off, if they will not repent, and cease the practice of this doctrine, and I will go into the stand and preach against it with all my might, and in this way we will rid the Church of this damnable heresy.”
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., as recorded in an interview with William Marks in Zion's Harbinger and Baneemy's Organ, v. 3, July 1853, pp. 52-53, also in No Man Knows My History, by Fawn M. Brodie
“I condemn [polygamy], yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal. It is not legal. And this church takes the position that we will abide by the law.”
- Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, on Larry King Live, September 8, 1998
“[Polygamists] have no connection with us whatsoever. They don't belong to the church. There are actually no Mormon fundamentalists.”
- Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, on Larry King Live, September 8, 1998
“Repeatedly we are told that this is a dead issue – that polygamy has been renounced by the Mormon authorities and the matter need be argued no further. It is not a dead issue, nor can it be so long as their book of Doctrine and Covenants goes into all parts of the world bearing an alleged revelation which sets forth polygamy (and with equal validity concubinage) as the will of heaven and says that those who reject these documents will be damned.
“This cannot be called dead so long as our friends among the Mormon missionaries everywhere defend the doctrine when pressed in argument, and often when not even questioned about it.”
- Differences That Persist Between the RLDS and LDS Churches, by Elbert A. Smith, 1959, p. 21
“The Lord showed him [Joseph Smith, Jr.] those women... and at that time some of these women were named and given to him, to become his wives when the time should come that this principle would be established.”
- Prophet Joseph F. Smith, Deseret Evening News, February 18, 1882, also in A Study of the Mormon Practice of Plural Marriage Before the Death of Joseph Smith, by Daniel W. Bachman, p. 67
“We declare, as was taught by Joseph Smith and the former prophets of this dispensation, that plural marriage is the marriage order of the heavens. This order of marriage was given to us by the prophet of this dispensation, Joseph Smith, to be a necessary principle of the fullness of the gospel. We believe as Joseph and his contemporaries taught, that a man or a woman cannot attain the highest degree of exaltation without living this high and refining principle.
“We do not believe that the principle of plural marriage should be entered into or considered for purposes of fleshly gratification. If such purposes are at the forefront of the motivation for a plural relationship, it will bring about unhappiness and failure. If lived righteously and properly, this principle will teach men righteous leadership and sensitivity; wives learn to overcome jealousies and to live in unity and cooperation; all will learn patience-and thus this principle can lead to great happiness. This principle, coupled with other principles of the fullness of the gospel, are to enable righteous members of the latter-day House of Israel to truly build and redeem Zion, to welcome the Savior and the City of Enoch back to the earth and to usher in the Millennium.”
- The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days (Mormon Fundamentalist Church), Official Statement on Marriage and Family Government
“[The Manifesto was] a cowardly proceeding, the more I thought of it the less I liked it.”
- LDS Historian and Seventy B.H. Roberts, as quoted in B.H. Roberts and the Woodruff Manifesto, pp. 363-366
“The Manifesto was not a divine production but something manufactured to outwit the church's enemies.”
- Apostle Charles W. Penrose, as reported in Solemn Covenant, by Carmon Hardy, 1992
“[Apostle] Penrose told me once in the city of Mexico, that he had written the manifesto, and it was gotten up so that it did not mean anything and President Smith had told me the same. I mention these things only to show the training I have had from those over me.”
- Apostle Matthias F. Cowley, testimony under oath, May 10, 1911, The Trials of Apostle John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley, p. 28
“The severest prosecutions have never been followed by revelations changing a divine law, obedience to which brought imprisonment or martyrdom. Though I go to prison, God will not change his law of celestial marriage.”
- Prophet Lorenzo Snow, Historical Record, 1887, v. 6, p. 144
“The abandonment of polygamy, that is considered by some to be so easy of accomplishment, is more untenable even than fighting. However much the people might desire to do this, they could not without yielding every other principle, for it is the very key stone of our faith, and is so closely interwoven into every-thing that pertains to our religion, that to tear it asunder and cast it away would involve the entire structure.”
- “Expressions from the People,” Deseret News, April 14, 1885
“They accuse me of polygamy, and of being a false Prophet, and many other things which I do not now remember; but I am no false Prophet; I am no impostor; I have had no dark revelations; I have had no revelations from the devil; I made no revelations; I have got nothing up of myself. The same God that has thus far dictated me and directed me and strengthened me in this work, gave me this revelation and commandment on Celestial and plural marriage (D&C 132) and the same God commanded me to obey it. He said to me that unless I accepted it and introduced it, and practiced it, I, together with my people, would be damned and cut off from this time hence forth. And they say if I do so, they will kill me. O, what shall I do? If I do not practice it, I shall be damned with my people. If I do teach it, and practice it, and urge it, they say they will kill me, and I know they will. But we have got to observe it. It is an eternal principle and was given by way of commandment and not by way of instruction.”
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., Contributor, v. 5, p. 259, 1843
"The laws prohibiting plural marriage were regarded as unconstitutional and unjust by the Church, and their execution was bitterly opposed.*** While this storm raged John Taylor stood immovable in his conviction that the anti-polygamy law was unjust, and died without making any concession. This was the outstanding feature of his administration.”
- Conference Report, April 1922, p. 38
“Have I not given my word in great plainness on this subject? Yet have not great numbers of my people been negligent in the observance of my laws and the keeping of my commandments, and yet have I borne with them these many years; and this because of their weakness, because of the perilous times, and furthermore, it is more pleasing to me that men should use their free agency in regards to these matters. Nevertheless, I the Lord do not change and my word and my covenants and my law do not.
“And as I have heretofore said by my servant Joseph: All those who would enter into my glory must and shall obey my law. And have I not commanded men that if they were Abraham's seed and would enter into my glory, they must do the works of Abraham?
“I have not revoked this law, nor will I, for it is everlasting, and those who will enter into my glory must obey the conditions thereof; Even so Amen.”
- Prophet John Taylor revelation, September 26-27, 1886, PDF of original document online here
"When he became President, Joseph F. Smith renewed permission for Anthony W. Ivins to perform plural marriages for Mexican residents. And Ivins did this from 1902 to 1904. And then he extended that to include permission for Ivins to perform marriages for non-residents. This was more dangerous, because this required written permission from Salt Lake. These written letters for Anthony W. Ivins to perform marriages for non-residents of Juarez Stake, occurred from 1903 to 1904. But President Smith never told Ivins about MacDonald, so President Ivins down in Mexico had no idea that Patriarch MacDonald was performing marriages with authorization.
“On 17 April 1902, I have the only contemporary account of Joseph F. Smith as Church President gibing authorization for a man to marry polygamously. And he did it in this way: "As president of the Church I cannot authorize you to marry this plural wife. However, I will not oppose our doing it." And that's the kind of authorization he gave.
As Church President, Joseph F. Smith did not want to know the specifics of new ceremonies, but he increased financial support for post-Manifesto plural wives and children of apostles and mission presidents, and he gave advice for the hiding of plural wives so that they would not be subject to arrest. Joseph F. Smith probably authorized Apostles Clawson and Cowley to marry their plural wives after the second Manifesto of 1904, since he did authorize a close friend to perform one plural marriage as late as 1906, and o.k.'d another one that occurred in 1907.”
- D. Michael Quinn, Mormon historian, “Plural Marriages After the 1890 Manifesto,” August 1991
“Today probably no modern people is more anti-polygamy than the orthodox Mormons.”
- Davis Bitton, Journal of Mormon History, 1977, no. 4, p. 101
“I think these two quotations from such a reliable authority fully solve the question as to the relationship existing between Father Adam and the Savior of the world, and prove beyond question the power that Adam possessed in regard to taking his body again after laying it down--which power he never could have attained unless he had received first a resurrection from the grave to a condition of immortality. We further say that this power was not forfeited when as a celestial being he voluntarily partook of the forbidden fruit, and thereby rendered his body mortal in order that he might become the father of mortal tabernacles, as he was already the father of immortal spirits--thus giving opportunity to the offspring of his own begetting to pass through the ordeals necessary to prepare them for a resurrection from the dead, a celestial glory.
“All that Father Adam did upon this earth, from the time that he took up his abode in the Garden of Eden, was done for his posterity's sake and the success of his former mission as the savior of a world, and afterwards, or now, as the father of a world only added to the glory which he already possessed. If, as the savior of a world, he had the power to lay down his life and take it up again, therefore, as the father of a world which is altogether an advanced condition, we necessarily conclude that the grave was powerless to hold him after that mission was completed...”
- Joseph E. Taylor, Collected Discourses, v. 1, June 2, 1888
“Who begat the Son of God? Infidels say that Jesus was a bastard, but let me tell you the truth concerning that matter. Our Father begat all the spirits that were, before any tabernacles were made. When our Father came into the garden, He came with His celestial body and brought one of His wives with Him and ate of the fruit of the garden until He could beget a tabernacle, and Adam is Michael or God and all the God that we have anything to do with. They eat of this fruit and formed the first tabernacle that was formed. And when the Virgin Mary was begotten with child, it was by the Father and in no other way, in no other way, only as we were begotten. I will tell you the truth as it is in God. The world don't know that Jesus Christ our elder brother was begotten by our Father in Heaven. Handle it as you please, it will either seal the damnation or salvation of man. He was begotten by the Father and not by the Holy Ghost.”
- Prophet Wilford Woodruff, Wilford Woodruff's Journal, April 9, 1852
“As a girl I had been proud that my father and mother had obeyed the highest principle in the Church... I was aware now that my mother's early married life must have been humiliating and joyless on many occasions because of her position as a second wife.”
- Annie Clark Tanner, A Mormon Mother, 1969, p. 133
“A woman in polygamy is compelled by her lone position to make a confidant of her children.”
- Annie Clark Tanner, A Mormon Mother, 1969, p. 236
“This [the requirement for Heber to take a plural wife] was the greatest test of his faith he had ever experienced... the thought of deceiving the kind and faithful wife of his youth, whom he loved with all his heart, and who with him had borne so patiently their separation and all the trials and sacrifices they had been called to endure, was more than he felt able to bear.”
- Women's Exponent, v. 10, October 15, 1881, p. 74
“She [the plural wife] must lay aside wholly all interest or thought in what her husband was doing while he was away from her... [and be] pleased to see him when he came in as she was pleased to see any friend.”
- Vilate Kimball, in “Theatrical and Social Affairs in Utah,” by S.A. Cooks, pp. 5-6, Bancroft Library, see Isn't One Wife Enough, p. 209
“The First Command was to ‘Multiply' and the Prophet taught us that Dominion & powr in the great Future would be Comensurate with the no [number] of ‘Wives Childin & Friends' that we inheret here and that our great mission to earth was to Organize a Neculi [nucleus] of Heaven to take with us. To the increase of which there would be no end.”
- Benjamin F. Johnson, I Knew the Prophets: An Analysis of the Letter of Benjamin F. Johnson to George F. Gibbs, Reporting Doctrinal Views of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, 1976, ed. by Dean R. Zimmerman, p. 47
“The Second Way in which a wife can be separated from her husband, while he continues to be faithful to his God and his priesthood, I have not revealed, except to a few persons in this Church; and a few have received it from Joseph the prophet as well as myself. If a woman can find a man holding the keys of the priesthood with higher power and authority than her husband, and he is disposed to take her he can do so, otherwise she has got to remain where she is... there is no need for a bill of divorcement... To recapitulate. First if a man forfeits his covenants with a wife, or wives, becoming unfaithful to his God, and his priesthood, that wife or wives are free from him without a bill of divorcement. Second. If a woman claimes protection at the hands of a man, possessing more power in the priesthood and higher keys, if he is disposed to rescue her and has obtained the consent of her husband to make her his wife he can do so without a bill of divorcement.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, “A Few Words on Doctrine,” speech at tabernacle, October 8, 1861, see In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, by Todd Compton, p. 17
“”In 1835 at Kirtland I learned from my Sisters Husband Lyman R. Shirman, who was close to the Prophet and Received it from him. That the ancient order of plural marriage was again to be practiced by the Church.”
- Benjamin F. Johnson, I Knew the Prophets: An Analysis of the Letter of Benjamin F. Johnson to George F. Gibbs, Reporting Doctrinal Views of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, 1976, ed. by Dean R. Zimmerman, p. 38
“Concerning the doctrine of celestial marriage the Prophet told my father in the days of Kirtland, that it was the will of the Lord for His servants who were faithful to step forth in that order... My father made some things known to me concerning those days, and the part he took with the Prophet in trying to assist him to start the principle with a few chosen friends in those days. My father had required of me to bear testimony of these things at a proper time.”
- Mosiah Hancock, “Letter to the Editor,” Deseret Evening News, February 21, 1884, p. 4
“As early as Spring of 1832 Bro Joseph said ‘Brother Levi [Mosiah's father], the Lord has revealed to me that it is his will that righteous men shall take Righteous women even a plurality of Wives that a Righteous race may be sent forth upon the Earth preparatory to the ushering in of the Millenial Reign of our Redeemer – For the Lord has such a high respect for the nobles of his kingdom that he is not willing for them to come through the Loins of a Careless People – Therefore; it behoves those who embrace that Principle to pay strict attention to even the Least requirement of our Heavenly Father.”
- Mosiah Hancock Autobiography, pp. 61-62
“Any man who will teach and practice the doctrine of spiritual wifery will go to hell; I don't care if it is my brother Joseph.”
- Don Carlos Smith, Joseph's brother, The Return, v. 2, June 1890, p. 287
“I want you for the rest of your life to be an honest man.”
- Don Carlos Smith's last request to Joseph Smith, Jr., in Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, by Lucy Mack Smith, pp. 290-291
“... it [the introduction of the doctrine of polygamy] was the first time in my life that I desired the grave, and I could hardly get over it for a long time. And when I saw a funeral, I felt to envy the corpse its situation.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, Brigham Young, by Lavar Arrington, p. 100
“... if she [Emma Smith] will not abide this commandment [polygamy] she shall be destroyed.”
- Doctrine and Covenants 132:54
“I have not revoked this law nor will I for it is everlasting and those who will enter into my glory must obey the conditions thereof, even so amen.”
- Prophet John Taylor, as quoted in Mormon Polygamy, by Van Wagoner, p. 128
“The whole history of ancient Israel was one in which plurality of wives was a divinely accepted and approved order of matrimony…Obviously the holy practice will commence again after the Second Coming of the Son of Man and the ushering in of the millennium.”
- Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, “Plural Marriage”
“All commandments that I give must be obeyed unless they are revoked by me or by my authority and how can I revoke an everlasting covenant for I the Lord am everlasting and my everlasting covenants cannot be abrogated nor done away with but stand forever.”
- Prophet John Taylor, speaking for God in this unpublished and suppressed 1886 revelation; see Quadrant, May 1999, Ray Agnostini, "Mormons and the Media", v. 43, issue 5, p. 55
Joseph Smith's attempt at plural marriage with Orson Pratt's wife:
“Sister Pratt, the Lord has given you to me as one of my spiritual wives. I have the blessings of Jacob granted me, as God granted holy men of old, and as I have long looked upon you with favor, and an earnest desire of connubial bliss, I hope you will not repulse or deny me.”
SARAH PRATT REPLIED:
“And is that the great secret that I am not to utter? Am I called upon to break the marriage covenant, and prove recreant to my lawful husband! I never will…. I care not for the blessings of Jacob. I have one good husband, and that is enough for me….
“Joseph, if you ever attempt any thing of the kind with me again, I will make a full disclosure to Mr. Pratt on his return home. Depend upon it, I will certainly do it.”
JOSEPH SMITH RESPONDED:
“Sister Pratt, I hope you will not expose me, for if I suffer, all must suffer; so do not expose me. Will you promise me that you will not do it?”
“If you will never insult me again, I will not expose you unless strong circumstances should require it.”
“If you should tell, I will ruin your reputation, remember that.”
- History of the Saints, pp. 228-231
“Sarah [Pratt] ordered the Prophet out of the house, and the Prophet used obscene language to her…”
- Nelson Winch Green, Fifteen Years among the Mormons: Being the Narrative of Mrs. Mary Ettie V. Smith, 1859, p. 31
“Br Orson Pratt is in trubble in consequence of his wife, hir feelings are so rought up that he dos not know whether his wife is wrong, or whether Josephs testimony and others are wrong and do lie and he deceived for 12 years or not; his is all but crazy about matters… we will not let Br. Orson go away from us he is too good a man to have a woman destroy him.”
- Apostle Jebediah M. Grant, Sunday Tabernacle Discourse, March 23, 1856, Journal History
“In his endeavors to ruin my [Sarah's] character Joseph went so far as to publish an extra-sheet containing affidavits against my reputation. When this sheet was brought to me I discovered to my astonishment the names of two people on it, man and wife, with whom I had boarded for a certain time…. I went to their house; the man left the house hurriedly when he saw me coming. I found the wife and said to her rather excitedly: ‘What does it all mean?' She began to sob. ‘It is not my fault' said she. ‘Hyrum Smith came to our house, with the affidavits all written out, and forced us to sign them. ‘Joseph and the Church must be saved,' said he. We saw that resistance was useless, they would have ruined us; so we signed the papers.”
- Sarah Pratt, in Wilhelm Wyl, Mormon Portraits, 1886, pp. 62-63
“She [Sarah] lied about me. I never made the offer which she said I did. I will not advise you to break up your family – unless it were asked of me. Then I would council you to get a bill from your wife and marry a virtuous woman – and a new family but if you do not do it [I] shall never throw it in your teeth.”
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. according to Brigham Young, Minutes of the Quorum of the Twelve, January 20, 1843, Brigham Young Collection
“[Joseph] ha[s] lately endeavored to seduce my wife, and ha[s] found her a virtuous woman.”
- Apostle William Law, former counselor in the First Presidency, in Lyndon W. Cook, “William Law, Nauvoo Dissenter,” BYU Studies, v. 22, Winter 1982, p. 65
“The Prophet had made dishonorable proposals to [my] wife… under cover of his asserted ‘Revelation.'… [Smith told his wife Jane] the Lord had commanded that he should take plural wives, to add to his glory… [Joseph] asked her to give him half her love; she was at liberty to keep the other half for her husband.”
- Apostle William Law, as quoted in Ann Eliza Young, Wife No. 9, 1876, p. 61
“My wife would not speak evil of … anyone … without cause. Joseph is a liar and not she. That Smith admired and lusted after many men's wives and daughters, is a fact, but they could not help that. They or most of them considered his admiration an insult, and treated him with scorn. In return for this scorn, he generally managed to blacken their reputations – see the case of… Mrs. Pratt, a good, virtuous woman.”
- Apostle William Law, Salt Lake Tribune, January 20, 1887
“It is said that the Prophet admitted to [Orson] the attempt he made on his wife's virtue, but that it was only done to see whether she was true to her absent husband.”
- New York Herald, September 14, 1877
“It is a fact, so well known that the Twelve and their adherents have endeavored to carry on this spiritual wife business… and have gone to the most shameful and desperate lengths to keep it from the public. First, insulting innocent females, and when they resented the insult, these monsters in human shape would assail their characters by lying, and perjuries, with a multitude of desperate men to help them effect the ruin of those whom they had insulted, and all this to enable them to keep these corrupt practices from the view of the world.”
- Apostle Sidney Rigdon, Messenger and Advocate, October 15, 1844
“When a man who has a wife, teaches her the law of God, as revealed to the ancient patriarchs, and as manifested by new revelation, and she refuses to give her consent for him to marry another according to that law, then, it becomes necessary, for her to state before the President the reasons why she withholds her consent; if her reasons are sufficient and justified and the husband is found in the fault, or in transgression, then, he is not permitted to take any step in regard to obtaining another. But if the wife can show no good reason why she refuses to comply with the law which was given unto Sarah of old, then it is lawful for her husband, if permitted by revelation through the prophet, to be married to others without her consent, and he will be justified, and she will be condemned, because she did not give them unto him, as Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham, and as Rachel and Leah gave Bilhah and Zilpah to their husband, Jacob.”
- Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 41
“I do not wish to wrongfully accuse my husband, although we have been hopelessly separated for ten years. I believed, when he decided to enter upon the practice of polygamy, that he did so not from any violence of individual passion, but from sheer fanaticism. He told me that he believed it was his duty to take other women besides myself to wife, and at first he said that this would make no difference in his affection for me, which would continue pure and single as it had ever been. But think of the horror of such an announcement. He took wife after wife until they numbered five, and for a long time they were kept away from me and I was spared from intercourse with them. By and by he told me that he intended to put these five women on an exact equality with me; that he could spend a week with one, a week with another, and so on, and that I should have the sixth week! Then patience forsook me. I told him plainly that I wouldn't endure it. I said, ‘If you take five wives with your other women you can take the sixth with them also.' Orson responded, ‘If you don't choose to live with me I don't know that I'm obliged to support you. You may have my permission to go to hell. Stick to it or to starvation.”
- Sarah Pratt, New York Herald, May 18, 1877
“[Hyrum] instructed me in Nov or Dec 1843 to make a selection of some young woman and he would seal her to me, and I should take her home, and if she should have an offspring [I was to] give out word that she had a husband, an Elder, who had gone on a foreign mission.”
- Ebenezer Robinson, letter to Jason W. Briggs, January 28, 1860, LDS archives; see Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 282
“[Joseph] used to state to his intended victims, as he did to me: ‘God does not care if we have a good time, if only other people do not know it.' He only introduced a marriage ceremony when he found out he could not get certain women without it.... If any woman, like me, opposed his wishes, he used to say: ‘Be silent, or I shall ruin your character. My character must be sustained in the interest of the Church.”
- Sarah Pratt, Orson Pratt's first wife, quoted in W. Wyl, Mormon Portraits, 1886, p. 62
“In the spirit... world we will go to brother Joseph.... He will say to us, ‘Come along my boys, we will give you a good suit of clothes. Where are your wives.' [Answering Joseph] ‘They are back yonder; they would not follow us.' ‘Never mind,' says Joseph, ‘here are thousands, have all you want.'”
- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, v. 4, p. 209, February 1, 1857
“I think no more of taking another wife than I do of buying a cow, and if you want to build up the kingdom you must take more wives.”
- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, quoted in Jennie Anderson Froiseth, ed., The Women of Mormonism: or the Story of Polygamy As Told by the Victims Themselves, 1886; see Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 295
“If President Young wants my wives I will give them to him without a grumble, and he can take them whenever he likes.”
- Apostle Jebediah M. Grant, quoted in T.B.H. Stenhouse, Tell It All, p. 294; see Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 295
“[Polygamy] I could not have done if I had not believed it to be right in the Sight of god, and believed it to be one principal of his gospel once again restored to earth.”
- Sarah D. Rich, quoted in Leonard J. Arrington, Charles C. Rich: Mormon General and Western Frontiersman, 1974, p. 288
“God will be very cruel if he does not give us poor women adequate compensation for the trials we have endured in polygamy.”
- Mary Ann Angell Young, quoted in Anti-Polygamy Standard, August 1882, p. 36
“O, if my husband could only love me even a little and not seem to be perfectly indifferent to any sensation of that kind.... O my poor aching heart when shall it rest its burden only on the Lord.”
- Emmeline B. Wells, diary date of September 30, 1874, quoted in Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy, p. 94
“It is the very refinement of cruelty, this polygamy, and it hurts are deeper and more poisonous than any other wounds can be. They never heal, but grow constantly more painful, until it makes life unendurable.”
- Ann Eliza Young, letter to Mormon Women, “Letter Number Two,” in Froiseth, ed. The Women of Mormonism, pp. 169-170
“Where did this commandment come from in relation to polygamy? It also came from God.... When I see any of our people, men or women, opposing a principle of this kind... I consider them apostates.”
- Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, v. 11, p. 221, April 7, 1866
“I can never tell the horrors of the next few hours.... I went to my room and dressed for the reception, which took place at Cannon's other house, where he kept his three wives. When I went down, there was a crowd there, among the rest a plain looking girl in a calico dress, to whom I was introduced. It was Emily Spencer.... I told her to get up. Miles came forward and said, ‘Sit still Emily Spencer, my wife.' I felt as though I had been shot. I said, Your wife! Then what am I?' He said, ‘You are both my wives.' All at once my shame flashed over me. Here I was dishonored, the polygamous wife of a Mormon. I ran out of the house, bent only on escape, I did not think where. I could not do it, though for Miles and young Cannon, a son of the Delegate, ran after me and dragged me back.... [B]ut I stole away and returned to the other house, where I had been living the three weeks since my arrival from England. I noticed there was no key in the lock, but shot a little bolt and piled chairs against the door. I cried myself to sleep. The next thing I knew, I don't know what time it was, Miles stood in the room and was locking the door on the inside. I screamed... Miles said I need not take on, for Brother Cannon had anticipated that I would make trouble and had the house cleared of everyone else. I found out that it was so. He told me that I might as well submit; there was no law here to control the saints. There was no power on earth that would save me.”
- Caroline Owens, in Matilda Joslyn Gage, Women, Church and State, 1998, pp. 238-240
“Now, sisters, list to what I say; with trials this world is rife. You can't expect to miss them all; help husband get a wife! Now this advice I feely give, if exalted you will be, Remember that your husband must, be blessed with more than thee. Chorus: Then, oh, let us say, God bless the wife that strives, And aids her husband all she can to obtain a dozen wives.”
- Early pioneer song, in Songs of Zion, published by the LDS Church; see Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 303
“It is the duty of a woman to be obedient to her husband, and unless she is, I would not give a damn for all her queenly right and authority, nor for her either, if she will quarrel and lie about the work of God and the principles of plurality.”
- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, v. 4, p. 82, November 9, 1856; also Deseret News, v. 6, p. 291
“And now it came to pass that the people of Nephi... began to grow hard in their hears, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked pratices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines.”
- Book of Mormon, Jacob 1:15
“Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.... [T]here is not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none.”
- Book of Mormon, Jacob 2:24-27
“Behold, the Lamanites... are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father – that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among htem.”
- Book of Mormon, Jacob 3:5
“... if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness; they shall be burnt with fire both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.”
- Holy Bible, KJV, Leviticus 20:14
“In 1882 President John Taylor issued an Epistle, ‘On Marriage,' authorizing church marriages outside the Endowment House and temples. Two years later he admitted in court testimony that he had authorized hundreds of men to perform secret marriages at any place convenient.”
- Samuel W. Taylor, Rocky Mountain Empire, pp. 20-21, footnote #15
“Thus saith the Lord.... I the Lord hold the destiny of the courts in your midst, and the destiny of this nation, and all other nations of the earth, in mine own hands, and all that I have revealed and promised and decreed concerning the generation in which you live shall come to pass, and no power shall stay my hand. Let not my servants who are called to the Presidency of my Church deny my word or my law [i.e., plural marriage], which concerns the salvation of the children of men.... If the Saints will hearken unto my voice, and the counsel of my servants, the wicked shall not prevail.... Let my servants who officiate as your counselors before the courts make their pleadings as they are moved upon by the Holy Spirit, without any further pledges from the Priesthood, and they will be justified. I, the Lord, will hold the courts, with the officers of government and the nation responsible for their acts towards the inhabitants of Zion. I, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, am in your midst. I am your advocate with the Father. Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. Fear not the wicked and ungodly.... I the Lord will deliver my Saints from the dominion of the wicked in mine own due time and way. I cannot deny my Word, neither in blessings nor judgments. Therefore let mine anointed gird up their loins, watch and be sober, and keep my commandments.”
- Prophet Wilford Woodruff revelation, from Wilford Woodruff Journal; see New Mormon Studies CD ROM: Comprehensive Resource Library, 2000; see also Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 323
“Take care of your polygamous wives; we don't care for Uncle Sam now.”
- Prophet Joseph F. Smith, 1896 dedication speech for the Payson, Utah meeting house, quoted in William Edward Biederwolf, Mormonism Under the Searchlight, 1915, p. 65
“In 1897, the first full year after Utah attained statehood, the number of plural marriages jumped nearly five-fold. Political pressures created by attempts for statehood subsided after Utah became a state, and church leaders realized they could allow more polygamous marriages than before because federal interference would be minimized.... There seems to have been little criticism of such marriages among those Latter-day Saints who knew about them.”
- Kenneth L. Cannon II, “After the Manifesto: Mormon Polygamy 1890-1906,” in D. Michael Quinn, ed., The New Mormon History, 1992, pp. 203-204
“In 1897, the first full year after Utah attained statehood, the number of plural marriages jumped nearly five-fold. Political pressures created by attempts for statehood subsided after Utah became a state, and church leaders realized they could allow more polygamous marriages than before because federal interference would be minimized.... There seems to have been little criticism of such marriages among those Latter-day Saints who knew about them.”
- Kenneth L. Cannon II, “After the Manifesto: Mormon Polygamy 1890-1906,” in D. Michael Quinn, ed., The New Mormon History, 1992, pp. 203-204
“Plural marriage is the patriarchal order of marriage lived by God and others who reign in the Celestial Kingdom.”
- John J. Stewart, Mormon writer, Brigham Young and His Wives and The True Story of Plural Marriage, 1961, p. 41
“My wives will be mine in eternity.”
- Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, upon the death of his first wife, Doctrines of Salvation, 1955, v. 2, p. 67
“I'm no more a lawbreaker than they are , and if they were lawbreakers for keeping God's commandments, they're my example.”
- Tom Green, fundamentalist Mormon polygamist, in Geoffrey Fattah, “History piqued Green's Interest, He Says Stories of Pioneers Led to His Polygamy,” Deseret News, August 22, 2001
“If prosecutors in the state of Utah continue on the path they are on in seeking us out, I hate to tell you what might happen. To put it bluntly – the mountains could come down upon them. I think they are going to get shook up. I think we are in store for a lot of things if we don't reprent and return to the way of God.”
- Tom Green, fundamentalist Mormon polygamist, see Julie Cart, “Polygamy Verdict Set Precedent Law: Utah Is Likely to Go After Others,” Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2001
“... the holy practice [of polygamy] will commence again after the Second Coming of the Son of Man and the ushering in of the millennium.”
- Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1958, p. 578
“Every scholar with whom I am acquainted agrees that there is yet official Church reticence when it comes to using certain records, diaries, and other materials in the church's archives and in the First Presidency's possession relating to polygamy.”
- B. Carmon Hardy, Mormon historian, “Truth and Mistruth in Mormon History,” in Lavina Fielding Anderson and Janice Merrill Allred, eds., Case Reports of the Mormon Alliance, 1997, v. 3, p. 279
"It [polygamy] was a very limited practice; carefully safeguarded. In 1890, that practice was discontinued."
- Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, Larry King Live, online at http://www.lds-mormon.com/lkl_00.shtml
“He [Woodruff] told me he had written it [the Manifesto] himself, and it certainly appeared to me to be in his handwriting. Its authorship has since been variously attributed. Some of the present-day polygamists say that it was I who wrote it. Chas. W. Penrose and George Reynolds have claimed they edited it.”
- Apostle Frank J. Cannon; see Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 591, footnote 52
“I, Charles W. Penrose, wrote the Manifesto with the assistance of Frank J. Cannon and John White…. Wilford Woodruff signed it to beat the devil at his own game.”
- Apostle Charles W. Penrose, in D. Michael Quinn, “LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890-1904,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, v. 18, no. 1, pp. 11-12; online here
“U.S.: State whether or not it would be contrary to the law of the church, for any member of the church to enter into or contract a plural marriage.
WOODRUFF: It would be contrary to the laws of the church.
U.S.: What would be the penalty?
WOODRUFF: Any person entering into plural marriage after that date, would be liable to become excommunicated from the church.
U.S.: Do you understand that that language was to be expanded and to include a further statement of living or associating in plural marriage by those already in the status?
WOODRUFF: Yes, sir; I intended the proclamation to cover the ground, to keep the laws – to obey the law myself, and expected the people to obey the law….
U.S.: Was the manifesto intended to apply to the church everywhere?
WOODRUFF: Yes, sir.
U.S.: In every nation and every country?
WOODRUFF: Yes, sir; as far as I had a knowledge in the matter.
U.S.: In places outside of the United States as well as within the United States?
WOODRUFF: Yes, sir; we are given no liberties for entering into that anywhere….
U.S.: Unlawful cohabitation, as it is named, and spoken of, should also stop, as well as future polygamous marriages?
WOODRUFF: Yes sir, that has been the intention.
U.S.: And that has been your views and explanation to it?
WOODRUFF: Yes, sir, that has been my view.”
- Prophet Wilford Woodruff testimony, quoted in Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy, pp. 149-150
“All First Presidency members either allowed or authorized new plural marriages from 1890 to 1904, and a few as late as 1906 and 1907. One Church President married a plural wife, and three Counselors in the First Presidency performed marriages for men who had living wives already. A Presidency's secretary proposed polygamous marriage in 1907. Of the sixteen men who served only as Apostles… eight of these sixteen men married post-Manifsto plural wives. Three of them who did not do so, performed plural marriages. Two of them who did not do either of the above, arranged for plural marriages…. Now, looking at the men individually. Wilford Woodruff… personally approved 7 new plural marriages, to be performed in Mexico. He also approved polygamous ceremonies for a couple of Mexican residents as early as 1891. He delgated George Q. Cannon, his first counselor, to give approval for plural marriages from 1892 to 1898. That approval was in the form of written letters…. Woodruff himself married a new Plural Wife in 1897…. [Lorenzo Snow] cohabited with his youngest plural wife who went to Canada briefly, in 1896, to bear his last child. And in so doing, he violated the testimony that he had given publicly in 1891, that the Manifesto prohibited cohabitation with plural wives…. [Joseph F. Smith] In 1896 as a counselor, he performed in the Salt Lake Temple a ‘proxy plural marriage' for Abraham Cannon, which had been approved earlier by the First Presidency…. Smith instructed Seymour B. Young of the First council of seventy, to perform two plural marriages in Mexico. And later that same year, second counselor Smith authorized Patriarch Alexander F. MacDonald to perform new plural marriages in Mexico for any Mexican residents who requested them…. George Q. Cannon was Presidency counselor and next in line to be Church President from 1899 to 1901. He personally authorized new plural marriages performed in Mexico, Canada, and the United States, from 1892 until his death in 1901. This included plural marriages performed for 3 of his sons and 3 of his nephews.”
- D. Michael Quinn, “Plural Marriages After The 1890 Manifesto,” lecture, August 1991 at Bluffdale, Utah, online here
“[A] man who did not have but one wife in the Resurrection that woman will not be his but [be] taken from him & given to another.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, quoted by Wilford Woodruff, in Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 579
“Celestial marriage is for the fullness of the glory of god. It is the crowning glory. A man has no right to one wife unless he is worthy of two…. There is no provision made for those who have had the chance & opperternity [sic] and have disregarded that law. Men who disregard that law are in the same situation as if they broke any other law. they are transgressors.”
- Apostle Francis M. Lyman, quoted in Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy, p. 97
“I believe in sisters marrying brothers, and brothers having their sisters for wives…. This is something pertaining to our marriage relation. The whole world will think what an awful thing it is. What an awful thing it would be if the Mormons should just say we believe in marrying brothers and sisters.”
- Prophet Brigham Young, October 8, 1854, in Fred C. Collier, ed., The Teachings of President Brigham Young, 1987, v. 3, p. 362, 368
“Bro Snow said I would live to see the time when brothers and sisters would marry each other in this church. All our horror at such an union was due entirely to prejudice and the offspring of such union would be healthy and pure as any other. These were the decided views of Pres. Young when alive, for Bro. S. talked to him freely on this matter.”
- Apostle Abraham H. Cannon, quote in Journal of Mormon History, 1992, p. 106
“I know also another man who married a widow with several children; and when one of the girls had grown into her teens he insisted on marrying her also… and to this very day the daughter bears children to her step-father, living as wife in the same house with her mother.”
- Fanny Stenhouse, Tell It All, 1875, p. 469
“In Utah it has been the custom with the Priesthood to make eunuchs of such men as were obnoxious to the leaders. This was done for a double purpose: first, it gave a perfect revenge, and next, it left the poor victim a living example to others of the dangers of disobeying counsel and not living as ordered by the Priesthood. In Nauvoo it was the orders from Joseph Smith and his apostles to beat, wound and castrate all Gentiles that the police could take in the act of entering or leaving a Mormon household under circumstances that led to the belief that they had been there for immoral purposes…. In Utah it was the favorite revenge of old, worn-out members of the Priesthood, who wanted young women sealed to them, and found that the girl preferred some handsome young man. The old priests generally got the girls, and many a young man was unsexed for refusing to give up his sweetheart at the request of the old and failing, but still sensual apostle or member of the Priesthood…. [If] he refused to consent to give up the girl. The lights were then put out. An attack was made on the young man. He was severely beaten, and then tied with his back down on a bench, when Bishop Snow took a bowie-knife, and performed the operation in a most brutal manner, and then took the portion severed from his victim and hung it up in the school-house on a nail, so that it could be seen by all who visited the house afterwards. The party then left the young man weltering in his blood, and in a lifeless condition. During the night he succeeded in releasing himself from his confinement, and dragged himself to some hay-stacks, where he lay until the next day, when he was discovered by his friends. The young man regained his health, but has been an idiot or quite lunatic ever since, and is well known by hundreds of both Mormons and Gentiles in Utah.”
- Elder John D. Lee, Mormonism Unveiled; Including The Remarkable Life And Confessions Of The Late Mormon Bishop, John D. Lee, 1877, pp. 284-285, 286; online here
“… men who go on missions are very guarded in preaching the doctrine [polygamy], and advocate it only where they are very certain that it will be received. They admit its existence, but they by no means are willing to confess to what an extent it is practiced; and to this day many of them win wives under false pretences…. [A] gentleman living in the British Provinces… spoke of a visit he had received quite recently from a lady friend from England… who had become converted to Mormonism, and married one of the elders of the church, and was on her way to Utah with him…. [She] deplored the existence of polygamy as its only drawback to a perfect faith. Yet she said her husband had told her that it was only a doctrine of the church that was rarely practiced, except by the older Saints, who had received the Revelation directly from Joseph, and had considered the adoption of the system a duty; that in time it would, be entirely done away with, except in theory, and that at all events she need have no fear…. She, who so fondly believed herself the only wife of her husband, made Number 5 or 6 of his plural wives.”
- Ann Eliza Young, Wife No. 9, Chapter Nine; online at http://www.antimormon.8m.com/youngchp9.html
“We were next led into what is called the Terrestrial Glroy; where Brigham Young received us, … he gave each a pass-word and grip necessary, he said, to admit us into the Celestial Glory;” … there are many gods, and they do not acknowledge the one Triune God of the Bible, but that every man will sometime be a ‘god;' and that women are to be the ornaments of his kingdom, and dependent upon him for resurrection and salvation; and that our salvation is dependent upon the recollection of these passwords.”
- Mary Ettie V. Smith, in Nelson Winch Green, ed., Mormonism: Its Rise, Progress, and Present Condition, 1870 edition, pp. 42-48
“[We] were also told that floating through space were thousands of infant spirits, who were waiting for bodies; that into every child that was born one of these spirits entered, and was thereby saved; but if they had no bodies given them, their wails of despair would ring through all eternity; and that it was, in order to insure their future happiness, necessary that as many of them as possible should be given bodies by Mormon parents. If a woman refused to marry into polygamy, or, being married, to allow her husband to take other wives, these spirits would rise up in judgment against her, because she had, by her act, kept them in darkness.”
- Ann Eliza Young, Wife No. 9, Chapter 18; online here
“Supposing that I have a wife or a dozen of them…. Suppose that I lose the whole of them before I go into the spirit world, but that I have been a good, faithful man all the days of my life, and lived my religion, and had favour with God, and was kind to them, do you think I will be destitute there [the “spirit-world”]? No, the Lord says there are more [females] there than there are here…. In the spirit world there is an increase of males and females, there are millions of them, nad if I am faithful all the time, and continue right along with brother Brigham, we will go to brother Joseph [Smith] and say, ‘Here we are brother Joesph'…. He will say to us,…. ‘Where are you wives?' ‘They are back yonder; they would not follow us.' ‘Never mind,' says Joseph, ‘here are thousands, have all you want.' Perhaps some do not believe that, but I am just simple enough to believe it…. I am looking for the day, and it is close at hand, when we will have a most heavenly time, one that will be romantic, one with all kinds of ups and downs, which is what I call romantic, for it will occupy in full all the time.”
- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, v. 4, p. 209
“… if the doctrine of plural marriage was repudiated so must be the glorious principle of marriage for eternity, the two being indissolubly interwoven with each other.”
- Apostle Charles Penrose, quoted in “Plural Marriage,” Millennial Star, volume XLV, no. 29, July 16, 1883, p. 454
“My Son John. You have asked me concerning the new and everlasting covenant [polygamy] & how far it is binding upon my people. [T]hus saith the Lord all commandments that I give must be obeyed by those calling themselves by my name unless they are revoked by me or by my authority, and how can I revoke an everlasting covenant; for I the Lord am everlasting and my everlasting covenants cannot be abrogated nor done away with; but they stand for ever. Have I not given my word in great plainness on this subject? … I the Lord do not change & my word & my covenants & my law do not, & as I have heretofore said by my servant Joseph all those who would enter into my glory must & shall obey my law & have I not commanded men that if they were Abraham's seed & would enter into my glory, they must do the works of Abraham. I have not revoked this law nor will I for it is everlasting & those who will enter into my glory must obey the conditions thereof.”
- Prophet John Taylor to John W. Taylor, revelation to John Taylor, September 27, 1886; reprinted in Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 587, footnote 15
“… wo unto that Nation or house or people who seek to hinder my People from obeying the Patriarchal Law of Abraham [polygamy] which leadeth to a Celestial Glory… for whosoever doeth those things shall be damned Saith the Lord.”
- Prophet Wilford Woodruff, in Scott G. Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff's Journal 1833-1898,, under January 26, 1880, v. 7, pp. 546
“God the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity, by whom He begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus His Firstborn.”
- Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, November 1853, v. 1, no. 11, p. 172
“… we must accept the fact that there was a time when Deity was much less powerful than He is today. Then how did He become glorified and exalted and attain His present status of Godhood? In the first place, aeons ago God undoubtedly took advantage of every opportunity to learn the laws of truth…. From day to day He exerted His will vigorously,… he gained more knowledge…. Thus he grew in experience and continued to grow until He attained the status of Godhood. In other words, he became God by absolute obedience to all the eternal laws of the Gospel…. No prophet of record gave more complete and forceful explanations of the doctrine that men may become Gods than did the American Prophet [Joseph Smith, Jr.].”
- Seventy Milton R. Hunter, Gospel Through the Ages, 1958, p. pp. 114-115
“The fleshy body of Jesus required a Mother as well as a Father. Therefore, the Father and Mother of Jesus, according to the flesh, must have been associated together in the capacity of Husband and Wife; hence the Virgin Mary must have been, for the time being, the lawful wife of God the Father: we use the term lawful Wife, because it would be blasphemous in the highest degree to say that He overshadowed her or begat the Saviour unlawfully. It would have been unlawful for any man to have interfered with Mary, who was already espoused to Joseph; for such a heinous crime would have subjected both the guilty parties to death, according to the law of Moses. But God having created all men and women, had the most perfect right to do with His own creation, according to His holy will and pleasure: He had a lawful right to overshadow the Virgin Mary in the capacity of a husband, and beget a Son, although she was espoused to another; for the law which He gave to govern men and women was not intended to govern Himself, or to prescribe rules for his own conduct. It was also lawful in Him, after leaving thus dealt with Mary, to give her to Joseph her espoused husband. Whether God the Father gave Mary to Joseph for time only, or for time and eternity, we are not informed. Inasmuch as God was the first husband to her, it may be that He only gave her to be the wife of Joseph while in this mortal state, and that He intended after the resurrection to again take her as one of his own wives to raise up immortal spirits in eternity.”
- Apostle Orson Pratt, “Celestial Marriage,” The Seer, October 1853, v. 1, no. 10, p. 158
“And there was some trouble with Oliver Cowdery, and whisper said it was relating to a girl then living in his (the Prophet's) family; and I was afterwards told by Warren Parish, that he himself and Oliver Cowdery did not that Joseph had Fannie Alger as wife, for they were spied upon and found together. And I can now see that at Nauvoo, so at Kirtland, that the suspicion or knowledge of the Prophet's plural relation was one of the causes of apostasy and disruption at Kirtland, although at the time there was little said publicly on the subject.”
- Benjamin F. Johnson, 1903 letter in LDS archives, MS 1289, online here
“I will not be influenced, governed, or controlled, in my temporal interests by any ecclesiastical authority or pretended revelation whatever, contrary to my own judgment.”
- Oliver Cowdery, letter to church leaders, April 12, 1838; see Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 537, footnote 17; online here
“… the Prophet invited me to walk with him. During our walk, he said he had learned that there was a sister back in England, to whom I was very much attached. I replied there was, but nothing further than an attachment such as a brother and sister in the Church might rightfully entertain for each other. He then said, ‘Why don't you send for her?' I replied, ‘In the first place, I have no authority to send for her, and if I had, I have not the means to pay expenses.' To this he answered, ‘I give you authority to send for her, and I will furnish you with means,' which he did. This was the first time the Prophet Joseph talked with me on the subject of plural marriage. He informed me that the doctrine and principle was right in the sight of our Heavenly Father, and that it was a doctrine which pertained to celestial order and glory. After giving me lengthy instructions and information concerning the doctrine of celestial or plural marriage, he concluded his remarks by the words, ‘It is your privilege to have all the wives you want.'”
- William Clayton, in Fillerup, comp., William Clayton's Nauvoo Diaries and Personal Writings, under March 9, 1843; online here
The saints of the last days have witnessed the outgoings and incomings of so many apostates that nothing but truth has any effect upon them. In the present instance, after the sham quotations of Sidney and his clique, from the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants, to skulk off, under the "dreadful splendor" of "spiritual wifery," which is brought into the account as graciously as if the law of the land allowed a man a plurality of wives, is fiendish, and like the rest of Sidney's revelation, just because he wanted "to go to Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] and live." Wo to the man or men who will thus wilfully [willfully] lie to injure an innocent people! The law of the land and the rules of the church do not allow one man to have more than one wife alive at once, but if any man's wife die, he has a right to marry another, and to be sealed to both for eternity; to the living and the dead! there is no law of God or man against it! This is all the spiritual wife system that ever was tolerated in the church, and they know it.
Note: This denial was published as a letter to the editor (alleged) under the pen name of AN OLD MAN OF ISRAEL in the Times & Seasons,Vol. V.. No. 21. Nov. 15, 1844 . It offers such a brilliant combination of rich hypocrisy and deflection, we decided to include this amongst the other polygamy quotes.