Anthony Sweat uniquely frames this discussion. Similar to animal sacrifice in the Old Testament, Antony suggests that this practice of polygamy isn’t our revelation. Instead, polygamy was from another time for another people.
Nobody has done more research on this topic than Brian Hales. Brian encourages more transparency.
Latter-day Saints Q & A provides insights in his three-video series:
10-minute summary from a Church historian:
Short video about when Joseph first began to think about polygamy. First revelations on the topic were before 1832.
Brian Hales has done incalculable amounts of work on this topic. See his website: Joseph Smith’s Polygamy. His site includes a search engine, a lists of all wives, and all known details associated with each wife.
A recent presentation by Brian Hales on this topic:
Greg Smith discusses polygamy at a 2016 conference in Rome:
Gospel Tangents discusses the restoration of the priesthood in 1829, and its relevance to Fannie Alger. Peter, James, and John bestowed the Melchizedek Priesthood. That fact in 1829 helps answer this question: was Fannie sealed to Joseph and with what authority?
Elijah restored the keys to direct others to seal and be sealed. This occurred in Kirtland in 1836. Keys are not priesthood. Joseph held the priesthood since 1829.
Though Joseph didn’t orally share the Elijah Kirtland visitation, it was immediately dictated and put in a journal.
A candid discussion about the young women Joseph married:
side note: a non-LDS miller — Jacob Hawn of Hawn’s Mill, Missouri — married a woman at the age of 15. Jacob’s first wife died, and Jacob 2nd wife was 15. Young for us, but not too young for that time.
There is no solid evidence of sexual relations with women Joseph was sealed to by eternity-only ordinances, including young Helen Mar Kimball. Helen was 14 years old when sealing occurred. Significant evidence exists, however, for Jacob Hawn (wife was 15), Edgar Allen Poe (wife was 13), and others of that time did have sexual relations with their young wives.
Sealings to Young Brides: from Brian Hales’ site, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy
Geneticist Ugo Perego shares his research as part of understanding Joseph’s polygamy. Ugo himself performed some of the experiments to demonstrate lack of paternity.
From Brian Hales’ research. Joseph was sealed to a 14 year-old young woman. All the evidence points to an eternity-only sealing. No evidence of sexual relations.
John C Bennett was not a polygamist. He was a serial adulterer.
This controversy, involving William Law, led to Joseph’s death. William Law started the Nauvoo Expositor newspaper, which was unlawfully destroyed in an order by Joseph Smith.
Blake Ostler shares insight in this podcast:
Stephen Jones is Real presents a new lens with which to consider these old issues.
Plural Marriage from a Woman’s Perspective – Mormon Polygamy Answers 3/3:
Brian Hales responds to the significant challenges on the topic:
Brian’s wife, Laura Hales, discusses the topic:
Debunking the anti-Mormon CES Letter and its extreme claims:
Ugo Perego, geneticist, contributes to an issue of paternity:
Joseph discusses the (almost-all-made-decades-later) claims against Joseph outside of Nauvoo:
An interesting view on the social conditions:
Van Hale touches on the topic of Lust in the 19th Century in a recent Mormon Miscellaneous podcast.
- Book of Mormon printer’s manuscript purchased for $35M by LDS Church
- Political sexual teenagers several decades ago.
- Plural Marriage vs Polygamy, Polyandry, Spiritual Wifery
Many more women than men
Women can demand marriage from righteous men
- LDS condemns Lust
Helen Mar Whitney
George Q. Cannon
- Brigham Young – 38 children with 12 of his 49 plural wives