Eternity-only Sealing Encouraged by non-LDS husband: Ruth Vose Sayers

This woman’s sealing to Joseph Smith illustrates many important elements of Joseph’s polygamy. Ruth was married to a non-member who greatly admired Joseph Smith.

Mr. Sayers suggested to his wife that Ruth should be sealed to Joseph, as Mr. Sayers himself didn’t believe in the afterlife.

Joseph had no sexual relations with Ruth. Eternity-only sealings were a means of connecting families. Joseph was sealed to many women with whom he had no sexual relations. Ruth is a clear example of this unique sealing phenomenon.

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You may want to listen to this informative 5-minute podcast on Ruth Vose:

Critical segments below:

Ruth states the sealing was performed by Hyrum Smith who did not accept plural marriage until several months later on May 26, 1843. Therefore, either the identity of the sealer or the date is in error. Regardless, Ruth Vose’s sealing to Joseph Smith is important among all of the Prophet’s plural marriages to legally married women because it is documented to have been for eternity only, not time and eternity and therefore did not include sexual relations.6)

Within the research papers of Andrew Jenson, author of the 1887 Historical Record article on Joseph Smith’s plural wives, is the following statement:

Sister Ruth/ Mrs. Sayers was married in her youth to Mr. Edward Sayers, a thoroughly practical horticulturist and florist, and though he was not a member of the Church, yet he willingly joined his fortune with her and they reached Nauvoo together some time in the year 1841;

While there the strongest affection sprang up between the Prophet Joseph and Mr. Sayers. The latter not attaching much importance to the/ theory of a future life insisted that his wife Ruth/ should be sealed to the Prophet for eternity, as he himself should only claim [page2—the first 3 lines of which are written over illegible erasures] her in this life. She was/ accordingly the sealed to the Prophet in Emma Smith’s presence and thus were became numbered among the Prophets plural wives. She however though she/ continued to live with Mr. Sayers / remained with her husband until his death.7

Another document confirms that concerning Joseph’s plural sealing to Ruth Sayers: “Joseph did not pick that woman. She went to see whether she should marry her husband for eternity.”8

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Ruth and Edward chose to return to Boston where they stayed until 1849. She was unable to be sealed by proxy to Joseph in the Nauvoo temple, but Church President Lorenzo Snow arranged for a vicarious ceremony to be performed for Ruth in the Salt Lake Temple in 1899.9 After their five-year stay in Boston, Ruth and Edward moved to Utah, reuniting with old acquaintances.

Edward died in 1861 and Ruth in 1884. Her obituary gives a glimpse of her demeanor: “Tall and erect in figure, a countenance always beaming with human kindness, charitable to the poor and ever ready to comfort the disconsolate, she endeared herself to her associates. She was a woman of brilliant conversational powers and possessed a ready fund of valuable information, especially upon topics of interest to the Saints. She was never tired of relating incidents of her Boston life nor of dwelling upon Gospel themes and the days of Joseph and Hyrum.”10

DNA, the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and more

Short, but clear, video about this topic:

I’m excited to introduce Dr. Ugo Perego all the way from Italy. This is going to be the first of several conversations where we’re going to talk about DNA. You can think of this first episode as DNA 101 as we learn a little bit about DNA science, but we will continue to learn more about this big topic

DNA evidence seems to show that Native Americans came from Asia rather than from the Middle East as the Book of Mormon implies. Dr. Ugo Perego is a population geneticist. How does he explain this?

If you’ve listened to my interviews on the Book of Mormon, I’ve asked a few people, like Jim Vun Cannon and David Rosenvall about the Lemba Tribe in Africa. They’re a tribe that has Middle Eastern DNA, unlike Native Americans who don’t.

I asked Dr. Ugo Perego about this tribe and we’ll get a good introduction into the Lemba Tribe. We’ll also talk a little bit about Viking DNA. Can that be distinguished from Columbus DNA? Check out our conversation…

In January 2014, the LDS Church produced a new Gospel Topics Essay on DNA and the Book of Mormon. I asked Dr. Ugo Perego if he had anything to do with writing that essay. I think you’ll find his answer very interesting.

We’ll also talk about Rodney Meldrum’s claim to have found DNA in Native Americans here in the Americas. Check out our conversation…..

Some people have been critical of Dr. Perego’s work, especially with regards to these paternity tests. In this episode, Ugo will discuss this criticism. Is he trying to hide something? Check out our conversation…

Joseph’s Smith Polygamy and (unsupported) Claims of Polyandry

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.

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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.

Items discussed:
  • Book of Mormon printer’s manuscript purchased for $35 mil 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
  • Sources:
    Brigham Young
    Jesse Haven
    John Gunnison
    Orson Pratt
    Helen Mar Whitney
    George Q. Cannon
  • Brigham Young – 38 children with 12 of his 49 plural wives

Richard Bushman & Rough Stone Rolling (Joseph Smith’s biography)

Richard Lyman Bushman is a stake patriarch, in addition to being a world-class scholar. He currently serving as the Howard W. Hunter Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University and Gouverneur Morris Professor of History emeritus at Columbia University.
He is also a general editor of the ongoing Joseph Smith Papers project. Bushman sat down with host Blair Hodges for an extended two-part interview. Part one discusses Bushman’s biography of Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling. We discuss polygamy, seer stones, gold plates, and other Joseph Smith-related questions.
Part ONE:

Part TWO: