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The Evidence that Joseph Smith was a Polygamist: ML: 131

There is a raging debate within Mormon circles where those folks who are determined to maintain belief in the Prophet Joseph Smith but who abhor polygamy and the Church as ran by Brigham Young and after have found ways to dismiss the standard evidence that Mormonism’s founder was a polygamist. They interpret the evidence as made up by Brigham Young and those around him in an effort to draw Joseph Smith into a practice he never participated in. Stories of fabricating history, backdating prophesy, and discrediting witnesses. On this week’s episode Bill & RFM with a few friends take a look at the evidence and to see if one has compelling reasons to believe Joseph Smith was, in fact, a polygamist!


1.) Clayton Journal Entries can be shown to be reliable

2.) D&C 132 is shown to be reliable as the text of the revelation that Smith received

3.) There is substantial Evidence that imposes that Smith originated and perpetuated Polygamy

4.) Hyrum Smith read the revelation in a High Council Meeting and Joseph and Hyrum tried to excuse the revelation away in the Nauvoo City Council but not a the way that allows Polygamy deniers to impose a narrative of “Eternity Only Sealings” or “Dynastic Sealings”. Hence they must confront why Hyrum and Joseph don’t respond using the narrative they have created.

5.) That any attempt to explain Joseph’s practice as “eternal only” and not time is irrational in light of Hyrum and Joseph’s attempt to walk back the doctrine/revelation of plural marriage by explaining it was in regards to former times and had nothing to do with the present. In other words Dynastic Sealings or relationships in the hereafter that are not binding or sexual in this life is not going to strike fear and anger and rebelliousness in Emma, along with pushback and resentment in Marks, Cowles, and Soby and can be explained without embarrassment. But when Joseph and Hyrum tip their hand by making the excuse that this revelation is about former times and not the present, we can rationally conclude this wasn’t eternal only or dynastic relationships that lacked sex or marriage in this life.(While we didn’t show it, Orange Wight’s autobiography also imposes that Smith had Flora Woodworth as a wife and he was notified that because of such, she was taken. Hence this wasn’t a eternity only relationship.)

If you want to see the documents and the notes about what these documents show. Check out the three part Reddit Posts on the topic..

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

This link has the url’s for the Land Deeds of Joseph’s plural wives  – John C Bennett History of the Saints Nauvoo Expositor

Joseph F. Smith Affidavits – – Clayton Diary – Clayton  page 106 search for plural Cowdery to his brother  – affidavits  – Happiness Letter Examination   – “Illicit Intercourse,” Plural Marriage, and the Nauvoo Stake High Council, 1840-1844 Gary James Bergera – Kingsbury 132 Revelation  – Junius and Joseph – The Changing RLDS Response to Mormon Polygamy: A Preliminary Analysis Richard P. Howard – Buckeye’s Laments: Two Early Insider Exposés of Mormon Polygamy and Their Authorship Gary James Bergera


2 thoughts on “The Evidence that Joseph Smith was a Polygamist: ML: 131”

  1. Interesting to see RFM & Bill trust and promote the narrative of the LDS church as it concerns the origins of polygamy in the church.

    There are no descendants of Joseph Smith save those from children conceived with Emma. Why? There is no contemporary record describing the polygamous relationships Joseph Smith supposedly had. Why? The only answer is Joseph Smith was very successfully secret about it. Why would he be so secret about it if was the will of God? Why would he be so publicly opposed to the thing God had ordained?

    Of all the revealed knowledge provided through Joseph Smith, was there anything he hid and kept secret besides polygamy? The man was filled with exuberance for the restored gospel, he spoke and wrote profusely. And yet there is no public teaching by Joseph Smith or church leaders while Joseph Smith was alive in favor of polygamy. Why?

    1. Disciple, there are contemporary records of Joseph’s polygamy. Read the William Clayton journal entries during the Nauvoo period. Sure, Joseph didn’t teach polygamy publicly but he also didn’t teach that he was a King, and yet he was anointed as a King in the council of 50.

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