Joseph's plural marriages were not known until Joseph was caught with Fanny Alger. Oliver Cowdery referred to it as a 'dirty, nasty, filthy affair'. Now suppose for just a minute, that this really was an affair as reported by Brother Cowdery, an apostle and one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon. Why would Joseph make up the preposterous story that an angel with a sword commanded him to practice polygamy (before the sealing power was even restored no less)? Why, because he could. People believed him. They believed his earlier story about an angel, so why not another one? Perhaps the entire practice of polygamy by the saints was inspired by Joseph's efforts to cover up an affair? If he was truly in an affair, he would have a hard time justifying his adultery, and he may have lost many, many followers. But he came up with the only excuse that could be justified - God commanded him to. It was so successful that he continued to take more and more women as wives.
Bottom line is that many of those relationships were strictly adulterous affairs that were later labeled 'marriages' to somehow justify the behavior. The first supposed marriage was in Kirtland with Fannie Alger which caused a great scandal. This 'marriage' occurred 10 years before the 'revelation' and at the time Joseph had never preached polygamy to anyone. Years later Fannie, who married a non-Mormon in Iowa, vehemently denied ever marrying Smith. You be the judge if this was a 'marriage' or just a booty call.
The idea that most plural wives were happy with the arrangement is a myth. Official Mormon histories have romanticized plural marriages as being as normal and full of affection as monogamous marriages. Some may have been. However, Zina Diantha Huntington (polygamous wife to Joseph Smith and then later to Brigham Young), when interviewed by a journalist from the New York World, in 1869, drew a distinction between romantic love and plural marriage. Commenting on women who were unhappy in their polygamous marriages, she said they "expect too much attention from the husband and … become sullen and morose…" She insisted that the successful polygamous wife, "must regard her husband with indifference, and wits no other feeling than that of reverence, for love we regard as a false sentiment; a feeling which should have no existence in polygamy." Lucy Walker, who had been sealed for time to Heber C. Kimball, after the death of Joseph Smith said, "There was not any love in the union between myself and Kimball, and it is my business entirely whether there was any courtship or not… It was the principle of plural marriage that we were trying to establish, a great and glorious true principle." (In Sacred Loneliness, 108, 466-467).
States shall take the necessary steps with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of this right”, thus affirming the basic human right to life and health that is guaranteed under international human rights law....
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For instance, America’s businesses have branched out all across the world and if those places of business are not ensured safety then both the economy of that particular country as well as our own is affected.
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If Joseph had a right to dictate me in relation to salvation, in relation to a hereafter, he had a right to dictate me in relation to all my earthly affairs, in relation to the treasures of the earth, and in relation to the earth itself. He had a right to dictate in relation to the cities of the earth, to the natives of the earth, and in relation to everything on land and on sea. That is what he had a right to do, if he had any right at all. If he did not have that right, he did not have the Priesthood of God, he did not have the endless Priesthood that emanates from an eternal being. A Priesthood that is clipped, and lacks length, is not the Priesthood of God; if it lacks depth, it is not the Priesthood of God; for the Priesthood in ancient times extended over the wide world, and coped with the universe, and had a right to govern and control the inhabitants thereof, to regulate them, give them laws, and execute those laws. That power looked like the Priesthood of God. This same Priesthood has been given to Joseph Smith, and has been handed down to his successors.
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Fanny Alger was a teen-aged servant in the Smith's home. Joseph and Emma had "adopted" Fanny when she was about 16 years old (1833). She is believed to be either Joseph Smith's first polygamous "wife" or simply a sexual encounter. (The Church's essay, "Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo," says it was a marriage, whereas Lawrence Foster said, "…contemporary evidence strongly suggests that Smith sustained sexual relations with Fanny Alger, it does not indicate that this was viewed either by Smith himself or by his associates at the time as a 'marriage.'" Dialogue Vol. 33 No. 1 pp. 184-86.) Critics believe he had an affair with her, was found out, and then introduced the concept of plural marriage in order to justify and continue his affair with her and then other women.
Current Affairs For IAS, Civil Services ExamsFanny Alger was a teen-aged servant in the Smith's home. Joseph and Emma had "adopted" Fanny when she was about 16 years old (1833). She is believed to be either Joseph Smith's first polygamous "wife" or simply a sexual encounter. (The Church's essay, "Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo," says it was a marriage, whereas Lawrence Foster said, "…contemporary evidence strongly suggests that Smith sustained sexual relations with Fanny Alger, it does not indicate that this was viewed either by Smith himself or by his associates at the time as a 'marriage.'" Dialogue Vol. 33 No. 1 pp. 184-86.) Critics believe he had an affair with her, was found out, and then introduced the concept of plural marriage in order to justify and continue his affair with her and then other women.Some historians record the date of the "marriage" as early as 1833, while others believe it was 1835, putting Fanny's age anywhere from 17-19. Fanny departed the Smith home sometime in 1836, the same year Oliver Cowdery was excommunicated for revealing Joseph Smith's "dirty, nasty, filthy affair of his and Fanny Alger's."Warren Parrish, the secretary of Joseph for a period of time, told Benjamin Johnson that he and Oliver Cowdery knew the report of an affair between Joseph and the girl to be true, for they "were spied upon and found together." (, 1903.)Critic's Note: Regardless of whether Joseph Smith's relations with Fanny Alger was merely a sexual encounter or a "marriage," it was adulterous. However, Joseph could only be , and even if it is claimed that the "marriage" was a symbolic "celestial only" sealing, the sealing power was not restored until April 1836, after Joseph's "marriage" to Fanny.Whether Joseph's "marriage" to Fanny Alger occurred in 1833 or 1835, it was illegal both under the laws of the land and under any theory of divine authority. Plural marriages are rooted in the notion of "sealing" for time and eternity. It is claimed that the "sealing power" was restored 3 April 1836 when Elijah appeared to Joseph and committed the sealing keys into his hands. (, The Joseph Smith Papers.) Until that time no one on earth had authority to "seal" Joseph and Fanny. As a result, his marriage to her was a nullity from the beginning both in time and eternity, and any sexual relationship he had with her was adulterous.As admitted in the LDS essay, "Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo":
[C]areful estimates put the number [of Joseph Smith's wives] between 30 and 40.Following his marriage to Louisa Beaman and before he married other single women, Joseph Smith was sealed to a number of women who were already married.Estimates of the number of these sealings range from 12 to 14.from the LDS website (also see footnote #24).In other words, Joseph "married" or was "sealed" to 12-14 women who were already legally wedded to other men at the time. Following is a list of Joseph's wives that we know of (some researchers estimate that the number may have been higher). A name indicated with an * was a living husband of the woman to whom Joseph Smith was "married" (From the website, )(The above table can be downloaded as a .)