ROBERT - I have been visiting your site for several years now, and you do a fantastic job--with everything! I know it is a lot of work to maintain all of the information that you do. I enjoy reading your responses to other peoples' questions. Great job in response to Steve about Church history.

JOEL - That's it, butter me up real good before you criticize so it won't hurt so bad :-)

ROBERT - I do, however, want to challenge you on 2 of your responses:

1. From TROY about JS ever being "convicted" of any Charges. I guess it all depends on how one defines "Charges" and "Convicted." If the intent of the question is: Did JS violate any laws and were there consequences? Then the answer is yes. In "Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling" by Richard Bushman, Pages 330-331, JS was fined $1,000 for violating an 1816 Ohio State law for issuing money from a private company. (the Kirtland Bank)
I am sure that he did so unknowingly, but he was fined by the court for the violation.

JOEL - I took the intent of the question to refer mostly to all the trumped up charges against his character brought by critics of the Church in the attempt to label him "a law breaker". The incident you mention was not trumped up, but to be thorough one could include the information you provided.

ROBERT - 2. From MIKE about JS marrying other women behind Emma's Back without her knowledge.
According to Bushman, page 494, JS married the Partridge sisters, "2 months earlier in March Without Emma's knowledge."
Also, in the PBS/Frontline Series on Mormons (, Kathleen Flake LDS member and Scholar at Vanderbuilt, was interviewed about JS and polygamy. She seems to agree with Bushman that Emma DID NOT know about all of the marriages before they happened.

JOEL - The question from Mike was:
"Is it true that Joseph Smith was getting married to other women behind his wife's back?"

It depends on how you interpret Mike's question. Generally speaking he was not getting married to other women behind Emma's back. She deffinately knew he was being sealed to other women and even helped choose them on occaisions. I suppose I could clarify that there may have been a few specific instances in which she found out after the fact.
Here's a few other quotes I found on the subject:

"Emma also gave permission for Joseph to marry Emily and Eliza Partridge and permitted them to live in the Smith home. While this instance was an after-the-fact approval, she not only selected them but lived with them. There is still no secret. When the Partridge sisters moved out at Emma's request, the Lawrence sisters, whose marriages to Joseph were approved by Emma, continued to live in the Smith home."
(Todd M. Compton, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), 743-744; see Anderson and Faulring, "Compton: In Sacred Loneliness," 88-90.)

"Lucy Walker, seeing the challenges that Emma faced in accepting plural marriage, chose to remain silent about her marriage to Joseph, but she noted a number of other marriages that Emma was well aware of and consented to, saying that Emma "was well aware that [Joseph] associated with them as wives... This is proven by the fact that [Emma] herself, on several occasions, kept guard at the door to prevent disinterested persons from intruding, when these ladies were in the house."
(Linda Newell and Valeen Avery, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1984), 144-145.)

Return to top
Return to Questions