Sunday, February 24, 2008

I'm Related to Joseph Smith, How About You?

Joseph Smith apparently had over 100 wives. While many of them were 'sealed' to him after death in a sort of spiritual wedding ceremony that had no legal standing, some number, like 35 or 40 were bound to him legally. Apparently, if you are town mayor, as Joseph Smith was, you can influence the local laws to accomodate plural wives.

While I was at church today, the Elder's quorum met in the family history center. We used a geneology/temple work software program to help remove the duplicate entries in our personal family history. This software allows the user to research their own ancestry as far as it has been entered in and remove all of the duplicates found there in. This would remove the duplicated work.

I went back several generations. I saw my ancestors on the Fisher side immigrating from England to New York. I arrived at one of my great grandmothers (whose name slips my mind right now). I was surprised to see her husbands name. Her husband was Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of the church. I confirmed it to be the right Joseph Smith because his parents were Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack.

As I investigated further, I discovered that she had another husband as well.

I can't quite reconcile how I feel about this. I'm not sure if this means that Joseph Smith not only married other single women, but he also married other married women as well.

Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants promises couples that they will be together forever. It also requires that members enter into this covenant of plural marriage for it to work out. The church doesn't follow that doctrine anymore because it is against the law. The church did not stop the practice until external pressures required them to adopt a doctrine that wouldn't put them into jail. The question that I have to answer is: would God want that? Would A loving God allow the lusts of one man, albeit the chosen prophet, to outweigh the heartbreak of caring, sometime emotionally fragile women?