From December 2013 to August 2014 I wrote a series of posts on a Faithful Joseph, tracing a plausible history in which Joseph Smith didn’t keep his wife Emma in the dark, and rarely, if ever, engaged in sexual activity with the women he would covenant with.
This is the first post in the series Joseph’s Wives, describing each of the women believed to have been Joseph’s wife based on information from reliable contemporary witnesses. Of these, the first and most important to understand is Emma Hale. I have identified several “tells” which I plan to assess for each wife:
- Are there substantiating details that contemporaries considered the woman a wife?
- Are details of the alleged marriage during Joseph’s lifetime known?
- Is there an indication that the marriage was sexually consummated?
- Is it reported one or more children was engendered by Joseph Smith with the wife?
- Is there a record that the wife was sealed to Joseph after his death?
- Did the reported wife embrace Joseph’s teachings regarding covenant marriage after his death?
- Was the marriage a subject of prophecy?
- Did the marriage serve to “bind” Joseph to important families, so-called dynastic marriages?
The result will be a visual summary which can be used to assess the nature of Joseph’s marriages over the period of his lifetime. This visual summary and links to the posts describing the individual women will be posted separately.
Any discussion of Joseph’s wives must include Emma Hale, Joseph’s only legal wife, the only wife Joseph publicly acknowledged during his lifetime. Continue reading