Even though he had several dozen wives as of May 26, 1843, Smith denied polygamy in a speech: “What a thing it is for a man to be accursed of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one.” It was not the only lie regarding polygamy that he told. (11). As Compton explains, “It is significant that the Alger parents felt it a spiritual honor to have their daughter married to Smith, just as the parents of Sarah Ann Whitney and Helen Mar Kimball did.” (33). It is also a sacred subject that I have seen dragged through the dregs of the ex-Mormon sites, and yet presented well on some Internet resources. Assistant Church Historian Andrew Jenson's May 1887 article, "Plural Marriage." Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith at Amazon.com. There was so much sorrow, loneliness and despair that could be felt in their stories, but also steadfastness, faithfulness, strength, sisterhood, and love of family, friends, and community. (5:41): Sandra Tanner talks frankly about Joseph Smith’s escapades. Diverse, revealing and sympathetic, these real life tales of women show faith, strength and sorrow in some of life's most difficult circumstances. You will have a solid foundation of the early Mormon church and its charismatic leader, Joseph Smith, after reading this book. Sacred Loneliness is a fitting title. I can’t tell you how many times faithful Mormons became irritated, claiming that this was nothing more than an “anti-Mormon” set-up. Compton calls plural marriage "an institutionalized form of marital neglect". I agree. But they all kind of blend together, unfortunately. If you have an interest in expanding your knowledge of early Mormon history and understanding what the 'new and everlasting covenant' was like for these often overlooked women, you need to get this book. If you haven't heard of record-smashing singer and songwriter Mariah Carey, is there any hope for you? Stories of Joseph Smith’s Wives (actresses playing wives of Joseph Smith)__________________. “To nineteenth-century leaders the principle was not just an optional revelation - they viewed it as the most important revelation in Joseph Smith's life, which is what he undoubtedly taught them. He never witnessed the toll practical polygamy would take on an Eliza Partridge...”. When presented with the evidence, however, some ended up changing their minds, though the majority chalked this information up to “that’s just the way it was in those pioneer days.” What obviously had bothered them just a few minutes before was suddenly shelved under a category I describe as “not fitting within my comfort zone but I’ll accept it anyway.”. Once one had accepted him as a prophet, one had to comply or accept damnation. I liked this book for two reasons: the first was that it was a very well documented historical account. I would definitely recommend to anyone wanting to know more about early Mormon church history or polygamy in this era. She told me this story too was verily true.” Compton says that the late account may have been embellished, “but whether Emma saw her husband in the barn or discovered evidence of Fanny’s pregnancy, her reaction was the same. While some would not list Fanny as Smith’s first wife, “nineteenth-century Mormons, however, regarded the Smith-Alger relationship as a marriage.” (28) Just as he did with his other teen-aged wives, Smith was able to coax Alger’s parents into giving him approval to take their daughter. This book is informative in a tragic, heart-wrenching, nausea-inducing way. In Sacred Loneliness takes exception to that claim by allowing that there was indeed, error in the revelation on plural marriage. Reviewed by Eric Johnson. I thought that by reading it slowly and taking a while to consider each woman's life, I would be able to retain more. To see what your friends thought of this book. Signature Books, 1997. I thought that by reading it slowly and taking a while to consider each woman's life, I would be able to retain more. I can vouch for his statement. Music "Who Wrote the Beatle Songs? Besides repeating vows with teens and other men’s wives, Smith married mothers and daughters (Patty Bartlett and Sylvia Porter Sessions) as well as sisters (Emily and Eliza Partridge/Sarah and Maria Lawrence). This book was DENSE and incredibly informative. Although many Mormons know that second LDS President Brigham Young was a practicing polygamist, some may not realize that Joseph Smith had many wives as well. That said, it is quite moving to know about the lives of these women, many of whom have received no attention in other Mormon history. Smith was certainly a master manipulator. In the group aged forty-one to fifty, there is a substantial drop off: two wives, or 6 percent, and three (9 percent) in the group fifty-one to sixty. If you are interested in early Mormon polygamy this is required reading. I have copies of their journals. This book is informative in a tragic, heart-wrenching, nausea-inducing way. It was a fascinating glimpse into not only the early, secretive polygamy of the Nauvoo period, but also of the polygamy of the Mormon trail and Utah, as many of Joseph's wives would marry polygamous men. What a selfless gesture by Smith! These lines are the first evidence of depression in Helen Mar’s life. This book gets quite dry in places because the author tries to tell us everything there is to know about the wives of Joseph Smith and for many of them there is not much interesting to know. Exhaustively researched and written. Abstract: This is a shorter and more pointed version of his earlier review which appeared in FARMS Review of Books , 10/2. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. You think that Texas Polygamist Cult is way out? Reviewed by Eric Johnson. He was content to marry the teenage women who lived in his home and then let them depart when Emma objected. 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