Polygamy and Polyandry
In this section we want to give a wide-ranging discussion about issues with the introduction and doctrine of polygamy and polyandry. This section will look heavily at the common apologetic responses and where they are being fair and where they are being dishonest, as well as going into detail as to the evolution of Joseph Smith's policies on polygamy as well as how he violated his own revelations in D&C 132.
Overview of Joseph Smith and Polygamy, Part 1: Our overviews continue into polygamy in early Mormonism, and we begin by taking a look at the basic timeline of Joseph Smith and polygamy, the Fanny Walker relationship, Joseph's polyandrous marriages, his 1841 teaching on there being no sin if there is no accuser, the historical process of composing D&C 132, and the problems in the text of D&C 132 as well as how it contradicts both the Book of Mormon and earlier revelations. There is a ton of info in this first overview, and we're just scratching the surface.
Overview of Joseph Smith and Polygamy, Part 2: Part two of the polygamy overview focuses on Joseph Smith's proposals, looking at the common threads between the women he proposed to, his "Happiness Letter" to Nancy Rigdon, and a closer look at some of his other marriages and what their accounts tell us about how Joseph Smith implemented polygamy and polyandry in the church including Lucy Walker, Zina Huntington, Eliza and Emily Partridge, Helen Mar Kimball, and more.
Overview of Joseph Smith and Polygamy, Part 3: Spiritual Wifery, Common Apologetics, and Conclusion: The polygamy overview concludes with part three, looking at some of the common apologetic responses to Joseph Smith's implementation of polygamy. I look at the difference between 'spiritual wifery' and 'plural marriage,' with testimonies from women who all say the men explicitly claimed to learn it from Joseph Smith, and a conclusion on what all of these accounts tell us about Joseph Smith's claim that it was all God's doing, even though Joseph admits he was the one who originally inquired about it in the first place.
Joseph Smith and the Happiness Letter (August 17, 2020) - A look at the Happiness Letter written by Joseph Smith following his plural marriage proposal to Nancy Rigdon, and how Joseph carefully uses language in the letter to give both promises of glory if she entered into a polygamous relationship with him or threats of losing blessings if she rejected God's commandment through "his servant."
We highly encourage you to read through all sections as we discuss the following topics on polygamy and polyandry:
-Official LDS Essay "Plural Marriage in the LDS Church" with Discussion Notes