[Smith explained] the principle of Celestial marriage ....After which he said to me, 'If you will take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation & exaltation and that of your father's household & all of your kindred.['] This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward. I felt quite sore about [not being allowed to go out and dance] and thought it a very unkind act in father to allow William to go and enjoy the dance unrestrained with other of my companions, and fetter me down, for no girl danced better than I did, and I really felt it was too much to bear.Among the more notable alleged wives are the teenage servant Fanny Alger and future Relief Society president Eliza R. Historians generally conclude that Smith did have multiple wives, but as Compton has written, little is known of these marriages after the sealing ceremony.Allegations that Smith had at least one child born to a plural wife remain unproven, and some scholars suggest that several of these marriages were not consummated.The church also never adopted a policy requiring or recommending that its members marry Native Americans. I did just as Joseph told me to do[.] Latter Day Saint historical sources indicate that as early as 1832, Mormon missionaries were converting followers of religious leader Jacob Cochran, who went into hiding in 1830 to escape imprisonment for practicing polygamy.In 1943, historian Fawn Brodie stated that LDS Church historian Joseph Fielding Smith told her that a revelation foreshadowing polygamy had been written in 1831 but never published, and that although its existence in the church library is acknowledged, "in conformity with the church policy" Brodie would not be permitted to examine it.[At age 12 in 1831], [Smith] told me about his great vision concerning me. [In 1842 age 23] I went forward and was sealed to him. Mormons held two conferences at Saco, Maine, the center of Cochranism, on June 13, 1834, Among Cochran's marital innovations was "spiritual wifery".
He replied instantly "In the same manner that Abraham took Hagar and Keturah; and Jacob took Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpah; by revelation—the saints of the Lord are always directed by revelation.
Some scholars believe that Smith transcribed a revelation recommending polygamy on July 17, 1831.
This alleged revelation is described in a letter to Brigham Young written in 1861 by an early Mormon convert, William W.
Celestial marriage • Spiritual wifery • Polygamy in North America • Timeline of civil marriage in the US • Freedom of religion in the US • Mormon colonies in Mexico • Latter-day Saint settlements in Canada • Short Creek raid • Lost boys • YFZ Ranch • Polygamy czar • Legal status of polygamy Polygamy, or plural marriage, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints probably originated with the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, who taught that polygamy was a divine commandment.
Smith practiced it personally, by some accounts marrying more than 30 women, some of whom had existing marriages to other men.