Take it away, Joe!
Part 2 of 2
The Disgusting, Damning Details of Joseph Smith as a Sex Maniac and Predatory Stalker of Young Females . . .
Like Warren Jeffs, Joseph Smith engaged in sex with underage girls (despite what robo-Mos dependent on LDS propaganda-departments peddling may wish to believe--and as proven by Mormon history itself).
*Smith's Well-Earned Reputation for Being a Sex-Obsessed, Self-Possessed Philanderer
As a baseline (and as known in Mormon circles of his day), Smith was legendary for his sexual attraction to women.
In fact, the official LDS publication, “History of the Church” (vol. 5, p. 53), acknowledged the lore of Smith's attraction to females, as described in 'The Wasp,” a LDS newspaper published in Nauvoo, Illinois:
“[On 2 July 1843], the [Mormon] Church newspaper 'The Wasp' publishe[d] a phrenology chart of Smith's head and personality. The first trait [was] 'Amativeness-11, L[arge]. Extreme susceptibility; passionately fond of the company of the other sex.' The official 'History of the Church' still publishes this chart, along with the caution that such a high score indicates 'extreme liability to perversion' in the trait.”
Perversion is right.
Smith's moves to seduce other men's wives were so brazen and notorious that they led one distraught husband--Orson Pratt--to attempt suicide in Nauvoo on 15 July 1842:
“Thousands of Nauvoo Mormons search[ed] for Orson Pratt after discovering a suicide note. They find him distraught because Smith, according to Pratt's wife, had tried to seduce Pratt's wife Sarah.”
Not only did Smith have a reputation as a ladies' man, he also had a record of defending friends of his who were sleeping around.
According to the “Minutes of the High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Nauvoo Illinois” (6 February 1841), Smith directed “the Nauvoo high council not to excommunicate Theodore Turley for 'sleeping with two females,' requiring him only to confess 'that he had acted unwisely, unjustly, imprudently, and unbecoming.'”
Eventually, Smith's sexual excess caught up with him in court. On 23 March 1844, William Law filed suit against Smith for committing adultery with Smith's foster daughter and plural wife:
“William Law file[d] a formal complaint with the Hancock County [Illinois] circuit court charging Smith was living 'in an open state of adultery' with Maria Lawrence, Smith's foster daughter and polygamous wife. Maria Lawrence was a teenaged orphan who was living in the Smith household. In fact, Smith had secretly married both Maria, age 19, and her sister Sarah, age 17, on 11 May 1843 and was serving as executor of their $8,000 estate.
"William Law apparently hoped that disclosing Smith's relationship with the young girls might lead him to abandon polygamy but Smith immediately excommunicated Law, had himself appointed the girls' legal guardian and rejected the charge in front of a church congregation on 26 May 1844, denying that he had more than one wife.”(Joseph Smith, “History of the Church,” vol. 6, p. 403; and Richard S. Van Wagoner, “Mormon Polygamy: A History,” p. 66)
(all preceding and subsequent citations and quotes cited from “Joseph Smith's Polygamy Chronology,” by former RfM poster "Deconstructor")
*Smith and 16-year-old Fanny Alger
Smith's first known sexual affair was with a teenager named Fannie Alger, who was living with Smith and his first wife Emma in their Kirtland, Ohio, home. Fanny was also Smith's first confimred plural wife. Smith “came to know [her] in Kirtland during early 1833 when she, at the age of 16, stayed at his home as a housemaid. Described as 'a very nice and comly young woman,' according to Benjamin Johnson, Fanny lived with the Smith family from 1833 to 1836.”
Fanny eventually became the target of Smith's sexual advances, with Smith's predatory behavior soon becoming the talk of the town:
“Martin Harris, one of the 'Three Witnesses' to the Book of Mormon, recalled that the prophet's 'servant girl' claimed he had made 'improper proposals to her, which created quite a talk amongst the people.' Mormon Fanny Brewer similarly reported 'much excitement against the Prophet . . . [involving] an unlawful intercourse between himself and a young orphan girl residing in his family and under his protection."
Emma discovered the sexual affair between Smith and Fanny and exploded in anger. Caught with his hand in Fanny's cookie jar, Smith confessed. A noticeably pregnant Fanny eventually was kicked out of the house by Emma, as reported thusly:
“Former Mormon apostle William McLellin later wrote that Emma Smith substantiated the Smith-Alger affair. According to McLellin, Emma was searching for her husband and Alger one evening, when through a crack in the barn door she saw 'him and Fanny in the barn together alone' on the hay mow. McLellin, in a letter to one of Smith's sons, added that the ensuing confrontation between Emma and her husband grew so heated that Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, and Oliver Cowdery had to mediate the situation.
"After Emma related what she had witnessed, Smith, according to McLellin, 'confessed humbly and begged forgiveness. Emma and all forgave him.' While Oliver Cowdery may have forgiven his cousin Joseph Smith, he did not forget the incident. Three years later, when provoked by the prophet, Cowdery countered by calling the Fanny Alger episode 'a dirty, nasty, filthy affair.'
“Chauncey Webb recounts Emma’s later discovery of the relationship: 'Emma was furious, and drove the girl, who was unable to conceal the consequences of her celestial relation with the prophet, out of her house' . . .
“' . . . Webb, Smith's grammar teacher . . . reported that when the pregnancy became evident, Emma Smith drove Fanny from her home. . . . . Webb's daughter, Ann Eliza Webb Young, a divorced wife of Brigham Young, remembered that Fanny was taken into the Webb home on a temporary basis . . . . . Fanny stayed with relatives in nearby Mayfield until about the time Joseph fled Kirtland for Missouri.
“Fanny left Kirtland in September 1836 with her family. Though she married non-Mormon Solomon Custer on 16 November 183614 and was living in Dublin City, Indiana, far from Kirtland, her name still raised eyebrows. Fanny Brewer, a Mormon visitor to Kirtland in 1837, observed 'much excitement against the Prophet . . . [involving] an unlawful intercourse between himself and a young orphan girl residing in his family and under his protection.'”
(Van Wagoner, “Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait in Religious Excess,” p. 291; and Van Wagoner, “Mormon Polygamy: A History,” p. 8; cited in ibid)
*Smith and 19-year-old Zina D. Hunington
Smith further cemented his reputation for fooling around by making moves on a then-married teenager, Zina D. Hunington, who he asked on 25 October 1841 to become another of his multiple wives. Smith informed her (using a line he also employed with Emma and others) that he was ordered to do so by a sword-wielding angel who was threatening to kill him if he disobeyed:
“Already married, 19 year-old Zina remained conflicted with Smith's polygamy proposal 'until a day in October, apparently, when Joseph sent [her older brother] Dimick to her with a message: an angel with a drawn sword had stood over Smith and told him that if he did not establish polygamy, he would lose “his position and his life.” Zina, faced with the responsibility for his position as prophet, and even perhaps his life, finally acquiesced.' They were secretly married within days “
(Todd Compton, “In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith,” pp. 80-81, cited in ibid).
*Smith and 19-year-old Nancy Rigdon
Smith also secretly--and thereafter relentlessly--hit on another teenager, 19-year-old Nancy Rigdon, daughter of his close confidant Sidney Rigdon, in Nauvoo beginning on 10 April 1842.
Nancy was not amused:
“ . . . Smith invited Nancy Rigdon, 19-year-old daughter of his close friend and counselor, Sidney Rigdon, to meet him at the home of Orson Hyde. Upon her arrival Smith greeted her, ushered her into a private room, then locked the door. After swearing her to secrecy, wrote George W. Robinson, Smith announced his 'affection for her for several years, and wished that she should be his . . . [T]he Lord was well pleased with this matter . . . [T]here was no sin in it whatever . . . but if she had any scruples of conscience about the matter, he would marry her privately.'
“Incredulous, Nancy countered that 'if she ever got married she would marry a single man or none at all.' Grabbing her bonnet, she ordered the door opened or she would 'raise the neighbors.' She then stormed out of the Hyde-Richards residence.
“The next day, Smith wrote Nancy a letter, where he justified his advances, saying, 'That which is wrong under one circumstance may be, and often is, right under another . . . . Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire. . . . even things which might be considered abominable to all who understand the order of heaven only in part, but which in reality were right because God gave and sanctioned by special revelation.' This is his first written statement of theocratic ethics.”
(“Official History of the Church,” vol. 5, p. 134-36; and Van Wagoner, “Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait in Religious Excess,” p. 295; cited in ibid)
Smith's sex-hunt for Nancy Rigdon was so outrageous and obsessive that it deserves further, focused attention.
Smith--Mormonism's pre-eminent sexual predator prophet--locked Nancy in a room and attempted to convince her to marry him. She defiantly refused and was therefore labeled a child prostitute.
This is sex stalker Joseph Smith arguably at his worst, as disgustingly confirmed by numerous sources.
A variety of accounts, complete with cross-confirming details, are readily available today, chronicling sex fiend Joseph Smith's moves on one Nancy Rigdon, 19-year-old daughter of Signey Rigdon (Sidney was Smith's close confidante and member of the Mormon Church's First Presidency. No matter. Sidney had a teenager daughter and, true to form, the lustful polygamist Smith therefore wanted to bed and wed her).
For the record, from a litany of solid historical reviews (with additional information provided about Mormon-leader character assassination of Nancy Rigdon that took place after she dared repulse Smith's sexual advances and openly criticize him):
--"John C. Bennett . . . accused Joseph of trying to seduce Nancy Rigdon, nineteen-year-old daughter of Sidney Rigdon . . . .
"That Joseph attempted to persuade Nancy to marry him was recorded by others besides Bennett, including Nancy's brother John. John said that until that incident the Rigdons had been unaware of polygamy in the church. Sidney was profoundly shocked and upset by ensuing gossip among neighbors. According to John, Joseph denied having proposed to Nancy, but Sidney later got an admission from him that it was true."
(Donna Hill, "Joseph Smith--The First Mormon" [Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1977], p. 301)
--"The prophet [Joseph Smith] was . . . at odds with his long-time friend and counselor Sidney Rigdon over a reputed polygamous proposal on 9 April 1842 to Rigdon's unmarried daughter Nancy. George W. Robinson, a prominent Nauvoo citizen married to another of Rigdon's daughters, wrote to James A. Bennett, a New York friend to the church, on 22 July 1842, that 'Smith sent for Miss Rigdon to come to the house of Mrs. [Orson] Hyde, who lived in the under-rooms of the printing- office. . . . According to Robinson, Nancy 'inquired of the messenger . . . what was wanting, and the only reply was, that Smith wanted to see her.' Robinson claimed that Smith took her into a room, 'locked the door, and then stated to her that he had had an affection for her for several years, and wished that she should be his; that the Lord was well pleased with this matter, for he had got a revelation on the subject, and God had given him all the blessings of Jacob, etc., etc., and that there was no sin whatever.' Robinson reported that Nancy 'repulsed him and was about to raise the neighbors if he did not unlock the door and let her out' . . . .
"Nancy's brother, John, recounting the incident later, remembered that 'Nancy refused him, saying if she ever got married she would marry a single man or none at all, and took her bonnet and went home, leaving Joseph . . . .' Nancy withheld details of the situation from her family until a day or two later, when a letter from the prophet was delivered by Smith's personal secretary, Willard Richards. 'Happiness is the object and design of our existence,' the letter began. 'That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right uner another.' The letter went ont to teach that 'whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof til long after the events transpire. . . . Our Heavenly Father is more liberal in his views, and boundless in his mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive.'
"Nancy showed the prophet's letter to her father and told him of the incident at the Hyde residence. Rigdon demanded an audience with Smith. George W. Robinson reported that when Smith came to Rigdon's home, the enraged father asked for an explanation. The prophet 'attempted to deny it at first,' Robinson said, 'and face her down with the lie; but she told the facts with so much earnestness, and the fact of a letter being present, which he had caused to be written to her on the same subject, the day after the attempt made on her virtue,' that ultimately 'he could not withstand the testimony; he then and there acknowledged that every word of Miss Rigdon's testimony was true' . . . . Much later, John Rigdon elaborated that 'Nancy was one of those excitable women and she went into the room and said, "Joseph Smith, you are telling that which is not true. You did make such a proposition to me and you know it [crossed out in the original]: 'The woman who was there said to Nancy, "Are you not afraid to call the Lord's anointed a cursed liar?" "No," she replied, "I am not for he does lie and he knows it"]' . . . .
"Robinson wrote that Smith, after acknowledging the incident, claimed he had propositioned Nancy because he 'wished to ascertain whether she was virtuous or not, and took that course to learn the facts!' . . . But the Rigdon family would not accept such an explanation. They were persuaded that the rumors about the prophet's polygamy doctrine had been confirmed. The issue continued to be a serious source of contention between the two church leaders until Smith's death in 1844. According to John Rigdon, Sidney told the family that Smith 'could never be sealed to one of his daughters with his consent as he did not believe in the doctrine' . . . . Rigdon preferred to keep his difficulties with the prophet private, but John C. Bennet's detailed disclosures made this impossible. . . .
"There is no solid evidence that Rigdon ever advocated polygamy. His son John maintained that Rigdon 'took the ground no matter from what source it came, whether from [the] Prophet, seer [and] revelator or angels from heaven, [that] it was a false doctrine and should be rejected' . . . . Yet accusations linking Ridgon to polygamy and insinuating that his daughter Nancy was a prostitute undermined his status as the only surviving member of the First Presidency [following the assassination of Smith]."
(Richard S. Van Wagoner, "Mormon Polygamy: A History" [Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1986], pp. 30-31, 73)
--"In mid-April  Joseph had asked Sidney Rigdon's nineteen-year-old daughter Nancy to become his plural wife. Bennett had his own eye on the girl and forewarned her, so she refused Joseph. The following day Joseph dictated a letter to her with Willard Richards acting as scribe. It read in part, 'Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God. . . . That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. . . . Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason therof til long after the events transpire.'
"Nancy Rigdon showed the letter to her father. Rigdon immediately sent for Joseph, who reportedly denied everything until Sidney thrust the letter in his face. George W. Robinson, Nancy's brother-in-law, claimed he witnessed the encounter and said Joseph admitted that he spoken with Nancy but that he had only been testing her virtue."
(Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery, "Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith--Prophet's Wife, 'Elect Lady,' Polygamy's Foe" [Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Compmany, Inc., 1984] pp. 111-12)
--"Joseph Smith's wives, after their marriage to him, often figured in the marriage arrangements of new wives, as messengers or counselors or witnesses. According to John Bennett, Smith used [Nancy] Marinda [Hyde] as a go-between in his attempt to woo Nancy Rigdon, Sidney's nineteen-year-old daughter. Bennett is not always reliable, but he did have early first-hand knowledge of the Mormon leader's polygamous activites, as his short list of Smith's plural wives shows. In this case, accounts of the same events by Nancy's brother, J. Wickliffe, and her brother-in-law, George W. Robinson, show that Bennet was not merely spinning a fictitious story.
"Bennett relates that in early April , Smith decided he wanted to marry Nancy Rigdon, so on April 9 he asked Marinda to arrange a meeting between him and the teenager. Marinda met Nancy at the funeral of Ephraim Marks and told her that Joseph wanted to see her at the printing office, Marinda's residence. When Nancy arrived, she was ushered into a private room where Joseph soon proposed to her. She was outraged and demanded that he let her out of the locked room immediately. Smith did so, but, 'as she was much agitated, he requested Mrs. Hyde to explain matters to her; and, after agreeing to write her a doctrinal letter, left the house. Mrs. Hyde told her that these things looked strange to her at first, but that she would become more reconciled on mature reflection. Miss Rigdon replied, "I never shall," left the house, and returned home.' Nancy did hold her ground, and when she told her father of the experience, it drove a firm wedge between him and Joseph, just as Joseph's earlier relationship with Fanny Alger had caused another high church leader, Oliver Cowdery, to lose respect for him."
(Todd Compton, "In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith" [Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1997], pp. 239-40)
More on the disgusting, damning details relating to Smith's sexual stalking of Nancy Rigdon, the attempted lies and cover-up, the subsequent justifications and the personal smearing of Nancy Rigdon (provided previously by RfM poster Jim Huston):
--Predator Joseph Smith, alone in a locked room with Nancy Rigdon, made his move:
"'Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess,' by Richard S. Van Wagoner [Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1994], p. 295, from letter George W. Robinson to James Arlington Bennett 27 July 1842, cited in Bennett, pp. 245-47:
"'Smith greeted her, ushered her into a private room, then locked the door. After swearing her to secrecy, Smith announced his "affection for her for several years and wished that she would be his….the Lord was well pleased with the matter. There was no sin it it whatever… but if she had any scruples of conscience about the matter, he would marry her privately.'"
--Young Nancy Rigdon's defiant resistance and immediate rebuff of Smith:
"'Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess,' by Van Wagoner, from interview with Elders William H. and E. L. Kelly, cited in Smith and Smith, 4:452-53:
"'Despite her tender age, she did not hesitate to express herself. The prophet's seductive behavior shocked her; she rebuffed him in a flurry of anger.'"
--Support of Smith's move on Nancy Rigdom from other Mormon Church leaders:
"'Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess,' by Van Wagoner, p. 295, from Wickliffe Rigdon, "Life Story of Sydney Rigdon," p. 164:
"'Smith, flustered, beckoned Mrs. Hyde into the room to help win Nancy over. Hyde volunteered that she too was surprised upon first hearing the tenet, but was convinced it was true, and that “great exaltation would come to those who received and embraced it.'"
--Smith refused to take "no" for an answer from Nancy Rigdon and increased the pressure on her with a follow-up, justifying letter invoking God:
"'Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess," by Van Wagoner, p. 295, from Wickliffe Rigdon, 28 July 1905 statement:
"'Incredulous, the feisty Nancy countered that “if she ever got married, she would marry a single man or not at all."
"'Not willing to take no for an answer, Smith later had a letter delivered to Nancy.
"'Joseph Smith to Miss Nancy Rigdon, 11 April 1842, "History of the Church," Vol. 5, pp.134-36; see also, "The Letter of the Prophet, Joseph Smith to Miss Nancy Rigdon," in "Joseph Smith Collection," LDS archives:
"'Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God. But we cannot keep all the commandments without first knowing them, and we cannot expect to know all, or more than we now know unless we comply with or keep those we have already received. That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another.
"'God said, "Thou shalt not kill;" at another time He said "Thou shalt utterly destroy." This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted--by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire. If we seek first the kingdom of God, all good things will be added. So with Solomon: first he asked wisdom, and God gave it him, and with it every desire of his heart, even things which might be considered abominable to all who understand the order of heaven only in part, but which in reality were right because God gave and sanctioned by special revelation.
"'A parent may whip a child, and justly, too, because he stole an apple; whereas if the child had asked for the apple, and the parent had given it, the child would have eaten it with a better appetite; there would have been no stripes; all the pleasure of the apple would have been secured, all the misery of stealing lost.
"'This principle will justly apply to all of God's dealings with His children. Everything that God gives us is lawful and right; and it is proper that we should enjoy His gifts and blessings whenever and wherever He is disposed to bestow; but if we should seize upon those same blessings and enjoyments without law, without revelation, without commandment, those blessings and enjoyments would prove cursings and vexations in the end, and we should have to lie down in sorrow and wailings of everlasting regret. But in obedience there is joy and peace unspotted, unalloyed; and as God has designed our happiness—and the happiness of all His creatures, he never has—He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of his law and ordinances. Blessings offered, but rejected, are no longer blessings, but become like the talent hid in the earth by the wicked and slothful servant; the proffered good returns to the giver; the blessing is bestowed on those who will receive and occupy; for unto him that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundantly, but unto him that hath not or will not receive, shall be taken away that which he hath, or might have had.
"'Be wise today; 'tis madness to defer: Next day the fatal precedent may plead. Thus on till wisdom is pushed out of time
"'Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive; and, at the same time, is more terrible to the workers of iniquity, more awful in the executions of His punishments, and more ready to detect every false way, than we are apt to suppose Him to be. He will be inquired of by His children. He says: "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find;" but, if you will take that which is not your own, or which I have not given you, you shall be rewarded according to your deeds; but no good thing will I withhold from them who walk uprightly before me, and do my will in all things—who will listen to my voice and to the voice of my servant whom I have sent; for I delight in those who seek diligently to know my precepts, and abide by the law of my kingdom; for all things shall be made known unto them in mine own due time, and in the end they shall have joy.'"
--Learning from Nancy of Smith's moves on his daughter, Sidney Rigdon exploded in outrage and called Smith to account:
"'Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess,' by Van Wagoner, p. 296, from George W. Robinson to James Arlington Bennett 27 July 1842, cited in Bennett, p. 246:
"'When Sidney confronted Smith at the Rigdon home, the enraged father demanded an explanation of the prophet’s behavior. Smith “attempted to deny it at first, and faced [Nancy] down with the lie; ‘told the facts with so much earnestness, and the fact of a letter being present, which he had caused to be written to her, on the same subject, the day after the attempt made on her virtue,' that ultimately 'he could not withstand the testimony; he then and there acknowledged that every word of Miss Rigdon's testimony was true."'
--Smith lied to cover his sexual advances on Nancy Rigdon, claiming he was merely testing her sexual purity:
"'Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess," by Van Wagoner, p. 296, from George W. Robinson to James Arlington Bennett, 27 July 1842, cited in Bennett, p. 246:
"'Smith, after acknowledging his proposition, sought a way out of the crisis by claiming he had approached Nancy 'to ascertain whether she was virtuous or not, and took that course to learn the facts!'"
--The credibility of Nancy Rigdon's accusations against Smith:
"'Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess," by Van Wagoner, p. 299, from S.M. Ellis (Nancy Rigdon’s son) letter to L. J. Nuffer:
"'The bedeviling paradox for many regarding the Nancy Rigdon incident, is that while Smith's fame as a prophet of God makes the charges against him hard to believe, her steadfast reputation makes them difficult to dismiss.'"
--Nancy Rigdon's refusal to give in to Smith's sexual advances resulted in her being branded a child prostitute:
"'Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess,' by Van Wagoner, p. 299:
"Inevitably, Nancy Rigdon, Sarah Pratt, and Martha Brotherton saw their reputations impugned by an avalanche of slander. The prophet labeled Sarah a '[whore] from her mother's breast.' Martha Brotherton was branded a 'mean harlot.' while Nancy was tagged a 'poor miserable girl out of the very slough of prostitution.'"
("Nancy Rigdon and Joseph Smith--What a Pig," posted by Jim Huston, "Recovery from Mormonism" bulletin board, 22 March 2011, 6:10 p.m.)
On the character assassination that followed of Nancy Rigdon (as well as other Mormon women who also rejected Smith's advances), fuller quotes from Van Wagoner's book (in my personal library), "Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess," Chapter 21, "Between Family and Friends," reveal the extent of Smith and Company's attacks on females who resisted the predator prophet's forays:
"Corrobative evidence exists in the accounts of at least three other Nauvo women who similarly rejected the prophet's advances that spring of 1842. Sarah M. Kimball, wife of a prominent non-Mormon, told Smith merely to 'teach it to someone else'when he approached her with his new ideas. Sarah Pratt and Martha Brotherton, however, were not intimidated by prophetic aura and went public with their tales of attempted exploitation. Their grievances were not taken seriously within the male-dominated Mormon society. Smith, Brigham Young, and others were deeply esteemed by the community and had at their disposal a number of adherents who would coroborate in their defense as proof of religious faith.
"Inevitably, Nancy Rigdon, Sarah Pratt, and Martha Brotherton saw their reputations impugned by an avalanche of slander." (p. 299)
"Smith, after his rejection by Pratt, warned: 'I hope you will not expose me, for if I suffer, all must suffer; so do not expose me . . . If you should tell, I will ruin your reputation' (Bennett, 228-31)" [p. 309n75].
"The prophet labeled Sarah Pratt a '[whore]' from her mother's breast . . . '" [pp. 299 and 309n76: "'Sangamo Journal,' 1 Aug. 1842]"
"Martha Brotherton was branded a 'mean harlot' . . . " [pp. 299 and 309n77: "Wasp," 27 Aug. 1842]
Then, as to the relentless and ugly slander of Nancy Rigdon's reputation, Van Wagoner continues:
" . . . Nancy was tagged a 'poor miserable girl out of the very slough of prostitution." [p. 299 and 309n78: "'Speech of Elder Orson Hyde,' 27-28"]
On the smearing of Mormon women's reputation by Smith and his inner-circle of male defenders and the insatiable sex drive that possessed/obsessed Smith, Van Wagoner notes:
"Despite the drama of these events, neither [Nancy] Rigdon, [Sarah] Pratt, nor [Martha] Brotherton stood to gain from exposing the prophet's prurience; none had obvious political motives to hurt him.
"Furthermore, documentation from orthodox Mormon sources provides evidence of the prophet's passion for women. [p. 309n 79: 'Van Wagoner, 35,' referring to Van Wagoner's observations in his book, 'Mormon Polygamy: A History,' Chapter 3, p. 35: 'Even in [the] intimate councils of the church Smith had to hide his involvement in plural marriage. Hyrum Smith, in attendance at the 20 January , was not yet aware of his brother's polygamy. Joseph could not have admitted his involvement without disillusioning Hyrum, who strongly opposed the idea. . . . Beneath the apparent calm [in Nauvoo, mid-February 1843], rumors about Joseph and polygamy would not rest. In a 21 February address he described 'the saints grumbling.' 'If the stories about Jos. Smith are true,' then the stories of J.C. Bennett are true about the Ladies of Nauvoo--ladies who 'are [said] to be wives of Jos. Smith. Ladies, you know whether it is true. No use living among hogs without a snout.' (Smith Diary, 21 February 1843). Yet on 4 March Joseph was secretly sealed to nineteen-year-old Emily Partridge. Four days later he was sealed to her twenty-three-year-old sister, Eliza. And one week later the 15 March 1843 'Times and Seasons' reported: 'We are charged with advocating a plurality of wives, and common property. Now this is a false as the many other ridiculous charges which are brought against us. No sect has a greater reverence for the laws of matrimony or the rights of private property; and we do what others do not, we practice what we preach.' By mid-fall Smith had been sealed to at least seven other women: Almira Woodward Johnson (5 April 1843), Lucy Walker (1 May 1843), Helen Mar Kimball (May 1843), Flora Woodworth (May 1843), Rhoda Richards (12 June 1843), and Maria and Sarah Lawrence (late summer or fall 1843).'"
Van Wagoner makes further note of Smith's assault on Nancy Rigdon within the context of Smith's long-held lust for females:
"The frenzied tempo of his life in 1843 may have merely reflected his need for new passion and challenges. In a 14 May 1843 sermon he declared, "Excitement has almost become the essence of my life. When that dies away, I feel almost lost.' [pp. 299, 301-02 and 309n80: "History of the Church," 5:389] . . ."
Van Wagoner concludes on the personal price Nancy Rigdon paid at the hands of Smith:
". . . Nancy continued to suffer abuse from those around her. Stephen Markham, for example, a close friend of Smith, certified in the 31 August  'Wasp' that he had witnessed Nancy early on in a compromising situation with John Bennett. Markham claimed 'many vulgar, unbecoming and indecent sayings and motions' passed between them and testifed that he was convinced that they were 'guilty of unlawful and illicit intercourse with each other.'
"George W. Robinson, on Nancy's behalf, issued a sworn statement on 3 September 1842 that Markham had lied. Explaining that he was present on the occasion Markham referred to, he pointed out that Nancy was sick and that 'Dr. John C. Bennett was the attending physician.' Sidney Rigdon also swore out a refutation of Markham's story and employed an attorney to sue him.
"Other Rigdon family friends rushed to defend Nancy's reputation. Oliver Olney testified in a 18 September 1842 letter to the 'Sangamo Journal' (published 7 October) . . . that 'every person knows . . . that Stephen Markham's affidavit was for the express purpose and design of helping the elders . . . to refute the statements of Bennett.' In Nancy's defense he added: 'I have been personally acquainted with Miss Nancy Rigdon from her infancy to the present time, and a more virtuous lady I believe never lived. I do not believe that any act in her life could give the least suspicion to the most designing and eager of mischief makers.'
"Olney's brother John, in a 14 September 1842 letter to the 'Sangamo Journal,' announced his withdrawal from the church because 'polygamy, lasciviousness, and adultery are practiced by some of its leaders.' He added, 'I have heard the circumstances of Smith's attacks upon Miss Rigdon, from the family as well as herself; and knowing her to be a young lady who sustains a good moral character, and also of undoubted veracity, I must place implicit confidence in her statement.'
"Joseph H. Jackson added that: 'When, as happens in the cases of Miss Martha Brotherton and Miss Nancy Rigdon, [the prophet's] overtures were rejected, with disdain and exposure [he] threatened he would set a hundred hell hounds on them, to destroy their reputations.'
"Signficantly in the 3 September 'Wasp' a small notation read: 'We are authorized to say, by Gen. Joseph Smith, that the affidavit of Stephen Markham, relative to Miss Nancy Rigdon, as published in the handbill of affidavits, was unauthorized by him . . . . " (p. 310n85and 86, Van Wagoner, "Signey Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess")
*Smith and 17-year-old Sarah Ann Whitney
Prior to wedding Sarah in Nauvoo on 27 July 1842, Smith conveniently received a “revelation” for the benefit of Sarah and her parents, essentially condoning his adultery in the name of polygamy:
“ . . .Smith received and recorded [this] revelation on polygamy, which remains in LDS church archives. Although recorded in the official 'Revelation Book' of the time, the revelation was not canonized as scripture. In this revelation, the Lord reveals a plural marriage ceremony, which would later be altered and become the sealing ceremony in the temple . . . :
“'Verily, thus saith the Lord, unto my servant Newell K. Whitney, a revelation to Newell K. Whitney, 27 July 1842, and Joseph Smith, Elizabeth Ann Whitney and Sarah Ann Whitney
"Verily, thus saith the Lord unto my servant N[ewell]. K. Whitney, the thing that my servant Joseph Smith has made known unto you and your family [his plural marriage to Sarah Ann Whitney], and which you have agreed upon is right in mine eyes and shall be rewarded upon your heads with honor and immortality and eternal life to all your house both old and young because of the lineage of my priesthood, saith the Lord. It shall be upon you and upon your children after you from generation to generation, by virtue of the holy promise which I now make unto you, saith the Lord.
"'These are the words which you shall pronounce upon my servant Joseph and your daughter Sarah Ann. Whitney. They shall take each other by the hand and you shall say, “You both mutually agree," calling them by name, “to be each other's companion so long as you both shall live, preserving yourselves for each other and from all others and also throughout all eternity, reserving only those rights which have been given to my servant Joseph by revelation and commandment and by legal Authority in times passed.”
“'If you both agree to covenant and do this, then I give you Sarah Ann Whitney, my daughter, to Joseph Smith to be his wife, to observe all the rights between you both that belong to that condition. I do it in my own name and in the name of my wife, your mother, and in the name of my holy progenitors, by the right of birth which is of priesthood, vested in my by revelation and commandment and promise of the living God, obtained by the Holy Melchizedek Jethro and others of the Holy Fathers, commanding in the name of the Lord all those powers to concentrate in you and through to your posterity forever.
“'All these things I do in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that through this order he may be glorified and that through the power of anointing David may reign King over Israel, which shall hereafter be revealed. Let immortality and eternal life henceforth be sealed upon your heads forever and ever. Amen."
(original manuscript of “Kirtland Revelation Book,” Church Historical Department, Ms f 490 # 2; “The Historical Record,” vol. 6, p. 222 (1887 edition); and Compton, “In Sacred Loneliness,” p. 348-49; all cited in ibid)
Smith then made secret arrangments to have a sexual rendevous with Sarah, without Emma finding out. On 19 August 1842, he wrote the following love letter to Sarah, laying out his plans to meet up with her:
“To arrange [a] night liason with [his] plural wife--Newell K. Whitney's daughter Sarah Ann--Smith writes: ' . . . [T]he only thing to be careful of is to find out when Emma comes, then you cannot be safe but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safety. . . .
“'Only be careful to escape observation, as much as possible. I know it is a heroic undertaking; but so much the greater friendship and the more joy; when I see you I will tell you all my plans. I cannot write them on paper. Burn this letter as soon as you read it; keep [it] all locked up in your breasts, my life depends upon it. . . . .
“I close my letter, I think Emma won't come tonight. If she don't, don't fail to come tonight. I subscribe myself your most obedient, and affectionate, companion and friend. Joseph Smith."
(“Joseph Smith, Jr., to Newell K. Whitney, Elizabeth Ann Whitney, etc.,” 18 August 1842, George Albert Smith Family Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, text and signature of this document in the handwriting of Joseph Smith, Jr.; this document has been reproduced in Dean C. Jessee's “The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith” [Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co., 1984], pp. 539-40; and Compton, “In Sacred Lonliness,” pp. 349-350; cited in ibid)
*Smith and 19-year-old Emily Dow Partridge
Smith secretly took Emily as another of his wives in Nauvoo on 4 March 1843, with Elder Heber C. Kimball officiating the ceremony.
Emily later reported in sworn testimony that she had honeymoon sex with Smith the next night:
“Emily D. Partridge Smith testified that she 'roomed' with Joseph the night following her marriage to him and said that she had 'carnal intercourse' with him.
(“Temple Lot” case, complete transcript, pp. 364, 367, 384; Foster, “Religion and Sexuality,” p. 15; Andrew Jenson, ”LDS Biographical Encyclopedia” , vol. 1, p. 697; S. Easton, “Marriages in Nauvoo Region 1839-45;” “Civil Marriages in Nauvoo 1839-45.” Lyndon Cook, “Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register 1845-46; Mormon Manuscripts to 1846;” cited in ibid).
*Smith and 16-year-old Flora Ann Woodworth
Smith married Flora in April 1843 (exact date unknown).
(Elder William Clayton affidavit, in “Historical Record,” vol. 6:, p. 225; cited in ibid)
*Smith and 17-year-old Lucy Walker
Smith married Lucy on 1 May 1843, in the Smith's store, Nauvoo, officiated by William Clayton
(FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith, Jr.; cited in ibid)
*Smith and 19-year-old Maria Lawrence
Smith married Maria on 11 May 1843.
(“Historical Record,” vol. 6, p. 223; Lucy Walker Smith Kimball, in “Temple Lot” case, full transcript, p. 461, LDS archives; Helen Kimball Whitney, “Woman's Exponent,” 15 February 1886, p. 138; cited in ibid)
*Smith and 17-year-old Sarah Lawrence
Smith married Sarah the same day he married Sarah Lawrence's sister Maria, 11 May 1843.
(FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith Jr., “Historical Record,” vol. 6, p. 223; Lucy Walker Smith Kimball, in “Temple Lot“ case, full transcript, p. 461, LDS archives; Helen Kimball Whitney, “Woman's Exponent," 15 February 1886, p. 138, cited in ibid)
*Smith and 16-year-old Nancy Maria Winchester
Smith married Nancy in Nauvoo on 28 July 1843:
“According to Mormon Church Historian Andrew Jenson, Nancy married Joseph sometime before his death in June of 1844. In addition, Orson Whitney, son of Nancy Maria's friend, Helen, also identified her as Smith's wife. These two witnesses, taken together, make a good case for Nancy as a plural spouse of Joseph. Though there is no exacT date for her marriage to the prophet, the best hypothosis is that the ceremony took place in 1843.”
(Andrew Jenson, “LDS Biographical Encyclopedia” , vol. 1, p. 697; “ Marriages in Nauvoo Region 1839-45;" and Compton, “In Sacred Lonliness,” p. 606; cited in ibid)
*Smith and 19-year-old Melissa Lott
Smith married Melissa in Nauvoo on 20 September 1843, with Hyrum Smith officiating:
“Melissa testified that her marriage to Smith included sex.”
(FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith Jr.; and Affidavit of Melissa Willes, 3 Auust 1893; cited in ibid)
*Smith and 14-year-old Helen Mar Kimball
As part of Smith's brimming quiver of teenager brides, in May 1843, in Smith's Nauvoo store, he married an underage 14-year-old female named Helen Mar Kimball. Helen's father, Heber C. Kimball, officiated the wedding of his underage daughter to Smith.
Helen was the youngest of Smith's brides--and according to Helen, he had sex with her.
Helen wrote about how her marriage to Smith was orchestrated by her father:
"Having a great desire to be connected with the Prophet, Joseph, he (my father) offered me to him; this I afterwards learned from the Prophet's own mouth. My father had but one Ewe Lamb, but willingly laid her upon the altar: how cruel this seemed to my mother whose heartstrings were already stretched unil they were ready to snap asunder, for she had already taken Sarah Noon to wife and she thought she had made sufficient sacrifice but the Lord required more."
Smith pressured Helen to marry him, giving her only 24 hours to give him answer.
"[My father] left me to reflect upon it for the next 24 hours. . . . I was skeptical--one minute [I] believed, then doubted. I thought of the love and tenderness that he felt for his only daughter and I knew that he would not cast me off, and this was the only convincing proof that I had of its being right.”
The next day, Smith came by to explain to Helen the “Law of Celestial Marriage,” and, having done that, to take her as his latest bride.
Helen described Smith's pitch:
“After which he said to me, 'If you take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation and exaltation and that of your father's household and all of your kindred.' This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward."
Helen's mother was none too pleased with the marriage, as Helen explains:
"None but God and his angels could see my mother's bleeding heart. When Joseph asked her if she was willing, she replied 'If Helen is willing I have nothing more to say.' She had witnessed the sufferings of others, who were older and who better understood the step they were taking, and to see her child, who had yet seen her fifteenth summer, following the same thorny path, in her mind she saw the misery which was as sure to come as the sun was to rise and set; but it was hidden from me."
Helen was under the unfortunate misimpression that her marriage to Smith was merely “dynastic.” She was to discover soon enough, however, that it was sexual.
Helen later confessed to a close friend in Nauvoo:
"I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it.”
(Helen Mar Whitney journal: Helen Mar autobiography: “Woman's Exponent,” 1880; reprinted in “A Woman's View;” FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith, Jr.; and Van Wagoner, “Mormon Polygamy: A History,” p. 53; cited in ibid)
RfM contributor "Deconstructor" on his own website asks---then answers--the question: "Was it normal to marry 14 year-old girls in Joseph Smith's time?"
To set the stage, he first quotes from Smith's Mormon scriptural justification for polygamous sex as a general principle required for Mormon exaltation (the same scriptures, by the way, faithfully cited and espoused by Warren Jeffs, as well):
"And I will bless Joseph Smith and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds."
"And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified."
"But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused [to Joseph Smith], shall be with another man, she has committed adultery and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto Joseph Smith to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified." ("Doctrine and Covenants Section" 132:55, 62-63)
Now, for the evidence that Smith, like Jeffs, had sex with his own underage child victims:
"Many LDS Church leaders and historians suggest that sexual relations and the marriage of Joseph Smith and his youngest wife, Helen Mar Kimball, 14 at the time, was 'approaching eligibility.'
"There is no documentation to support the idea that marriage at fourteen was 'approaching eligibility.' Actually, marriages even two years later, at the age of 16, occurred occasionally but infrequently in Helen Mar's culture. Thus, girls marrying at 14, even 15, were very much out of the ordinary. 16 was comparatively rare but not unheard of. American women began to marry in their late teens; around different parts of the United States the average age of marriage varied from 19 to 23.
"In the United States the average age of menarche (first menstruation) dropped from 16.5 in 1840 to 12.9 in 1950. More recent figures indicate that it now occurs on average at 12.8 years of age. The mean age of first marriages in colonial America was between 19.8 years to 23.7, most women were married during the age period of peak fecundity (fertility).
"Mean pubertal age has declined by some 3.7 years from the 1840’s.
"The psychological sexual maturity of Helen Mar Kimball in today’s average age of menarche (first menstruation) would put her psychological age of sexual maturity at the time of the marriage of Joseph Smith at 9.1 years old. (16.5 years-12.8 years = 3.7 years) (12.8 years-3.7 years = 9.1 years)
"The fact is Helen Mar Kimball's sexual development was still far from complete. Her psychological sexual maturity was not competent for procreation. The coming of puberty is regarded as the termination of childhood; in fact the term 'child' is usually defined as the human being from the time of birth to the on-coming of puberty. Puberty [is] the point of time at which the sexual development is completed. In young women, from the date of the first menstruation to the time at which she has become fitted for marriage, the average lapse of time is assumed by researchers to be two years.
"Age of eligibility for women in Joseph Smith’s time-frame would start at a minimum of 19-and-a-half years old.
"This would suggest that Joseph Smith had sexual relations and married several women before the age of eligibility, and some very close to the age of eligibility including:
"Fanny Alger, 16
"Sarah Ann Whitney, 17
"Lucy Walker, 17
"Flora Ann Woodworth, 16
"Emily Dow Partridge, 19
"Sarah Lawrence, 17
"Maria Lawrence, 19
"Helen Mar Kimball, 14
"Melissa Lott, 19
"Nancy M. Winchester, [14?]
"And then we have these testimonies:
"'Joseph was very free in his talk about his women. He told me one day of a certain girl and remarked that she had given him more pleasure than any girl he had ever enjoyed. I told him it was horrible to talk like this.' (Joseph Smith's close confidant and LDS Church First Councilor, William Law, interview in 'Salt Lake Tribune,' 31 July 1887)
"'When Heber C. Kimball asked Sister Eliza R. Snow the question if she was not a virgin although married to Joseph Smith, she replied, "I thought you knew Joseph Smith better than that."'(Stake President Angus M. Cannon, statement of interview with Joseph III, 23, LDS archives)"
"Short Bios of Smith's wives:http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org
"Did Smith have sex with his wives?:http://www.i4m.com/think/history/joseph_smith_sex.htm
"Whatever the average age of menarche might have been in the mid-19th-century, the average age of marriage was around 20 for women and 22 for men. And a gap of 15 to 20 years or more between partners was very unusual, not typical. Whatever biology might have to say, according to the morals of his time, several of Joseph Smith's wives were still inappropriately young for him.
"It is a pure myth that 19th-century American girls married at age 12-14.
"For example, Laura Ingalls Wilder, from 'Little House on the Prairie' fame, was born in 1867, which puts her later than Joseph Smith but still in the 1800s. She tells of hearing of the marriage of a 13-year-old girl, and being shocked. She also notes that the girl's mother 'takes in laundry' and is sloppy and unkempt--implying that "nice" people don't marry off their teenaged daughters. Laura herself became engaged at 17--but her parents asked her to wait until she was 18 to marry.
"You merely need to go to your local courthouse and ask to see the old 19th century marriage books. Take a look at and pay attention to the age at marriage. Sure, a very few did but it was far from the norm. The vast majority of women married after the age of 20.
"In fact, look up the marriage ages in the Smith family before polygamy. You'll find that one of the Smith girls was 19. The rest of them, and their sisters-in-law, were in their early 20s when they married. The Smith boys' first wives were in their 20s. The same pattern was true for . . . the rest of American society at the time.
"On the extremely rare occasions women younger than 17 married, it was to men close to their same age, not 15 to 20 years older.
"The case is even true in pioneer Utah among first marriages. Mormon men in their 20s started out marrying someone their own age. Then later, these older men married girls under 20 to be their plural wives. But the first wives were the age of the husband and married over the age of 20. This is still the case is the rural Utah polygamist communities.
"Coale and Zelnik assume a mean age of marriage for white women of 20 (1963: 37). Sanderson's assumptions are consistent with a mean of 19.8 years (Sanderson 1979: 343). The Massachusetts family reconstitutions revealed somewhat higher mean ages. For Hingham, Smith reports an age at first marriage of 23.7 at the end of the 18th century (1972: Table 3, p. 177). For Sturbridge, the age for a comparable group was 22.46 years (Osterud and Fulton 1976: Table 2, p. 484), and in Franklin County it was 23.3 years (Temkin-Greener, H., and A.C. Swedlund). 1978. 'Fertility Transition in the Connecticut Valley:1740-1850m' 'Population Studies' 32, March 1978, 27-41.: Table 6, p. 34.
"Jack Larkin, 'The Reshaping of Everyday Life,' 1790-1840 (New York: Harper & Row, 1988), 63; Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 'Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750' [NY: Oxford University Press, 1980], 6; Nancy F. Cott, 'Young Women in the Second Great Awakening in New England,' 'Feminist Studies' 3  16; Dr. Dorothy V. Whipple, 'Dynamics of Development: Euthenic Pediatrics' [New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966]"
("Was It Normal to Marry 14 year-old Girls in Joseph Smith's Time?," by "Deconstructor")
--More Data from Joseph Smith's Time Linking Him to Sexual Abuse of Young Girls
RfM poster "TLC," in observations entitled "Joseph Smith, Menses, Pedophilia, Etc.," writes:
". . . In our efforts to sort through the wasteland that is Mormon history (fact vs. fiction), it's worthwhile . . . to have some context within which to make our judgments.
". . . The statistics are very clear [on] the notion that the age of sexual maturity among women has changed or is still changing. . . . The age of menarche is dropping in virtually all areas of the world. More on that below.
"[A] claim being disputed is that Joseph Smith was a pedophile. While it's easy to throw that word around in light of today's problems with child abusing priests in the Catholic clergy, the fact remains that 'pedophilia' is defined as '[t]he act or fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in sexual activity with a child or children.'
"Furthermore, the pathology of pedophilia is understood to be an attraction or activity that is limited to pre-pubescent children. It's been well-established that true pedophiles lose interest almost immediately when a boy or girl exhibits the first signs of sexual maturity.
" . . . [A] quick Googling of the word 'pedophilia' will take you to the professional community's definitions. They are very clear as to what does and what doesn't constitute pedophilia.
"By today's definitions, when it comes to the pathology of pedophilia, Joseph Smith would probably not be considered a true pedophile. [It] doesn't mean however, that he wasn't a lecherous scumbag who would stop at nothing to bed any young woman who captured his fancy.
"More on sexual maturity among women.
"As closely as I can tell from investigating the median age of menarche (first menses) in Joseph Smith's time, it is possible that one or two of the girls he married and/or had relations with might not have been sexually mature. All of the research I've been able to find . . . indicates that the average age of menarche in the mid-1800s was 17.
"What that might tell us about a girl who was 14 or 15 back then is hard to determine because of the nature of averages. In any event, it does make it clear that Joseph Smith was treading a very fine fine when it came to the sexual maturity of the girls he courted and/or married.
"There is a lot of research in this arena because of the alarming shift in menarchal age from the 1800s to present day where the median onset of menarche has now dropped to age 12:
"' . . . In 1840, the average young woman in Europe and the United States menstruated for the first time at the age of 17; her modern counterpart reaches the age of menstruation at about 12. Well known to biological anthropologists as the "secular trend," this crash in the age of sexual maturity has proceeded at the rate of four months per decade and, in most populations, continues. . . .'
"'Boys and girls now experience puberty at younger ages than previous generations. In general, girls enter puberty between ages 8 and 13 and reach menarche (first menstruation) several years later, while boys enter puberty between ages 9 and 14 . . . . The reasons for earlier menarche in girls are not well understood. Most of the change is attributed to better health and nutrition. . . . In North America age at menarche decreased by three to four months each decade after 1850; in 1988 the median age at menarche was 12.5 years among U.S. girls. . . . In some developing countries age at menarche appears to be decreasing even faster. For example, in Kenya average age at menarche fell from 14.4 in the late 1970s to 12.9 in the 1980s . . . .'
"So, . . . it helps to understand the context from within which we assess the lecherous scumbag known as Joseph Smith. We don't know if he had sex with pre-pubescent children, therefore we don't know if he was truly a pedophile. We don't know if the teenaged girls he married and/or had sex with were sexually mature or not.
"But regardless of whether they were sexually mature or not, something in us is sickened by the thoughts of them being coerced into any kind of relationship with this lecher who was pretending to use God as his motivator.
"Joseph Smith was not the first--nor will he be the last--to prey upon young girls for sexual gratification. And that in no way justifies his actions. But in aiming for accuracy in trying to describe Joseph Smith, there are a lot of words other than 'pedophile' that do the job more saliently and succinctly. . . .
"What one of us as fathers here today would hesitate for a second to deck [someone] like [Joseph Smith] if he so much as glanced in any of our daughters' directions? I know that my response would be visceral and swift.
"Makes you wonder what kind of men Smith had around him that they would so willingly hand over their young daughters to him. Therein lies the true pathology of Mormonism."
("Joseph Smith, Menses, Pedophilia, Etc.," by "TLC," on "Recovery from Mormonism" discussion board, 9 August 2003)
Deconstructor concurs with the above assessment, declaring its findings to be "absolutely correct."
("TLC Is Absolutely Correct; Here's a Repost on This Subject," by "Deconstructor," on "RfM" discussion board, 9 August 2003)
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/2017 08:50PM by steve benson.