013-014: An Introduction to Mormon Polygamy with Todd Compton Parts 2 & 3

Parts 2 and 3 of my interview with Todd Compton entitled “An Introduction to Mormon Polygamy” have now been posted to the Mormon Stories podcast. To comment on this podcast, please proceed to the LDS Liberation Front post for this podcast.
To launch the podcasts directly from this blog:

We hope you enjoy, and look forward to your thoughts and feedback!!!

John Dehlin



4 comments for “013-014: An Introduction to Mormon Polygamy with Todd Compton Parts 2 & 3

  1. May 27, 2006 at 10:42 pm

    It always strikes me as odd that LDS members are fully willing to embrace the fact that Brigham Young had sex with his wives, but for some reason shriek from the idea that Joseph Smith had sex with his wives. Some Latter day Saints even have an easier time believing that Elohim had sexual relations with Mary than believing that Smith had sex with his wives. See http://www.geocities.com/exmormon2000/virginbirth.doc

    Is Smith some kind of god-like virginal icon in Mormonism? It seems so. But the evidence reveals something else. Joseph Smith didn’t just have sex with single women with no husband. He had sexual relations with women who were already married. LDS apologists (defenders of the Mormon Faith) at BYU admit that “reliable evidence indicates that Joseph Smith fathered some children through his plural marriages with single women…[and] Joseph was sealed to eight women with an existing marriage. In one marriage, that of Sylvia Sessions Lyon, there was a pregnancy…In 1915, her daughter, Josephine Lyon Fisher, signed a statement that in 1882 Sylvia ‘told me that I was the daughter of the Prophet Joseph Smith, she having been sealed to the Prophet at the time that her husband Mr. Lyon was out of fellowship with the Church.” Source: The Prophet Joseph Smith and His Plural Wives, Review of The Prophet Joseph Smith and His Plural Wives by Todd M. Compton; Reviewed By: Richard Lloyd Anderson, Scott H. Faulring Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1998. Pp. 67—104. Online at http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=290&mp=&passthru=T. Also see http://www.i4m.com/think/history/Joseph_Smth_mens_wives.htm; http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no66.htm#OTHER MEN’S WIVES; In Sacred Loneliness The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith by Todd Compton, pages 15-16; Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith (1984) by Linda Newell & Valeen Avery pages 98 – 99; Joseph Smith and Polygamy: An Expose of Mormon Polygamy by Jerald and Sandra Tanner.

    Honest investigators must ask, “why would God want Joseph Smith to have sex with married women?” Mormon defenders are forced to admit, based on the evidence, that Smith had sexual intercourse with at least one married woman, but as LDS apologists they are reluctant to concede that he more than likely slept with the others. Your guest on this podcast, Todd Compton, is more forthcoming in his book, stating that in a significant number of Joseph’s marriages, there is evidence for sexual relations.

    Think about it, why would Joseph Smith want to be sealed to a woman who already had an active Mormon husband who could be sealed to her? Why would Joseph Smith get married to an already married woman if he didn’t want to sleep with her? I’m sorry, I just don’t buy that he wanted to create a dynastic family chain with him as the centerpiece. Sounds more like an excuse, a justification for his womanizing. If LDS apologists admit that he had sexual intercourse with at least one married woman, and had a child with her, why wouldn’t he have had sex with the other eight married women? One should ask themselves why would God ask Joseph Smith to have sex with a married woman? It strikes me as that growing up LDS I was taught not to have premarital sex or even masturbate while the “prophet of the restoration,” Joseph Smith Jr., was having sex with multiple married women and teenagers!!!

    Is it possible that Joseph Smith found these women who already had a husband sexually attractive, and he simply acted on his passions? The truth is that Joseph Smith “got around.” LDS institute teacher, Gilbert W. Scharffs, states that, “It is not always clear which wives of Joseph Smith included concubinal relationships…The LDS Church and most historians recognize that Joseph Smith was living with a few of his wives, but not most of them.” Source: The Truth About the God makers: A response to an inaccurate portrayal of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints by Gilbert W. Scharffs (2nd ed. 1992).pg. 220, and 222. In other words, he was sleeping with multiple women going from house to house. This was a nice set up, for most of his wives and “concubines” already had a husband, or were teenage girls living with their parents. So he would not have to deal with these women under his own roof, nor would he have to provide for them as they were already taken care of.

    Joseph Smith obviously chose his wives based on sexual desire. He took at least thirty women as wives, eleven of which were teenagers and eleven were already married to other men. Joseph Smith “married five pairs of sisters,” and even a “mother” and her own “daughter.” Source: No Man Knows My History by Faun Brodie p. 336; Intimate Disciple by Clair Noall p. 317. Is this the work of God? Why should Joseph Smith be exempt from being examined as a man with sexual desires like all other men who have committed adultery throughout human history? Why are some LDS members so willing to condemn the sexual offenses of religious leaders like Jim Jones, Jimmy Swaggar and David Koresh but not Joseph Smith?

    This is Adapted from my essay at http://www.geocities.com/exmormon2000/kniferites.doc

  2. Karl
    May 25, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Seriously! I have heard alot of my friends gripe about Bill CLinton, saying they expected more from their president. What about our prophet? Somehow I think it seems more relevant to the calling of a prophet than to the office of the commander in chief.

  3. Karl
    May 25, 2012 at 1:51 am

    I just want to say a few words of praise to Todd Compton, because I just don’t know if he hears it enough. His book has had a serious affect on my life. Not always easy, but I think really for the better.

    My first introduction to the book was through a critical review on the BYU website when I was looking for straight answers regarding Joseph Smith’s wives.
    I have to give BYU some credit because while the essay was critical it confirmed all of the most controversial details.

    Upon reading In Sacred Loneliness I have to say I was really impressed with how well written it is. It is really good story-telling, first of all. But even more important to me, it is really good history. It is a prime example of proper historical methods. He tells you what his evidence is and is forthcoming about the strengths and the weaknesses of the evidence. Finally he explains why he feels he can base his conclusions on the evidence.

    Great work! I hope there is more where that came from.

  4. Ian hansen
    October 3, 2012 at 8:01 am

    This was incredible. Thanks so much for doing this

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