Description: The first of three volumes dealing with the controversial topic of polygamy and its history in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
and its many branches, this collection of eight essays advances the scholarship on the topic beyond what is otherwise available. The essays, by some of the foremost scholars in LDS history, deal with a wide range of subjects and viewpoints.
The volume opens with an examination of the relationship between Fanny Alger and Joseph Smith and the question of whether they were truly married or not by Don Bradley, then continues with two essays by the editors concerning Doctrine & Covenants Section 132 and its role in the viewpoint church members held and still hold toward plural.
It continues with a very interesting essay by Brian C. Hales about polyandrous marriages of Joseph Smith, a topic otherwise unaddressed in the study of church polygyny, and then another paired set of essays concerning whether or not Joseph Smith's marriage to young girls, which some modern critics call pedophilia, was normal and expected for the time -- each essay, one by Craig L. Foster, David Keller, and Gregory L. Smith and the second by Todd M. Compton, takes an opposite viewpoint.
Then Ugo Perego, one of the foremost researchers in the field of family genetics, discusses the DNA evidence available to prove or disprove the paternity of many children born to Joseph's wives. The volume concludes with yet another essay concerning D&C Section 132, this time an analysis of how the section was received by the RLDS Church (now Community of Christ) as they did not believe in or practice polygamy.
With a Foreword by Linda King Newell and an Afterword by Jessie L. Embry, this volume provides some brilliant new insights into this fascinating subject. If you enjoy this volume, as we hope you do, please watch for the second and third volumes due in 2011 which will concern polygamy in the LDS Church from the time of Brigham Young up through the first and second manifestos and beyond and then the third which will deal with the topic of fundamentalist polygamy and why this principle has been so "persistent."
Table of Contents
- Forward by Linda King Newell
- Introduction by Newell G. Bringhurst and Craig L. Foster
- Mormon Polygamy Before Nauvoo? The Relationship of Joseph Smith and Fanny Alger by Don Bradley
- Section 132 of the LDS Doctrine and Covenants: Its Complex Contents and Controversial Legacy by Newell G. Bringhurst
- Doctrine and Covenants Section 132 and Joseph Smith's Expanding Concept of Family by Craig L. Foster
- Joseph Smith and the Puzzlement of "Polyandry" by Brian C. Hales
- The Age of Joseph Smith's Plural Wives in Social and Demographic Context by Craig L. Foster, David Keller, and Gregory L. Smith
- Early Marriage in the New England and Northeastern States, and in Mormon Polygamy: What Was the Norm? by Todd M. Compton
- Joseph Smith, the Question of Polygamous Offspring, and DNA Analysis by Ugo A. Perego
- RLDS Church Reaction to the LDS Doctrine and Covenants' Section 132: Conflicting Responses and Changing Perceptions by Newell G. Bringhurst
- Afterword by Jessie L. Embry
- Appendix: Joseph Smith's Plural Wives: Total Number, Reasons for, and Methods of Selection