Nauvoo Polygamy : "But We Called It Celestial Marriage"
Salt Lake City, UT
When Joseph and Emma Smith arrived in Ohio in 1831, several families offered them lodging, as did the Whitneys, whose five year-old daughter, Sarah Ann, and her eleven-year-old neighbor, Mary Elizabeth Rollins, would later play a role in Mormon polygamy. The Smiths soon moved in with the Johnsons, where Joseph met fifteen-year-old Marinda Nancy. In 1836, seven-year-old Helen Mar Kimball attended school near the Smith home. Each of these girls, whom Joseph met during the 1830s, would later marry him in the 1840s gathering place of Nauvoo, Illinois, on the east bank of the Mississippi River. In this thoroughly researched and documented work, the author shows how the prophet introduced single and married women to this new form of "celestial marrige" a granted to the elect men of Nauvoo. Through their journals, letters, and affidavits, the participants tell their stories in intimate detail before polygamy was forcibly abandoned and nearly forgotten.