Joseph Smith had bad luck with many of his male acolytes, who exhibited jealousy, disloyalty, weakness, and ambition. By contrast, the women in his story were true. He asked much of them and they delivered. The position of women in Mormonism has varied over time since the church’s beginning in 1830, when Smith laid out an expansive role for them, through pioneer times when their labor was encouraged and appreciated, to the time after the Second World War, when they epitomized the movement back to the hearth. Since then the church has attempted to preserve that domestic ideal while gradually recognizing necessary exceptions.