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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: August 26, 2015 04:08AM

In another thread, RFM poster “whiteandelightsome” asks,

“Why can't we find any children of Joe other than with Emma?”,1658527,1658527#msg-1658527

Y, oh, XY, indeed?

Let’s follow the DNA in an effort to determine if Joseph Smith produced children in polygamous relationships with other women (meaning not with Emma).

Say it ain’t so, Joe!

--Claims That Joseph Smith Didn't Sire Children Out of Non-Emma Wedlock, Versus Claims That He Did--

If you believe the predictable spin of Smith’s fertile-minded apologists, Smith kept his reproductive powers focused on Emma, and her alone.

--Insistent Denials from Smith's Faithful Followers That He Spawned No Children Out of Non-Emma Wedlock

**From the former Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ-of Latter-day Saints (i.e., RLDS, but now renamed "Community of Christ"): Joseph Smith Was "framed" and didn't produce offspring with anyone but Emma

Richard Price, a writer and self-publisher who acknowledges his personal support for "the original beliefs" of the RLDS Church, claims that Smith sired no children through sex with anyone else but his first wife, Emma. (He also insists that Smith never taught or practices polygamy, but that's a Smith myth for another day).

In his article, "Joseph Smith: Innocent of Polygamy," Price writes:

"It is a very simple matter to determine that Joseph was not a polygamist: He fathered no children by plural wives, even though his wife, Emma, bore him nine.

"It would have been impossible for Joseph to have had at least 27 wives, as the Mormon Church in Utah claims, without having fathered at least one child by a polygamous wife--especially when the only purpose of polygamy (according to its advocates) was to have children born of polygamous parents. And yet Joseph fathered not one such child!

"This fact alone proves that he did not practice that doctrine.
The truth is that Joseph Smith was 'framed'--that is, the doctrine of polygamy which found its way into the Church came in through the Cochranites. It also came through three different groups of men who falsely claimed that Joseph was its author in order to justify their own evil activities. . . .

"The true origin of polygamy becomes clear as the picture emerges of the influence of the Cochranites and other polygamous cults, and the betrayal of the Prophet by the groups of conspirators under Dr. [John] Bennett, Dr. [William] Law, and Brigham Young.

"With this background, it becomes evident that Joseph and Hyrum (neither of whom had polygamous children) were innocent, while the real culprits were Brigham Young and others."

("Joseph Smith: Innocent of Polygamy," by Richard Price; ; for Price's admission that he is an apologist for "the original beliefs" of the RLDS Church, see Price's "Online Store")

**From the Mormon Church: DNA evidence proves Joseph Smith wasn't a polygamist father of children outside his first marriage* (*at least not in certain cases)

In an article in the Mormon Church-owned "Deseret News" headlined, "DNA Solves a Joseph Smith Mystery," reporter Michael De Goote writes:

"Ugo Perego had almost all the DNA evidence he needed to determine who was the father of John Reed Hancock.

"One of the alleged fathers was the most obvious: Levi W. Hancock.

"The other alleged father was Joseph Smith, the founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"Only one piece was missing to solve the mystery.

"Historians and critics have struggled for more than a century to identify children Joseph Smith may have had through polygamous marriages in the 1840s. If definitive answers could be found, it would shed light on how plural marriage was introduced to Mormons by Joseph Smith in Illinois. . . .

"But questions remain today--particularly whether Joseph Smith, who had nine biological children with his wife Emma Smith, had any children through a polygamous wife. Perego, a senior researcher at the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, has looked at this question since 2003 when a descendant of Moroni Pratt called him on the phone.

"The descendant had read in Fawn Brodie's critical biography, 'No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith,' that Moroni Pratt wasn't the son of early LDS apostle Parley P. Pratt, but that he was really the son of Joseph Smith. He wanted to know if Perego could use DNA to tell if Moroni Pratt was really Joseph Smith's son.

"The DNA signature of Joseph Smith was easy. Perego had reconstructed it years earlier while trying to trace Joseph Smith's DNA back to England and Ireland. 'This is a very accurate signature. It would not be any different if Joseph Smith were standing next to me to get a DNA sample directly from him,' Perego said.

"He took other DNA samples from Pratt's descendants and made the comparison.

"Moroni Pratt was not Joseph Smith's son; he was Parley P. Pratt's son.

"The Joseph Smith family association referred others to Perego . . . [who] wanted to join the association because they had read references in books like Brodie's that listed their ancestor as a possible child of Joseph Smith. DNA gave the conclusive answers that rumor and speculation couldn't give:

"[Among others,] Mosiah Hancock was not Joseph Smith's son. The DNA research on . . . Mosiah Hancock gave Perego the DNA signature of Levi Hancock. But to test whether Mosiah's brother John Reed Hancock was a son of Joseph Smith, he needed to find one missing piece of the puzzle: a descendant of John Reed Hancock. . . .

" . . . [I]n February [2011], [Perego] spoke at a Family History Expo in Phoenix and in St. George. After the events, he received an email from a woman naming a living descendant of John Reed Hancock--including an address. He checked the name and it matched [a] pedigree chart . . . that named some of John Reed Hancock's living descendants . . . . Before the end of February, Perego had the DNA sample he needed.

"'I am a scientist. I look at the data objectively. I don't care if the results are positive or negative. It doesn't affect my trust in religion or in science,' Perego said. 'If I were to find a child from Joseph Smith from a plural marriage, I would think that was cool because we would learn something more about what was going on.'

"It was a simple matter for Perego to compare the DNA profile of the descendant of John Reed Hancock to Joseph Smith's profile and Levi Hancock's profile. 'It could have been that it didn't match either one of them. There could be an error in the genealogy.'

"He had 46 DNA markers to match up.

"He compared it to Joseph Smith first.

"'It is not a match at all to Joseph Smith,' Perego said. 'There is no biological relationship within the historical timeframe of these two individuals.'

"He compared it to Levi Hancock.

"'It is a perfect match to all the other Hancock males in my database--including his brother Mosiah,' Perego said. 'Case solved.'

"But not every case can be solved. A few alleged children of Joseph Smith died as infants and their burial places are not known. Descendants of daughters are particularly difficult to test conclusively because the easy-to-identify Y chromosome signature only works to identify male descendants.

"But for now, one more piece of the puzzle has been solved. Perego is working on a detailed scientific analysis of the case that he hopes will be published soon in the 'Mormon Historical Studies Journal.'

"'Through DNA we will not be able to test 100% of the cases. But if we test 70% of them and they are all negative, does that provide some insight on the topic that we did not consider before?,' Perego said. 'That is not for me to answer.'"

("DNA Solves a Joseph Smith Mystery," by Michael De Groote, "Deseret News," 9 July 2011, at:

**More from the Mormon Press: DNA evidence linking Joseph Smith to offspring generated through his polygamous wives remains elusive

In an article (also from the "Deseret News"), headlined, "Research Focuses on Smith Family," reporter Carrie A. Moore writes that genetic proof tying Joseph Smith to polygamous wife pregnancy is hard to find:

"While LDS Church founder Joseph Smith has been scrutinized intensely by both scholars and scoffers since he launched the faith in 1830, several new avenues of research are focused on his family relationships and whether he fathered children by his polygamist wives.

"A researcher examining DNA evidence of potential Smith descendants by wives other than his first wife, Emma Smith, told participants at the 40th annual 'Mormon History Association' conference . . . he has ruled out three people suspected of being Smith's children.

"Ugo Perego, who is working on an independent project funded by the Salt Lake City-based Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, said he has compiled an initial list of nine such potential Smith descendants but has been able to locate DNA evidence on only four of them--three of them males determined not to be related.

"A fourth, Josephine Rosetta Lyon (daughter of Sylvia Sessions Lyon), is still under investigation after five years of scrutiny, he said. But Y chromosome evidence, used to determine paternal relationships from father to son, is not present for Lyon because she is female. The effort to determine Lyon's parentage has cost more than $100,000 to date.

"'This is not a complete list of possible descendants. I'm still working on that,' he said.

"Known descendants from the children of Joseph and Emma Smith number about 2,000, he said, many of them with little or no interest in religion and some with an aversion to their famous ancestor's polygamist practices.

"Perego said he will be speaking to known descendants of Joseph Smith during a family reunion later this summer [2005]and hopes to be able to gather more DNA through a simple cheek swab to expand his database and to help determine Lyon's parentage. He has DNA from her mother's side of the family but is looking for evidence from Smith's side.

"Hair samples from Joseph Smith owned by the LDS Church are poor evidence because there is 'very little (DNA) in hair, and it disintegrates over time.' . . .

"Perego stressed the project is not being undertaken by the Sorenson Foundation itself but through a grant from it. Founded by billionaire medical devices pioneer James Sorenson, the non-profit foundation announced several months ago it was compiling a database of DNA-based evidence that would be accessible to family history researchers looking to verify their family tree."

("Research Focuses on Smith Family," by Carrie A. Moore, "Deseret News," 29 May 2005, at:

Now for the other side.

--Non-DNA Evidence Indicating that Smith Polygamously Produced Children

**From faithful Mormon scholar and historian Don Bradley (who initially resigned his LDS Church membership because of his studies on the life of Joseph Smith but who later rejoined its ranks and was fully reinstated): Evicenc exists that Smith producded polygaous prodigy.

Bradley writes:

"There is at minimum one child who came from Joseph Smith's polygamy: Josephine Lyon Fisher. (This stills awaits DNA confirmation, but the published historical evidence for it is good, and I know of a great deal that is unpublished.) And I believe, with reason, that there were a couple others. Perhaps in time this will all get sorted out satisfactorily."

(Don Bradley 27 July 2010, under "Dating Fanny Alger," on "Mormon Dialogue and Discussion Board,"; also quoted in "Joseph Smith and Polygamy," under "Other Excerpts," on "Mormonism Research Ministry,"; for a biography of Bradley, see "The Rest is History: How a Mormon Scholar Turned Doubter, Then Believer--Spiritual Journey for LDS historian Don Bradley, The Search for Truth about Joseph Smith Led to Disaffection and, Finally, Devotion to the Faith’s Founder," by Peggy Fletcher Stack, "Salt Lake Tribune," 31 August 2012,

**From Mormon apologetic historian Brian C. Hales: Additional non-DNA evidence indicates that Smith sired a limited number of children in sexualized-polygamous relationships outside his marriage to Emma

In an analysis titled, "Joseph Smith's Polygamy," Hale admits:

"Despite the large number of alleged children of Joseph Smith listed in the chart below, only two seem verifiable: Josephine Lyon and a child to Olive Gray Frost.

"1. "Name: Josephine Lyon

"Mother: Sylvia Lyon

"Birth Date: February 8, 1844

"Evidence: Mother's declaration

"Discussion: High probability

"2. Name: 'child'

"Mother: Olive Gray Frost

"Birth Date: Unknown--sealing occurred in summer of 1843

"Evidence: Joseph E. Robinson autobiography, recounting October 26, 1902 (Ms 7866) [see also, James Whitehead, interview conducted by Joseph Smith III, 20 April 1885. original in possession of John Hajicek; D. Michael Quinn, 'The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power' (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1994), p. 586]

"Discussion: Robinson wrote: 'During the afternoon I called on Aunt Lizzie . . . . [S]he knew Joseph Smith had more than two wives. Said he married… Olive Frost [and] had a child by him and that both died.'

("Joseph Smith's Polygamy," by Bruce Hales,; see also Hale's website home page,

**From posted research on the Recovery from Mormonism website: Further evidence (also non-DNA in nature) strongly indicating that Smith produced children through his polygamous marriages

In an article subtitled, "Did Joseph Smith Father Any Children from His Polygamous Wives?",former RfM contributor "Deconstructor" cites historical evidence:

"-Stake President Angus Cannon . . . testified:

"'I will now refer you to one case where it was said by the girl's grandmother that your father [Joseph Smith] has a daughter born of a plural wife. The girl's grandmother was Mother Sessions .. . . She was the granddaughter of Mother Sessions. That girl, I believe, is living today, in Bountiful, north of this city. I heard Pres. Young, a short time before his death, refer to the report . . . . The woman is now said to have a family of children, and I think she is still living."

(Stake President Angus M. Cannon, statement of interview with Joseph III, pp. 25-26, LDS archives)

"-Faithful Mormon and wife of Joseph Smith, Sylvia Sessions (Lyon), on her deathbed told her daughter, Josephine, that she (Josephine) was the daughter of Joseph Smith. Josephine testified:

"'She (Sylvia) then 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.'

(affidavit to Church Historian Andrew Jenson, 24 February 1915)

'-In her testimony given at a Brigham Young University devotional, faithful Mormon Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner stated that she knew of children born to Smith's plural wives:

"'I know he [Joseph Smith] had six wives and I have known some of them from childhood up. I know he had three children. They told me. I think two are living today but they are not known as his children as they go by other names.' . . .

"-Researchers have tentatively identified eight children that Joseph Smith may have had by his plural wives. Besides Josephine Fisher (born 8 February 1844), . . . named as possible children of Joseph Smith by his plural wives are . . . George A. Lightner (born 12 March 1842) [died as an infant]; Orson W. Hyde (born . 9 November 1843) [died as an infant]; [and] Frank H. Hyde (born 23 January 1845) [birthdate unknown] . . . ."

("Mormon Polygamy: A History" by LDS historian Richard S. Van Wagoner, pp. 44, 48, 49 fn3)

[Note: Some children listed above have been removed from Joseph Smith's alleged paternity line due to DNA research that, according to Ugo Perego, has identified these offspring as having not been sired by Smith].

("Did Joseph Smith Have Sex with His Wives?," under "Did Joseph Smith Father Any |Children from His Polygamous Wives?," by "Deconstructor,"

--DNA Evidence for Joseph Smith's Possible Polygamous Production of Offspring Outside His Marriage to Emma

**Ironically, from Ugo Perego (the same researcher whom the Mormon Church's "Deseret News" reported had not demonstrated that Smith had produced babies via his polygamous wives): Joseph Smith still might eventually be shown (through DNA) to have daddy-ed children with women other than Emma

In an article entitled, "The Children of Joseph Smith and DNA Research," Perego writes:

"Because Joseph Smith practiced polygamy in relative secrecy, the details of children he may have fathered by his plural wives is uncertain.

"In a 1905 speech at Brigham Young University, Joseph's wife, Mary Elizabeth Rollins explained, 'I know he [Joseph] had six wives and I have known some of them from childhood up. I know he had three children. They told me. I think two are living today but they are not known as his children as they go by other names.'

('Remarks", April 14, 1905, BYU Lee Library)

"Josephine Lyon, daughter of Sylvia Sessions Lyon, wrote:

"'Just prior to my mother's death in 1882, she called me to her bedside and told me that her days were numbered and before she passed away from mortality she desired to tell me something which she had kept as an entire secret from me and from all others but which she now desired to communicate to me. She then told me that I was the daughter of the Prophet Joseph Smith.' 

"As with Josephine, these children were most likely borne by women who already had a husband when they married Joseph Smith, and may have been raised using the first husband’s surname.

"Still, questions remain regarding who these children may have been.

"Today, DNA science may be providing answers.

"One method of doing this is by tracing a portion of the Y Chromosome, which remains essentially unchanged as it passes from father to son. By analyzing the DNA of a male descendant, the paternity of the ancestor can be determined.


Although Y chromosome testing is extremely useful in cases involving unbroken paternal lineages, it cannot be used to identify alleged daughters--such as Josephine Lyon--that Joseph Smith may have fathered. To understand these cases, complex genetic testing involving autosomal DNA (the DNA found in the remaining chromosomes) is required.

"Historians have previously identified eight possible children of Joseph Smith borne by his plural wives. As of November 2007, DNA testing has shown that three of these eight children were not fathered by Joseph Smith. Two other children died as infants and therefore left no posterity. DNA testing is underway or remains a possibility for the remaining three."

(Note: Two out of those three children listed by Perego subsequently appear not to have been confirmed as children of Smith, thereby leaving them (at least possibly as late as 2011) listed by Perego with their "traditionally-recognized mother and father").

**The first possibly DNA-related child of Smith is:

"Josephine Lyon (Birth: February 8, 1844) 

Mother: Sylvia Sessions Lyon
Father: Windsor Lyon


(Note: With regard to Josephine, Perego writes that "[o]ngoing research includes evaluation of Josephine Lyon . . . autosomal DNA: 'Hundreds of DNA samples from male and female descendants of both Josephine Lyon and Joseph Smith have been collected and are being analyzed with the objective of identifying lineage-specific markers . . .' [Perego, Woodward, 'Journal of Mormon History,' Vol. 32, No.2 fn 39]. In January 2004, descendants of Josephine participating in this study indicated the research is 'promising' in confirming Josephine as a daughter of Joseph Smith. An August 2008 'Mormon Times' article indicates, '. . . [T]hey should know in the "next year or so.'"

**The second possibly DNA-related child of Smith is:

"--Frank Henry Hyde (Birth: January 23, 1845, 1846?)

Mother: Marinda Johnson Hyde

Father: Orson Hyde


(Note: Perego reports that "[t]he year of Frank Henry Hyde's birth is uncertain. An 1846 birthdate would eliminate him as a possible child of Joseph Smith [see 'The Orson Hyde Genealogy,' 'Utah Genealogical Magazine and Historical,' April 1913, p. 60 and 'ISL,' p. 535, fn 41"]).

**More from Perego: Explaining the methods utilized to determine Smith's possible paternity of children not born to him and Emma

Perego reports:


At the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, Dr. Scott R. Woodward and Ugo A. Perego are using DNA techniques to better understand the paternity issues related to possible children of Joseph Smith. This genetic testing was part of several special projects designed to help the general public recognize the value of DNA in family history research. [See]

'Reconstructing The Y-Chromosome of Joseph Smith'--a paper detailing their research was presented at the Mormon History Association Conference May 28, 2005 and was also published in the Summer 2005 'Journal of Mormon History' (Vol. 32, No 2). . . .

"The researchers are also hoping to study the other possible children of Joseph Smith and welcome the involvement of descendants. 

These special projects were conducted as independent studies by both researchers and are not part of the Foundation's main goals and objectives."

("The Children of Joseph Smith and DNA Research," by Ugo Perego, last Updated: November 2008, at:

---Criticism of Perego's Alleged Selectivity in Employing DNA Evidence in His Mormon-Related Research

**From Perego: Responding to criticism that his Smith-paternity DNA research has been faulty

In an article titled, "There is DNA and DNA," he writes:

" . . . I [have come] across [an online forum] post . . . where the writer disputed the accuracy of some of my research findings and conclusions, based on his impression that I would purposely accept DNA evidence only when it was convenient and dismiss it when it wasn't.

"The two issues in question are the work I have done in identifying possible biological children of Mormonism's first prophet, Joseph Smith, Jr. versus my apparent dismissal of DNA evidence (or lack thereof) when it comes to substantiat[ing] the historicity of the Book of Mormon.

"Here is the post:

"'Interesting that [Ugo Perego] uses DNA evidence to conclude that these children were not fathered by Joseph Smith but when the same DNA evidence says that Native Americans did not descend from anyone of Middle Eastern origins, he goes through all sorts of mental gymnastics to suggest that the evidence is inconclusive. He fancies himself a scientist yet tries to manipulate the results of his research in order to reach the desired conclusion. Science, indeed.'

"It is quite obvious that whoever wrote this statement either has not read the actual publications I wrote or he might simply not understand them.

"A couple of years ago, at the conclusion of my presentation at the annual FAIR conference, a similar question was posed, this time by someone that could not understand why I felt so strongly about my conclusions regarding Joseph Smith['s] alleged offspring and, yet, I rejected the so-called genetic evidence of a Great Lakes geographical setting for the people described in the Book of Mormon. I am sure that others that are not familiar with the details and properties of genetic inheritance might be wondering the same thing.

"The answer to these questions/criticisms is quite simple and I have addressed [then] multiple times, including in some of my writings. DNA is not evidence only when it is convenient but it is evidence when it is evidence.

"In the case of testing Joseph Smith['s] purported children born to polygamous relationships, the genetic method employed was the uni-parental marker Y chromosome, which is a section of DNA that is inherited exclusively from father to son, along an unbroken paternal line.

"Because of lack of recombination, Y chromosome testing can be ascertained to exact people in a person's pedigree chart. If the genealogy is known and the Y chromosome signature (called haplotype) of a number of male descendants of a specific ancestor can be collected and tested, then the Y chromosome profile of that ancestor can be inferred quite accurately, just as if a DNA sample could have been obtained from the ancestor himself.

"This process can be repeated over and over for any male ancestor (including Joseph Smith and his alleged biological sons), as long as living male descendants can be identified and a DNA sample collected from them. Then the game is quite easy. All you have to do is to line up and compare the inferred (or reconstructed) Y chromosome haplotypes for the two individuals you are trying to establish a connection along the paternal line. If the values match, then you probably have a biological relationship. If they don't, then you can be 100% confident that you are looking at two non-related individuals.

"So, how could science be accurate in this instance, but it cannot be used to bring forth similar conclusions when it comes to the historicity of the Book of Mormon?

"The difference lays within the expectations from the genetic approach. In the case of Joseph Smith and his alleged posterity, the Y chromosome profiles that were reconstructed and used for that analysis were accurate genetic fingerprints that belonged to specific individuals that lived in the past. The known relationships obtained through the genealogical data were key to line up the proper candidates for the genetic testing necessary in the study.

"With regard to the Book of Mormon, I explained already and in great detail that you cannot exclude the historical presence of an Israelite family arriving in the Americas 2600 years ago, based on the genetic sampling of modern-day Native American populations.

"This is simple and plain population genetics at work. Any population geneticist would agree that when a small group of people become part of a large population, their genetic signature is destined to disappear quite rapidly within a handful of generations.

"Moreover, we now know with great accuracy the Y chromosome haplotype of Joseph Smith and how it can be used as a standard for comparison against anyone who was claimed to be his biological child; however, we know nothing about the DNA profiles of the people of the Book of Mormon.

"The 'mental gymnastic[s]' I have been accused of is the very piece of truth that those criticizing the historicity of the Book of Mormon from a DNA standpoint are unwilling to accept: WE DON'T KNOW WHAT LEHI'S DNA IS and therefore this is the main reason why it cannot be identified in the Americas. Everything else is pretty much irrelevant. Show me Lehi's DNA and then let's go about looking for it among past and present indigenous populations of the Western Hemisphere. Without it, you are missing the very piece of genetic evidence that anyone interested in a genetic perspective on the Book of Mormon (both in favor or against it) would need."

("There is DNA and DNA," by Ugo Perego, 13 January 2011, original emphasis, at:

**Intriguing indicators of Joe's possible paternity: Perego has suddenly quit researching the subject

Despite all the Mormon-fueled hype surrounding other DNA studies supposedly on the verge of further proving that Smith was not the father of polygamous procreation, Perego is way behind schedule in showcasing that purported fact.

Why? A possible answer: We now learn that he has ceased his research on Smith's DNA linkage to polygamously-bred offspring and has since left the United States for his native Italy--where he has taken a paid job as a seminary teacher in the LDS Church Education System.

Who woulda thunk.

Perego explains his vanishing act:

"It was recently brought to my attention that an online forum not particularly friendly to members of the LDS faith had an on-going discussion about the true reasons behind my recent relocation to Rome, Italy. The main point that appeared to be in agreement with all those participating in such exchange of thoughts was that I HAVE BEEN EXILED BY THE LDS CHURCH TO A FAR AWAY LAND (ROME) BECAUSE OF MY WORK WITH DNA.

"I have to admit that I was quite 'honored/ to be at the center of their attention, and a bit jealous that some people have so much time at their disposal to waste on such frivolous matters. Needless to say, it is not for me to judge how people use their time, but I did feel an urge to write up something of my own to properly explain the events of the past few months that lead to our move to Italy.

"As I wrote online a while back, I was born and raised in Italy and moved to the United States when I was almost 22 (I was called to serve a LDS mission in California). With the exception of a small parenthesis between my mission and starting college at BYU, I spent nearly 18 years working on an education and enjoying wonderful professional experiences in areas I am greatly passionate about.

"More recently, soon after receiving my PhD in Genetics and Bimolecular Sciences in 2010, I felt strongly I wanted to pursue a full time career in academia. In addition to my research work in the field of population genetics and molecular genealogy, I began teaching part time courses in the biological sciences at a local college. Together with a deepened love for teaching sciences, I also developed a greater love for the classroom setting and for working with college-age students.

"This is why, when I learned about a job position with the Seminary and Institute program in Rome, Italy, I gave it serious consideration.

"This is not the first time I have been doing work with the Church Educational System. As an undergraduate student at BYU, I took the seminary teaching preparation courses offered to those that are considering a full time career in that field. During that time, I was given the opportunity to teach the Doctrine and Covenants to two classes at the Highland School seminary in American Fork, UT.

"Next, I taught a Book of Mormon class as a graduate student at BYU. After graduating, I volunteered at the Salt Lake Community College Institute of Religion as a part time faculty for four years teaching courses on the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, the Pearl of Great Price and the Old Testament.

"I interrupted my teaching when I began working at my PhD at the University of Pavia in Italy. However, during my many trips to the motherland, I still provided lectures, firesides, and training at several faculty meetings and conferences, as time would permit.

"So, it is not like that I have changed my career path 'completely;' it feels more like getting re-acquainted with an old love. Fortunately, I am at a point in my life where I can start a new job, while retaining the benefits of what I have done in the past.

"In other words, I am still planning to be involved with genetic research, collaborations, consultation and publishing as time will permit. I guess this is one of the blessings of not having a TV at home and not being able to sleep much at night!

"Last, but not least, besides welcoming a new job experience among the youth of the LDS faith, I am also excited to provide my children with a full immersion experience in the culture of their ancestors, visiting beautiful places together, enjoy the great food this land has to offer (like if I need the extra pounds...), and, of course, the coming of the new LDS Temple just minutes away from where we live."

("UGO PEREGO HAS BEEN EXILED!," by Ugo Perego, 9 March 2012, original emphasis, at:

**In the wake of Perego’s sudden departure from the research lab to the seminary classroom: DNA absolution of Joseph Smith seem to have hit a snag

RfM poster "sistersalamander” notes that “[t]he whole DNA testing thing is problematic,” due to the following involving Perego:

"If the men involved are LDS or have LDS families, there would be pressure to claim the results were negative, whether or not they actually were. Even if the men themselves acknowledged positive test results, TSCC would have a vested interest in lying about them and pressuring the men to remain silent.

"There's also the possibility that Woodward and Perego manipulated the test results. Perego received funding from the Sorenson Foundation, plus his Church reputation was at stake. That makes his answers rather predictable.

"Back in 2008, extensive research to determine the ancestry of Josephine Lyons looked 'promising'--they expected to obtain results in a year or so. The project fell into the proverbial black hole; no results were ever announced. Perego stopped work on it, obtained his PhD in 2010, and moved back to his native Italy to pursue an academic career:

"Why the silence? TSCC has been more than willing to publicize negative testing results (whether or not they are legitimate).

"TBMs realize the importance of being able to claim an absence of proven JS/plural wife descendants; if kids existed, then it's proof JS had sex with at least some of his plural wives. That would destroy a lot of apologist defenses and make TSCC look bad (especially since they're now scuttling away from any ownership of polygamy).

"Apparently, some things that are true are not very useful."

("sistersalamander," on "RfM' discussion board, "Re: Just curious ... is there any documentary evidence and DNA evidence that Joseph Smith had children with his polygamous wives??," 20 February 2013, at:,800927,801057#msg-801057

--Efforts by Mormon Apologists to Blur the Sperm Tail Trail Back to Joseph Smith

**From LDS historian Brian C. Hales: While acknowledging that most of Smith's polygamous wives were young and fertile (from whom children could logically be expected), that didn't rmean they'd likely be getting pregnant

In an effort to faithfully (and broadly) downplay pregnancy potential among Smiths' baby-ready plural wives, Hale creates all kinds of pretzeled arguments to minimize it ever happening.

Under "Sexuality in Joseph Smith’s Plural Marriages," Hales argues that despite the sexual capability of his multiple wives to produce children and despite the Mormon God's command to Smith to produce children in order to stock the Earth, Smith did not follow through on the opportunity because among other reasons Hales offers up, Smith was simply too busy running his Nauvoo hotel (as well as too busy being spied-upon by a suspicious Emma) to have had much sex with his other wives and, hence, didn't sire any offspring through them:

"Joseph Smith taught that sexual relations were justified and expected in polygamous unions in order 'to multiply and replenish the earth' (D&C 132:63). However, evidence is lacking or unpersuasive in four groups:

"(1) women to whom Joseph Smith was not married;

"(2) women sealed for the next life only, that is, 'eternity' only sealings;

"(3) in sealings to two fourteen-year-old wives; and

"(4) in sexual polyandrous situations (plural sealings to women who were civilly married and experiencing connubial relations with their legal husbands).

"Even though sexuality was permitted in Joseph Smith's plural marriages, it does not appear that conjugal interactions were a common occurrence. Opportunities for Joseph to spend intimate time with his plural wives would have been limited by many factors including his parenting responsibilities at the Homestead and the Nauvoo Mansion, by his preoccupation with Church and civic matters, by the constant need for secrecy, and by the scrutiny of dissenters and unbelievers.

"Emma’s vigilant and mostly intolerant eyes would have been another significant deterrent. Emily Partridge recalled:

"'We [Emily and Eliza Partridge] were sealed in her [Emma’s] presence with her full and free consent. It was the 11th of May, but before the day was over she turned around or repented of what she had done and kept Joseph up till very late in the night talking to him. She kept close watch of us. If we were missing for a few minutes, and Joseph was not at home, the house was searched from top to bottom and from one end to the other, and if we were.'

"A reminiscences from Joseph Lee Robinson states:

"'Ebenezer [Robinson]’s wife, [Angeline], had some time before this had watched Brother Joseph the prophet and had seen him go into some house and that she had reported to Sister Emma, the wife of the prophet. It was at a time when she was very suspicious and jealous of him for fear he would get another wife, for she knew the prophet had a revelation on that subject. She (Emma) was determined he should not get another, if he did she was determined to leave and when she heard this, she, Emma, became very angry and said she would leave...[2]
That sexual relations were uncommon is also reflected by the observation that only two or three pregnancies have been mentioned and only one or two that have been documented with any degree of reliability. Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner stated: “I know he [Joseph Smith] had three children. They told me. I think two are living today but they are not known as his children as they go by other names.'

"On another occasion she declared: 'I don’t know about his having children, but I heard of three that he was the father of.'

"Current research supports that one daughter, Josephine Lyon, was born to Sylvia Sessions in 1844 and a child to Olive Frost that did not live long or may have miscarried."

Despite evidence for at least two children being fathered by the sexually potent Smith outside his marriage to Emma, Hales is intent on dismissing the idea that Smith actually sired children with any of his plural wives:

"Most of Joseph Smith's plural wives were fertile and young, capable of conception if the timing was right. The Prophet was virile, having fathered nine children with Emma despite their long periods of time apart and challenging schedules.

"Antagonists may argue that other children were born to Joseph and his plural wives, but their existence was kept secret. However, decades after the martyrdom when RLDS Church missionaries were claiming that Joseph Smith was not a polygamist, Utah Church authorities aggressively combated their claims.

"It is probable that if they would have known of any children fathered by the Prophet with his plural wives, they would have publicly acknowledged it.

"No convincing evidence has been found to support a third child born to the Prophet's plural wives, despite intense research by multiple investigators. . . .

"'Allegations that Joseph Smith was involved with either some form of birth control or abortions have been made. See Fawn M. Brodie, "No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet," 2nd rev. ed. New York, 1971, 346 and W. Wyl, pseud. [Wilhelm Ritter von Wymetal]. "Mormon Portraits, or the Truth About Mormon Leaders From 1830 to 1886." Salt Lake City: Tribune Printing and Publishing Co., 1886, 59. However, no evidence has been found to support these accusations. Neither did Brodie or Wyl present any credible documentation."

As to the "Joseph Smith's possible children," Hales further spins in his behalf:

"Polygamous husbands living when polygamy is illegal face unique challenges as they try to father children with their plural wives. A point arrives when adding new plural wives does not necessarily equate to more sexual relations because the limiting factor is the man’s ability to safely schedule an intimate rendezvous. Whether the man has eight or 80 wives, if external constraints prevent opportunities for secret meetings, sexual encounters will be limited. If such dynamics were present in the Prophet’s complicated life, then additional sealings would have brought minimal increases in his sexual opportunities."

(Brian C. Hales, "Joseph Smith's Polygamy," under "Sexuality in Joseph Smith’s Plural Marriages," at:

**From Hales, a concession: Despite all his imposed conditions against pregnancy taking place, even Hales can't ignore the obvious, admitting that, in fact, Josephine Rosetta Lyons Fisher (daughter of Sylvia Sessions Lyon), was probably the "biological daughter of Joseph Smith,"

In his essay, "Joseph Smith and the Puzzlement of 'Polyandry,'" Hales notes that she signed the following affidavit:

"Just prior to my mother's death in 1882 she called me to her bedside and told me that her days on earth were about numbered and before she passed away from mortality she desired to tell me something which she had kept as an entire secret from me and from all others, but which she now desired to communicate to me. She then told me that I was the daughter of the Prophet Joseph Smith . . . ."

Hales hastens to add, however, that there is not universal agreement among scholars as to the legitimacy of Josephine's account:

"All researchers do not agree that this statement clearly declares Josephine to be the biological daughter of the Prophet." (In support of that notion, Hales cites an article on Sylvia Porter Sessions Lyon Kimball in 'Our Pioneer Heritage," published by the Mormon organization, Daughters of Utah Pioneers).

Hales reports further disputes raised by some about Smith's paternity of Josephine:

"It is true that words reflect some ambiguity and could possibly be interpreted to mean that Josephine was to be Joseph Smith's daughter only in eternity without implying an actual paternal physical connection." As support for that position, Hales cites the overtly pro-Mormon opinion of historian Rex E. Cooper found in Cooper's book, "Promises Made to the Fathers: Mormon Covenant Organization" (Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1990, p. 144n1.

Cooper writes:

"I find the evidence [of Joseph Smith allegedly siring Josephine] to be less convincing on three different grounds.

"First, although the possibility that Josephine was a daughter of Joseph Smith was being discussed as early as 1905, the statement reports a conversation that took place 23 years before in 1882.

"Second, since the statement is transmitted through [Mormon Church historian] Andrew Jenson, it is a third-hand account of Sylvia P. Sessions' statement.

"And third, the statement is unclear about what meant to be 'a daughter of Joseph Smith.' For example, because of his mother's matrimonial sealing to Joseph Smith, Heber J. Grant was regarded as a son of Joseph Smith, even though he was born 12 years after the Prophet's death."

To his credit, however, Hales admits that "other details support that Josephine was the literal offspring of the Prophet. For example," he writes, "if no genetic connection existed between Josephine and Joseph Smith, it is strange that Sylvia would wait until her deathbed to dramatically divulge that the Prophet was to be Josephine's father only in the next life. If Josephine 'was the daughter of the Prophet Joseph Smith' only because of a sealing ordinance, rather than through physical siring, all of Sylvia's children would be equally his offspring. However, none of them reported any similar divulgences from their dying mother, nor would there be any compelling reason to keep such knowledge secret. Josephine's name also supports the relationship. In addition, other sources, beyond the 1915 affidavit, corroborate the story. In 1880, future BYU president George H. Brimhall recorded:

"'Went to Spanish Fork. . . . Evening had a talk with Father Hales, who told me that it was said that Joseph Smith had a daughter named Josephine living in Bountiful, Utah. . . . Soon the contemporaries of the Prophet Joseph Smith will be all gone.' . . .

"In 1905, Stake President Angus M. Cannon had an interview with Joseph Smith III, wherein he stated:

"'I will now refer you to one case where it was said by the girl's grandmother that your father has a daughter born of a plural wife. The girl's grandmother was Mother Sessions, who lived in Nauvoo and died here in the [Salt Lake] Valley. She was the granddaughter of Mother Sessions. That girl, I believe, is living today in Bountiful, north of this city. I heard Pres. Young, a short time before his death, refer to the report and remark that he had never seen the girl but he would like to see her for himself, that he might determine if she bore a likeness to your father.'"

Hales acknowledges that "[s]ince Sylvia said she had never told anyone prior to revealing Josephine's paternity to her, these accounts suggest that rumors of Josephine's true biological father arose from other sources that received limited private circulation prior to Sylvia Sessions' death.
In other words, several historical documents support a genetic relationship between the Prophet and Josephine, besides Sylvia's affidavit."

Hales also reports that sometime after April 1838, Joseph Smith was sealed to Sylvia Sessions in Nauvoo, Illinois (Sylvia was at the time civilly married to Windsor Lyon and they had together moved to Nauvoo). Windsor was excommunicated from the Mormon Church on 19 November 1842. Hales puts the subsequent conception of Josephine as occurring on 18 May 1843, a month shy of a year before Smith was killed at Carthage.

Hales argues that "Josephine Lyon's 1915 statement . . . implies that the excommunication [of Windsor Lyon] invalidated her [Sylvia's] marriage to Windsor, allowing her to be legitimately sealed to Joseph Smith and bare a child with him [meaning Josephine]."

This sealing, Hales contends, is in keeping with Smith's history of "in special circumstances, as President of the Church, believ[ing] himself capable of granting permission to ignore legal unions (constituting a religious divorce"). Hales cites Mormon Church historian Jenson's view that Windsor's excommunication meant "that some sort of divorce or termination was inherent in [his excommunication]. or at least accompanied it chronologically," with Jenson thus "refer[ring] to Sylvia as 'formerly the wife of Windsor Lyons.'" Hales quotes Jenson's further observation that "[w]hen he [Windsor] left the Church [i.e., was excommunicated], she [Sylvia] was sealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith."

A product of the sealing of Joseph Smith to Sylvia Sessions was the conception of Josephine.

(Brian C. Hales, "The Puzzlement of 'Polyandry,' in "The Persistence of Polygamy: Joseph Smith and the Origins of Mormon Polygamy," Newell G. Bringhurst and Craig L. Foster, ed. [Independence, Missouri: John Whitmer Books, 2010], p. 111-116)

**From George D. Smith, in his book, "Nauvoo Polygamy": Support for Hales' conclusion that Josephine was biologically fathered by Joseph Smith

George D. Smith adds, however, that "[n]one of Joseph's 'plural children,' if such existed, have been identified." Nonetheless, he reports that there is good reason to conclude Joseph Smith produced children with women other than his first wife, Emma:

"Of all the plural wives, Sylvia [Sessions] may be the best candidate to be the mother of a child father by Joseph Smith."

Smith also observes that "nothing as conclusive as genetic testing has been performed" (this is not quite true, since Ugo Perego conducted some DNA tracking of Josephine's paternal heritage), "but the documentary evidence," says Smith, "is compelling. Four months before Smith's assassination, Sylvia gave birth to Josephine Rosetta Lyon on February 8, 1844. Some 38 years later, Sylvia told her daughter that she, Josephine, had been fathered by the Prophet. When Josephine herself was advanced in age, she affirmed what her mother had told her in 1882. . . . It is significant that Josephine's statement was witnessed by one of the Church's historians, Andrew Jepson; Josephine's stake president, Joseph Grant, who was a stepfather of Apostle of Heber J. Grant and nephew of Joseph B. Noble; and by her own son."

George D. Smith continues:

"Although Sylvia explained that she was sealed to Smith when her lawfully-wedded husband was 'out of the Church,' Windsor's November 1842 estrangement followed Sylvia's marriage to Smith by nine months."

Interestingly, George D. Smith also reports how Joseph Smith paid intense personal attention to infant Josephine:

"Four days after Josephine was born, . . . Patty Sessions reported that 'Brother Joseph was at her [Sylvia's] house' and that 'Mr. Lyons, Sylvia's husband, lent him $500.00.' Patty described other visits and said that after Josephine's birth, Joseph 'visited at her [Sylvia's] house almost daily.'"

When it comes to Joseph Smith having sex with his multiple wives, however, Hales, doesn't get everything right. Contrary to Hales' highly questionable assertion these intimate encounters were not all that frequent, George D. Smith writes that "[t]here is no reason to doubt that [Joseph] Smith's [polygamous] marriages involved sexual relations in most instances." (He does acknowledge, however, that "Sylvia Sessions' testimony to her daughter, Josephine, represents the only concrete claim for a child--and even then the testimony is second-hand"). Still, he provides credence to the claim that Joseph Smith fathered children with his polygamous partners:

"Mary Elizabeth Lightner spoke of 'three children' whom she said she 'knew he had' by his plural wives. These births would have been disguised because the children would have borne the names of their stepfathers. 'They told me, I think two of them are living today but they are not known as his children, as they go by other names.'

As George D. Smith points out, "It was a general rule that children of plural marriages were not acknowledged in the pre-Utah period. Eliza Partridge left home in 1846 with her son, who was fathered by Amasa Lyman. Her sister, Emily, recorded the secrecy:

"'While it Nauvoo I had kept my child secreted and but few knew I had one, but after I started on my journey,' she wrote, 'it became publicly known and people would stop at our house [in Winter Quarters, Iowa] to see a "spiritual child."' George Smith writes that "[i]n an autobiographical account within her diary, she added that 'spiritual wives, as we were then termed, were not very numerous in those days and a spiritual baby was a rarity, indeed--but few children had been born in the celestial order of marriage.' Some children could have been disguised in families where a woman had a civil husband different from the husband she was sealed to."

Notably, George D. Smith contradicts Hales' claim that Joseph Smith did not sire "plural children" because it was regarded as being illegal under civil law, nor because (at least according to Hales), it was difficult for Smith to engage in baby-making with other women, given his heavy social schedule:

"Perhaps, as Lucy Walker Smith Kimball said, one restraint to fathering plural children was the 'hazardous life [Joseph Smith] lived, in constant fear of being betrayed.' While stressful circumstances and a complicated schedule may well have impacted the frequency of marital intimacy, from all outward appearances, his conjugal visits were not greatly impeded by social or legal pressure. Smith unquestionably fathered the three sons Emma gave birth to in Nauvoo. The dates of conception are telling. For Don Carlos, it was just months after the family reached Nauvoo. A stillborn son, which was delivered on February 7, 1842, was conceived during the early days of Smith's marriage to Louisa Beaman. And Emma's last child, David Hyrum, was born in November 1844, after Joseph's death, meaning that David was conceived early that year in the midst of enormous turmoil."

That said, George D. Smith adds the caveat that "[u]ntil decisive DNA testing of possible Smith descendants--daughters as well as sons--from plural wives can be accomplished, ascertaining whether Smith fathered children with any of his plural wives remains hypothetical."

(George D. Smith, "Nauvoo Polygamy: 'But We Called It Celestial Marriage" [Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 2008], pp. 96. 100-102, 117-119. Note: George D. Smith's book, in which he draws the above conclusion, was published two years before Ugo Perego publicly reported that autosomal DNA testing had been conducted on selected members of the Lyon and Smith lines. Perego claims, however, that the findings contained "a lot of 'genealogical noise' [due to] the multiple familial relationships shared by both Josephine Lyon's and Joseph Smith's descendants." Perego explains that is because "descendants from the Smith and Lyon/Fisher families are part of the same pioneer stock that participated in the first colonization of the Great Salt Lake Valley . . . and could have potentially had many overlapping ancestors." See Ugo A. Perego, "Joseph Smith Jr., the Question of Polygamous Offspring, and DNA Analysis," in "The Persistence of Polygamy," Bringhurst and Foster, ed. [Independence, Missouri: John Whitmer Books, 2010]).

--For all Hales' Hammering that Joseph Smith Somehow Couldn't Seem to Get His Plural Wives Pregnant, It Certainly Wasn't Because He Wasn't Pressing the Flesh with Them

**From Mormon historian Todd Compton: Despite questionable assertion that Smith had relatively infrequent sexual relations with his plural wives, it appears that Smith, in fact, had eager conjugal hook-ups with them, as reported below.

Writes Compton:

"'Because of claims by Reorganized Latter-day Saints that Joseph was not really married polygamously in the full (i.e., sexual) sense of the term, Utah Mormons (including Joseph's wives) affirmed repeatedly that Joseph had physical sexual relations with his plural wives-despite the Victorian conventions in nineteenth-century American religion which otherwise would have prevented mention of sexual relations in marriage."

"--Faithful Mormon Melissa Lott (Smith Willes) testified that she had been Joseph's wife 'in very deed.'

(affidavit of Melissa Willes, 3 August 1893, Temple Lot case, 98, 105; Foster, Religion and Sexuality, p. 156.)

"--In a court affidavit, faithful Mormon Joseph Noble wrote that Joseph told him he had spent the night with Louisa Beaman.

(Temple Lot Case, 427)

"--Emily D. Partridge (Smith Young) said 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; see Foster, 'Religion and Sexuality,' p. 15)

"In total, 13 faithful Latter-day Saint women who were married to Joseph Smith swore court affidavits that they had sexual relations with him.

"--Joseph Smith's personal secretary records that on May 22nd, 1843, Smith's first wife Emma found Joseph and Eliza Partridge secluded in an upstairs bedroom at the Smith home. Emma was devastated.

(William Clayton's journal, entry for 23 May 1843; (see Smith, 105-06)

"--Smith's secretary William Clayton also recorded a visit to young Almera Johnson on May 16, 1843:

"'Pres. Joseph and I went to B[enjamin] F. Johnsons to sleep.' Johnson himself later noted that o' this visit Smith stayed with Almera 'as man and wife' and "occupied the same room and bed with my sister, that the previous month he had occupied with the daughter of the late Bishop Partridge as his wife.'

"Almera Johnson also confirmed her secret marriage to Joseph Smith:

"'I lived with the prophet Joseph as his wife and he visited me at the home of my brother Benjamin F.'

(Zimmerman, "I Knew the Prophets." p. 44; see also, "The Origin of Plural Marriage," Joseph F. Smith, Jr., Deseret News Press, pp. 70-71.)

"--Faithful Mormon and Stake President Angus Cannon told Joseph Smith's son:

"'Brother Heber C. Kimball, I am informed, asked [Eliza R. Snow] the question if she was not a virgin although married to Joseph Smith and afterwards to Brigham Young, when she replied in a private gathering, "I thought you knew Joseph Smith better than that."'

(Stake President Angus M. Cannon, statement of interview with Joseph III, p. 23, LDS archives)

("Did Joseph Smith Have Sex with His Wives?," under "Did Joseph Smith Obey the commandment and Have Sex with His Wives?," at:

Brian Hales seems a bit too reluctant to admit the full extent of that inconvenient reality.

In the meantime, how do we account for the lack of copious DNA evidence linking Smith to children fathered through his polygamous marriages?

When all else fails, there's always abortion . . .

Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2015 05:39PM by steve benson.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: August 26, 2015 04:08AM

Mormon Nauvoo's Abortion Business: A Way to Cover the DNA Caused by Prostitution and Other Inconvenient Circumstances?

**The trail back to Smith's polygamously-fathered children is perhaps more difficult to track because of the practice of abortion among the Nauvoo Mormons, as demonstrated by the following historical evidence:

"Evidence of abortions?

"Some critics believe that Joseph may have gotten some of his wives pregnant but had them get abortions. This is what Sarah Pratt, whom Joseph excommunicated for refusing to have sex with him, said to Smith's son.

"'I saw that he was not inclined to believe the truth about his father, so I said to him: 'You pretend to have revelations from the Lord. Why don't you ask the Lord to tell you what kind of a man your father really was?' He answered: 'If my father had so many connections with women, where is the progeny?' I said to him: 'Your father had mostly intercourse with married women, and as to single ones, Dr. Bennett was always on hand, when anything happened.'

"'Dr.' Bennett was an abortionist.


("Polygamy," under "Evidence of Abortions?," at:

The House of the Lord: A House of Prostitution with Abortion Services as Needed?

Then, there was the fact that Smith visited houses of prostitution in Nauvoo--the same city where Mormons were receiving abortion services, as well.

Former RfM posters Bob McCue and "Deconstructor" write:

"[The] Wife of Apostle Orson Pratt isn't the only one who knew about abortions in Nauvoo..

"LDS Elder Ebenezer Robinson testified that Hyrum Smith:
'instructed me in November or December 1843 to make a selection of some young woman and he would seal her to me, and I should take her home,' he recalled, 'and if she should have an offspring give out word that she had a husband, an Elder, who had gone on a foreign mission.'

"Possibly referring to a secluded birthplace, or conceivably to abortion, Robinson spoke of 'a place appointed in Iowa, 12 or 18 miles from Nauvoo to send female victims to his polygamous births."

(Ebenezer Robinson to Jason W. Briggs, 28 January 1880, LDS archives)

"On December 29, 1873, Ebenezer and Angeline Robinson signed an affidavit saying that Hyrum Smith had come to their house in the fall of 1843 to teach them the doctrine of polygamy.

"Apostle Orson Pratt's wife testified:

"'One day they came both, Joseph and [Doctor] Bennett, on horseback to my house. Bennett dismounted, Joseph remained outside. Bennett wanted me to return to him a book I had borrowed from him. It was a so-called doctor-book. I had a rapidly growing little family and wanted to inform myself about certain matters in regard to babies, etc.- this explains my borrowing that book."

"'While giving Bennett his book, I observed that he held something in the left sleeve of his coat. Bennett smiled and said: "Oh, a little job for Joseph; one of his women is in trouble." Saying this. he took the thing out of his left sleeve. It was a pretty long instrument of a kind I had never seen before. It seemed to be of steel and was crooked at one end.'

"'I heard afterwards that the operation had been performed; that the woman was very sick, and that Joseph was very much afraid that she might die, but she recovered."

(testimony of Apostle Orson Pratt's wife, Sarah Pratt from 'Joseph Smith the Prophet: His Family and Friends:
A Study Based on Facts and Documents," illustrated [Salt Lake City, Utah: Tribune Printing and Publishing Company, 1886], p. 61062, at:

"Joseph Smith's once-close associate Doctor Bennett was also accused by Hyrum Smith of practicing abortions.

"Hyrum testified that Dr. Bennett was propositioning women in a similar fashion to Joseph Smith:

"'[Dr. Bennett] endeavored to seduce them, and accomplished his designs by saying it was right; that it was one of the mysteries of God, which was to be revealed when the people was strong enough in faith to bear such mysteries? that it was perfectly right to have illicit intercourse with females, providing no one knew it but themselves, vehemently trying them from day to day, to yield to his passions, bringing witnesses of his own clan to testify that there were such revelations and such commandments, and that they were of God; also stating that he would be responsible for their sins, if there were any, and that he would give them medicine to produce abortions, provided they should become pregnant."

(affidavit of Hyrum Smith. "Official History of the Church," Vol. 5, p. 71)

"Here is a book review I posted at Amazon of 'The Saintly Scoundrel - The Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett,' by Andrew F. Smith:

"The juicy parts are more towards the end of the review. Smith and Bennett were birds (or is that blokes) of a feather: 'The Saintly Scoundrel: The Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett,' by Andrew F. Smith. Reviewed by the Salamander Society at (click on the book cover) Following are some quotes from the book but for a much deeper feel and context for Dr. John C. Bennett's influence in early Mormonism, please read the entire book."

Some excerpts from the book, as provided by "Deconstructor":

"'Summer 0f 1840--Bennett wrote a series of three letters to Joseph Smith. He professed that wealth was not his aim but desired only happiness. He was convinced that he could enjoy himself better with the Mormons than with any other religious body. He hoped that the time would "soon come when your people will become my people, your God my God."

"'Joseph Smith wrote back from Nauvoo on August 8, 1840: "It would afford me much pleasure to see you at this place, and from the desire you express in your letter to move to this place, I hope I shall soon have the satisfaction."'

"'While there were many spontaneous conversions to Mormonism, religious fervor was not likely to have been central to Bennett's move to Nauvoo. His correspondence was a calculated attempt to gain Smith's and Rigdon's confidence. Unlike other confidence men, Bennett was quite ambitious and desired glory and renown; he was quite willing to sacrifice money both for fame and power. Bennett might have believed from the onset that Smith was a charlatan and that Mormonism was a fraud, but this would not have particularly mattered to him. He pursued secular, not religious goals. He was interested in using the Mormons, as he had the Methodists and the Christian Disciples, to promote his eminence and enhance his power.'

(p. 55)

"'Joseph Smith was impressed with Bennett and had him board with the Smith family for 39 weeks. He became Joseph Smith's closest friend and confidant, claiming to have known "Joseph better than any other man living for a least 14 months!" William Law, who later became assistant president of the Mormon church, agreed with Bennett's assessment of his relationship with Joseph Smith. According to Law, Bennett "was more in the secret confidence of Joseph than perhaps any other man in the city."'

(p. 56)

"'Bennett also befriended Joseph Smith's brothers, Hyrum Smith and Don Carlos Smith. Hyrum Smith replaced Joseph Smith, Sr., as the patriarch of the Mormon Church. When Bennett was baptized, he received the first patriarchal blessing bestowed by Hyrum Smith. Impressed with Bennett's speaking abilities, Hyrum Smith likened Bennett to the Biblical "Paul reasoning with Felix, and they shall tremble when they hear thy words." Hyrum Smith predicted that Bennett would not turn "aside from the truth for the popularity of the world.'

(p. 57)

"' . . . Smith later charged Bennett with almost continuous adultery from the time he arrived in Nauvoo [in 1840] . . . .'.

(pp. 61-62)

"'While in Nauvoo, Bennett had succeeded beyond his own wildest expectations. He later nostalgically observed that he had "possessed power, wealth and the means to gratify every passion or desire."'

(p. 78)

"'According to Joseph Smith, as soon as Bennett became a Mormon (Bennett's date of baptism is disputed but was either in September or October of 1840), Smith received a letter from an unidentified person cautioning the Mormons against him. Knowing that it was not uncommon "for good men to be evil spoken against," however, Smith kept quiet about the letter.

"'In February of 1841, Smith sent George Miller to McConnelsville to delve into Bennett's past. On March 2,1841, Miller reported back that "during many years his poor, but confiding wife, followed him from place to place, with no suspicion of his unfaithfulness to her; at length however, he became so bold enough in his departures, that it was evident to all around that he was a sore offender and his wife left him under satisfactory evidence of his adulterous connections; nor was this his only fault; he used her bad otherwise." Miller concluded that Bennett was "an impostor, and unworthy of the confidence of all good men."

"'Despite this information, neither Smith nor Miller took any known action against Bennett. In fact, Smith appointed him assistant president of the Mormon Church in April 1841. Miller himself permitted Bennett to become the secretary of the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge in December 1841.

"'On June 15, 1841, Hyrum Smith and William Law, then in Pittsburgh, wrote to Joseph Smith corroborating the content of George Miller's letter. According to Smith, he read the letter to Bennett, "which he did not attempt to deny, but candidly acknowledged the fact." Whatever happened, Bennett and Joseph Smith clearly had a temporary parting of the ways. Bennett, who had been living with Joseph Smith's family, moved into other quarters.'

(pp. 79-80)

"'Oliver Olney reported in his journal that in early April 1842 it was common gossip that members of the Twelve Apostles were "very intimate with females."

"'On April 10, 1842 Joseph Smith "pronounced a curse upon all adulterers and fornicators and unvirtuous persons" and those who had made use of his "name to carry on their iniquitous designs." The individuals to whom these remarks referred were unnamed.'

(p. 85)

"'On May 14, 1842 the City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting brothels in the city. An eyewitness later claimed that Bennett had built one. The City Council ordered it ripped down as a public nuisance. Lorenzo D. Wasson, Smith's nephew, reported that he had knowledge of "Bennett and his prostitutes." Whatever Bennett's connection to the brothel, if any, it is unimaginable that it could have survived without the knowledge of the leaders of the Church, yet due to a tacit acceptance, perhaps because the brothel was protected by Bennett, or it might have been an integral part of an emerging system of sexual experimentation then underway in Nauvoo, as Bennett later implied.

"'On May 17, 1842 Bennett resigned as mayor and voluntarily left the Mormon Church. Two days later Joseph Smith was elected mayor and Hyrum Smith was elected as vice-mayor.'

(p. 86)

"'On the morning of May 26, 1842, Bennett met with 60 to 100 of the Masonic brethren. According to Smith, Bennett "acknowledged his wicked and licentious conduct toward certain females in Nauvoo, and that he was worthy of the severest chastisement, and cried like a child, and begged that he might be spared, in any possible way; so deep was his apparent sense of his quilt and unfitness for respectable society; so deeply did he feign, or really feel contrition for the moment, that he was forgiven still."

"'Joseph Smith pled for mercy for Bennett. This seems curious, though perhaps this is consistent with Joseph Smith's pattern of forgiving sinners after public confession. Alternately, as others have speculated, Smith and Bennett might have come to agreement: If Bennett publicly confessed his sins, Smith would forgive him. Still others have suggested that Smith's reluctance to break with Bennett might have been based on his fear that Bennett would publicly reveal his knowledge about plural marriage and Joseph Smith.'

(p. 90)

"Perhaps Smith expected or at least hoped that Bennett would leave Nauvoo quietly. When he failed to do so, Smith publicly censured him. On June 18,1842, Smith spoke out publicly against Bennett. According to Wilford Woodruff, Smith "spoke his mind in great plainness concerning the iniquity and wickedness of Gen. John Cook Bennett, and exposed him before the public."

"'Smith's public attack produced a heated exchange with Bennett. As described in a private letter published in Burlington's "Hawk-Eye and Iowa Patriot," "Some hard swearing passed between these saints during the quarrel." According to the unidentified author, Bennett threatened "to write a book for the purpose of exposing the rascality of this pretender to the spirit of prophecy. Bennett was excommunicated from the Mormon Church on this day. On June 21, 1842, Bennett abruptly left Nauvoo and headed for Springfield.'

(p. 91)

"'Bennett returned to Nauvoo before June 26, 1842, and boarded with George Robinson. On June 27 he wrote to James G. Edwards, editor of the "Hawk-Eye and Iowa Patriot," reporting that the schism between Smith and him was irreconcilable. He also recounted that Smith had threatened to kill him and had "ordered some of his Danite band to effect the murder clandestinely." According to Bennett, on the evening of June 29, "12 of the Danites, dressed in female apparel, approached my boarding house, (Gen. Robinson's) in Nauvoo, with their carriage wheels wrapped with blankets and their horses feet covered with cloths, to prevent noise, about 10 o'clock, for the purpose of conveying me off and assassinating me, thus prevent disclosures--but I was so admirably prepared with arms, as were also my friends, that after prowling around the house for some time, they retired.'

(p. 94)

"'July 1842--Bennett's Accusations Against Joseph Smith

"'1. That Bennett's disfellowshipment notice of May 11, 1842, signed by John E Page, William Smith and Lyman Wright was a forgery because these three men were not in Nauvoo at that time. All three were away on official Church errands.

"'2. That Joseph Smith attempted to seduce Miss Nancy Rigdon, the eldest and single daughter of Sidney Rigdon.

"'3. That Joseph Smith sold valuable property to Willard Richards, N.K. Whitney and others prior to declaring bankruptcy.

"'4. That Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and four others were initiated, passed and raised before the installation of the Masonic Lodge, which was against Masonic regulations.

"'5. That Joseph Smith introduced a new degree of Masonry, called "Order Lodge," in which a part of the obligation says, "I furthermore promise and swear, that I will never touch a daughter of Adam unless she is given me of the Lord," so as to accord with Smith's licentious practices.

"'6. That Bennett's affidavit, sworn on May 17, and his statement, signed on May 19 before the city council, were made under duress.

"'7. That Joseph Smith ordered Orrin Porter Rockwell to shoot former Governor of Missouri, Lilburn W. Boggs.'

(pp. 100-05)

"'September 1842--Bennett publishes his 350-page book "History of the Saints, " an anti-Mormon work. The Mormons, of course, were not overwhelmed by the book. Joseph Smith prophesied "that whoever has any hand in the matter, will find themselves in a poor fix in relation to the money matters." While the book's financial earnings have not been uncovered, it is not likely Smith's prediction was accurate. The book went through three printings in 1842. For two years Bennett had no known revenue other than the royalties from the book and his lecture fees.'


"'In 1850, Brigham Young announced that John C. Bennett had died in one of the most wretched slums of California, where he had gone in the excitement of the Great Gold Rush. According to Young, Bennett's body had been "dragged out with his boots on, put into a cart, hauled off and dumped into a hole a rotten mass of corruption." Aroet Hale claimed that Bennett's death, as described by Young, was the fulfillment of one of Joseph Smith's prophecies. According to Hale, Bennett was cursed to "die a vagabond upon the face of the earth, without friends to berry him."'

(p. 166)

"'The report of Bennett's demise was greatly exaggerated, however. He was alive and well, living in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Bennett continued to practice medicine, breed chickens and cattle, promote anti-slavery issues, served as a surgeon in the Union army and re-married. After a protracted illness, probably precipitated by a stroke, Bennett died at the age of 64 in August of 1867 in Polk City, Iowa.'

(p. 185)

"'Despite the Mormon appraisals, Bennett was respected by his Polk City neighbors and was relatively well-off when he died. His tombstone is one of the largest in the Polk City Cemetery. His second wife died less than one year later and was buried beside him. Bennett's first wife, Mary, lived until 1897. Nothing is known of his two children.'

(pp. 185-86)

"'As shocking as Bennett's disclosures might have been in his day, the Mormon experiment with polygamy should be viewed in the broader context of sexual exploration underway in the United States at the time. On one end of the spectrum of sexual experimentation were the Shakers, who believed in complete abstinence. On the other end were those members of the Oneida Community in New York, who openly practiced their belief in free love.

"'80 years before Bennett made his first disclosures, the United States had been rocked by the sensation surrounding the self-styled prophet, "Matthias." This scandal included reports of lascivious sexual relations, a strange new religious cult and eventually murder. Matthias was tried and convicted of lesser charges. Four months after he left jail in 1835, Matthias visited Kirtland, where he met and conversed with Joseph Smith and preached to the Mormons. Smith subsequently cast Matthias out of Kirtland.'

(p. 191)

("Joseph Smith Visited Houses Of Prostitution," by Bob McCue and "Deconstructor," on "Recovery from Mormonism" discussion board, June 2006)

**"Deconstructor" posts further information about Smith's habit of cavorting with prostitutes:

"On another thread, someone mentioned that in Jon Krakauer's 'Under The Banner Of Heaven' it mentions that Joseph Smith visited houses of prostitution.

"From the book:

"'According to Sarah Pratt, the wife of Mormon "apostle" Orson Pratt: "the prophet Joseph used to frequent houses of ill-fame. Mrs. White, a very pretty and attractive woman, once confessed to me that she made a business of it to be hospitable to the captains of the Mississippi steamboats. She told me that Joseph had made her acquaintance very soon after his arrival in Nauvoo, and that he had visited her dozens of times."

"A look at the full testimony of Sister Pratt reveals even more details on the character of Joseph Smith:

"'I have told you that the prophet Joseph used to frequent houses of ill-fame. Mrs. White, a very pretty and attractive woman, once confessed to me that she made a business of it to be hospitable to the captains of the Mississippi steamboats. She told me that Joseph had made her acquaintance very soon after his arrival in Nauvoo, and that he had visited her dozens of times."

"'My husband (Apostle Orson Pratt) could not be induced to believe such things of his prophet. Seeing his obstinate incredulity, Mrs. White proposed to Mr. Pratt and myself to put us in a position where we could observe what was going on between herself and Joseph the prophet. We, however, declined this proposition."

"'Next door to my house was a house of bad reputation. One single woman lived there, not very attractive. She used to be visited by people from Carthage whenever they came to Nauvoo. Joseph used to come on horseback, ride up to the house and tie his horse to a tree, many of which stood before the house. Then he would enter the house of the woman from the back. I have seen him do this repeatedly."

"'Joseph Smith, the son of the prophet, and president of the re-organized Mormon church, paid me a visit, and I had a long talk with him. I saw that he was not inclined to believe the truth about his father, so I said to him: 'You pretend to have revelations from the Lord. Why don't you ask the Lord to tell you what kind of a man your father really was?' He answered: 'If my father had so many connections with women, where is the progeny?' I said to him: 'Your father had mostly intercourse with married women, and as to single ones, Dr. Bennett was always on hand, when anything happened."'

("Joseph Smith And Whorehouses," posted by "Deconstructor," on "Recovery from Mormonism" discussion board, June 2006; see also, "The False [LDS] Joseph Smith and the Real [Historical Reality] Joseph Smith," by "Nightingale," on "Recovery from Mormonism" discussion board, 13 August 2010, at:

More on the seedy underside of Smith's Nauvoo polygamous paradise, where abortions were reportedly performed on Mormon women:

"Joseph Smith Encouraging Abortions for His Plural Wives

"I am sure the TBM's who read this post are going to accuse me of spreading anti-Mormon rumors/lies about the beloved Prophet. This will be especially the case because most if not all of my sources are statements from those disaffected with Joseph or the Church. I acknowledge the possibility that the allegations are untrue. I don't believe either of us can declare definitively whether these allegations are false or true, but no doubt some TBM's will speak as though they KNOW that these allegations are false, which of course they can't know that.

"So, why post these quotes? Because people deserve the opportunity to investigate for themselves and make up their own minds about it. The more I research things, the more I trust the word of the disaffected Mormons more than the Church Leadership. . . .

"'May 21, 1886, I had a fresh interview with Mrs. Sarah M. Pratt, who had the kindness to give me the following testimony additional to the information given by her in our interviews in the spring of 1885. "I want you to have all my statements correct in your book," said the noble lady, "and put my name to them; I want the truth, the full truth, to be known, and bear the responsibility of it. . . .

"'Joseph Smith, the son of the prophet, and president of the re-organized Mormon church, paid me a visit, and I had a long talk with him. I saw that he was not inclined to believe the truth about his father, so I said to him: "You pretend to have revelations from the Lord. Why don't you ask the Lord to tell you what kind of a man your father really was?" He answered: "If my father had so many connections with women, where is the progeny?" I said to him: "Your father had mostly intercourse with married women, and as to single ones, Dr. Bennett was always on hand, when anything happened . . ."

"'Bennett wanted me to return to him a book I had borrowed from him. It was a so-called doctor-book. I had a rapidly growing little family and wanted to inform myself about certain matters in regard to babies, etc.,--this explains my borrowing that book. While giving Bennett his book, I observed that he held something in the left sleeve of his coat. Bennett smiled and said: 'Oh, a little job for Joseph; one of his women is in trouble.' Saying this. he took the thing out of his left sleeve. It was a pretty long instrument of a kind I had never seen before. It seemed to be of steel and was crooked at one end. I heard afterwards that the operation had been performed; that the woman was very sick, and that Joseph was very much afraid that she might die, but she recovered.

('Mormon Portraits I,' von Wymetal, Wilhelm, SLC: Tribune Printing & Pub., 1886, p. 59-62).

"'Affidavit of Hyrum Smith

"'On the 17th day of May, 1842, having been made acquainted with some of the conduct of John C. Bennett, which was given in testimony under oath before Alderman G. W. Harris, by several females, who testified that John C. Bennett endeavored to seduce them and accomplished his designs by saying it was right; that it was one of the mysteries of God, which was to be revealed when the people was strong enough in the faith to bear such mysteries--that it was perfectly right to have illicit intercourse with females, providing no one knew it but themselves, vehemently trying them from day to day, to yield to his passions, bringing witnesses of his own clan to testify that [there] was such revelations and such commandments, and that it was of God; also stating that he would be responsible for their sins, if their was any; and that he would give them medicine to produce abortions, providing they should become pregnant. One of these witnesses, a married woman that he attended upon in his professional capacity, whilst she was sick, stated that he made proposals to her of a similar nature; he told her that he wished her husband was dead, and that if he was dead he would marry her and clear out with her; he also begged her permission to give him medicine to that effect; he did try to give him medicine, but he would not take it--on interrogating her what she thought of such teaching, she replied, she was sick at the time, and had to be lifted in and out of her bed like a child.'

('The Wasp--EXTRA,' Nauvoo, Illinois, 27 July 1842)

"'Did you ever hear of abortion being practiced in Nauvoo?"

"'Yes. There was some talk about Joseph getting no issue from all the women he had intercourse with. Dr. Foster spoke to me about the fact. But I don't remember what was told about abortion. If I heard things of the kind, I didn't believe in them at that time. 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."

(interview with William Law. 30 March 1887, published in 'The Daily Tribune,' Salt Lake City, Utah, 31 July 1887)

("Allegations About Joseph Smith Encouraging Abortions for His Plural Wives," 20 July 2008, at:

Edited 11 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2015 05:45PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: August 26, 2015 04:10AM

Controlling Joes Baby Flow through Contraception

--Using Birth Control to Limit the Spread of Smith's Multi-Wifing DNA

**RfM poster "sistersalamander" offers a reason for a certain lack of trackability when it comes to Smith's seed trail:

" . . . [A]nother reason why Smith's women may not have had children: contraceptive methods. [A]lthough not as reliable as today's, [they] did exist. Women knew about them and Dr. Bennett probably did, too (as evidenced by Sarah Pratt borrowing his book to learn how to limit her rapidly-growing family).

"Herbal contraceptives have been used since ancient times; Pliny and Discorides wrote about them, including formulas and effective doses. Other treatises up through Renaissance times detailed the use of rue; pennyroyal; tansy; celery seed; fig juice; wild yam, wild carrot seed (Queen Anne's Lace) and other commonly-available herbs; flowers; and plants to prevent conception and/or 'bring on the courses' of women who suffered from menstrual irregularities such as late periods.

"(Interestingly, science is discovering that many of these plants affect female hormone production, causing the body to not ovulate or to interrupt a very early pregnancy. Despite our modern insistence that only pharmaceutical contraceptives are effective, population studies and other evidence points to the conclusion that it simply isn't so).

"For over 100 years in Renaissance England (starting in 1653), Nicholas Culpeper's 'Complete Herbal' sold more copies than any other book except the Bible. It included herbal formulas for birth control as well (discreetly phrased, of course). This book and others like it were later available in the US as well.

"Condom production in the U.S. began in 1840, but sponges and other cervical-blocking devices may have been available even earlier. Certainly, women who knew about them and had access to the raw materials could make them whether they were commercially sold or not.

"In addition, midwives and 'wise women' (often labeled as witches) knew about plant-based contraceptive methods and passed them on privately to other women. Can we really believe that no one in Nauvoo knew about these common herbal remedies?

"And, as Steve Benson pointed out above, abortionists were active in Nauvoo and nearby locations.

"For a fascinating read on the subject, try 'Eve's Herbs: A History of Contraception and Abortion in the West,' by John C. Riddle."

("Re: Y, Oh, Y?: Following the DNA--Did Joseph Smith Produce Children in Polygamous Relationships with Other Women (Meaning Not with Emma?) Say It Ain't So, Joe! (MORE)," by "sistersalamander." on "Recovery from Mormonism" discussion board, 21 February 2013, at:,801384,802322#msg-802322

Edited 10 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2015 05:46PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: August 26, 2015 04:10AM

Hay-Rolling Joe Knocks Up a Teenager

--“Fannying” the Flames: A Paternal DNA Cover-up for the Prophet of the Restoration of Insemination in the Fullness of Times

Like so much involving the dark side of Mormonism, hiding the historical evidence is of paramount importance to maintaining the mirage. And what better place to focus than on covering up the spread of Joseph Smith's paternal DNA?

**RfMer "sistersalamander" provides a succinct retort to Mormon apologist Bruce Hales' "history” tour of Joseph Smith’s DNA:

“Gotta love how Hales says ‘antagonists’ might argue that Joseph Smith’s other kids might have been kept secret.

“DUH! The whole point was to keep everything ultra-SECRET at the time -- so secret that even sisters who were plural wives didn't know about each other's marriages to Joseph.

“Just imagine what kinds of disaster might have ensued if word got out that other women were cooking Joseph's buns in their ovens: mass defection from the church including most of Joseph's inner circle, collapse of Nauvoo, more tar-and-feather attempts on Joseph (maybe successful ones), political backlash, economic ruin, and a whole lot of women, including Emma, wanting to give JS just what he deserved. Not to mention public shame for the plural wives. No wonder they wanted to cover up any concrete evidence of hanky-panky. With so much at stake, it's hardly surprising that they did a good job of hiding the fruits of that smoking iron rod.

“Sure, decades later the Utah Church might have wanted to find these children in order to refute RLDS charges that JS never practiced polygamy, but by then the tracks had been covered for a long, long time.

“Oh, and check out the way Hales demonizes Emma.”

("Re: How much does Brian Hales help Joseph's credibility as a prophet?," posted by "sistersalamander," on "Recovery from Mormonism" discussion board, 22 February 2013,,803482,803637#msg-803637)

**An example of such a cover-up involving children Joseph Smith sired with women other than Emma? Can you say Fanny Alger-- the teenage girl whom Smith impregnated?

Smith's first known sexual affair was with 16-year-old Fanny, who was living with Smith and his first wife Emma in their Kirtland, Ohio, home. Fanny was also Smith's first confirmed 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 1836 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)

More sordid details on the scandalous sexual liaison that Smith had with Fanny:

As noted above, Emma was quite aware of the adulterous affair that her faithless hubby Joseph Smith had with one of his "adopted daughters," Fanny [Fannie] Alger:

"Benjamin Johnson, a close friend of Joseph Smith, described Fanny as, 'very nice and comely, [to whom] everyone seemed partial for the amiability of her character.”

"She is generally considered the first plural wife of Joseph Smith. Although undocumented, the marriage of Fanny and Joseph most likely took place in Kirtland, Ohio, sometime in 1833. She would have been 16 years old.

"At the time, Fanny was living in the Smith home, perhaps helping Emma with house work and the children.

"Ann Eliza Webb recalls:

"'Mrs. Smith had an adopted daughter, a very pretty, pleasing young girl, about seventeen years old. She was extremely fond of her; no mother could be more devoted, and their affection for each other was a constant object of remark, so absorbing and genuine did it seem.'

"Joseph kept his marriage to Fanny out of the view of the public, and his wife Emma.

"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.'

"Ann Eliza again recalls:

“' . . . [I]t was felt that [Emma] certainly must have had some very good reason for her action. By degrees it became whispered about that Joseph’s love for his adopted daughter was by no means a paternal affection, and his wife, discovering the fact, at once took measures to place the girl beyond his reach . . . . Since Emma refused decidedly to allow her to remain in her house . . . my mother offered to take her until she could be sent to her relatives . . . .'

"Book of Mormon witness, Oliver Cowdery, felt the relationship was something other than a marriage. He referred to it as '[a] dirty, nasty, filthy affair . . . '

"To calm rumors regarding Fanny’s relationship with Joseph, the [Mormon] Church quickly adopted a 'Chapter of Rules for Marriage among the Saints,' which declared, 'Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with . . . polygamy; we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife . . . .’ This 'Article on Marriage' was canonized and published in the 'Doctrine & Covenants.' In 1852, the doctrine of polygamy was publicly announced, thus ending 18 years of secret practice. 'The Article on Marriage' became obsolete and was later removed."

("The Wives of Joseph Smith: Fanny Alger," at:

Mormon historians Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery shed further light on the Joseph Smith/Fanny Alger affair:

"Emma [Smith] took 19-year-old Fanny Alger into her home early in 1835. Fanny's parents and brother were members of the Church. Benjamin F. Johnson said . . . 'that Joseph LOVED HER.'

"But Joseph loved her indiscreetly, for Warren Parrish told Benjamin Johnson '[t]hat he himself and Oliver Cowdery did know that Joseph had Fanny Alger as a wife, for they were SPIED UPON and found together.'

"William McLellin told his account of Joseph and Fanny Alger to a newspaper reporter in 1875: '[McLellin] . . . informed me of the spot where the first well-authenticated case of polygamy took place, in which Joseph Smith was “sealed” to the hired girl. The “sealing" took place in a barn on the hay mow, and was witnessed by Mrs. Smith through a crack in the door! . . . Long afterward when he visited Mrs. Emma Smith, . . . she then and there declared on her honor that it was a fact--"saw it with my own eyes."'

"In an 1872 letter, McClellin gave other details of the story. He said that Emma missed both Fanny and Joseph one night and went to look for them. She 'saw him and Fanny in the barn together alone. She looked through the crack and saw the transaction!! She told me this story too was verily true.'

"Joseph's theology may have allowed him to marry Fanny, but Emma was not ready to share her marriage with another woman. When Fanny's pregnancy became obvious, Emma forced her to leave. . . .

"The incident drove a serious wedge between Oliver Cowdery and Joseph. Oliver wrote to his brother Warren from Missouri on January 21, 1838: '. . . [W]e had some conversation in which . . . [a] dirty, nasty, filthy affair of his and Fanny Alger's was talked over in which I strictly declared that I had never deviated from the truth in the matter . . . . [J]ust before leaving, he wanted to drop every past thing, in which had been a difficulty or difference . . . .'"

(Linda King Newell and Valleen Tippetts Avery, "Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith--Prophet's Wife, 'Elect Lady,' Polygamy's Foe" (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1984), p. 66, original emphasis)

Historian Fawn Brodie (who placed the age of the orphaned Fanny at 17 when Joseph "seduced" her after she came to live with Joseph and Emma), described the affair as a "breath of scandal hot upon his neck," regardless of "[w]hether or not [she] bore Joseph a child." (Brodie reports, nonetheless, that "[t]here is some evidence that Fannie Alger bore Joseph a child in Kirtland"). Adding intrigue to the tryst, Brodie writes that "[w]hen in later years, polygamy had become an accepted pattern in Mormon life, Joseph's leading elders looked back to the Kirtland days and concluded that Fannie Alger had been the prophet's first wife. But when they questioned her about her relation with Joseph, she replied: 'That is all a matter of my own, and I have nothing to communicate."

Joseph's affair with Fanny was something that Emma could not easily forget. Indeed, Brodie observes that this "unfortunate infatuation" on Joseph's part for a "winsome servant girl" whom Emma had "taken into the family," absolutely incensed her:

"The scandal was insufferable to Emma, who was passionately fond and jealous of her husband. She had, moreover, a keen sense of the propriety and dignity of his office and must have been humiliated for the Church itself, which was beginning to attain stature and some degree of stability."

Brodie suggests that the affair ended up having a corrosive effect on Joseph's personal relationship with Emma, as hinted at "in November 1835 [when] he made a public statement [published in the 'Latter-Day Saint Messenger and Advocate'], part of which by its strange emphasis would seem to indicate that his domestic life was far from tranquil: 'Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the Church. . . . Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.'"

(Fawn Brodie, ""No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet," 2nd ed., revised and enlarged (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1983], pp. 181-83, 345)

**As expected, Mormon apologists are quick to question whether Fanny became pregnant by Smith, raising doubts about what became of any such child produced by the union.

The website "Joseph Smith's Polygamy--run by Mormon Church apologist/"historian," Brian C. Hales--offers this rather predictable response to the question about the suspected birth and fate of Fanny Alger's newborn child:

"Chauncy Webb suggested that Emma learned about Joseph’s marriage to Fanny Alger when the girl became pregnant. According to Wilhelm Wyl, who interviewed 'Mr. W,': 'In Kirtland, [Joseph] was sealed there secretly to Fanny Alger. 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.'

"There is no record that Fanny, in fact, had a child, but Emma’s angry reaction would be consistent with her later behavior under similar circumstances. She obviously did not consider it a genuine marriage. . . .

"There are certainly a number of scenarios (including miscarriage and stillbirth) by which Fanny could have been pregnant but had no child who made it into contemporary records. In 1878, William McLellin told Joseph F. Smith and Orson Pratt: 'Emma Smith told him that Joseph was both a polygamist and an adulterer.' (Joseph Fielding Smith, 'Life of Joseph F. Smith, Sixth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' [Salt Lake City, Utah:p. Deseret, 1938. 239]. If Emma made such a statement and if McLellin reported it correctly (he would have been 72 in 1878), then it may mean that Emma accepted Nauvoo plural marriage as 'polygamy,' but rejected Joseph’s Kirtland relationship with Alger, calling it 'adultery.'"

("Joseph Smith's Polygamy: The Joseph Smith-Fanny Alger Relationship--A Brief History," at:

**Now, for a more honest take:

Mormon historian Todd Compton, in his book, "In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith" (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1997, p. 35), concludes that Smith likely had sex with Alger, got her pregnant and that:

--Fanny miscarried,

--the baby was born but died prematurely, or

--the baby was raised under a different identity:

"[Chauncy] Webb acknowledges that this was a fully sexual union. Since there is no record of Fanny having a child, either Webb was mistaken (though that seems unlikely, if Fanny lived in his home after leaving the Smith home), the child was miscarried or died young, or it was raised under another name. Without further documentation, there is no way of knowing."

**Don Bradley, an LDS history specialist, presented a paper at the August 2010 Sunstone Symposium entitled, "Dating Fanny Alger: The Nature, Timing and Consequences of an Early Polygamous Relationship."

His conclusion: Fanny got pregnant by Joseph Smith and was sent out of state to have the baby.

Bradley summed up his paper's thesis as follows:

"Fanny Alger left Joseph and Emma Smith's home pregnant, under Emma's wrath, and in the middle of the night. The incident set Kirtland on fire with rumors of the prophet's adultery, or was it polygamy? Some scholars have argued that the relationship was an 1835 affair, too early for polygamy, others that it was an 1833 marriage. Which of these theories is right? Or are they all they wrong together? I will piece together what happened the night Fanny was evicted, what consequences followed, and when all this occurred, illuminating Joseph and Fanny's relationship and other longstanding enigmas."

(Don Bradley, abstract of paper, "Dating Fanny Alger: The Nature, Timing, and Consequences of an Early Polygamous Relationship," delivered at "Sunstone 2010 Symposium and Workshops, Salt Lake City, Utah, 7 August 2010, at:

Bradley's presentation was later summarized thusly:

"Bradley tried to pin down when the 'affair' happened. Apparently, Emma discovered Joseph and Fanny late at night in the barn. According to Bradley, Alger appeared pregnant. Emma threw a fit, and threw Alger out of the house. (Apparently Alger had been working as a sort of nanny).

"The discovery of the relationship by Emma probably dates to the summer or fall of 1835. Bradley recounted several people who have tried to pin down the date, and noted problems with each date. Some authors have discussed an “embarrassing” incident of polygamy in August 1835. Joseph left for Pontiac, Michigan, possibly to avoid embarrassment for his role. On October 14, 1835, Joseph describes 'dealing with household issues,' possibly a reference to evict Fanny. However, Mark Ashurst-Mcgee suggests this incident refers not to Fanny, but a problem with employees at the printing office.

"Fanny left Kirtland in August or September 1836, so the incident must have occurred prior to that. Bradley notes that dissenters condemned Joseph on July 24, and Joseph left for Salem, Massachusetts, for a treasure trip the next day on July 25.

"Bradley believes Joseph sent Fanny to Missouri at the same time. William McLellin gave his famous quote about having 'no confidence' in Church leadership around this time as well. Fanny soon married non-member Solomon Custer after just a six-week courtship. Bradley believes it may have been a cover of legitimacy if Fanny was indeed pregnant."

("Sunstone 2010--A Feminist Recap," by "Mormon Heretic," 17 August 2010, at:; For more information, see Bradley's research on polygamy entitled, "Mormon Polygamy Before Nauvoo?: The Relationship of Joseph Smith and Fanny Alger," in "The Persistence of Polygamy: Joseph Smith and the Origins of Mormon Polygamy," Newell G. Bringhurst and Craig L. Foster, ed. (Independence, Missouri: JohnWhitmerBooks, 2010), at:

Bradley eventually came to RfM to post further details about Fanny’s pregnancy:

"In assessing Chauncey Webb's account it's important to note just who Chauncey Webb was in relation to Fanny Alger. When Fanny Alger was kicked out of the Smith home by Emma, because of her relationship with Joseph, Fanny went and stayed with the Webbs. Thus when Chauncey says Fanny was visibly pregnant at the time, he was in a position to know.

"Fanny's hurried marriage to Solomon Custer soon thereafter, within just weeks of meeting him, was undoubtedly for the purpose of giving legitimacy to her child. But since the later census gives no record of the child, he or she presumably died in infancy.


("Re: Fanny Alger, Joseph Smith and Questions about the Baby," by Don Bradley, on "Recovery from Mormonism" discussion board 29 February 2014, at:,1163443,1164338#msg-1164338)

**RfM poster “icedtea”—a descendant of Fanny Alger--states that Fanny was, in fact, impregnated by Joseph Smith:

“I’m related to Fanny Alger through a common ancestor, so I've done a bit of research on Ancestry and other sites, and am working on a paper about it.

From my previous post in,1163443,1163443 :

“I'm currently working on a paper about the Joseph Smith/Fanny relationship--from a genealogical perspective. I've uncovered some surprising facts:

“Fanny was born in Massachusetts on 30 September 1817, which meant she would have been 16 years old in 1833 -- an age at which it was then common for girls to take jobs as nannies or live-in domestic help.

“Her family moved to Cuyahoga county, Ohio, at least by 1830. Some land and tax records suggest they may have purchased land there as early as 1823. Like many pioneer families, they didn't move alone, but were accompanied by extended family members, including some of the Hancocks (Fanny's mother's family), and perhaps some of Samuel Alger's brothers. The group settled just ten miles down the road from Kirtland. This circumstance shows that Fanny had other relatives in the area to whom she could have turned when Emma evicted her.

“Fanny did, in fact, give birth to an illegitimate son named Orrison (Orson in some records) Smith sometime between 1834 and 1836. Although Ugo Perego stated that he had done DNA testing that ruled out Joseph Smith as Orrison Smith's father, I wasn't able to locate any solid information on how that testing was conducted or even if it really happened.

“The Samuel Alger family, having joined the Mormon church in 1830, left Ohio for Missouri in Sept. 1836, but stopped for the winter in Wayne County, Indiana sometime in late September or early October due to ‘bad roads’ (

“She married Solomon Custer in Dublin, Wayne County, Indiana on 16 November 1836 (Wayne County IN online marriage database; Solomon is listed as CARTER, not Custer). They went on to have several children of their own, remaining in Indiana. He died in 1885 and Fanny died at the home of one of her sons (with Custer) in Indianapolis in 1889 (Fanny Alger Custer obituary).

“Orrison Smith isn't listed with the Solomon Custer household in the 1850, 1860 or 1870 Federal censuses. Solomon doesn't appear in the 1840 census (at least, not as Solomon Custer), and it's unlikely from the household composition that he and Fanny were living with Solomon's father Paul that year.

“At least three men named Orrison Smith were born in Ohio during 1834-36; all three appeared in subsequent censuses with Smith families who appeared to be their biological parents. (If anyone has more info about this, please post it).

“What, if anything, did Orrison Smith know about his parentage? Later in her life, Fanny refused to discuss her relationship with Joseph Smith or her son. The LDS Church is adamant that Orrison has been tested and couldn't possibly be the bio child of Joseph Smith -- but I suspect otherwise.

“She married Solomon Custer in Dublin, Wayne County, Indiana, on 16 November 1836 (Wayne County, Indiana, online marriage database; Solomon is listed as CARTER, not Custer). They went on to have several children of their own, remaining in Indiana. He died in 1885 and Fanny died at the home of one of her sons (with Custer) in Indianapolis in 1889 (Fanny Alger Custer obituary).

“Orrison Smith isn't listed with the Solomon Custer household in the 1850, 1860 or 1870 Federal censuses. Solomon doesn't appear in the 1840 census (at least, not as Solomon Custer), and it's unlikely from the household composition that he and Fanny were living with Solomon's father Paul that year.

“At least three men named Orrison Smith were born in Ohio during 1834-36; all three appeared in subsequent censuses with Smith families who appeared to be their biological parents . . . .

“What, if anything, did Orrison Smith know about his parentage? Later in her life, Fanny refused to discuss her relationship with Joseph Smith or her son. The LDS Church is adamant that Orrison has been tested and couldn't possibly be the bio child of JS -- but I suspect otherwise.”

“My best guess is that Perego tested descendants of one of these three and then unsurprisingly found them NOT related to Joseph Smith. What happened to Fanny's son? He may have been brought up by someone else under another name or have died very young.”

(“Re: What happened to Joseph Smith's child by Fanny Alger?,” by “icedtea,” on “Recovery from Mormonism” discussion board, 22 September 2014,,1384189,1384398#msg-1384398; and
“Re: Fanny Alger, Joseph Smith and Questions about the Baby . ,” by “icedtea,” on “Recovery from Mormonism” discussion board, 10 February 2014,,1163443,1165724#msg-1165724)

In response this information from “icedtea,” RfM poster “randyj” wrote:

“This is the first I've heard that Fanny actually had a child. I was familiar with the accounts which say she was pregnant, but I hadn't learned anything further than that. If, as Perego alleges, Joseph Smith wasn't the father, then that means that his first documented ‘plural wife,’ still a teenager, was banging some other guy at the same time. And that prospect tarnishes both Fanny's and Joseph's reputation. It also confirms the opinions of Smith's anti-polygamy critics that sex was the primary driver of the practice. I wonder if that has crossed Perego's mind.

“Speaking of Perego, I won't believe any of his alleged DNA studies which rule out Smith as the father of this or that woman's child unless the tests are backed up by non-Mormon geneticists. The work of any scholar regarding Mormon truth claims who cashes a paycheck from LDS Inc. needs to be confirmed by an unbiased person of equal qualifications.”

(“Re: Fanny Alger, Joseph Smith and Questions About the baby,” by “randyj,” on “Recovery from Mormonism” discussion board, 10 February 2014,,1163443,1166591#msg-1166591)

Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2015 05:58PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: August 26, 2015 04:10AM


The never-ending attempts by the Mormon Cult's predictable (and inwardly deeply insecure) flock of bleating apologists to muddy the waters on Joseph Smith’s adulterous child-producing affairs leaves them in an unenviable and unchanging position.

They're screwed.

Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2015 06:03PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Ex-Sis ( )
Date: August 26, 2015 01:48PM

This should be a chapter in the gospel doctrine manual, seminary, institute... or a dedicated website like the CES letter.

Does anyone wonder what the real "salary" is for the seminary teacher in Rome? The notion that he will do research in his "spare time" after teaching seminary is laughable. He probably gets the company jet to the Hawaiian compound...

Thank you for shining a light under the seer stone.

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Posted by: Joseph Smith ( )
Date: November 28, 2016 04:22AM

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Posted by: Ideas ( )
Date: December 08, 2016 03:28PM

Here is another option: Withdraw method, pull it out before you go. It worked perfect for my wife an me. We staged our kids just how we planned, and we have a lot of children.

Just a thought

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Posted by: whateva ( )
Date: August 26, 2015 04:40AM

Joseph Smith is a child molester in heaven! Good luck telling your children that fact!

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Posted by: passing through ( )
Date: August 26, 2015 10:21AM

I'm so glad I wasn't alive during this time. If my destiny was to tangle with Moism I'm relieved it was during the relatively benign GBH regime.

If I'd been alive I would've shot JS dead on the street and been hanged for it. All the abuse and risk he placed those women in!
-abuse of authority and supposed fatherly/pastoral roles
-underage and/or unwilling
-engaging in the exploitive transaction of prostitution
-risk of scandal/shame/labeling as whores for the women had, at the time, the real potential for homelessness and starvation or domestic violence
-risks of childbirth significantly higher in those days
-lastly risk of STDs. Syphilis, people!

Suddenly I feel a real sympathy for the Missourians and the mob outside Carthage jail. I would've helped that widow's son ride the express handbasket to hell. I so wish there was one, if only for #$%€¥&*s like Joseph Smith!

Thanks Steve as always for the journalistic resources. If I get tounge tied around the TBM relatives I can always use your posts as a reference to the abundant proof that JS was no holy man.

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Posted by: dejavue ( )
Date: August 26, 2015 01:14PM

Steve, For me you stand right up there with Moses when he parted the sea (except you are a real human). Amazing job man! You are formidable! Thank you !

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: August 26, 2015 05:06PM

Moses looks out over the water, turns to Jesus and says," I wonder if I've still got it."

He turns back toward the Red Sea, raises his arms high above his head and in a commanding voice bellows, "Sea, Part!"

The sea parts.

Moses winks at Jesus and says, "Your turn."

Jesus peers out at the sea, sets his jaw, hikes up his cloak and walks out on the water a couple of yards, then sinks.

He wades back to shore flustered and drenched.

Moses is standing there, chuckling to himself.

Jesus glowers at Moses, turns back toward the sea, hikes up his cloak and again walks out on to the surface of the water--this time, five yards--then sinks.

Jesus storms back to shore, muttering, "Dammit, I used to be able to do this!"

Moses says, "Do you think it might be the holes in your feet?"

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2015 05:08PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Bruce A Holt ( )
Date: August 27, 2015 06:15PM

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Posted by: seekyr ( )
Date: November 28, 2016 01:12PM

oh, oh, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

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Posted by: icedtea ( )
Date: August 27, 2015 08:51AM

One has to wonder, if Perego managed to compile such an accurate partial haplotype in 2008 from cheek-swabbing JS's descendants, why he never managed to complete paternity testing for Josephine Sessions.

Given the amount of non-DNA evidence Steve has chronicled above, the lack of published results on Sessions' paternity, plus Perego's switch of location and career field shortly afterwards, just might be indicative of a baby-daddy skeleton in the chromosomal closet.

Now that DNA testing is available to the general public, there's nothing to stop individual descendants of Smith and Sessions from getting their testing done and exchanging information. While it might not be the complete information they'd get from a study done by scientists, they would at least have some indication of how closely they are related. That could spell trouble for Mormons who want to pretend Smith didn't have sex (or children) with his plural wives.

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Posted by: Lasvegasrichard ( )
Date: August 27, 2015 12:09PM

On the flip side , why does everyone automatically assume that all of Emma's children were fathered by Smith ?

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: August 27, 2015 04:00PM

"What Happened to Emma' Children?

by Mike Kennedy
08 December 2013
Last Updated: 22 January 2014

"A: Joseph and Emma had 11 children counting the 2 Murdock twins. Beginning from the eldest:

"Alvin was born 15 Jun 1828 and died the same day. His death was during the time of the lost 116 pages of Joseph Smith’s translation of the Book of Mormon.

"Thaddeus Smith & Louisa Smith were born on 20 April 1831 in Kirtland and also died on the same day. During this same period of nime and nearby, John Murdock’s wife was also delivering twins but due to complications John lost his wife and he gave the twins to Emma to raise. The Murdock’s named the twins Julia and Joseph Murdock. John Murdock did not live long and Julia survived to adulthood.

"Julia Murdock was 13 at the time of her step father’s death. She married Elisha Dixon who unfortunately was killed when a boiler on his steamboat exploded. She later remarried John Middleton who became an alcoholic and abusive, Julia divorced this relationship and returned to live in Nauvoo. Later she developed breast cancer and died from that a few years after Emma’s death. She did not have children from either marriage. Thus, no posterity.

"Joseph Murdock died 19 Mar 1832 in Hiram, OH as a result of exposure to winter and the mobs. Joseph Smith was taking care of the sick infant, Joseph Murdock, when mobs came in and drug him out in the cold winter night to tar and feather him leaving little Joseph exposed to the winter elements.
Joseph Smith III was born 6 Nov 1832 also in Kirtland. He married 3 times. First to Emmaline Griswold, then Bertha Madison and finally Ada Clark. The first two wives died one from an illness and the other from an accident. Ada survived Joseph III by about a year. Between all 3 wives he had a total of 18 children but even with that number his descendants had an extremely high mortality rate so they only number less than a thousand descendants. Joseph III was the first of Joseph Smith’s family on the records of the Church as his father did baptize him, but he was only 11 at the time of his father’s death. He took over the leadership of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until his death on the 10 Dec 1914. The last years of his life he was blind.

"Frederick Granger Smith was born 20 Jun 1836 and though he lived to adulthood he died at an early age of 25 on 13 April 1862. He did marry but his wife left him and she took his only child Alice. Alice was the next descendant of the Prophet to be on the records of the Church as she was baptized. She did not remain active due to much anti-Mormon sentiment and she did not marry thus no children or posterity.
Alexander Hale Smith was born 2 Jun 1838 in Far West, Missouri. He married, Elizabeth Agnes Kendall and they had 9 children. One of his children Ina Inez married an Australian so today almost 1/3 of Joseph Smith’s posterity live in Australia. Alexander died on 12 Aug 1909. Due to the untimely death of his brother, Frederick, he indicated in his journal he had a spiritual experience from which begins his support of his brother in the Reorganized Church. His posterity is the most numerous of Joseph Smith’s nearly 2400 descendants.

"Don Carlos Smith was born 13 Jun 1840 and died 15 Aug 1841 in Nauvoo. Don Carlos lives to be one year old before Emma and Joseph bury him. (As a side note, it’s shortly after this Emma becomes the President of the Relief Society).
Finally, Joseph’s last child, David Hyrum, in which Joseph does not live long enough for him to see in life. David is born 18 Nov. 1844 so just 5 months after the martyrdom. David marries Clara Hartshorn and they have one child Elbert. David serves as a missionary for the Reorganized Church but does not get to complete his final mission due to illness. After returning home, his health declines and he spends the next 30 years of his life in a mental institution. Extracting his medical records and examined by our modern physicians we believe his illness may have been sugar related, hypoglycemia. David has 3 grandchildren; the first died at birth, the second believing his father’s illness might be hereditary elected to not have any children and the third son also fearing the hereditary impact of this illness elected to adopt."

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/27/2015 04:05PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Chicken N. Backpacks ( )
Date: November 28, 2016 01:45PM

With the high infant mortality rate, it makes you wonder why God let it happen. Especially with mormons, since they were supposed to replenish the earth and raise righteous seed; why didn't they get higher survival rates than the gentiles?

You know...before God invented better medical and hygieneic practices.

But tobacco for sick cattle, now THERE'S a health revelation.

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Posted by: munchkin ( )
Date: November 28, 2016 09:53PM

OMG Steve, I can't read all of this. Can you do a TL:DR for myself and others like me? Thanks!

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: November 29, 2016 03:20AM

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Posted by: readwrite ( )
Date: November 29, 2016 05:46PM ?

Synopsis or chart? maybe?

Wish I had time to read this... or listen to a potcast of it.

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Posted by: icedtea ( )
Date: December 12, 2016 01:31AM

There are a few more explanations, all having to do with fertility. Conception can only occur a handful of days each month; the ovum is only viable for 24 hours, although sperm can survive, depending on conditions, for three or four days prior. Young women who are just starting to menstruate may not ovulate every month or may have very irregular cycles. If a man doesn't hit that small open window of fertility, no pregnancy results.
Smith had thirty-three wives -- besides Emma.
His two fourteen-year-old "wives" were probably not yet fertile. Sixteen-year-old Flora Woodworth may not have been or may have been only sporadically fertile. Eleven were married to other men, so any children would have been ascribed to the legal husbands, not Smith; if we discount Sylvia Sessions Lyon, the number is ten. Two more wives were past childbearing age.

That leaves eighteen single, presumably fertile women who could have gotten pregnant. Four of them may very well have done so: Fanny Alger, Sylvia Lyon, Eliza Snow, and Olive Frost. These have been discussed at length elsewhere; in each case, there's at least reason to believe pregnancy occurred.

What about the rest? Besides abortion and somewhat effective nineteenth-century contraceptive methods (detailed in other threads), there are a few plausible explanations for the lack of Smith-sired children. First, there's that fertility window. Fanny, who almost certainly became pregnant with Smith's child, lived in his home; he had plenty of access and opportunity to do the deed when her window was wide open. Sylvia and Eliza, two other likely candidates, hooked up with Smith in 1842 -- when he had comparatively few other fields to sow. Eliza lived in his home for several months, affording him more access and opportunity.

During and after Smith's 1843 multi-wifing spree, when he took on seventeen additional brides, the only other probable baby mama is Olive Frost. Even though most were young and fertile, Smith's busy seed-spreading schedule meant he probably spent little time banging any particular woman -- probably not enough to obtain a direct hit through the fertility window.

There's also the one-shot scenario: most of the women who testified they had sex with Smith described encounters on the wedding night or shortly after. There's little mention of repeated trysts over months or years. In some cases, he ended relationships after a short time, as he did with Emily and Eliza Partridge, or Emma ended them for him, as with Flora Woodworth (who married non-Mormon Carlos Gove the day after Emma confronted her). It's possible that, for whatever reasons, Smith may have hit it and moved on. Fear of detection (especially after rumors started flying in Nauvoo) and the difficulty of arranging rendezvous may have contributed. If some wives only got one shot, it's not too surprising they didn't get pregnant -- especially considering the next factor.

If Smith had sex with Emma regularly, masturbated, and serviced dozens of other women, he probably kept a very low sperm count. He could have also used withdrawal and/or engaged in activities that couldn't result in pregnancy.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: December 31, 2016 12:39PM

Bumping for the "Follow Topic" check.

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