In another thread, RFM poster “whiteandelightsome” asks,
“Why can't we find any children of Joe other than with Emma?”http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1658527,1658527#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 , [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:http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700150651/DNA-solves-a-Joseph-Smith-mystery.html?pg=all
**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 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: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/600137517/Research-focuses-on-Smith-family.html
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.
"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," http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/50479-dating-fanny-alger/page__st__20
; also quoted in "Joseph Smith and Polygamy," under "Other Excerpts," on "Mormonism Research Ministry," http://www.mrm.org/joseph-smith-and-polygamy
; 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, http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/lifestyle/54790798-80/bradley-mormon-faith-smith.html.csp
**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, http://www.josephsmithspolygamy.com/images/ChartJSPossibleChildren.html
; see also Hale's website home page, http://www.josephsmithspolygamy.com/index.html
**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," http://www.i4m.com/think/history/joseph_smith_sex.htm
--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
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: http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/DNA.htm
---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:http://www.josephsmithdna.com/1/post/2011/01/there-is-dna-and-dna.html
**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: http://www.josephsmithdna.com/1/post/2012/03/ugo-perego-has-been-exiled.html
**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:http://www.josephsmithdna.com/1/post/2012/03/ugo-perego-has-been-exiled.html
"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: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,800927,801057#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...
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: http://www.josephsmithspolygamy.com/JSPSexuality/MASTERJSPSexuality.html
**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.
"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.
"'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: http://www.i4m.com/think/history/joseph_smith_sex.htm=
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.