Alexander Hale and David Hyrum Smith arrived in Utah on July 15, 1869. Their first meeting with President Brigham Young and his church leaders was on July 17. Here Young attacked their mother, Emma, referring to her as, “a liar, the damndest liar that ever lived.”
Alexander held his temper and ordered Brigham Young to stop speaking. He told Young he had gone far enough; Young’s accusations against Emma were false and the Mormon church leader knew it.
At the end of the meeting, George Q. Cannon expressed the views of the group, “…for these boys to come now and tear down what we have been so many years in building up, to me, is the height of impudence, and I will not give my consent to it.”
David Smith responded, “We will not deny that you have traveled far, suffered much and labored hard to build up a name for our father, but what sort of a name is it? A name that we his sons are ashamed to meet in good society, and it shall be our life’s work to remove from our father’s name the stain you have heaped upon it.”
(Quoted in Inez Smith, “Biography of Alexander Hale Smith–Part 6, Autumn Leaves 25 (Nov. 1912): 504; From Mission to Madness: Last Son of the Mormon Prophet, Valeen Tippetts Avery, 1998:100)
In 1869, when Alexander and David Smith were in Utah, their cousin, Joseph F. Smith (husband to three wives) was desperate to prove his father (Hyrum) and theirs (Joseph Smith Jr.) had been practicing plural marriage in Nauvoo. Several years later in a private letter to Apostle Orson Pratt, Joseph F. admitted his frustration in finding anything other than oral testimonies from the so-called ‘spiritual wives’; “…I might say almost total absence of direct evidence upon the Subject [of Nauvoo plural marriage], as connected with the Prophet Joseph himself. There was nothing written and but few living who were personally knowing to the fact that Joseph taught the principle. True much had been written in support of the Doctrine, bearing upon scriptural–and rational evidences, but not a word, except the Revelation itself. Showing that The Prophet was the Author – under God.” (Joseph F. Smith, Letter to Orson Pratt Sr., July 19, 1875; Brian Hales, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy)
Terrence J. O’Leary
In early 1869, two RLDS missionaries, Alexander and David Smith, helped to circulate a pamphlet written by RLDS E. C. Briggs and R. H. Atwood. This same 48-page pamphlet was also offered for sale in The True Latter Days Saints’ Herald. The full title of the pamphlet was: Address to the Saints in Utah and California, Polygamy Proven an Abomination by Holy Writ. Is Brigham Young President of the Church of Jesus Christ, Or is He Not? It consisted of three chapters: 1) Biblical stories misused to justify polygamy; 2) the shared Doctrine and Covenants (at that time) taught monogamy; and 3) Joseph Smith III was the rightful successor and Brigham Young was a usurper who ruled as a dictator.
The LDS Church had tried to claim that their form of polygamy was a part of their religion — beginning with the founder Joseph Smith. This pamphlet, being circulated around Utah, appears to have hit a nerve. The LDS hierarchy had to defend itself or fall. First Counselor in the LDS Presidency, George A. Smith, challenged Second Counselor in the LDS Presidency, Joseph F. Smith, to gather as much evidence as possible to refute this anti-polygamy tract. Joseph F. Smith appears to have become the driving force behind collecting those 1869 affidavits.
Margareth S Tsebedi Monyepao
Okay,that is wen the main stream LDS,(which was practicing polygamy during that time(pre1890) )compiled a list of The founder s polygamous wives to prove to the RLDS ,as LDS claimed that js promoted and participated in polygamy
Terrence J. O’Leary
I have personally researched all of those affidavits. In general, there is a lack of collaborative evidence from the Nauvoo era. The “cookie cutter” format of many of those affidavits suggests that they were prepared ahead of time and the woman was simply asked to “sign here.” This is evidenced by several in which a portion of the affidavit reads “left blank” in reference to a part of the date or the name of an alleged witness. In one case, there were two affidavits prepared for the same women. For some reason, she never signed either one.
The two affidavits show the same date but different years! Nevertheless, different LDS historians will try to justify one year or the other. However, there are conflicts with either choice! These women were living in a closed society with a firm “obey council” atmosphere. How can she refuse to sign a pre-prepared document? Several were wives of Brigham Young. Several had been wives of Heber Kimball but were widows since he had passed away in 1868. Several had lived or worked in the Smith home. Their lives and their children were totally dependent upon that culture. Signing a pre-prepared affidavit would provide safety and security. Once the document was signed, they could never deny it.
Interesting find: In anticipation of the departure of the remainder of the twelve apostles for their mission abroad, Joseph received the following divine discernment “Let the twelve be humble, and not exalted, and beware of pride, and not seek to excel one above another, but act for each other’s good, and pray for one another, and honor our brother, or make honorable mention of his name, and not backbite and devour our brother…Must the new ones that are chosen to fill the places of those that are fallen, of the quorum of the twelve, begin to exalt themselves…so high that they will soon tumble over and have a great fall, and go wallowing through the mud and mire and darkness, Judas-like, to the buffetings of Satan… O ye twelve…see to it, that you do not betray heaven; that you do not betray Jesus Christ; that you do not betray the brethren; that you do not betray the revelations of God, whether in the Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants…Yea, in all your kicking and floundering see to it that you do not this thing, lest innocent blood be found in your skirts, and you go down to hell. RLDS Church History 2:368-370.