Did Joseph Smith really practice polygamy?

I am more and more inclined to believe that stories about Joseph Smith and polygamy may have been either created or exaggerated by Mormon leaders in Utah. The research I have done makes it almost impossible for me to rely on the statements of Brigham Young, John Taylor and others regarding Joseph and polygamy. Is it likely Joseph had adulterous affairs – probably. The Fanny Alger story certainly lends credence to those reports.

If Brigham Young and John Taylor were influenced by the Cochranites to secretly practice polygamy, it would be easy for them to use Joseph’s adulterous activities to justify their own doctrine of polygamy. We know Brigham Young and John Taylor lied about their polygamous activities. Perhaps they hid them because Joseph really didn’t agree with it.

We do know that Joseph wanted his son Joseph III to take his place as head of the church after his death, and that Joseph III vehemently denied that his father practiced plural marriage. Here is a web site claiming Joseph Smith fought polygamy in the church:


The web site comes from people who followed Joseph III who stayed pretty close to orthodox Christianity in reference to the Trinity, etc. I’m not sure the Mormons can even claim proper authority from Joseph Smith. It seems to me the claim of the Community of Christ is at least as good as the LDS Church. That of course leaves open the possibility the LDS are apostates from their own tradition.

I wouldn’t challenge that viewpoint. There were worse than JS there. But you would have to remember the tarring and feathering incident, he definitely was no innocent lamb. RLDS has always been more moderate, and tolerant. I have nothing against CoC people. Given BY’s authoritarian theocracy and the heritage from that, I would agree, with some reservations.

I see this is an old post, from a year ago, but I am researching Mormonism on this forum and wanted to respond to this, that only one responded to.

I certainly believe that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy after reading this website, linked below. It faithfully based on direct quotations directly from officially accepted Mormon sources, and is in fact written by a practicing Mormon:


Reading only this, how can anyone conclude that Smith is anything* but* a fraud??

God doesn’t pick people like this for His prophets.


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