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Saints: The Standard of Truth Part 27: The Partridge Sisters (Part 2)

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
March 9, 2020 9:30 pm

Saints: The Standard of Truth Part 27: The Partridge Sisters (Part 2)

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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March 9, 2020 9:30 pm

In the final week (of 6) covering different parts of the LDS Church history book Saints, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson continue where they left off yesterday as they take a closer look at the Partridge sisters, whom Joseph Smith married both, first behind his wife Emma’s back and later with her approval.

Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever
Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever
Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever
Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever

.1 Mormonism is the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcomed this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson.

My colleague at MRM we continue looking at the book Saints published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 2018. It's a history book which is not quite as in-depth as a documentary history of the church which is been used for decades, but it is a bit more transparent at times. Although there certainly is a lot of information they could've included, but it's already a thick book but were talking now about the polygamy era.

During the time of Nauvoo, Illinois. The settlement of commerce Illinois at that later had a name change to Nauvoo. We talked about yesterday. The fact that Joseph Smith was sealed in marriage to two sisters Emily and Eliza Partridge in the book then throws it on page 485 how Brigham Young and his wife Marianne had come to know through prayer and inspiration that they should practice plural marriage and with Maryann's consent. Brigham had been sealed to a woman named Lucy and Decker in June 1842 year after Joseph had first taught him the principal now the principal is code word for plural marriage fundamentalist groups still use that word today but the next sentences that Lucy, the speaking of Lucy Decker had separated from her husband and had young children to care for now. When I read the words separated Eric I didn't understand it to mean divorced. Why would they use the words separated in this book if she was in fact divorced so you and I did some some looking into that and, though oftentimes they describe Brigham's relationship with Lucy as she was divorced and then married Brigham Young.

We can't find a date or she was officially divorce, at least not before she ends up becoming recommends wife how we looked on a lot of different places. We did find that in 1841 that Lucy had her third child with William Seeley and that their child died and so in 1841 while here it is.

In June 1842. She's getting married. I think you're right. The word separated must infer the fact that there was no divorce and we found in some Internet information that perhaps that Lucy thought her husband had died.

But if he had died. You would want a death certificate.

He actually lives for another decade. After this you think you would want proof that he died in order to marry again.

This goes along with what I was saying yesterday. This idea of plural marriage.

This principle is supposed to be a commandment from God but yet folks look at how many sins must be committed in order to cover-up or even practice this principle you have in this case where Lucy ends up Marion Brigham Young before she's officially divorce from her husband.

You have Joseph Smith remaining silent when even his own brother and his wife for hearing rumors about plural marriage and denying that his brother or her husband was actually involved in this practice. Smith doesn't seem to want to correct them and let them know what is actually happening. So you cannot separate lying prevarication from the practice of polygamy when it was coming out during the Nauvoo.

You just cannot do that and to walk away from this thinking that Joseph Smith handled the subject in a virtuous manner.

I think if you're doing that, you're probably self-deluded. Unfortunately Bill yesterday.

You talked about the organization of the relief Society that was done on March 17, 1842.

Now that was with his wife as the head of this but why do you think that the relief Society was formulated by this mess.

Well I think people are going to say will you're just prejudiced Bill because you don't like Joseph Smith or his behavior, but Mormons with arguable it was a woman's auxiliary.

It was the place where women met to do the things that women would do in the church that particular time. I think there could have been easily an ulterior motive on the part of Joseph Smith he's got all these women pulled in one area he puts his wife as the head of it and when we read that incident where Emma was telling those in the relief Society that they needed to quench all these wicked rumors about her husband. She's talking to some of the women who are the reason for those rumors and they're not saying a word to her as a virtuous husband put his wife in a situation where she looks foolish or whatever virtuous woman be allowing another man to marry her, knowing that that man has a wife and then not tell that wife even when she obviously doesn't know about it.

It was seems cruel to me will not only with these kind of marital arrangements: quote be offensive to many of us Christians in the 21st century. Can you imagine how offensive it had to of been to many of the people in the 19th century during the Victorian era. Certainly they must've been appalled by some of these rumors and they were many were appalled by this, as are many modern Latter Day Saints when they start reading about this history.

So this is one of those areas. Eric or I would. I guess you could say I give kudos to the LDS church for being pretty candid about Joseph Smith's behavior. I don't know if they think being as honest as they are about this is going to help a lot of what's a latter-day St. women who were troubled by the concept of polygamy in the first place. I don't know if it's can I help them if it was me I would think of it only make my disgust increase for Joseph Smith to let me keep reading on page 489 because when you get into the Partridge sisters here and I think this is fascinating what the book admits to it says two months after her ceiling to Joseph Emily Partridge still worked every day in the Smith home washing and mending clothes and tending the children that was remember here two months after resealing the Joseph on page 483. It says that Emily was sealed to Joseph Smith on March 4, 1843 and not only that, but she hasn't told Ella so she's working in their home, knowing that she's married to Joseph Smith. The book goes on and says in choosing to be sealed to Joseph Emily trusted in her witness that she was acting in obedience to the Lord's commandment, she and her sister Eliza continue to keep their marriage is private. They and the others who practice plural marriage never referred to it as polygamy, which they considered a worldly term not a priesthood ordinance when Joseph or someone else condemned quote unquote polygamy or quote unquote spiritual wife re-in public.

Those who practice plural marriage understood that they were not referring to their covenant relationships is amazing when a case of equivocation you use the word polygamy Joseph Smith condemns polygamy you know that your married polygamist lead to Joseph Smith but yet you tell yourself let's not talking about me. That's not what I believe. That's not what I'm doing. Even though it most certainly is what you're doing and yet you don't see the connection here. The book goes on to say on page 490 because neither Joseph nor Emma wrote down how they felt about plural marriage, many questions are left unanswered.

The second time this book makes in a comment like that.

The first time. It mentions a comment like that. He goes on to say, but there's plenty written by other people that tends to give us an idea of what they were thinking and how they felt about plural marriage. We know for instance that Emma Joseph Smith's wife hated polygamy she despised polygamy. She lied about it later on in her life, but the fact is I don't even know why this sentence has to be repeated in here because they were to basically answer that question a few pages earlier, but it says in her writings. Emily this is Emily Partridge recorded some of their struggles with the practice. At times Emma rejected it completely, while at other times reluctantly accepting it as a commandment cord between the Lord's mandate to practice plural marriage and Emma's opposition. Joseph sometimes chose to marry women without Emma's knowledge, creating distressing situations for everyone involved.

No yeah if you're a latter-day St. woman listening to us right now. Put yourself in Emma's shoes. How would you feel if your husband was secretly marrying women behind your back not telling you and then your hearing rumors about it.

How would you feel about that.

Would you when you finally come to find out that there's some credence to these rumors would you see your husband as being a virtuous man, probably not. Let me give you a quote from Joseph Smith in history of the church, volume 6, page 46 and has been quoted in several different correlated church publications.

He said I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time unless the Lord directs otherwise just one of a number of quotes were Joseph Smith denies that you might think. Well, maybe that was from 1830 1831 1932 before he met Downey agar know that was October 5, 1843 in the same time. As late as 1843 we have a quote here where he says that he is not practicing polygamy and he doesn't believe in it. Will you just jump to October 1843. Let's go back a few months and look at what it says on page 490 in the book Saints where it talks about Emma lecturing, Emily and Eliza on the subject. It says in early May, Emma took Emily and Eliza aside and explain the principle of plural marriage to them. Think about this. These girls have already been sealed to Joseph Smith as plural wives to him.

Emma doesn't know this. So even though it's about a month and 1/2 after at least a month and 1/2 after they were already sealed to Joseph Smith is going to lecture Emily and Eliza on the principle of plural marriage is if they didn't already know about this course they already knew about it. But, doesn't know this because her husband doesn't feel it is safe to tell her about it because he knows how she's going to react.

What's interesting about that somebody might say well maybe it was just a platonic relationship that Joseph had with these two sisters, Emily said that they definitely had sex after the marriage. The for the marriage that took place just a few a month and 1/2 before and so this is disconcerting. I think for any person who thinks that Joseph is virtuous, allowing his wife not to know and having these two girls have to be quiet about it. Can you imagine the embarrassment they must've felt getting lectured about something they knew everything about will that same paragraph goes on to talk about how Emma is going to acquiesce to this, but there was a condition it says as long as she could choose the plural wives and she had chosen Emily and Eliza apparently unaware that Joseph had already been sealed to them. But then what is it going to say Eric rather than mention her former ceiling. Emily believed that keeping silent on the matter was the best thing for her to do.

A few days later, she and Eliza were again sealed the Joseph this time with Emma as a witness in Joseph Smith doesn't tell his wife Emma doesn't know about this again.

Her husband does not explain this and is quiet regarding this wedding ceremony that was really not necessary, even within the context of Mormonism as it was being taught by Joseph Smith despite the fact that he had already been married to these two girls. He decides to go through that ceremony again in order to appease them. Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is as with most Christian organizations is a research ministry depends on the generous financial support of friends like you.

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