(Emma Smith) An efficient business woman, Emma often helped Joseph with tithing appraisals and the operation of his boardinghouses. She was also an accomplished hostess. On their fifteenth wedding anniversary she and Joseph served seventy-four guests at four tables. An immaculate housekeeper, she redressed her hair every day after completing her afternoon work.
1842. August: After three weeks of hiding from Missouri lawmen, Joseph returned to Nauvoo, where he described his feelings for Emma: "With what unspeakable delight, and transports of joy swelled my bosom, when I took by the hand, on that night, my beloved Emmaâ"she that was my wife, even the wife of my youth, the choice of my heart. Many were the reverberations of my mind when I contemplated for a moment the many scenes we had been called to pass through, the fatigues and the toils, the sorrows and sufferings, and the joys and consolations, from time to time, which had strewed our paths and crowned our board. Oh what a commingling of thought filled my mind for the moment, again she is here, even in the seventh troubleâ"undaunted, firm, and unwaveringâ" unchangeable, affectionate Emma!" (1)
-- During Aug 1842
[Polygamy] to 27 Jun 1844 Marriage - Joseph to Martha McBride. PLACE: Smith's Store, Nauvoo, IL SOURCE: FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith Jr. (2)
[Polygamy] to 27 Jun 1844 Marriage - Joseph to Ruth Vose Sayers, age 33, already married. SOURCE: LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. Elder Jenson, Andrew. 1951 Volume: 1 Page: 697 Marriages in Nauvoo Region 1839-45. Easton, S. Civil Marriages in Nauvoo 1839-45. Cook, Lyndon Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register 1845-46 Mormon Manuscripts to 1846. (2)
[Polygamy] Martha McBride Knight (Age 37): Martha McBride married Vinson Knight in 1826 at the age of twenty-one. Eight years later, while living in New York State, the couple met Joseph Smith and together they joined the church. In the spring of 1835, Martha and Vinson sold their property and joined the Saints in Kirtland. Thinking he had found the truth, Vinson wrote a letter to his Mother, Now you think that your priests are holy...I do know that the foundation you stand on is an abomination in the sight of God. He continued, ...we are blessed with the privelege of going to meeting such as we never had before.
By 1841, Martha and Vinson were in Nauvoo, where Vinson was appointed Bishop of one of the three Nauvoo wards. About this same time, Joseph taught Vinson the doctrine of plural marriage and he soon took a second wife, Philinda Merrick. In mid 1842, Vinson became sick. Joseph Smiths diary records, Bro Knight has been sick about a week and this morning he began to sink very fast untill 12 o clock when death put a period to his sufferings.
Less than a month after Vinsons death, Martha married Joseph Smith. The details of the wedding and subsequent married life with Joseph are sparse. Joseph did inquire about Marthas seventeen-year-old daughter, Almira, wondering if she would be willing to become a plural wife of his brother, Hyrum. Martha discussed the issue with her daughter, but Almira chose to marry another man instead, eventually leaving Nauvoo and the unfolding of polygamy. Marthas other daughter, Adaline, would follow her mothers path by entering polygamy. Many years later, Martha received a letter from Almira discussing her apprehension about polygamy: I can never like [polygamy] for [it] has robed my Sister & her family of their just dues by dividing...substance between more than the law allows & what is still worse divided affection worse than none at all would have killed me in a vary little time but God spared me my heart bleeds for her... write soon from your affectionate daughter.... Si
Almira mentions her sister in this letter, she was perhaps unaware that her mother, Martha, was a plural wife of Joseph Smith.
After Joseph Smith was in killed in 1844, Martha obtained a cut of his hair, which she kept in a locket and treasured throughout her life. A few months later, she married Heber C. Kimball. Martha joined the westward migration to Utah, building friendships with several of her sister wives. For a few months she lived in Salt Lake City with three of Hebers thirty-nine wives, although she lived most of her life with relatives in the Ogden and Weber County area, essentially living apart from Heber. At one point she wrote in a letter to her daughter Adaline, to tell you all my feelings would be hard to do but feel some like a wanderer for truly I have not a home on the earth. I do not know where I shall go nor what I shall do. I have no one to look to but the Lord alone...I trust in him and do not dispair. Martha died in 1901. (3)
-- During Aug. 1842
[Joseph Smith] In hiding, records poignant expressions of gratitude for those who have assisted him from the beginning of his ministry. (4)
[Polygamy] Martha McBride (Knight) age 37, Widow of Vinson Knight; later sealed to Heber C. Kimball. Wiki-(3)
-- During August 1842
Orson Pratt: Rebelled against Joseph Smith August 1842. (6)
William B Smith: Elected member of Illinois State House of Representatives August 1842. (6)
1 - Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons
2 - Joseph Smith Polygamy Timeline, http://www.i4m.com/think/polygamy/JS_Polygamy_Timeline.htm
3 - Remembering the Wives of Joseph Smith, http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/
4 - Highlights in the Prophet's Life, Ensign, June 1994
5 - Wikipedia, List of the Wives of Joseph Smith, Jr., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_wives_of_Joseph_Smith,_Jr.
6 - Cook, Lyndon W., The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith: A Historical and Biographical Commentary of the Doctrine and Covenants, Seventy's Mission Bookstore, Provo UT, 1985
LDS History Timeline
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