So, Joseph Smith didn't live Spiritual Wifery. It was something so contrary to Plural Marriage and so perverse that Eliza R. Snow knew the difference, Emma knew the difference, us... the we- not so much!
Cochran invented Spiritual Wifery, that was HIS term. Emma was a smart lady, who when Hyrum Smith was then accused of something so heinous, few months pregnant, gave a passioned speech to the Relief Society, so well worded/edited by her (originally written by W. W. Phelps) naming some of the "pimps" of Nauvoo, but it was her edits and passion that led to it being printed Spring of 1844. You will find that this same speech originally was read to the men, then the women, so they would KNOW that Spiritual Wifery and those who ran that disgusting business were vile liars and Joseph wanted EVERYONE to promise to not live it... he was so disgusted by it, even his letters from 1842 show how disgusted he was with "houses of infamy"... he didn't want to come back!
On the Maid of Iowa,www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/journal-december-1842-june-1844-book-4-1-march-22-june-1844/121 not long after Emma's version was printed for all to read, dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet? , those "pimps" were not happy and vowed to murder any Smith alive.
Joseph Smith said things were worse after Emma's version of the Voice of Innocence was printed... however he sanctioned it and he states that in-fact their anger towards him was because he would NOT agree to that practice or join them in Spiritual Wifery (treating women like sluts to be passed around like trash)... Those men included Chauncey Higbee, Francis Higbee, William Law (who was excommunicated for adultery, and yes that still was a thing despite some men being taught to live plural marriage). Those sexual predators killed him.
Joseph Smith was not a sexual predator. His account by Emily Partridge really opened my eyes to the kind of man that he was; one who was so tender hearted that when he saw the slightest hint of fear in her eyes, as he was about to propose, asked if he was scaring her and asked if she wanted him to stop talking and he did... she had to find him months later, although she was already living in his mansion, boarding there with MANY others, he did nothing inappropriate, took no liberties, didn't even touch her back or her hand, according to her... This is not a description of a sexual predator; predators do NOT respect boundaries like this... http://josephsmithspolygamy.org/plural-wives-overview/emily-dow-partridge/
He was not a jealous or angry man (a little on the angry side in 1842 when Spiritual wifery blew up, yes, he cussed out a man and woman who never forgave him...). When Flora basically divorced him, he didn't threaten her, he did not get angry, he in fact performed the wedding ceremony for her to marry another! According to Helen Mar Kimbal, Flora then lay dying soon after they all escaped the murderous mobs in Nauvoo, spoke of how much she regretted not choosing Joseph and had a terrible marriage to the other man...
Lucy Walker spoke of the incredible love and kindness is Joseph's face when she was feeling depressed and how he prayed all night for her to just feel some PEACE, and she DID.
Emma Smith was Joseph's choice, he loved her so much that even Brigham repeated him saying that he would go to hell for her, he'd even die for her... Basically if Joseph didn't live plural marriage he would die, and if he DID live it and men who he'd already kicked down from government positions, that were trained in the military... would then kill him; either way he dies, why get the above girls pregnant if he knows he's going to die anyway? I think he was just too tender hearted to leave a bunch of pregnant widows behind...
Melissa Lott was the oldest of the three women who testified of living in the house with Joseph and Emma as wives and the only one that I found had another account of a man who said Joseph told him- that yes, they tried to make a baby at one point, once. She was 19, Lucy Walker was 17 (in her "18th year" (that is how they spoke back then)), Emily was 18, these women were the only ones who went on the stand to prove they were also his wives, in every sense (not just sealed for eternity, which eternity ONLY sealings couldn't have been more contrasting from spiritual wifery, I agree with Meg Stout that the MANY etenrity only sealings were an effort to protect women against Spiritual Wifery, b/c it was clear he couldn't speak publically about it and tell them the difference)).
Without Joseph's statements it is a little up in the air, however his journal does show Lucy and others with what they now consider a symbol drawn showing basically that a Celestial marriage sealing was performed.
Celestial marriage was binding, as it states in the 132 section of the Doctrine and Covenants. Spiritual Wifery was no commitment, no ceremony, just a focus on sexual activity with anyone anytime and the poor woman Meg Stout speaks of as being one of the main and first targets, was a widow from Haun's Mill... (link is actually the beginning of her series on a website, you may as well read the whole thing ;) http://www.millennialstar.org/a-faithful-joseph/ ) they promised her food. Boy that makes me sick and that was what brought out the bear in Joseph and likely some cursing... as there were witnesses of that happening and he did speak about cussing in a speech of his in 1843, how he wasn't perfect, but if someone cusses but is honest and helps the poor...
The main difference between Joseph Smith and the FLDS false Prophet is that one lived Spiritual Wifery and DID abuse children and the other didn't. One respected boundaries and was defended by his wives and children, the other not even in jail a few years- really is losing everyone as they each find out they are safe and he is in jail... no one has Warren's back, so many defended Joseph Smith till they died, women- who spoke out AFTER Plural Marriage was OFFICIALLY ended in the LDS Church, still defending Joseph as a "gentleman" who "did not take liberties".
Here is a video summarizing what I still contend and believe about my photograph; plus some personal stories... good times!!
Ever since I joined YouTube, I have been swept up in the comments section and probably have been screamed at by non- or -former LDS who are so angry and full of vitriol. I used to always ignore them, then I stopped and found some seemed pretty sincere in their questions, although often filled with harsh accusations, I began to answer back.
Without fail, if I answered a question about basics of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church, they would immediately feel they could stump me with how our Church isn't true because Joseph Smith took young wives, even an fourteen year old! That girl was Helen Mar Kimball, who never moved in and never implied a sexual relationship with him, but likely had an Eternity Only Sealing, that might turn into a Time as well when she got older. The three women that I speak about in my video were the only women who testified of having a real marriage relationship with him and how they describe him is very far from an abuser in my opinion...
If you want to find out how to "reconcile" Joseph's sealings to married women, considering most were eternity only sealings, Med Stout has a lot of good theories in her book "Reluntant Polygamous". One theory is that Sarah Pratt, who was seduced into Spiritual Wifery (something very heinous and different from plural marriage), who had a husband on a mission, showed how vulnerable women like her, who herself married in her early 20s, husband left on a mission very quickly and she got lonely. Eternity Only sealing was something with absolutely no sexual relations (whereas Sarah Pratt was for sure sleeping with JC Bennett, a man who quickly began sleeping with and prostituting many women; there were MANY witnesses of her acts, as she boarded with many others...). Joseph possibly sealed himself to some married women with husbands on missions so he COULD tell them the difference of Celestial Marriage and Spiritual Wifery, to protect them... It makes sense to me and no women with a husband ever stated she had sex with Joseph. They just didn't... Three women who lived with Joseph and were all at least in their "18th year of life"- did state they did... and stated he was kind, caring, a gentleman. Yep.
NOTE: my “edits” in my header; I do NOT think early Saints were suicidal, bad choice of words, but I didn’t feel I needed to refilm this, so I kept it; I DO know there are quotes of Brigham Young “envying the grave” when learning about polygamy, and Lucy Walker said something similar, but neither actually contemplated taking their own lives. Joseph Smith wasn’t remotely suicidal, knowing that he would die at Carthage he did all that he could to avoid it and to protect the lives of his friends who were all gun less (accordingly having told John Taylor to NOT bring a gun as they packed for Carthage).
I haven't made any videos for a while. I have been traveling and working a lot more, I also have a lot of creative projects up my sleeve!
In my free time, I do art, sing, dance, hit the gym, I am a 35 yo single woman living in Southern California who just believes she mostly likely has one of maybe a few pictures of Joseph Smith (since it's a reprint, the original has to out there somewhere...).
I look back at this past year, since July is REALLY when I started analyzing this image, that I found on Pinterest. I did live in Utah when all the hooplah was going on about so many OTHER purported images of Joseph Smith, and I didn't hear one word about the Scannel daguerreotype or any of the others. I know that I saw the Library of Congress image, in High School, just as I was coming to my own as an artist and thought,
"No way is that a photograph, but wow, I wonder what he looked like..."
18 Years later I had the same thought, after having just completed a second degree, looking for work (in a tiny small town in Oregon and NOT having any luck whatsoever), AND having had surgery DAYS after my last finals... ahem, I wasn't totally healed or myself, and I had the oddest, STRONG desire to KNOW what Joseph Smith looked like. It TRULY was out of the blue, then I found the Spiritus... people's youtube video (they DO NOT have Brigham Young's photograph, I almost wonder if that was some British humor and they don't think they do either), but the image of Joseph Smith had me in awe, I believed it was him. Yep, I watched a short video with some music and couldn't stop looking at that image...
.After seeing the above video, Fall of 2016, I had the words come into my mind,
"There are more, LOOK- Debi Look!"
To think that there would be ONE image of Joseph Smith out there, amazing, but no something told me to google search him. I found what I now own, on Pinterest, I saved it there. I inititally did NOT believe this image, or link that lead to the Juvenile Instructor's bash fest, was him, but the bigger ears, the eyes, basic things had me thinking,
"Well, maybe this Ebay seller DID have a Smith photo album... maybe it's his Dad?"
But, ironically, I couldn't stop analyzing it and compared it to the skull, which ONE blogger believed, who house the google image of that skull, that Skull 1 WAS Joseph's. I had no idea about the misidentified skull controversy. What I saw right away was that right eye (both my old photo and the skull had an enlarged right orbital bone) and broken and remodeled nose (angling to his right). I SAW it and I don't know why, but I believed both images were Joseph Smith (younger and older, but I was more convinced at first of the younger).
I would showed people these images, that are purported to be Joseph Smith and had a,
"What do ya think?..." SHORT discussion.
Jump forward, Spring of 2017 I began a drawing of the Spiritus image; showed my roommate and got into my first analytical discussion about whether either of these images were plausible, she stated,
"That LOOKS like Joseph's chin, and... wow... does he have MORE hair on ONE side of his face..."
After my now sudden interest in Church History, she knew what I didn't know, that everyone in the 1800s knew that Joseph had a bald area on the side of his head that he covered with brushing his hair forward, this guy clearly seemed to have that same issue and DID brush his hair forward.
Mind blown moment numero dos: I realized the two guys matched, IF... I switched the daguerreotype around, NOT knowing that daguerreotypes did that...
Mind blown moment numero tres: I actually took the "looney, but endearing" ebay seller's image more seriously and compared him to the death mask and was loosing it, I could SEE the little details, that I KNEW were on the younger Joseph's face, since, as I explain on the website, the scars, different shaped let eye lid... knowing the Younger Joseph's face helped me to know the older Joseph's, BUT... the Older Joseph's image was shot with what photographers call (since I have been a professional one before... studio, newby, but yes I was truly one)- "dramatic lighting"- his deatils POPPED and the death mask... wow... and off I went making a youtube video...
Mind blown numero quatro: I had a sudden impression that I NEEDED to learn how to do "superimposing", or "layers" and soon found that I had just bought a drawing app that had a lot more capabilities that I realized, and not even an hour after learning online I made my first youtube video where I did ONLY an outline of the Older Joseph's face and dropped that onto the death mask the and the dimensions were not only perfect, the wrinkles MATCHED- proportionally, they matched... I did that technique more times than I can count and yes I learned, eventually HOW to superimpose the death mask, the outline, sketches are what made me a believer...
Miracle: Fall of 2017, having emailed around trying to desperately find this horrendously mocked ebay seller, I found him. I remember driving home from work and feeling like warm fuzzies of teh Holy Ghost to a lightning degree, it was like lightening was shooting throuhg my body and I was like,
"Hi Heavenly Father, what did I do? I am just driving home... I know you love me...and this feeling is cool... but like... what is going on?"
"Read that Juvenile Instructor website and actually TRY to find the ebay seller..."
Out of respect to already horribly and publically mocked guy, I won't give details or his name, but he bartered with me for maybe a few minutes and I had bought it... and I may as well say, I felt PEOPLE in my room, like my bedroom was croweded with spirits... and there is a lot more that I won't say, but... this has been FUN. Love you my believers; maybe truly just five people that I KNOW of and a few thousand people in Brazil, but I love you all!!! Muahhh!!!
Recently I read "The Martyrdom, John Taylor's Personal Account of the Last Days of the Prophet Joseph Smith", written decades after the events unfolded. It was fascinating, however it certainly did contradict some things that Willard wrote (very soon after the martyrdom), particularly how Hyrum was shot. Willard states that Hyrum was shooting through the door, AFTER the first shot came through the door, then fired some shots through the door (that would have to be opened) before he was shot. John Taylor goes into the often quoted account about how he thought Hyrum was shot with the door still closed, by a bullet that first went through the door. Neither men state that Hyrum was shot as he leaned against the door, the differences were that Willard states that Hyrum was shooting through an open door and the first bullet went through the door and Taylor said that the bullet first, he thought, went through the keyhole, Hyrum jumped back but the door wasn't open- didn't fire any shots and a bullet hit him in the face through the wooden door.
Other accounts of their murders, include one eye witness, from the outside, whom joined the Church, after how he describes, seeing the kindness and countenances of Willard and Joseph Smith- right before he died (and Heavenly manifestations). His name is William Daniels and his testimony was used in the trial, almost a year later and was published by John Taylor.
Daniels contradicts Willard Richards a bit, or argues with the idea that Joseph was shot falling of the window, in his account of witnessing the Prophet Joseph Smith killed. Willard was very simplistic is stating the he looked out the window to see if there were signs of life, after Joseph Smith fell out the window, no details... whereas Daniels states that Joseph Smith fell out the window, caught himself, hung one with his feet and with his hands for a while, on the windowsill and prayed loudly, screaming,
"Oh, Lord my God!" , three times, before falling head first, but apparently survived the fall and then was propped up and shot repeatedly. contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/NCMP1820-1846/id/95/rec/1
Neither account has anyone walking up to Hyrum Smith and shooting him in the SIDE of the head (only way that Skull 1 could be concluded to be his, since the trajectory of the bullet to his nose wouldn't have caused that breakage), so to me this proves that forensically speaking, Skull 1 can't be Hyrum's. Daniels does state that the mob went back up to see who was in the room, where Hyrum laid dead, and just ran back out, NOT that they tilted his head to the side and shot him through the head... The hole in the right of Hyrum's cheek and larger hole to the left of his nose would result is what we see in Skull 2!
Joseph Smith was shot, repeatedly, after falling out the two story window, both Richards and Daniels saying that he fell on his head, on his left side. The prominent jagged edges that come in farther on the left of the frontal bone, on Skull 1, seen in the drawing and photo could very well be the impact of Joseph Smith fallen on the left side of his head.
The remodeling seen on the nasal bone of Skull 1- angled to the right, also seen on Joseph's death mask, I think support my theory that Skull 1 is Joseph Smith's.
Although I think this published study below is excellently executed, to the exact millimeter and using great precision, I would say the rash assumption that the same precision was taken by the phrenologist in 1840, let alone the team that hastily measured the skulls of Joseph and Hyrum, in 1928, is really far fetched. Adding to the fire, the fact that measured skulls, of the martyred brothers, missing so much of the parietal bones, will NOT correlate whatsoever to a crappy head measurement by a phrenologist, who is measuring from points on the head that are NOT pinpoint locations, in and of themselves... The glabella could be identified with great inaccuracy, let alone the occipital spine, the margin if error is astoundingly LARGE... Very safe to say, for sure, that deciding which skull is Joseph Smith's and Hyrum's cannot be concluded, with certainly by OTHER individuals sloppy measurements... mormonhistoricsites.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Skulls-and-Crossed-Bones-A-Forensic-Study-of-the-Remains-of-Hyrum-and-Joseph-Smith.pdf
What I see from the naked eye, doing sketched overlays:
Below are two skulls, recovered near Emma Smith's home, right next to her own grave; unearthed in 1928, photographed and identified as Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Drawings were also done of the skulls. www.keepapitchinin.org/library/skeletons-of-joseph-and-hyrum-smith-uncovered-1928/
Above article states that the skull, with a hole through the side of the head was Hyrum Smith's, because the RLDS Church, at the time, only knew that it was written that Hyrum Smith's was shot through the head (Willard said he was shot in the nose). However it was the LDS faith that had the death masks... not the RLDS.
The First skull, below, buried as Joseph Smith, and the second one is buried as Hyrum Smith, since these identities were assumed in 1928, they have been argued to be opposite, by various individuals. I agree with those who say they buried the wrong skulls under the wrong names. Why? "entrance" and "exit wounds".
The above skull could not be Hyrum Smith's. Where the entrance and exit wounds appear to be, per the death mask, the bullet woukd have shattered his facial bones, the ones missing on Skull 2; and since his death mask shows a shattered maxilla and left zygomatic bone (totally intact on the skull), judging by how depressed that area is on his death mask, yet many stated, in 1944, that Joseph Smith's face looked normal (disputing claims that the more damaged skull was Joseph Smith's, if be sustained that much facial damage he would NOT have looked as normal as many stated).
In 2016, I saw this image I have, on Pinterest, looked up the skull of Joseph Smith (the forst article I found was supportive of skull 1 being that of JS Jr.) I saw the enlarged right orbital bone and this nick on the inner corner, matching the 1840s guy's enlarged right orbital bone and nicked area and I was convinced more from that than anything else, that this image (1840s Illinois Guy) was Joseph Smith.
I superimposed skull 1 on the image of my 1840s Illinois guy- that nick falls into place rather nicely (shown above).
Both the death mask, my 1840s Man’s image and skull 1 show a nose that has been broken and remodeled angling to the victim's right. I talk about this in the video below.
The above Video I superimpose the death masks of both martyrs onto both skulls; when I change the opacity of Hyrum Smith's death mask onto the drawing of the skull 2, that is buried as Joseph's (that this is NOT Joseph's because it's missing so many facial bones)- the frontal foramen is also more raised forward on Hyrum Smith, more so than on Joseph (per their masks), and it is the SAME on the skull 2.
Using old measurements from a phrenologist, that God states is not even a real science, but in fact the work of the devil (per a revelation rebuking Joseph Smith for getting his head measured by one when going back east in 1840, post liberty jail)- I believe puts a lot of doubt into the accuracy of their measurements (which have been used to "prove", by many, that skull 1 really is Hyrum's). The quote below is found when you click on the "393", in Joseph Smith's journal as he is telling a phrenologist to go back to where he came from! I just don't believe such measurements could be deemed as scientifically "accurate"...
" JS was evaluated by Alfred Woodward, a phrenologist in Philadelphia. A year later, JS reported having “had a Revalation. the Lord Rebuking him sharply in Crediting such a thing [phrenology]; & further said there was No Reality in such a science But was the works of the Devil.”
Above is the shirt worn by Hyrum Smith, when he died, showing drips of his bloods on his right shoulder, that I believe is explained by the entrance wound on the right side of his cheek. The small hole is consistent with an entrance wound...
All evidence, in my opinion point towards Skull 1 being Joseph Smith’s and Skull 2 being Hyrum’s. Although I strongly disagree with other experts, does in no way, no how mean that I have anger towards anyone in the scholarly Community, I just see the margin of error.
Okay, so sometimes I go all FBI level analyst of Joseph Smith's progenitors on facebook and steal their images... Gracia Jones (descendant of Alexander Smith, I think) posted the images above, of Emma Smith holding baby David, with her other three biological sons and her adopted daughter Julia. I really love watching the documentaries that Gracia Jones her other relatives have produced, talking about Emma Smith and her relationship with Joseph Smith; they are literally Joseph Smith's direct descendants, how cool is that?
Last summer I truly learned A LOT about the prophet Joseph Smith, before that- I SERIOUSLY couldn't tell you the year that he died, now I am shocked when someone else doesn't know the day, month and year, let alone the years that each and every one of his children were born and died... Why do I know all of this? I'm a writer and am writing about Joseph Smith and Emma. Clearly I am not the best writer in the world... but I felt compelled to finish it.
I read Lucy Mack Smith's book, "History of Joseph Smith, by his Mother", two times and read the unedited version of it on the Joseph Smith papers. I noticed how Emma Smith was praised a few more times there, which was NOT published in the actual book (that Brigham Young edited).
The Joseph Smith and Emma Hale Historical Society has been very beneficial to my research, recently, since they REALLY have gotten into the details about Emma Smith's life, finding out that Elisha Bibbins was her preacher when she was a little girl, on their website (see "about the photograph"- page where I recently updated about her link to JS Bibbin's Father). I highly recommend seeing the uplifting documentaries, that you can see on Amazon Prime (I watched them all last summer as I began researching him to death). It's been fun.
Back to the above image, I just can not get over how cute Fredrick looks holding a little, domesticated dog. I just always imagined them as farmers in grundgy falling apart clothes, but they almost look totally modern, I was shocked that the little pug as a modern looking dog collar as well... JS III's face is just about as heartbreaking as Emma's, yet Julia exudes so much joy and light. Plus, what is cool, is that they all seem to be salt water paper prints (supposedly all from around the year 1845, again... salt water prints were very much in the public domain and gaining it popularity, slowly, but it is happening in the United States in the 1840s).
I've had such a good and awful week! Like I think that I said in my last post, I've been struggling with my health a little bit, although overall I am on the up-and-up, this week I was not feeling so hot. On the up side, I felt the blessings of God in my life, especially temporally, I was able to take care of such much needed things on my to-do list (like getting a read mattress, been on an air mattress over a year).
When I first created this blog, last fall, I had JUST BARELY bought the photograph. No longer was I focused on how much the image matched the Dibble Death mask, I was flooded with inspiration to read "this", study "that", random... things... were coming into my mind and I felt so much intense emotions. THEN I got sick, for months.
I was very emotionally rocked, for reasons I can't explain online, that the Hyrum Smith image, floating around (on his Family Search page, blogs...), was a FAKE; it too was a dead ringer for death mask (Hyrum Smith's Dibble Death Mask), so I posted about this. In 24 hours I went from having like- five views, if that a day, to THOUSANDS. Suddenly I was getting sweet, positive emails, that I am STILL so grateful for, to be acknowledged by some very respectable individuals, my emotions were all over the board that week... so I then bought the URL and immediately the page views dropped... Honestly, I was never hoping to get popular making a webpage, just wanted a place to organize my research in order to seek out possible help in verifying my photograph's validity/identity, being Joseph Smith.
The problem with the entire month of January and February, I was on and off pain meds because of intense pain from shingles, then I was unable to open my eyes for ENTIRE week... I literally couldn't open my eyes the time it took to walk down the hallway, with even just dim lighting, it was too painful (the shingles only on the surface of my eye, but the spots caused light to reflect... it was crazy painful).
When one rather kind Art Professor emailed me, he was just aggressive enough, on the exact day that I went in to see an eye doctor to find out if the shingles was ruining my eye sight (truth), I just lost it and got so angry... Still, so sorry for that! Because of the shingles I was extremely light sensitive and in pain. The symptoms came back two weeks ago, probably because I got stressed, but I'm doing better now, after doing another round of meds to fight the virus, recently.
What I will share here, may, at times, have to be vague, but I just have to say that this has been an amazing and fun journey.
When I found and bought this photograph, it came so out of the blue. All summer I had been reading the Joseph Smith Journals almost every night, reading Church History, watching any LDS produced movie or documentary about Joseph Smith and gaining such an immovable testimony of the man. The past two years I'd struggled with things I had learned about his polygamist past (despite knowing about it my whole life, I just didn't know many details). I had the hardest time finding out things about his polygamist wives, as their names came up in his journals, but I found that doing MORE, not LESS research helped me to find peace; like how so many non mormons say that Lucy Walker was 15 when she married the Prophet, she was 17 and didn't have children until she was about 20... Helen Mar Kimbal was a young one, but she was an eternity only sealing and defended the prophet until the day that she died (saying it was a completely devoid of romance, she felt she would be alone forever, most of her anguish was over not being able to date or go to dances, but she never implied that she had a physical relationship with the prophet, his other wives that were meant to be in the future bear him children, sealed for time being the key word, MOVED into his house... Helen did not and Helen too didn't have children until she was way older!
Emily Partridge was the most open about how she had a physical relationship with the prophet, but was blunt that he was an absolute gentleman, wouldn't even touch her back or hold her hand before they were married (again, defended him until her death, going very public in a trial AFTER plural marriage was officially ended in the Church, she had no motivation to lie whatsoever about what a good man Joseph was). She bore children quite some time after Joseph Smith's death, they all did, but well past nine months since his murder (none have been proven to be his, despite them bluntly stating they'd had sexual relations).
Last October, I was driving home from work and felt sudden joy sweep all over my body, like lightning, but nothing had actually happened, I was confused; I hadn't felt the spirit THAT strong in years, I felt comfort, normal read your scriptures, just took the sacrament warm fuzzies, but this was a strong, GOOD feeling. I went home, got ready for bed, then had the impression to read the blog post, about my fave alleged Joseph Smith photograph, on the Juvenile Instructor. I always hated reading it, there was so much negativity on there, but I found the guy's ebay page; he actually still sells many old photographs, has good reviews. He knows quite a lot about old images, but now is selling an old daguerreotype, that may be of a painting, in hopes that he prove that one is Joseph Smith. Because of the Juvenile Instructor's overly critical blog post (mostly bashing that he thinks Joseph Smith is wearing the Urim and Thummin, the man is also into magic, witchcraft and is more intrigued by the magical side of Joseph Smith than anything, in my opinion), I think that he gave up. Possibly he was selling it in the thousands (back then in the 00s), for example his daguerreotype is selling for 400 grande, last that I checked, so of course he still had this with him, he had given up. These supposed Mormon Historians were positive that it wasn't him; couldn't be!- but I was like, "um... guys... this actually sounds like it has some provenance... he has a Smith Family album", unfortunately I couldn't find a way to communicate with that website (probably fortunately...). I found the owner at like midnight, early the next morning he said he still had it, I starting praying really, really hard, for a few hours he ups the price a bit, from the initial 100 dollars, but I could afford it, so I just bought it. I think it was after I'd bought it that I starting researching things, other than his face, like the type of photograph. First BIG thing was that he was a carte vista (a type of small cardstock in designs, holding a small albumen print, not patented until 1854- read "about the photograph" to find out more info about this and how it didn't disprove my image, but I had doubts until I found a CDV of Emma's 1845 photo). I will say that my anxiety in finding out that my image wasn't a daguerreotype, but a CDV had me flat out mad at myself, but it did not take long until I found all of these paper photographic images from 1844. It didn't HAVE to be a daguerreotype, to be Joseph Smith!
A couple of days after buying my image, I found out that it was either taken, or just printed (most likely), in Newark Illinois, which is where Joseph Smith, month before he dies, states that there was a political meeting there (it wasn't totally clear if he was there or not, but either way there was an LDS branch and it wasn't THAT far away from Nauvoo). That was a cool moment...
Whatever my intentions are... I can't say. I didn't intend to EVER make a youtube video, last summer, I never really like my image all that much, until I realized from the naked eye how amazingly it matched the death mask... I never thought, even the day that I found the owner and bought the image that I would OWN it... not in a million years, I was so upset and sure that the guy chucked it when the young mormon boys made fun of him mercilessly online; but if they hadn't, the owner would have never sold it so cheap, let alone to ME...
Am I planning to sell my image? Why would I do that when I haven't proven it?- if I do without a shadow of a doubt?, possibly. I have contacted the Church History department and feel that they are pretty busy, for one, and two- don't give a hoot... at all... First person blew me off because it wasn't a daguerrotype (I found Emma Smith's 1845 photograph that was a CDV literally THAT day) I could almost audibly hear a voice say,
"GOOGLE EMMA SMITH'S PHOTOGRAPH!!!" Oh, I was jumping up and down when I found she had a CDV of a photograph done about a year after he died (TEN years before that technology was patented, but it didn't matter... PAPER photographs, not daguerreotypes, could be reprinted, negatives exited BEFORE the 1840s)... which was reprinted several times and a daguerreotype of it has not been found, to my knowledge... When I emailed back about that, I just didn't hear back, even then it was an older missionary that emailed me this "blow off", forwarding this man's emails who was working in the Joseph Smith papers (so the email wasn't directed at me, but it had his email addy attached...). I was much too excited to NOT tell them the entire history of paper photography and how it was VERY possible that my image was taken in 1844, that guy wasn't going to give me the time of day, not at all...
The clothing style of my Illinois guy matched Joseph Smith's lifetime; I researched that for two weeks straight. I was positive about that, but some younger kid began emailing me (from the Church history dept) arguing about the clothes, when I sent him an 1840s image of Abraham Lincoln (with extremely similar collar, tie, everything), he began arguing about the ears, I then find the painting of Joseph Smith Senior and his SISTERS (they were photographed in their later years), showing ears that stuck out. THEN he was really excited to disprove my image by saying that the man in my image, for sure (not...) had attached earlobes (I just don't agree, my ears look just the same from the front, but clearly are unattached, since I know my own ears), the lobes are even rounded- so he just doesn't have attached earlobes, but then I find out that his sons had ATTACHED earlobes (if you see that on my "home page"- you can see that people with attached lobes don't have rounded earlobes but straight...); but the guy was just INTENT on shutting me down, his mind was CLOSED... I would counter him, he wouldn't fully read my responses, or looking at my examples, he was just angry and mean... so I told him that I knew that he was just a historian, told him that I knew he wasn't able or going to help me out (which he did say in his first email, something about how they just couldn't confirm or deny).
Good things, the Church History department emailed me a great article that I in fact quote on here, a lot. Someone who's a historian can yes, disprove an image as being Joseph Smith, but they can not prove that one is. That takes a scientist, or real forensic analyst.
My life has been a whirlwind, the past 12 months. I explain a lot on my pages about my journey, but I TRY, HARD to keep it concise, but in here I will get spiritual and very, very detailed... There are too many things that have been mind blowingly awesome...
I felt strongly inspired, recently to analyze Joseph Smith's drawings by Sutcliffe Maudsley. I was fascinated by the wrinkles around his eyes, and his eyebrows. I chuckled when I saw how similarly shaped one drawing showed Joseph's brows to me- to my 1840s Illinois Man's. (a young guy from the Church History Department had argued about how he was sure Joseph Smith had "round" curved eyebrows, like Maudsley's drawing).
Short story, when I bought my photograph, last October, I scanned it and did my outlining of his facial wrinkles and dropped that onto the Dibble death mask and just... gasped and called the LDS Church History Dept. Yes, I am Mormon, no I am not from Utah. A sweet woman answered and I told her that I have a photograph of Joseph Smith. Point blank. I could hear her silence as she told me that I could "donate" any images of past prophets and gave me an address... I asked if I could talk to someone, I wasn't too keen on just mailing this relic over like that, so she gave me a link that guaranteed that I would for sure be responded to in a matter of days (it'd been months since I'd emailed the Church History Department, in the summertime, before I owned it and heard nothing at all).
I get an email and start corresponding with a YOUNG guy, while the same day I suddenly hear back from another person in the Church History Department (a little more higher up than him).
The First email, someone from the inner workings of the department brushed it off quickly with this statement that since it was a CDV it just couldn't be Joseph Smith and talks about how he really thinks that the Scannel Daguerreotype is him... I email back that I DID research Carte Vista's, albumen prints and salt water paper prints that that use of negatives with PAPER prints were very well developed by 1844... I hear nothing back from him.
I remember sitting down and feeling really crummy and disappointed and the thought came to me STRONGLY over and over,
"Google Emma Smith's photograph! Debi! Look at Emma's Photograph!!!"
I felt that I needed to research Emma Smith's photograph, which was 1845 per all accounts, and well, I found one showing the exact same style CDV... and that her photograph was reprinted. Whoa. I emailed that guy again... No response.
Suddenly that night, same day, a younger guy starts harshly responding to me, I carefully read and respond to his words. He brought up interesting me points, making me do more research and to find things that supported my point.
Some of his points were a lot of FUN to research, like the clothing (I had researched his clothing and found that Abraham Lincoln really had almost the exact same clothes when he was photographed in the mid 1840s, I'd worked hard on a video about this), which is why this past two weeks have been pretty exciting, he brought up Maudsley's drawings and paintings, which made me not care for those drawings for a long while, they were so badly done in many respects, but... not THAT bad... The guy argued mostly about collars being popped up still in the 1840s, I sent him images of Abraham Lincoln in that decade and was ignored, then he argued about his hair NOT being brushed forward how Joseph Smith was hiding a bald spot that so and so in the 1800s said was why he brushed his hair forward, I say- well- he DOES brush his hair forward and has less hair on one side of his face... nothing. THEN the guy argues about the vest of Joseph Smith, stating that it looks plaid, and how plaid didn't exist...
Before all of these email conversations started, I already knew that his vest wasn't plaid, I'd had a moment where a strong impression came to me, just a few days prior,
"Debi, look up Joseph Smith's vest!..."
Okay. Whoa... www.lds.org/ensign/1984/01/from-the-prophets-life-a-photo-essay?lang=eng
I honestly think that I found this website after I stopped talking to the kid who didn't want to see anything good and ignored things that blatantly there in my image, he was too negative... He argued about the ears, Joseph Smith couldn't have had protruding ears and he was sure that my guy had attached earlobes (which I concluded then and now he does not); but I was VERY happy to see that in fact my guy's vest matched! There were some cross striations but both my 1840s guy's vest and the one shown in the Ensign article were mostly striped and both had a sheen to it, I already had answers to almost all of their negative arguments BEFORE they threw them at me, I was PREPARED but the kid just wouldn't listen to me... at all... It was sad, but I didn't feel offended because this isn't about ME being right, but about this being a real photograph of Joseph Smith and I had had spiritual experiences enough to KNOW that it is that guy!
Abraham Lincoln, a man living in Illinois in the 1840s, his clothing styles helped me prove that my guy is wearing 1840s clothes, so that when I just stopped talking to the young guy in the Church History Department. They were too close minded and prideful that they were basically blind...
Around December I had given up on the LDS Church History department, started my website here, and began having this STRONG impression,
"Debi, look at the Lapel..."
I HONESTLY didn't know what a lapel was!... I was disappointed when most of Maudsley's drawings showed a very weird double notch... now I conclude that was his "blue jacket"- that "ladies" apparently liked hehe. But he had others, I heard about a grey one... but the drawing on the left of my image shows TWO things, a notched lapel, and a lapel with a darker upper. It took me two bouts of Shingles and feeling like I was going to die from nerve pain and torture since December, to find it. I knew that David Hyrum once wore a similar looking jacket/lapel as my 1840s Illinois man... but once I found this lithograph of Maudsley's drawing (whose first drawings showed up in an 1840 Book of Mormon...). He knew the prophet well and that drawing implies that my image, which I am sure if Joseph Smith, was his jacket he wore just before he died. He probably wore out that blue one...
Debra A. Hatfield
I grew up in Oregon, went to college in Utah and Idaho. Since college I have obtained a B.S. degree in University Studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho (2005), went to Beauty School ;P, then went back to school again over the course of many years, taking night classes, and finished an A.S. in Exective Medical Assisting from LDS Business College.