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).
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.