Joseph Smith received his troubling revelations to engage in plural marriage three times between 1834 and 1842 before finally acting upon it. In May 1843 with his wife, Emma, at his side, he entered in “celestial marriages” with Emily and Eliza Partridge, servants in his household. Soon after, Emma rued her decision. As the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo’s President, she spoke out against plural marriage and, eventually in March 1844, Joseph suspended their meetings. Joseph is believed to have had twenty-seven “celestial wives”, which was determined years after his death and, each is supported with varying degrees of objective evidence.
Naamah Carter married Brigham in January 1846. She was twenty years his junior, recently widowed, virtually alone, and dedicated to temple work. What were Brigham’s reason for proposing marriage to her, and how much soul searching did she undergo before saying, “yes”? The Believers In The Crucible Nauvoo offers answers to these questions as it unfolds this unusual love story.
If you desire a robust insight to plural marriage, you might read Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s recent work A House Full of Females.