You have to hand it to Joseph Smith, he was the ultimate conman. 'Some people say,' he's the greatest grifter of all time and who could blame them? One of his many practices was to say he had a vision and then turn it into church doctrine. One of those was the concept of plural marriage. He was a ladies man you might say, but he was married and needed a legal way to sleep with as many of his female converts as possible so he used the old testament to validate his compulsion.
About three years after this was given [i.e., about 1834], I asked brother Joseph, privately, how "we," that were mentioned in the revelation could take wives of the "natives" as we were all married men? He replied instantly "In the same manner that Abraham took Hagar and Keturah; and Jacob took Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpah; by revelation—the saints of the Lord are always directed by revelation.
No matter what members of the LDS church tell you, the only reason they finally publicly refuted polygamy was because the federal government would not let them join the Union otherwise. Look no further than the Edmunds-Tucker Act.
It was a purely political decision, but that hasn't stopped the LDS from downplaying Smith's polygamy, until now:
The Mormon church has said that founder Joseph Smith married about 40 women including a 14-year-old and others who were already the wives of his followers, having publicly portrayed him over the years as lovingly committed to one woman.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has tried to gloss over aspects of its history, including the polygamy practiced by Smith and Brigham Young, who helped found Salt Lake City, Utah, the headquarters of the Mormon church.
"Joseph married many additional wives and authorized other Latter-day Saints to practice plural marriage," a church essay entitled "Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo" said, noting that "careful estimates put the number between 30 and 40".
The church has been widely criticized for its treatment of women, black people, who it barred from the higher priesthood until 1978, and gays, who were banned from its temples if they were sexually active.Smith's wives were mostly between the ages of 20 and 40, but Helen Mar Kimball, the daughter of close friends, was "sealed" to him several months before she turned 15.↓ Story continues below ↓
"Plural marriage was difficult for all involved. For Joseph Smith's wife Emma, it was an excruciating ordeal," the essay, part of a collection issued over the past year, said.
I love where they say that plural marriage was difficult for all involved. Not for Joesph Smith it wasn't.
Earlier this week, Mormon church officials revealed that Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, had at least 30 wives, some of whom were young girls.
“What I love is he said he had a revelation in 1831 from an angel who said, ‘Marry plurally, get as many bitches as you can up there,’” Maher said. Smith purportedly refused the angel three times, until the divine messenger returned with a sword and threatened him.
“And you can’t argue with an armed angel,” Maher quipped.
“This religion is based on a sex cult!” he said. “It is plainly based on a 19th century sex cult. And if we didn’t have Mormonism, we’d have to invent it for all the religious people who need something to look down on because they believe in something crazy, this would be it.”