These lines are the first evidence of depression in Helen Mar’s life. This is a book that I have been looking forward to reading. Reviewed by Eric Johnson. I agree. I would definitely recommend to anyone wanting to know more about early Mormon church history or polygamy in this era. Compton also talks about why the women of polygamy put up with this so easily. In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith Hardcover – December 15, 1997 by Todd M. Compton (Author) 4.4 out of 5 stars 106 ratings Church leaders would face exactly the same dilemma when practicing post-Manifesto polygamy half a century later. They were hard working and strong women and I am so glad their stories are becoming more widely told. It's quite good and I enjoyed learning about their lives. Reading these accounts made helped me understand the reality of the tests of faith endured by people associated with the practice. Besides repeating vows with teens and other men’s wives, Smith married mothers and daughters (Patty Bartlett and Sylvia Porter Sessions) as well as sisters (Emily and Eliza Partridge/Sarah and Maria Lawrence). . December 15th 1997 Not surprisingly, therefore, polygamous wives, even those married to prominent, well-to-do mean, were often not supported adequately financially. 67-104, and the second by Danel Bachman, pp. Lots of sad stories here, but for anyone who's interested in early Mormon history, or the pioneer culture, this is an excellent book with a wealth of information. This is why I think this volume should be a priority to have within arm’s length on any researcher’s bookshelf. It reaffirms my faith that leaders can be fallible and reminds me of my responsibility to forgive. The more I learn, the more abhorrent I find it. We hear all the time about Joseph Smith and the other leaders but you don't hear very often about the women who were leaders in the church like Eliza R. Snow who was the 2nd President of the relief society. Even the Book of Mormon does not allow for polygamy in such a way. This was the reason why missionaries could teach that only Latter-day Saint baptism was recognized by God. And check out these Viewpoint on Mormonism podcasts: Your generous support makes the work of MRM possible. It appears that he was merely trying to give these lonely women a chance at eternal exaltation. What is generally overlooked are the details about each wife's life - their backgrounds, private journals, and legacy. Review of In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith by Danel W. Bachman. In subdued and respectful language Todd Compton outlines the lives of each of Joseph Smith's wives. 8 reviews for In Sacred Loneliness Gary Topping, Journal of the West – January 19, 2017 Under attack in the 1880s, Mormons defended polygamy in various ways. I actually read this book slowly over a couple of years. I highly recommend this book. Many had lifelong health problems and some dealt with mental illness. As a friend of mine described it: "spiritual blackmail". My perception is that, while there may be some cases of success with this type of lifestyle, for the majority there is more angst than satisfaction in the relationship(s). Compton digresses into irrelevant and tangential information when direct details are scarce. And why is there no proof that Smith ever had any children in these polygamous unions, even though “there is a great deal of evidence that Joseph Smith had sexual relations with his wives.” According to Compton, Smith did have children, though “some of his children apparently grew up under other names, as Mary Lightner suggested.” (13). However, none of these women divorced their “first husbands” while Smith was alive and all of them continued to live with their civil spouses while married to Smith. This book gets quite dry in places because the author tries to tell us everything there is to know about the wives of Joseph Smith and for many of them there is not much interesting to know. We’d love your help. (456). Some insist that polygamy can be supported by the Bible. It is a documented fact that Joseph Smith enjoyed a total of 33 wives, including his first wife, Emma. This is a great book. You will have a solid foundation of the early Mormon church and its charismatic leader, Joseph Smith, after reading this book. And he was content to let his polyandrous wives live with their first husbands, so he never bore the responsibility of providing for them, financially or emotionally, on a day-to-day basis. Aside from the loneliness of sharing a husband with, at minimum, 32 women, these women experienced the loss of contact with family and friends as they joined a new church or pioneered across the country, the loss of children, friends, and husbands to death as they were persecuted and endured the hardships of starting over in unsettled land. (501). The followers of the Reorganized Church rejected this principle as gross immorality, concluding that Joseph’s involvement in it disqualified him from further prophetic leadership. On page xi of his introduction, Compton writes. All in all, I give an enthusiastic recommendation to Compton’s book for those who are interested in Smith’s polygamous history. Compton's research/references are clean, and his method of outlining the wives as well as his sensitivity to the information he is presenting makes for a fantastic read.
2020 in sacred loneliness review