(The Early Kirtland Years)
Joseph Smith reportedly learned that plural marriage had in the past been a divinely sanctioned practice sometime in the early 1830s. Whether he also learned at that time that it would someday be sanctioned in the Church is unclear.
Plural marriage experimentations were found among other religious groups, so its modern-day practice was not completely novel. The Church was accused of practicing a “community of wives” in conjunction with the law of consecration as early as 1831, but there were no specific accusations of polygamy against Joseph Smith during this time span or at any time prior to 1842.