Nothing but a firm desire to keep the commandments of the Lord could have induced a girl to marry in that way. I thought my trials were very severe in this line.

Eliza Partridge

Emma’s personal struggles with plural marriage and post-martyrdom history are well known, but those of the remaining wives are less so. Fortunately, we can piece together some of the details of their experiences through government, Church and family records, personal journals, autobiographies, contemporary publications, and the transcript of the Temple Lot case. Reading these stories, one gets a glimpse of early plural marriage through the eyes of those who actually practiced it. For a summary article of these women after the death of Joseph Smith, read “Joseph Smith’s Plural Wives after the Martyrdom.” Please note that supporting evidence for each of these sealings varies, with some being highly reliable and others based upon a single attestation or sources of lesser credibility.

This is a brief overview of Joseph Smith’s practice of polygamy. If it has piqued your interest, then please check out Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding.

Please note that spelling and punctuation have been standardized in the downloadable essays to make journal entries easier to read.