Here’s an interesting letter included as an addendum to Enid S.
DeBarthe’s “Bibliography of the Joseph Smith, the Mormon
It’s a second hand account relayed over 100 years after the
events. As such, it shouldn’t be considered evidence
or proof of anything, but only an interesting addition to the
existing canon of items related to Joseph Smith and polygamy.
San Clemente, January 12, 1968
I have written things as I remember them except that as I remember
she said she was 16 but as they married then, that may have been
before or after she was married but I am sure I was in everything
as I have written it.
I am sure that for many years we as a church that we (unknown
word) not mention that polygamy wasn't taught in those
days--but we know that Brigham Young had come to her mother’s home
and explained the polygamist doctrine to her mother and herself
and as he left telling them “you must tell no one of this, we must
keep it quiet for as yet Bro. Joseph is not with us.”
Being a great granddaughter of Joseph the Martyr, I was so
impressed by this that I could never forget it.
(Signed) Erlita Smith Inslee
I remember so well when I was a girl in my teens of listening to
“Grandma Mofett” telling my dearest friend, her granddaughter
(Olive Thomas Mortimer) and myself stories of the early days in
Nauvoo when she was young.
One stayed in my mind above all else because I had already
resented the claim of Brigham Young that Joseph Smith was the
author of the polygamist doctrine. She said she well
remembered it was secretly talked of, in refute of the fact that
Brigham Young didn’t openly teach it until 8 years after Joseph
Smith’s death--then claimed he had the written manuscript all that
If this in anyway could help to clear Joseph Smith’s name I would
be so glad to be of any help.
I am looking forward to having Olive and Mort here for awhile.