14. History and Analysis of D&C 132
- Hyrum said that D&C 132 only discussed
ancient plural marriages.
- Joseph also preached that
polygamy in the Bible had nothing to do with the present time.
- James Whitehead Testimony says
that the revelations was changed before it was published.
- Problems with the July 12, 1843
date and William Clayton as the scribe for the revelation.
- Emma contradicts the standard William
Clayton - Brigham Young story.
- Brigham needed
a revelation to support polygamy after Joseph's death.
- The writing style of revelation
matches Brigham Young, not Joseph Smith.
- Modern efforts to
reclaim original revelation to Joseph that was later converted
to D&C 132.
- John Tucker shows
that D&C 132 contradicts other scriptures 44 times.
- Greg Stocks: D&C
Section 132 is truly an "Other Gospel."
- One Who is Watching - Analysis
of Section 132
1. Hyrum read the revelation to the High
Council, later in a June 10, 1844 city council meeting he
discusses the contents.
“Councilor H. Smith continued; … Referred
to the revelation read to the High Council of the Church,
which has caused so much talk about a multiplicity of wives;
that said revelation was in answer to a question concerning
things which transpired in former days, and had no reference
to the present time.
If you are going to claim that Hyrum
was a polygamist, you have to conclude that he is lying in this
High Council meeting. The only other possibility is to acknowledge
that Hyrum is telling the truth and to conclude that he and Joseph
were not polygamist.
2. Joseph also preached that
polygamy in the Bible had nothing to do with the present time.
Earlier in the same meeting Joseph
Smith (the mayor) said, "if he had a city council who felt as he
did, the establishmnt, (refering to the Nauvoo Expostor) would be
a Nuisan[c]e before night. . . Read Statemets of Austin Cowles—
& said he had never had any privite convesation with Austin
Cowles on these subjcts, that he preahed on the stand
from the bible showing the order in ancient days having
nothing to do with the present time
Council Rough Minute Book, February 1844–January 1845," p. 24, The
Joseph Smith Papers, accessed November 28, 2019, (https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/nauvoo-city-council-rough-minute-book-february-1844-january-1845/26
3. James Whitehead Testimony
Temple Lot Case
Abstract of Evidence
Temple Lot Case U.S.C.C.
James Whitehead, being sworn on the part of the Plaintiff
testified as follows in Rebuttal:—
I testified in this case in February
last, and on that occasion testified that I was the private
secretary of the prophet Joseph Smith,and I was.
I was engaged in that capacity a
little over two years, and was so engaged at the time of the death
of the prophet. I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints, during the time that I acted in the capacity of
private secretary for the prophet Joseph Smith.
I do not know anything about
the doctrine of polygamy ever having been taught in the church
by Joseph Smith, at any time prior to his death. I never heard
him teach it, either publicly or privately, he never said a word
to me about it at all, and. I never heard it taught either
publicly or privately by him, or by an elder or any other
officer in the church prior to his death; and I had a good
opportunity of knowing it if any such a thing had been taught
by the prophet or anyone else, because I was there in his
office and with him continually.
I was well acquainted with his
family and with his wife Emma, and I never saw anything, or heard
of any such a thing, being taught there in Nauvoo, prior to the
time of the death of the prophet. I never even heard of it one way
or the other.
There was no elder in the
church nor anyone else in authority in the church, during the
time I was there in Nauvoo, occupying the position of private
secretary to the prophet, that taught or practiced polygamy.
I never heard anybody teach any such principles prior to the
prophet's death. I have heard persons holding office in the church
preach upon doctrinal points a great many times, both Joseph Smith
I have heard Joseph Smith talk to
the elders and other officers in the church upon doctrinal points;
have heard him preach to them a great many times, upon doctrinal
points, and heard him talk to them in a conversational way, upon
doctrinal points or upon the doctrine of the church.
These conversations took place
frequently in the office when I was there, but they would not
always be in his office, sometimes talks would occur at his house.
I have heard him talk in his office and in his house,
about the doctrines of the church, upon the doctrines of the
faith of Christ, in fact all the leading doctrines, tenets, and
principles of the church. I never heard him say anything about a
plurality of wives.
I knew a man by the name of
Kingsbury, he was in the storeroom there in Nauvoo, as a clerk,
delivering supplies, provisions, etc., to the ones that labored on
the Temple, and other places for the church, under the direction
of Newell K. Whitney, Bishop of the church. His name was Joseph
C. Kingsbury, he did not have anything to do whatever, with the
duties of secretary to the prophet Joseph Smith.
I also knew William Clayton,
knew him in England before he came to this country, and also
knew him after he came to Nauvoo. During the time that I was
performing the duties of private secretary to the Prophet, he
was a clerk in the office for quite a while; he did not have the
same duties to perform that I had; he was there helping on the
books and doing whatever he was directed to do. He was
a clerk and attended to a great deal of the out door business,
while I was the private secretary of the prophet; had his private
papers and did that kind of work.
William Clayton was Joseph Smith's
private secretary in some parts of the business. He attended the
outside business and did whatever he was directed to do. William
Clayton was there in the office before I was, but was not there
all the time after I came. He was removed from his
position as private secretary, by Joseph Smith and the
committee- - the temple committee—about the time I was
appointed, because there was something took place in connection
with Clayton's work that gave dissatisfaction; there was some
money disappeared and he was blamed for it, and for that reason
he was removed from that office, that occurred in 1843, in the
beginning of the year.
After he was removed as private
secretary or clerk in the office, he did outside work, looking
after the property of the church out side. The church at that time
owned considerable property, and would buy in property and sell it
out again; and he attended to that kind of business.
I heard about the order of
the church on the question of sealing, I cannot tell the date
that I first heard of it, that is the time of the year, but it
was in the early part of the year 1843, I think it might
possibly be the latter part of 1842, but I would not be positive
about the date. That was the ordinance of sealing as they called
it, of husband and wife. They would be married according to the
ordinances of the laws of God, not only for time but for
eternity as well.
That applied only to husband
and wife, and a man could not have but one wife, they were not
allowed to have more than one wife, but could have one wife and
could be sealed to her for this life, as well as for the life to
Newell K. Whitney, the bishop at one
time showed me a revelation on the question of sealing. The
revelation that Whitney showed me was on the matter of sealing,
that was before they went to Salt Lake City, it was after the
death of Joseph Smith that he showed me the revelation on sealing.
The circumstances under which he
came to show it to me were; I went up to Winter Quarters or to
Omaha to settle my account with the church, and make my report.
That was after they had left Nauvoo, and were in Winter Quarters
at Omaha, or near there. I went there to make my report and
settlement with the church, and while I was there I stayed all
night with Bishop Whitney, and he showed me this revelation; that
was in the spring of 1848.
I do not recollect the date that the
revelation purported to have been given; I do not recollect the
date positively, but my recollection is that it purported to have
been given in 1842, or 1843. The document was about as much as
would fill both sides of a sheet of foolscap, about three sides of
a sheet of paper like that. It was written, I did not write it. I
read it. I think it was in the handwriting of William Clayton. I
have never seen it since that time. I have never been near the
Utah Church since that time. I do not know what became of it. I
never saw it in print. I saw what they claimed was it, or what
purported to be it, published in the Book of Doctrine and
Covenants, by Brigham Young in Salt Lake.
But the one published in the
Book of Doctrine and Covenants by the Utah Church was not the
one that Bishop Whitney showed me at Winter Quarters. It was not
the same at all. It was entirely changed. It was so changed that
it sanctioned polygamy, and that change was made by the
Brighamites. For there was no such thing in it when I read it.
You can find it for yourself in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants
published by the Brighamites in Salt Lake, and you will see in it,
as published by them, that it sanctions and imposes polygamy on
the church, but there was no such thing in the revelation that
Whitney showed me.
I remember when I first saw that
revelation, they have in their Book of Doctrine and Covenants, it
was brought to me by a man from Salt Lake, and he showed it to me,
and asked me what/ I thought of it, and I told him that it was
spurious. I did not recognize the revelation published in the Book
of Doctrine and Covenants from Salt Lake, as the revelation
I had seen at Winter Quarters. It was not the same. It was changed
so that it sanctioned polygamy, and there was nothing about
polygamy or plural marriage in the revelation that Whitney showed
me. It was entirely changed, but there were some points of
similarity in it. It did not have the same language at all. I
knew, that, when I read it I considered that they had got that
revelation from Bishop Whitney, and had changed it and added to
it, it had nothing to do with polygamy when I read it at Winter
Quarters; and when it was published, they had changed it around
until they made it sanction polygamy; and the revelation that
Whitney had, did not say any thing about polygamy.
When I lived at Nauvoo, I resided,
maybe, three hundred yards from where Joseph Smith's house was, I
saw him there frequently, perhaps not every day, but almost every
day, that he was in Nauvoo. I was there in his office, as his
private secretary, at the time he was killed. I was in his office
on that day, and was keeping the books at that time.
Joseph Smith had one wife
and her name was Emma; I do not know any other woman who claimed
to be the wife of the prophet, there at Nauvoo, nor at any other
place. I do not know of any other wife he had other than Emma,
at any time or place. I never heard of such a thing during his
I do not know of any woman
who claimed to be his wife or plural wife. I never saw any of
them, do not know anything about that. I never heard
anybody claim, except Emma Smith, that she was the wife of
Joseph Smith. There was never any woman who came to me, or
Joseph Smith in my presence, during the time of my employment as
his private secretary, for money, claiming that she was the wife
of Joseph Smith, except his wife Emma. There was no entry of
that kind ever made on the books, of money paid by me or by him
to any woman claiming to be his wife, except Emma.
The book marked Exhibit "A," and
entitled "The Doctrine and Covenants," published by the Utah
Church at Salt Lake City, is the book that contains the revelation
on polygamy, I believe. I have read page (464). I have read what
is in that book before, but I never heard of it or saw it anywhere
but in there. I knew nothing about that at all until I saw it in
I can swear positively that
it is not the same as the Whitney revelation that was handed to
me and that I read at Winter Quarters; because that revelation
that Whitney had, had no such words in it to my knowledge,
that was put into it by Brigham Young, or some of his clique, for
it was not in there at the time that Whitney showed it to me, of
that I am positive. I did not say that there was enough of the
Whitney revelation in this revelation in the Utah Book of Doctrine
and Covenants for me to identify it. I did not say any such thing.
There was nothing of the sort in it.
I said they had taken parts of that
revelation and added to it in such a way as to change its meaning
entirely. I did not say that was the same revelation, and I do not
say now that it is or that it is not, but if there is any part of
the revelation that Whitney showed me in this, it has been so
mutilated, and changed around, as to entirely change its meaning
from what it was. I say that I could read over two or three pages
of manuscript forty years ago, and now tell the substance that was
in it, for it was some thing that particularly impressed itself on
my memory, and was something that left a very strong impression on
my mind, for that was the first time I had seen that revelation on
sealing, and the only time I saw it, and I was interested in it to
a great extent, and I observed it closely, and I remember about
what the doctrine was that it taught, and I know that this
doctrine of polygamy was not taught in it.
I will swear positively that
that revelation that Whitney showed me was not the same as this
published in this book, they were not the same at all.
I can tell from my memory that there are principles taught in this
book, "Exhibit A," in this alleged revelation, that were not
taught in the revelation that Whitney had. I know that of my own
knowledge. I have given the reasons why I would be likely to
remember this revelation, and what was in it, that Whitney showed
me, and I do remember it in substance, and I know that the
principles that were taught, in the one that Whitney showed me,
are not the ones in this book, "Exhibit A." and if it is the same
revelation, it has been added to. and changed, so that there is
not the same meaning in it, that was in the original. The one that
Whitney showed me did not teach any such stuff as this here in
"Exhibit A," nor any like stuff.
I knew William Law. at Nauvoo. while
I was private secretary to Joseph Smith, he became disaffected
towards the church while I was there at Nauvoo, and went off along
with John C. Bennet, before Joseph Smith's death.
I was not the secretary of the
church, I was the private secretary of Joseph Smith, and kept his
journals and his letter books.
Brigham Young was never chosen
President of the church to my knowledge. If he was ever chosen
President I do not know any thing about it. They claimed at Winter
Quarters that he was chosen President, at the time they held a
conference there at Kanesville, but I was not there, and do not
know anything about it of my own knowledge. He was the President
of the "Twelve" while I was at Nauvoo, before the death of Joseph
Smith, but I do not know when he was chosen President of the
Twelve. He was not accepted at Nauvoo, after the death of Joseph
Smith as the President of the church, not at Nauvoo, no, sir. I am
positive that he was not chosen President of the church at Nauvoo.
I am acquainted with the publication
known as the Times and Seasons, that was the church publication
just the same as the Herald is now. I have read from page (637),
of the Times and Seasons the part you requested me, as follows:—
On the eighth of August, 1844, at a
special meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints, convened at the stand in the city of Nauvoo, President
Brigham Young called the audience to order, and arranged the
several quorums according to their standing and the rules of the
church. The meeting had been previously called, as stated, to
choose a guardian or trustee for said church.
That does not refresh my
recollection, I knew that before I read it to-day, as well as I do
now, and I say now, notwithstanding the quotation I have read,
that Brigham Young, on the eighth of August, 1844. was not the
President of the church, and I say at that time he was not elected
President of the church, and he was not the acting President of
the church at that time. He was the President of the Quorum of
Twelve and that was all.
4. Problems with the July 12, 1843
date and William Clayton as the scribe for the revelation.
Clayton’s Account Differs from That of Others.In
Clayton’s account, he indicated that he was the only person with
Joseph and Hyrum when he wrote (recorded) the polygamy revelation,
as well as when he read it back to Joseph “slowly and carefully.”
Clayton also alleged that it took him only three hours to
write it. On the other hand, W. W. Phelps, Joseph’s clerk, main-tained
it did not
take three hours for Clayton to write the “plural marriage
document,” but that it took ten to twelve days,
and that he (Phelps)
also helped write it! (See Jason W. Briggs, The
Basis of Brighamite
Polygamy: A Criticism upon the (so-called) Revelation of
July 12th, 1843,
Derry, an RLDS missionary to Salt Lake City, was a former
resident of Salt Lake City and a member of the LDS Church under
Brigham Young’s leadership. Derry, in his Autobiography
F. Smith says the “Revelation on Polygamy” was given
at different times. W. W. Phelps says he wrote part of it, also
that Brigham and Joseph wrote part, and that Clayton wrote
a part. While Clayton swears he wrote it all, Brigham says,
“Phelps lies.” (Journal
7 [July 1914]: 340)
the above accounts, the discrepancies about the fundamental parts
of the polygamy revelation story (the length of time to write it
and the number of people involved) are so major that it gives strong
credence to the belief that the entire story is false.
Claimed There Was Uninterrupted Solitude at the
Busiest Place in Town.
Clayton asserted that when Joseph and
Hyrum arrived at the store that morning, they decided that Joseph
should dictate the revelation. It took them three hours to do
so. Then, more time (possibly up to an hour) would have been needed
for Clayton to slowly read it back to Joseph for proofing. If
they started at nine o’clock in the morning, they would have been
finished about one o’clock. Then, Hyrum supposedly went to
Emma’s home (the Homestead cabin) to read her the lengthy document.
While there, she allegedly gave him a very angry response.
This could have taken about another hour, advancing
the time to approximately two o’clock. Afterwards, Hyrum reportedly
returned to Joseph’s store to report on the ill-fated adventure,
bringing the time to nearly two-thirty. Clayton insisted
that during the time they worked on the revelation (over three hours)
he, Hyrum, and Joseph were not interrupted by anyone. Not a
single soul other than the three of them were present! Clayton’s
of solitude during this time seems very unlikely, for Joseph’s store
was the busiest place in town!
store was built on a foundation measuring only forty by twenty-three
feet (or about twice the size of the average two-car garage
of the typical suburban home in our day). The downstairs served
as a general store offering food and other daily necessities.It
also served as a banking outlet where loans and repayments were
upstairs consisted of the Assembly Room and Joseph’s two
tiny adjoining office rooms. These were used as headquarters for
conducting Church business—including receiving tithing payments.
The space was also occupied by clerks Willard Richards and W.
W. Phelps, who were then writing Joseph’s history of the Church
General Editors Ronald K. Esplin and Matthew J. Grow, The
Smith Papers—Journals, Volume 3: May 1843–June
Church Historian’s Press, Salt Lake City, Utah], 127).
Joseph was also mayor of Nauvoo, he conducted city business
there too. This included the constant registration of land sales
and the recording of deeds in what was one of the fastest growing
cities in Illinois. To assist Joseph in these varied duties, his
private secretary, High Priest James Whitehead, constantly served
Clayton would have us believe that during the three or more
hours that they worked on the revelation, both clerks, Joseph’s
secretary, citizens needing banking and city services, and Church
members needing Joseph’s counsel and ministry were absent.
Not only is Clayton’s claim of complete solitude unlikely, but
as the following section will show, it can be proven to be
Said No One Else Was Present, but the Newspaper Revealed
Dozens of School Children Were in the Assembly Room
That Day. As
previously stated, Clayton claimed that none
but the trio of Joseph, Hyrum, and Clayton were present during
the time that the plural marriage revelation was written. Clayton
even implied that the Assembly Room was empty at that time.
As Joseph and Hyrum walked past it toward Joseph’s office, they
had no concern about being overheard by others. Thus, they felt
free to openly discuss the then-banned and illegal subject of plural
the Assembly Room that Clayton inferred was empty was in
with people that day. It was packed with dozens of boisterous
school children! According to public records, on just the
previous day an entire grade school of children, plus two teachers,
had moved into the very upstairs Assembly Room adjoining Joseph’s
office that Clayton indicated was unoccupied! (See the Nauvoo
[July 9, 1843], 3; and George W. Givens, In
in the City of Joseph,
Smith III, who attended that school with his sister and two
brothers, identified at least thirty children who were enrolled
(see Mary Audentia Smith Anderson, The
Memoirs of President
Joseph Smith III (1832–1914),
11–13). All of them would have
been very excited as they noisily climbed the wooden stairs to
attend class that day. One can only imagine the happy tumult and
clatter as the children settled in among the wooden benches, chairs
and tables of their new schoolroom—in the very Assembly Room
Clayton stated was unoccupied.
Clerks Willard Richards and W. W. Phelps, who were tasked with
writing Joseph’s history of the Church, grew so rattled by the children’s
disturbances that they complained that their writings were being
hindered (see General Editors Ronald K. Esplin and Matthew J.
Joseph Smith Papers—Journals, Volume 3: May 1843–June
[The Church Historian’s Press, Salt Lake City, Utah], 127).
children’s disturbances continued until they eventually had to
be relocated. It was reported, “a public school was kept there until
it became too noisy for Joseph to work” (see Givens, In
in the City of Joseph,
when Clayton told the tale of the quiet solitude in Joseph’s office
during the writing of Section 132, he lied. He overlooked the
fact that records show that on that very day, Joseph’s office
neither a place of quiet, nor of solitude. The empty Assembly Room,
which Clayton indicated Joseph and Hyrum passed while openly
discussing polygamy, was not empty at all. It was filled with
dozens of children whose presence proved to be such a con-stant
nuisance in the weeks that followed that they were eventually moved
out of the store.
5. Emma contradicts the standard William
Clayton - Brigham Young story
Emma Asserted Clayton and Brigham
Young Lied When They Said That Hyrum Presented Her with the
To her dying day Emma Smith
vehemently denied that Hyrum had ever approached her with the
alleged polygamy revelation (Section 132). Yet, on August 8,
1852, when Brigham Young introduced the document now known as
Section 132, he stated:The original copy of this Revelation was
burnt up; Wil-liam Clayton was the man who wrote it from the mouth
of the Prophet. In the meantime, it was in Bishop Whitney’s
possession. He wished the privilege to copy it, which
brother Joseph granted. Sister Emma burnt the
original. The reason I mention this,
is, because that the people
who did know of the Revelation, suppose it is not now
in existence. (The Latter-Day Saints’Millennial Star 15
[Supplement, 1853]: 31)
Smith declared until her death that she never saw the polygamous
document until it was published by Apostle Orson Pratt
in 1853. She also asserted that when Brigham Young
said she “burnt the original,” he told a falsehood.
April 1867 Elder Jason W. Briggs of the Reorganized Church visited
Emma Smith Bidamon (who had remarried) at her home in Nauvoo,
Illinois. He questioned her about the polygamous doc-ument.
Below is an extract from Briggs’s interview with Emma. Editor
Jason Briggs published:And
when [the polygamy document was] introduced, certain statements
are made . . . that when the revelation was given, Emma
Smith got possession of it in its original
Upon this point we subjoin the following questions and answers
from a memorandum of an interview with the Sister Emma
Smith referred to (now Mrs. Bidamon), at Nauvoo, in
W. Briggs.—Mrs. Bidamon, have you seen the rev-elation
on polygamy, published by Orson Pratt, in the Seer,
[Emma] B.—I have.
W. B.—Have you read it?
B.—I have read it, and heard it read.
W. B.—Did you ever see that document in manuscript,
previous to its publication by Pratt?
B.—I never did.
W. B.—Did you ever see any document of that kind, purporting
to be a revelation, to authorize polygamy?
B.—No; I never did.
W. B.—Did Joseph Smith ever teach you the principles
of polygamy, as being revealed to him, or as a correct and
B.—He never did.
W. B.—What about that statement of Brigham Young, that
you burnt the original manuscript of that revelation?
B.—It is false in all its parts, made
out of whole cloth,
without any foundation in truth.” (RLDS
of the Church
Messenger of the Reorganized Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 1
[April 1875]: 23)
6. Brigham needed a
revelation to support polygamy after Joseph's death
Why is there a significant increase
in plural marriages immediately after the death of Joseph Smith?
Before Joseph died, Brigham had
married a few plural wives: 1 in 1842, 2 in 1843 and 1 in the
first half of 1844. But after Joseph died, Brigham married 10 more
wives. Four additional wives in 1845 and 21 more in 1846 for a
total of 38 wives. Heber had a very similar pattern with 1 plural
wife in 1842 and he didn't take any more plural wives until after
Joseph died. He added 9 more in 1844, 5 in 1845 and 21 (just like
Brigham) in 1846 for a total of 36 wives. They both added 35 wives
after the death of Joseph Smith. What changed after Joseph's death
that they would add so many wives.
Could it be that Joseph
was NOT supportive of plural marriage. However,
if Brigham could take one of Joseph's revelations and add several
verses, then he would have just what he would need to not only
convince women to join in him marriage, but also they could
convince the church as well.
The only remaining thing they had to
do was create a false narrative that this all started with Joseph.
7. Much of the writing style of
D&C 132 matches Brigham Young not Joseph Smith.
8. Modern efforts to
reclaim that original revelation
Problems with D&C 132.
- Joseph Smith tells us false revelations can be recognized
because they will be "contradicting a former revelation) (TPJS
p. 215) D&C 132 in its current form contracts the
"Revelation on Marriage" that used to be in the D&C until
1876 when D&C 132 was added. If the text is corrected, it
will not be contradicting that revelation.
- D&C 132 also contradicts D&C 49:15-16 which has
always been part of the D&C.
15 And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to
marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God
16 Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one
wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that
the earth might answer the end of its creation;
- Earliest Description of the text (see Hyrum above) do not
match the Kingsbury text.
- Verse 7 claim that only one man on earth has sealing
authority which contradicts verse 39 and the fact that both
Joseph and Hyrum (D&C 124:93) had all the keys.
- Between verses 40 and 45 there appears to be 4 verses
inserted on a different topic.
- The first wife can give her consent (v. 61) then how can she
be a transgressor if she doesn't (v. 65)
- The discussion of 10 virgins (v. 61-63) contradicts earlier
limitations in the text.