Joseph Smith Lied — Rich Kelsey

Image of Joseph Smith from article Joseph Smith Lied
Image of Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith Lied When He Said:

“What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago.” (History of the Church 6, May, 1844, p. 411)

Assistant LDS Church historian Andrew Jenson published a list of Joseph Smith’s 27 plural wives in 1887.[1]

Joseph Smith Lied Again When He Claimed:

“Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe, that one man should have but one wife, and one woman but one husband … We wish these doctrines to be taught by all that are in the ministry, that the people may know our faith respecting them, and also to correct the public mind in respect to the church.” (Millennial Star, January, 1844, Vol. 4, No. 9, p.144)

“It’s Official: Mormon Founder Had Up to 40 Wives”

“Mormon leaders have acknowledged for the first time that the church’s founder and prophet, Joseph Smith, portrayed in church materials as a loyal partner to his loving spouse Emma, took as many as 40 wives, some already married and one only 14 years old.” (NY Times article, Nov. 10th, 2014)

One hundred and seventy years after Joseph Smith lied about allegations he had multiple wives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did the unthinkable, they admitted that Joseph Smith lied.


LDS Church Historian Elder Steven E. Snow, Explained:

“There is so much out there on the Internet that we felt we owed our members a safe place where they could go to get reliable, faith-promoting information that was true about some of these more difficult aspects of our history.” (NY Times article, Nov. 10th, 2014)

Elder Snow went on to say:

“We need to be truthful, and we need to understand our history.” (NY Times article, Nov. 10th, 2014)

Today the LDS Church is facing a major crisis, because people are searching the Internet and the truth is becoming known.

Here is an example:

“It is a fact, so well known, that the Twelve and their adherents have endeavored to carry this spiritual wife business in secret … and have gone to the most shameful and desperate lengths, to keep it from the public … I could bring facts which can be established in any court of justice, in relation to these vile abominations practiced under the garb of religion that would make humanity blush.” (Sidney Rigdon, First Presidency Counselor, Messenger and Advocate, October, 1844, Vol. 1, No. 1)

Latter-day Saints Have Lost Confidence in Joseph Smith:

Richard Bushman, who is a well-known LDS author/speaker, said:

“Increasingly teachers and church leaders at all levels are approached by Latter-day Saints who have lost confidence in Joseph Smith and the basic miraculous events of church history. They doubt the First Vision, the Book of Mormon, many of Joseph’s revelations, and much besides. They fall into doubt after going on the Internet and finding shocking information about Joseph Smith based on documents and facts they had never heard before. A surprising number had not known about Joseph Smith’s plural wives … When they come across this information in a critical book or read it on one of the innumerable critical Internet sites, they feel as if they had been introduced to a Joseph Smith and a Church history they had never known before … Everything changes. What are they to believe?” (Richard Bushman’s introduction paper to the 2008 summer seminar, “Joseph Smith and His Critics,” given July 29, 2008)

Would You Believe This?

The LDS Church has now responded to the subject of Joseph Smith’s plural marriages with this recently published work:

“When God commands a difficult task, He sometimes sends additional messengers to encourage His people to obey. Consistent with this pattern, Joseph told associates that an angel appeared to him three times between 1834 and 1842 and commanded him to proceed with plural marriage when he hesitated to move forward. During the third and final appearance, the angel came with a drawn sword, threatening Joseph with destruction unless he went forward and obeyed the commandment fully.

Fragmentary evidence suggests that Joseph Smith acted on the angel’s first command by marrying a plural wife, Fanny Alger, in Kirtland, Ohio, in the mid-1830s. Several Latter-day Saints who had lived in Kirtland reported decades later that Joseph Smith had married Alger, who lived and worked in the Smith household, after he had obtained her consent and that of her parents. Little is known about this marriage, and nothing is known about the conversations between Joseph and Emma regarding Alger.

The Church acknowledges the contribution of scholars to the historical content presented in this article; their work is used with permission.” (Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo, retrieved on 11-15-2014 from

The Record Gets Worse:

Book of Mormon witness, scribe, and Assistant President of the Church, Oliver Cowdery called Joseph Smith’s relationship with Fanny Alger:

“A dirty, nasty, filthy affair …” (January 21,1838, handwritten copy of letter written by Oliver Cowdery)

The LDS Church explains:

“Cowdery viewed JS’s relationship with Alger as adulterous, while other church members, including members of Alger’s extended family, later stated that JS had married Alger as his first plural wife.” (Historical Introduction, letter from Oliver Cowdery, January 21, 1838,

Cowdery was excommunicated in April 1838.

Oliver Cowdery was not the only important LDS leader to be excommunicated over issues with Joseph Smith practicing polygamy:

In 1844, after Jane Law refused Joseph Smith’s proposal to marry her, Jane’s husband William Law was excommunicated.

“Law and his wife joined the Church of the Latter-day Saints in 1836, through the efforts of John Taylor and Almon W. Babbitt. He led a group of Canadian saints to Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1839 and in 1841, Joseph Smith chose him to be a member of the First Presidency.

As time progressed, Law became troubled by certain practices of Smith … it was Smith’s covert practice of polygamy that caused Law to completely separate himself. Rumors circulated that Smith had made several proposals to Law’s wife Jane, under the premise that Jane Law would enter a polyandrous marriage with Smith. Law and his wife confirmed that these rumors were true.” (Wikipedia, William Law, Latter Day Saints)

What Have We Learned?

# 1. Joseph Smith has a proven history of lying about his relationships with other women.

# 2. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a proven history of telling the world what an honest man Joseph Smith was.

Until now!

Oh my, a former whitewashed, thrown into the sea of forgetfulness, lost in the fog of “faithful history”, glaring-embarrassing-debacle, has been dredged up and put under a spotlight for everyone to see. Now that the truth is out, more people are going to start questioning whether Joseph Smith lied about,

Finding golden plates?

John the Baptist visiting him?

and what about,

Joseph Smith’s First Vision?

Is that story also a lie?[2]

Full Article Index / LDS Series



1. Jenson, A. Historical Record 6 [May 1887], pages 233–34

2. Mitt Romney Reminiscing (about Emma as Joseph’s only wife) – BYU Address 11/18/2014