Excerpt from the LDS Gospel Topic Essay, ‘Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo’: 1
Following his marriage to Louisa Beaman and before he married other single women, Joseph Smith was sealed to a number of women who were already married. 29 Neither these women nor Joseph explained much about these sealings, though several women said they were for eternity alone. 30 Other women left no records, making it unknown whether their sealings were for time and eternity or were for eternity alone.
Estimates of the number of these sealings range from 12 to 14. (See Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith [Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997], 4, 6; Hales, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy, 1:253–76, 303–48.) For an early summary of this practice, see John A. Widtsoe, “Evidences and Reconciliations: Did Joseph Smith Introduce Plural Marriage?” Improvement Era 49, no. 11 (Nov. 1946): 766–67.
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