Angel and Sword

Polygamy Prophet

Excerpt from the ‘Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo’, LDS Gospel Topic Essay:1

“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.”

Below are several references to the angel and sword commanding plural marriage of Joseph.

Excerpt from the ‘Autobiography of Benjamin F. Johnson’: 2

“He had asked me to bring my sister to the city, which I soon did, where he saw her at my sister’s, the Widow Sherman, who had already been sealed to him by proxy. His brother, Hyrum, said to me, “Now, Brother Benjamin, you know that Brother Joseph would not sanction this if it was not from the Lord. The Lord revealed this to Brother Joseph long ago, and he put it off until the Angel of the Lord came to him with a drawn sword and told him that he would be slain if he did not go forth and fulfill the law.” He told my sister to have no fears, and he there and then sealed my sister, Almira, to the Prophet.”

Excerpt from the ‘Life of Heber C. Kimball’: 3

“A grand and glorious principle had been revealed, and for years had slumbered in the breast of God’s Prophet, awaiting the time when, with safety to himself and the Church, it might be confided to the sacred keeping of a chosen few. That time had now come. An angel with a flaming sword descended from the courts of glory and, confronting the Prophet, commanded him in the name of the Lord to establish the principle so long concealed from the knowledge of the Saints and of the world—that of plural marriage.”

Excerpt from ‘The Testimony of Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner’, (Mary, 23, was married to Adam Lightner at the time Joseph took her as a plural wife): 4

“I know whereon I stand, I know what I believe, I know what I know and I know what I testify to you is the living truth. As I expect to meet it at the bar of the eternal Jehovah, it is true. And when you stand before the bar you will know. He preached polygamy and he not only preached it, but he practiced it. I am a living witness to it. It was given to him before he gave it to the Church. An angel came to him and the last time he came with a drawn sword in his hand and told Joseph if he did not go into that principle, he would slay him.

…”Well,” said I, “don’t you think it was an angel of the devil that told you these things?” Said he, “No, it was an angel of God. God Almighty showed me the difference between an angel of light and Satan’s angels. The angel came to me three times between the years of 1834 and 1842 and said I was to obey that principle or he would slay me.

Excerpt from ‘Wilford Woodruff’s Journal’: 5

“An Angel of God Stood by him (Joseph Smith) with a drawn Sword and told him he should be slain & Cut off from the Earth and the kingdom of God if he did not obey that Law (of polygamy). George Q Cannon was of the same opinion, that a man must have more then one wife at a time in order to obey that Law.”




1 ‘Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo’, LDS Gospel Topic Essay –
2 The Autobiography of Benjamin F. Johnson –
3 Life of Heber C. Kimball, pg 321-325 –
4 The Testimony of Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner –
5 Wilford Woodruff’s Journal Vol. 8, pg 235 –