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Gospel Topic Essays: 011: Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo

We continue our tour of the Gospel Topics Essays and with the essay Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo.  The Goal – To share the LDS Church’s Gospel Topic Essays and help the both the believing member and the non-believer get a sense of the why these essays were written, who the intended audience is, whether these essays resolve the concerns of the faithful and non-believer and why perhaps these essays even add to the disbelief of those who skeptical of the issues they find in Mormon History.



Co-Hosts of this episode

Lindsay Hansen Park is an American Mormon feminist blogger, podcaster, and the Executive Director for the Salt Lake City-based non-profit Sunstone Education Foundation. She blogs for Feminist Mormon Housewives (FMH) about women’s issues inside and outside of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is the main voice behind the Year of Polygamy podcast.  Her work and voice have been referenced in The Wall Street Journal, The Salt Lake Tribune’s Trib Talk, Salt Lake City Weekly, The Guardian and Quartz.

Allan Mount is Co-host of the Marriage on a Tightrope podcast with his wife Kattie. After 35 faithful years in the church, it was the Gospel Topic Essays that acted as a catalyst to his faith transition. He is a sales director for a technology company in South Jordan Utah. Kattie and Allan have 4 children.

Anthony Miller is an entrepreneur and education enthusiast in Billings, Montana, with Masters degrees in Business Administration and in Financial Services. After a lifetime of faithful membership in the church, he experienced a faith transition after he stumbled across the Gospel Topics Essays and similar materials in 2016, while he was searching for resources to support his adult gay son. Anthony blogs at and is a frequent contributor to post and progressive Mormon support communities.

Bill Reel is a media producer and Pawn Shop Broker and lives in Southern Utah.  Bill experienced a deep faith shift while serving as a LDS Bishop in 2012.  Since then has has worked to be a voice to help others reconcile the complex issues of Mormonism.  He is the the lead contributor of the Mormon Primer and host of Mormon Discussion Podcast


3 thoughts on “Gospel Topic Essays: 011: Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo”

  1. Last year, the church disabled the link to the Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo Gospel Topics Essay in the Gospel Library App (where most members would look for/find this essay) so members would not stumble across/find the most difficult/troubling essay on this topic within the tool the church recommends for gospel study.

    To understand and see what I am referring to, Download the Gospel Library App, navigate to the Gospel Topics Essay page thru the App, click on Plural Marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Essay. About 7 paragraphs in, you’ll find what should be the link to the Nauvoo polygamy essay (“If you would like to learn more about the beginnings of plural marriage in the Church, click here“.). That link was originally the only way members could navigate to the Nauvoo essay thru the Gospel Library App. The link has been disconnected.

    1. I also noticed that the link in the body of the introduction Essay doesn’t work in the Library App.

      However, if I scroll down to the bottom of the Essay, there are links to it in Related Topics, for which they open up the other essays on the Church’s website in a browser.

      It is interesting that the Kirtland and Nauvoo Plural Marriage Essay isn’t on the App, but rather takes a person to the Church’s website.

      I wonder if they did that to be able to better measure site visit counts for those extra essays.

  2. The line in which Helen Mar Kimball stated that her marriage was for “eternity alone” comes from a poem. If people want to see the context, it can be read here:

    I doubt she was saying that she was sealed for “Eternity only.” While Lindsay Hansen Park is correct that Joseph Smith was controlling her sexuality even if he was not having sex with her, I think claiming this poem as evidence that she was not having sex with Joseph is a stretch. The authors were grasping at straws with this one.

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