January 17, 2020

Episode 190 – Joseph Fought Polygamy

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On this episode, we discuss Joseph Smith’s public and private denials of polygamy. It was a controversial practice in Victorian-era America and he had concluded by the final year of his life that it would lead to the next mass-exodus of Mormons, or possibly the ruin of the sect altogether. Some have used his statements to claim he never engaged in polygamy. We deal with a few of the arguments and discuss the context surrounding his multiple statements against polygamy to inform a skeptical reading of the sources. Yes, he fought polygamy, but only when it got out of his control. We also discuss Jacob Cochran and the free-love sect referred to as the Cochranites, as well as the many parallels between it and Mormonism.


Joseph Smith polygamy denials


Publications about Cochranites

Jacob Cochran legal troubles 1819

Exposes of Cochranism

Orsimus F. Bostwick and Buckeye’s Lamentation for Want of More Wives

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