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What controversial idea did Mormon leader Joseph Smith have today?

July 12th

SmithJuly 12, 1843 — Mormon leader Joseph Smith (December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844) announced today, “God allows polygamy.”

The American religious leader and founder of Mormonism — who wrote the Book of Mormon when he was 24 — attracted tens of thousands of followers and founded a religion and religious culture that continues to this day.

Historians believe that today’s revelation was not made public to the LDS Church as a whole until 14 years later, when the new church president — Brigham Young — publicly acknowledged it in 1852.

Young claimed that the original document with Smith’s exhortation had been burned by Smith’s widow, Emma Smith.

josephemmacloseupHowever, Emma denied that the document ever existed. She said the story told by Young: “is false in all its parts, made out of whole cloth, without any foundation in truth.” 

Indeed, published affidavits by eyewitnesses accusing church leaders of following the teaching and engaging in polygamy are said to have been the reason for Smith’s murder by a mob in 1844.

While the 1843 revelation was rejected by the RLDS Church as not originating with Smith, by the 1870s, it was codified in the LDS Church’s canon in its Doctrine and Covenants.

Words of Wisdom

Never be discouraged. If I were sunk in the lowest pits of Nova Scotia, with the Rocky Mountains piled on me, I would hang on, exercise faith, and keep up good courage, and I would come out on top.

— Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of Mormonism

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