Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner recalls being introduced to plural marriage; affirms that Joseph told her an angel appeared to him multiple times to command he practice it.

Apr 14, 1905
Speech / Court Transcript
Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner
Scribed Verbatim
2nd Hand

Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, Remarks, Brigham Young University, April 14, 1905, 2–3, MS 833, Church History Library

Sadie Preston
Emma Hale Smith, Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, Joseph Smith, Jr.
Brigham Young University Student Body

Much has come and gone from me through the powers and vicissitudes of this Church. I have been in almost every mob. I have been driven about and told I would be shot and had a gun pointed at me, but I stayed with the Church until it was driven from Nauvoo. The words of the Prophet that had been revealed to him always have been with me from the beginning to the end of the Gospel. Every principle that has been given in the Church by the Prophet is true. 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 practised 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. Joseph said he talked to him soberly about it, and told him it was an abomination and quoted scripture to him.

He said in the Book of Mormon it was an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, and they were to adhere to these things except the Lord. speak. I am the first being that the revelation was given to him for and I was one thousand miles away in Missouri for we went up to Jackson County in '41.

. . .

Two of his sisters were Joseph's wives. Emma took them by the hand and gave them to Joseph. I asked him if Emma knew about me, and he said, "Emma thinks the world of you." I was not sealed to him until I had a witness. I had been dreaming for a number of years I was his wife. I thought I was a great sinner. I prayed to God to take it from me for I felt it was a sin; but when Joseph sent for me he told me all of these things. "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 '34 and '42 and said I was to obey that principle or he would slay me."

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