Emily D. P. Young writes letter explaining her marriage to Joseph and testimony of plural marriage.

Jan 27, 1899
Emily D. P. Young

Emily D. P. Young, Letter to W. Collins, January 27, 1899, MS 2876, Church History Library

Emily D. P. Young
Emily D. P. Young, Joseph Smith, Jr., W. Collins
W. Collins

Salt Lake City

5th East, St. S. 1070

Jan. 27th 1899

W. Collins Esq.

Dear Brother in the Gospel; I received your letter of the 22nd inst. yesterday; asking the question; Did Joseph Smith the Prophet claim to have a revelation on polygamy or, plural marriage. You say the Josephites deny that he did. I can answer that question in a few words. It is a positive fact that he did so claim and so teach and also practice.

I am a living witness of the same, with me it is neither guesswork or hearsay; I had it from his own mouth; to me it was the word of the Lord. I accepted the pure and sacred principle, and was married or sealed to him as his wife for time and all eternity, in Nauvoo 1843.

I know positively that <he> had other wives; I have witnessed his performing the ceremony <of plural marriage> for other parties. Now facts are stubborn things, the Josephites may oppose and deny but the fact still remains. The Josephites are building their church on a sandy foundation. Error is a poor proof to build any structure upon. Truth is best it will stand forever. I would be very sorry to bear false witness or testify to a falsehood and have it go down on reccord to future generations. But what I have stated here is the truth, and if I was standing befor my God I could speak no different.

I also know when Joseph Smith had the revelation on plural marriage written and knew the circumstances that caused it to be written at that time. The Josephites also deny that the Prophet Joseph ever gave endowments. Now I know that he did give endowments to a few of <the> brethren and <their> wives in one of the uppwer <front> rooms of the Mansion House, I was not one of the favored ones but I witnessed the preperation <for> of the same and saw the making of the cloths. I also kow knew of his having prayer-meetings there afterwards—I was living there at the time—I was an inmate of his home for about three years. Now this is my <testimony> to you and all seekers after truth.

I am getting old and according to the course of nature will not remain here long. Those that were personally acquainted with the prophet are fast passing away, and very few remain that knew of his teaching polygamy or, plural marriage.

Yours truly,

Emily D. P. Young

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