D. Michael Quinn discusses Joseph's sealing to Sarah Ann Whitney in the Ensign.

Dec 1978
D. Michael Quinn

D. Michael Quinn, "The Newel K. Whitney Family," Ensign, December 1978, 44

Ann Houston, Emmeline B. Woodworth Harris, Elizabeth M. More, Abigail A. Pond, Joseph Smith, Jr., D. Michael Quinn, Olive M. Bishop, Almira Elizabeth Pond, Henrietta Keyes Whitney, Sarah Ann Whitney
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How a family accepts members who join it by marriage is, in some ways, analogous to how a Church accepts members who join it by baptism. The experiences of plural marriage make the analogy even closer. The Whitney family rose nobly to the challenge in a way that was an example to the Church. On 27 July 1842, the Prophet Joseph Smith recorded a revelation to the Whitneys on plural marriage.

“My husband revealed these things to me; we had always been united, and had the utmost faith and confidence in each other. We pondered upon them continually, and our prayers were unceasing that the Lord would grant us some special manifestation concerning this new and strange doctrine. The Lord was very merciful to us; He revealed unto us His power and glory. We were seemingly wrapt in a heavenly vision, a halo of light encircled us, and we were convinced in our own minds that God had heard and answered our prayers and intercedings before Him.” In obedience to the command of the living prophet, Newel and Elizabeth Ann gave their daughter Sarah Ann in marriage to Joseph Smith. Nearly a year later, Joseph Smith dictated the general revelation about the eternity of marriage and the nature of plural marriage, and Newel asked to have his own copy, a providential request, since the first copy was destroyed. Thus, Newel’s desire to have the word of the Lord has blessed the entire Church by preserving what is now Section 132 [D&C 132] in the Doctrine and Covenants.

The Whitneys gave their daughter into the system of plural marriage and received into their family other plural wives. Newel K. Whitney was almost fifty years old when he entered plural marriage. He subsequently married Olive M. Bishop in 1844; Emmeline B. Woodworth Harris, Almira Elizabeth Pond, Abigail A. Pond, Elizabeth M. More, and Henrietta Keyes Whitney in 1845; and Ann Houston in 1846.

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