Todd Compton identifies 33 women as Joseph Smith's wives with an additional 8 as possibilities; comments on sexual relations of polyandrous marriages.

Todd M. Compton

Todd Compton, In Sacred Lonliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, 1997), 1–23

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Todd M. Compton
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A Trajectory of Plurality:

An Overview of Joseph Smith's Wives

I have identified thirty-three well-documented wives of Joseph Smith, which some may regard as an overly conservative numbering (see chart). Historians Fawn Brodie, D. Michael Quinn, and George D. Smith list forty-eight, forty-Six, and forty-three, respectively. Yet in problematic areas it may be advisable to er on the side of caution. Unless further evi-dence surfaces, I regard the "possible" wives as subjects for additional re-search rather than as women whose marriages to Joseph Smith can be conclusively demonstrated.

. . .

Some historians have proposed the interpretation that Joseph either had no marital relations with his "polyandrous" wives, if the husband was faithful to the church, or that the "first husband" had no marital relations with the woman. Such a theoretical relationship has been called "pseudo-polyandry." However, the Josephine Lyon Fisher affidavit argues against this. According to Josephine, her mother Sylvia, one of Smith's polyan-drous wives, "told me that I was the daughter of the Prophet Joseph Smith, she having been sealed to the Prophet at the time that her husband Mr. Lyon was out of fellowship with the Church."

. . .

Therefore there is no good evidence that Joseph Smith did not have sexual relations with any wife, previously single or polyandrous. On the other hand, there is evidence that he did have relations with at least some of these women, including one polyandrous wife, Sylvia Sessions Lyon, who bore the only polygamous offspring of Smith for whom we have affi-davit evidence.

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