Joseph A. Kelting recalls conversation with Joseph Smith about plural marriage; says Joseph was worried about legal problems with the practice.

Sep 11, 1903
Joseph A. Kelting
Scribed Verbatim

Joseph A. Kelting, Affidavit, September 11, 1903, Affidavits about celestial marriage, 1869–1915, Church History Library, MS 3423

Joseph A. Kelting
Brigham Young, Emma Hale Smith, Joseph A. Kelting, Joseph Smith, Jr.

I first knew Joseph Smith, the Prophet, in Ohio. I once called upon him afterwards at his residence in Nauvoo, Illinois, and told him I wanted a private interview. We walked up stairs together. His wife, Emma, was down stairs, and he did not wish her to hear what we were going to talk about.

We went into the front room, and he locked the door. I told him it was mooted about that he was teaching plural marriage, and asked him the question, "Are you mooting about plural marriage?"

His answer was, "[I] cannot answer you, as you are both a lawyer and sherrif of Hancock County, and it might militate against you as an officer as well as against us."

I said, "Joseph, whatever you tell me as your friend is safe; I came here to find this out, and I assure you upon the square (and we were both Masons) it shall never injure you in any shape."

"I did moot plural marriage," said the Prophet.

"Did you have a revelation to teach this?" I asked.

"I did," he answered.

"Have you more than one wife sealed to you by this authority," I asked.

"I have," said he.

After giving me this information, he referred me to Brigham Young if I wanted any more on this subject, Brigham seeming to be the man he trusted most with this matter, and was putting him to the front.

The Prophet assured me that the revelation was as authoritative and binding as any revelation given through him up to that time; and, in fact, that it was paramount to all the rest.

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