Sarah M. Kimball says Joseph taught her about plural marriage in 1842 and propositioned her to become a plural wife, but she turned him down.

Sarah M. Kimball

Sarah M. Kimball, Biographical Sketch, in Augusta Joyce Crocheron, comp., Representative Women of Deseret: A Book of Biographical Sketches (Salt Lake City: J. C. Graham, 1884), 24–28

J. C. Graham
Oliver Granger, Eliza R. Snow, Abigail Kimball, Emma Hale Smith, Farley Granger, Hiram Kimball, Lydia Dibble Granger, Ada Hancock, Hiram Kimball, Jr., Phineas Kimball, Sarah M. Kimball, Joseph Smith, Jr., Lafayette Granger, Anna Robbins, Oliver Granger, Jr., Frederick G. Williams
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"I am the daughter of Oliver Granger and Lydia Dibble Granger, was born December 29th, 1818, in the town of Phelps, Ontario Co., New York. Of my parents, eight children, only myself and two younger brothers, Lafayette and Farley, remain. My father, Oliver Granger, had an interesting experience in connection with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. He obtained the book a few months after its publication, and while in the city of New York, at Prof. Mott's Eye Infirmary he had a 'heavenly vision.' My father was told of a personage who said his name was Moroni, that the Book of Mormon, about which his mind was exercised, was a true record of great worth, and Moroni instructed him (my father) to testify of its truth and that he should hereafter be ordained to preach the everlasting Gospel to the children of men. Moroni instructed my father to kneel and pray; Moroni and another personage knelt with him by the bedside. Moroni repeated words and instructed my father to repeat them after him. Moroni then stepped behind my father, who was still kneeling, and drew his finger over the three back seams of my father's coat, (which my father felt very perceptibly) and said, 'A time will come when the Saints will wear garments made without seams.' Moroni told my father that he might ask for what he most desired and it would be granted. He asked for an evidence by which he might know when he was approved of God. The evidence or sign was given, and remained with him until his dying hour, being more particularly manifest when engaged in prayer and meditation. I love the memory of my father. He died in Kirtland, Ohio, August 1843, aged forty-seven.

I was married in Kirtland, Orange Co., Ohio, by Warren Cowdery, Esq., September 23rd, 1840, to Hiram Kimball, eldest son of Phineas and Abigail Kimball, of West Fairley, Orange Co., Vermont. My parents had previously spent a year in Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Ill.; their present stay in Ohio was considered only temporary; my father sickened and died there the next year. I returned with my husband to his home in Nauvoo, Ill., three weeks after my marriage. We boarded six months in the family of Dr. Frederick Williams, then went to housekeeping. My eldest son was born in Nauvoo, November 22nd, 1841; when the babe was three days old a little incident occurred which I will mention. The walls of the Nauvoo Temple were about three feet above the foundation. The Church was in need of help to assist in raising the Temple walls. I belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; my husband did not belong to the Church at that time. I wished to help on the Temple, but did not like to ask my husband (who owned considerable property) to help for my sake. My husband came to my bedside, and as he was admiring our three days' old darling, I said, "What is the boy worth?" He replied, "O, I don't know, he is worth a great deal." I said, "Is he worth a thousand dollars?" The reply was, "Yes, more than that if he lives and does well." I said, "Half of him is mine, is it not?" "Yes, I suppose so." "Then I have something to help on the Temple." He said pleasantly, "You have?" "Yes, and I think of turning my share right in as tithing." "Well, I'll see about that." Soon after the above conversation Mr. Kimball met the Prophet Joseph Smith, President of the Church, and said, "Sarah has got a little the advantage of me this time, she proposes to turn out the boy as Church property. "President Smith seemed pleased with the joke, and said, "I accept all such donations, and from this day the boy shall stand recorded, Church property." Then turning to Willard Richards, his secretary, he said, "Make a record of this, and you are my witness." Joseph Smith then said, "Major, (Mr. Kimball was major in the Nauvoo Legion) you now have the privilege of paying $500 and retaining possession, or receiving $500 and giving possession." Mr. Kimball asked if city property was good currency, President Smith replied that it was. Then said Mr. Kimball, "How will that reserve block north of the Temple suit?" President Smith replied, "It is just what we want." The deed was soon made out and transferred in due form. President Smith said to me, "You have consecrated your first born son, for this you are blessed of the Lord. I bless you in the name of the Lord God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob. And I seal upon you all the blessings that pertain to the faithful. Your name shall be handed down in honorable remembrance from generation to generation.

"Your son shall live and be a blessing to you in time, and an honor and glory to you throughout the endless eternities (changes) to come. He shall be girded about with righteousness and bear the helmet and the breast-plate of war. You shall be a blessing to your companion, and the honored mother of a noble posterity. You shall stand as a savior to your father's house, and receive an everlasting salvation, which I seal upon you by the gift of revelation and by virtue and authority of the holy priesthood vested in me, in the name of Jesus Christ."

"Early in the year 1842, Joseph Smith taught me the principle of marriage for eternity, and the doctrine of plural marriage. He said that in teaching this he realized that he jeopardized his life; but God had revealed it to him many years before as a privilege with blessings, now God had revealed it again and instructed him to teach it with commandment, as the Church could travel (progress) no further without the introduction of this principle. I asked him to teach it to some one else. He looked at me reprovingly, and said, 'Will you tell me who to teach it to? God required me to teach it to you, and leave you with the responsibility of believing or disbelieving.' He said, 'I will not cease to pray for you, and if you will seek unto God in prayer you will not be led into temptation.'"

"In the summer of 1843, a maiden lady (Miss Cook) was seamstress for me, and the subject of combining our efforts for assisting the Temple hands came up in conversation. She desired to be helpful but had no means to furnish. I told her I would furnish material if she would make some shirts for the workmen. It was then suggested that some of our neighbors might wish to combine means and efforts with ours, and we decided to invite a few to come and consult with us on the subject of forming a Ladies' Society. The neighboring sisters met in my parlor and decided to organize. I was delegated to call on Sister Eliza R. Snow and ask her to write for us a constitution and by-laws, and submit them to President Joseph Smith prior to our next Thursday's meeting. She cheerfully responded, and when she read them to him he replied that the constitution and by-laws were the best he had ever seen. 'But,' he said, 'this is not what you want. Tell the sisters their offering is accepted of the Lord, and He has something better for them than a written constitution. I invite them all to meet me and a few of the brethren in the Masonic Hall over my store next Thursday afternoon, and I will organize the sisters under the priesthood after the pattern of the priesthood.' He further said, 'The Church was never perfectly organized until the women were thus organized.'" He wished to have Sister Emma Smith elected to preside in fulfillment of the revelation which called her an Elect Lady.

"In the wanderings and persecutions of the Church I have participated, and in the blessings, endowments and holy anointings and precious promises I have also received. To sorrow I have not been a stranger; but I only write this short sketch to instruct and happify, so I will skip to Salt Lake City, September, 1851, with my two sons, Hiram and Oliver, my widowed mother, Lydia Dibble Granger, Anna Robbins, a girl that lived with me nine years and married my youngest brother, and my two brothers, Lafayette and Farley B. Granger. My husband was detained in New York City, and had become financially much embarrassed. The next year he came to me financially ruined and broken in health. I engaged in school teaching in the Fourteenth Ward to sustain and educate my family. My salary was only $25.00 per month, but that was much to us at that time.

"April 1st, 1854, my youngest son was born. I discontinued school three months, then opened school in my home. I taught eight years. I should have stated that on arriving here I sold our fitout (team, etc.) for a comfortable little home, this I have always considered providential. The Indian agent gave me a nine-year-old wild Indian girl, whom I educated and raised. She died at nineteen. I named her Kate.

"My mother who had lived with me twenty years, died in 1861, aged seventy-three. My husband was drowned March 1st, 1863, in the Pacific Ocean by the wreck of the steamer, Ada Hancock, off the coast of San Pedro, on his way to the Sandwich Islands; aged sixty-two.

"I was elected President of the Fifteenth Ward Relief Society February 7th, 1857. In December, 1865, a little girl was brought to me whom I adopted.

"November 13th, 1868, a silver trowel and mallet were furnished me and assisted by a Master Mason, and surrounded by an assemblage of people, I had the honor of laying the corner stone of the first Relief Society building erected in this dispensation."

Sister Sarah M. Kimball possesses a tall, commanding figure, a face of remarkable dignity and sincerity in expression. Her manner of speaking is original in its strength of reason, rare in its eloquence, precise and delicate in selection of words and tone of voice. A phrenologist once said of her, that "if she were seated in a railway carriage with parties on one hand discussing fashions, and politics to be heard on the other, she would turn to the discussion on politics." A statesman, a philanthropist, a missionary, in her very nature, she is none the less the noble mother and true, fond friend, to those who have known her longest and best.

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