Eliza R. Snow writes letter to Daniel Munns, denies "carnal" nature of her marriage of Joseph Smith.

May 30, 1877
Eliza R. Snow

Eliza R. Snow, Letter to Daniel Munns, May 30, 1877

Eliza R. Snow
Eliza R. Snow, Daniel Munns, Joseph Smith, Jr.
Daniel Munns

Bro. Joseph here is a letter from / Miss Snow if you wish to coppy ['sic] / but send this back to Daniel Munns / Good Intent Kansas /

Salt Lake City /

May 30th 1877. /

Yours of the 9th ult. was / duly rec.d -- Absence from home / has prevented in earlier response. /

You refer to the "origin" of / Polygamy, (more properly Plural / Marriage --polygamy includes / plural husbands as well as plural / wives) to' which I answer. Its / origin is divine; but no one can / accept this testimony without / admitting present revelation. /

Concerning the introduction / and practice of Plural Marriage / in this Dispensation, I trust that / my word may be sufficient. / I was married to Joseph Smith, / [page 2] the Prophet, more than two years / previous to his death -- not by a / civil magistrate ,-- not by a hireling / Priest with usurped autho-rity, / but by a man of God who has been /legally authorized to preform [sic] the sacred ordinance of marriage, / An ordinance which unites for / time and for eternity. /

You ask (referring to Pres. Smith) / "Did he authorize or practice / spiritual wifery? Were you a / spiritual wife? I certainly shall / not acknowledge myself to have / been a carnal one. /

It would be rather difficult to / measure or weigh the amount / of spirituality, I was in possession / of , so as to make an estimate / I candidly confess "spiritual wifery" / I know nothing of only as the term / was used as an epithet with which / [page 3] to stigmatize those of us who / valiantly moved forward in / obedience to the commands of God, in establishing the practice / of plurality. I am personally and / intimately acquainted with several / ladies now living in Utah who / accepted the pure and sacred doctrine / of Plural marriage, and were the / bona fide wives of Pres. Joseph Smith -- / noble and intelligent woman, [sic] who live / to honor him, and who revere his / memory and anticipate holding the / same endearing relationship with him / in eternity -- having been connected to him / by the same power and authority which / Christ conferred on the Apostle Peter, by which / "whatsoever he bound on earth should / be bound in heaven" &c. The key of this / power is as necessary in this day as it / was in that -- no church ever was, is, or ever / will be either accepted or acknowledged / of God, that is destitute of it, and no man / [page 4] can legally officiate in the marriage / ceremony or in any other ordinance of the / House of God, unless he has been "called as / was Aaron" ie. by diect revelation. As / consistently might a justice of the Peace./ claim authority from a license or com- / mission given to a magistrate / centuries ago, as for men to presume to / act on the commission given to the / ancient apostles. As to the counterfeiting of the Revelation / on polygamy -- it is all nonsense -- / we have the veritable one which the / Lord gave through His prophet Joseph Smith. /

Yours &c. /

Eliza R. Snow. /

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