ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE, APPLICABLE SOLELY TO THE IMAGES DIRECTLY DISPLAYED AND LINKED ON THIS PAGE:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
In April 1843, Joseph Smith married Almera Woodard Johnson, the 30 year-old sister of Joseph's friend, Benjamin Franklin Johnson, in Nauvoo. Joseph married many women (while still married to his first wife, Emma), but his marriage to Almera Johnson is particularly well-documented, with a sworn affidavit from Almera, letters and an autobiography written by Benjamin, and statements by Joseph's brother Hyrum Smith, who performed the ceremony, together confirming details of the events surrounding the marriage.
Almera testified that at the time the marriage took place, Hyrum Smith approached her and assured her that marrying Joseph was God's will, and that she need not be afraid. Hyrum himself confirmed telling Almera that "Joseph was comanded to take more wives and he waited Untill an Angel with drawn Sword Stood before him and declared that if [he] longer delayed fulfilling that command he would Slay him," and that Almera would "be blest" for marrying Joseph. Benjamin's writings also confirm that Hyrum tried to comfort Almera in the moments before the marriage, and that Hyrum told him that "[t]he Lord revealed [the principle of Celestial Marriage] to Brother Joseph long ago, and he put it off until the Angel of the Lord came to him with a drawn sword and told him that he would be slain if he did not go forth and fulfill the law."
Was the Prophet's marriage to Almera a sexual relationship?
Almera testified that after being sealed to Joseph, she "lived with the Prophet Joseph as his wife." Benjamin reports that after the marriage ceremony, and at Joseph's request, he brought Almera to room number 10 in Joseph's Mansion Home, which she occupied for several days until leaving to stay at Benjamin's house in Macedonia. Benjamin states that several weeks after the marriage, on May 15, 1843, Joseph spent the night at Benjamin's house and "occupied the same room and bed" with Almera. Joseph Smith's journal confirms that he stayed at Benjamin's house that night, and Almera's sworn affidavit states that "[Joseph] visited me at the home of my brother Benjamin F. at Macedonia."
NOTE: If you are interested in seeing the earliest version of this image, which was published in 2007, and then revised to its current form in order to respond to criticism of its historical accuracy (per the original website's premise), click HERE.