Reluctant Polygamist

Reluctant Polygamist : Joseph Smith Jr.

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Joseph Smith, Jr., founded the Mormon Church. He was killed less than fifteen years later. Critics of Smith have long believed he was corrupt and dangerous. But even believers have been split. Smith's wife and sons defended a man who was honorable and monogamous. Apostles in the Church formed by Smith defended a prophet who was honorable. But they also claimed Smith taught plural marriage. Hundreds of thousands of 19th-century Mormons defended the practice of plural marriage, despite hardship and national oppression. Stout takes a fresh look at the history and allows us to see the complex reality that birthed these radically divergent viewpoints. Along the way, she gives the reader a window into the reasons for the secrecy, unifying the disparate perspectives on Smith and his contemporaries into an understandable whole. The 7th edition incorporates new insights from emerging documents and the research of other historians, validating and strengthening the patterns Stout had sketched out in previous editions. Reviews Reluctant Polygamist is a remarkable example of investigative journalism, almost a murder mystery or spy thriller in the making... There are some very scary bad guys in this story-and Joseph is not one of them. - Jeff Lindsay, LDS FAQ: Mormon Answers, MormanityBlog Reluctant Polygamist asks the reader to accept the complexity and ambiguity of LDS plural marriage, rather than going for a simplistic explanation. I think that's a real service. - Gregory A. Prince, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism For an unexpected look at the secrets lurking around Nauvoo in the days of Joseph Smith, I highly recommend the Reluctant Polygamist as a very good place to start. Meg Stout has provided us the opportunity to see Joseph in a new light. - Gerald A. Smith, historian, blogger Meg's recent book built up my faith, and gave me faithful answers to the questions I had about Joseph's polygamy versus Brigham's polygamy. It also totally unpacked/explicated/untangled the "spiritual wifery" accusations from real sealing/eternal marriage/eternity-only-sealing. - Bookslinger, blogger
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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the LDS church for over four decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. She is related to many of the individuals about whom she writes in this book. Meg Stout has a B.S. in Physics from George Mason University. She was the first civilian woman admitted to the Naval Postgraduate School, earning a M.S. in Product Development within the Systems Engineering and Management Master's Degree Program. She is Level III certified in both Systems Planning, Research, Development and Engineering (SPRDE) and Program Management (PM). Meg has been blogging at the Mormon-themed website millennialstar.org since December 2013.
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