Mormonthink released a response to the LDS church’s essay titled “Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo”, and it’s well worth reading if you’re interested in the early history of the mormon church.
The details about Helen Mar Kimball are especially tragic.
“Joseph told Heber (Helen’s father) he needed to surrender his wife to Joseph in marriage. Then, after 3 days of agonizing over this, Heber led his wife to Joseph only to be told by Joseph that it was just some sort of Abrahamic test. Then Joseph asked for Heber’s only daughter Helen to take as a plural wife.”
Helen was 14 years old at the time. Joseph Smith was 37 years old and had already taken 25 wives. Smith promised Helen that, if she would be his wife, her family would receive eternal salvation. I was taught that I was responsible for my own salvation.
As a father whose daughter is a few months from turning 14, this makes me sick to my stomach. It’s impossible for me to understand anyone who believes Smith was acting under some twisted directive from god. This is Warren Jeffs territory.