Book release! Joseph Smith’s Plural Wives, Volume 1: Helen Mar Kimball

Do you know someone who is struggling with questions and doubts regarding Joseph Smith’s practice of plural marriage? We have a new book just for you!

Tackling the “tough” questions!

One of the most controversial facets of Latter-day Saint history is Joseph Smith’s practice of Celestial plural marriage. However, behind the controversy lies the oft-untold, but inspiring history of real women with successes, failures, trials, and legacies. Latter-day Saint women looking for exemplary heroines will be encouraged to discover female role models of strength, talent, intelligence, compassion, leadership, determination, and accomplishment.

If you know someone who is struggling with the historic practice of plural marriage, this book will provide the reader with an honest and faith-filled account of the history, from the perspective of the women—the forgotten mothers of the Restoration.

“I have been so inspired by Helen Mar Kimball! I am excited now about defending the Restoration. I don’t feel scared about diving into Church history. I just feel really grateful to have read this book.”

— Lexi, mother of two

Helen’s Story

Volume 1 details the life and experience of Helen Mar Kimball (the controversial “14-year-old”). Helen was the daughter of Heber C. and Vilate Kimball, prominent members of early Church history and close friends of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The book opens with Helen’s introduction to the principle of plural marriage in Nauvoo. Helen did not immediately accept or understand this teaching and followed her own journey over many years to gain her own testimony. In her own words, Helen shared her struggles, her doubts, her fears, and her frustration—a journey many women will be able to empathize with! Helen would later become an outspoken and bold defender of the Prophet Joseph Smith and plural marriage. She wrote pamphlets, letters, and newspaper articles detailing the beliefs of Latter-day Saints and explaining her perspective on the more sensitive issues of the Gospel.

But Helen’s story is not only about plural marriage—it is about the real life of a woman, mother, grandmother, pioneer, and author. In this book, we get to know Helen through her own journals, letters, and histories including her childhood in Kirtland, her family’s struggles while her father was repeatedly called away on missions, as well as her firsthand eyewitness accounts of the persecutions in Missouri and many miracles during the early days of Church history.

After the Prophet’s martyrdom, Helen assisted in efforts to finish the Nauvoo temple and was later sealed to Horace Whitney, shortly before the Saints were driven from Nauvoo. Helen endured sickness and privation in Winter Quarters—as well as the heartbreaking loss of her first child. Helen would also lose two more infants before she had a child meant to remain on the earth. Her feelings, response, and handling of the grief are a moving account of a real women experiencing the joys and sorrows many of us experience in this life.

Helen’s experiences as a mother can encourage anyone with hope and faith as she experienced many trials and harsh experiences connected with raising a family in the Gospel. One of Helen’s sons committed suicide, two additional children passed away before adulthood, and she battled chronic illness with accompanying insomnia, as well as some anxiety and intense low points of discouragement. Helen’s account of her struggle to fully live the Word of Wisdom and remove her bodily dependence on coffee is unique and inspiring! Her anguish to help her children gain testimonies and her moments of celebration as well as disappointment are documented in her journals—and in this book, we follow Helen’s experiences, allowing her to share a woman’s view of the Restoration and her personal life.

As one gazes across the vibrant mural of Helen’s life, her defining characteristics come to the forefront: her divine gift for charity, her sacrificial love for her children, her meek submission to ordained trials, and her remarkable zeal in using her life for good. Latter-day Saint women today need the raw, authentic, and genuine stories of fellow women who can relate and encourage them. Helen is one of those female voices so needed in our own day and age.

“I’ve loved getting to know Helen through her very own words. From experiencing rejection and slander, to the deaths of her children, to a battle with debilitating, chronic illness, this woman has so much wisdom to share through her incredible story. How grateful I am that she left it for us!”

— Kate, 21-year-old YSA

“Polygamy is not an easy subject for me. Helen’s reaction to plural marriage was human—it made me feel seen. I feel so grateful for this book because it introduced me to a strong, special woman who will be a dear example to follow in my life.”

— Iris, Latter-day Saint in France

Table of Contents preview

1. Daughter of Destiny

2. A Vermont Boy’s Search for Truth

3. Childlike Faith

4. Endurance, Healing & Forgiveness

5. Weighing the Cost & “Bitter Price”

6. A World Turned Upside Down

7, Horace & Helen—Reconnecting Love & Eternal Bloodlines

8. Walking the Valley of the Shadow

9. Unity Among Sisters—Visions, the Gift of Tongues & Prophecy

10. A Witness in the Fiery Furnace

11. A Quiet Voice Urges Helen to Speak

12. A Voice Unleashed—Helen Defends Joseph

13. Through Great Tribulation

14. Rolling Waters & Gifts from Heaven

15. A Battle to Live the Word of Wisdom

16. Charity Never Faileth

17. Wayward & Faithful Children—Mothering in Zion

18. Wrestling Against Principalities & Powers

19. The “Wife of a God”

Appendix: Why did Joseph Smith marry a 14-year-old?

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