Joseph Smith’s Plural Wives, Volume 1: Helen Mar Kimball
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 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.
Volume 1 details the life and experience of Helen Mar Kimball (the controversial “14-year-old”).
Availability: In stock
Availability: In stock
I think what I most appreciated about this book was how I felt I came to know Helen. Her voice rang through in her diaries and other writings, and I found her to be astonishingly relatable and so very inspiring. I laughed at some parts seeing her humanity, I cried in others as I ached for the losses she suffered, and I truly did walk away from the experience wanting to honor the great sacrifices made by those early women of the restoration.
On a personal level, I felt the depth of Helen’s despair through some of the trials she faced. Her first two children were stillborn, during the time when the saints were being driven from Nauvoo and experiencing such extreme hardship. Later on in life, she lost a 16 year old daughter to tuberculosis. I couldn’t stop the tears from falling as I read about her holding this precious daughter as she died. She also lost a 5 year old son. These were just a few of the trials that Helen faithfully walked through. I feel that we have a tendency to expect people to already have perfect faith and perspective right in the midst of pain, and this is not always the case.
I appreciated that her grief and despair were shown. She had great faith, but the losses were profoundly painful. It inspired me to want to walk through my own trials with a greater depth of faith.
One other thing that was deeply driven home for me was despite the fact she was from what could be considered a “prominent LDS family” of her time, she truly had to wrestle with difficult doctrines and ultimately make her own decision about whether she was for the Lord or not. She faced that crossroad, just like all of us do. I genuinely don’t know how these early Latter-day Saint women did what they did, but I hope I can live my life in a way to honor and perpetuate the foundations laid by them.
If you’re someone who hasn’t dug into early church history, or someone who wants inspiring women to learn from, this book is a great place to start.
Ann Postak (verified owner) –
Helen Mar Kimball is my new heroine, and I now have a renewed reverence for the early Saints and their sacrifices. This book was a tearjerker as I melted into the story and had my testimony heightened by gaining a new understanding of doctrine. The tears weren’t because of sadness, although there was much in Helen’s life. They were tears at the realization of spiritual truths and ah-ha moments as my mind and heart expanded. I wasn’t expecting new understandings of temple covenants, the word of wisdom, the second coming tribulations, and the ages of marriages of other elite women. This book should SLAM any people who are experiencing a faith crisis because of the false beliefs the rest of the world (and even other Saints) are trying to impose upon us. When you are reading along, make sure you read the footnotes!
Thank you so much for this beautiful gift! Ann