It was my understanding that the accusation of polygamy against Oliver came from BY himself.Orson wrote:Simply off the top of my head I recall multiple witnesses not all friendly to Brigham Young's leadership also verified Joseph's polygamy. The earliest being Oliver Cowdery, and it seems most of those who lost faith in Joseph at Kirtland. William Law, participating in the Nauvoo Expositor and I also believe gave additional testimony to it years later. William Marks also claimed Joseph did practice polygamy, and it would have been in his interest to proclaim the "true gospel" as he believed it should be (he never agreed with polygamy) as taught by Joseph was free of the practice.jhp33 wrote:I don't find the evidence overwhelming as it pertains to Joseph Smith implementing and practicing polygamy. I find, instead, overwhelming evidence that he condemned the practice with the utmost vehemence even until his dying day.
Doesn't even the Community of Christ today admit that Joseph did practice polygamy? There are so many personal witnesses of people that were in fact close to Joseph during his life time that to me the evidence is overwhelming.
Am I wrong in remembering that the actual document containing the revelation that is Section 132 is written in BY's handwriting and that he claimed that Emma destroyed the original? Convenient story.
Keep in mind that Emma herself defended Joseph against charges of polygamy her whole life according to all the primary sources. You have to rely on some less-than credible evidence from secondary sources to even come close to establishing that Emma had knowledge of Joseph's practice of polygamy. I find it hard to believe that, even after BY had left and there was no real pressure to keep up the facade, that Emma would continue to defend Joseph's reputation if he was indeed guilty of it.
I admit I'm not as up to speed on the William Law references. Need to look into those.