Letting Meg Have the Last Word

Since Meg is not willing to have this discussion on her blog, I’ll let her have the last word on mine. I will once again simply ask her to show documentary support for any of her assertions. Even one.

As I’ve said, I don’t have any problem with the documentary evidence she provides, but most of her theory rests on fantasy and naked assertion. I spent way too much time dealing with her posts, unpacking her tale of fantasy and dishonesty, and I have shown repeatedly that she makes things up out of whole cloth (seduction victims, death-bed conversations, an investigation into said seductions), engages in tortured denials of clear evidence (meat commerce, no one actually saw Joseph having sex when he went to bed with his wives), and outright lies (pretending that Joseph’s proposal to Emily Partridge wasn’t an actual proposal when Emily said it was). (Part of me thinks she has not actually read my responses to her, as she’s given no indication she understands my arguments or is willing to address them.) I would say I’m embarrassed for her, but I can’t feel bad for someone who engages in willful deception. She should be ashamed of herself. In fact, I am a little ashamed of myself for having paid any attention to her.

Oh, well. At least she’s amused.

I was amused by John’s analysis of my narrative (the pingback to Runtu’s Rincon). We had also corresponded a fair amount privately in the past few days.

He is unable to actually unpack and examine the facts, but attacks me for putting forward a different narrative to facts he believes can only fit the Fawn Brodie framework for Joseph’s life.

While he roundly accuses me of fantasy and making things up, he never did respond with the supposed “facts” he claims I am ignoring (despite many calls for him to do so).

Everyone is familiar with the fact that the Mountain Saints tried mightily from the 1850s through the 1890s to portray Joseph not only as having taught polygamy but also having been an active sexual participant in his plural marriages. This surged in the late 1860s, when Joseph’s sons first visited Utah to try to convert their father’s followers back to a monogamist version of Mormonism. At this point we see Andrew Jensen and Joseph F. Smith collecting information regarding the women who had married Joseph Smith, and from these collections we get indications that women were his wife in deed and that Emma knew about certain of the marriages. But there is nothing in the affidavits that explicitly and unequivocally could be interpreted as actual confessions that sex occurred.

It is in the 1890s during the Temple Lot trial that men and women testify with the intent of portraying Joseph as a practicing polygamist. We hear of times he shared rooms with women, even shared beds with women. But the only one of these testimonies that actually appears to indicate sex is when Emily Partridge was asked if she had carnal intercourse with Joseph, and she answers “Yes, sir.”

What other answer could she possibly have given, if she didn’t want to derail the Church’s entire position? Saying, “No, not carnal intercourse. But we were in the same bed…” would have completely negated all she had said leading up to that point and called all the other testimony into question.

Emily had spent decades as the wife of Brigham Young. Sarah Lawrence had gone on record claiming no sex occurred in her case, Maria Lawrence was dead, and Eliza Partridge was dead. Eliza Snow was dead. Emily was the only one of the women “known” to be Joseph’s plural wife during his lifetime left. If she had said she hadn’t had carnal intercourse with Joseph, the entire thing the Saints had spent decades focusing on as the core of their religion would be put in question.

I’ll just leave it with the possibility that Emily Dow Partridge [Smith Young] had an overwhelming motive to lie, if in fact she hadn’t had carnal intercourse with Joseph. Therefore I can’t accept as simple fact that she had sex with Joseph merely because she answered “Yes, sir” to that question.


19 Responses to Letting Meg Have the Last Word

  1. yaanufs says:

    Apparently Joseph Smith had a fetish, but it was a harmless cuddling fetish. He really just liked to marry women, then take them to bed and cuddle them all night.
    No hanky panky, and just some laughable ‘meat commerce’ to keep them from getting hungry in the night.
    To modify an expression from Darth Vader, “The shelf is strong with this one.”

  2. Paul says:

    “Therefore I can’t accept as simple fact that she had sex with Joseph merely because she answered “Yes, sir” to that question.”

    REALLY???? Meg is willing to suppose what Joseph was thinking, accept other’s non-sworn testimony, but when Emily, under oath, said ‘Yes, Sir”, she is not willing to accept that?

    What kind of mental gymnastics allows people to do this???

  3. Jeff Seaman says:

    “He is unable to actually unpack and examine the facts, but attacks me for putting forward a different narrative to facts he believes can only fit the Fawn Brodie framework for Joseph’s life.” The thing she’s jumping over is that there’s nothing to unpack. She isn’t putting forward facts, but suppositions and asking you to disprove them. When there’s no source for her claims, there’s nothing to examine. You can’t invent history and then ask someone to prove it’s not true. You can make any unsupported claim and then ask someone to prove you’re wrong and come out looking the victor because it’s hard to nigh impossible to prove a negative. We might as well be arguing over Unicorns and Pixies.

  4. Parker says:


    Actually Meg did know what Emily was thinking. Emily was thinking that if she admitted the truth that she never engaged in sex with Joseph, the Church would stand to loose some property, and the story would begin to unravel. Therefore, she lied on behalf of the Lord.

    So Ms. Partridge, by the law of the land (you know the one we Mormons like to sustain), either committed adultery or perjured herself.

  5. Jeff Seaman says:

    Nah Parker. She had carnal intercourse. Like George Costanza here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vLKhJnKrf9M

  6. Andrew says:

    Meg seems to be letting a few comments into her blog now. I think my taking screen shots is making it difficult for her to delete them as she has been doing. Anybody posting on her blog I’d recommend this strategy.


    • runtu says:

      Well, she’s not letting mine through. Just as well. I asked for documentary evidence, and she gave me a single citation she’d already given.

  7. Those who deny that Joseph Smith had sex with his wives are the Christ-myth’ers of Mormonism.

    But, obviously, I only think that because strong, assertive women intimidate me.

  8. belaja says:

    Here’s what makes me scratch my head and has for a long, long time. Why do they try so desperately to prove he neither had sex nor produced children with any of those women. That’s what they after they went west and came out into the open with it. It was (and still is) woven deeply into the fabric of mormon theology and cosmogony. If we think polygamy is just A-OK and don’t seem to feel a need that Brigham, the Pratts, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and all the church presidents down to Heber J. Grant did it (not to mention many of the ancestors of practically ALL of his with pioneer history) – then why in the name of Spider Pig does anybody feel the need to deny that Joseph did it and he did it in just the way and for just the reasons that everyone who came later did it. Brigham once said that he never taught anything to the church that he did not get direct from Joseph Smith. They consciously and openly patterned themselves on him. So what the nut? Of course he had sex with those women. Of course he most likely produced children by some of them. Why is this such a hard thing for people to take. There’s all kinds of things to break your shelf on. I’ve never understood why this is one for a lot of people.

  9. belaja says:

    I hate that I can’t edit that post. It’s full of typos. LOL

  10. Meg Stout says:

    Hi folks,

    To repeat what I’ve said elsewhere, I do not reject the possibility that Joseph had sex with his plural wives. However I am not persuaded that any of the current evidence gives up positive conclusive evidence that he had sex with his plural wives.

    However there is conclusive evidence that Joseph taught plural marriage as part of the New and Everlasting Covenant, to the point that followers such as John Taylor thought the two were synonymous.

    As for “my blog,” I am not the owner of Millennial Star. I am one of many who blog there. I put the comments on automatic moderation since I knew I wouldn’t be around to curate the comments (in part because my daughter has imposed an “internet free” period of time at home and I have a job where it is not appropriate for me to be hanging out curating this sort of content. Even though I am the author of this post, there are many others who can approve comments they find to be useful and within the comment policy.

    On the other hand, they will delete comments they find to fall outside the comment policy. I think Andrew’s list of links to this series of posts fell into that category. Also, when they detect that an individual persistently uses their comments to call the Church of Jesus Christ into question, they will put individuals on permanent moderation. The way these folks have explained this is that they want M* to remain a safe place for those they care about. Which doesn’t mean that no comments make it through, but that each one has to be evaluated and specifically approved.

    As Andrew has demonstrated, it isn’t as though a comment failing to make it through the editorial policy of M* will in any way delete it from the public record. For example, a practice I sometime use when a comment of mine is moderated is to copy the comment and e-mail it to myself (or to the individual whose blog I am commenting on). Thus I don’t lose the writing and effort if the comment doesn’t make it through the technological and editorial journey to publication.

    There is a certain level of informal banter I will engage in with people I think are capable of engaging at that level. With those who are not capable of engaging at that level, I do resort to more formal and professional levels of discourse.

    However in part, I have intentionally attempted to provoke people into providing me the “data” that causes them to believe Joseph was fully sexual with his plural wives. However it has been many months since anyone has alleged anything that wasn’t already part of the many records I have already considered. Now I’ve been spending time chasing down inadequately referenced offhand comments alleging sexuality just to make sure that I have not overlooked anything. But I’ve consistently come back to data I have already included, such as the highly unlikely assertion by V. Ettie Coray regarding Delcena Johnson. John doesn’t tell you that a widely discredited woman who has no reason to be considered Delcena’s confidant published this statement years after the events as part of a massive “exposé” of Mormonism (complete with fetching line-drawings of temple robes). By discredited, I mean that non-Mormons alleged at the time that V. Ettie Coray couldn’t be believed.

    I provided all manner of data that can be referenced. I have provided more than enough information for any curious researcher to locate the original references (except in the case where I admit I’ve lost track of the reference myself). Merely because I only bothered pasting one of my footnotes into the response does not mean that only one of the facts is based on solid evidence.

    I’ll wander around and see if there are any other responses to my comments in these posts that I care to reply to. As always, you know where to find me if you wish to continue the conversation.

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