Joseph Smith's Promiscuity

Joseph Smith's sexual promiscuity could not have been a secret to his wife, Emma, but she did not know the extent of it. Smith, the founder of Mormonism, finally admitted to her that he had several plural wives. This was just a year before he was murdered.

Smith had been adulterous from the earliest days of Mormonism. We know for certain that he took Fannie Alger—a 17-year-old—to wife in 1833 even though he was married to Emma at the time. Outsiders simply cannot understand how Smith could justify practicing polygamy when, in 1830, he had "translated" the Book of Mormon, which clearly condemns it.

(See timeline of polygamy)

Smith bedded young women by telling them that God wanted them to become his secret wives. Keeping such a secret proved impossible. Finally, Emma confronted him.