The Temple Lot Case is one of the most important sources for polygamy documents. The RLDS Church wanted ownership of the temple lot in Independence, Missouri but another group, sometimes known as the Temple Lot Church owned the property. The LDS Church assisted assisted the Temple Lot Church and had women testify about their polygamist relationships with Joseph Smith in order to counteract the RLDS claims that they were the true successors to Joseph Smith. Dr. Brian Hales describes this important court testimony. This is a continuation of our previous conversation about young bride Helen Mar Kimball, as Brian discusses her relation to the Temple Lot case.
If we didn’t have the RLDS Church saying Joseph wasn’t a polygamist, we wouldn’t have the 1869 affidavits, we wouldn’t have the 1877 collection by Andrew Jensen, and we wouldn’t have the additional information from the Temple Lot Case. Together those three are 75% of what we know, and it’s scary for researchers on polygamy to think about what we would know about Nauvoo polygamy if the RLDS Church had not taken the stance that they did. It’s really scary. You’d have John C. Bennett. You’d have William Law, and you would not know even a fraction of what we think we know about it today.
Check out our conversation…
Don’t forget to check out our previous episodes on Fanny Alger, as well as parts 1–7 of our conversations with Brian.
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