edited by Cheryl L. Bruno
Signature Books, 2024
Cloth: 978-1-56085-471-5 | eISBN: 978-1-56085-489-0


Navigating the intricate labyrinth of early Mormon plural marriage can be fascinating, frustrating, and often confusing. The essays in this volume venture into the depths of historical inquiry, presenting a diverse array of perspectives on the subject. Authored by a consortium of esteemed scholars and researchers in the field of Mormon studies, it addresses the nuanced intricacies of Joseph Smith’s involvement in plural marriage.

Delving into the core of this discourse, these experts meticulously analyze foundational documents, highlighting the complexities Joseph Smith faced in practicing plural marriage and shedding light on the legal aspects of polygamy in 1840s Illinois. It navigates lesser-known details of Smith’s proposals and relationships, including the enigmatic story of Fanny Alger.

Secret Covenants presents a balanced exploration. It critiques traditional portrayals, providing multiple viewpoints, such as the examination of Emma Smith’s vehement rejection of polygamy after her husband’s death, and an analysis of the societal impact on women within polygamous unions. Furthermore, the authors address evolving doctrinal debates triggered by the “Marriage Revelation” and its impact on Mormon philosophy and thought.

This anthology serves as a foundational resource for academic scholars, individuals interested in religious history, and anyone seeking to understand the many layers of Mormon plural marriage.