'A Letter to an Apostle,' the Raison d'être

A man who faced fifteen criminal charges between March 1826 and June 1844 including banking fraud, perjury, adultery and fornication, threatening a sitting judge, and twice for conspiracy to commit murder and twice for treason.

Joseph's 'Rap Sheet'
March 1826 Disorderly person June 1830 Disorderly person
June 1830 Disorderly person February 1837 Illegal banking June 1837 Conspiracy to Murder January 1838 Banking fraud August 10, 1838 Threatening Judge Nov. 12, 1838 Treason
August 1842 Conspiracy to Murder June 6, 1843 Treason May 1844 Perjury May 1844 Fornication & Adultery June 11, 1844 Inciting a riot June 24, 1844 Treason

A man who lied repeatedly to the Saints, his friends and even his own wife about his myriad unions with other women. "...What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers." History of the Church, vol 6, p. 411
“I had not been married scarcely five minutes, and made one proclamation of the Gospel before it was reported that I had seven wives.” Joseph Smith (LDS History of the Church 6:411, 26 May 1844

A man who got teenage girls, some as young as 14-years-of-age into his bed by promising them and their families eternal life or should they refuse him that an angel with a 'flaming sword' would take his life.

Joseph often guaranteed the salvation of an entire family if the object of his affection agreed to his proposal as in the case of fourteen-year-old Helen Mar Kimball wrote: "Having a great desire to relate to the Prophet, Joseph, he (my father) offered me to him; this I afterwards learned from the Prophet's own mouth." "My father had but one Ewe Lamb, but willingly laid her upon the altar: how cruel this seemed to my mother whose heartstrings were already stretched until they were ready to snap asunder, for she had already taken Sarah Noon to wife and she thought she had made sufficient sacrifice but the Lord required more." Helen Mar Kimball Journal, Helen Mar Autobiography, Woman’s Exponent, 1880 Joseph Smith gave Helen only 24 hours to decide on whether to marry him. Helen wrote: "My father left me to reflect upon it for the next twenty-four hours. ... I was skeptical - one minute believed, then doubted. I thought of the love and tenderness that he felt for his only daughter, and I knew that he would not cast me off, and this was the only convincing proof that I had of its being right." The next day, the 37-year-old Joseph claimed his teen bride. In her memoir, Helen wrote, "After which he said to me, 'if you take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation and exaltation and that of your father's household and all of your kindred.' This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward." Helen also thought her marriage to Joseph Smith was non-sexual. But to her surprise, it was not. "I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it." Helen Mar Kimball Journal, Helen Mar Autobiography, Woman’s Exponent, 1880

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