ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why did Emma Hale Smith leave Mormonism?

Updated on March 24, 2013

Emma is still revered in the LDS church

She was the first president of the Mormon Relief Society, compiled the original Latter-day Saint hymnal and she still is revered as the wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith. See

Doctrine and Covenants (Mormon scripture) still includes a revelation given to Emma Smith through her husband Joseph Smith jr.

Section 25 reveals the will of the Lord to Emma. In this revelation she was told to obey and submit to her husband without complaining (vers 4), to trust him (vers 9) and to exhort the Church (vers 7) with the warning of being excluded from heaven when disobeying this revelation (vers 15).

When Joseph was murdered she was determined to follow the instructions given to her in Section 25 and did everything in her power to preserve the "original" church.

Emma an Apostate

Brigham Young called her a devil because she opposed him as Joseph's successor even though she tried to protect the original instructions the way Joseph Smith had taught them.

Whether or not Emma liked it Young was now the second President of the LDS church and by disobeying and openly disagreeing with the prophet Brigham, the Apostles, and some of church teachings she was now an apostate.

[Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 1, Stake Presidencies and Bishoprics, 2006, Page 110 says under the section Apostasy:

Repeatedly act in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders.

Persist in teaching as Church doctrine after they have been corrected by their bishop or a higher authority.

Continue to follow the teachings of apostate sects after being corrected by their bishop or a higher authority.

Formally join another church.

In such cases, excommunication may be the necessary if repentance is not evident after counseling and encouragement. Priesthood leaders must take disciplinary action against apostates, to protect Church members.]

Emma repeatedly acted in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to Brigham Young (LDS Prophet) and other members of the Twelve. She persisted on teaching polygamy as false doctrine and formally joined the RLDS church.

But she was not excommunicated.

What if they would have kicked her out of the Church?

It might have been the end of Mormonism as we know it. It's like excommunicating Mrs. Monson after Thomas Monson passes away.

Emma and Joseph

In a Mormon movie called "Emma Smith: My Story" Joseph and Emmas relationship is displayed as romantic and monogamous which is far from the truth. Joseph Smith jr. was a polygamist and a bigamist with approximately 34 wives including 14 year olds and multiple married women.

The truth is that Joseph Smith jr. claimed to have received a revelation from God to start Polygamy in 1831. Mary Elizabeth Rollings tells of a conversation with Joseph in 1831 (she was only 12 years old then) when the prophet told her she was to be his first plural wife. See Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith page 65 . Josephs constant cheating was justified by this so-called revelation.

Emma witnessed Joseph's intercourse with 19 year old Fanny Alger (a hired girl) who became pregnant from him and at a later time Emma pushed the very pregnant Eliza R Snow down the stairs of the "Mansion House" in Nauvoo after learning that her husband was the unborn baby's father (lead to miscarriage).

In 1843 Joseph officially pursued plural marriage. Emma was strongly against it but her feelings did not matter to Smith. Believers would defend this behavior with the excuse that God had commanded it.

What Emma knew

Joseph Smith was a money digger (Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, page 8, 16, 18, 60).

Smith translated the Book of Mormon by putting his head into a hat (Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, page 26).

Oliver Cowdery was a dishonest man (Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, page 71).

As Nauvoo Mayor Joseph Smith jr. ordered the Marshal and Legion to destroy the Nauvoo Expositor press (Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, page181).

Joseph and 17 others were arrested on charges coming from the destruction of the press on June 12 1844 (Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, page 183-185).

The Prophet was cheating on her multiple times and entered into polygamous and polyandrous marriages (Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, pages 100, 131-156)

Smith never read the Bible through (Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, page 14).

There are multiple versions of Smith's "first vision (Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, page 14).

Power with regard to the government of the church falls to the High Council upon removal of the President, the office would devolve upon the President of the High Council in Zion - Elder Marks NOT Brigham Young (Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, pages 206-207)

Knowing what she knew it does not surprise me that she did not stick with the Mormon church.


Many conclusions could be written here but I would like for the reader to make their own.

Think about the time frame and era Emma and Joseph lived in and how women were viewed and treated then.

Consider the expectations of women in the general public during Emma’s life.

And don't forget the view on divorce and the shame that would have come with it.

How would you (as a woman) have felt after finding out that the man you just married was a con man and that you agreed to marry him even after your own parents suspicions and advise against a marriage.

Also consider the fact that Emma was an educated person in her days (schoolteacher). Could she just have been like Joseph wanting to make money off the gullible people and since Brigham got in her way she decided to reorganize the church through her bloodline? Is that the reason for her last testimony (Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, chapter 22)?

Information about the Authors of Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith

Linda King Newell stated that neither her nor Valeen Tippetts Avery was excommunicated. Both women are/were LDS (Valeen past away in 2006).

However she said "the powers that be in the LDS church, were not happy with the book, saying, "It is a non-traditional view of Joseph Smith."

LDS Leadership discouraged the sale of the book by banning them from speaking in any LDS Church meetings, in any Church buildings, or on anything having to do with LDS Church history. But when the press picked up the story, sales of the book tripled.

Their ban lasted about a year (May 1985 to May 1986). Later Linda King Newell was informed that they were no longer under any restrictions.

They both were the Winner of the Evans Biography Award, the Mormon History Association Best Book Award, and the John Whitmer Association (RLDS) Best Book Award.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Try again 

      22 months ago

      Facts and opinions are very different things. I feel as though you have mixed that up.

    • profile image

      THank you for your information. 

      24 months ago

      Thank you for your information. You have provided credible and documented evidence.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I am always amazed at how openly rude comments can be. People feel they can abandon the religious reasons for kindness if they are speaking to someone who challenges their views. It saddens me that Christianity can be so trodden upon in these forums. I think your points are highly valid. I wish we had more historical documentation on Emma, she is such an interesting person to me, I would love to know her thoughts and feelings to a greater extent.

    • profile image

      withheld but legitimate 

      4 years ago

      Your analysis might be more credible if, at the very least, your grammar and spelling were correct. I wish I could submit my name and contact information without the fear that there would be verbal abuse as a response. Discussion would be welcomed; self-serving recriminations would not be welcomed.

      In closing, you (author) need to work on your written communication skills.

    • profile image

      wilberforce mensah 

      5 years ago

      There is no one born to be a son of peedition but they choose to be as you're trying to be.Remember the lords promise"the gate of hell shall not rebel agaist the work


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)