The majority of Mormons will never know about Willard Richards, let alone he was Joe Smith’s human lap dog.
At one time, Richards would’ve gone to the ends of the earth and back just to be in his shadow.
In September 1838, his loyalty paid off when he was called to be Smith’s private secretary, and historian for the building of the Nauvoo Temple. Today members can read his works in History of the Church, edited by BH Roberts.
While being one of Smith’s closest confidants, he too, began the practice of plural marriage. The report we read claims that Richards’ 2nd wife was ‘probably Marinda Nancy Johnson Hyde, twenty-six-year-old wife of apostle Orson Hyde’.
Yes, you read that correctly. With our discovery of this new information, our records are glaringly outdated, and will be updated as soon as possible.
Long story short, Orson Hyde, another loyal follower and apostle of Joe Smith, was serving on missions in England from April 1840 – December 1842. During that time, his wife Marinda, obviously expressed how difficult life was for her with Orson being gone so long. Joe’s fix for that was a husband, so he installed Willard Richards for the job. On December 2, 1841, Smith heard from the Mormon god who gave him the following prophecy –
“Verily thus saith the Lord . . . go and say unto my servant Ebenezer Robinson and to my hand maid his wife,—Let them open their doors and take her [Marinda] and her children into their house, and take care of them faithfully and kindly until my servant Orson Hyde returns from his mission, or until some other provision can be made for her welfare and safety.”
Needless to say, Robinson’s hospitality served as a front for the polyandrous marriage of Marinda, and Willard.
A few weeks later, Smith delivered another ‘thus saith the Lord’ proclamation, declaring that Robinson vacate his home immediately so the new couple could live there. Interestingly enough, the home also served as the Times and Seasons building, which is where their newspaper was published. Robinson, and his family, was then put out in the streets, and left homeless.
For more info, you can read Devery Anderson’s the full report at Sun Stone Magazine.
Smith obviously had followers who’d go to any lengths to make him happy. And for the record, Willard Richards’ 1st wife, Jennetta, died at the age of 27. According to her son it was from the stress of a broken heart. I would imagine…
The Mormon Church’s growth didn’t happen in a vacuum which can only mean it had a lot of help getting where it’s at now. Pray Mormons have the desire to do some digging on the history of their own religion. If as they say, they’re the only true religion, they should find out why, and have allthe facts. Are shenanigans like this one, part of a perfectly true religion?
With Love in Christ;