Polygamy and Mormon Church Leaders

John Taylor

Life of John Taylor, pg. 255; “In this our first issue it may be expected that something would be said in relation to this matter. This we undertake as cheerfully as any other task; for we are not ashamed here in this great metropolis of America * * * to declare that we are polygamists.” – B.H. Roberts

As we present the different polygamous prophets and their wives, we want to point out the consistent inconsistencies of the men presented here.  More often than not we found evidences of statements made by these men of God in a public forum denouncing the horrors of polygamy.  Yet, while perusing their official scriptures, magazines and other venues of propaganda we found numerous accounts of genuine love for and acquiescence towards the dogma.

The quote above serves as a good example of the true intentions of John Taylor even up to the day he died on July 25, 1887.  Interestingly enough he wasn’t defiant enough to stand up for his beliefs, rather, Taylor died in Kaysville, Utah while in hiding from the feds with a $300 bounty on his head.  (a)

And true to Mormon form as noted above, while proclaiming his gospel from the safe rooftops and hidden meetings in America, he also denied practicing polygamy while on a missions trip in 1850 in Boulogne, France.  At the time he gave his presentation before a council wanting further information on Mormonism, Taylor had twelve wives while denouncing polygamous behavior as “obscene and disgusting”.  (b)

Mr. Taylor was born in 1808, raised in England and immigrated to Canada as a young man in 1832.  It is there that Taylor first heard of Mormonism along with his first wife Lenora whom he married in 1833.  In 1836 after hearing about the gospel of Mormonism, both he and his wife joined the Church and moved to the states in 1838.  (c)

John Taylor became the husband of 16 wives and father of 35 kids.  While it’s easy to compartmentalize and even romanticize this lifestyle for the Mormon today, stories written about it tell a different story.  According to a recent publication by the Mormon Church his wives and children lived a life of fear.  And the man whom these people glorified and gave glowing reports about left a legacy of teaching his kids to lie and live a life not glorifying the Lord.

John’s wives and children were hounded and watched; they scarcely appeared in public for fear of arrest, and they had to dress to hide their identity, sometimes even using fictitious names for protection.[38]”. (d)

We’re praying the Mormon people will see through the slippery veneer of what these men have done to them throughout the past 180+ years.  If you’re LDS, you have to know how much God loves you.  From the bottom of our hearts we pray you will know the God of the Bible and question the ambiguous teachings put forth from your leaders.

Wife # Marriage date &Taylor’s age at date of marriage Wife’s name &age at marriage Number of kids Other info
1 1.28.1833(24) Lenora Cannon (36) 4 kids
2 12.12.1843(35) Elizabeth Kaighan (32) 3 kids Cousin of Lenora Cannon
3 2.25.1844(35) Jane Ballantyne (30) 3 kids Sister of Ann
4 1.7.1846(37) Ann Hughings Pitchforth (38) 0 kids Deserted her husband to marry Taylor (bigamy)
5 1.14.1846(37) Mary Ann Oakley (19)* 5 kids
6 1.17.1846(37) Mary Amanda Utley (24) 0 kids Didn’t go to Utah w/ Taylor
7 1846(37) Annie Ballantyne (26) 0 kids Granted divorce in 1852
8 1.23.1846(37) Mary Ramsbottom (19) 0 kids Didn’t go to Utah w/ Taylor
9 1.30.1846(37) Lydia Dibble Granger (Smith)  (55) 0 kids With John Taylor as proxy, sealed to Hyrum Smith 1.30.1846
10 1.30.1846(37) Sarah Thorton (Coleman) (38) 0 kids Another ‘guardianship’ marriage.  Divorced 1853.
11 1.23.1846(37) Mercy Thompson (Smith) (38) 0 kids Marriage for time: Taylor proxy for Robert Thompson
12 4.23.1847(38) Sophia Whitaker (22) 8 kids Sister of HarrietEnglish immigrant
13 12.4.1847(39) Harriet Whitaker (31) 3 kids English immigrant
14 1847 (39) Caroline Hooper Saunders Gillian (34) 0 kids
15 9.27.1856 (47) Margaret Young (19) 9 kids Converted to Mormonism at age 14, moved to Utah in 1858.
16 1856 (47) Josephine Elizabeth Rouche (16) 0 kids Married Taylor while in hiding in 1856.
Total= 35

a –


 b – The Mormon Prophet and His Harem, pg. 229.


c – Dialogue A Journal of Mormon Thought, Volume 27, Number 1, 1994 Articles & Essays, Nauvoo Roots of Mormon Polygamy, 1841-1846: A Preliminary Demographic Report, George D. Smith https://dialoguejournal.com/wpcontent/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V27N01_13.pdf

d – Champion of Liberty: John Taylor, 8. John Taylor: Family Man, pgs. 193-218, J. Lewis Taylor http://byustudies2.byu.edu/shop/pdfsrc/23.3JesseeTaylor.pdfhttp://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/mormon/jtaylor.htm

*Memorial marker for Mary Ann Oakley gives marriage date of 9.29.1847.  It also states Mary Ann was the 5th of 7 wives.  http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=33040464