Polygamy and Mormon Church Leaders 5

31 May

Polygamy and Mormon Church Leaders 5

Lorenzo Snow 1814-1901

Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, pg. 155-160; “Pay a full tithing. The time has now come for every Latter-day Saint, who calculates to be prepared for the future and to hold his feet strong upon a proper foundation…I pray that every man, woman, and child who has means shall pay one-tenth of their income as a tithing…Our enemies are upon our path…

Lorenzo Snow inherited a hornet’s nest of trouble when he was called to fill the shoes of prophet in 1898.  The structure inside the Church had become divided over the Manifesto of 1890 issued by Snow’s predecessor, Wilford Woodruff.  Their argument while understandable, albeit still illegal, was that if God had directed them to do this then God would protect them from the evil doers outside of the covenant.

To make matters worse, there was mounting pressure from the feds who didn’t believe the good ol’ boys had given up polygamy, thus bills for living on the lamb and defense attorney fees were mounting fast.

Snow tried to deal with the problem by issuing short term bonds, but those didn’t come close to covering their financial woes.  And then viola`, just like the blessed arrival of the seagulls some fifty years earlier, relief came in the form of a word from the Lord.

At the St. George Tabernacle Lorenzo Snow revealed to members of the Church for the first time the strict temporal law of paying the minimum 10% of everything you own for every member of the Church (including kids).

Gone were the days of going to the temple for ordinance work without the certification from your bishop that you had ponied up financially.  No tithing meant no godhood status which in turn meant no salvation. (See reference source above)

Lorenzo Snow married later in life than his counterparts and from the evidence we’ve presented here, with the exception of 3 or 4 of his wives, it seems that he had a thing for teenage girls.  As if polygamy wasn’t bad enough…

Wife # Marriage date & Snow’s age at date of marriage Wife’s name & age at marriage Number Of kids Total = 42 Other info
1 1845 (31) Eleanor Houtz (14) 8 Married in Nauvoo
2 1845 (31) Mary Adeline Goddard (33) 3 *Married in Nauvoo – she was Lorenzo’s cousin, married previously w/ 3 kids.  Stayed behind in Nauvoo because of pregnancy, 2 sons went w/ Snow on initial trek west.
3 1845 (31) Hannah Goddard (17) 0 *Adaline’s little sister who travelled w/ Snow on trek to Utah.
4 4.21.1845 (31) Sarah Ann Prichard (18) 5 Married in Nauvoo
5 1.17.1846 (31) Charlotte Squires (20) 2 Married in Nauvoo
6 1.17.1846 (31) Harriett Amelia Squires (26) 5 Married in Nauvoo
7 10.9.1853 (39) Caroline Horton (28) 3 Britishimmigrant
8 4.4.1859 (45) Phoebe Amelia Woodruff (17) 5 Daughter of WilfordWoodruff.  Was “given” to Snow by Woodruff after Phoebe divorced 1st husband.
9 6.12.1871 (57) Sarah E. Minnie Jensen (15) 5
10 3.5.1857 (43) Mary Elizabeth Houtz (17) 6

        Younger sister of Eleanor

Eleanor Houtz – some resources put marriage date in 1848

Charlotte Squires – some resources put marriage date in Oct. 1844.

Mary Elizabeth Houtz – sealing date listed, no exact marriage date found.

*Iowa Journal of Lorenzo Snow, pg. 262.


All other info on Snow and his wives was obtained from the following sources:



Dialogue A Journal of Mormon Thought

Volume 27, Number 2, 1994

Articles & Essays

Nauvoo Roots of Mormon Polygamy, 1841-1846:

A Preliminary Demographic Report, pg. 62

George D. Smith

FamilySearch™ Ancestral File v4.19

Lorenzo SNOW (AFN: 17RJ-MC)



Biography & Family Record of Lorenzo Snow: One of the Twelve Apostles, pg. 488-495, by Eliza R. Snow Smith


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