170 years ago today - Jul 14, 1842

In a public speech Joseph Smith calls Orson Pratt's wife Sarah "A whore from her mother's breast." Sarah had accused Smith of proposing plural marriage to her while her husband Orson was away on a mission. Sarah later reported in an interview that Joseph told her, "If any woman, like me, opposed his wishes, he used to say: 'Be silent or I shall ruin your character!'" Orson Pratt writes a 'suicide' note: "I am a ruined man! My future prospects are blasted! The testimony upon both sides seems to be equal: The one in direct contradiction to the other . . . [I]f the testimonies of my wife and others are true then I have been deceived for twelve years past-my hopes are blasted and gone as it were in a moment . . . If on the other hand the other testimonies are true then my family are ruined forever. . . .My sorrows are greater than I can bear! Where I am henceforth it matters not."

[Source: On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com]

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