Joseph Smith marries Lucy Walker in Nauvoo, one day after her seventeenth birthday, while his legal wife Emma is away in St. Louis buying supplies. Lucy been adopted by the Smiths and worked as a maid in the Smith home. The prophet told Walker that God had commanded him to take her as a wife. She was angry and insulted, but she feared Smith's warning that if she rejected the "principle" of plural marriage, "the gate will be closed forever against you."
Lucy later records: "Emma Smith was not present and she did not consent to the marriage; she did not know anything about it at all."
Of her relationship with Joseph, Lucy says that although she "married Joseph as a plural wife and lived and cohabitated with him as such." that "It was not a love matter, so to speak, in our affairs, -at least on my part it was not, but simply the giving up of myself as a sacrifice to establish that grand and glorious principle that God had revealed to the world."
After Joseph's murder in 1844 she becomes Heber C. Kimball's wife with the understanding that "I should be his wife for time, and time only, ...and in the resurrection [he] would surrender me, with my children, to Joseph Smith."
On his death bed Heber C. Kimball says to Lucy, "What can you tell Joseph when you meet him? Cannot you say that I have been kind to you as it was possible to be under the circumstances? I know you can, and am confident you will be as a mediator between me and Joseph..."