Helen Mar Kimball writes of how she married Joseph Smith: "Having a great desire to be connected with the Prophet, Joseph, he (my father) offered me to him; this I afterwards learned from the Prophet's own mouth. My father had but one Ewe Lamb, but willingly laid her upon the altar: how cruel this seemed to my mother whose heartstrings were already stretched unil they were ready to snap asunder, for she had already taken Sarah Noon to wife and she thought she had made sufficient sacrifice but the Lord required more." SOURCE: Helen Mar Whitney Journal, Helen Mar Autobiography, Womans Exponent, 1880 and recently reprinted in A Woman's view Joseph Smith gave her only 24 hours to decide on whether or not to marry him. Of this, Helen wrote: "[my father] left me to reflect upon it for the next twenty four hours. ... I was sceptical - one minute believed, then doubted. I thought of the love and tenderness that he felt for his only daughter, and I knew that he would not cast me off, and this was the only convincing proof That I had of its being right." Smith promises family salvation to marry 14-year-old . The next morning, Joseph Smith finally appeared himself to explain the "law of Celestial Marriage" and claim his teen bride. In her memoir, Helen wrote, "After which he said to me, 'if you take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation and exaltation and that of your father's household and all of your kindred.' This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward." Helen also writes about her mother's reaction to all of this: "None but God and his angels could see my mother's bleeding heart - when Joseph asked her if she was willing, she replied 'If Helen is willing I have nothing more to say." "She had witnessed the sufferings of others, who were older and who better understood the step they were taking, and to see her child, who had yet seen her fifteenth summer, following the same thorny path, in her mind she saw the misery which was as sure to come as the sun was to rise and set; but it was hidden from me." Helen thought her marriage to Joseph Smith was only dynastic. But to her surprise, it was more. Helen confided to a close friend in Nauvoo: "I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it."
[Mormon Polygamy: A History by LDS member Richard S. Van Wagoner, p. 53; Joseph Smith Polygamy Timeline, http://www.i4m.com/think/polygamy/JS_Polygamy_Timeline.htm]
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