Criticism of Mormonism/Books/One Nation Under Gods/Use of sources/Joseph gave couples marriage certificates

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Joseph gave couples marriage certificates after illegal marriages?

A FairMormon Analysis of: One Nation Under Gods, a work by author: Richard Abanes

Author's Claims

One Nation under Gods, page 129 (hardback and paperback)

Joseph performed marriages "for participants who had not obtained licenses giving them civil permission to enter into marriage....Instead of obtaining licenses from the State, these couples received marriage certificates from Smith that were 'according to the rules and regulations of the Church of the Latter-day Saints.' " (emphasis added)

Author's Sources

Endnote 17, page 531 (hardback); page 529 (paperback)


The couples later received marriage certificates from the state for the marriages Joseph performed; for details, see the main article: Ohio marriages illegal?

Detailed Analysis

  • The full entry from History of the Church:

Marriage of J. F. Boynton.

A hymn was sung, after which I addressed the throne of grace. I then arose and read aloud a license, (according to the law of the land) granting any minister of the Gospel the privilege of solemnizing the rights of matrimony, and after calling for objection, if any there were, against the anticipated alliance between Elder Boynton and Miss Lowell; after waiting a sufficient time and hearing no objection, I observed that all forever after this must hold their peace. I then invited them to join hands. I pronounced the ceremony, according to the rules and regulations of the Church of the Latter-day Saints, in the name of God, and in the name of Jesus Christ. I pronounced upon them the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and such other blessings as the Lord put into my heart; and being much under the influence of a cold, I then gave way, and President Rigdon arose and delivered a very forcible address, suited to the occasion, and closed the services of the evening by prayer. (emphasis added)