Question: I've seen Temple Lot court transcripts online. Are these not accurate?

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Question: I've seen Temple Lot court transcripts online. Are these not accurate?

The 507-page Temple Lot court transcript available online are heavily edited abstracts of the original. The original 1650-page transcript is not available online

There is at least one Temple Lot court summary transcript available online which contain the disputed phrase "and under the laws of the state too". This transcript can be viewed here: Abstract of Evidence Temple Lot Case U.S.C.C.. This is a 507 page abstract, but it is not the original transcript. The original transcript is 1650 pages long and was not available online until recently.

Brian Hales clarifies:

The Temple Lot legal case transcript covers more than 1,650 pages and is NOT available online....

The originals are housed at the Eighth District Court in Kansas City, Missouri, with a carbon copy at the Community of Christ Archives. The LDS Church History Library offers both microfilm and digital photographs of the microfilm (unrestricted). A 507-page version has been published and distributed by several booksellers including Herald House and Price Publishing Company; however, heavy editing makes this version of little or no use to polygamy researchers. Apparently parts of the original transcript have been digitally transcribed by Richard D. Ouellette.

The statement quoted by [Jeremy] Runnells is from one of the edited versions and I’m not surprised that the RLDS editor added some commentary that has been mistaken as in the original.

Here’s the transcript:

189 Q. And the man that violated this law in this book [Doctrine and Covenants 1835 edition] until the acceptance of that revelation by the church violated the law of the church if he practiced plural marriage? A. Yes Sir. He was cut off from the church. I think I should have been if I had.

190 Q. What would be the condition of the man that would marry more than one person prior to the giving of that revelation in 1843? A. What would be the condition of a man that would do that?

191 Q. Yes sir? A. Why he would be cut off from the Church.

192 Q. Would not it have been adultery under those revelations I have just read? A. Yes sir. I expect it would be.

193 Q. You are one of the apostles in the church at the present time are you not . . . [1]

A scan of this page of the transcript may be viewed on Hales' website Joseph Smith's Polygamy here: Lorenzo Snow’s Temple Lot Testimony.


  1. Brian Hales, "Lorenzo Snow’s Temple Lot Testimony," Joseph Smith's Polygamy (website) off-site