In May of 1857, Pratt was arrested near Van Buren, Arkansas by a Captain Little of the U.S. Cavalry on a warrant stemming from charges filed by Hector McLean. Pratt was transferred under guard to Van Buren, Crawford County, Arkansas, where the nearest federal court convened. Judge John B. Ogden, U.S. Commissioner, presided over the examining session on Tuesday, 12 May 1857. Evidence presented against Elder Pratt was considered insufficient to warrant holding him, and he was to be released. However, the judge purposely did not announce the decision to release Elder Pratt at that time, hoping to dissuade McLean from his avowed determination to kill him. Elder Pratt was kept at the jailhouse overnight in protective custody. Early the next morning Judge Ogden brought his horse to him at the jail, saw that he was discharged, and at the same time offered him a knife and a pistol as a means of self-defense. But Elder Pratt declined, saying, "Gentlemen, I do not rely on weapons of that kind, my trust is in my God. Goodbye, gentlemen."
Parley p. Pratt was sent to explore a southern route from Utah to California in 1849. He reached San Francisco from Los Angeles in the summer of 1851, remaining there until June, 1855. He was a fanatical defender of polygamy after its open proclamation, challenging debate on the subject in San Francisco, and issuing circulars calling on the people to repent as "the Kingdom of God has come nigh unto you."
Successful Duke applicants typically have significant extracurricular commitments, all of which we value. Most students admitted to Duke have demonstrated, in a word, impact. In some venue they have made a difference. It might be in the classroom, in the community, or on the athletic field. It could be doing one thing brilliantly, or several things exceedingly well.
Stretch'd and still lies the midnight,
Two great hulls motionless on the breast of the darkness,
Our vessel riddled and slowly sinking, preparations to pass to the
one we have conquer'd,
The captain on the quarter-deck coldly giving his orders through a
countenance white as a sheet,
Near by the corpse of the child that serv'd in the cabin,
The dead face of an old salt with long white hair and carefully
The flames spite of all that can be done flickering aloft and below,
The husky voices of the two or three officers yet fit for duty,
Formless stacks of bodies and bodies by themselves, dabs of flesh
upon the masts and spars,
Cut of cordage, dangle of rigging, slight shock of the soothe of waves,
Black and impassive guns, litter of powder-parcels, strong scent,
A few large stars overhead, silent and mournful shining,
Delicate sniffs of sea-breeze, smells of sedgy grass and fields by
the shore, death-messages given in charge to survivors,
The hiss of the surgeon's knife, the gnawing teeth of his saw,
Wheeze, cluck, swash of falling blood, short wild scream, and long,
dull, tapering groan,
These so, these irretrievable.
"Sometime in late 1840 or early 1841, Joseph Smith confided to his friend that he was smitten by the "amiable and accomplished" Sarah Pratt and wanted her for "one of his spiritual wives, for the Lord had given her to him as a special favor for his faithfulness" (emphasis in original). Shortly afterward, the two men took some of Bennett's sewing to Sarah's house. During the visit, as Bennett describes it, Joseph said, "Sister Pratt, the Lord has given you to me as one of my spiritual wives. I have the blessings of Jacob granted me, as God granted holy men of old, and as I have long looked upon you with favor, and an earnest desire of connubial bliss, I hope you will not repulse or deny me." "And is that the great secret that I am not to utter," Sarah replied. "Am I called upon to break the marriage covenant, and prove recreant to my lawful husband! I never will." She added, "I care not for the blessings of Jacob. I have one good husband, and that is enough for me." But according to Bennett, the Prophet was persistent. Finally Sarah angrily told him on a subsequent visit, "Joseph, if you ever attempt any thing of the kind with me again, I will make a full disclosure to Mr. Pratt on his return home. Depend upon it, I will certainly do it." "Sister Pratt," the Prophet responded, "I hope you will not expose me, for if I suffer, all must suffer; so do not expose me. Will you promise me that you will not do it?" "If you will never insult me again," Sarah replied, "I will not expose you unless strong circumstances should require it." "If you should tell," the Prophet added, "I will ruin your reputation, remember that." (Article "Sarah M. Pratt" by Richard A. Van Wagoner, Dialogue, Vol. 19, No. 2, p.72.
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Fanny Alger was a teen-aged servant in the Smith's home. Joseph and Emma had "adopted" Fanny when she was about 16 years old (1833). She is believed to be either Joseph Smith's first polygamous "wife" or simply a sexual encounter. (The Church's essay, "Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo," says it was a marriage, whereas Lawrence Foster said, "…contemporary evidence strongly suggests that Smith sustained sexual relations with Fanny Alger, it does not indicate that this was viewed either by Smith himself or by his associates at the time as a 'marriage.'" Dialogue Vol. 33 No. 1 pp. 184-86.) Critics believe he had an affair with her, was found out, and then introduced the concept of plural marriage in order to justify and continue his affair with her and then other women.Some historians record the date of the "marriage" as early as 1833, while others believe it was 1835, putting Fanny's age anywhere from 17-19. Fanny departed the Smith home sometime in 1836, the same year Oliver Cowdery was excommunicated for revealing Joseph Smith's "dirty, nasty, filthy affair of his and Fanny Alger's."Warren Parrish, the secretary of Joseph for a period of time, told Benjamin Johnson that he and Oliver Cowdery knew the report of an affair between Joseph and the girl to be true, for they "were spied upon and found together." (, 1903.)Critic's Note: Regardless of whether Joseph Smith's relations with Fanny Alger was merely a sexual encounter or a "marriage," it was adulterous. However, Joseph could only be , and even if it is claimed that the "marriage" was a symbolic "celestial only" sealing, the sealing power was not restored until April 1836, after Joseph's "marriage" to Fanny.Whether Joseph's "marriage" to Fanny Alger occurred in 1833 or 1835, it was illegal both under the laws of the land and under any theory of divine authority. Plural marriages are rooted in the notion of "sealing" for time and eternity. It is claimed that the "sealing power" was restored 3 April 1836 when Elijah appeared to Joseph and committed the sealing keys into his hands. (, The Joseph Smith Papers.) Until that time no one on earth had authority to "seal" Joseph and Fanny. As a result, his marriage to her was a nullity from the beginning both in time and eternity, and any sexual relationship he had with her was adulterous.As admitted in the LDS essay, "Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo":
[C]areful estimates put the number [of Joseph Smith's wives] between 30 and 40.Following his marriage to Louisa Beaman and before he married other single women, Joseph Smith was sealed to a number of women who were already married.Estimates of the number of these sealings range from 12 to 14.from the LDS website (also see footnote #24).In other words, Joseph "married" or was "sealed" to 12-14 women who were already legally wedded to other men at the time. Following is a list of Joseph's wives that we know of (some researchers estimate that the number may have been higher). A name indicated with an * was a living husband of the woman to whom Joseph Smith was "married" (From the website, )(The above table can be downloaded as a .)
Thus saith the Lord unto my servant Wilford Woodruff. I have heard thy prayers and will answer thy petitions. I will make known unto thee my will concerning the nation who encumbers the land of promise and also concerning Zion and her inhabitants. I have already revealed my will concerning the nation through the mouth of my servant Joseph who sealed his testimony with his own blood, which testimony has been in force upon all the world from the hour of his death. What I the Lord have revealed in that testimony and decree upon this nation, and all the nations of the earth, shall be fulfilled, saith the Lord of hosts. I the Lord have spoken and will be obeyed. My purposes shall be fulfilled upon this nation and no power shall stay my hand. The hour is at the door when my wrath and indignation shall be poured out upon the wicked of this nation. Their murders, blasphemies, lyings, whoredoms and abominations have come up before my face and before the heavens and the wrath of mine indignation is full. I have decreed plagues to go forth and lay waste mine enemies and not many years hence they shall not be left to pollute mine heritage. The devil is ruling over his kingdom and my spirit has no place in the hearts of the rulers of this nation, and the devil stirs them up to defy my power, and to make war upon my Saints. Therefore, let mine Apostles and mine Elders who are faithful obey my commandments which are already written for your profit and guidance. Thus saith the Lord unto my servant John Taylor and my servant Wilford Woodruff and my servant Orson Pratt and to all the residue of mine Apostles. Have you not gone forth in my name without purse or scrip and declared the Gospel of life and salvation unto this nation and the nations of the earth and warned them of the judgments which are to come as you have been moved upon by the power of the Holy Ghost and the inspiration of the Lord. You have done this year by year for a whole generation as man counts time. Therefore, your garments are clean of the blood of this generation and especially of this nation. Therefore, as I have said in a former commandment so I the Lord say again unto mine Apostles, go ye alone by  yourselves whether in heat or in cold and cleanse your feet with water, pure water; it matters not whether it be by the running streams or in your closet, but bear their testimonies before the Lord and the heavenly hosts; and when you have all done this, then gather yourselves together in your Holy Places and clothe yourselves in the robes of the Holy Priesthood and there offer up your prayers according to my Holy Law. Let him who presides be mouth and kneel upon the holy alter and there let mine Apostles bring all their testimonies before my face and before the heavenly hosts and before the justified spirits made perfect; and thus saith the Lord unto you, mine Apostles, when you bring these testimonies before one, let them be presented by name as far as the spirit shall present them unto you: The presidents of the United States, the Supreme Court, the cabinet, the Senate and House of Congress of the United States, the Governors of the States and Territories, the judges and officers sent unto you and all men and persons who have taken any part in persecuting you or bringing distress upon you or your lives or sought to hinder you from keeping my commandments or from enjoying the rights which the Constitution of Law of the Land guarantee unto you. And what I the Lord say unto you, mine Apostles, I say unto my servants the Seventies, the High Priests, the Elders, and the Priests and all my servants who are pure in heart and who have borne testimony unto this nation. Let them go forth and cleanse their feet in pure water and bear testimony of it unto your Father who is in heaven. And thus saith the Lord unto mine Apostles and mine Elders, when you do these things with purity of heart, I, the Lord, will hear your prayers and am bound by oath and covenant to defend you and fight your battles as I have said in a former commandment. It is not my will that mine Elders should fight the battle of Zion, for I will fight your battle. Nevertheless, let no man be afraid to lay down his life for my sake, for he that layeth down his life for my sake, shall find it again and have eternal life. The nation is ripened in iniquity and the cup of the wrath of mine indignation is full and I will not stay my hand in judgment upon this nation or the nations of the earth. I have decreed wars and judgment upon the wicked and my wrath and indignation are about to be poured out upon them and the wicked and rebellious shall know that I am God. As I the Lord have spoken, so will I the Lord fulfill. I will spare none who remain in Babylon, but I will burn them up saith the Lord of Hosts. As I the Lord have suffered, so will I put all enemies under my feet, for I the Lord utter my word, and it shall be obeyed and the day of wrath and indignation shall come upon the wicked. And I say again wo unto that nation or house or people who seek to hinder my people from obeying the Patriarchal Law of Abraham which leadeth to a celestial glory which has been revealed unto my Saints through the mouth of my servant Joseph, for whosoever doeth those things shall be damned saith the Lord of Hosts and shall be broken up and wasted away from under heaven by the judgments which I have sent forth and shall not return unto me void. And thus with the sword and by bloodshed and with famine and plagues and earthquakes and the thunders of heaven and the vivid lightnings shall this nation and the nations of the earth be made to feel the chastening hand of an Almighty God until they are broken up and destroyed, and wasted away from under heaven, and no power can stay my hand. Therefore, let the wicked tremble, let them that blaspheme my name hold their lips, for destruction will swiftly overtake them.