William Clayton Diary Joseph Smith Mormon Celestial Marriage





Joseph Smith Chasing Teenage Girls?

Here's an interesting story from William Clayton's journal archive.

Like Smith, William Clayton was secretly practicing polygamy. He had already married two girls from the same family and now wanted to marry the third beautiful teenage sister named Lydia. Clayton, who was Smith's personal secretary, told Joseph Smith of his intentions to marry the fine young girl. Here's what happened, according to Clayton's diary:

"15 September 1843, Friday 
Nauvoo 2 

Friday 15th.

Prest.J. told me he had lately had a new item of law revealed to him in relation to myself. He said the Lord had revealed to him that a man could only take 2 of a family except by express revelation and as I had said I intended to take Lydia he made this known for my benefit. to have more than two in a family was apt to cause wrangles and trouble. He finally asked if I would not give L(ydia) to him I said I would so far as I had any thing to do in it. He requested me to talk to her."

So Smith tells Clayton he can't have the teen, but tells Clayton to talk to her about marrying Smith!

So Clayton goes to Lydia for Smith:

"17 September 1843, Sunday 
Nauvoo 2 

Sunday 17. At home all day with M. I had some talk with Lydia. she seems to receive it kindly but says she has promised her mother not to marry while her mother lives & she thinks she wont"

Then Smith tries coercing Lydia directly...

"21 September 1843, Thursday 
Nauvoo 2 

Thursday 21. This A.M. he (Smith) came to talk with Lydia but she wont yet consent she wants to tarry with her sisters"

Lydia tells Smith she wants to marry Clayton, not Smith, so she can "tarry with her sisters," whom Clayton has already secretly married. But Smith wants the young Lydia for himself.

There's no further mention of Lydia in Clayton's diary until three years later, and after Smith's death.

"23 January 1846, Friday 
Nauvoo 4 

My sister in law Lydia is in the way of apostacy. She went to Burlington last year but previous to her going she agreed to be sealed to me for time and eternity. She refused to be sealed to Joseph.

While at Burlington she wrote pledging herself to her contract. When she came home she faultered [sic] and went out to fathers where she got entangled with my brother James and has resolved to marry him. She has lost her faith in the Church as is on the road to ruin, but so determined that no argument is of any use. The family feel sorry but cannot change her feelings. Her mother frets much about it."

So in the end, Lydia didn't marry Smith or Clayton, but Clayton's brother James.

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