Did Emma Smith Claim She Never Believed in Joseph’s Revelations?

Hey guys, so Joseph Smith was killed in June of 1844. Today we’re going to talk about a letter purportedly written by his wife, Emma, to the editor of the New York Sun in 1845. The letter has some pretty intense things to say, but the most shocking is this: “I must now say that I have never for a moment believed in what my husband called his apparitions and revelations, as I thought him laboring under a diseased mind….”

Now, if Emma really wrote this, that’s quite the bombshell. The first place I learned about this letter was from the Instagram account of a rather disgruntled former member of our faith, where the letter was unfortunately treated as entirely true. But let’s slow down, do some research, and see if there happens to be more to this story than meets the Instagram.

Previous to the publication of this “Emma” letter, the Sun had published some of the views of a New York Latter-day Saint named James Arlington Bennet. The Emma letter was a response that challenged some of Bennet’s views. When the Emma letter arrived at the Sun, they took it to Bennet, who initially concluded that it was authentic.

Unfortunately, the original Emma letter is nowhere to be found, so things like handwriting analysis are out the window. But what we do have is a record of how Emma Smith responded after seeing this letter in print. Her biographers noted, “Emma’s reaction was immediate. Conveyances between Nauvoo and New York usually took from ten days to three weeks, but only 11 days after the 9 December issue of the Sun was off the press, Emma fired this letter to Bennet at Long Island:”

To read the entire article: Saints Unscripted/Faith and Beliefs