Helen Mar Kimball became the plural wife of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith a few months shy of her 15th birthday. While taking a bride so young startles us in this day and age, it was not uncommon in the early 19th century. Plural marriage was practiced in about 85% of the world, but the idea was repugnant among European and American Christians.

Plural marriage had barely begun as an institution in the Mormon Church, and only Joseph Smith and a few church leaders had begun to practice it. Helen’s father, Heber Kimball, taught her about it.

Heber C. Kimball had been ordained to The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1835, five years after the organization of The Church. Because of his faithfulness, he was one of the first (after Joseph Smith) commanded to live the principle of plural marriage in 1842 in Nauvoo, Illinois.

Helen’s Parents, Heber and Vilate Kimball, were Shaken by the Principle of Plural Marriage