Mormon enigma : Emma Hale Smith : manuscript, 1984  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Newell, Linda King
Mormon enigma : Emma Hale Smith : manuscript
1984 (inclusive)
2 boxes, (1 linear ft. )
Collection Number
Unedited manuscript of the book.
Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives Division
Special Collections & Archives
Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
Logan, UT
Telephone: 435-797-8248
Fax: 435-797-2880
Access Restrictions

Open to public research.

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Emma Hale Smith was born in 1804 in Pennsylvania. She was the wife of Joseph Smith, Jr. the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whom she married in 1827. Emma was the first president of what eventually became one of the world's largest and oldest women's organizations: the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As Joseph Smith began compiling revelations and teachings that would become the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Emma collected songs for the LDS Church's first hymn book.

Emma did not agree with all the new church doctrines, such as the practice of plural marriage. When Joseph Smith was assassinated in 1844, Emma Smith did not join the church's migration west to Utah. Instead she married Lewis Bidamon, a non-Mormon. Emma believed that her son Joseph Smith III, should lead the religious movement that her husband founded. When this did not happen Emma left the LDS Church and joined the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Emma Smith died in 1879 in Nauvoo Illinois.

Historical Note:

In 1984 Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery published Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith a project that took them eight years to complete. The publication of this book earned them praise, respect, and outstanding reviews both inside and outside of Mormon circles. Their book won several awards including the Evans Award for Best Biography given by Utah State University, Best Book of the Year by the Mormon History Association, and Best Book of the Year by the John Whitmer History Association. However, leaders of LDS church responded to the publication by banning Newell and Avery (both active Mormons) from speaking in church meetings for one year. This was in response to the book's sympathetic portrayal of Emma and its criticisms of Joseph's actions towards his wife.

Mrs. Newell lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. She served as a coeditor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought during the 1980s. Dr. Avery is a professor of history at Northern Arizona University.


Newell, Linda King, and Avery, Valeen Tippetts, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, Prophet's Wife, Elect Lady, Polygamy's Foe, Doubleday & Company, Inc.,. Garden City, New York, 1984, pp. 394 (available at Special Collections, call # 289.392 Sm55-N)

Ostling, Joan K., and Ostling, Richard N., Mormon America: The Power and the Promise, HarperSanFrancisco, San Francisco, 1999, pp. 252 (available at Special Collections, call # 289.373 Os7)

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This two-box collection contains Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery's original, near one-thousand page, unedited version of Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith. Following the first submission of Mormon Enigma to a publisher, the authors were asked to cut the text by one-third. Thereafter Newell and Avery continued to research and refine the manuscript during this revision process. The 1984 published version of Mormon Enigma is three-hundred and ninety-four pages long.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use


It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Permission to publish material from the Mormon enigma : Emma Hale Smith : manuscript must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation

Mormon enigma : Emma Hale Smith : manuscript, 1984. (COLL MSS 85). Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Arranged by version of manuscript and chapter.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Bessie Merrill.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 1 Preface, pp. vii-xx
1 2 Chapter 1: Emma: 1620-1825 pp. 1-17
1 3 Chapter 2: Joseph: 1796-1825, pp. 18-34
1 4 Chapter 3: Moneydigging and Goldplates: 1825-1827, pp. 35-51
1 5 Chapter 4: First Sorrow; First Triumph: 1827-1830, pp. 52-71
1 6 Chapter 5: The Elect Lady: 1830, pp. 72-88
1 7 Chapter 6: A Tar and Feathering: 1930-1832, pp. 89-106
1 8 Chapter 7: A Son that Lived: 1832-1834, pp. 107-131
1 9 Chapter 8: A House of God: 1834-1836, pp. 132-152
1 10 Chapter 9: "Seas of Tribulation": 1836-1838, pp. 153-178
1 11 Chapter 10: Strife in Zion: 1938-1839, pp. 179-209
1 12 Chapter 11: Sanctuary in a Swamp: 1839, pp. 210-234
1 13 Chapter 12: Eye of the Hurricane: 1839-1841
1 14 Chapter 13: A New Order of Marriage: 1841-1842, pp. 235-254
1 15 Chapter 14: Mormons and Masons: 1842, pp. 273-284
1 16 Chapter 15: In Search of Iniquity: 1842, pp. 285-314
1 17 Chapter 16: Aid to the Fugitive: 1842, pp. 315-340
1 18 Chapter 17: Emma, Eliza and the Stairs: 1842-1843, pp. 341-358
1 19 Chapter 18: The Revelation: 1843, pp. 341-358
1 20 Chapter 19: The Poisoning: 1843, pp. 405-435
1 21 Chapter 20: "Voice of Innocence": 1844, pp. 436-468
1 22 Chapter 21: A Final Farewell, June 1844, pp. 469-489
1 23 Chapter 22: "My Husband was My Crown": June 1844, pp. 490-512
1 24 Chapter 23: The Lady and the Lion: Fall 1844, pp. 513-541
1 25 Chapter 24: Inherit the Legacy, 1844-1845, pp. 542-573
1 26 Chapter 25: The Sun Casts a Shadow: Winter 1845-1846, pp. 574-597
2 1 Chapter 26: War in Nauvoo: 1846, pp. 654-681
2 2 Chapter 27: The Major: 1846-1849, pp. 625-653
2 3 Chapter 28: Change in Nauvoo: 1846, pp. 598-624
2 4 Chapter 29: Emma's Sons, Lewis' Son: 1860-1870, pp. 682-712
2 5 Chapter 30: Josephites and Brighamites: 1870-1877, pp. 713-750
2 6 Chapter 31: The Last Testimony: 1873-1879, pp. 751-771
2 7 Chapter 32: Epilogue, pp. 772-781
2 8 Notes, pp. 782-813
2 9 Notes, pp. 814-835
2 10 Notes, pp. 836-861
2 11 Notes, pp. 862-877
2 12 Notes, pp. 878-905
2 13 Notes, pp. 906-934
2 14 Bibliography, pp. 935-969

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Ex-church members--Mormon Church--Biography.
  • Mormon Church--History.
  • Mormon women--United States--Biography.
  • Polygamy.
  • Spouses of clergy--Biography.

Personal Names

  • Avery, Valeen Tippetts. (contributor)
  • Bedamon, Lewis Crum, 1804-1891.
  • Smith, Emma Hale.
  • Smith, Joseph, 1805-1844.

Corporate Names

  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--History.
  • Relief Society (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
  • Relief Society (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)--History.
  • Relief Society (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)--Presidents--Biography.
  • Utah State University. Libraries. Special Collections and Archives. (contributor)