Line upon Line
Gary James Bergera, editor
The Development of the Concept of a Holy Ghost in Mormon Theology
Vern G. Swanson
[p.89]Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith once admonished all Latter-day Saints not to theorize on the subject of the Holy Ghost. “We should have no time to enter into speculation in relation to the Holy Ghost,” he wrote. “Why not leave a matter which in no way concerns us alone.”1 Of all the so-called “mysteries” the subject of the Holy Ghost has been one of the most taboo and hence least studied. Church writers have published prolifically on the operations and gifts of the Holy Ghost, but they have had little to say regarding his origin, identity, and destiny.2
In contrast to this lack of analysis, I will consider the development since 1830 of notions about the Holy Ghost. Joseph Smith may have received and imparted understanding “line upon line,” but the absence of any thorough-going commentary has led to strong differences of opinion as to the identity and nature of the Holy Ghost.
The Book of Mormon and early sections of the Doctrine and Covenants presented a kind of monotheistic trinitarian view of the Holy Ghost (2 Ne. 31:21; Al. 11:44; 3 Ne. 11:27-28, 36; 28:10; Morm. 7:7).3 The major Christian sects in 1830 taught the Athanasian Creed: “One God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons: nor dividing the Substance.” Sectarian understanding tended toward the term “Holy Spirit” rather than “Holy Ghost” [p.90]and dealt less with the person of the Holy Ghost than with its attributes and operations.
In March and April 1830 the “laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost” was officially coupled in Mormon ritual with water baptism (D&C 19:31; 20:43). The laying on of hands for the bestowal of spiritual gifts was common during the 1830s, but this coupling with baptism was fairly controversial (Acts 2:28; 8:17; 19:6; Heb. 6:12). However, the definition of the nature of the Holy Spirit at this time was still basically sectarian and triune: “… which Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end” (D&C 20:28).
The nature of the Holy Spirit was first discussed in Mormon thought about 1835. The “Lectures on Faith,” bound with the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, included the following: “There are two personages who constitute the great matchless, governing and supreme power over all things … The Father and the Son—the Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power, possessing all perfection and fullness, the Son … a personage of tabernacle, made or fashioned like unto a man … possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit.”4
This document was sanctioned as the official position of the church throughout the Kirtland and Missouri periods and beyond. According to Thomas G. Alexander, “This view of the Holy Ghost [as the mind of the Father and the Son] reinforced trinitarian doctrine by explaining how personal beings like the Father and Son become one God through the non-corporeal presence of a shared mind.”5 The Holy Ghost in this binitarian understanding was the “mind” or common essence, the “Spirit of God” and the “Light of Christ,” emanating from the Father and Son. Most literature from this early period emphasized the “influence,” “power,” “fire,” “spirit,” and “gifts” of the Holy Ghost. It was something to be “spread,” “filled,” “poured,” or “bestowed” upon the righteous, especially after baptism.
The next stage in Mormon concepts of a Holy Ghost was signalled in June 1839 when Joseph Smith explained that the Second Comforter was Jesus Christ and the First Comforter was the Holy Ghost.6 Though not a major revision, this statement proposed a particular relationship between Jesus and the Holy Ghost which had [p.91]not previously been emphasized. However, Smith continued to call the Holy Ghost “It” and generally dealt with the topic as the “Lectures on Faith” had.
Not until February 1841 did Smith explicitly refer to the Holy Ghost as an individual spirit person: “Joseph said concerning the Godhead, it was not as many imagined—three heads and but one body—he said the three were separate bodies—God the first and Jesus the Mediator the second and the Holy Ghost and these three agree in one.” 7 Here for the first time Smith proclaimed a “homoiusion” existence for the Holy Ghost: it had a separate body. But this was a veiled comment given before a small group of Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois, and only William P. McIntire’s “Minute Book” recorded the statement. Three weeks later McIntire recorded an even more explicit reference to the Holy Ghost: “However there is a priesthood with the Holy Ghost [a] Key—the Holy Ghost overshadows you and witnesses unto you of the authority and gifts of the Holy Ghost… . The Son [has] a tabernacle and so had the Father, but the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit without [a] tabernacle.”8
Joseph Smith may have spoken of the Holy Ghost in these terms earlier than 1841, but no records have survived that would indicate he had. However, in June 1844 Smith himself claimed that he had distinguished three separate personages in the Godhead from the beginning of his restoration movement: “I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations, when I have preached, it has been the plurality of Gods, it has been preached 15 years. I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father [and] the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and separate and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods.”9 This statement, made the same month Smith was assassinated, remains his most explicit “tritheistic” explanation of the Trinity.
The earliest available public statement of the doctrine of the individuality of the Holy Ghost came a year earlier in January 1843 when Smith publicly taught that the “Holy Ghost is a personage in the form of a personage.”10 On 15 May 1843 the Times and Seasons published the substance of this discourse. There Smith explained that the “Sign of the Dove,” which six months earlier he had referred to in the Book of Abraham (fac. 3, fig. 7), was the “Sign” of the Holy [p.92]Ghost not the Holy Ghost himself. As the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost, Smith said, is a being in the form and shape of a person.
The statement which three decades later found its way into Mormon scripture as section 130 of the Doctrine and Covenants came in April 1843 at Ramus, Illinois. That Sunday Smith “instructed” William Clayton, Orson Hyde, and others: “The Holy Ghost is a personage and a person cannot have the personage of the Holy Ghost in his heart.”11 William Clayton’s diary was later amended by Willard Richards for Joseph Smith’s diary and was probably revised by Church Historian George A. Smith and Thomas Bullock into the version which appeared in the “Manuscript History of the Church” by November 1854: “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also, but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of spirit.”
Such statements corrected the notion that the Holy Ghost was a spirit essence and not an actual spirit person. By the time of his death in June 1844, Joseph Smith’s beliefs about the personal reality of the Holy Ghost had been clearly articulated, at least to a few. However, this had not been communicated unambiguously to the Saints at large. Even the apostles, who were mostly on missions during the later Nauvoo period, had not always been kept current on Smith’s developing theology. John Taylor, for example, lingered with the old interpretation of “two living Gods and the Holy Ghost for this world.”12
Uncertainty remained into the Utah period. Apostle Orson Pratt seemed unsure about whether the Holy Ghost had a personal or diffused nature. His address of 18 February 1855 vacillated between both views: “But I will not say that the Holy Ghost is a personage… . I will tell you what I believe in regard to the Holy Ghost’s being a person; but I know of no revelation that states that this is the fact, neither is there any that informs us that it is not the fact, so we are left to form our own conclusions upon the subject… . It is in fact, a matter of doubt with many, and of uncertainty, I believe, with all, whether there is a personal Holy Spirit or not … consequently I cannot fully make up my mind one way or the other.”13
That same year, Orson’s brother, Apostle Parley P. Pratt, published his Key to the Science of Theology, which emphasized a non-personal Holy Ghost who was an omnipresent spirit.14 A year later [p.93]Orson Pratt printed in England the pamphlet The Holy Ghost. His views there echoed those of his 1855 address. Some ten years later in 1865 this pamphlet was officially condemned for indulging in “hypotheses and theories, he has launched forth on an endless sea of speculation to which there is no horizon.”15
It may have been the difficulties with Orson Pratt which led Brigham Young, George A. Smith, and Wilford Woodruff to print Joseph Smith’s revelation of April 1843. The Manuscript History was serialized in the Deseret News, and the section containing the expanded version of the prophet’s revelation was printed on 9 July 1856.16 It was later republished in the Millennial Star on 13 November 1858 and would eventually become Doctrine and Covenants 130.
At the time, Joseph Smith’s expanded revelation evidently had little impact on the views of many Saints. In 1852, for example, Brigham Young preached: “The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of the Lord, and issues forth from Himself, and may properly be called God’s minister to execute His will in immensity; being called to govern by His influence and power; but He is not a person of tabernacle as we are and as our Father in Heaven and Jesus are.”17 Five years later he similarly argued: “Least you should mistake me, I will say that I do not wish you to understand that the Holy Ghost is a personage having a tabernacle like the Father and the Son; but he is God’s messenger that diffuses his influence through all the works of the Almighty.”18 Since Young twice allowed the printing of Smith’s 1843 revelation during these years, one assumes that he saw no conflict between his own views and those of Smith.
What was at stake in passages such as those quoted above was the distinction between the kinds of bodies possessed by personages in the Godhead. There was little attempt to clarify ambiguities until Apostle Joseph F. Smith declared in 1876: “The Holy Ghost is a personage who acts in Christ’s stead.”19 At the same conference section 130 was officially canonized as part of the Doctrine and Covenants. (The editing of the new 1876 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants had been done by Orson Pratt under the direction of Brigham Young.) The late Nauvoo teachings of Joseph Smith on the Holy Ghost had finally become “official” church doctrine.
However, the old understanding still continued, as in, for example, John Jaques’s Catechism for Children: Exhibiting the Prominent Doctrines (1877) and B. H. Roberts’s The Gospel (1888). Roberts was [p.94]later influenced by James E. Talmage’s lectures and writings on the subject and, by the third edition of The Gospel in 1901, had moved to a more literal interpretation of the Holy Ghost.20 Two years later, when he published Mormon Doctrine of Deity, Roberts clearly expressed the contemporary understanding promoted by Joseph F. Smith and James Talmage.
At least three factors contributed to the longevity of the idea that the Holy Ghost was not a personage, more a “part” rather than a “member” of the Godhead: the scarcity of Nauvoo documents making clear Joseph Smith’s later teachings; the recalcitrance of George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency; and the continued inclusion of the “Lectures on Faith” in editions of the Doctrine and Covenants. Because of this, Mormons tended to rely on Kirtland-period theology, retreating to established sources and conventions.
However, at least one scriptural passage seemed all along to argue for the Holy Ghost as a personage of spirit. Book of Mormon prophet Nephi had written: “For I spake unto him as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet nevertheless, I knew that it was the spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another” (1 Ne. 11:11). Orson Pratt was unsure of the identity of the “Spirit of the Lord” mentioned in this verse, “Whether the spirit that Nephi saw in the form of a man was the person of the Holy Ghost or the personal spirit of Jesus.”21 Later James Talmage and B. H. Roberts confirmed that the spirit had been the Holy Ghost.22
The second factor was George Q. Cannon, who noted in 1883—after the adoption of section 130—”that there were two personages of the Godhead, two presiding personages whom we worship and to whom we look, the one the Father and the other the Son.”23 Cannon most likely objected to Talmage’s discussions of the Holy Ghost. In 1894-95 Talmage had given a series of doctrinal addresses on the Godhead at the Latter-day Saints University. These became the basis for his book, Articles of Faith.24 Talmage recorded in his diary Cannon’s comments about the book’s treatise on the Holy Ghost in January 1899: “Commenting on the ambiguity existing in our printed works concerning the nature or character of the Holy Ghost, [Cannon] expressed his opinion that the Holy Ghost was in reality a person, in the image of the other members of the [p.95]Godhead—a man in form and figure; and that what we often speak of as the Holy Ghost is in reality but the power or influence of the spirit… . [However, the First Presidency] deemed it wise to say as little as possible on this as on other disputed subjects.”25
Only a month earlier, Cannon had made his longstanding views on the Godhead perfectly clear in his speech, “Things that should and things that should not be taught in our Sunday Schools”: “The Lord has said through his Prophet that there are two personages in the Godhead. That ought to be sufficient for us at the present time. I have heard during my life a great many speculations concerning the personage of the Holy Ghost—whether he was a personage or not. But it has always seemed to me that we had better not endeavor to puzzle ourselves or allow our minds to be drawn out upon questions of this kind, concerning which the Lord has not revealed perhaps all that we desire. When men give themselves licence to do this, they are very apt to be led along into error and imbibe ideas that are not sound.”26
Cannon lived only two more years, and his death made it easier for younger theologians to assert themselves. The reconstruction of Mormon doctrine was in full swing with the publication of John A. Widtsoe’s A Rational Theology, Roberts’s Seventies Course in Theology, and Talmage’s Jesus the Christ. Also by 1915 Apostle Charles W. Penrose had completed his revision of Pratt’s Key to the Science of Theology. Without noting his alterations, Penrose deleted or changed passages describing the Holy Ghost as a non-personal “spiritual fluid” pervading the universe.27 This new emphasis was made “official” when the First Presidency asked Talmage to draft an official statement on the Godhead which the church issued in 1916.28 The declaration made it clear that there were two corporeal beings and one personage of spirit in the Godhead.
The third problem which complicated the development of the doctrine of the Godhead was the presence of the “Fifth Lecture on Faith” in the Doctrine Covenants. By November 1917 the First Presidency and twelve were considering a revision of the lectures. In the end a committee was established to revise the entire Doctrine and Covenants.29 The “Lectures on Faith” were deleted and classified as “non-scriptural” even though the 1835 April conference of the church had accepted them as authoritative and binding. With the [p.96]1921 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph Smith’s later doctrinal understanding of the Holy Ghost finally superseded earlier explanations.
The disagreement about whether the Holy Ghost was personal or impersonal had clearly been at the center of discussion for over eighty years. But other concepts about the identity of the Holy Ghost are still being debated today. Two little-known journal accounts from the Nauvoo period suggest that Joseph Smith may have taken the idea of an anthropomorphic Holy Ghost far, conjecturing that the Holy Ghost is a messiah or savior in training for another world. This notion implies that Jesus Christ was a holy ghost for a previous system or generation. Even though this concept seems new to contemporary Latter-day Saints, there are no official doctrines with which it conflicts.
According to this view, the position or calling of “Holy Ghost” is one of service, experience, and preparation for the future. According to an account of a 27 August 1843 sermon by the founding prophet, “Joseph also said that the Holy Ghost is now in a state of probation, which if he should perform in righteousness he may pass through the same or a similar course of things the Son has.”30 George Laub’s account of an 16 June 1844 sermon, just before the martyrdom, echoes this earlier account: “But the Holy Ghost is yet a spiritual body and waiting to take to himself a body, as the Saviour did or as God (the Father) did, or the gods before them took bodies. For the Saviour says the works that My Father did do I also, and these are the works, He took a body and then laid down His life that he might take it up again.”31
Elsewhere Smith apparently taught that God the Father had once been a savior and that Jesus Christ will be a “God the Father” for his own generation of spirit offspring.32 Brigham Young likewise taught that there is more than one savior: “Sin is upon every earth that ever was created… . Consequently every earth has its redeemer and every earth has its tempter; and every earth and the people thereof … pass through all the ordeals that we are passing through.”33 And John Taylor indicated that our Godhead was for this particular system, implying that there were other systems and other godheads: “Our Father in Heaven and who with Jesus Christ, his First Begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, are one in power, one in dominion and one in glory, constituting the First Presidency of this system [p.97]and this Eternity.”34 It seems possible that Joseph Smith believed that the members of the Godhead eventually experience each position in the divine presidency as God the third, then God the second, and finally God the first.
There are other theories regarding the identity of the Holy Ghost attributed to Joseph Smith. The most widespread is the belief that Smith was the Holy Ghost; or more correctly stated, that he represented the emanating spirit of the Father and the Son.35 This theory arose from several sources. In a 9 March 1841 discourse Joseph Smith apparently discussed three gods who covenanted to preside over this creation: “[An] Everlasting Covenant was made between three personages before the organization of this earth, and [it] relates to their dispensation of things to men on the earth.”36 These three gods, some argue, were Father Adam for the beginning of the mortal world, Christ for the Meridian of Time, and Joseph Smith for the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. Others have seen Doctrine and Covenants 135:3 as evidence for Smith being the Holy Ghost: “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world than any other man that ever lived in it.” Accordingly, Christ did the most to save humanity and is the second member of the Godhead; therefore, Smith, who did second to the most, is the third member.
That such notions have circulated in the church since 1844 is made clear by comments from church leaders contradicting these views. In August 1845 Orson Pratt wrote to church members responding to rumors that Joseph Smith was the Holy Ghost incarnate: “Let no false doctrine proceed out of your mouth, such, for instance that the tabernacle of our martyred prophet and seer, or of any other person, was or is the especial tabernacle of the Holy Ghost, in a different sense from that considered in relation to his residence in other tabernacles. These are doctrines not revealed, and are neither believed nor sanctioned by the Twelve and should be rejected by every Saint.”37
Similarly, in January 1845, Brigham Young responded to conjectures about what Joseph Smith may have meant when Smith said, “Would to God, brethren I could tell you who I am! Would to God I could tell you what I know! But you would call it blasphemy and want to take my life.”38 Young specifically countered any interpretation that Smith was the Holy Ghost: “[Y]ou have heard Joseph [p.98]say that the people did not know him; he had his eyes on the relation to blood-relations. Some have supposed that he meant spirit [Holy Ghost], but it was the blood-relation. This is it that he referred to. His descent from Joseph that was sold into Egypt was direct and the blood was pure in him.”39
Other theories circulate in the church. According to one, the Holy Ghost will be the last person born on the earth at the end of the Millennium. He will receive his body last so that he may be of service to all until the end. Another theory holds that the spirits of all good people who have died become Holy Ghosts (plural).40 Others argue that Adam or Michael is the Holy Ghost.41 Another names Abel as the Holy Ghost, another the Angel Gabriel. Notions such as the latter three assume the Holy Ghost is a “Spirit of a Just Man made Perfect” rather than a pre-mortal spirit. Increasingly popular is the idea that Mother in Heaven is the Holy Ghost. There are no known sources in Latter-day Saint literature to support this final idea but precedent in ancient religions abounds.
In the end, there are few details from which to construct an adequate theology of God the Third. I hope that this essay will encourage more research on the subject. But I suspect that we will be left at some point with Brigham Young’s promise that “when we go through the veil we shall know much more about these matters than we now do.”42
2. Major published works on this topic are Oscar W. McConkie, The Holy Ghost (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1952); N. B. Lundwall, Discourses of the Holy Ghost (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1959); Duane S. Crowther, Gifts of the Spirit (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965). Other publications include B. H. Roberts, “The Holy Ghost,” in The Seventy’s Course in Theology (1912), 6-114. Perhaps the one church leader who wrote the most on this topic was Orson Pratt; see Brigham Young et al., Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Liverpool: S. W. Richards, 1855-86), 2 (18 Feb. 1855): 337-45; hereafter JD.
3. Van Hale, “Defining the Mormon Doctrine of Deity,” Sunstone 10 (Jan. 1985): 23-27, reprinted in the present compilation. The word “trinitarian” is used here to note that early converts to the church were able [p.99]to apply their existing understanding of the Godhead to Book of Mormon verses. Some “Mormon” churches have returned to the Book of Mormon concept of one god only.
5. Thomas G. Alexander, “The Reconstruction of Mormon Doctrine from Joseph Smith to Progressive Theology,” Sunstone 5 (July-Aug. 1980): 26; also see Boyd Kirkland, “Jehovah as the Father,” Sunstone 8 (1984): 44, and “Elohim and Jehovah,” Dialogue 19 (Spring 1986): 77-78; all re-edited and reprinted in the present compilation.
12. John Taylor, Times and Seasons, 15 Feb. 1845, 253. See also Jesse Haven, “Some of the Principle Doctrines (1853),” in David J. Whittaker, “Early Mormon Imprints in South Africa,” Brigham Young University Studies 20:411: “We believe the personage of God is filled with the Holy Ghost, and this Holy Ghost or Spirit of God is diffused through all space and by this spirit, God is everywhere present holding the works of his hands.”
15. Orson Pratt, “The Holy Spirit,” Orson Pratt New Series (1856), 55-64. This pamphlet is a revision of his earlier articles, “The Holy Spirit,” Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star, 15 Oct. 1850, 305-309; 1 Nov. 1850, 325-28. The condemnation came as a “Proclamation of the First Presidency and Twelve” in the Millennial Star, 21 Oct. 1865.
16. Deseret News, 9 July 1856, 137. Parley P. Pratt died soon thereafter without making revisions to his book, Key to the Science of Theology. This popular book continued in its present form until the early twentieth century, when Charles W. Penrose revised it.
19. Ibid., 18:275. Smith felt that there were two aspects of the Holy Ghost or Spirit: (1) an omnipresent light of “pure intelligence” and (2) a representative of this “pure intelligence,” a male personage of spirit who holds the office of “Holy Ghost.” In the intervening years, the [p.100]”Proclamation” condemning some of Orson Pratt’s teachings had been issued.
20. B. H. Roberts, The Gospel: An Exposition of its First Principles (Salt Lake City, 1888). Pages 212 and 214 were retained in the 1901 edition, but a new paragraph was added to explain that the Holy Ghost was a spiritual personage (p. 199). The question as to how anyone could believe that the Holy Ghost was a diffuse spirit after D&C 130 was canonized was answered by B. H. Roberts who interpreted this scripture along the lines of the old interpretation: “… Holy Ghost, whose tabernacle is in the elements of the universe, giving life and light and intelligence to all things and is the grand medium of communication between God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and their vast creations” (p. 214, 1888 edition). Thus was the scripture interpreted completely opposite from its interpretation today.
24. Lyndon Cook theorizes that Talmage may have used Abraham H. Cannon as a “conduit” to his father, George Q. Cannon, while Talmage was a professor at the Latter-day Saint University. Talmage thought it important to codify and clarify ambiguity of doctrines. See Juvenile Instructor 29 (1 April 1894): 220. Alexander, “Reconstruction of Mormon Doctrine,” credits Talmage with almost singlehandedly developing the modern Mormon concept of the Holy Ghost (p. 28). The importance of George A. Smith and Joseph F. Smith must also be considered—as, for example, the following statement: “The Holy Ghost is a personage in the Godhead, and is not that which lighteth every man that comes into the world.” Improvement Era 11: 380-82.
26. George Q. Cannon, Proceedings of the First Sunday School Convention (Salt Lake City: Deseret Sunday School Union, 1899), 87. Cannon was then first counselor to church president Lorenzo Snow and general superintendent of the Sunday school. Talmage would not become an apostle until 1911. Cannon gave this speech during a conference held on 28-29 November 1898. Cannon may have changed his mind about the Holy Ghost being a personage, but Talmage’s summary of their conversation does not necessarily prove such a change.
27. Anthon H. Lund journal, 21 Jan. 1915, archives, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. See Parley P. Pratt’s Key to the Science of Theology (fifth edition). According to Alexander, “Reconstruction of Mormon [p.101]Doctrine,” pages 68, 75, 100-102, and 139 were “corrected”; the seventh edition saw further revisions on pages 48, 66, 73, 92-94, and 100.
28. “The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve” (1916), in James R. Clark, ed., Messages of the First Presidency (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1971), 5:23-24.
34. John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1882), 76. This statement first appeared in Taylor’s editorial for the Times and Seasons, 15 Feb. 1845. It was a response to W. W. Phelps’s editorial of 1 January. Taylor’s statement seems to imply that there are twelve inhabited planets for each eternity, as well.
35. See Francis M. Darter, The Holy Ghost is Who and What? (Salt Lake City, 1938), 13; and Fred C. Collier, “The Trinity and The Holy Spirits: The Doctrine as Joseph Taught It,” Doctrine of the Priesthood 5 (1 April 1988).
38. Orson F. Whitney, The Life of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1945), 333. See also Brigham Young, JD 9:294: “If I was to reveal to this people what the Lord has revealed to me, there is not a man or woman would stay with me.”
39. Brigham Young, statement dated 8 Jan. 1845, in Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 11:106-108. Young also briefly mentions here another conjecture about Joseph Smith–that Smith was a direct descendant of Jesus Christ through Mary Magdalene. Later in Utah, Young openly taught that Jesus was married, had many children, and practiced polygamy. See Ogden Kraut, Jesus Was Married (Dugway, UT: Pioneer Books, 1969).