The Return of Historical Mormon Smackdown: Prophetic Spouse edition!

When last we checked, more people were disturbed by possible polyandry than polygyny on the part of the Prophet Joseph. This week, we continue my personal campaign to put things in perspective:

Who is more influential in the church today: Emma Hale Smith or Marjorie Pay Hinckley?

Emma Smith: wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith, recipient of D&C 25, subject of two books and several pieces of variable quality artwork at

Marjorie Hinckley: wife of the current prophet, recipient of degrees, subject of three books at (but no variable quality artwork).

Take a side in this fight below and post your thoughts on the process.

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  • John C.

    Thusfar, the voting is all Emma. Let me ask two questions:

    Is Emma Smith more influential in the church today, or is the romaticized wife of the Prophet more influential? I think that the crappy artwork has something to say on this front.

    Why is Emma more influential (if she is)? Shouldn’t Sis. Hinckley who is more familiar with the world today be so?

  • the romaticized wife of the Prophet more influential

    Er, yeah. Emma was great, but not in the way most if us think.

    Oh, and Brigham will strike this blog down if she wins.

  • So far, I’m the lone vote for Sister Hinckley. Sorry, but Emma Smith just leaves me cold.

    ‘Course neither of them is a viable role model in my particular world, either.

    And what is Ronan talking about with the “not in the way most of us think” line?

  • John C.

    the romaticized wife of the Prophet

    to clarify, by this I mean Emma, wife of the Prophet who loves her oh so much and she him.

  • It’s got to be Emma. After all, people talk about her sometimes. Poor Sister Hinckley doesn’t even get that much, at least to the best of my knowledge.

  • John C.

    Well, when I did the original search at deseretbook, I got three books. Now it is down to one. What happened overnight?

  • Mogget, I think Ronan’s referring to the book Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith in which Emma lets the cat out of the bag. Great read, IMO.

  • Mogget

    What cat? I seem to be seriously missing something here. Or missing something serious, as the case may be.

  • What cat?

    Let’s just say sometimes she wasn’t in favor of Joseph’s extra-curricular activities, but acquiesces nonetheless. I haven’t read it myself, but I know Ronan’s wife recently read it (I think it was discussed at FMH) and found it to be very revealing. It’s on my own hit list for this summer (assuming I can get through the postgrad preliminary readings in time).

  • Sebastian S.

    I would think that Emma Hale Smith Bidamon (1804 – 1879) would be more influential. She is talked about far more often than all of the wives of the many prophets combined. I believe what tends to get overlooked with Emma is that she had a very strong Scriptural argument (from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon) against D & C 132, than many folks would care to admit. I would imagine that the faith of both Ladies would be the paramount principle of their lives.