Joseph Bates Noble was in Joseph Smith’s inner circle (helped dress/bury him and Hyrum), a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, was the Bishop of Joseph Smith’s ward in Nauvoo, and was the person Joseph asked to officiate for one of the earliest plural marriages to Noble’s sister-in-law, Louisa Beaman.1 He was married to Mary Adeline Beman. Apparently, Joseph was not concerned that Joseph be sealed to Mary (I cannot find a record of their sealing).

To my knowledge, none of these couples were sealed in Nauvoo. Why was Joseph unconcerned that these faithful members be sealed? Was the sealing to Joseph Smith the only sealing that really mattered?

Probably knew about sealing

The following were faithful Latter-day Saints. Either JS obtained their permission to marry their underage daughter/sister and hence were aware of the idea of sealings and plural marriage, or Joseph Smith failed to obtain guardian permission for an underage marriage.

  1. Lucien Woodworth & Phebe Watrous (parents of Flora Ann Woodworth, married ~Spring 1843 at the age of 16; Lucien was a member of the council of 50)
  2. William Holmes Walker (brother to Lucy Walker, granted permission for sister to be married to Joseph; William was under the care of JS to some degree. Married but not sealed to Olive Hovey Farr on Nov 1, 1843)
  3. Edward and Margaret Major Lawrence (parents of Sarah, 17 at marriage age, and Maria. Edward passed away shortly after arrival in Nauvoo. Why did JS deny Margaret a sealing?)
  4. Stephen Winchester Sr. and Nancy Case (parents of Nancy Maria Winchester, likely married to JS at age 14 or 15. Stephen appears to have been faithful).

Lack of sealing for these individuals should be interpreted in light of what we know about the earliest plural marriages across the Church (i.e., men were not typical sealed to their own civilly married wife but to a polygamous wife in secret).

  1. See and