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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Joseph Smith Was Irish AND He Did NOT Father as Many Polygamous Children as Once Thought

The news that Joseph Smith was in fact Irish is startling news indeed. Ugo A. Perego, a researcher, stunned the Mormon world with this news on August 7, 2010. It even has the Irish talking. Maybe they will get some tourism out of it. . . 

Perego is a researcher with the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. The Foundation was begun by James L. Sorenson, a billionaire Mormon businessman and philanthropist. Perego presented his research at the 10th Annual FAIR Conference. FAIR is an acronym for Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, a scholarly organization that defends Mormonism. The text of Perego's presentation can be found here.

The Deseret News article entitled, "DNA shows Joseph Smith was Irish" is easy reading and explains quite well how the research was conducted and the conclusions reached.

Niall of the Nine Hostages, Irish royalty, is a likely ancestor of Joseph Smith. I wonder if his temple work has been done yet. Knowing Mormons, it probably will be soon if it hasn't already.

Perego also debunked the conventional wisdom stemming from historical research that certain children such as Moroni Pratt, Zebulon Jacobs and Mosiah L. Hancock were Joseph's children. They weren't. Josephine Rosetta Lyon is still the likeliest candidate for being Joseph's child through a polygamous wife. The research won't be done for another year. There are about 120 DNA samples to analyze before results are in.

So, what does all this mean for Mormons? I'm not sure it means anything. Finding no polygamous children of Joseph Smith does not necessarily mean he had none or that he did not practice polygamy or sleep with some of his polygamous wives. He certainly practiced polygamy and he certainly slept with some of his wives. I don't think a rational Mormon can claim otherwise.

It is just interesting that no polygamous children can be positively identified, yet.

2 comments:

  1. Many mormons do still claim that Joseph had only one wife (based on an obviously false claim by Emma) or that he didn't have sex with his other wives. Personally, I don't see what difference it makes. He taught polygamy and will therefore always be part of the polygamy debate. But it would be nice if we as a church could at least get a few basic facts straight instead of trying to whitewash or ignore our own history.

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  2. Under Brehon Law (Old Irish Law), A man had a first wife, a live-in concubine, a live-out concubine and had the right under law to legitimate any of his heirs.

    Interesting historical echo with Mormon polygamy.

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