On November 21, 1843 Joseph Smith brought formal church charges against Harrison Sagers. Joseph accused him of: “1st for trying to Seduce a yo[u]ng girl living at his house by the name of Phoebe Madison-” JSP Documents, Vol. 13, p. 279, all as in original. And “2d for using my name in a blasphemous manner by Saying that I tollerated Such things in which thing he is guilty of Lying &c &c” Id, as in original.

The church court was held by the Nauvoo High Council a few days later. Following the proceedings, Joseph Smith made some remarks as follows: President Joseph Smith wanted “to do away with every evil & practice virtue & Holiness before the Lord that the church had not received any license from him to commit adultery fornication or any such thing but to the contrary if any man commit adultery He could not received the celestial kingdom of God even if he was saved in any kingdom it could not be the celestial kingdom He said he thought the many examples that had been manifest John C. Bennet[t] & others was sufficient to show the fallacy of such a course of conduct, He condemned the principle in toto & warned those present against going into those evils, for they would surely bring a —– (Curse) upon their heads” JSP Documents, Vol. 13, p. 285, all as in original.

Astonishingly, despite the plain message contained in these original documents, the LDS Church Historian’s office offers this comment in their Historical Introduction: “It is unclear whether JS authorized Sagers to practice plural marriage.” Id., pp. 279-9.

Actually it is clear. Joseph didn’t.