Disparagements, i.e. lies about William Law.

Lawrence R. Flake – Bitterness & Hatred

Full of bitterness and hatred to the end of his life, William Law died in Shullsburg, Wisconsin, 19 January 1892, at age eighty-two. 1

D. Michael Quinn – Adultery

Quinn, quite-matter-of-factly twice said William Law committed adultery:

“Committed adultery in violation of Illinois law 1843;”2

“1 Oct. – Joseph Smith ‘reanointed [William] Law’ in the Anointed Qurom (JS-F, MAQ) due to Law’s confession of adultery committed since his 1842 endowment (DMQ, HS)” 3

The adultery accusation is based on a single disparaging statement by Hyrum Smith in his attempt to mar the character of the publishers of the Prospectus of the Nauvoo Expositor. Quinn then cites himself for a second reference:


DMQ = D. Michael Quinn, interpretation of sources.

HS = Hyrum Smith statement about William Law’s adultery, in Nauvoo Neighbor, 19 June 1844, p. 2.4

Accusations of adultery were Joseph and Hyrum’s convenient method of marring a persons character. There are many reports by women and men who were warned not to tell of polygamy or Joseph and Hyrum would mar their character.5 Quinn refused to alert the reader of this fact and stepped over it himself.

History reveals the truth – if Law was an adulterer he would have embraced polygamy to save face and justify its continuance like Joseph Smith did with Fanny Alger.6


1. Lawrence R. Flake, Prophets and Apostles of the Last Dispensation, Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, BYU, 2001, pp. 243-245. back
2. D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Signature Books, 1994, p. 560. back
3. Quinn, p. 496. back
4. Quinn, p. 517. back
5. See the account of Sarah Pratt as referenced by Law in his interview to Dr. Lyl. Also: “Hyrum Smith came to our house, with the affidavits all written out, and forced us to sign them. Joseph and the Church must be saved, said he. We saw that resistance was useless, they would have ruined us; so we signed the papers.” (Andrew F. Smith, The Saintly Scoundrel: The Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1971, p. 141; Richard S. Van Wagoner, “Sarah Pratt: The Shaping of an Apostate”, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, vol. 19 no. 2, p. 79) back
6. For details see http://whitmercollege.com/adultery-yes back

Joseph Smith

No one knew the nature of Joseph Smith better than Church Historian John Whitmer who reported:

Now from this time forth, which was in July, 1834, Smith seemed to be in doubt whereinto this thing would grow, and began to upbraid D. Whitmer, and abuse him as his natural custom to do unto those whom he feared, lest they should become great in the sight of God or man; therefore, he harangued the conference and sought to destroy the confidence of the people present in David Whitmer, on whom he had bestowed all the gifts and power that he had himself received by inspiration, by the laying on his hand according to the order of heaven. (John Whitmer, The Book of John Whitmer – Kept By Commandment, Chapter 22)