Friday, January 26, 2007

Meg's Book - Chapter XXII - Carthage

Trivia - The grief of many of Joseph's widows is documented - either by themselves or by others. Unfortunately (or fortunately for my creative license) Elvira's actions and reactions are not documented. The frame in which this chapter takes place is factual. For example, I don't know if Elvira had a nightmare about Joseph's body being dragged through the streets, but Jonathan was one of Joseph's pallbearers and helped bury Joseph and Hyrum in an alternate location expressly to avoid any possibility of vandalism. Emma's weeping and cries on entering to view her husband's body and Mary Fielding Smith's silence are also documented, except it is not documented that Emma apologized.

8 comments:

jl said...

However sad this chapter is because of the events that took place, I think you did a great job. I felt like the mobster that looked at Elvira was foreshadowing of some future tragedy. For whatever reason it stood out to be remembered.

On a personal note: My husband is jealous. I usually check my e-mail just before going to bed, hoping that I will discover a new chapter waiting in my in-box. Then I get so excited that I must read it. He commented that I had not gone to bed at the same time as him for quite some time. I better get to bed before he is actually asleep!

daughterofheaven said...

I know what you mean - for better or worse my husband has many interests that keep him up late as well, so I'm not sliding into bed beside a sleeping person too often. Last night he was reading about nonholonomic vehicles in preparation for a lecture he will give at an upcoming conference on pathfinding (nonholonomic vehicles are apparently things that can't freely move in all directions, like unicycles, bikes, cars, etc.). I remember I fell asleep to him talking about something.

Anyway, pass my apologies to your husband for last night - I had a killer migraine and wasn't able to get clear enough to think until about 10p my time. Knowing that you are anticipating things to that extent, I will strive to get things out at an earlier timeframe, like by 9:30p eastern time. But that may mean I send out two chapters in some days and none in other days...

ktb said...

A good chapter that flows well. Yet another sad commentary of the lower end of the Bell curve acting out emotionally within the void of general public concensus and direction.

My view would tend towards the council feeling gulity, but at the same time relieved (see my comment for Chapter XXI). Is there any historical context that would indicate their reaction? Does the town at this point come back together?

Your story is from Elvira's perspective. Based on the comment from the one rude searcher, it is apparent the town knows about Elvira's position with Joseph. This would indicate a strong likelihood for mixed emotions concerning Elvira within the town before this, and then after. I do not recall any indication that town members said anything negative or positive to Elvira. I think either the comment was made and the town knew, or there was no general knowedge of Elvira's relationship with Joseph.

daughterofheaven said...

In a future revision I will make it more clear that Mr. Yates and his posse are not from Nauvoo. 'John' infers Elvira is part of 'Joe's harem' because he sees evidence that Jonathan doesn't sleep with Elvira - evidence that has been carefully kept hidden from almost everyone else.

I have not come across any contemporary documentation that indicated it was known that Elvira and Joseph had a relationship. However, I haven't read John C. Bennett's writings.

Pat said...

It is likely that any female with frequent contact with Joseph might have been suspected of being one of his plural wives, but certainly there were a number who were not. I personally think that Joseph himself had the greatest difficulty carrying out the command, given that he had an attractive, supportive, and emotionally involving wife. Polygamy was a curve ball that led to many complications in an already complicated situation. I am a little reminded of Zipporah's reaction to Moses when he was commanded to initiate circumcision:"then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, surely a bloody husband art thou to me." Some may wonder why God initiated the practice of polygamy which only added to the many tensions and strains of the new community. But in my experience, God doesn't particularly care about convenience or congeniality. Like a coach, when we have barely made it over a hurdle, he just sets it higher for the next round. This was a time of sifting. Joseph lost many of the members of leadership on several previous occasions. None of the original three witnesses of the Book of Mormon stayed in the church,although none revoked their testimony and all came back. In each time of trial and testing new men and women stepped forward.

ktb said...

Based on the words of the posse member used in the story, Pat's response would seem to be part of the reason, and it is appreciated. The posse member's knowledge of Jonathan's status otherwise was a little too detailed for someone outside of Nauvoo in my opinion.

I thought that David Whitmer did not come back into the Church - according to Terryl Givens in 'By the Hand of Mormon.' Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris did.

daughterofheaven said...

But you, my friend, are possessed of charity, so you think no evil. I suspect that someone who is coming into the home of an individual they believe has a harem might suspect a comely woman of being in said harem if the man in the room has clearly been sleeping on the floor rather than in the bed of said comely woman.

David Whitmer did not come back into the Church. But he did take out a large (full page?) add in the paper right before his death reaffirming his testimony that the Book of Mormon was true, which I imagine Terryl Givens may have mentioned. All three witnesses went to their deaths affirming the Book of Mormon was what it purported to be. In a way, their individual struggles with the Church itself make that affirmation all the more striking.

daughterofheaven said...

One other note - I have Emma know at the time of Joseph's death what is happening to him. I don't know this happened to Emma, but it happened to Saint Margaret of Scotland when her husband, Malcolm McDuncan III was murdered at Alnwick. As we will see, Jonathan became ill in California when his baby, Lucy Elvira, died. I have experienced this myself, where strong feelings on the part of a friend were known to me across space. For example, when I was training to become a missionary, I was filled one day with dread and mortal fear for hours. I called home, certain something horrible had happened. It turned out that my instructor had been mountain climbing that day and had gotten lost in the fog and nearly fell off a cliff. It took her several hours to reach safety. Even though she had no way of knowing that I was even aware of what happened, I now recall that she came to the dorms that evening to let me know she was OK.

About Me

Mother, Physicist, Manager, Author, Genealogist