Mary Rollins first met Joseph Smith in early 1831.  She and her family were new converts and Joseph Smith had just arrived in Kirtland from New York state.  Twelve-year-old Mary remembers, “when he saw me, he looked at me so earnestly, I felt almost afraid [and I thought, ‘He can read my every thought,’ and I thought how blue his eyes were.] after a moment, or too he came and put his hands on my head and gave me a great Blessing, (the first I ever received)”.  Joseph also prepared Mary for their eventually marriage: “[He] told me about his great vision concerning me. He said I was the first woman God commanded him to take as a plural wife.”  In the fall of that year, Mary and her family left Kirtland for “Zion”, which was being established in Missouri.

Three years later, Mary and Joseph would be reunited when Joseph led the Zion’s Camp expedition from Ohio to Missouri.  Mary remembers, “In 1834 he was commanded to take me for a Wife, I was a thousand miles from him, he got afraid”.  At the close of Zion’s Camp, Joseph returned to Kirtland.  Mary stayed in Missouri, living in Liberty and Far West.  Perhaps thinking her marriage to Joseph was off, she married Adam Lightner in 1835.  By 1840 they had settled in Nauvoo, and were raising two children. 

Early in 1842, Joseph approached Mary about becoming his wife.  According to Mary, Joseph said, “The angel came to me three times between the year of ’34 and ’42 and said I was to obey that principle or he would slay me.”  Furthermore, Joseph told her, “I was his before I came here and he said all the Devils in hell should never get me from him...” and “I know that I shall be saved in the Kingdom of God. I have the oath of God upon it and God cannot lie. All that he gives me I shall take with me for I have that authority and that power conferred upon me.”

Initially, Mary did not accept Joseph’s proposal.  She wanted a witness from God.  Mary recalls, “If ever a poor mortal prayed I did”.  By February 1842 Joseph had convinced her it was a correct principle and she, “went forward and was sealed to him. Brigham Young performed the sealing...for time, and all Eternity.”  Mary said her husband Adam was “far away” out of town at the time of her marriage to Joseph.

Mary continued to live with her first husband, Adam.  Of this arrangement, she later wrote, “I could tell you why I stayed with Mr. Lightner. Things the [current] leaders of the Church does not know anything about.  I did just as Joseph told me to do...”

After Joseph Smith was killed in 1844, Mary and her first husband Adam continued to live in Nauvoo and the Midwest.  In 1863 they moved to Utah.  In her elderly years, Mary wrote to an acquaintance, “...I Love to talk about the Prophet and the Early days of the Church  [I] will always remember how Joseph that first sealing...he was tall and of a commanding figure, full of Life...Yes; I could tell you many things that I cannot write – I remember every word he...ever said to me of importance...”


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