Fifteen-year-old Marinda Johnson and her family were baptized into the church during the winter of 1830, near Kirtland, Ohio.   “The [following] fall”, Marinda wrote, “Joseph came with his family to live at my father’s house.  He was at that time translating the Bible...”  For the next year, Joseph lived in the Johnson home.

In 1833, Marinda met and was courted by Orson Hyde.  A year later they would marry.  Within months of the marriage, Orson was called to be an Apostle of the church, a calling which meant he would spend two of the next three and one-half years in the Eastern States and England in missionary service.  Back home Marinda raised their two children.  By June 1839 Marinda and Orson had relocated to Nauvoo.  A third child soon arrived.

On April 6, 1840, Orson wrote, “I was appointed, in company with Elder John E. Page, to go on a mission to Jerusalem”.  A week later, Orson left for what would be a three year mission.  On October 24, 1841, Orson stood on the Mount of Olives and consecrated Palestine for the gathering of Judah in the last days.

While Orson was gone, Marinda, “had to live in a little log house whose windows had no glass but in place of which were pieces of greased paper...A little cornmeal and a few groceries were all the provisions remaining to sustain her and the little ones.”.  Noting Marinda’s living conditions, Joseph Smith received the following revelation dated December 2, 1841: “Verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph. that inasmuch as you have called upon me to know my will concerning my handmaid Nancy Marinda Hyde  Behold it is my will that she should have a better place prepared for her than that in which she now lives...and let my handmaid Nancy Marinda Hyde hearken to the counsel of my servant Joseph in all things whatsoever he shall teach unto her...”

Marinda soon moved to a better home.  In the Spring of 1842 she married Joseph.  In Joseph’s diary is a list of his marriages.  It includes the entry: “Apr 42  Marinda Johnson to Joseph Smith.”.  Eight months later, in December, Orson returned from his mission.  It is not clear when, or if, Orson learned about his wife’s marriage to Joseph.  However, by March, Orson had learned about plural marriage himself and married two additional wives.

After Joseph’s death in 1844, Marinda and Orson continued to live in Nauvoo.  In April of 1846, shortly before leaving for Utah, Orson dedicated the Nauvoo temple.  Over the next 20 years, Marinda would bear 7 more children. Orson would continue to serve missions and marry seven additional wives.  In 1870 Marinda and Orson divorced. 

Marinda’s grandchildren later wrote of her caring and thoughtful demeanor: “She was so loving and sympathetic with...all... She was a lovely creature, dignified and...took a keen interest in life and people”. 


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