Joseph Bates Noble
Polygamy and the Temple Lot Case
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Noble officiated at the marriage in 1841 that united his sister-in-law with Smith, an event now cited as the beginning of the practice of polygamy in the church. His testimony would either validate Joseph Smith's polygamist background for the Temple Lot Church or expose his recollections as falsehoods for the RLDS Church.
Noble's service to his church dated back to the very beginnings of Mormonism, marching with Smith and Zion's Camp, helping to build Kirtland, defending the church in Missouri, and working to build Nauvoo. While he never held an official church position of major importance, Noble's devotion to Joseph Smith and his close association with later church leaders entwined his life with the founding events of Mormonism. Author David Clark sets Noble's life story in the context of the court deposition, visiting the remarkable events in the life of this Mormon 'foot soldier.'