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UnDisciplined: The forgotten wives of Joseph Smith


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially banned polygamous marriages in the 1890s, but what many people don’t realize is that even before then, many of these marriages were conducted secretly, including dozens of marriages involving the church’s founder, Joseph Smith, and it wasn’t until 2014 that the church acknowledged smith had at least 40 wives. The result of this early secrecy and longtime reluctance to discuss these marriages is that many of the women who were involved have been all but lost to history. The historian Todd Compton is trying to change that.

Todd Compton's recent book is In Sacred Loneliness: The Documents, which describes the materials and processes he used to track down and tell the stories of many of the wives of Joseph Smith, the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,.

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Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling <i>Lifespan</i> with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning <i>Longevity Plan</i> with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, <i>Superlative</i>, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.<br/>