Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, has 34 wives. (That’s a fact even the Church now admits.)
And just in case anyone forgets, Leslie O. Peterson drew pictures of all of them for an art project:
“At first, I was angry,” said Mrs. Peterson, a hairdresser and watercolorist who lives in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City. “Why the heck have I not known this? These women have become like ghosts in our history, and we don’t teach or talk about their lives.”
“I just felt the need to get these women out of the closet and let people learn about them and celebrate them,” Mrs. Peterson said.
I have no comment on the art itself — I can barely draw a stick figure — but I love that the project draws more attention to uncomfortable truths about Mormonism. Not just the fact that Smith had dozens of wives, but that their ages ranged from 14 to 56.
If it gets more people questioning the faith and leaving the Church because they’re appalled by these details, more power to Peterson.