Report: Founder of Mormon Church had 40 wives

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The founder of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, had as many as 40 wives.

That is according to a new essay released by the church. According to the report, an angel told Smith to continue getting married, even though it was an "excruciating ordeal" for his first wife Emma.

Smith is not believed to have consummated every marriage. One woman he wed was 14 years old while another was 56. Some women were already married.

The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints has traditionally tried to downplay this kind of thing (and in 1890 they disavowed polygamy), but plural marriage is a significant part of its past.