Recent studies suggest that the number of Mormons living in polygamous families between 1850 and 1890, while varying from community to community and year to year, averaged between 20 and 30 percent. In some cases the proportion was higher. The practice was especially extensive with Mormon leaders, both locally and those presiding over the entire Church. These calculations would indicate that during the entire time polygamy was practiced the number of men, women, and children living in polygamous households amounted to tens of thousands. (Solemn Covenant, B. Carmon Hardy (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, 1992), p. 17.) The extent to which polygamy was practiced in Utah will probably never be known. Plural marriages were not publicly recorded, and there is little chance that any private records which might have been kept will ever be revealed. From information from available sources, it appears there may have been a time when 15-20 percent of the Mormon families of Utah were polygamous. ("Notes on Mormon Polygamy," Stanley S. Ivins, in D. Michael Quinn, ed., The New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays on the Past, pp. 170-171.)
The problem with the above quote is that it has footnote 45 which says to see footnote 6 of the essay "Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah" which we have referenced above. So what is it: "Plural marriage did result in an increased number of children born to believing parents" or "Studies have shown that monogamous women bore more children per wife than did polygamous wives except the first."
1328 Words Essay on Women's Empowerment in India
Fanny Alger was a teen-aged servant in the Smith's home. Joseph and Emma had "adopted" Fanny when she was about 16 years old (1833). She is believed to be either Joseph Smith's first polygamous "wife" or simply a sexual encounter. (The Church's essay, "Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo," says it was a marriage, whereas Lawrence Foster said, "…contemporary evidence strongly suggests that Smith sustained sexual relations with Fanny Alger, it does not indicate that this was viewed either by Smith himself or by his associates at the time as a 'marriage.'" Dialogue Vol. 33 No. 1 pp. 184-86.) Critics believe he had an affair with her, was found out, and then introduced the concept of plural marriage in order to justify and continue his affair with her and then other women.