Conversations about the religious and spiritual life on the other side of fundamentalism
257:  The Sins of Brigham:  The granddaughters of Brigham’s wives speak out:  Jacobs, Jensen & Chamberlain

257: The Sins of Brigham: The granddaughters of Brigham’s wives speak out: Jacobs, Jensen & Chamberlain

While Mormons claim Joseph Smith as the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is still very much Brigham Young’s church.  Brigham’s leadership was formative in shaping the LDS movements as it is today.   The husband of 55 wives Brigham’s influence was more than organisational.  He was also responsible for establishing a patriarchal structure and suite of doctrines and practices that affirmed that loyalty to the highest priesthood office in the church was the church’s primary orthodoxy, and the feminine role was to honour that priesthood.

So, what of those who directly inherited Brigham’s legacy.  What of his female posterity?

Great, great, great granddaughters of Brigham, Kristen Jensen and Crystal Chamberlain along with the great great great granddaughter of Zina Huntington (one of Brigham’s wives) join me to discuss what it means to have inherited Brigham’s legacy along with the wounds of their grandmothers.


  1. Happy Hubby

    Thanks for the very interesting podcast. I was born of convert parents on the other side of the US away from Utah. I have often wondered why it seemed every descendant of polygamist tried to just say, “it was all OK”. I can get that there is family pride and most Mormons do share in a bit of a persecution complex (even one like me). It was refreshing to hear some that can look back at their distant ancestors and see both the good and adamantly bad also. I couldn’t quite make out the ending of the podcast as it was mostly bleeped out! 🙂 (but I agree with the closing comments!)

  2. Dot

    This was powerful and enlightening. As a foreigner baptised later in life, I found the American culture of the church strange and really hard to incorporate into my spiritual feelings. There seemed to be something hard and brittle about the way things work, and as I tried to get to the bottom of it, I just imagined it was because I have a problem with reverence of men. I found there was a kind of male entitlement that I couldn’t like, no matter how nice people were to me. So many of the women didn’t get misogyny, they just built up resentment and it looked like passive-aggressive was the go-to behaviour.

    So glad these women are healing from their spiritual trauma. I loved what they had to say to Brigham Young. I join them with a resounding ***** you, Brigham!

    Thanks, I feel better now…..

  3. Kaylene Peets

    I loved this podcast. You were all talking beautifully about reclaiming your personal authority when talk turned towards sealing Zina with Henry. I was shocked to hear you all question, “Are we allowed to do that?” I couldn’t believe my ears. Allowed??? This is how crazy the system is. Even in the middle of claiming it, you are having to work within that same patriarchal system of allowing people to do various things. I just kind of want to laugh but mostly cry at this example of what it’s like to be in the church.

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