Part 1 of the series established that William Clayton wrote the revelation on plural marriage (D&C 132) on July 12, 1843 and that its content was probably, at least in length, essentially the same as the currently printed edition. Moreover, this original did not survive the disgust of Emma Smith, who apparently burned it (one story circulated that she used fire tongs to put it in the flames so that she could say she never touched it).
The Revelation and Emma Smith’s Domestic Tranquillity
Joseph Smith feared his wife Emma might divorce him over polygamy and Clayton reported as much. Clayton’s own experience with his second wife seems somewhat parallel. He wrote:
Wednesday [August] 23rd.  Prest J. told me that he had difficulty with E[mma]. yesterday. She rode up to Woodworths with him & called while he came to the Temple. When he returned she was demanding the gold watch of F. he reproved her for her evil treatment. On their return home she abused him much & also when he got home. he had to use harsh measures to put a stop to her abuse but finally succeeded … This evening I had some more conversation with Margaret & find she is stubborn and disposed to abuse me. I feel resolved to break my feelings from her if I possibly can.
Manuscript Copies of the Revelation
Clayton observed that Newel K. Whitney asked to make a copy of the revelation. Whitney recruited Joseph C. Kingsbury to make this copy. This copy survives in “Revelations Collections,” MS 4583, fd 75, CHL (Church History Library).
Another handwritten copy of the revelation was produced nine years later by Willard Richards. It is possible that this functioned as a manuscript for the Manuscript History (however, both the Kingsbury and Richards manuscripts show markup annotation). The Kingsbury manuscript may have been the printers manuscript for the revelation as it appeared in a special edition of the church newspaper—the Deseret News Extra of September 1852—a part of the church’s public announcement of plural marriage as a practice in the faith. The manuscript of the revelation was copied into the Manuscript History of the Church by Robert Lang Campbell ca. 1855. Precisely how many other copies of the revelation were made is unknown, but it is apparent that Joseph Smith saw it as an engine for trouble given the continued secret practice in Nauvoo.
More on the impact of the revelation in comments on the revelation text to come. Next, a printing history of the revelation.
 F. was Joseph Smith’s wife, sixteen-year-old Flora Ann Woodworth. Clayton notes several meetings between Joseph and Flora. Joseph used Clayton’s home for some of these meetings (August 28, 29). Flora died in 1850 having remarried in 1846. The “harsh measures” is troubling perhaps, but Joseph was generally a tender family man and church records attest that he did not countenance beatings and the severe corporal punishments that were not uncommon in frontier families. The harsh measures may have referred to something other than physical contact. On the other hand, behavior between spouses in the 1840s operated under quite different parameters than the present day. Domestic abuse is nearly always a pattern behavior and there is no evidence that Joseph Smith engaged in this. That said, their marriage was clearly under tension over a number of issues, especially polygamy. On such domestic mores, see for example, Christine Daniels and Michael Kennedy, eds., Over the Threshold: Intimate Violence in Early America (New York, 1999): 45-64; 148-172. Also here for a legal timeline. See also, John Turner, Brigham Young (Boston, 2012):240-3. What is lacking in much of the contemporary records is the female perspective. Any number of reasons can be offered, but the lack of such context results in what is really an unrectifiable state of affairs. Because of this, historians have often mistaken the ideology of the adult males in the narrative for that of other fractions of the population, whether those ideologies corresponded to follower, dissenter or observer.
 Whitney was one of those to whom the revelation was read. Whitney was already acquainted with the practice of polygamy and in fact a daughter, Sarah Ann, was married to Joseph in July 1842. By May 26, 1842, Emma was pressing the Relief Society to out polygamous marriages in the wake of the Bennett scandal.a The following day, Whitney addressed the Society in these words:
In the beginning God created man, male and female and betowed upon man certain blessings peculiar to a man of God of which woman partook, so that without the female all things cannot be restored to the earth. It takes all to be restored to the earth. It takes all to restore the Priesthood . . . Far be it from me to harbor iniquity and outbreaking sins. We may have different views of things, still there is some criterion which all may come to, and by bringing our minds and wills in subjection to the law of the Lord . . . I tell you, there are blessings before to be conferred as soon as our hearts are prepared to receive them.[Nauvoo Relief Society minutes, May 27, 1842. For the manuscript minutes of the Relief Society, see here. see also, Linda Newell, Valeen Avery, Mormon Enigma (Urbana, 1994), 116.]
Whitney’s remarks seem carefully worded to comfort those participants with knowledge of the practice and perhaps forewarn some of the others. In fact, of the 26 initial inductees to the Society, nearly half were already or would shortly be aware of Joseph’s involvement and a number of those were or would be married to him. By the time the revelation was written on July 12, 1843, Joseph Smith had married nearly all of his oft-claimed 33 wives. It was at best an afterthought for that particular issue.
a On Bennett, see Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling (New York, 2005) and Andrew Smith, Saintly Scoundrel (Urbana, 1997).
 It has been suggested that Joseph had a hand in deploying a pamphlet printed on the church’s Nauvoo press that broached the subject of polygamy in 1842. The pamphlet created a stir among church members and Joseph denounced it later. If this was a fishing expedition, it wasn’t the only time the technique was deployed by Joseph.
The Richards manuscript has two interesting bits of penciled annotation, one at the beginning of the revelation, which reads “Revelation given to Joseph Smith” and one that appears with the docket. It reads, “ex. as altered in pencil Aug. 7, 52” below that, the date “July 12, 53” appears. The latter date may simply be an error. At some point in this series, I will remark on the differences between the manuscripts and the first imprint of the revelation. This may help to decide the issue of which manuscript may have been used for which purpose. [Note: further checking suggests that Richards ms was used to construct the ms history entry while the Kingsbury ms was the base text for the first imprint (see part 3).]