It's a very moving account, that I acknowledge, and I hope things work out for them.
“Did you know that Joseph Smith married a 14-year-old girl against her will?
The full account of this can be found in Compton's book, but to summarise:
**[several seemingly random quotes related to Helen Mar Kimball, none of which say whether or not she wanted to marry Joseph Smith]
But let the MDB myths continue unabated.
I doubt I've been around this board enough to have generated or spread any "MDB myths," but I'll still note here that, as an answer to the question above, you've assembled a terrible summary of what is in Compton's book. In fact, it's so bad that I'm having a hard time believing that you have any interest in setting anybody straight with "the truth" about it.
Here are some excerpts from the same book that are actually on-point:
Compton, in excerpts from In Sacred Loneliness, p.499-502, wrote:
As in the case of Sara Whitney, Joseph gave [Helen, the Kimball family's] teenage daughter responsibility not only for her own salvation but for that of her whole family. Thus Helen's acceptance of a union that was not intrinsically attractive to her was an act of youthful sacrifice and heroism.
Helen's reminiscence includes a poem that gives valuable insight into her feelings at the time. Unlike Eliza R. Snow, who looked upon the marriage to Joseph Smith as the spiritual zenith of her life, Helen, much younger, saw it as limiting her freedom and isolating her from her friends.
So apparently Helen had expected her marriage to Joseph Smith to be for eternity only, then discovered that it included time also. These lines [of the quoted poem] paint a bleak picture of Helen's mental state in the months after the wedding. A "sicken'd heart" broods; she is a "fetter'd bird with wild and longing heart" who pines for freedom every day. She must have been attracted to boys her own age, as would be normal. She certainly was already paying attention to Horace Whitney [whom she later married, willingly, in 1846]. The marriage to Smith coming so suddenly and blocking these growing feelings must have been devastating to her. These lines are the first evidence of depression in Helen Mar's life.
[Helen's father] Heber left Nauvoo on a mission to the eastern states [less than a month following Helen's marriage to Joseph] in early June 1843. A month later a letter he wrote to Helen shows that he was worried about her mental state as she entered into the role of polygamous wife. He counseled her to accept the marriage obediently and keep it a secret...Possibly Helen was having moments of open rebellion. Certainly she was seriously depressed.
She [Helen] was apparently coming to realize that her secret marriage to Joseph entailed time as well as eternity. A severe depression ensued--she felt that her life's happiness had ended completely--and she "brooded over the sad memories of sweet departed joys and all manner of future woes."
Clearly, Helen's father (whether out of ignorance or conscious treachery -- it's unclear) and Joseph Smith coerced her to marry Joseph under false pretenses (i.e., that it was "for eternity only"). Coercion, by definition, does not enable acts of free will, but assuming that somehow Helen wasn't successfully coerced, which I believe is the "truth" you are trying to enlighten us with, I suppose that we could maybe take from Compton's analysis the idea that Helen "willingly" (at least as willingly as a 14 year-old girl, not yet legally competent to sign a contract, could have been -- i.e., virtually not-at-all, imo) married Joseph "for eternity only", as a distant, or even merely theoretical, union in the afterlife.
As soon as Helen went through with the ceremony, however, she became the victim of a bait-and-switch, as Joseph began insisting that contrary to what she agreed to, she was now his actual earthly polygamous wife, and as such she would be isolated socially from her peer group. It is ridiculous for you, Ray, to imply that Compton's book says Helen willingly agreed to the marriage arrangement that Joseph eventually imposed on her.
The author of this blog post came to a realization, after a lifetime in the LDS Church hearing (and wrongfully trusting) people like you mischaracterizing the known facts in the service of Joseph Smith's legacy, that she had been misled to believe that Joseph Smith's behavior in this regard was virtuous and essentially different somehow from the behavior of Warren Jeffs. This deception, which she seems to attribute to the Church itself, is part of what made it so hard for her to support her husband's changing beliefs (and underwear!), and caused her to write this blog post.
Thanks, I guess, for helping to illustrate part of the author's struggle.