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These chapters introduce Joseph’s belief that plural marriage was a commandment, the theological need for plural marriage in Mormon cosmology, realities of the 1840s that may be ignored by moderns attempting to “explain” polygamy, and events leading up to Joseph’s attempt to restore biblical plural marriage in 1841.

Chapter 1, Prelude to a Killing, describes Joseph’s assertion just prior to his death that he’d been commanded to restore Celestial marriage and teach plural marriage.

Chapter 2, Why Would God Command Polygamy?, discusses the theological rationale for plural marriage.

Chapter 3, Guns, Germs, and Sex, reminds the reader of military, medical, and reproductive realities of the 1840s.

Chapter 4, The 1831 Revelation Regarding Plural Marriage, discusses the 1831 revelation commanding Joseph to restore plural marriage.

Chapter 5, Mormon Polygamy Prior to 1841, discusses allegations that plural marriage occurred between 1831 and 1841.

Chapter 6, Six Funerals and a Blessing, discusses deaths that informed Joseph’s concept of heaven and family.

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