Todd Compton's Home Page

History, despite its wrenching pain
Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.
Maya Angelou, at the 1992 Inauguration, referring to slavery

In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Signature Books, 1997)

An e-book: Truth, Honesty and Moderation in Mormon History: A Response to Anderson, Faulring and Bachman's Reviews of In Sacred Loneliness

Assistant Church Historian Andrew Jenson's May 1887 article, "Plural Marriage."


"Who Wrote the Beatle Songs? - An Introduction"

"Pahreah Press"

Melody in Music

A Frontier Life: Jacob Hamblin, Explorer and Indian Missionary (University of Utah Press, 2013)

Victim of the Muses: Poet as Scapegoat, Warrior and Hero in Greco-Roman and Indo-European Myth and History (Center for Hellenic Studies/Harvard University Press, 2006)

The Ethics of the Uncanny: An Anthology of Great Ghost Stories (Pahreah Press 2018)


"Infinite Canons: A Few Axioms and Questions, and in Addition, a Proposed Definition" an e-essay

"Favorite Ghost Stories of the Masters, a Halloween special

A Widow's Tale: the 1884-1896 Diaries of Helen Mar Kimball Whitney (Utah State University Press, 2003)


The Dekalog (Ten Commandments) by Krzysztof Kieslowski

The Democratic Party and Mormonism

The Spiritual Roots of the Democratic Party: Why I Am a Mormon Democrat, an e-article

Famous Writers on Bush and the Bush Administration

Heber J. Grant: Mormon Democrat

Worthy Causes

Angels, Gargoyles and Shadows, an on-line anthology

P'u Sung-ling, Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio

Palma's Peruvian Traditions

Research Tools

Jerome in his study

by C.C. Christensen: Handcart pioneers reaching the Salt Lake Valley

Mormon History
Mormon Links

"The Families of Wilford Woodruff," an e-essay

"Plural Lives: Mitt Romney's Polygamous Heritage" an e-essay

If you have input on my book or webpage, my address is toddmagos(at)yahoo(dot)com

If you're interested in other things I've written, my CV is available here .

In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith

In my book, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, I look at the 33 women who married the first Mormon prophet, taking them from birth to death. I started writing the book because I was fascinated by the puzzle of trying to work out their complex marriage histories (many married four or five times, sometimes with overlapping, polyandrous marriages), but I gradually became very caught up in the drama of their lives, and became deeply attached to them as real, living people.

Vern Anderson did a fine story about my book for AP: AP Story

If you're interested in how I came to write this book, here's a speech I gave at the Association of Intermountain Booksellers on February 25, 1998.

Additional information on the plural wives I have collected since the book was published.

Changes made in Second Printing of ISL

Futher corrections

My response to the Tanners' use of my book.

Awards the book has received

Some reviews

A mini-essay I wrote on the history of polygamy in Mormonism
An excerpt from my book: the Prologue
Another excerpt from my book: Miracle Tale: Elizabeth Rollins (Lightner Smith Young)

The FARMS Review of Books published two long reviews of my book, by Richard Lloyd Anderson, Scott Faulring and Danel Bachman, in which I was characterized as an atheist, a Fawn Brodie disciple , and a John C. Bennett figure. I wrote a long response to the reviews, and offered it to the editor of FARMS Review of Books if he wanted to publish it. He showed a marked lack of enthusiasm for doing this, so I decided to publish it in pamphlet form and online. Here it is: Truth, Honesty and Moderation in Mormon History: A Response to Anderson, Faulring and Bachman's Reviews of In Sacred Loneliness

Good places to buy the book are:
Benchmark Books 800-486-3112
Ken Sanders Rare Books
Sam Weller's Zion Bookstore

or go directly to my publishers, who can get the book to you in six days for $2.00 postage "Signature Books"

Mormon History

Desert Island Books: Mormon History

Mormon History Links

Yearly Mormon History Association Awards
Updates at Mormon History Association


I know . . . there's lots more that I've missed.
Mormon History Links

"Scott Kenney's "Saints Without Halos" Mormon History Page" This is a magnificent site, especially strong on Joseph F. Smith and the LDS Church in the 1880s and 90s.

Bob Fillerup's Home Page This page by my friend Bob Fillerup includes an online version of the William Clayton diaries and a critical edition of the Book of Abraham. Highly recommended.
A Site with Mormon Texts , including the History of the Church and Early Mormon Diaries
Utah Crossroads Chapter (Pioneer Trail Organization -- Lots of Nice Stuff Here)
An interesting story about the Mountain Meadows Massacre that appeared in, strangely enough, the Deseret News
Michael Marquardt's Mormon Origins Home Page -- Contains valuable documents on Joseph Smith
Perry Porter's Mormon history page, which has some interesting material on polygamy
David Wright, one of the leading Mormon scholars in Old Testament and ritual studies

Some Mormon links:

Sunstone West 2005

Mormon History Association
The Sunstone Webpage
Mel Tungate site ? some really good stuff on Missouri history
Trails of Hope: Overland Diaries and Letters, 1846-1869
From the Lee Library at BYU. This is a "collection of the original writings of 49 voyagers on the Mormon, California, Oregon, and Montana trails who wrote while traveling on the trail.?
University of Utah's Marriott Library?s version of Trails of Hope
Missouri Mormon Frontier Foundation (MMFF)
Utah History Encyclopedia
Utah State Historical Society
FARMS home page -- lots of stuff on Book of Mormon historicity and Joseph Smith

Worthy Causes

Human Rights:
Amnesty International

domestic violence
Women's issues links

Greenpeace Page
animal rights links
animal law
animal rights resource site

Democratic party
I distrust almost all politicians, but nevertheless we have to work with the political system. On some issues, I sympathize with Republicans.