Joseph's youngest sealing was to Helen Kimball (Heber Kimball's daughter), age 14 at the time of the sealing. At the age of 53, looking back nearly 40 years after that sealing, Helen wrote these poignant words in a letter intended to be read by her posterity:
>Now, my children, I ask [God] to bless and preserve these lines that my children &my grandchildren & their children's children may read them & may they all live so as to accomplish they designs of our Maker.
(I can't do the original source justice; it contains a number of typographical errors that show Helen's mind as composed these lines)
I hear in these words the voice of a prophetess, as if she was precognizant of the fact that her contribution to building Zion would be forgotten or, worse, used in a way she would find abhorrent. To me, hers is a voice crying from the dust to be heard, very similar to the Nephite prophets who prayed that their words would be preserved.
If folks are interested, I'll copy the entire letter in the comments, but these seem to be among the lines she prayed would be preserved:
>I have long since learned to leave all with Him, who knoweth better than ourselves what will make us happy. I am thankful that He has brought me through the furnace of affliction &that He has condesended to show me that the promises made to me the morning that I was sealed to the Prophet of God will not fail &I would not have the chain broken for I have had a view of the principle of eternal salvation &the perfect union which this sealing power will bring to the human family & with the help of our Heavenly Father I am determined to so live that I can claim those promises.
I was stunned to find this passage, written in a most intimate, genuine communication to her children. Based the way Helen's life story is used to impugn Joseph Smith, I did not expect to find an expression of such deep and abiding faith in Joseph Smith.
I frequent the exmormon interwebs. There, Joseph Smith is routinely described as a pedophile or as having sex with "children". Sometimes the tone is softer, "child brides" and so forth. That language is primarily about Helen Kimball. (Joseph may have also been sealed to Nancy Winchester when Nancy was 14 or 15, but literally nothing is known about that sealing; not even the exact date, as far as I can tell).
Helen's young age presents challenges for modern saints looking back on that event, and raises challenging que... keep reading on reddit ➡
One year, a man at the fair was giving helicopter rides for 50 dollars. Having never been in a helicopter in all his years, Bill begged Helen to let them ride. She refused, quipping "50 bucks is 50 bucks."
The following year, the man was there again, and again Bill begged for a ride. Again Helen turned it down, saying "50 bucks is 50 bucks."
The third year the same exact conversation happened, except this time the pilot overheard. He offered the couple a free ride, but with one condition. They must not make a sound while in the air, or they would have to pay the 50 dollars. Bill and Helen agreed and climbed aboard.
As soon as they left the ground, the pilot began performing hair raising maneuvers in the air, but try as he might, he could not get the couple to utter a sound. When they finally touched down, the pilot turned to Bill and exclaimed, "that was an amazing show of self control, you have earned your free ride".
Bill replied, "well, I nearly said something when Helen fell out, but 50 bucks is 50 bucks."