Celestial Wife Club is an epic story of one mans journey through the complicated world of polygamy, and the tumultuous first sixty year history of the Mormon church. It is the story of how polygamy affected the lives of Tom Johnson, his three childhood friends, and their families. How from his simple life as the son of a farmer in rural Ohio, Tom became a church "insider," and keeper of deep dark secrets, while serving as a trusted confidant to the first two most powerful leaders of the church.
After Tom was forced to follow the Doctrines of the church and begin taking plural wives, he became a member of an elite esoteric society of men called the "Celestial Wife Club." To avoid persecution by gentiles, members used code words and secret notebooks while surreptitiously marrying a multitude of wives under the belief that their status in the "celestial kingdom" would be improved based on the quantity of wives and children they accumulated in their present life.
The religious principles of the Mormons were never accepted, and angry mobs finally forced them to leave the eastern states. While continuing to build his harem of wives, Tom helped lead the way during the long and difficult migration west to the desolate Salt Lake Basin. He unwillingly joined the battle against the Native Ute Indians in order to establish the powerful Mormon theocracy in the land they called "Deseret," and Tom was later haunted by the memories of a traumatic confrontation with a renegade Indian named Whitehorse.
A family tragedy would later make Tom try to break free of his complicated lifestyle, but before a series anti-bigamy laws pressured the church into denouncing polygamy, Tom found himself on the "Most Wanted Polygamist List." As a target of polygamy hunters, he was forced to play a dangerous "cat and mouse" game while hiding in the "Mormon underground" to elude the federal marshals.
After reaching the most elite level among leaders of the church hierarchy by taking his fifteenth plural wife, Tom had since gone twelve years without considering another. Then unexpectedly, he fell in love and married again. With the exception of his childhood sweetheart, and the love affair with his first wife, there was always lust, but never really any love involved with his plural wives. Their sole purpose was to allow him to procreate.
Throughout his years of hardship, prosperity, and personal tragedies, Tom underwent a constant struggle with his decision to become a polygamist. He was plagued by the same question that haunted him for his entire adult life-How had he allowed a man who many considered to be a charlatan, to convince him to be unfaithful to his wife and family? Was he driven by greed to have the everlasting power of a god, or was it the Prophets threat of eternal damnation that made him accept the Doctrine of polygamy?
Celestial Wife Club is a work of fiction, but contains a wealth of historical information, fascinating details, and stories about real people. The story concludes with an unexpected reunion of Toms childhood friends that results in an explosive and shocking ending, revealing the last bizzare secrets in Toms clandestine life.