I did not like her less than "terrestrial" response to the knowledge of Joseph being sealed to other women. She KNEW him better than any other mortal. She went through so much and understood his character as fully as one can understand another. She saw his greatness and knew it must have been of God - or he SIMPLY.....WOULD....NOT.....HAVE....DONE.....IT. Having seen the jaws of hell gaped open as all witnesses of the glory of the Lord have had done to them before witnessing the majesty of God's glory, Joseph knew well that he did NOT want to give up what he saw and described in Section 76. It was not for sex - it was to fulfill a commandment. Simple - done, argument over. Joseph was human - but was a brilliant man - and a very refined man. Only a real neanderthalic male would contrive something (independent of what we know of Abraham - and most likely Jesus) such as polygamy, just to put their own life (socially and spiritually) in danger just to have an excuse to have sexual relations with some women other than his wife - who I believe was quite capable of producing that for him. Even a married (yet deprived male) of moderate spiritual stature would remain celibate in order to obtain the promised blessings of keeping the 7th commandment. I watched my dad go down that road with my mother - and swore later on in the dating scenario that I would marry a blonde because they "have more fun" - apparently.... That was random - and purely anecdotal. I have no personal data to back it...... but had to throw it in there while I was on this delicate subject.....
So I mock all the arguments that exist - other than the one that he was COMMANDED to do so - and Joseph complied as any obedient servant would do. Now, having raged about my issues with Emma, it appears Brigham may have been called out on his comment about Joseph's statement that he "would go to hell and back" in order to rescue Emma from her decisions (not to support him as well as she otherwise might have). Remember, that after he had crossed the Mississippi River the night before he turned himself in and Emma sent a messenger after him begging him to come back and to NOT flee to the Rocky Mountains to preserve his life, Emma was one of the most vocal of the group calling him back and he made a statement basically that if his friends had no value for his life, then he did not, as well. Basically, he knew that returning to Nauvoo was suicide - but he realized that if his closest peeps felt that he were a coward or that they wanted him to be the fall guy so that they could get on with their lives to live in relative peace, even with Joseph out of the picture, then he might as well go as the lamb to the slaughter, as most close associates had turned on him (including Emma). The only ones that could be trusted were sent thru an Abrahamic test, and if passed, were sent abroad on missions to save themselves from what was coming so that there would be some leadership left to carry on once Joseph was gone.
So, as you can tell, I have some beefs with Emma - and it would appear that (IMHO) Joseph would and did have to go to hell and back to redeem his wife. I lament regularly on where we would be had Joseph made it to the Rocky Mountains and did live to be 85 years old and Zion was redeemed under different circumstances. Folks, there are trillions of alternate realities out there, each based on our individual use of agency. I fantasize about and preach to the "best case" scenarios - but realize I live in a fallen world and am myself a wretched and fallen individual in need of the Atonement myself. So I do not judge Emma - as a mere mortal - but I think things might have been so radically different had people not acted in weakness at a critical time in the life of one of the greatest mortals to walk the face of this earth - whom I love dearly.
Here is the video my wife sent me as a sweet prize for having endured my rant:
If you have lost a cherished infant, this should bring peace to your soul and maybe a tear to your eye.