This is one of the reasons I find religion so nutty. You are doing mental backflips to try to rationalize your church's decisions when it should be a really simple thing to answer.<quoted text>
Most revelations that the prophets received were when they took the initiative to pray and ask God about these situations. Plural marriage was confusing to them because it was so socially unacceptable in the 1800's. So when reading and correcting translation in the Old Testament, when they ran across the scriptures that say prophets were allowed to have more than one wife and concubines, they wanted to know why this was acceptable. Especially in the case if David who had several and he had no sin other than when he lusted after a married woman. The others weren't an issue. And David's son Solomon had a ton of wives and the only sin came when he started taking on wives of different religions that started veering him astray from his own faith. So the answer came that this practice was acceptable and sometimes necessary to further the work of God but it had to be done in the strictest fashion so as to not get out of hand and become about lust. Joseph was told to start this practice again. He was reluctant for over a year because he knew it would end up being the reason he would have friends turn in him and kill him. He also knew Emma wouldn't be happy about it. Eventually he was told that he must begin it or be removed as prophet.
As far as blacks, Joseph had black friends. Some held the priesthood and participated in temple ordinances. In fact, Missouri hated Mormons so bad because of these black friends. They thought Joseph was an abolitionist and that's why they forcefully, by mobs and murder, drove the LDSaints out of Missouri and put an extermination order on Mormons. Up until about 10 years ago it was still legal to kill a Mormon on the spot. The government finally apologized for that.
So anyway, what I see, is that Brigham seemed pretty racist. Joseph did not seem to be. Brigham said several things that do not seem to be inspired as they do not correlate with the church stance. But we know prophets are not perfect, they just have a calling that holds different responsibilities. Not all they say is inspired. They still have their own opinions.
It doesn't matter if Smith had black friends. The LDS explicitly rejected blacks from the Priesthood - a position that ANY man could have if he was head of a household, correct? So it isn't like they were barred from this one, rare post. They were barred from a post held by virtually every adult male of white skin.
And it was that way for over a hundred years.
That is institutional racism to the max. And it took a secular movement (Civil Rights) to force them to change the rule.
It's complete bullsh*t to say they had to ask God first. God, if he was real, could have stopped that nonsense from day one.
I don't actually care about polygamy. But I find it funny that Smith was already doing the deed before God told him it was OK. He was a huckster after all. I kinda admire him for that, actually. What a card shark.