Mormonism and polygamy/Marriages involving mothers, daughters and sisters

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Why was Joseph Smith sealed to mothers, daughters and sisters? Did this not violate a biblical prohibition?

Summary: A biblical prohibition under the Mosaic law prohibited polygamous marriages involving a mother and daughter: "Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time." Leviticus 18:18. The law also prohibited one from marrying two sisters: "And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you." Leviticus 20:14. Why, then, was Joseph Smith sealed to mothers, daughters and sisters? Did this not violate a biblical prohibition?

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Question: Does the Bible prohibit polygamous marriages involving a mother and daughter?

A biblical prohibition under the Mosaic law prohibited polygamous marriages involving a mother and daughter or two sisters

A biblical prohibition under the Mosaic law prohibited polygamous marriages involving a mother and daughter:

Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time. Leviticus 18:18

The law also prohibited one from marrying two sisters:

And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you. Leviticus 20:14


Question: Did Joseph Smith being sealed to mothers, daughters and sisters violate a biblical prohibition?

Joseph Smith did not restore the practice of plural marriage according to Mosaic law—plural marriage was practiced prior to the institution of the Mosaic law without these restrictions

Joseph Smith did not restore the practice of plural marriage according to Mosaic law—plural marriage was practiced prior to the institution of the Mosaic law without these restrictions. A well-known example is Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel: He was married to the two sisters Rachel and Leah.

For example, the Hebrew law of "levirate marriage" actually required a man to take his childless deceased brother's wife as his own wife in order to produce offspring for his brother

It should also be noted that the biblical practice of levirate marriage, as defined by Hebrew law, required a man to take his childless deceased brother's wife as his own wife in order to produce offspring for his brother. This was also a case of marrying two sisters.

Deuteronomy 25:5-6 states,

5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.
6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.

From the Wikipedia article "Levirate marriage":

Levirate marriage is a type of marriage in which the brother of a deceased man is obliged to marry his brother's widow, and the widow is obliged to marry her deceased husband's brother.....A levirate marriage (Hebrew: yibbum) is mandated by Deuteronomy 25:5-6 of the Hebrew Bible and obliges a brother to marry the widow of his childless deceased brother, with the firstborn child being treated as that of the deceased brother, (see also Genesis 38:8) which renders the child the heir of the deceased brother and not the genetic father. [1]


Notes

  1. Wikipedia, "Levirate marriage," off-site (Accessed May 18, 2014)