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Why Do Many Restorationist Sects Of The Lds Church Disbelieve Js Ever Practiced Polygamy?

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This is actually the same thing that someone else linked to earlier, so share with you my concerns about how this site get's around Jacob's words about polygamy in the BOM, because that's what the OP is actually about-not whether or not JS ever had more than one wife, but why people who accept the BOM as the word of God claim that polygamy is never condoned by Him.

I've read in the link (webbles helped me to find it) how there is an alternate interpretation of Jacob's words on polygamy, which is interesting. It does make a loophole for condemning polygamy straight across the board.

My question with the alternate interpretation though is how it deals with the 12 tribes of Israel. The alternate interpretation kind of ignores OT precident-that God had already used polygamy to raise seed unto Himself with Jacob/Israel and the 12 tribes of Israel.

The different reading of Jacob in the BOM makes me wonder how you handle that part of the Old Testament. Your interpretation solves one problem (plural marriage in the BOM) but it creates a new one because it creates a contradiction between what God said in the BOM (that plural marriage could never righteously be practiced by God's people) and what He actually did in the Old Testament when plural marriage was the means which led to the very existence of God's chosen people.

I know that in D&C, Abraham was commanded to take Hagar as a wife (not clear on whether that would have been before or after Sarah made the suggestion), but there is nothing in the OT itself to suggest that it was God's idea (or a particularly good or useful idea.)

Genesis portrays a barran and aging Sarah, slow to believe God would fulfil His promise, telling her husband (in an age where slaves were considered their owner's property) "The Lord has restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go into my handmaid; it may be that I may obtain children by her" (Gen. 16:2.)

This isn't portrayed as an act of faith, no divine command is mentioned, Abraham seems to just go along with the idea, is latter told to send the bondwoman and her son away, and we've inherited the whole Arab/Israeli thing as a result (which seems to be hinted at in the prophetic words "he shall be a wild *** of a man, whose hand shall be against every man.")

Also, Sarah's handmaid (who Sarah obviously viewed as a serogate mother, acting on her behalf) seems to be the only other wife Abraham had (at Sarah's request) while Sarah was alive.

Isaac appears to have had only one wife, and Jacob only wanted one (Rachel.)

He was tricked into marrying her sister (Leah), and ended up with the girl's handmaids in much the same way Abraham ended up with an extra wife.

The Patriarchs lived in a polygamous society that practiced slavery, but (from the Genesis acount itself), it doesn't seem to have been a life style commanded by God (or particularly favored by them.)

Latter on, (when the Law was codified under Moses) a man was allowed to have more than one wife, but the OT never commanded it.

And consider what Christ said concerning divorce.

"For your hardness of heart, he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of the creation, 'God made them male and female. For this cause will a man leave his father and mother, and will join to his wife, and the two will become one flesh,' so that they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (Mark 10:5-8.)

Why would it be adultery to divorce a wife and take another, but perfectly ok to have more than one?

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It was only as a teenager that I saw that stance towards her begin to soften and it has continued as time went on.

I think it was greatly helped when Gracia Jones, a descendant of the Smiths, joined the Church and started writing about her great-great-? There were several Ensign articles IIRC. Then there was a flurry of romance novels about Joseph and Emma disguised as historical noves....shudder.

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As a child growing up I still remember a certain animosity in the church for Emma because she had chosen to stay in Nauvoo. From what I have read, it seemed to be a constant irritation to Brigham.

And yet Brigham entrusted to Emma the care of Joseph's mother who was too ill to travel at the time. Their relationship I believe was very complicated. Toward the end Emma just had been through too much with plural marriage and Joseph's many imprisonments and then finally his death. It makes me wonder what would have happened had Joseph not been killed. By this time it seems Emma was already becoming disaffected. I'm not judging her. I can't imagine how hard it must have been with everyone demanding Joseph's attention and then on top of that additional wives.

I do think she fulfilled the Lord's command to be a support to Joseph. She never lost her charity toward others as witnessed in her taking in the mistress and baby of her second husband. She was a remarkable woman and Brigham was a remarkable man and Joseph was caught between these two strong-willed people he loved.

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I know that in D&C, Abraham was commanded to take Hagar as a wife (not clear on whether that would have been before or after Sarah made the suggestion), but there is nothing in the OT itself to suggest that it was God's idea (or a particularly good or useful idea.)

Genesis portrays a barran and aging Sarah, slow to believe God would fulfil His promise, telling her husband (in an age where slaves were considered their owner's property) "The Lord has restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go into my handmaid; it may be that I may obtain children by her" (Gen. 16:2.)

This isn't portrayed as an act of faith, no divine command is mentioned, Abraham seems to just go along with the idea, is latter told to send the bondwoman and her son away, and we've inherited the whole Arab/Israeli thing as a result (which seems to be hinted at in the prophetic words "he shall be a wild *** of a man, whose hand shall be against every man.")

Also, Sarah's handmaid (who Sarah obviously viewed as a serogate mother, acting on her behalf) seems to be the only other wife Abraham had (at Sarah's request) while Sarah was alive.

Isaac appears to have had only one wife, and Jacob only wanted one (Rachel.)

He was tricked into marrying her sister (Leah), and ended up with the girl's handmaids in much the same way Abraham ended up with an extra wife.

The Patriarchs lived in a polygamous society that practiced slavery, but (from the Genesis acount itself), it doesn't seem to have been a life style commanded by God (or particularly favored by them.)

Latter on, (when the Law was codified under Moses) a man was allowed to have more than one wife, but the OT never commanded it.

And consider what Christ said concerning divorce.

"For your hardness of heart, he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of the creation, 'God made them male and female. For this cause will a man leave his father and mother, and will join to his wife, and the two will become one flesh,' so that they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (Mark 10:5-8.)

Why would it be adultery to divorce a wife and take another, but perfectly ok to have more than one?

Excellent observations! As I have stated on this board before, it is just as likely that plural marriage was a cultural thing that God turned a blind eye to (for a time) rather than being a "higher law".

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I think it was greatly helped when Gracia Jones, a descendant of the Smiths, joined the Church and started writing about her great-great-? There were several Ensign articles IIRC. Then there was a flurry of romance novels about Joseph and Emma disguised as historical noves....shudder.

Calmoriah.......you make me laugh :air_kiss: Don't you just love that sacarin sweet kind of "literature". It reminds me of a Mormon lady's blog I was reading one time where she said she thought there was much more truth about Joseph Smith in The Work and the Glory than in that bad old book Rough Stone Rolling. RSR made her feel........"uncomfortable" and she felt sure there were things in it that just weren't true.............

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Why would it be adultery to divorce a wife and take another, but perfectly ok to have more than one?

The LDS answer to that question is that God only rarely commands polygamy and that for the rest of the time, having more than one wife IS adultery.

And i agree that polygamy with Israel in the OT wasn't commanded (at least we have no record that it was), but it wasn't condemned either. In fact, it was a huge blessing for the world. At the very least, we can look at God's reaction to it as being neutral to slightly in favor.

Why would God decree death for those committing adultery under the law of moses, and yet allow the prophet who brought the law to the people to have more than one wife, IF having more than one wife was equal to adultery?

I think we also have to point out that 2 Sam. 12 says that the Lord gave David some of his wives. Again, that seems to at least imply that God was more than just turning a blind eye to the practice. It says right there that God sanctioned David's polygamy.

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The LDS answer to that question is that God only rarely commands polygamy and that for the rest of the time, having more than one wife IS adultery.

And i agree that polygamy with Israel in the OT wasn't commanded (at least we have no record that it was), but it wasn't condemned either. In fact, it was a huge blessing for the world. At the very least, we can look at God's reaction to it as being neutral to slightly in favor.

Why would God decree death for those committing adultery under the law of moses, and yet allow the prophet who brought the law to the people to have more than one wife, IF having more than one wife was equal to adultery?

I think we also have to point out that 2 Sam. 12 says that the Lord gave David some of his wives. Again, that seems to at least imply that God was more than just turning a blind eye to the practice. It says right there that God sanctioned David's polygamy.

"Among the unacknowledged sins which God tolerated because of the hardness of Israel's heart was polygamy, which encouraged licentiousness and the tendency to sensual excesses, and to which but a weak barrier had been presented by the warning that had been given for the Israelitish kings against taking many wives (Deut. 17:17), opposed as such a warning was to the notion so prevalent in the East both in ancient and modern times, that a well-filled harem is essential to the splendour of a princely court.

The custom to which this notion gave rise opened a dangerous precipice in David's way, and led to a most grievous fall, that can only be explained, as O. v. Gerlach has said, from the intoxication consequent upon undisturbed prosperity and power, which grew with every year of his reign.

And occasioned a long series of most severe humiliations and divine chastisements that marred the splendour of his reign, notwithstanding the fact that the great sin was followed by deep and sincere repentance." (From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament)

Speaking of future kings of Israel:

Deuteronomy 17: 17

17Neither shall he multiply awives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly bmultiply to himself silver and gold.

The Lord "gave" David his wives in the sense that he permitted him to take them not neccessarily that he approved of the practice.

Think in terms of Mormon history where Joseph was given permission to give the 116 pages of Bof M manuscript to Martin Harris and you'll have a good analogy.

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Why would God decree death for those committing adultery under the law of moses, and yet allow the prophet who brought the law to the people to have more than one wife, IF having more than one wife was equal to adultery

Why would God decree death for those committing adultery under the law of Moses, and then make it easy for a man to divorce a wife and marry another--if divorcing a (faithful) wife, and marrying another is adultery?

Jesus agreed that that was allowed under the law of Moses.

He said it was adultery.

And He said that it was "because of your hardness of heart that Moses wrote you that precept."

As to Moses Himself, He was a fugative who never expected to return to Egypt when he met and married Zippora.

From that time foreward, she appears to be the only wife he had until he returnned to Egypt, delivered his people (and a mixed multitude), and is then criticised for having an Ethiopian wife.

He probably married this Ethiopian when he was a prince of Egypt (before he ever met Zippora), and never expected to see her again when he fled the country under a death sentence (and I believe there is a Jewish tradition to that effect.)

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<br />Why would God decree death for those committing adultery under the law of Moses, and then make it easy for a man to divorce a wife and marry another--if divorcing a (faithful) wife, and marrying another is adultery?<br /><br />Jesus agreed that that was allowed under the law of Moses.<br /><br />He said it was adultery.<br /><br />And He said that it was "because of your hardness of heart that Moses wrote you that precept." <br /><br />As to Moses Himself, He was a fugative who never expected to return to Egypt when he met and married Zippora.<br /><br />From that time foreward, she appears to be the only wife he had until he returnned to Egypt, delivered his people (and a mixed multitude), and is then criticised for having an Ethiopian wife.<br /><br />He probably married this Ethiopian when he was a prince of Egypt (before he ever met Zippora), and never expected to see her again when he fled the country under a death sentence (and I believe there is a Jewish tradition to that effect.)<br />
<br /><br />

There are a number of Jewish traditions regarding this situation with Moses and the Ethiopian woman. Some suggest it may Have been Zippora herself that is being referenced here because the ethiopians of that time, considered decendants of Cush had settled along tha Arabian Peninsula which I think would have included the location of the Midianites.None of the traditions is well supported.Here is what I had assumed when I first read the scripture and what seems a distinct possibility to me:

Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

All the rebellions of the people hitherto had arisen from dissatisfaction with the privations of the desert march, and had been directed against Jehovah rather than against Moses. And if, in the case of the last one, at Kibroth-hattaavah, even Moses was about to lose heart under the heavy burden of his office; the faithful covenant God had given the whole nation a practical proof, in the manner in which He provided him support in the seventy elders, that He had not only laid the burden of the whole nation upon His servant Moses, but had also communicated to him the power of His Spirit, which was requisite to enable him to carry this burden. Thus not only was his heart filled with new courage when about to despair, but his official position in relation to all the Israelites was greatly exalted. This elevation of Moses excited envy on the part of his brother and sister, whom God had also richly endowed and placed so high, that Miriam was distinguished as a prophetess above all the women of Israel, whilst Aaron had been raised by his investiture with the high-priesthood into the spiritual head of the whole nation. But the pride of the natural heart was not satisfied with this. They would dispute with their brother Moses the pre-eminence of his special calling and his exclusive position, which they might possibly regard themselves as entitled to contest with him not only as his brother and sister, but also as the nearest supporters of his vocation. Miriam was the instigator of the open rebellion, as we may see both from the fact that her name stands before that of Aaron, and also from the use of the feminine תּדבּר. Aaron followed her, being no more able to resist the suggestions of his sister, than he had formerly been to resist the desire of the people for a golden idol.

Miriam found an occasion for the manifestation of her discontent in the Cushite wife whom Moses had taken. This wife cannot have been Zipporah the Midianite: for even though Miriam might possibly have called her a Cushite, whether because the Cushite tribes dwelt in Arabia, or in a contemptuous sense as a Moor or Hamite, the author would certainly not have confirmed this at all events inaccurate, if not contemptuous epithet, by adding, "for he had taken a Cushite wife" to say nothing of the improbability of Miriam having made the marriage which her brother had contracted when he was a fugitive in a foreign land, long before he was called by God, the occasion of reproach so many years afterwards. It would be quite different if, a short time before, probably after the death of Zipporah, he had contracted a second marriage with a Cushite woman, who either sprang from the Cushites dwelling in Arabia, or from the foreigners who had come out of Egypt along with the Israelites.

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Why would God decree death for those committing adultery under the law of Moses, and then make it easy for a man to divorce a wife and marry another--if divorcing a (faithful) wife, and marrying another is adultery?

I would assume it's because the law of moses was a different law than the one Jesus was teaching.

Jesus agreed that that was allowed under the law of Moses.

He said it was adultery.

And He said that it was "because of your hardness of heart that Moses wrote you that precept."

As to Moses Himself, He was a fugative who never expected to return to Egypt when he met and married Zippora.

From that time foreward, she appears to be the only wife he had until he returnned to Egypt, delivered his people (and a mixed multitude), and is then criticised for having an Ethiopian wife.

He probably married this Ethiopian when he was a prince of Egypt (before he ever met Zippora), and never expected to see her again when he fled the country under a death sentence (and I believe there is a Jewish tradition to that effect.)

I don't know that there is evidence to support this as i've always read that the marriage to the Ethiopian came after he was made a prophet and traveling with the 12 tribes. I admit though that i have no studied it extensively.

Regardless though, my only point is that the bible does have examples of men of God-prophets-who had more than one wife and who were never condemned by Him for it (and as with the example in Sam. were even given some of the wives by God Himself, if we can believe that verse to be accurate).

I bring this up, not to prove the plural marriage ever came from God but to answer your post where you claimed that the bible is neutral on the issue. I don't believe the evidence supports that assertion.

I agree it doesn't prove anything, i just don't believe it's accurate to say that there isn't evidence in favor of the practice in the Old Testament.

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The Lord "gave" David his wives in the sense that he permitted him to take them not neccessarily that he approved of the practice.

Think in terms of Mormon history where Joseph was given permission to give the 116 pages of Bof M manuscript to Martin Harris and you'll have a good analogy.

First, Sam. doesn't say that God gave all of david's wives to him, but speaks specifically about giving him the wives of Saul. There is still room in that verse for David to be reprimanded for taking wives which were not approved of by God.

Second, i don't believe the verses in question support the idea that God permitted but did not approve of David taking the women. Is there evidence to support the assertion?

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First, Sam. doesn't say that God gave all of david's wives to him, but speaks specifically about giving him the wives of Saul. There is still room in that verse for David to be reprimanded for taking wives which were not approved of by God.

Second, i don't believe the verses in question support the idea that God permitted but did not approve of David taking the women. Is there evidence to support the assertion?

I think the point has already been made especially with the supportive commandment from Deuteronomy. Perhaps I'm not understanding your question?

What I don't see anywhere in the Biblical scriptures is God ENCOURAGING in a positive way the taking of more than one wife. The verses in II Samuel are ambiguous at best, depending on how one WANTS to read them. The verse in Deuteronomy is definitely against the taking of plural wives. Is II Samuel all you've got to attempt to show that Heavenly Father encourages and approves of plural marriage?

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I think the point has already been made especially with the supportive commandment from Deuteronomy. Perhaps I'm not understanding your question?

What I don't see anywhere in the Biblical scriptures is God ENCOURAGING in a positive way the taking of more than one wife. The verses in II Samuel are ambiguous at best, depending on how one WANTS to read them. The verse in Deuteronomy is definitely against the taking of plural wives. Is II Samuel all you've got to attempt to show that Heavenly Father encourages and approves of plural marriage?

What about Levirate (sp?)) marriage which God actually commands? How is that not God encouraging in a positive way the taking of more than one wife?

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What about Levirate (sp?)) marriage which God actually commands? How is that not God encouraging in a positive way the taking of more than one wife?

That raises another interesting question.

Many of the early, first century Christians were of Jewish birth.

Those who kept the Law of Moses by marrying the widow of a deceased brother would have been excluded from serving as bishop or deacon (if they already had a wife.)

Bishops and deacons were to be examples to the flock, and rhey were to be the husbands of one wife.

If God aproves of polygamy, why would a Jewish believer be excluded from Church leadership for following the Jewish Law in regard to Levirate marriage?

By your own logic, it would seem the New Testament Apostles went out of their way to discourage polygamy.

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What about Levirate (sp?)) marriage which God actually commands? How is that not God encouraging in a positive way the taking of more than one wife?

Hi Calmoriah, Nice to "see" you today.

Could you CFR that please. I don't recall any scriptures requiring Levites to have more than one wife but I've been wrong before........:pirate:

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Hi Calmoriah, Nice to "see" you today.

Could you CFR that please. I don't recall any scriptures requiring Levites to have more than one wife but I've been wrong before........:pirate:

Levirate Marriage reffers to the practice of marrying the wife of a diseased brother who died without having any children (in order to "raise up seed unto thy brother.")

(Kinda like Sarah wanting a child through her handmaid.)

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I think the point has already been made especially with the supportive commandment from Deuteronomy. Perhaps I'm not understanding your question?

What I don't see anywhere in the Biblical scriptures is God ENCOURAGING in a positive way the taking of more than one wife. The verses in II Samuel are ambiguous at best, depending on how one WANTS to read them. The verse in Deuteronomy is definitely against the taking of plural wives. Is II Samuel all you've got to attempt to show that Heavenly Father encourages and approves of plural marriage?

I agree that a lot has to do how one wants to read the scriptures. Neither you nor I are immune to that. I think that on the surface it's easy to believe that the poing has been made, but what i'm saying is that i don't believe what you have shared is the nail in the coffin that you have assumed it to be.

In that vein, i don't believe that the Duet. verse is "definitely against plural marriage" as you have claimed, but rather, against a man taking wives 'to himself' or for his own reasons without approval from God.

We see king Solomon falling into the trap of taking wives that God did not approve of and how these wives caused his heart to turn away from God because of the foreign wives' beliefs. We see this with king David, who was given, by God, saul's wives but who sinned by taking Bathsheba, a wife he had no right to take.

I know that, again, it might seem like i'm just reading these verses as i am because of my beliefs but i do think that if we examine Deut. 17:17 in full, and not just focus on the part about polygamy, that the rest of the verse supports my interpretation better than the one you have shared.

If we look at what the verse says about being rich in gold and silver and try to understand what is meant there, i think it gives us important clues as to what is meant by the first part of the verse as well.

It seems to me that we know that God is not against someone having gold and silver or being wealthy (Abraham, after all, was a very wealthy man and we have examples of other righteous wealthy men in scriptures as well). If God is not telling us that it's a sin to have gold and silver, then we have to try to understand what He is telling us.

To me, that part of the verse, when studied a bit deepr, seems to teach that God is against a man gaining gold and silver 'to himself' or, in other words, gaining gold and silver for his own selfish reasons without God's will in mind.

If that's true and the 'to himself' part of the verse is essential in understanding it and applying it correctly, then likewise, we can understand that the 'to himself 'part in the words about pluraly marriage are also the essential part of that commandment.

This would lead us to know that it's not muliplying wives that is the sin, but rather, muliplying them 'to ourselves', or for selfish reasons, that is condemned. Just as we can understand that it's not multiplying gold and silver that God condemns, but doing it 'to ourselves' or for selfish reasons as well.

Certainly i am no bible scholar and there is room for you or others to disagree with me here. My only objective in pursuing this line of thought with inquiringmind (and you, who also became invovled in the conversation) was to show that there is legitimate room in the bible to see polygamy as being supported by God, and that this would be problematic for any interpretation of Jacob in the BOM which would attempt to claim that God's righteous people could never practice polygamy.

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That raises another interesting question.

Many of the early, first century Christians were of Jewish birth.

Those who kept the Law of Moses by marrying the widow of a deceased brother would have been excluded from serving as bishop or deacon (if they already had a wife.)

Bishops and deacons were to be examples to the flock, and rhey were to be the husbands of one wife.

If God aproves of polygamy, why would a Jewish believer be excluded from Church leadership for following the Jewish Law in regard to Levirate marriage?

By your own logic, it would seem the New Testament Apostles went out of their way to discourage polygamy.

I can not remember where i heard it, but i did read somewhere that the verses in the NT which state that a bishop must be the husband of one wife do not mean that he can't be a polygamist but that he can't be single-that he must be married.

Does anyone else remembering hearing this or know where the idea comes from??

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<br />Levirate Marriage reffers to the practice of marrying the wife of a diseased brother who died without having any children (in order to "raise up seed unto thy brother.")<br /><br />(Kinda like Sarah wanting a child through her handmaid.)<br />
<br /><br /><br />

O.K., O.K. I gotcha now.

I remember that.

I think at least a part of "The Law" of Moses was based in customs and traditions of the tribes peoples of the near east and grew out of the need to have a posterity recognized in Israel and a land inheritance in Israel as well. Thus the "command" to preserve the lineage of one's brother should he die without offspring. It was also to keep the wife from having to marry outside the "clan".

I still see this as more of a permitted custom than an encouragement to multiple wives, especially in view of the fulfillment of the "Law" and of the Gospel being taken to the gentiles, the "inheritance" becomes one of sharing in salvation through Christ rather than a specific land inheritance in Israel.

Copied from Wikipedia:

JudaismMain article: Yibbum

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. There is another provision known as halizah (Deuteronomy 25:9-10), which explains that if a man refuses to carry out this 'duty' the woman must spit in his face, take one of his shoes, and the others in the town must always call him 'the one without a shoe'. While this provision implies that a brother may opt out of Levirate marriage, there is no provision in the Books of Moses for the widow to do so.

Later authorities in Jewish law (Talmudic period) strongly discouraged yibbum in favor of haliza.[citation needed] Because there is a general prohibition on a man marrying his brother's wife, (Leviticus 18:16) anytime that a yibbum is not required (for example the deceased had a child) it is forbidden.

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I agree that a lot has to do how one wants to read the scriptures. Neither you nor I are immune to that. I think that on the surface it's easy to believe that the poing has been made, but what i'm saying is that i don't believe what you have shared is the nail in the coffin that you have assumed it to be.

In that vein, i don't believe that the Duet. verse is "definitely against plural marriage" as you have claimed, but rather, against a man taking wives 'to himself' or for his own reasons without approval from God.

Yeah, we may just have to agree to disagree on this one. I see no qualifier in the Deut. scripture specifying having or not having God's approval. I read it as "multiple wives" itself as being the prohibition.

This concept of "approval" or "God sanctioned" is something that grows directly out of LDS doctrine and culture and so obviously one would feel the need to defend it. I used too as well.

We see king Solomon falling into the trap of taking wives that God did not approve of and how these wives caused his heart to turn away from God because of the foreign wives' beliefs. We see this with king David, who was given, by God, saul's wives but who sinned by taking Bathsheba, a wife he had no right to take.

I know that, again, it might seem like i'm just reading these verses as i am because of my beliefs but i do think that if we examine Deut. 17:17 in full, and not just focus on the part about polygamy, that the rest of the verse supports my interpretation better than the one you have shared.

If we look at what the verse says about being rich in gold and silver and try to understand what is meant there, i think it gives us important clues as to what is meant by the first part of the verse as well.

It seems to me that we know that God is not against someone having gold and silver or being wealthy (Abraham, after all, was a very wealthy man and we have examples of other righteous wealthy men in scriptures as well). If God is not telling us that it's a sin to have gold and silver, then we have to try to understand what He is telling us.

To me, that part of the verse, when studied a bit deepr, seems to teach that God is against a man gaining gold and silver 'to himself' or, in other words, gaining gold and silver for his own selfish reasons without God's will in mind.

If that's true and the 'to himself' part of the verse is essential in understanding it and applying it correctly, then likewise, we can understand that the 'to himself 'part in the words about pluraly marriage are also the essential part of that commandment.

This would lead us to know that it's not muliplying wives that is the sin, but rather, muliplying them 'to ourselves', or for selfish reasons, that is condemned. Just as we can understand that it's not multiplying gold and silver that God condemns, but doing it 'to ourselves' or for selfish reasons as well.

Certainly i am no bible scholar and there is room for you or others to disagree with me here. My only objective in pursuing this line of thought with inquiringmind (and you, who also became invovled in the conversation) was to show that there is legitimate room in the bible to see polygamy as being supported by God, and that this would be problematic for any interpretation of Jacob in the BOM which would attempt to claim that God's righteous people could never practice polygamy.

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What I don't see anywhere in the Biblical scriptures is God ENCOURAGING in a positive way the taking of more than one wife.

That is an example of His doing so, and there can be no doubt of it: Nathan, God's prophet, said it was so, and it was.

I hadn't read the rest of the topic, so this has already been noted. That said, "Palerider" responded, but did not refute the claim made, i.e., that there was no provision for a married man to avoid the responsibility of marrying his sister-in-law, except by being disgraced from that time forward.

However, we have the specific of God's commanding men to take additional wives in certain circumstances. When a married man's married brother died without issue, the living brother was commanded to marry his widowed sister-in-law and become one flesh with her for the purpose of raising seed unto his brother. The child born of this union was the dead brother's (although that's not how it worked with either Judah prior to the Mosaic Law; or for Mahlon's widow, Ruth, Boaz, her new husband by this law, and their son, Obed), but any other children were attributed to the new husband.

The Law of the Levirate Marriage predates, as I noted above, the Law of Moses, and could be construed to apply to any believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There were, in the Mosaic version, no exceptions for a previously married man, and anyone who refused to observe it when it applied was considered, under the law, to be disgraced (according to Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible, for Ruth 4:7).

I have studied the Levirate Marriage for several years. There was never and exception for any man who was previously married. He was commanded to take the widow as an additional wife no matter whether he or his other wife/wives wanted to or not.

Lehi

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That is an example of His doing so, and there can be no doubt of it: Nathan, God's prophet, said it was so, and it was.

I hadn't read the rest of the topic, so this has already been noted. That said, "Palerider" responded, but did not refute the claim made, i.e., that there was no provision for a married man to avoid the responsibility of marrying his sister-in-law, except by being disgraced from that time forward.

However, we have the specific of God's commanding men to take additional wives in certain circumstances. When a married man's married brother died without issue, the living brother was commanded to marry his widowed sister-in-law and become one flesh with her for the purpose of raising seed unto his brother. The child born of this union was the dead brother's (although that's not how it worked with either Judah prior to the Mosaic Law; or for Mahlon's widow, Ruth, Boaz, her new husband by this law, and their son, Obed), but any other children were attributed to the new husband.

The Law of the Levirate Marriage predates, as I noted above, the Law of Moses, and could be construed to apply to any believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There were, in the Mosaic version, no exceptions for a previously married man, and anyone who refused to observe it when it applied was considered, under the law, to be disgraced (according to Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible, for Ruth 4:7).

I have studied the Levirate Marriage for several years. There was never and exception for any man who was previously married. He was commanded to take the widow as an additional wife no matter whether he or his other wife/wives wanted to or not.

Lehi

I believe I stand corrected in the sense that to cover a specific problem of a deceased man (family member) without issue the brother is "commanded" to take the widowed sister-in-law in order to establish an inheritance for the dead brother's name in Israel.

Hardly a reason to generalize the practice across the board as a "Higher Law" necessary to salvation and to draw the conclusion that it signifies God's approval. Especially in the light of the scripture (previously noted) prohibiting the practice.

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Many of the early, first century Christians were of Jewish birth.

Those who kept the Law of Moses by marrying the widow of a deceased brother would have been excluded from serving as bishop or deacon (if they already had a wife.)

Bishops and deacons were to be examples to the flock, and rhey were to be the husbands of one wife.

If God aproves of polygamy, why would a Jewish believer be excluded from Church leadership for following the Jewish Law in regard to Levirate marriage?

By your own logic, it would seem the New Testament Apostles went out of their way to discourage polygamy.

Not so.

First, the Timothy passages are not as explicit as many think in denying men who have multiple wives being able to hold the offices of Bishop (Stake President) and Deacon.

Greek typically does not have an indefinite article (a/an), but those writing the New Testament were not Hellens, they were Jews, and they were writing to a largely Jewish audience. The language of the new Testament is not "Greek", per se, but Hebrew/Aramaic thought written in Greek (Koiné). According to Conybeare and Stock, Hebrew (which did not ordinarily have an indefinite article, either) and Hebrew-in-Greek sometimes used the cardinal number "one" as if it were an indefinite article. It happened in the Old Testament, and it happened elsewhere in the New Testament (i.e., besides 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; 5:9). I have an article I wrote on the subject some while back if you'd like to see it, but it's not easily located, so you'd please allow me time to find it.

If this was the case when Paul wrote Timothy, he was not saying that a man had to be a monogynist to be a Stake President, or a Deacon (the "highest" and "lowest" offices widely available to most men, so, presumably all Priesthood holders would be included in this spectrum, although Paul does not present it in this manner), he was saying only that a man must be married to hold these offices. It is a very different thing to say "he must be the husband of one woman" and "he must be the husband of a woman". /the first specifies the number of wives, the second the matrimonial state.

If Paul had wanted to propound that plural marriage was not in the plan of God in the I, he could easily have said so in either or both of the Timothy passages, but, tellingly, he did not. He could have said, in 1 Cor 5, when he chastised the Corinthians about their letting a man who had committed fornication with his father's wife (not his mother, btw) continue in fellowship, that the father was wrong, too, in having (at least) two wives. but he did not. He could have said it in any number of other places in his writings, but he did not. We have only these ambiguous statements on the matter. Concluding anything with nothing more to go on than what Paul wrote in 1 Timothy and in 1 Corinthians is not justified.

Nothing anywhere in the Bible, New or Old Testaments, condemns Plural Marriage.

There are specific regulations in the Law of Moses about dealing with multiple wives. It would have been far easier for God to have to forbidden them, but He did not. He was not reluctant to castigate those who broke other taboos that were culturally acceptable in the ancient Middle East. Ignoring this one makes it much easier to see that He was not merely winking at a practice He always considered abominable, but that He approved of it, in many, albeit not all, situations.

Lehi

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Hardly a reason to generalize the practice across the board as a "Higher Law" necessary to salvation and to draw the conclusion that it signifies God's approval. Especially in the light of the scripture (previously noted) prohibiting the practice.

LDS agree with the bolded part of your statement. This is why the church excommunicates polygamists now and why we do not teach that a man must be a polygamist to be saved.

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He could have said, in 1 Cor 5, when he chastised the Corinthians about their letting a man who had committed fornication with his father's wife (not his mother, btw) continue in fellowship, that the father was wrong, too, in having (at least) two wives

How do you come to the conclussion that the father of an adult son (with a wife who was not said son's mother) had more than one living wife?

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