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Dear Gramps,

I remember to have heard the statement that “A man may be sealed to more than one woman but a woman may be sealed to only one man.” Since the law of polygamy is no longer practiced today, what does this statement mean? For example, if a man marries a woman in the Mormon temple and they are sealed for time and eternity, then were his wife to pass away, and he find a new woman to marry, could he then go to the temple and be sealed to a second woman? And would both wives then be sealed to him in the eternities?





Dear Paul,

One of the fundamental doctrines of the Church is to be obedient to the laws of the land (See Articles of Faith 12; D&C 58:21; D&C 134:1). As you know, when polygamy was instituted by the Prophet Joseph Smith, it was not against the laws of the land. However, as a movement against the Mormons by the United States Congress a law was passed banning polygamy. As soon as this law began to be contested in the courts the practice was curtailed, and when the anti-polygamy law was passed in 1890, a manifesto was issued by President Wilford Woodruff which declared the Church to be in compliance with the law.

The laws of the land are binding on those who live in the land. Performing vicarious work in the temple for those who have passed away in no way violates the laws of the land with respect to marriage. Thus it is possible for any successive wives of a man to be sealed to him after the previous wife has passed away.






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