Eternal Marriage

View the entire chapter here: Eternal Marriage

The scriptures teach us of the plan of salvation, which includes what we did before life on this earth as well as what we will do after this life. Marriage plays a huge part in the outcome of the plan of salvation, specifically eternal marriage. I believe that marriage is ordained by God and that we have the opportunity to be married for eternity, not just in this life (see The Family: A Proclamation to the World).

Why is it important to know that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God?

This knowledge gives greater value to marriage. In the world today, there are many who treat marriage lightly. A lot of people think that marriage is something that we is meant to be temporary. Knowing that marriage is ordained of God, is an indication that God approves of it and therefore it should mean more to us. I believe that it is not only ordained by God, but that it was created by God for us. I believe that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were married by God. In Moses 4:18 we read, “And the man said: The woman thou gavest me, and commandest that she should remain with me, she gave me of the fruit of the tree and I did eat.” Under its creation, marriage is a commitment entered into by a man and a woman. Nothing else fits within the definition of marriage that God has given us. Marriage will only be ordained by God, when the participants are a man and a woman. Marriage will only have the opportunity to be eternal when it is between a man and a woman.

What is the Lord’s doctrine of marriage, and how does it differ from the views of the world?

To the Lord, marriage is much more than a piece of paper or contract that allows us privileges in this life. Marriage gives a man and a woman the opportunity to work together as one. In Matthew 19:4-9 we read the following:

4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

God said that a man and a woman should cleave together as one and should not be separated by any man. It is only because of the wickedness of man, that divorce became something that was done. The world would have us believe that marriage is not meant to last and that divorce is a completely normal outcome.

In the Lord’s doctrine, marriage is something that we can only do before our resurrection. In Matthew 22:30 we read, “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” After we are resurrected, we are either blessed for making this sacred covenant with God by the proper authority, or we are allowed the opportunity to be angels. God’s doctrine is that it is better to have the blessings of an eternal marriage because that is how we can have the ability to progress and be like God. In Doctrine and Covenants 131 we read the following:

1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
4 He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.

The world would have us put marriage off until all other things are in order, but this is giving it the least priority. Because our eternal progression depends upon us being married it should be on the top of our priority lists. We may not all be able to married physically during this life, but I believe that the opportunity will be made available to all who have the desire to be married and who make it their priority now.

Why must a marriage be performed by proper authority in the temple to be eternal?

Marriage is a covenant. The specific covenants we make with God, such as our baptismal covenants, must be done as he has commanded. The only way that this covenant of marriage can be eternal, is if it is performed by one who has the priesthood authority and power to seal on earth and in heaven. In Doctrine and Covenants 132:7 we read, “And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power …, are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.” This eternal covenant is only available to those who are worthy to enter the temple, because this is how the Lord commanded it to be. This covenant is the most sacred covenant that we can make, and the promises made by God in this ordinance are the greatest that we can receive from this life.

What are the blessings of an eternal marriage in this life and in eternity?

One of the blessings from eternal marriage in this life, is the companionship of God in your married life. Knowing that my Father in Heaven will be there to help us at all times, is a huge comfort to me. As with all other covenants and promises we make with God, he will bless us according to our faithfulness. If we our faithful to our covenants, our relationship with our spouse will be watched over and guided by God. It is a blessing as well to know that our marriages can last after this life and that death will not separate us.

The blessings of eternal marriage extend by definition into eternity. They are revealed to us in Doctrine and Covenants 132:19.

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, … and if ye abide in my covenant, … it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

These blessings include eternal life and exaltation, in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom of heaven. Those who righteously remain true to their eternal marriage covenants will have the opportunity to raise spirit children forever, and truly become like God.

How can an eternal perspective influence the way we feel about marriage and families?

Not only is this perspective a great source of strength and security, but it helps us to have the drive and determination to choose the right. I want to live a better life because I am the only one in control of whether or not I will be with my husband and children forever. In Doctrine and Covenants 130:2 we read, “And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.” Because the relationships formed in our family can last forever, I want to strive harder to make them as strong as they can be. When we see the bigger picture, we should have a greater desire to live so that our spouse and children will want to live with us forever.

What can we do to help youth prepare for eternal marriage? What can we do to encourage young people to set a goal to be married in the temple? How can we help them prepare for this?

I think that the greatest thing we can do to help them to prepare is to teach them by word and by example. We need to live in a way that shows that an eternal marriage is the greatest relationship we can have in this life. We also need to spend the little time we have with our youth, teaching them of the blessings and responsibilities that come with an eternal marriage. A huge thing today, is the need to teach our children the proper priorities they should have in this life. Too many youth are making their careers and education the most important things, and they are setting their minds on putting off marriage until they have these things accomplished and settled. These goals are good, but our youth need to have the goal of eternal marriage and starting a family as the priority. This does not mean that it has to happen first, or that it is a guarantee that it will ever happen, but our frame of mind truly is everything. If our youth continue to put off marriage until their other goals are met, they may miss the opportunities that the Lord has in store for them.

“And now I would that ye might know, that after my father, Lehi, had made an end of prophesying concerning his seed, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto him again, saying that it was not meet for him, Lehi, that he should take his family into the wilderness alone; but that his sons should take daughters to wife, that they might raise up seed unto the Lord in the land of promise (1 Nephi 7:1).” There is nothing in the scriptures that teach us to value career or education over marriage and family. There are however, many examples of the prophets of God teaching us that it is very important to do these things. From the beginning, this was given as a commandment from God. In Genesis 1 we read the following:

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth …

We need to teach as the prophets taught their own children. We also need to encourage that they seek the guidance of the spirit. No one should make quick, unwise decisions about who or when they should get married. We should teach them to live so that they are worthy to meet the right person and to be able to marry them in the way that God intended for all of His children. If they are on the right path because they are living righteously, the spirit will guide them to know when it is right for them.

I am so grateful for being sealed to my husband in the temple. My life has been so blessed from this decision. I know that there is no greater joy than that which comes from this choice. I hope that I can live as a good example to my children and that they will learn from me in a way that encourages them to make this same choice.

1 Response to “Eternal Marriage”

  1. 1 Lou August 25, 2011 at 6:41 am

    I really enjoy reading your entries! I look forward to each new post you do and can’t wait to hearing your next lesson on the law of chasity…

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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.


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