IS MARRIAGE "UNTIL DEATH DO US PART" OR FOR ALL ETERNITY?
Traditional wedding vows include the pronouncement that the marriage bond will end at the death of one of the partners. Not so when it comes to marriages performed in one of the many temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Marriages solemnized in a “House of the Lord” by holy apostolic decree remain in force, not only throughout this life, but for all eternity. The temple ceremony assures that faithful husbands and wives, their children, grandchildren and other loved ones will continue to be together as a family forever. Millions of faithful members live happy lives secure in the knowledge that they will be reunited with their loved ones beyond the grave forever.
WHAT GOD HAS SAID ABOUT THE MARRIAGE COVENANT
In Matthew 22, the Sadducees asked Christ about a woman who had been married seven times. Whose wife would she be in the resurrection? "Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." (Matt 22:xx)
Through latter-day revelation members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints know that their marriage doesn’t have to end when they die. Following is the promise the Lord has made to all those who enter into the new and everlasting covenant of marrige:
"For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; for all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing…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… 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." (D&C 132: 4-5, 7)
"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 shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, … and 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." (D &C 132: 19)
The Lord has provided further information on this matter:
"In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; 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); And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase. (D&C 131:1-4)
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that husbands, wives and children will remain together forever when sealed by the proper priesthood authority in a Church temple. Jesus gave this sealing power to His Apostles, saying, “whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” (Matthew 16:19). Lost for centuries, that same apostolic authority has been restored to earth in our day.
The Lord's proclamation to the world on the nature of the family states that "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."
Washington D.C. Temple