“Sealed…for Time and for All Eternity”

Lesson 31 – D&C 131:1-4; 132:4-33

 

Eternal Marriage is essential in Heavenly Father’s plan

D&C 131:1-4; 132:4-33 contain revelations about eternal marriage. Elder Parley P. Pratt, when he recalled his feelings when he first heard about these doctrines from the Prophet Joseph Smith, said: “I had loved before, but I knew not why. But now I loved—with a pureness—an intensity of elevated, exalted feeling, which would lift my soul…I felt that God was my heavenly Father indeed; that Jesus was my brother, and that the wife of my bosom was an immortal, eternal companion…In short, I could now love with the spirit and with the understanding also” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt [1975], 298)

 

President Boyd K. Packer taught: “The ultimate purpose of all we teach is to unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly father” (Ensign, May 1995, 8)

 

President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “Marriage, as understood by Latter-day Saints, is a covenant ordained to be everlasting. It is the foundation for eternal exaltation, for without it there could be no eternal progress in the kingdom of God” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954-56], 2:58)

 

D&C 132:15-18 explains that when a husband and wife are married only by civil law, their marriage will not be valid beyond the grave—no matter how many vows they have made to be together forever nor how much they may love one another. 

 

D&C 131:1-4; 132:19-24, 30-31 give insight into the blessings received by those who make an eternal marriage covenant in the temple by the proper authority:

·        They will be together “in time, and through all eternity”.  Their children may also be part of their eternal family.  The receipt of these blessings is dependent upon our continued faithfulness to the covenants after making them.

·        D&C 131:1-3; 132:23-24 promise that the faithful will be exalted in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

·        They will “inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities,…powers, [and] dominions” (D&C 132:19)

·        They will continue to have seed, or spirit children, throughout eternity (D&C 132:19, 30-31)

·        “They shall be gods, because they have all power” (D&C 132:20-21)

 

Temple marriage also brings blessings in mortality.  Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said: “The sweet companionship of eternal marriage is one of the greatest blessings God has granted to His children.  Certainly, the many years I have shared with my beautiful companion have brought me the deepest joys of my life.  From the beginning of time, marital companionship of husband and wife has been fundamental to our Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness.  Our lives are touched for good, and we are both edified and ennobled as we savor the sweet blessings of association with dear members of the family” (Ensign, Nov. 1997, 32)

 

Youth should prepare now for eternal marriage

Young people should be encouraged to prepare themselves for the blessings of a temple marriage.  This is one of the most important decisions they will ever make, so our leaders emphasize temple marriage as a vital goal for each young man or woman. 

 

Elder Richard G. Scott, speaking of eternal marriage, said: “An essential priority of a prospective wife is the desire to be a wife and mother.  She should be developing the sacred qualities that God has given His daughters to excel as a wife and mother: patience, kindliness, a love of children, and a desire to care for them rather than seeking professional pursuits.  She should be acquiring a good education to prepare for the demands of motherhood.   … A prospective husband should also honor his priesthood and use it in service to others. Seek a man who accepts his role as provider of the necessities of life, has the capacity to do it, and is making concerted efforts to prepare himself to fulfill those responsibilities” (Ensign, May 1999, 26)

 

After a husband and wife are sealed in the temple, they must abide in the covenant to receive the promised blessings

A sister related: “I was just sure the first ten years would be bliss.  But during our first year together I discovered…there were a lot of adjustments. Of course, they weren’t the kind of thing you ran home to mother about.  But I cried into my pillow now and again.  The problems were almost always related to learning to live on someone else’s schedule and to do things someone else’s way.  We loved each other, there was no doubt about that.  But we also had to get used to each other.  I think every couple has to get used to each other.”

It takes love, work, and dedication to have a successful marriage.  The blessings promised during the sealing ceremony are only in effect if the couple “abide in [the] covenant” (D&C 132:19). There are some specific things that we should do to “abide in [the] covenant”.

 

D&C 42:22 applies equally to men and women. Love between spouses means loving with all your heart.  President Spencer W. Kimball explained: “When the Lord says all thy heart, it allows for no sharing nor dividing nor depriving… The words ‘none else’ eliminate everyone and everything. The spouse then becomes preeminent in the life of the husband or wife, and neither social life nor occupational life nor political life nor any other interest nor person nor thing shall ever take precedence over the companion spouse… Marriage presupposes total allegiance and total fidelity. Each spouse takes the partner with the understanding that he or she gives totally to the spouse all the heart, strength, loyalty, honor, and affection, with all dignity.  Any divergence is sin; any sharing of the heart is transgression. As we should have ‘an eye single to the glory of God’, so should we have an eye, an ear, a heart single to the marriage and the spouse and family” (Faith Precedes the Miracle [1972], 142-43).

 

President Gordon B, Hinckley gave this simple counsel to married couples: “Be fiercely loyal one to another.” (Ensign, Feb. 1999, 4)

 

The marriage covenant in the temple requires you to be true to one another and to be true to the Lord. Some things couples can do to strengthen their love for each other and for the Lord include:

·        Praying and reading scriptures together

·        Seeking to be guided by the Spirit together

·        Holding Family Home Evening

·        Going on dates together

·        Talking to one another

·        Helping one another around the house,

·        Attending the temple together

 

Is there something special or noteworthy that your spouse does to strengthen your marriage that might be a good idea for others? If so, be prepared to mention that in class discussion.

 

Faithful Saints will not be denied the blessings of eternity. For those who are single, Elder Dallin H. Oaks counseled: “We know that many worthy and wonderful Latter-day Saints currently lack the ideal opportunities and essential requirements for their progress. Singleness, childlessness, death, and divorce frustrate ideals and postpone the fulfillment of promised blessings. In addition, some women who desire to be full-time mothers and homemakers have been literally compelled to enter the full-time workforce.  But these frustrations are only temporary. The Lord has promised that in the eternities no blessing will be denied his sons and daughters who keep the commandments, are true to their covenants, and desire what is right.  Many of the most important deprivations of mortality will be set right in the Millennium, which is the time for fulfilling all that is incomplete in the great plan of happiness for all of our Father’s worthy children. We know that will be true of temple ordinances.  I believe it will also be true of family relationships and experiences” (Ensign, Nov. 1993)

 

Plural Marriage

·        The Lord’s purpose for commanding his people to practice plural marriage was given through the prophet Jacob in the Book of Mormon: “If I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people” (Jacob 2:30)

·        The revelation to practice plural marriage in this dispensation was obeyed by some early Saints when the Lord commanded it. Church leaders regulated the practice. Those entering into it had to be authorized to do so, and the marriages had to be performed through the sealing power of the priesthood.

·       The Church’s position on plural marriage today is simple—anyone practicing it will be excommunicated.  We as a Church have nothing to do with those practicing polygamy.

 

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