In this thread – – it was mentioned that although the LDS Church has renounced polygamy, they believe in polygamy in the afterlife. And I have sometimes read of Mormons getting “sealed for eternity” when they get married.
Doesn’t the LDS Church recognize the Bible as at least as authoritative as the Book of Mormon? And Jesus said there is no marriage in Heaven. Death = divorce. Matthew 22:23-33:
How do Mormons square this with a belief that marriage continues after death?
I was in Templ;e Square in Salt Lake City one day and witnessed an encounter between an Evangelical Christian, who raised this very point, and a young LDS woman (who was not, I think, a tour guide or anything). To my surprise, she was unaware of the verse from Matthew, which surprised me. Perhaps she merely pretended to be, to avoid argument. In any case, I’ve never heard the official LDS popsition on this.
LDS Doctrine clarifies Matt. 22:23-30 in Doctrine & Covenants 132:15-19, which is also considered to be scripture by members of the LDS church. D&C 132:15-19 read, in part:
LDS doctrine was clarified most clearly (to me at least) in the 1986 February Ensign. (The Ensign is the official LDS magazine for adults published by the church). In that issue, David H Yarn, Jr. emeritus professor of philosophy and instructor of religion, Brigham Young University explained in part –
You can read the rest of the article or the scriptural passages at LDS.org. Sorry I can’t link, but I had to use a search and I am not confident enough in my link-fu.
The priesthood keys were given to Peter in the Bible: “That which ye bind shall be bound in heaven…” and so on. We think that applies to human relationships, that part of those keys is the authority to seal families together.
Jesus wasn’t lying when he answered the Sadducees, but he wasn’t telling them the whole story either. Any more than he told them all about holding all their goods in common and consecrating their riches to God when they asked him about tribute to Caesar. They were trying to trap him, so he stumped them back and gave them a little something to think about, but there was no point in going further.
That passage makes it sound like only Christians – or perhaps only Mormons – can make marriages that will still be valid in Heave.
I find the bolded part unpersuasive. The Sadduccees were not asking Jesus if marriages could be made in Heaven, but whether a marriage made on Earth would still matter in Heaven; and he did not in any way dodge the question, but answered it clearly in the negative.
That’s about right. LDS marriages conducted in the Temple, where the wife is sealed to the husband, are for “time and eternity”; all other marriages are for “time” only. Ceremonies held outside the temple (e.g. Chapels) are often considered “civil weddings”, and many believe such marriages dissolve upon death. Accordingly, Jesus was right on target when he spoke to the Sadducees, but a new covenant – marriage “for eternity” – was brought forth with Joseph Smith’s restoration of the church.
What’s this about “time” as something distinct from “eternity”? Eternity is time, it is all time. Or does the LDS have some doctrine about Heaven’s time being something of a completely different nature than the time we experience? I’ve never heard of that in any other Christian denomination.
Only people sealed in the temple will still be married in Heaven, yes. An ordinary civil ceremony is only for this life; “till death do you part,” just like it says (some of the time anyway). As far as the Sadduccees were concerned, the answer was true, since they had no sealing authority at that time.
However, Mormons wish to extend the sealing ceremony to all who will accept it, so just like baptisms, we do them for our ancestors by proxy in the temple. Should the people in question wish to be sealed to each other, it’s available to them too.
And yes, we do see eternity as a little bit different than time. If you like, you can call it all of time, but we think of it as being sort of outside time; rather like in Flatland. God inhabits eternity, and can see all of time at once. But we don’t pretend to understand it well. I’ve seen other people refer to something similar, so I don’t think it’s exclusive to Mormons.
The Revelation cited by Reloy3 come from the Doctrine & Covenants or the D&C, as it is commonly referred to, and are revelations to Joseph Smith, believed to come directly from the Lord.
The particular revelation comes from Section 132, and is a very significant scripture for Mormons. It would not be much of an exaggeration to say that this section has caused more controversy than any other passage of Mormon scripture.
The verses quoted by Reloy3, 15 to 19, were just the build up to the main act, outlined in verses 58 to 66 in which the Laws governing the plurality of wives were proclaimed by God and set forth. (The entire section can be read at the link, just scroll up.)
As can be read in the Section, the Lord is commanding Joseph Smith to marry other wives and commanding his first wife to accept this or be destroyed.
Some think that the word “sealed” was used in place of the word “marriage” to refer to polygamous marriages. There is evidence that Joseph Smith secretly married teenage girls as young as 14 and the wives of some of his associates, while they were still married. Using another word could help this seem more acceptable.
LDS people get divorced. When it’s a sealing in question, it’s a little more complex. You can be divorced and still sealed to one another, although such a bond is dissolved by unrepentant wrongdoing (for example, an abusive or adulterous spouse would not still be sealed in the afterlife). When a divorce occurs, the usual procedure is to leave the sealing in place until one of the ex-partners wishes to remarry. Then a cancellation of the sealing is given. The reason for the delay is that whether or not the couple are still together, there are certain things that go along with a sealing anyway, for the individuals in question.
shrug I figured you knew about the baptisms; it’s well-known. There are some old threads here if you want to look them up.
This sounds like a change from my days, when it was more difficult to get cancellation of the sealing.
At any rate, even without a cancellation of the sealing, the husband can be remarried in the temple, because polygomy is allowed in the next life, but the wife can not, because she cannot be sealed to two men in the next life. She can be remarried “for time” here in this world, but not “for eternity.”
If the process of cancellation has become more liberalized, then this would help the equality of the sexes.