How do Mormons marry

Mormon / marriage / marriage ordinances necessary for exaltation

Main page

The role of temple marriage and sealing in exalting exaltation

Jump to topic:

Question: Is marriage essential to gaining exaltation?

There is no biblical impediment to celesial marriage

  1. If marriage is essential to exaltation, then why does Paul say that it is good for a man not to marry? (1 Corinthians 7: 1)
  2. Why does the Mormon Church teach that we can be married in heaven when Jesus said at Matthew 22:29 that there is no marriage in the resurrection?

Since not all members of the Church are married, does that mean that otherwise good Mormons are not exalted?

There is no biblical obstacle to celesial marriage.

  1. Some of the statements speak of specific situations (e.g. missionaries wanting to leave their jobs to get married) and some refute misconceptions in Christian churches about avoiding marriage. There is biblical evidence of the importance of marriage in the early church and evidence of the early church fathers and that Paul was actually married.
  2. After the resurrection, it will be too late to get married, but marital status can last forever if one follows the Lord's path. This is supported by the details of the situation described in Matthew and in the original Greek.

Latter-day Saints not only learn their doctrine from the Bible - as in all things, they are primarily guided by modern revelation. This very revelation assures them that no one worthy but unable to marry will later be withheld any blessings because of it.

The critics misrepresent the biblical statements

In short, the critics misrepresent the biblical statements.

  1. Paul does not say it is not good not to get married. Paul was probably married himself. But married or not, his advice to the Corinthians - that the unmarried man should remain unmarried and that the married person should remain as if he were not married - is an answer to a particular situation, probably relating to missionary work.
  2. Jesus' answer to the Pharisee in Matthew 22 says nothing about the marital status of the righteous in heaven. He answers a specific question about a current case that the Sadducees used to trick the Savior.

Critics also misunderstand or misinterpret LDS doctrine because of the necessity of marriage for salvation. Each of these points is explained below.

Paul and "good not to marry"

The basis for suggesting that Paul discourage marriage and sexual relations is found in 1 Corinthians 7: 1-2.

Now to the inquiries of your letter! “It is good for a man not to touch a woman”.
Because of the danger of fornication, everyone should have their wife and everyone should have their husband.
  1. the statement "It is good for a man not to touch a woman" was probably not Paul's.
  2. Paul may well have been married himself, but he traveled in his ministry without his wife.
  3. Paul taught the importance of marriage in many places.
  4. The reason for the advice to remain unmarried was an unusual and temporary situation.
  5. Paul carefully points out that this advice to be alone for a while is not God's command, but only his personal opinion.
  6. He understands that marriage, not celibacy, is a requirement for Church leadership.

Jesus and "no longer marry"

Matthew 22.23-30} or its counterpart Mark | us 12: 18-25 and Luke 20: 27-36 is often used by critics to argue against LDS doctrine of eternal marriage. The Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection, asked the Savior about a fall of a woman who had married seven men in a row. Each of them died and left them for the next. Then they tried to trip Jesus by asking whose wife she was in the resurrection. Jesus' answer is almost identical in all three scriptures.

Jesus answered them, You are wrong; you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. Because after the resurrection people will no longer marry, but will be like the angels in heaven. (Matthew 22: 29-30).

This scripture in one of the most misunderstood in the Bible. If you want to understand it correctly, the following must be taken into account:

  1. The question the Saducees asked was not hypothetical, but based on an actual case of a woman who had married seven brothers in a row, each commenting on a particular case.
  2. The original Greek of this scripture makes it clear that Jesus intended no explanation of the marital status of the righteous in heaven.
  3. The unmarried status is is the status of the angels in heaven, yet it is Not that of the heirs of salvation.

More detailed discussion of Matthew 22: 23-30

Question: Since not all members of the Church are married, does that mean that otherwise good Mormons will not be exalted?

However, those who live worthily but will not get married in the temple will have that opportunity at a certain time

When discussing the nature of eternal marriage, Mc Keever and Johnson asked the following:

Although continual good works are necessary, Mormonism teaches that one must be married in the temple to be able to exalt. But what happens if someone does not marry for whatever reason and dies single? [1]

In his article in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, James T. Duke explains LDS doctrine on the subject.

Those who lead a dignified life but still do not get married in the temple are mostly unable to do so for various reasons over which they have no control. Some never get married, have never heard of the gospel, or have no temple nearby to be sealed for eternity. However, they will get this opportunity at a certain time. Latter-day Saints believe that it is their privilege and duty to make these sacred ordinances on behalf of deceased ancestors and, where possible, for others. [2]

This is not a new teaching. In 1957 Joseph Fielding Smith said to the single people in the Church:

Dear sisters, who are single and alone, do not fear that blessings will be withheld from you. There is no obligation or need to accept a tasteless proposal for fear of condemnation. When you feel in your heart that the gospel is true, and under the right conditions in the Lord's temple, if that is your faith and hope and desire, and it is not now, would receive these ordinances and blessings of the sealing, and it does not happen, the Lord will judge and you will be blessed and no blessing shall be withheld from you. [3]

Likewise, Harold B. Lee advises single young women in the Church:

You young women of advancing age who have not yet accepted an offer of marriage, when I make you worthy and ready to go into the house of The Lord, and you have faith in this sacred principle even though you have not yet had the privilege of marrying, the Lord will reward you in due course and no blessing will be withheld from you. You are not obliged to accept an offer from an unworthy one for fear of being denied blessings. [4]

Bruce R. McConkie also taught this principle when he wrote:

“I am fully aware that there are people who do not have the opportunity of eternal marriage, but who would have lived this law if they had had the opportunity. These individuals will be judged in the providence and mercy of a gracious God according to the purposes and desires of their hearts. That is the principle of salvation and exaltation of the dead. " [5]

While LDS doctrine states that celestial marriage is necessary for exaltation with God, the doctrine also states that worthiness is more important than ordinance, and that the worthy are provided with all necessary means so that they do not get their chance to lose any blessings. This is one of the great purposes of temple work for the departed.


  1. ↑ Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson, Mormonism 101. Examining the Religion of the Latter-day Saints (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2000), 218-219. (Index of claims)
  2. ↑ James T. Duke, "Marriage: Eternal Marriage," inEncyclopedia of Mormonism, Volume 4, edited by Daniel H. Ludlow, (New York, Macmillan Publishing, 1992), 2: 859. linklink
  3. ↑ Joseph Fielding Smith, Elijah the Prophet and His Mission (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1957), 51.
  4. ↑ Harold B. Lee, Youth and the Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1955), 132.
  5. ↑ Bruce R. McConkie, "Celestial Marriage," The New Era (June 1978): 17.