Celestial Marriage. Traditionally meant polygamy. Second President Brigham Young stated, “Our sisters need not be worried about any doctrine. Brother Penrose said it would be better for them if they believed in the doctrine of polygamy. But they do believe it; they know it is true, and that is their torment. It perplexes and annoys many of them, because they are not sanctified by the spirit of it; if they were there would be no trouble. I want to say this much-the sisters do believe it. Where is the proof? You take a woman in this Church who does not believe in the doctrine of celestial marriage or plurality of wives, and she does not believe anything at all about the Gospel, and she will soon manifest this by her unwise course, and by and by she drops off and away she goes. But our sisters believe and know that this doctrine is true, and consequently they feel bound to abide it” (November 29th, 1868, Journal of Discourses 12:312). Today, this term means marriages performed in Mormon temples, which are not only binding in this life but also in the next, and lead to “forever families.” It is something to be strived for in Mormonism, as Apostle Richard G. Scott wrote, “If you are single and haven’t identified a solid prospect for celestial marriage, live for it. Pray for it. Expect it in the timetable of the Lord. Do not compromise your standards in any way that would rule out that blessing on this or the other side of the veil. The Lord knows the intent of your heart. His prophets have stated that you will have that blessing as you consistently live to qualify for it. We do not know whether it will be on this or the other side of the veil. But live for it. Pray for it” (“Receive the Temple Blessings,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 1999, p. 27). However, as one church manual warns, “Be sure to emphasize that temple marriage is not a guarantee of exaltation in the celestial kingdom” (Preparing for Exaltation Teacher’s Manual, 1998, p. 40).
For more information on celestial marriage, see here.
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