The following was originally printed in the February 2010 edition of MRM’s Update, a special edition mailed to financial supporters who also receive the publication Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription of Mormonism Researched, please visit here. The letter is printed as it was originally submitted.
A reader writes:
A pal of mine recently married a Mormon widow. Soon afterward, he overheard his wife talking to a Mormon friend once, and found out she was “sealed” in marriage, (by proxy ) in the Mormon Temple, after her late husband died, but before they (my pal, and his Mormon widow wife) married.
He found the “Mormon proxy marriage sealing” ritual on-line, and it states the spouse pledges “marriage for all time and eternity” to the dead spouse. That the sealed spouses are “eternal companions” by this “proxy marriage ceremony”. He (my pal) asked her to ask this marriage be canceled, as he does not understand how she can be his wife, yet be married for all time and eternity to someone else. She states she can’t tell him that she will abandon this eternal marriage to her dead spouse, even though she is married to him.
I wonder, should this hurt his feelings, to cause mistrust? She has the right to a past and love for her deceased husband, but I don’t think she shows a full commitment to [my pal] by staying eternally married and sealed to another man. What does the Bible say of this?
MRM’s Bill McKeever responds:
That’s a great question. I agree that your friend’s wife shouldn’t be expected to completely forget about her life with her deceased husband, but to a non Mormon this “continued relationship” via the LDS doctrine of sealing can easily be compared to keeping a photo of another man in her wallet. Ethically she should have explained this arrangement to your friend before they were married. His request for her to have this relationship canceled tells me he has some obvious hurt from this (which tends to support my premise).
According to LDS theology, she will spend eternity with her deceased husband, especially since your friend has no LDS “priesthood” authority. This would include the potential for “eternal increase,” a doctrine that teaches that Mormon spouses sealed in heaven will have the ability to procreate eternally.
I assume that in most areas of life she is probably a trustworthy person, but clearly this shows either a level of deception when it comes to her religion or thoughtlessness regarding the feelings of your friend.
The Bible never speaks of being sealed to a spouse in an eternal marriage relationship. Individual family units are never discussed since the family of God includes all who are justified by faith in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Since the Mormon concept of “sealing” is clearly a false doctrine originated by a false prophet, there is technically no reason to think she will actually spend eternity with her former husband. Sadly however, this does not help to elevate a trust level that is so necessary in a marriage relationship.
Read more answers to common questions here.