Marriage. A requirement for a couple to go to become exalted. As one church manual put it, “Consider this fact: Your marriage is a laboratory for godhood” (Achieving a Celestial Marriage, 1976, p. 65). According to Joseph Smith, “Except a man and his wife enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity, while in this probation, by the power and authority of the Holy Priesthood, they will cease to increase when they die; that is, they will not have any children after the resurrection. But those who are married by the power and authority of the priesthood in this life, and continue without committing the sin against the Holy Ghost, will continue to increase and have children in the celestial glory” (History of the Church 5:391). Fourteenth President Howard Hunter told a general confernece audience, “Man is not complete without woman. Neither can fill the measure of their creation without the other. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. Only through the new and everlasting covenant of marriage can they realize the fulness of eternal blessings. As a matter of priesthood responsibility, a man, under normal circumstances, should not unduly postpone marriage. Brethren, the Lord has spoken plainly on this matter. It is your sacred and solemn responsibility to follow his counsel and the words of his prophets” (“Being a Righteous Husband and Father,” Ensign (Conference Edition), Nov.1994, 49).
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