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Citations on Marriage

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or

Standard Works

“And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is
not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man”
(Doctrine and Covenants 49:15).

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” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church

“What did Joseph Smith teach about the duty of a husband to his
wife? ‘It is the duty of a husband to love, cherish, and nourish his
wife, and cleave unto her and none else; he ought to honor her as
himself, and he ought to regard her feelings with tenderness, for
she is his flesh, and his bone, designed to be an help unto him,
both in temporal, and spiritual things; one into whose bosom he
can pour all his complaints without reserve, who is willing (being
designed) to take part of his burden, to soothe and encourage
his feelings by her gentle voice’” (Susan Easton Black, Setting the
Record Straight: Joseph Smith the Mormon Prophet, p. 82. See also Teachings
of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, p. 482).

2nd President Brigham Young

“Be careful, O, ye mothers in Israel, and do not teach your daughters
in future, as many of them have been taught, to marry out of
Israel. Woe to you who do it; you will lose your crowns as sure as
God lives” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 196).
“No man can be perfect without the woman, so no woman can
be perfect without a man to lead her. I tell you the truth as it is
in the bosom of eternity. If he wishes to be saved, he cannot be
saved without a woman by his side” (Brigham Young, as cited in
The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 245).

“Elders, never love your wives one hair’s breadth further than they
adorn the Gospel, never love them so but that you can leave them
at a moment’s warning without shedding a tear. Should you love
a child any more than this? No” (Brigham Young, June 15, 1856,
Journal of Discourses 3:360).

“Monogamy, or restrictions by law to one wife, is no part of the
economy of Heaven among men. Such a system was commenced
by the founders of the Roman empire. That empire was founded
on the banks of the Tiber by wandering brigands. When these robbers
founded the city of Rome, it was evident to them that their
success in attaining a balance of power with their neighbours, depended
upon introducing females into their body politic, so they
stole them from the Sabines, who were near neighbours. The scarcity
of women gave existence to laws restricting one wife to one
man. Rome became the mistress of the world, and introduced this
order of monogamy wherever her sway was acknowledged. Thus
this monogamic order of marriage, so esteemed by modern Christians
as a holy sacrament and divine institution, is nothing but a
system established by a set of robbers” (Brigham Young, July 6,
1862, Journal of Discourses 9:322).

“We find quite a large number of young people who have arrived
at a marriageable age and still they remain single…. Our young
men and women should consider their obligations to each other,
to God, the earth, their parents, and to future generations for
their salvation and exaltation among the Gods and for the glory of
Him whom we serve” (Brigham Young, Teachings of Presidents of the
Church: Brigham Young, 1997, p. 164. Ellipsis in original).

3rd President John Taylor

“Our marriage relations, for instance, are eternal. Go to the sects
of the day and you will find that time ends their marriage covenants;
they have no idea of continuing their relations hereafter;
they do not believe in anything of the kind. It is true there is a
kind of natural principle in men that leads them to hope it may
be so; but they know nothing about it. Our religion binds men
and women for time and all eternity. This is the religion that Jesus
taught—it had power to bind on earth and to bind in heaven, and
it had power to loose on earth and to loose in heaven [see Matthew
16:19]. We believe in the same principles, and we expect, in
the resurrection, that we shall associate with our wives and have
our children sealed to us by the power of the holy priesthood,
that they may be united with us worlds without end” (John Taylor,
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, 2001, p. 193. Brackets
in original).

5th President Lorenzo Snow

“Wives, be faithful to your husbands. I know you have to put up
with many unpleasant things, and your husbands have to put up
with some things as well. Doubtless you are sometimes tried by
your husbands, on account perhaps of the ignorance of your husbands,
or perchance at times because of your own ignorance….
I do not say but that your husbands are bad—just as bad as you
are, and probably some of them are worse; but, never mind: try
to endure the unpleasantnesses which arise at times, and when
you meet each other in the next life you will feel glad that you put
up with those things” (Lorenzo Snow, Teachings of Presidents of the
Church: Lorenzo Snow, 2012, p.131. Ellipsis in original).

6th President Joseph F. Smith

We hold that no man who is marriageable is fully living his religion
who remains unmarried. He is doing a wrong to himself
by retarding his progress, by narrowing his experiences, and to
society by the undesirable example that he sets to others, as well as
he, himself, being a dangerous factor in the community” (Joseph
F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 1986, p. 275).

“The house of the Lord is a house of order and not a house of confusion;
and that means, that the man is not without the woman in
the Lord, neither is the woman without the man in the Lord; and
that no man can be saved and exalted in the kingdom of God without
the woman, and no woman can reach perfection and exaltation
in the kingdom of God, alone. That is what it means” (Joseph
F. Smith, Conference Reports, April 1913, p. 118. See also The Life and
Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles manual, 1979, p. 291).

“Unless man and wife are married by the power of God and by
his authority, they become single again, they have no claim upon
each other, after death; their contract is filled by that time, and is
therefore of no force in and after the resurrection from the dead,
nor after they are dead; hence, the force of the reply of the Savior:
Therefore, when they are out of the world, they neither marry nor
are given in marriage, but become as angels in heaven” (Joseph
F. Smith, “Marriage God-Ordained and Sanctioned,” Improvement
Era, July 1902, p. 716).

“Mary was married to Joseph for time. No man could take her for
eternity because she belonged to the Father of her divine Son. In
the revelation that has come thru Joseph Smith, we learn that it is
the eternal purpose of God that man and woman should be joined
together by the power of God here on earth for time and eternity”
(Joseph F. Smith, Messages of the First Presidency, 4:330).

“Marriage is … a principle or ordinance of the gospel, most vital to
the happiness of mankind, however unimportant it may seem, or
lightly regarded by many. There is no superfluous or unnecessary
principle in the plan of life, but there is no principle of greater
importance or more essential to the happiness of man—not only
here, but especially hereafter, than that of marriage” (Joseph F.
Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, 1998,
p. 176. Ellipsis in original).

10th President Joseph Fielding Smith

“Another thing that we must not forget in this great plan of redemption
and exaltation, is that a man must have a wife, and a
woman a husband, to receive the fulness of exaltation. They must be
sealed for time and for all eternity in a temple; then their union
will last forever, and they cannot be separated because God has
joined them together, as he taught the Pharisees” (Joseph Fielding
Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 2:43-44. Italics in original).

“Since marriage is ordained of God, and the man is not without
the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord, there
can be no exaltation to the fulness of the blessings of the celestial kingdom
outside of the marriage relation” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of
Salvation 2:65. Italics in original).

“When the wife is faithful and desires to obey the divine law and
the husband is rebellious, or unwilling to obey the will of the Lord,
if she maintains her integrity to the best of her ability, she will be
given to another husband in eternity and will receive all the blessings
of the celestial kingdom” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to
Gospel Questions 3:24).

“This from Orson Pratt, which was delivered by appointment by
and endorsed by Brigham Young: We cannot feel justified in closing
this article on the subject of marriage without saying a few
words to unmarried females in this Church…You will clearly perceive,
from the revelation which God has given, that you can never
obtain a fulness of glory, without being married to a righteous
man for time and for all eternity. If you marry a man who receives
not the gospel, you lay a foundation for sorrow in this world, besides
losing the privilege of enjoying the society of a husband in
eternity. You forfeit your right to an endless increase of immortal
lives. And even the children which you may be favoured with in
this life, will not be entrusted to your charge in eternity, but you
will be left in that world without a husband, without a family, without
a kingdom, without any means of enlarging yourselves, being
subject to the principalities and powers who are counted worthy of
families, and kingdoms, and thrones, and the increase of dominions
forever. To them you will be servants and angels—that is, provided
that your conduct should be such as to secure this measure
of glory. Can it be possible that any females, after knowing these
things, will suffer themselves to keep company with persons out of
this Church?” (Joseph Fielding Smith quoting Orson Pratt, Conference
Reports, October 1946, p. 36. Ellipsis mine).

“Unless young people who marry outside the temple speedily
repent, they cut themselves off from exaltation in the celestial
kingdom of God. If they should prove themselves worthy, notwithstanding
that great error, to enter into the celestial kingdom, they
go in that kingdom as servants. What does that mean? The revelation
tells us they go into that kingdom to be servants to those who
are worthy of a more highly exalted position—something with
greater glory. They are servants to them. They don’t become sons
and daughters of God. They are not joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
They do not obtain the kingdom, that is, the crown and the glory
of the kingdom of God. When they come forth in the resurrection,
they have no claim upon each other, or their children upon
them, and there will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth”
(Joseph Fielding Smith, Selections from Answers to Gospel Questions: A
Course of Study for the Melchizedek Priesthood Quorum 1972-73, p. 265).

11th President Harold B. Lee

“Some of you may decide to marry out of the Church with the
secret hope of converting your companion to your religious views.
Your chances for happiness in your married life are far greater if
you make that conversion before marriage” (Harold B. Lee, Teachings
of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 2000, p. 115).

12th President Spencer W. Kimball

“‘Today you or I could not stand here and call to life a dead person,
but the day will come when I can take my wife by the hand
and raise her out of the grave in the resurrection. The day will
come when you can bring each of your family who has preceded
you in death back into a resurrected being to live forever’ (Manchester
England Area Conference, June 21, 1976)” (David J. Ridges,
Doctrinal Details of the Plan of Salvation, p. 115. Also cited in Julia
McLaren’s, The Great Day, pp. 93-94).

“Delayed marriage … is not fully acceptable. All normal people
should plan their lives to include a proper temple marriage in
their early life and to multiply and have their families in the years
of their early maturity” (Spencer W. Kimball, Teachings of Presidents
of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, 2006, p. 195. Ellipsis in original).

14th President Howard W. Hunter

“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 nor-
mal 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” (Howard W. Hunter, “Being a Righteous Husband
and Father,” Ensign (Conference Edition), Nov. 1994, p. 49).

15th President Gordon B. Hinckley

“Are women included in those who shall partake of such glory?
Most assuredly. As a matter of fact, in attaining the highest degree
of glory in the celestial kingdom, the man cannot enter without
the woman, neither can the woman enter without the man. The
two are inseparable as husband and wife in eligibility for that highest
degree of glory” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Daughters of God,”
Ensign (Conference Edition), November 1991, p. 98).

“Some who are not married, through no fault of their own, ask
whether they will always be denied the highest degree of glory
in that kingdom. I am confident that under the plan of a loving
Father and a divine Redeemer, no blessing of which you are otherwise
worthy will forever be denied you” (Gordon B. Hinckley,
“Daughters of God,” Ensign (Conference Edition), November
1991, p. 98).

First Presidency

“According to our faith no woman should be connected with a
man who cannot save her in the Celestial Kingdom of God. What I
mean by this is: if a man apostatizes and breaks covenants and loses
his standing in the Church of Christ, he is not in a fit condition
to save himself, much less to lead his wife aright. He cannot lead
her in the path of exaltation, because he has turned aside from
that path; he has gone into another path. If she follow him, she
will follow him to destruction; she will take the downward road.
She will never find, while following him, and he in that condition,
the path of salvation” (George Q. Cannon, November 16, 1884,
Journal of Discourses 25:368).

“In the divine economy, as in nature, the man ‘is the head of the
woman,’ and it is written that ‘he is the savior of the body.’ But ‘the
man is not without the woman’ any more than the woman is without
the man, in the Lord. Adam was first formed, then Eve. In the
resurrection they stand side by side and hold dominion together.
Every man who overcomes all things and is thereby entitled to inherit
all things, receives power to bring up his wife to join him in
the possession and enjoyment thereof” (Charles Penrose, Mormon
Doctrine Plain and Simple, 1888, p. 51).

“Celestial marriage is an everlasting covenant, prerequisite to exaltation
and eternal progress in the kingdom of God” (Hugh B.
Brown, You and Your Marriage, p. 22).


“This law of monogamy, or the monogamic system, laid the foundation
for prostitution and the evils and diseases of the most revolting
nature and character under which modern Christendom
groans” (Orson Pratt, October 7, 1869, Journal of Discourses 13:195).

“Let us come back again to the subject of the administration of
ordinances by divine appointment. I said their baptisms are illegal.
Now let me go a little farther, and say that the ordinance of
marriage is illegal among all people, nations and tongues, unless
administered by a man appointed by new revelation from God to
join the male and female as husband and wife. Says one—‘You do
not mean to say that all our marriages are also illegal, as well as
our baptisms?’ Yes, I do, so far as God is concerned. That is taking
a very broad standpoint; but I am telling you that which is my
belief; and I presume, so far as I am acquainted, it is the belief of
the Latter-day Saints throughout the world, that all the marriages
of our forefathers, for many long generations past, have been illegal
in the sight of God. They have been legal in the sight of
men; for men have framed the laws regulating marriage, not by
revelation, but by their own judgment; and our progenitors were
married according to these laws, and hence their marriages were
legal, and their children were legitimate, so far as the civil law was
concerned; and this is as true of our own day as of the past; but in
the sight of heaven these marriages are illegal, and the children
illegitimate” (Orson Pratt, August 31, 1873, Journal of Discourses

“Now I want to say a few words to our young people who dwell in
different part of the Territory. I have heard that some of them,
perhaps through a want of understanding of the laws of God, have
suffered themselves to be married by the civil law-for instance, by
a justice of the peace, alderman or judge. That will do very well so
far as the laws of the land are concerned, but has God anything
to do with such marriages? Nothing at all. Has he ever authorized
marriages to be solemnized after this order? Not at all. Are children
born of such marriages your legal sons and daughters in the
sight of heaven? Not at all; they are in one sense bastards. That is
a pretty hard saying, is it not? They are actually bastards” (Orson
Pratt, July 19, 1874, Journal of Discourses 17:152).

“That is the kind of marriage that we Latter-day Saints believe in;
and yet some of our young people, professing to be members of
the Church, and who say they wish to keep the commandments of
God, go and get married by a justice of the peace, or some person
authorized to perform that ceremony by the civil law. Ask parties
who are guilty of such folly, why they were married by these officers
of the law until death should part them? and they will say, ‘We
did it inconsiderately, and without reflection,’ or perhaps they will
say that their parents did not teach them on that point. Do you not
know that such marriages are not sealed by him that is appointed
by divine authority? that they are not of God and are illegal in his
sight, and your children are illegitimate in the sight of God? If you
expect to have any benefits in eternity arising from your children,
they must be yours legally, according to divine appointment, under
a divine marriage. ‘What God has joined together let not man
put asunder.’ But what has God to do with it, when a magistrate,
who, perhaps, is an infidel, and does not believe in a God at all,
says to a man and woman, ‘Join your hands together,’ and then,
when they have done so, he says, ‘I pronounce you husband and
wife?’ What has God to do with such a marriage as that? Has God
joined them together? No, a civil magistrate has done it; and it is
legal so far as the laws of the country are concerned, and the children
are legal and heirs to their parents property so far as the civil
law is concerned, but what has God to do with it? Has he joined
them together? No, and the marriage is illegal, and, in the sight of
heaven, the children springing from such a marriage are bastards”
(Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses 17:226-227).

“Such never having been married for eternity in this world could
rise no higher than angels in the next world; and if they became
righteous enough to become celestial angels, they would be servants
for ever. Servants to whom? Those that are worthy to receive
a kingdom and a glory, that have attended to their ordinances
and to the commandments of God, and have been led by him in
all things pertaining to marriage as well as other things” (Orson
Pratt, July 11, 1875, Journal of Discourses 18:51).

“Those who have not secured their marriage for eternity in this life,
can never have it attended to hereafter; therefore, if they should
through faithfulness even be saved, yet they would be no higher
than the angels, and would be compelled to live separately and
singly, and consequently without posterity, and would become servants
to all eternity, for those who are counted worthy to become
kings and priests, and who will receive thrones and kingdoms, and
an endless increase of posterity, and inherit a far more exceeding
and eternal weight of glory” (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 43).

“No uninspired man has authority from God to join together the
male and female in the marriage covenant. Marriage is an ordinance
of God, and we read that ‘What God hath joined together
let not man put asunder.’ (Matthew 19:6.) Where man usurps authority
to officiate in the ordinance of God, and joins together
the sexes in marriage, such unions are illegal in the sight of God,
though they may be legal according to the laws and governments
of men. The power to officiate in the ordinances of God has not
been upon the earth since the great apostacy, until the present
century. Something like seventeen centuries have passed away
since the authority was lost on the eastern hemisphere to administer
in any of the ordinances of God. During that long period marriages
have been celebrated according to the customs of human
governments, by uninspired men, holding no authority from God;
consequently, all their marriages, like their baptisms, are illegal
before the Lord. Point out to us a husband and wife that God
has joined together from the second century of the christian era
until the nineteenth, if any can. Such a phenomenon cannot be
found among Christians or Jews, Mahometans or Pagans. All are
without prophets or inspired men–all are without divine authority:
none have had power to seal on earth the marriage covenant
that it might be sealed in heaven; none during that long period
have heard the voice of the Lord commanding them to officiate
in those sacred ordinances. Marriages, then among all nations,
though legal according to the laws of men, have been illegal according
to the laws, authority, and institutions of Heaven. All the
children born during that long period, though legitimate according
to the customs and laws of nations, are illegitimate according
to the order and authority of Heaven” (Orson Pratt, The Seer,
p. 47).

“Do you uphold your husband before God as your lord? ‘What!—
my husband to be my lord?’ I ask, Can you get into the celestial
kingdom without him? Have any of you been there? You will remember
that you never got into the celestial kingdom without the
aid of your husband. If you did, it was because your husband was
away, and some one had to act proxy for him. No woman will get
into the celestial kingdom, except her husband receives her, if she
is worthy to have a husband; and if not, somebody will receive her
as a servant” (Erastus Snow, October 4, 1857, Journal of Discourses

“The husband and wife relationship was planned of God to be an
eternal partnership. The family that is united in faithfulness and
sealed together by the binding power of the Holy Priesthood can
be assured the great privilege of sharing eternal glory together
in perfect companionship” (Delbert L. Stapley, Conference Reports,
April 1957, p. 75).

“No man can be saved and exalted in the kingdom of God without
the woman, and no woman can reach perfection and exaltation in
the kingdom of God alone” (Delbert L. Stapley, Conference Reports,
April 1957, p. 75).

“From this revelation, it will be seen that men can become Gods
and enjoy a ‘fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and
ever’ only by observing the new and everlasting covenant of marriage,
and that without marriage they can only become ‘ministering
servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more,
and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory’” (LeGrand
Richards, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, p. 313).

“We must realize that we can no more have exaltation in the celestial
kingdom without temple marriage than we can have membership
in the Church without baptism” (Mark E. Petersen, October
31, 1962, “A Commitment to Temple Marriage,” BYU Speeches of
the Year, p. 5).

“Eternal marriage is directly and intimately associated with the
doctrine of exaltation. It is intimately connected with obtaining
eternal life in the kingdom of God. It plays as vital and important
a part as any of our acts can play in the eternal plan of salvation”
(Bruce R. McConkie, April 20, 1960, “The New and Everlasting
Covenant,” BYU Speeches of the Year, p. 2).

“I would rather be a woman not entering into marriage in mortality
than a man. I would not want to stand before the Lord as
a healthy, normal man and try to explain why I never married.
Please understand that temple marriage is absolutely vital in our
quest to inherit the highest degree of the celestial kingdom” (M.
Russell Ballard, “Keep the Commandments – Beginning Right
Now!,” BYU fireside address given September 6, 1987).

“Any man who thinks he is going to the highest degree of glory
without a woman at his side does not understand the gospel”
(Boyd K. Packer, “Lord’s great plan leads to happiness,” Church
News, November 22, 2008, p. 6).

“Under the great plan of the living Creator, the mission of His
Church is to help us achieve exaltation in the celestial kingdom,
and that can be accomplished only through an eternal marriage
between a man and a woman (see D&C 131:1-3)” (Dallin H. Oaks,
“Fundamental to Our Faith,” Ensign, January 2011, pp. 25-26).

“Brethren, please remember: The highest degree of glory is available
to you only through that order of the priesthood linked to
the new and everlasting covenant of marriage” (Russell M. Nelson,
“Honoring the Priesthood,” Ensign (Conference Edition),
May 1993, p. 40).

“To qualify for eternal life, we must make an eternal and everlasting
covenant with our Heavenly Father. This means that a temple
marriage is not only between husband and wife; it embraces a
partnership with God” (Russell M. Nelson, “Celestial Marriage,”
Ensign (Conference Edition), November 2008, p. 93).

“On occasion, I read in a newspaper obituary of an expectation
that a recent death has reunited that person with a deceased
spouse, when, in fact, they did not choose the eternal option. Instead,
they opted for a marriage that was valid only as long as they
both should live. Heavenly Father has offered them a supernal
gift, but they refused it. And in rejecting the gift, they rejected the
Giver of the gift” (Russell M. Nelson, “Celestial Marriage,” Ensign
(Conference Edition), November 2008, p. 93. Italics in original).

“Celestial marriage is a pivotal part of preparation for eternal life.
It requires one to be married to the right person, in the right
place, by the right authority, and to obey that sacred covenant
faithfully. Then one may be assured of exaltation in the celestial
kingdom of God” (Russell M. Nelson, “Celestial Marriage,” Ensign
(Conference Edition), November 2008, p. 94).

“What of the many mature members of the Church who are not
married? Through no failing of their own, they deal with the trials
of life alone. Be we all reminded that, in the Lord’s own way and
time, no blessings will be withheld from His faithful Saints. The
Lord will judge and reward each individual according to heartfelt
desire as well as deed” (Russell M. Nelson, “Celestial Marriage,”
Ensign (Conference Edition), November 2008, p. 94. See also Ensign,
June 2011, p. 55).

“My brothers and sisters, the restored gospel centers on marriage
and family. It is also on marriage and family where we can unite
most with other faiths. It is around marriage and family where we
will find our greatest commonality with the rest of the world. It
is around marriage and family that The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints has the greatest opportunity to be a light on
the hill” (L. Tom Perry, “Why Marriage and Family Matter—Everywhere
in the World,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 2015,
p. 42).

“With Heavenly Father’s plan as a fixed point of reference, the
purpose of marriage comes clearly into focus. The commandment
to leave father and mother, cleave to one another in marriage,
and multiply and replenish the earth makes His plan possible.
Through marriage we bring His spirit children into the world and
become partners with Him in helping His children participate in
His plan. The Father’s plan provides us the way to inherit eternal
life, the life our heavenly parents lead. In the plan, ‘neither is the
man without the woman, [nor] the woman without the man, in
the Lord.’ The very essence of eternal life includes the eternal
marriage of man and woman, which is an essential part of becoming
like our heavenly parents” (Robert D. Hales, “The Plan of
Salvation: A sacred treasure of knowledge to guide us,” Ensign,
October 2015, p. 28. Brackets in original).

“To be ready for marriage, make certain you are worthy to take
the sacrament and hold a temple recommend” (Robert D. Hales,
“Meeting the Challenges of Today’s World,” Ensign (Conference
Edition), November 2015, p. 45).

“The Lord teaches us that no single person, regardless of his or her righteousness, can obtain all our Heavenly Father has for His children. A single individual is half of the equation, unable to dwell in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom (see 1 Corinthians 11:11; D&C 131:1–4). Your students need to understand that the purpose of mortality is to become more like God by gaining physical bodies, exercising agency, and assuming roles that previously belonged only to heavenly parents—roles of husband, wife, and parent. The prophets have assured that all those who are worthy and who rely upon Jesus Christ but have not been able to be sealed to a companion or have children in this life will have those opportunities in the world to come” (M. Russell Ballard, “By Study and By Faith,” December 2016, p. 28).


“Some, through misrepresentation, have charged that we believe
this doctrine so absolutely as to hold that there is no salvation for
man or woman outside of the marriage relation. Of course, that
is an extreme to which we do not go. We believe—at least, permit
me to say that I believe, and I think I have warrant for such belief
in the principles of our faith, that it is possible for either man or
woman to be saved without marriage at all” (B.H. Roberts, 1992,
Defense of The Faith and The Saints 2:651).

“The full blessings of the priesthood are received together as husband and wife or not at all” (Paul B. Pieper, “Revealed Realities of Mortality,” Ensign, January 2016, p. 21).

Church Manuals

“Consider this fact: Your marriage is a laboratory for godhood”
(Achieving a Celestial Marriage, 1976, p. 65).

“Only through temple marriage can men and women receive every
eternal blessing (see D&C 131:1–4; 132:15–18)” (Preparing for
an Eternal Marriage Teacher Manual Religion 234, 2001, p. 54).
“As you discuss this topic of eternal marriage, be aware that there
are many righteous people, particularly sisters, who have not yet
had the opportunity to enjoy the blessings of marriage. Some of
your students may be suffering from the effects of a failed marriage
or may be struggling in a current marriage. Although marriage
is a requirement of the highest degree of the celestial kingdom,
please be considerate of the feelings of your students” (The Gospel
and the Productive Life Teacher Manual Religion 150, 2004, p. 48).

“To be exalted in the highest degree and continue eternally in
family relationships, we must enter into ‘the new and everlasting
covenant of marriage’ and be true to that covenant. In other
words, temple marriage is a requirement for obtaining the highest
degree of celestial glory” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference, 2004,
p. 93).

“Some members of the Church remain single through no fault of
their own, even though they want to marry. If you find yourself in
this situation, be assured that “all things work together for good
to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). As you remain worthy, you
will someday, in this life or the next, be given all the blessings of
an eternal family relationship. The Lord has made this promise
repeatedly through His latter-day prophets” (True to the Faith: A
Gospel Reference, 2004, p. 99).

“He has revealed that one of the purposes of marriage is to provide
mortal bodies for His spirit children. Parents are partners
with our Heavenly Father. He wants each of His spirit children to
receive a physical body and to experience earth life. When a man
and a woman bring children into this world, they help our Heavenly
Father carry out His plan” (Gospel Principles, 2009, p. 207).

“Families can be together forever. To enjoy this blessing we must
be married in the temple. When people are married outside the
temple, the marriage ends when one of the partners dies. When
we are married in the temple by the authority of the Melchizedek
Priesthood, we are married for time and eternity. If we keep our
covenants with the Lord, our families will be united eternally as
husband, wife, and children. Death cannot separate us” (Gospel
Principles, 2009, p. 209).

“Our exaltation depends on marriage, along with other principles
and ordinances, such as faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving
the gift of the Holy Ghost. We believe that marriage is the most
sacred relationship that can exist between a man and a woman.
This sacred relationship affects our happiness now and in the eternities”
(Gospel Principles, 2009, p. 219).

“As a doctrinal principle, based on the scriptures, the Church affirms
that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to the
Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. Sexual relationships
are proper only between a man and a woman who are
legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife. Any other sexual
relations, including those between persons of the same gender,
are sinful and undermine the divinely created institution of the
family. The Church accordingly affirms defining marriage as the
legal and lawful union between a man and a woman” (Handbook 1:
Stake Presidents and Bishops, 2010, p. 166).

Other Sources

“In the resurrection there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage,
for this Church teaches the doctrine that every ceremony,
marriage or baptism, must be fulfilled upon this earth, and that
any man or woman who is entitled to these ceremonies will have
the privilege of either receiving them or rejecting them before
the resurrection. That is why it is going to take one thousand years
after the first resurrection until the last can happen. If any of them
prove themselves worthy of baptism or worthy of sealing to husband
or wife, it will all take place before the resurrection, for after
the resurrection, or at the time of the resurrection, every man or
woman’s status is fixed. It all has to be done here” (Melvin J. Ballard,
Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard, p. 232).

“Exaltation is the greatest of all the gifts and attainments possible.
It is available only in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom
and is reserved for members of the Church of the Firstborn. This
exalted status, called eternal life, is available to be received by a
man and wife. It means not only living in God’s presence, but receiving
power to do as God does, including the power to bear children
after the resurrection. Blessings and privileges of exaltation
require unwavering faith, repentance, and complete obedience to
the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism 2:479).

“… the concept of eternal marriage isn’t found anywhere in the
Book of Mormon or other Latter-day scripture prior to 1843. It
was in Nauvoo, in the summer of 1843, that Joseph Smith formally
introduced the ‘new and everlasting covenant of marriage’ (D&C
132), which initially entailed plural marriage” (BYU Professor
Charles R. Harrell, ‘This is my Doctrine’: The Development of Mormon
Theology, p. 318. Ellipsis mine).

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