One of the things that critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints love to belittle is our belief in marriage! This is because the LDS people believe that marriages performed in temples, under proper authority, are valid not just “until death do you part,” but for time and all eternity!

The critics’ main argument comes from Matt 22:28-30 which tells the story of the Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection: Matt 22:23) trying to trap Christ. In verse 28, Christ is asked if a woman is married and widowed seven times "in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven?”  Jesus answers, "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the Resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." 

Mormons believe that, when put in proper context with the rest of the Bible, this scripture is not stating that all marriages dissolve after the resurrection, but that marriages which are not performed under proper authority, or those intended for this life only (as in the case of the widow) do not continue (see D&C132:15-17). 

Look at how God sanctioned marriages in the scriptures! We know that "marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will Judge." ( Hebrews 13:4)  This verse shows that marriage is not only honorable but must be performed before engaging in sexual acts. God will judge those who have sex outside of marriage! In 1 Tim 4:1-3, we are informed that forbidding to marry is a doctrine of devils!

But did God have in mind to make marriages eternal?

In Eccl. 3:14, we learn "whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it." And if God gives His authority to his servants, and they marry a couple for time and eternity, it would also last forever!  Christ tells Peter and the other apostles "and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matt 16:19)  So, if the apostles bind a marriage for time and eternity, Jesus promises that it will be in effect in heaven.

For the gainsayer who still refuses to believe that an eternal marriage could happen, let us look at an example of an eternal marriage in the pages of the Bible!

Gen 2:18 occurs before the fall of man, so death has not entered upon the earth.  Look at what the Lord said of Adam, who at this point was an eternal being, "and the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him." So even as an eternal being God saw a need for man and woman to be together as "man and his wife"(Gen 2:25). For those who would say that this was not meant to be a marriage like you and I know today they should read Gen 1:28 "God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth."

Speaking of Adam and Eve, Jesus said, In , Jesus, speaking of Adam and Eve, said "from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; ...What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Mark 10:6-7, 9)  So, if God did not mean for marriage to last eternally, then why did he marry together (Adam & Eve) two eternal people?

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that Marriage does not have to be for time only but it can last forever, for the scriptures so testify.  See 1 Cor 11:11, "neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" or 1 Pet 3:7 "likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife....being heirs together of the grace of life."  To those who seek for the blessing of an eternal family, I testify that this principle of Eternal Marriage is true and it is available through the authority found in the Mormon Church.  For those who receive this blessing, it can be said, . . . “they lived happily ever after!”