In the Doctrine & Covenants 132, we learn all about the nature of and difference between a marriage that will be eternal and those who end at the end of mortal life. The difference relates to whether or not you marry in the temple (and keep those covenants) versus if you marry civilly. The idea is that your choices determine these outcomes. However, what if you really want an eternal temple marriage but you settle for civil, hoping for more at some point? Or even possibly hope you will be given an opportunity on the other side for eternal marriage because you weren’t able to find it here? What about any number of other life circumstances?
What We Know:
We at least know this from what is given in D&C 132:15-21. These scriptures are a bit long, but worth the entire read since this is the main given doctrine on the subject:
15 Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.
16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.
17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.
18 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.
19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.
20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have call power, and the angels are subject unto them.
21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.
What we really don’t fully know is what would ever constitute a person somehow “losing their opportunity” for eternal marriage, just that civil marriages as an institution don’t go on beyond this life. If a person is always single but passes on marriage opportunities they didn’t feel right about, they marry civilly, or they get a temple divorce, does that or any other condition mean they may have “lost their chance”? In my personal opinion—and that is all this is—I feel that anyone who truly wants an eternal marriage, is worthy or it, and tries to find and have that in their life, whether it ever works out for them or not in this life, will somehow have access to that in the next life. This spirit of this quote below captures the basis for my opinion—along with the general knowledge that God is a just and loving God:
“Many of the most important deprivations of mortality will be set right in the Millennium, which is the time for fulfilling all that is incomplete in the great plan of happiness for all of our Father’s worthy children. We know that will be true of temple ordinances. I believe it will also be true of family relationships and experiences.”
--Dallin H Oaks
The Great Plan of Happiness
General Conference, October 1993
Your personal worthiness, your agency, and the true desires of your hearts will all combine to determine whether or not you enjoy an eternal marriage opportunity in the next life when things do not work out here. Along with your worthiness, it is important to keep hope and faith in this eventual blessing. And when you do, all blessing will be made available to God’s children that are willing to receive them. And remember that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|2020-10-12||Randy Gilchrist||Marriage preparation, Spirituality|
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).