Mormon Temple Marriage, Traditional Marriage?
Lately, there has been much debate and controversy surrounding the definition of marriage. State governments in the U.S., and now even federal courts are finding that “traditional marriage,” the union of a man and a woman with the potential to naturally bring forth children, is discriminatory toward people who may not fit that description. Marriage as a sacred covenant is sliding into obscurity and even obsolescence. Gay activists, especially, mock “traditional marriage” as an institution that was prominent only for a few decades in post-World War II America. Books have been written showing various marriage traditions over time and throughout the world in their most un-traditional varieties.
When members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often called “Mormons”) stand up for traditional marriage, they are not referring only to the husband-wife earthly union, but to the tradition established through God’s commandments to Adam and Eve. Because of more revealed scripture and modern prophets who receive revelation, Mormons know more than most about God’s intentions for marriages and families, and this knowledge forms the basis for their concerns regarding the destruction of the traditional family.
What is the Sacred Marriage Covenant?
Mormons have learned that family units can be eternal — they can transcend death. This idea should bring much joy to those who have lost loved-ones to death. Their separation is just temporary. We were meant to be reunited for eternity. That is what God wants for all of us.
While people migrate through temporary relationships looking for a soul mate who will never disappoint them, Mormons know that our earthly weaknesses — those that keep us from fully astounding our spouses every day of our marriages — are for mortality only. They are given to us during our sojourn on earth in order to bring us to our knees, looking for help from heaven. In our marriages to imperfect people, we learn patience and true charity. We wade through health and financial problems, infertility, mental illness, all these trials, looking forward to the time when we can be perfected by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and become co-heirs with Him. Marriage is the perfect venue to refine us, and people must be imperfect marriage partners for the whole thing to work.
The real “traditional marriage” is that which was enjoyed by our first parents, Adam and Eve, who were sealed together in an eternal covenant. In this traditional marriage, it is the covenant that is paramount, not the egos of the husband and wife. Both are servants to the covenant, and children who enter the family begin to realize that they are servants of the eternal family unit.
With this standard, all work together to forgive and uplift and support through thick and thin, through all earthly trials.
Far from being discriminatory, this is the pattern and plan meant to take us back into God’s presence in the company of the people we love most. As a side-effect, societies benefit, because families are solid and loving, children are secure. The morality necessary to participate in this plan also helps society. If everyone lives according to the necessary standard, all are chaste outside of the covenant, STD’s disappear, and so do broken hearts.
If this standard seems impossible, rest assured that it is not. Millions of Christ’s followers, members of the Church of Jesus Christ, are joyfully keeping this standard. Millions have kept it in the past. The Book of Mormon testifies of some of them. After His death and resurrection, Christ appeared to the Book of Mormon people at their temple. The more wicked of the people had been destroyed as His crucifixion occurred half-a-world away, so only the more righteous were left. After having suffered through earthquakes and storms, the people were now rebuilding their beloved temples, wherein sealings of eternal families could occur.
After Christ’s visit, His chosen twelve disciples preached throughout the land until all the people were fully converted and living according to the commandments of God. A sort of utopia was the result. For over two hundred years, the people enjoyed the happiest of lives, and there were no poor among them. As it is recorded…
…they all were made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift….And there were great and marvelous works wrought by the disciples of Jesus, insomuch that they did heal the sick, and raise the dead, and cause the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear; and all manner of miracles did they work among the children of men; and in nothing did they work miracles save it were in the name of Jesus….And it came to pass that the people of Nephi did wax strong, and did multiply exceedingly fast, and became an exceedingly fair and delightsome people. And they were married and given in marriage, and were blessed according to the multitude of the promises which the Lord had made unto them…..And it came to pass that there was no contention among all the people, in all the land…and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God (Book of Mormon, 4 Nephi).
When Mormons stand up for traditional marriage, they are called “haters,” anti-love, when the marriage pattern they preach and teach is the one that brings the most happiness possible well into eternity. Mormons grieve for those with the extremely difficult challenges faced by the GLBT community, but promise that purity and keeping God’s commandments will bring in the eternities, what might be difficult to obtain on earth. For those who cannot establish covenant marriages on earth, the opportunity will come in the afterlife. Mormon temple work seeks to seal families who have passed on without having that opportunity. Ours is a message of transcendent love, beauty, and joy. This is what we want for all of God’s children.
Article was written by Gale