For most people outside the Mormon Church, officially known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a temple wedding is, in many ways, nothing like the wedding they grow up looking forward to: no music, no bridal walk, no capturing “Kodak moments” at the altar, and no ring ceremony. Also, unlike most other weddings, Mormon temple weddings seldom go over 30 minutes and are usually attended only by a few close friends and family members who have temple recommends. Despite this, marrying in the temple is an ultimate goal of every faithful Latter-day Saint.
Why Temple Marriage?
Latter-day Saints believe that when worthy couples are married in the temple, they are sealed together as husbands and wives for all time and all eternity. This means that unlike civil marriages, marriage in the temple is designed to perpetuate beyond mortality and into the next life. During a temple wedding, a couple makes sacred covenants and are sealed together by priesthood authority – the same authority Jesus Christ gave to Peter and other apostles declaring that “whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19). Without this sealing authority, marriage and family relationships could not continue beyond the grave, hence the statement declared in many civil weddings: “till death do you part.”
Temple Marriage is a Requirement for Receiving Eternal Life
Eternal life means living in the presence of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. It is living eternally with families and loved ones in the Celestial Kingdom – a place where God lives. It is the greatest of all gifts of God for His children. One of the requirements for receiving this gift is receiving the sealing ordinance of temple marriage.
“In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
“And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
Thus, in order to receive eternal life and be with their families forever, every person must work for a temple marriage and married couples must keep the covenants associated with it such as staying faithful to each other. The Lord commands: “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else” (Doctrine and Covenants 42:22).
Couples who have previously been married by civil law may be sealed in temples and receive all the promised blessings that come from making and keeping their covenants. Single people must seek the guidance of the Lord and follow the guidelines set by the Church as they prepare themselves to marry in holy temples.