browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Doctrine & Covenants – Lesson 31

“Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity”

Jeff and Tiffany Stone

Taught By Jeff Stone

September 6, 2009

Reading Assignment:
Additional Reading

At the end of class today, it was pointed out to me that the September 2009 Ensign happens to have a lot of articles written about Eternal Marriage which ties in nicely with this week’s lesson. Take a moment to read it.

Lesson Introduction

It’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to teach Gospel Doctrine Class. It was very rewarding to prepare for this lesson. It brought back a lot of memories of our wedding day. Well, this lesson, of course, is about the temple, and more specifically the eternal nature of marriage and family.

As you can see above, Tiffany and I were quite happy to have found each other and become an eternal family that day. Parley P. Pratt recalled his feelings when he first heard the Prophet Joseph teach these [Eternal Marriage and The New and Everlasting Covenant] doctrines:

Parley P. Pratt “I had loved before, but I knew not why. But now I loved—with a pureness—an intensity of elevated, exalted feeling, which would lift my soul. … I felt that God was my heavenly Father indeed; that Jesus was my brother, and that the wife of my bosom was an immortal, eternal companion. … In short, I could now love with the spirit and with the understanding also” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt [1975], 298).

Eternal Marriage is Essential in Heavenly Father’s Plan

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have declared that “marriage between man and woman is essential to [God’s] eternal plan” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102; see also D&C 49:15; D&C 131:1–4; 1 Corinthians 11:11)

The big question this lesson asks is “Why is eternal marriage essential to Heavenly Father’s plan?” It’s a great question, and in class today we had some great answers:

Joseph B. Wirthlin Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve said: “The sweet companionship of eternal marriage is one of the greatest blessings God has granted to His children. Certainly, the many years I have shared with my beautiful companion have brought me the deepest joys of my life. From the beginning of time, marital companionship of husband and wife has been fundamental to our Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness. Our lives are touched for good, and we are both edified and ennobled as we savor the sweet blessings of association with dear members of the family” (Ensign, Nov. 1997, 32).
Boyd K. Packer President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve taught: “The ultimate purpose of all we teach is to unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father” (Ensign, May 1995, 8).
Joseph Fielding Smith President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “Marriage, as understood by Latter-day Saints, is a covenant ordained to be everlasting. It is the foundation for eternal exaltation, for without it there could be no eternal progress in the kingdom of God” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 2:58).
Spencer W. Kimball President Spencer W. Kimball said: “Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all . . . decisions and has the most far-reaching effects, for it has to do not only with immediate happiness, but also with eternal joys. It affects not only the two people involved, but also their families and particularly their children and their children’s children down through the many generations” (“Oneness in Marriage,” Ensign, Mar. 1977, 3).
Blessings of Eternal Marriage

Those who are worthy and have an eternal marriage will be blessed in many ways:

  • They will be together “in time, and through all eternity” (D&C 132:19). Their children may also be part of their eternal family.
  • They will be exalted in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (D&C 131:1–3; D&C 132:23–24).
  • They will “inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, … powers, [and] dominions” (D&C 132:19).
  • They will continue to have seed, or spirit children, throughout eternity (D&C 132:19, D&C 30–31; see also D&C 131:4).
  • “They shall be gods, because they have all power” (D&C 132:20–21).
We Got Sealed; Now What?

After a husband and wife are sealed in the temple, they must abide in the covenant to receive the promised blessings. We must remain worthy. We read in class today the quote from Sister Marjorie Hinckley.

Marjorie Hinckley“I was just sure the first ten years would be bliss. But during our first year together I discovered … there were a lot of adjustments. Of course, they weren’t the kind of thing you ran home to mother about. But I cried into my pillow now and again. The problems were almost always related to learning to live on someone else’s schedule and to do things someone else’s way. We loved each other, there was no doubt about that. But we also had to get used to each other. I think every couple has to get used to each other.”

This statement was made by Sister Marjorie P. Hinckley, wife of President Gordon B. Hinckley (in Sheri L. Dew, Go Forward with Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley [1996], 118). It takes love, work, and dedication to have a successful marriage. When a man and woman are sealed in the temple, they will receive the promised blessings only if they “abide in [the] covenant” (D&C 132:19).

As pointed out by sister Hinckley, marriage is work, even if you are married to the Prophet of the Lord’s Church. Take a moment and Read D&C 42:22. Ask yourself these two questions:

  • What does it mean to love a husband or wife with all one’s heart?
  • What does it mean to cleave to a husband or wife and none else?

President Spencer W. Kimball gave us a very powerful answer to these questions:

Spencer W. Kimball “When the Lord says all thy heart, it allows for no sharing nor dividing nor depriving . . . The words none else eliminate everyone and everything. The spouse then becomes preeminent in the life of the husband or wife, and neither social life nor occupational life nor political life nor any other interest nor person nor thing shall ever take precedence over the companion spouse . . .“Marriage presupposes total allegiance and total fidelity. Each spouse takes the partner with the understanding that he or she gives totally to the spouse all the heart, strength, loyalty, honor, and affection, with all dignity. Any divergence is sin; any sharing of the heart is transgression. As we should have ‘an eye single to the glory of God,’ so should we have an eye, an ear, a heart single to the marriage and the spouse and family” (Faith Precedes the Miracle [1972], 142–43).
Gordon B. Hinckley President Gordon B. Hinckley gave this simple counsel to married couples: “Be fiercely loyal one to another” (Ensign, Feb. 1999, 4).
Soon to Be Married

For those  not yet married, here are some words of wisdom to help you on your journey:

Gordon B. Hinckley President Gordon B. Hinckley counseled: “Choose a companion of your own faith. You are much more likely to be happy. Choose a companion you can always honor, you can always respect, one who will complement you in your own life, one to whom you can give your entire heart, your entire love, your entire allegiance, your entire loyalty” (“Life’s Obligations” Ensign, Feb. 1999, 2).
Richard G. Scott Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve said:“There is more to a foundation of eternal marriage than a pretty face or an attractive figure. There is more to consider than popularity or charisma. As you seek an eternal companion, look for someone who is developing the essential attributes that bring happiness: a deep love of the Lord and of His commandments, a determination to live them, one that is kindly understanding, forgiving of others, and willing to give of self, with the desire to have a family crowned with beautiful children and a commitment to teach them the principles of truth in the home.

“An essential priority of a prospective wife is the desire to be a wife and mother. She should be developing the sacred qualities that God has given His daughters to excel as a wife and mother: patience, kindliness, a love of children, and a desire to care for them rather than seeking professional pursuits. She should be acquiring a good education to prepare for the demands of motherhood.

“A prospective husband should also honor his priesthood and use it in service to others. Seek a man who accepts his role as provider of the necessities of life, has the capacity to do it, and is making concerted efforts to prepare himself to fulfill those responsibilities” (Ensign, May 1999, 26).

Final Thoughts

President and Sister HinckleyWhile putting this web page together, I was scouring the internet looking for images of those giving the quotes. When I came upon the google page of Sister Hinckley’s images, I was moved by the spirit in a very powerful way.

It was strange and beautiful. I felt how she truly loved her husband, President Hinckley. I heard that when Sister Hinckley passed away that President Hinckley said “She was always the woman of my dreams, and now, once again she is the woman of my dreams.”

That is such a beautiful and moving statement of pure love and devotion. It’s a goal woth reaching for. Let us strive together to improve our relationship with our spouses and family members by working together in the gospel:

  • Pray Together
  • Worship Together
  • Read The Scriptures Together
  • Attend The Temple Together
  • Serve One Another
  • Hold Regular Family Home Evenings
  • Council With One Another

Preparing this lesson strengthened my testimony of Eternal Marriage

Teaching this lesson further strengthened my testimony of Eternal Marriage

Researching and building this page has even further strengthened my testimony of Eternal Marriage

We truly can have eternal marriage and eternal families if we so choose. That is my testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.