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Marriage in Heaven  — Section 19

Does marriage exist in heaven?

Representative of a Christian church:

It is apparent that your faith believes in marriage in heaven.  This belief and doctrine began with Joseph Smith, and his teachings regarding all aspects of sexual relationships.  However, in Matthew 22:23-30 we find Christ’s answer to the Sadducees concerning marriage in the resurrection: “…that they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels in heaven.”  Why then, if we neither are married nor are given in marriage in heaven, according to the words of Christ, do you teach and proselyte this dogma of ‘eternal marriage’?  This teaching appears to me to be in disagreement with the word of God.

Representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

We would point out that Christ answered people according to their knowledge.  For instance, he would use parables to teach the farmer, the shepherd, and the common laborer.  Here Christ had been confronted by a Sadducee who, as pointed out in verse 23, ‘tempted him’ and ‘which believed not in a resurrection’.  Therefore, Christ had a ‘heckler’ in front of him, asking questions on something he didn’t believe in, and trying to confuse and tempt the Lord.  The Lord saw here a good teaching point, so he listened patiently as the Sadducee explained his case.  It consisted of Jewish Law, which commanded a woman to live with the brother of her deceased husband.  In this particular case, the woman’s first husband died, so she went to the next in line and he died, and this trend continued down to the seventh brother.  After he had died, she died.  Now the question was, “Who shall marry in the resurrection?”  Christ said, “She will not marry in the resurrection, for in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage”.  He taught that it was an earthly ordinance, and must be performed before the resurrection.  He then said, “Ye greatly err, not knowing the scriptures, or the power of God.”  But he gave God’s power to the apostles: “…to bind on earth what would be bound in Heaven”.  This same question was asked by a Pharisee in Matthew 19:4-6.  Pharisees believed in a resurrections, so Christ answered him a little differently.  He said, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder”.  Since God joined man and woman together, it is clearly presented to us in Ecclesiastes 3:14 that “I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever”.  Since God joined man and woman together, it shall be forever.  They understood it.  That is why in 1 Corinthians 11:11 we read, “Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord.”  That is why Peter, in 1 Peter 3:7, assured the people that men and women would be “heirs together of the grace of life, that their prayers be not hindered.”  The apostles today bind on earth what will be bound in heaven, and they understand the power of God.  It should be clearly understood, based on the forgoing scriptures, that man is not without the woman in the Lord.  Therefore, Christ answered the Sadducee according to his knowledge, and this answer has been often misinterpreted but still it is a universal truth.

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