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Marriage in Heaven - What do you think?

Carol and I just finished a small marriage group series on 'Love and Respect' from Dr. Emerson Eggerichs which has enriched our life immensely. I endorse it wholeheartedly. It was one of the most eye-opening experiences for each of us to come to an understanding of the pink-vs-blue way that we each experience life. To quote Dr Eggerichs, "Not bad. Not good. Just different." We enjoyed the DVD series so much with the small group that we bought his book and are now reading it together.

The book and the series and I suppose Dr Eggerichs ministry are all based on Ephesians 5:33 - "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband." Or as Emerson quotes it from the New International Version: "However, each one of you must also love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Dr Eggerichs teaches in his seminar about the Crazy Cycle, in which we communicate poorly because we are seeing, hearing and speaking from our own male / female point of view. His entertaining style as he explains how misunderstandings occur is most enjoyable and downright hilarious at times.

Section two of the seminar is about the Energizing Cycle in which he helps us understand that 'his love motivates her respect which in turn motivates his love..." It is in this section that we are introduced to the acronyms COUPLE and CHAIRS. I won't reveal what they represent here as I would not want to spoil it for you or Dr Eggerichs. Finally, he closes with the Rewarded Cycle in which he illustrates beautifully the concept that we can give unconditional love or unconditional respect regardless of the reciprocating love or respect from our spouse (or lack thereof). I was with Emerson 100% up until we heard him say something in this section that just wasn't right.

It is based on a misunderstanding of Matthew 22:30: "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." He said, we are not married in heaven but are angels to God. Dr Eggerichs is not alone in his interpretation of this scripture. In fact, I believe that most of the Christian world would agree with him. I do not agree with the idea of no marriage in heaven nor does my church. We base our understanding of this scripture on modern revelation found in the book of Doctrine and Covenants 131:1-4.

To quote the scripture, which was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1843, "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]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase." This and the following section of the Doctrine and Covenants are the scriptural basis for the Mormon belief of Marriage in Heaven.

And finally, to quote one of my favorite authors, Bruce R McConkie, "This colloquy between Jesus and his Sadducean detractors does not question or throw doubt, in proper cases, on the eternal verity that the family unit continues in the resurrection. Jesus had previously taught the eternal nature of the marriage union. "What therefore God [not man!] hath joined together, let not man put asunder." That is, when a marriage is performed by God's authority [not man's!] it is eternal. See Matt. 19:1-12. "Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever." (Eccles. 3:14.). Source: (DNTC v1, p604).

What do you think?


Phreddie said…
Right on! I know that marriage has to be eternal. Our time on Earth is the trial run before eternal transformation to resurrected beings. It is where we practise living the life Jesus taught and experience the blessings that result therefrom. I believe this includes the selction of our eternal spouse. (I've chosen a great one, by the way!)
Anonymous said…
I just came from one of Emerson's Love & Respect conferences today, and when I heard him refer to the
Bible scripture about the Sadduces' question (of the same woman being married to seven men, one by one, and they all died) of who would be her husband in heaven, and Jesus' reply that there is no marriage in heaven, I KNEW my Mormon friends would freak. Of course you disagree. After all, who is right? Jesus Christ or Joseph Smith? Smith of course. Hah. You have to rely on Doctrines and Covenants from the LDS church to believe that, and you have to ignore Jesus. What a joke. Come on, LDS people. This is just one more case where you choose to believe your church while saying God is wrong. God (Jesus) is not wrong.
Tim Malone said…
Hi Anonymous,

Thank you for your thoughtful comment on my post about Marriage in Heaven. I'd glad we agree that Emerson Eggerichs is a powerful presenter on the subject of love and respect in marriage. There were times when we just about fell out of the chair laughing because of his humorous insights into the differing ways that men and women experience life. His seminar was an eye opener for me about the pink vs. blue way of understanding things.

I was pleased to read that you have friends who are Mormon. I'm sure you have learned from them how strongly we feel about the subject of eternal marriage. We dedicate a large percentage of our efforts in the church to helping members understand and participate in the ordinances of the temple. We believe these ordinances unite a man and woman in marriage that lasts beyond this life.

Isn't that a wonderful thought? If you are married I'm sure you love your family and want to be with them after this mortal life is ended. I know I do. That's why I'm so grateful for modern prophets and apostles who help us understand the teachings of the Savior on this subject. You are correct that this doctrine is most clearly taught in Doctrines and Covenants that are found in scriptures other than the Bible.

When I was a full-time missionary for our church I leaned that almost all objections to our doctrine could really be summarized in one thing: Was Joseph Smith a prophet of God? Did he or did he not speak for the Lord when he taught that marriage was an earthly ordinance and would not be performed in heaven? I believe so. I think that is what Jesus was trying to tell the Sadducees when he answered their question about the woman being married seven times.

You have probably learned from your friends who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that we present the Book of Mormon as evidence of Joseph Smith's prophetic authority. Although the Book of Mormon teaches nothing on Eternal Marriage, it is a tangible witness of something that Joseph Smith produced as part of his claim to being a prophet with authority to speak for God on the earth.

We proclaim that Joseph was indeed a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is proof of what he claimed - that God called him to be the prophet of the latter days. The church that he organized is the kingdom of God on the earth with all the authority to administer the ordinances of salvation that are needed in eternity to be united as families in the presence of God. It would not be heaven for me without my family by my side forever.

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