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The Divine and Covenantal Order of Marriage

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Understand the Divine Order and Covenant of Eternal Marriage

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

~ Genesis 2:24 ~

Divine marriage covenants do not provide a guarantee of perfect marriage here on earth. Rather they provide a promise for the future. Elder Marion D Hanks (1921 – 2011) has said, “Of course, everyone who comes to the temple to be married understands that the ceremony is performed by God’s authority for time and eternity. But the remarkable revealed ceremony at the altar in a temple contemplates much more than this. The quality of the relationship thus established is of highest importance. Wonderful promises are sealed upon a man and woman in temple marriage, and the realization of the promised blessings is related directly to their understanding and keeping the solemn commitments they make to each other and the Lord.”  (General Conference, October 1984)

~ Elder David J. Thomson – The Power of the Eternal Marriage Covenant ~

In Word: For what reason is man to marry a wife? Because woman was originally a constituent part of man, she must return to become one with him again, so that the full expression and design of God’s image in human beings can be revealed. This is evident with modern day revelation of the sacredness of marriage: Marriage is sacred and was ordained of God from before the foundation of the world. Jesus Christ affirmed the divine origins of marriage: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” {(see Matthew 19:4-5) The Divine Institution of Marriage – Newsroom: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints}

Not only do we understand the richness of our divine heritage, the marriage of Adam and Eve is symbolism of the eternal purpose of marriage as it relates to a divine Heavenly Marriage. Through Adam, we have the priestly authority and fatherhood of God. Through Eve, we have the divine attributes of Motherhood. Together, Adam and Eve became the representatives of Heavenly Parents. And this is evident in the unifying of man and woman in their specific gender roles as Husband and Wife.

In Deed: Living a Covenant Marriage is central to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It reflects the relationship and intimacy between us and Christ. Intimacy between husband and wife. Intimacy between children. Not only was it God’s good will and purpose to create this world, He instituted and ordained marriage for all time and eternity (D&C 49:15). This is God’s law and ordinance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Garden of Eden is symbolism of the divine and Holy Temple of God. In this temple man and woman were sealed together by God’s divine authority. One key truth is provided in scripture where God said man is not meant to be alone and therefore our Heavenly Father created a helpmeet (Genesis 2:18). What then constitutes this covenant Marriage? The Apostle Paul lays out the framework in Ephesians 5. We are to walk in love. Offer ourselves up as sacrifices. Put away all forms of uncleanliness. Do not be deceived by vain words. Walk in the light and truth of Christ that is the fruit of the Spirit. Reprove those works of darkness and have no fellowship with such things. Walk in wisdom. Understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not give in to drunkenness. Celebrate with songs and show gratitude. Submit ourselves over to one another. Care for one another’s needs. Sanctify one another to be presented without spot or wrinkle – a glorious and faithful servant.

Take a Moment and Ponder: How does this understanding impact your perspective on marriage? What sacred covenants do you find within a marriage that honors one another and honors God? How does one live in a covenant marriage if they have not had an opportunity to be sealed for all time and eternity in this life? The pure doctrine of Christ contains the revealed truth that we are not meant to be alone. God ordained that we are to bind ourselves to another as our helpmeet. It is a sacred ordinance and covenant we ought to not take lightly. Through marriage – our Heavenly Father further His glory and purpose in our immortality and eternal life.