Thursday, June 10, 2010

Eternal Marriage, Families and the Family of God

The apostle Paul exclaimed "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named." Ephesians 3:14,15

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we teach that our relationships formed here on earth can continue in eternities. "The same sociality that exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory." (Doctrine and Covenants 130:2)

The family is a divine institution. There is a family in Heaven and on earth. God ordained it to be so and allows each of us to participate if we so choose. By observation it is his preferred pattern of human creation. It is more important than any other organization on the earth and the most important in heaven.  He ordained Marriage and the family.

There is no love formed if there is no creation. He joined man and woman for that purpose. How we use those powers to create is up to us. The consequences of how we use them is not.

Through respectful courtship and a commitment to marriage we establish stable relationships with greater opportunity to bring children into the world. God allows us to participate in the continuing process of human creation. Forming a family under sacred covenants is a very important element in the worship of our Father in Heaven.

Theological scholars of classical theism have said that marriage ends at death. While often claiming that God's truth is manifest in his creation they deny the glory of God's most sacred and basic institution. They nullify all experience gained through our most intimate relationships, those by which his gospel is best taught and his teachings exemplified.

Why would the love developed by a married couple and their family through the trials and sacrifices of life be removed from existence at death as if it were nothing?  

Jesus speaking:
Mathew 19:4,5,6 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which amade them at the beginning made them male and female,

 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall acleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath ajoined together, let not man bput asunder.

Adam and Eve and their posterity would be redeemed from the physical and spiritual death that came about by their fall. Christ would redeem them and their marriage covenant as well.  After their fall into mortality they began to create after their image and likeness just as God did and does.

Why would God institute a relationship such as marriage if he had no prior familiarity with it and use it as a primary institution for filling his creation?  He married Adam and Eve and authorized them to multiply and replenish the earth. They could not do this until after they had fallen from immortality.  

In loving relationships solidified by marriage, husbands and wives learn and grow by serving and not by seeking to fulfill every lustful thought or desire.  It also brings the opportunity to bear children if able to do so and this responsibility blesses our lives and the human race when done in committed relationships established in covenants to serve.

The power of God’s eternal fatherhood is established by eternal motherhood. He is the Father of our spirits in a literal way.  Father is his most cherished title.  He desires that we understand these sacred opportunities. Godliness is not limited to the male gender.

There is a family in heaven. God desires that we each have the opportunity to form one is we desire. We do and will in fact always belong to a family  

Everything about this creation bears witness to a divine order of creation relating to male and female.  "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Genesis 1:27)

Whose is the image that woman is created after?  This is no mystery.  The Bible teaches the pattern that the image of God is male and female. Is God the Father a single parent? No he is not.

If we look at creation, the real question about creation and fatherhood should be asked.  What is it without motherhood and womanhood?  

While we don’t know the exact words that God spoke to perform the marriage of Adam and Eve, as immortal beings it would have been an eternal marriage. There would have been no words of until death do you part, or as long as you both shall live defining its duration.   They were after all immortal beings at the time.

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