Friday, January 22, 2016

Mormons and Eternal Marriage

My Marriage Experience

Marriage has blessed my life.  I contemplate it frequently. It is a refining principle and process. Between the discussions that we have and the efforts made to recognize the talents, concerns and ambitions of each other we have experienced something of the process of two becoming one.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we see marriage as a very important principle and an ideal to seek. As we strive to implement the ideal we may not get it right every time or for a long time.  

Most of the philosophies of men in popular culture demean the power and nurture of womanhood whether they become mothers or not. Fatherhood is also belittled in these circles of spiritual ignorance.

I did not grow up in what you might call an ideal family, yet I wanted to have such a family. I have come to realize that such is not the norm however. I sensed that marriage was was an important principle yet did not fully understand why. When I was young, marriage was still more valid in society than it is today. 

While striving to develop the marriage relationship we will still fall short in so many aspects so many times. We still must keep our eye on the ideal while the world may choose to live together without marriage or any real commitment. The precepts of enduring relationships and child bearing have become the minority.  

Marriage is however in my mind the most synergistic of all relationships both in power to create and to refine the character of its participants. Elder Henry B Eyring described it as a "transcendent power to create happiness" in his personal testimony at the Vatican.   See The Family Proclamation.  I add my testimony and personal witness to his that this is true. 

As I became interested in and learned the principle of service to others,  I also discovered something of how this applies to seeking to contribute to the happiness of my wife.  She is a happy person on her own, but in marriage there is a partnership that requires working together.  

It does take a lot of work and commitment to stay in love and serve each other.  I get a lot of joy from seeing her smile and watching her enjoy life to pursue her dreams and ambitions. These opportunities have increased with the passage of time. 

There were times when I didn't think I would possibly have a truly happy and fulfilled wife as we struggled along in the early years. I am still working on it as well.  She experienced the creation of life 10 times and has eight amazing children from her sacrifice. A long explanation of what that might entail probably isn't necessary for this message. 

When we met I had one possession, a car and its side was smashed in from a crash I was involved in on my way to Arizona.  The strange thing is we didn't care.  Life was an opportunity.  Tight and limited means were the norm for much of our life together.

Life is different now, still with unique and ever changing challenges but easier with fewer mouths to feed.  Our kids are grown and on their own for the most part but she still worries about them and our grandchildren. 

Together though we have combined our talents and have managed to increase our opportunities and find some success in our temporal endeavors and family life.  I have seen this in numerous marriages that served as examples to me. With a large family and a desire to be self-reliant we worked hard to realize that goal. In fact our circumstances dictated that we work a lot.

For the most part we lived by faith that all would work out.  Her life has been full of challenges to say the least.  We have been married for 37 years. Not a long time compared to some but it is long enough to get to know someone and see them become greater in their personal development.  We have done this together.

We now have married children. Their courtships and marriages have each had unique opportunities and challenges as well. They are creating happiness as they have children that rely on their guidance and nurturing.

We did knew something of each other's faith and we were both members of the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This foundation was important to our effort to have a good marriage.  

Her parents were converts to the church in their 20's and I was a convert when I was 17.  She grew up in the church and I didn't. Her parents set a good example for her and have now been married almost 60 years. 

I don't recommend our courtship process for others as short engagements do have some risks.  We met and dated and 10 days after our first date we were engaged. Three months later we were married. 

I liked to be with her and she with me and we concluded that we would know better in short order if we still wanted to pursue our commitment.  Her parents were not in agreement with our assessment and courtship timing.  I was only there for the summer though and wasn't leaving without her. 

We were both quite innocent about so many things when we married. We loved being together though, and each day, week, month and year and child that came to our home has been an adventure.  We had a foundation of trust that has endured. 

Even though our courtship was short we had really been preparing for marriage for years.  In applying the foundational principles of the gospel as taught in the church we have lived without regrets in our decisions to develop a family centered lifestyle based on the hope of eternal family relationships.


After joining the church I learned of the examples of some of our church leaders. In speaking of their marriages they taught and lived in such a way that arguments never developed.  I wanted that in my marriage.

I thought I would like to be like that when I meet the girl that I would marry.  I reinforced it when I met my wife and such has been our lot.  Of course because she refuses to be kind of person that wants to argue about anything it helps tremendously.  We still disagree on many things though. We just don't argue about them.

Looking back over our time together and our commitment to each other, the principle of marriage has been an experience that neither of us would change.  Even so, neither of us is really the same person that we married. We have developed a oneness in purpose and developed the love that has endured well to this point.  It has been a refining process.

I am not saying that married people do not experience frustration as they learn to love, to be compatible and overcome selfishness. The fact is that if you put two people together with separate ambitions and try to combine them you expose them to potential friction.  

The process of resisting your own selfish tendencies and the effort to become one refines you faster.  I have witnessed that if you try to live your principles of commitment and fidelity, the love that develops can become a relationship of trust, fun and contentment.   

The desire to seek the happiness of each other is expressed in many ways and becomes more constant with time and experience. Those that choose short term relationships simply break up if the frustration of their selfishness or other vices becomes too dominant. 

My wife finds fulfillment from her life's activities and my goal is to help her keep pursuing them.  She is my business partner.  She is an ambitious creator through many projects and gifts she makes to give to others. Every home we have lived in be it a small apartment or comfortable home she made it beautiful and pleasant to be in according to our means.

She is back in school, taking business and economics courses that are challenging and time consuming.  She passes her classes with A's because that's how she is.  We discuss what she is learning and it is just so much fun to have those discussions and relate them to what we are doing, what our children are doing and what is going on in the world.

We love to be together with others, our children and alone. She is so committed to the successful teaching of important principles of life to our children. We relish each others company and independence.  She is truly an independent woman and we live in a constant state of counsel. Our marriage is hardly traditional though. We were married not only for time but also for eternity. 

Eternal Marriage

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only Christian church that I am aware of that proclaims marriage is an eternal covenant relationship.  

The Mormon church teaches that some of the purposes of life are to form intimate nurturing relationships through marriage and family. This is to give life and a physical body that is an essential element in an eternal plan for the children of God. Life is a processionary step and a probationary state for learning. Exaltation and salvation were planned before we came to earth.

Marriage is in its highest order a holy union with capacity to endure. Those that make and keep sacred covenants according to God's laws, and honor those powers that give life, will have the opportunity to keep them forever. This is why sexual integrity inside marriage covenants is so important.  As such marriage and love cannot be redefined to fit the philosophies of men.  Same sex relationships do not follow this pattern of eternal creation.  Even so God lets us choose how we use the emotions and attraction of our procreative powers for ourselves.

Our teachings tell us that we were not created out of nothing at our birth but that we are eternal beings created in the image of God. Mormon theology teaches that God the Father is a person, a glorified and perfected individual.  

The Father is a man and men on earth are in his image. Fatherhood only exists because of motherhood.  Our eternal mother is a woman.  Women are created in her image.  The image of God is male and female. Any other description would be an effort to redefine truth.  This is what religious philosophers have done. They have made up their own definition of what created in the image of God means.

The female gender and womanhood was not a new invention in the Garden of Eden? Was woman an afterthought to be a companion to Adam as taught by Bible scholars? No this relationship is an eternal pattern and not a new institution.  We have learned this from latter-day prophets of God.


Christian philosophers and theologians determined that marriage is a temporary arrangement. They believe that is what the Bible teaches. In their opinions, from their debates and conclusions they determined that it was a relationship lasting only until the death of the parties.  

Scholars disregard the fact that Adam and Eve were immortal when it was instituted from a biblical standpoint by God in the Garden of Eden. Even though Adam and Eve fell, the marriage covenant would be restored as part of the redemption through Christ.

Traditional orthodox theologians don't have an official doctrine as to how we live in the hereafter or what we might do.  Their theology essentially says that the emotional investment and intimacy of marriage is lost.  

Christian philosophers resolutely declare that the Bible teaches that marriage ends at death. Marriages are therefore performed with the common vernacular of "so long as you both shall live" or "until death do you part" in their ceremonies.  Such are the conclusions of Bible scholars and their philosophical opinions.


United together as male and female is the only way creation takes place in mortality and eternity. There is no misunderstanding about where our gender comes from. Godhood is the eternal togetherness of man and woman. Our eternal parents want us to become like them and receive the fullness of joy which comes from eternal increase in the family unit. 

When a man and a women choose marriage they follow the divine pattern.  It is patterned after the eternal family in heaven.  It is the ultimate of synergy.  As Henry B. Eyring called it a "transcendent power to produce happiness."  It is a process and not an event. The uniting of two souls as one in a mortal experience where the emotional investments do not end at death.

When people chose to live together without marriage or in same sex relationships they disregard this pattern. They choose the philosophies of men.  The spiritual union cannot happen outside of the covenants of the temple and priesthood sealing powers. Only therein is the authority for an eternal union. 

God does not stop the unauthorized unions because life is a probationary station where we are tested as to our desires and we choose how they develop in our actions.

God our Father's desire is for our greatest happiness.  This is found in the truths He has revealed.  His perfect love and the gospel of his son Jesus Christ make possible the changes we need to make.  In developing the power and gift of love we can be endowed.  This happens through the covenants we are willing to accept and live. This is how faith is manifest as we act.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Why I like Mormons, The Temple and Will Love Family My Family Eternally

By birth I suppose I was a mainstream sectarian Christian, but I was very neutral and unaware as to God’s role in my life or in the world for that matter. Even so, I was curious and desirous to know about eternal things. Our family attended a Methodist or non-denominational church on a sporadic basis when I was growing up.  

The first time I met a Mormon I was about 8 years old. One of our babysitters was one and talked a lot about her church, telling us how it was different from other churches. I remember asking my dad about it and he said that all churches were the same. Over the next 4 years I would meet others in this small farming community in Southwest Idaho but I was young and not much interested. My brother would attend Primary with some friends but I never did.  

When we moved to Boise, I met others, and became more aware of some of their peculiarities. I went to church with my friends when I was about 16.  I learned about their teachings of not using tobacco or drinking alcohol. I heard about their doctrines of living prophets like in the Bible and the principle of eternal marriage, families and temples. I had never heard such teachings by orthodox Christian ministers about eternal marriage. It was until death parts the couple that I had been taught.

When I was 17 I was baptized and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I studied basic LDS beliefs about God, Jesus Christ and of eternal families. It was not something done on a whim or that I took lightly. I believed then and do even more so today.

My religious experience is based on 43 years of serving in the church, a 39 year marriage in the temple to my wife, eight children going through the temple, seven married there, five have served missions and our youngest son is on a mission. I have had so many experiences that demonstrate the Lord's guidance in my life. I am familiar with the doctrines and the results of living them.

I am now a primary teacher with my wife, serving a local church service mission and a temple ordinance worker in the Mesa Arizona Temple.  I have spent some time pondering back over my experience with the church, the temple and the doctrines that are associated with it.

These teachings about God and our families are essentially what Mormons believe and hold to be of greatest importance. All of the aspirations of our religious commitments come to us through the love and blessings of our Savior, Jesus Christ and his atonement.  The temple is considered “The House of the Lord”, and I know that this is true and what I have learned is the temple is the Savior's invitation to follow him into eternity and receive all that he has to give. Jesus taught us that the temple is his Father's house.

When I joined the church, my dad asked me if I knew that he and others that were not members of the church would not be able to go in the temple if I was married there.  When I did get married my dad and stepmother still came to be with us outside the temple after the ceremony and participate In the other activities.  Why is temple attendance like this if the object is to unite families?  I will explain part of this a little bit later.

Before going on a mission or getting married in the temple, Latter-Day Saints participate in a ceremony in the temple called an endowment. It is simply and profoundly an endowment of knowledge and commitment making process. It helps us increase the power of faith in our lives.  It is a process of covenants and ordinances that confirm our faith and commitment to Jesus Christ, his Church and the Kingdom of God on the earth. Also the foundational principles for building our family relationships for eternal success are represented in the covenants.

Two years after I joined the church I was called to serve a mission in Argentina for 24 months.  This was truly an epic experience for me and played a big part in developing my faith in Jesus Christ and his church.  I attended the temple for the first time to receive my endowment about two months before I left on my mission. The experience was profound for me and it changed me in many ways.

About a year after I returned home, I took a summer job in Arizona, I met my wife at a young adult dance in Mesa. We married in the temple about four months later. A little quick I know but it was right for us. Our years together has been a life altering experience, choice and blessing.

In the marriage or “sealing” ceremony, a couple is sealed, or bound together in a sacred promise and covenant, that if they keep will allow them to be together for eternity as a married couple. Their children will also be bound or associated with them forever in family bonds and affection.  We make our best efforts as humans to follow these lofty pursuits but rely on the Savior to help us fulfill them. Without him, they simply will never come to pass.

What is the difference between a chapel and a temple in the Mormon Church? If you have ever attended an LDS sacrament meeting or more than one, you will know that even though our intent is to make the meeting as reverent as possible, it can be a cacophony of of sounds, children occasionally crying and so forth.  We attend as families and such is the nature of teaching small children how to worship God.

The chapel is where we meet for regular Sunday worship, This is our sabbath day and we meet to renew the covenants or promises that we made at baptism and in the temple.  In age group categories and separate classes as men and women we also study and learn by teaching each other. There is no paid clergy in the church and all members take turns doing the teaching and leadership functions that allow a “ward”, the local congregation, to successfully function. There are over 30,000 wards in the church and thousands of Chapels around the world where the local congregations meet.

Part of the Sacrament meeting or main worship service is dedicated to private worship by partaking of the sacrament, the bread and we use water instead of wine, represent the Savior’s sacrifice of his blood and body.  As we ponder his love and the commitment that we have made to follow Jesus Christ we are renewed in spirit, body and mind.  We also have midweek youth activities in the chapels and other meetings and conferences.

What takes place in the Temple is very different than the chapels.  There are only 155 temples throughout the world with more being built. They are beautiful buildings designed and dedicated as a place of learning and service. They are monumental in the way they invite us to come. They are places where the Savior and his spirit are present.

What takes place in the temples is more solemn and ceremonious than in the chapels. It is very much a process of private worship and pondering as we attend on a repeated basis after receiving our own endowment. We dress in white and and wear special clothing as part of the temple ordinances.  The special clothing we wear in the temple and the temple garment we wear under our clothing after we receive the endowment can be seen here.

Participation in temple ordinances and covenants takes place when our faith and commitment is prepared to move to a higher level of understanding.  If the idea of a university is appropriate we can understand that there are expectations and qualifications in order to be accepted to that level of learning.   Attending the temple is not intended to be restrictive nor does it depend on a person's accomplishments, yet the participants must be prepared or the process will be of little benefit.  This is one reason that once a temple is dedicated only members can go in and participate. What takes place there would mean nothing to someone that is not a faithful member of the church.

Local leaders assist local members in preparing to attend the temple and the goal is that all members might prepare and attend when they are ready.  This is also why missionaries go all over the world to teach people and invite them to come and learn. While much of the endowment is scriptural, there is also much in the way of learning from revelation to God’s living prophets that establishes a broader understanding of our eternal identity and the eternal nature of God’s ongoing plans for his children.

One of the stories that I had heard before I joined the church was that Mormons believed that only Mormons went to heaven and that they were a cult not a church.  I am sure that others have heard such as well, along with a multitude of other inaccurate things that Mormons supposedly believe and do.  These notions circulatie in sectarian church meetings and are often promoted by those that disagree with the church on other principles and teachings.

Much of what is spread about on the internet and other meetings purporting to inform others of Mormon beliefs is simply not accurate, or a dialogue with intentions to distort the truth. If you want to know you should ask a Mormon. There are many false narratives in the sectarian theological circles. People that hear these false dialogues and know a faithful Latter-Day Saint personally should know that our system of beliefs and commitments is scriptural and not strange at all once they are understood. Mormonism does not take away from the faith that people have. It adds to it and increases it.

Mormons believe that we lived with God before we came to earth.  Our intelligence is eternal and our spirit is the offspring of God in a literal manner.  Our life on earth is an essential part of a growth process and eternal pattern of creation that allows us to develop our eternal potential as beings capable of exaltation and living with God and our families for ever.  This is the essence of the temple teachings.  God the Father is the originator of these blessings as part of the great whole of eternal truth and patterns of family relationships.  Jesus Christ in the implementor of the Father’s plan and directs the salvation of his children.

A part of the temple purpose that many don’t understand is the concept of vicarious ordinances.  The teachings I was exposed to before joining the church about heaven were very vague and varied from preacher to preacher.  Such is also the case with internet ministries and their representations of God and heaven. Most simply have no concrete understanding of eternal things since they don't believe that God communicates such knowledge to mankind. They base their knowledge on a closed canon of scripture that they still debate after thousands of years.

I believe that God wants all of us to return to live with him.  It is however our choice.  He will not force us.  This is based on the doctrine or principle of moral agency.   He will give us the information we need to return but it only happens if we chose it and follow it.  That is how we demonstrate our faith. That is how we are saved as it is called.

Because he is a loving God and literally our Eternal Father, he has made available an unconditional resurrection because of the Savior’s conquest of death. All people will receive immortality with bodies perfected to the degree of their faith or lack of it.  It will nevertheless be glorious. Those that offer willing commitments through their covenants to the eternal designs of our Heavenly Father receive all of the necessary grace to become exalted in the image and likeness of God.  That is his ultimate endowment based on his perfect love, justice and mercy.

Billions have lived on the earth without hearing of Jesus Christ or his church or his covenants and ordinances.   There could be nothing more unjust than to condemn these individuals based on a lack of opportunity.  Since we are eternal spiritual beings, after we die and before the final resurrection there is yet an opportunity where individuals can accept the plan of the Father and the mercy of the Savior. There are teaching and learning opportunities on the other side of the veil of death.

When we go to the temple after our own endowment or marriage we can return as often as we want to vicariously represent individuals of our family or others that did not receive these ordinances.  God is a being of perfect justice and places the same requirements on each of us.  The process is very individual both on earth and in the place where the spirits reside until the resurrection.  They can accept the ordinances performed on their behalf if they so choose and receive all of the associated blessings.

My parents never joined the Mormon Church while they were alive.  I imagine that the Lord’s church in the eternities is called something different if it even exists.   As I understand we will be organized as families.  Even so they must accept and believe any and all truths that God requires of us.  If they do so they will still be able to go to the highest order of heaven or the Celestial Kingdom as we call it.

I have performed these ordinances of eternal marriage and the endowment for them.  I don’t know if they accept them or not.  I have faith and suppose they will. They were truly good people.   When i went to the temple for them, I could feel my love for them and theirs for me as their child.  These affections and bonds never leave us. I have made them in this life with my wife and look to them as a source of peace and joy, both now and forever.

As Latter-Day Saints we proclaim the authority of God’s priesthood to perform the ordinances of the House of the Lord. Even so, many people, for reasons I don’t know or understand will not look to us for answers to questions about eternal truths and the nature of God.  Those that do will find answers. They can confirm them through a process of personal understanding and revelation as I did and that millions have.

Our missionaries can help anyone that will listen to apply these principles.  The philosophies of men prevail throughout the world and have produced a blinding effect on the general condition of the world.  Eternal things are left on the side while the pursuits of the world occupy most people's time and attention.

The test of our faith is real.  I attest to the fact of God’s eternal love, his true plan of salvation and that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He is our Savior and Redeemer, and directs the work of salvation.  I testify of living prophets that hold his authority and preside over it and the church in the earth.  We can all participate in it if we desire.  This is my testimony and why I like the temple and love all that it represents.

Posted by Charlie Brown April 29, 2017

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Mormons, Marriage and the Philosophies of Men


The Philosophies of Men

Our worldly governments are in a constant state of change as they seek to protect us. With building codes and fire escapes, auto safety, seatbelts and airbags or whatever their concern, they purport to stop us from hurting ourselves or killing each other in our accident prone and selfish world.  

Over the next 120 plus years some six billion or so people will die from all causes.  No mortal law can or will stop it from happening. This for most part it happens so subtly and quietly on an individual basis that only a few people are affected at a time.  We mourn and soon the mourners are gone.  Except for a few exceptional lifespans all will be gone.

Following the natural laws of mortal creation billions of new lives will replace those that die on a similar subtle basis of replacement. How will the participants choose to satisfy the ability and power to create life and under what circumstances will they do it? How will the innocent be affected? How will ignorance and arrogance show their influence in societies and cultures of the world?

Where will humankind look for safety, happiness and peace? Do the atheists, skeptics and agnostics have the answer?  Will the theologies of man provide the direction and relief? 

How can the philosophies of man be described? They are the ideas and concepts that men and women as individuals or groups fabricate to tell themselves that truth is their own subjective perception of their environment. These are any teaching or practise that causes us to think that a human philosopher has better advice than God.

These philosophies are where our money, learning, popularity and opinions obscure the reality of our peace in the universe.  We are fragile beings on a planet in the vast remoteness of a cosmic eternity. Even our most powerful telescopes that see billions of light years away can't begin to explore it.  Can we as humans and mortals not contemplate this reality in such a way that we realize how limited our personal opinions, science and philosophies are?

Some people even invent their own version of deity, a generic imaginary being, a one size fits all god that stays out of life decisions and demands nothing of them. Some not knowing anything about their creator or creation may blame him for making them the way they are.

Skeptics, agnostics and atheists want people to believe that their philosophy is correct when it is actually the least correct of any of the philosophies of men.  They think that their formal arguments that disallow personal testimony somehow man their theory sustainable. With closed minds they plot a course through life, telling people that death is the end, yet unsure of anything except that they will die.

The philosophies of mortal men that disregard truth have no effect beyond the grave.  They are dead ends in the road of eternity. There are many prominent philosophies of men that float about in society regarding the nature of human intimacy, marriage and religion. 

Religious Teachings Regarding Marriage

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only Christian church that I am aware of that proclaims marriage is an eternal covenant relationship.  

The Mormon church teaches that some of the purposes of life are to form intimate nurturing relationships through marriage and family. True philosophy, which would be based on true theology would answer the question as to why we live in a physical world.

God's prophets have revealed that having a physical body is an essential element in an eternal plan for the children of God. Life is a processionary step and a probationary state for learning. Exaltation and salvation were planned before we came to earth. It is an eternal pattern of creation to give life more abundantly to God's children.

The traditional orthodox theology of Bible scholars teaches that there is no real purpose for having a physical body except that we do.  Their doctrine is that we were created out of nothing at birth, We are simply creatures of God, not really children of God. 

These philosophies of men say that the creation of the earth is more of an experiment that took place suddenly and for the first time some 6000 years ago. God's creation went wrong when his creatures rebelled in the Garden of Eden. Thus those that followed since became subject to condemnation simply by being born.

I am just speaking for myself on these topics.  I do not represent my church in my opinions.  I am just a member. These are simply my observations about the principle of marriage and my observation of the theology that underlies it.

Worldly Philosophies

In today's culture, marriage, family and chastity are mocked and profaned continually. Theatrical undertakings promote many forms of these actions of so called passionate involvement. Every word and action is contrived and practiced, then performed and recorded to portray some imaginary experience.  

Many seek to imitate these activities as if they don't realize they are pursuing the fantasies of some writer's philosophy. They aren't real. What won't people do in front of a camera for money? If there is a proverbial soul selling process this could be it.

All of us are free to pursue a spectrum of choices and the consequences follow. Somewhere between a relentless pursuit of pleasure and a patient pursuit of character our attitudes and destinies develop.

Men are nothing without women and women are nothing without men. Without both there is no connection, no creation and subsequently no love.  Philosophies that promote conflict between men and women are anti-love.

The philosophies of men that promote pursuing pleasure lead to broken families and discontentment. If the world doesn't understand this simple principle it will be difficult and unlikely that we can make this earth a place where peace and harmony prevail.

Philosophies and Theologies of Men

Christian philosophers and theologians determined that marriage is a temporary arrangement. They believe that is what the Bible teaches. In their opinions, from their debates and conclusions they determined that it was a relationship lasting only until the death of the parties.  They disregard the fact that Adam and Eve were immortal when it was instituted from a biblical standpoint by God in the Garden of Eden.

Traditional orthodox theologians don't have an official doctrine as to how we live in the hereafter or what we might do except that it will be as single individuals.  Their theology essentially says that the emotional investment and intimacy of marriage is lost.  They resolutely declare that the Bible teaches that marriage ends. Marriages are therefore performed with the common vernacular of "so long as you both shall live" or "until death do you part" in their ceremonies. 

Some modern pastors following their own preferences may change the verbiage to say forever or some version of lasting past death to meet the wishes of a parishioner. This they charge money for. Such performance still goes against their foundational creeds and doesn't change the fact that they don't have the authority to perform such a declaration. There are other denominations that may promote the concept as well yet are churches founded by men without authority.

The good that mainstream theologians, pastors and others that consider themselves Christians outside the domain of orthodoxy do is spread the positive teachings of the Bible. Anyone that follows the teachings of Christ and the prophets will have a better life, marriage and relationships in general if they practice them.  

Their speculations of eternal order and godliness however fall short of the real power of heaven when it comes to saving souls. They do not recognize the enabling and exalting power of Christ's atonement.  Neither do the see the relationship that is the Godhead as presided by the Father that offers the obedient and repentant to become heirs of the kingdom and glories that are part of the resurrection. 

The Bible accepted by most all Christians clearly teaches that we are created in the image of God. Yet, if you ask an orthodox Christian philosopher or Bible scholar they will tell you that we don't really look like God.  Any reference to his image is something other than form.   This doctrine is not in the Bible.  It is the result of councils of politician-theologians that came together after Christ and his apostles had been dead for centuries.  This teaching is a philosophy of men and scholars and divinity schools continue to perpetuate it.

How have scholars attributed a male gender to what they call an incorporeal God? Because the Bible does make clear statements that God the Father is a male. Jesus was born as a male and is a God. These scholars still don't seem to realize that gender is therefore eternal. The philosophies and creeds that established the idea of a triune being have only confused people as to the real nature of their creator and who their image is fashioned after.

How do these religious philosophers explain the that God came up with male and female and united them in marriage as a center of creation? Is this not God's image?  Bible scholars and theological professors won't even attempt to answer these questions with definitive explanations. Latter-day prophets have.   See the (Family Proclamation) 

How can these theological conclusions and philosophies teach that marriage and family are important if they teach that they are temporary?  These scholars believe and teach that deity is mono as in theism, or singular, as well as single, celibate and of an undetermined gender. How is it that he created them in such a fashion that a union was the only way they can create.  Now they say he only created people 6000 years ago or so for pleasure and to worship him. According to this type of philosophy earth and people would be nothing more than an experiment.

Traditional theology in mainstream orthodoxy and Bible scholarship is about scholarship. It does not include learning directly from the Source of all truth. They don't claim authority  or revelation from God, but from the Bible, which is not an eternal authority. It has only been canonized and in existence less than 2000 years and only certain books have been selectively included. Their teachings are the scholarship of people teaching people their scholarly opinions and nothing more. 

Essentially this practice of assuming authority from the Bible leaves direct revelation out of the process of their teaching. This is why they describe God as an unknowable being. Since they don't claim actual knowledge of him, they don't have to be specific about trying to describe him or teachings about life after death. Anything they don't understand they just call it a mystery. Anyone that feels inclined can begin teaching their version of Christian theology as long as they claim the Bible as the source and deity as a single god trinity. 

As these religious scholars study the Bible and apply their orthodox views of an unknowable deity, they really only render an opinion of what they think the Bible dialogue means.  They have declared it to be inerrant and this is simply another declaration of opinion as many Bible scholars disagree as well.  They don't believe in current revelation from God or an active central authority that they are accountable to. 

If you ask a Christian believer about marriage, most will answer that God simply ordained it. The pastors, scholars and authors of Christian blogs all have their own variation of what they think marriage is and how important yet non-enduring it is. Even so, many Christians, non-LDS, believe that their marriage and family is profound enough to endure into the next life.

They do acknowledge that their opinions which they still debate might be errant, yet they push forward with this foundation of orthodoxy not really knowing the mind of God. The underlying philosophy of men is that they can make their own religions because in their opinion God left a Bible and expects them to figure out what it says and means and then charge others money for telling them about it. 

The opinion declared by many is that the Bible is inerrant but their churches and leaders are not. It is an interesting contradiction. This philosophy is not even found in the Bible.  It is a philosophy of men. These contradictions are what Joseph Smith and any seeker before and after him discovers in their search for truth among the churches of men.  For this reason the restoration of the gospel and Church of Jesus Christ would require the calling of a prophet. Otherwise the philosophies of men would prevail as they have and may continue to.  Now however, the fullness of truth is available to those that desire it.

Mormon Theology and Eternal Marriage

The Family Proclamation in the Mormon church tells us that we are the sons and daughters of eternal parents. Quite a unique doctrine when compared to the orthodoxy that prevails in mainstream churches. Marriage is ordained in the eternities as a center of creation and happiness, for the present life and forever.

Marriage is in its highest order a holy union with capacity to endure. Those that make and keep sacred covenants according to God's laws, and honor those powers that give life, will have the opportunity to keep them forever. This is why sexual integrity inside marriage covenants is so important.  As such marriage and love cannot be redefined to fit the philosophies of men.  Same sex relationships do not accomplish this nor do they follow this pattern.

Mormon theology tells us the female gender and womanhood was not a new invention in the Garden of Eden. Woman was not an afterthought to be a companion to Adam as taught by Bible scholars.  This relationship is an eternal pattern and not a new institution.  We have learned this from latter-day prophets of God.

Latter-day Saint theology teaches that marriage covenants and family relationships remain intact after death. These are primary associations and part of an eternal plan that continues in the presence of God. To put it another way, heaven wouldn't be heaven for some of us without the love of our mortal life still united as intimate partners. Even though Adam and Eve fell, the marriage covenant would be restored as part of the redemption through Christ.

The theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints comes by revelation from God to living prophets with authority to teach truth and act for God.  They are a central authority that keeps the individual members from doctrinal divisions.   This body of leadership is confirmed in scripture as the pattern of receiving the mind and will of God to man. So it was with Peter and the apostles as with the prophets of old.


Mormon theology teaches that God the Father is a person, a glorified and perfected individual.  The Father is a man and men on earth are in his image. Fatherhood only exists because of motherhood.  Our eternal mother is a woman.  Women are created in her image.  This is the image of God. 

The simple self-evident truth, patterned in creation is confirmed in the Bible.  There are no children without parents, such is the pattern and the image of God. This eternal truth was lost as the philosophies of men dominated religious teaching.  Marriage has basis in eternity. It was not a new program implemented in the Garden of Eden.

United together as male and female is the only way creation takes place in mortality and eternity. There is no misunderstanding about where our gender comes from. Godhood is the eternal togetherness. Our eternal parents want us to become like them and receive the fullness of joy which comes from eternal increase in the family unit. 

When a man and a women choose marriage they follow the divine pattern.  It is patterned after the eternal family in heaven.  It is the ultimate of synergy.  Henry B. Eyring called it a "transcendent power to produce happiness."  It is a process and not an event. The uniting of two souls as one. 

When people chose to live together without marriage or in same sex relationships they disregard this pattern. They choose the philosophies of men.  The spiritual union cannot happen outside of the covenants of the temple and priesthood sealing powers. Only therein is the authority for an eternal union. God does not stop the unauthorized unions because as I mentioned life is a probationary station where we are tested as to our desires.

A defining teaching in LDS theology is that no blessings will be missed by those that did not have the opportunity in this life to make the those covenants that seal us together for eternity.  Those that do currently find themselves contrary to the eternal laws that govern procreation can repent and change. This is the gift of God.

The glorious nature of the resurrection will be all the more so when we stand in God's presence, having perfected our marriages and family relationships.  Though our best efforts now may not achieve this, some future opportunities exist for the faithful and repentant. The Savior would rather heal us than let us condemn ourselves in ignorance and disobedience. He gives us the opportunity to change, to repent and to obey.  It is our choice. 

Prophets of God that lead in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teach that the the relationship between a man and a woman as husband and wife is sacred and can be eternal because of the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.   Our marriage ceremonies unite us eternally by the priesthood authority delegated to men on the earth that comes from him. 

The opportunity to study the prophet Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and the teachings of the church are available to all that are seeking truth.  I invite you to learn and pray for yourself to find out if they are true and thus confirm the truths about eternal family relationships.


  

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