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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mormon Theology no. 31 - The New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage

A commentator to The Mormon Eagle (Tim) wonders whether or not Plural Marriage is the New and Everlasting Covenant or not.  Therefore, this essay will define it from a scriptural and doctrinal point of view.

Doctrine and Covenants 132:3-4 state, "Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.  For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory. (italics added)"  Here the Lord uses the phrase "the new and everlasting covenant", and decrees damnation if not entered into.  Said President Spencer W. Kimball, "Though relatively few people in this world understand it, the new and everlasting covenant is the marriage ordinance in the holy temple by the properly constituted leaders who hold the genuine, authoritative keys.  This glorious blessing is available to men and women on this earth. (“Temples and Eternal Marriage,” Ensign, Aug. 1974, p. 5, emphasis added)"  It is called new because it is revealed anew in every Gospel dispensation.  It is called everlasting in that it has been enjoyed by God's people since the beginning of the world, even since Adam and Eve.

Joseph Smith taught, "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. (D&C 131:1-4)"  Joseph Smith also taught, 

Except a man and his wife enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity, while in this probation, by the power and authority of the Holy Priesthood, they will cease to increase when they die; that is, they will not have any children after the resurrection. But those who are married by the power and authority of the priesthood in this life, and continue without committing the sin against the Holy Ghost, will continue to increase and have children in the celestial glory. (History of the Church, 5:391)

Thus we see that the New and Everlasting Covenant is marriage, although the Lord connected Plural Marriage with it for a time, but no longer does so.  

There are certain blessings only available to those who are married by the Priesthood Authority only held in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In regards to these blessing the Lord has stated, 

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.  Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them.  Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them (D&C 132:19-20).

President Spencer W. Kimball taught, "It matters not how righteous they may have been, how intelligent or how well trained they are.  No one will enter this highest glory unless he enters into the covenant, and this means the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. ( “The Importance of Celestial Marriage,” Ensign, Oct. 1979, pp. 5–6 )"

The Lord taught this doctrine to His ancient Apostles when He said, "
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matt. 16:19)"  

I know that only marriage in the Houses of the Lord of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can assure the perpetuation of the marriage relationship.  If one is married in any place other than a Mormon Temple, he cannot enter into God's presence and dwell with his family forever.  I know this is true, and I defy Earth and Hell to say otherwise.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

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