Will there be husbands, wives, and children in the millennium?
When the Lord comes to initiate his great Millennial reign, several things will occur. Among them there will be a great holocaust, and all the wicked–according to the scriptures, the liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie (D&C 76:103)–will be destroyed and their spirits will be remanded to the custody of Satan until the end of the millennium, when they will be resurrected and will inherit the glory of a telestial kingdom. (The earth is presently in a telestial state, so the same physical and natural laws that we observe now will be their eternal inheritance).
All the rest of the dead will be resurrected as part of the first resurrection, which will be initiated when the Savior comes. Those who are living when the Savior comes, with the exception of the wicked who will be destroyed, will continue to live as mortals into the millennium. At the age of a tree (D&C 101:30) they will die, but rather than having their spirits separate from their bodies, as is the case with death now during mortality, they will be changed from mortality to immortality in the twinkling of an eye, as is recorded in Doctrine & Covenants 101:31.
And when he dies he shall not sleep, that is to say in the earth, but shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and shall be caught up, and his rest shall be glorious.
While these mortals live into the millennium they will continue the family relations that they enjoyed before the millennium started. They will continue to have children, who will be born in the millennium. Those children will live to the age of a tree as mortals and will continue to propagate the mortal race. Thus, during the millennium a strain of mortals will be living on the earth with the spirits not yet resurrected, as well as the resurrected inhabitants of the earth.
Now, there is a very specific purpose to this order of things during the millennium. Our Great God and Father has as His objective to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39). The gospel of Jesus Christ has been, is now and will continue to be preached to the post-mortal spirits who had not the privilege of hearing the gospel during mortality, or having heard it, did not understand or accept it. The gospel of Jesus Christ is woven around obedience to the saving ordinances of the gospel, that include baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, ordination to the holy priesthood, which is the authority to officially administer the things of the kingdom of God for and in behalf of the Savior, and the sealing together of families that merit such blessings by reason of their virtue and obedience to the word of God .
However, all of the saving ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ are designed to be performed during mortality; for instance, the physical element of water is necessary for the baptismal ordinance. Since the spirits have not physical bodies, the cannot as spirits personally participate in those saving ordinances. Therefore, the Lord established a procedure whereby mortal proxies may receive the saving ordinances for and in behalf of those who have passed on (see 1 Cor. 15:21; D&C 138).
Vicarious ordinance work for the post-mortal spirits is carried out only in the holy temples built to the Lord for this purpose. Today in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 161 such temples dot the earth, and more are under construction. Perhaps the most well known temple is the great temple in Salt Lake City, that took 40 years to construct, and was dedicated to the Lord in the year 1893.
“Referring to this great building that was to stand through the Millennium, Brigham Young announced: This is not the only temple we shall build; there will be hundreds of them built and dedicated to the Lord”(President James E. Faust, ‘Eternity Lies before Us,’ Ensign, May 1997, p.18).
The great genealogical program of the Church is designed specifically to identify the ancestors of those who are interested in the eternal salvation of their progenitors, and presenting their names in one of the temples, where the saving gospel ordinances are performed in their behalf by proxies. Those for whom this sacred work is done, then have the privilege of accepting it or rejecting it, depending on how that have responded to the teaching of the gospel that was presented to them in the spirit world.
Here is the key point: this doctrine, established by the Savior during his mortal sojourn and mentioned by Paul in his letter to the Corinthian saints and re-established when Christ’s Church was restored to the earth in 1830, demonstrates both the justice and the loving mercy of our Father in Heaven. Obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel are of necessity required for exaltation in the celestial kingdom, where God and Christ dwell, and they are made available to all of our Father’s children, regardless of their circumstances during mortality–when or where they lived, whether they had heard the good news of the gospel or not. None are kept out of the kingdom of God through no fault of their own. God is indeed just, making provision for all of his children without exception to return to live with Him in the eternities. The surprising thing is that among all Christendom not one church has picked up on this one essential gospel point, although it is clearly expounded in the Bible. Thus, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) is the one and only Christian Church that can demonstrate the validity of the claim that God is just.