My cousin’s fiancee recently passed away two days before they were suppose to be married. My family and a few friends are telling me that even though she has died they can still be sealed in the temple as if she was alive. Their reason for saying this is because they say their intentions were to be married and she wanted to but didn’t have the chance. How correct is this? And why is this? In my mind this just doesn’t make any sense. Please help me in any way you can.
Let’s consider for a minute what happens at the change called death. The definition of death is that the spirit leaves the body. The life of the body is in the spirit that inhabits it. So when the spirit leaves the body, the body is left with no organizing or sustaining intelligence and is subject to the processes of dissolution and decay. But what happens to the spirit, the intelligent part of the body? The spirit continues to exist. It has a brain, a mind and a material body. However, the body is made of spiritual rather than physical material—
There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter (D&C 131:7-8).
So the process of death is very similar taking off a coat and going through a door. We pass from one room into another–the scene is different, but we are the same person, with the same thoughts and emotions as before; we have just left our coat–our physical body–behind.. So when your cousin’s fiancee “passed away” she didn’t pass away very far. She was still able to see and hear those that she left behind—
When men are prepared, they are better off to go hence. . . . The spirits of the just are exalted to a greater and more glorious work; hence they are blessed in their departure to the world of spirits. Enveloped in flaming fire, they are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and motions, and are often pained therewith (Joseph Smith, Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Alma P. Burton, p.128).
The mortal phase of man’s existence, although of very short duration, is extremely critical to his continued existence. All of the saving ordinances of the gospel, that are designed for the salvation and exaltation of man, must be entered into during mortality. But there are many, many children of our Father in Heaven who, through no fault of their own, have not had the opportunity to understand and participate in these saving ordinances. God would not be a just God if no provision were made for these unfortunates, so that —
Thus, opportunity exists for those who have graduated from mortality and have not had the opportunity to complete all the saving ordinances of the gospel– which includes the ordinance of eternal marriage– to have those ordinances performed vicariously in their behalf by proxies who represent them at the altars of the temple, where these vicarious ordinances are performed. However, that being said, if a marriage had not taken place prior to the death of one of those involved, permission would need to be given from a member of the First Presidency.