My wife is a non member and has been taking lessons for 14 years. She said marriage is not allowed according to the bible. The elders and bishop were over this evening and none of us had an answer. Where in the Bible or Book of Mormon does it reference eternal marriage?
Jesus taught that there would be no marriages in heaven. Luke 20:34-35:
34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
The question you submit requests supporting evidence for eternal marriage in our scriptures, particularly from the Bible or the Book of Mormon. Are there any scriptures in the Bible or the Book of Mormon which expressly say, “A husband and wife are married for eternity,” or something similar? None will be found. Then why do we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ believe in eternal marriage?
As Joseph Smith shared, “We believe all that God has revealed…and we believe He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Through latter-day revelation we have been provided clarification regarding specific events within the Bible concerning eternal marriage. For example, “Adam and Eve were married by God before there was any death in the world. They had an eternal marriage. They taught the law of eternal marriage to their children and their children’s children. As the years passed, wickedness entered the hearts of the people, and the authority to perform this sacred ordinance was taken from the earth. Through the Restoration of the gospel, eternal marriage has been restored to earth.”
We recognize from the New Testament that the Lord bestowed priesthood keys upon Peter. “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. “The keys of the priesthood were again restored to the earth when Peter, James and John visited Joseph Smith. If God’s priesthood given to Peter, then restored to Joseph Smith, provided the power that anything that was bound on earth would be bound in heaven, then it is a logical conclusion that if marriage is bound by the priesthood on earth then this marriage would be bound in heaven also.
In 1986, the Church published an Ensign article providing an answer in relation to Matthew 22:29-30, ” Inasmuch as Latter-day Saints believe in marriage for eternity, how do we explain Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 22:29–30?,” When you have a moment I would recommend you read the whole answer provided; as for now, I will highlight some of the answers provided.
“According to Dummelow’s A Commentary on The Holy Bible, “The point raised by the Sadducees was often debated by the Jewish doctors, who decided that a ‘woman who married two husbands in this world is restored to the first in the next.’” (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1927, p. 698.) Most Jews at the time believed in a material resurrection, and so the question had some importance to them. (Ibid.)”
“First, we see that it was made in response to an attempt by the Sadducees to trap the Lord. Consequently, it would not have been the Lord’s final word on the subject. Why should the Lord scatter pearls before them that they would only trample underfoot? (See Matt. 7:6.) They were no more prepared to listen to a discourse on eternal marriage than they were prepared to accept the reality of the resurrection.
“Second, the Lord did not say there would be no people in the married state in the resurrection, but that there would be no marriages made in the resurrection.
“Third, we must be clear about the “they” who are neither marrying nor being given in marriage. The context of the scriptures just cited suggests a generic rather than a specific meaning. Simply put, that means no marriages are made in the resurrection. The Lord was warning the Sadducees. They were Jews of the day who had rejected him and therefore had no access to the higher ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood. How could these men, whom Jesus had called a “generation of vipers” (Matt. 3:7), qualify for the highest blessings of the celestial kingdom?”
“The marriage of Adam and Eve, performed prior to the Fall, was certainly done in an eternal context (see Gen. 2:18–24), and the authority to bind on earth and in heaven was given to Peter and the other Apostles. (See Matt. 16:19; Matt. 18:18.)
“Although this authority was lost with the priesthood through apostasy, it has been restored in our day. The Lord’s promise is that those marriages performed by his authority and “sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood” (D&C 132:19) shall endure forever.”
In light of my previous paragraphs, I would like to bear witness that we believe, as the prophets of old believed and taught, in all God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Eternal marriage is one of these principles that has been revealed again in our day and age. If you want to be successful in helping your wife come to a knowledge of the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, she must first have a desire to know and then seek that knowledge from God by the power of His Holy Spirit which testifies of all truth. Other scriptures which clarify our belief can be found in D&C 132, D&C 131, and Adam and Eve.
The following are also great words provided by Joseph Smith and Joseph Fielding Smith relating to your question:
Joseph Smith declared:
“A man must enter into an everlasting covenant with his wife in this world, or he will have no claim on her in the next.
“No man can obtain an eternal blessing unless the contract or covenant be made in view of eternity. All contracts in view of this life only terminate with this life. [Such is the] case of the woman and seven husbands. Those who keep no eternal law in this life or make no eternal contract are single and alone in the eternal world and are only made angels to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation, never becoming sons of God, having never kept the law of God, that is, eternal law.” (Kent P. Jackson, comp. and ed., Joseph Smith’s Commentary on the Bible [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 125.)
Joseph Fielding Smith also declared:
“So here we have the true understanding of the Savior’s answer to the Sadducees. If by any chance, any who believed as they believed, and therefore were married for time only, proved worthy to obtain that world, that is the kingdom of God, they would have to enter there separate and singly to become servants-angels-to wait on those who were worthy of the exaltation. These Sadducees who might be worthy of a place in that kingdom would be in exactly the same condition that members of the Church of Jesus Christ will find themselves, if they likewise, have been content with a civil union only.” (Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 2: 118)