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Gramps,

I am a 45 year old single sister. Recently, a brother mentioned the two of us getting sealed together when his wife dies. This was not the first time we’ve had this discussion. I do love him but as a brother. A fact which I have told him. He either seems to ignore it, get offended or feel hurt (mostly the latter). I’ve also recently read in the Feb 2016 Ensign that any single person who rejects a sealing will not get into the Celestial Kingdom. Does this qualify as a rejection?

D

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Answer

 

Dear D,

I don’t know if you realized it, but Elder Hales spoke to you in the April 2016 General Conference. He spoke on the Holy Ghost as a revelator.

“As we receive the inspiration of the Holy Ghost for ourselves, it is wise to remember that we cannot receive revelation for others. I know of a young man who told a young woman, ‘I’ve had a dream that you are to be my wife.’ The young woman pondered that statement and then responded, ‘When I have the same dream, I’ll come and talk to you.’ (The Holy Ghost).

If it comes up again, tell him to drop it. You can focus on a future marriage, but he needs to focus on his current marriage. You have my permission to risk offense or hurt feelings to get the point across.

As to the second half of your question, I’m not familiar with any portion of the February 2016 Ensign that would lead you to come to the conclusion that you did. The doctrine is that “in order to obtain the highest” degree of the celestial glory, a person “must enter into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. And if he does not, he cannot obtain it” (D&C 131:2-3). These verses certainly look to agree with your thoughts, but this requirement of temple marriage must be tempered with the Lord’s justice. Consider the requirement of baptism for the Celestial Kingdom. What if there isn’t an administrator available during a person’s lifetime? Latter-day Saints gratefully praise God who has revealed to us the doctrine of baptism for the dead. And what of those who righteously desire a temple marriage but there is no groom? While the details have not been revealed, the Lord’s apostles have reassured us that no blessing will be found wanting — including exaltation! Elder Oaks taught:

“The Lord has promised that in the eternities no blessing will be denied his sons and daughters who keep the commandments, are true to their covenants, and desire what is right.

“Many of the most important deprivations of mortality will be set right in the Millennium, which is the time for fulfilling all that is incomplete in the great plan of happiness for all of our Father’s worthy children. We know that will be true of temple ordinances. I believe it will also be true of family relationships and experiences.” (The Great Plan of Happiness, October 1993 General Conference)

And President Hinckley offered up similar thoughts in 1991:

“Some who are not married, through no fault of their own, ask whether they will always be denied the highest degree of glory in that kingdom. I am confident that under the plan of a loving Father and a divine Redeemer, no blessing of which you are otherwise worthy will forever be denied you.” (Daughters of God, October 1991 General Conference)

And you can add to that Elder Joseph Fielding Smith’s statement (particularly relevant in your case):

“No woman will be condemned by the Lord for refusing to accept a proposal which she feels she could not properly accept. In my judgment it is far better for our good girls to refuse an offer of marriage when they think that the companionship of the man would be disagreeable…

“If in her heart the young woman accepts fully the word of the Lord, and under proper conditions would abide by the law, but refuses an offer when she fully believes that the conditions would not justify her in entering a marriage contract, … she shall not lose her reward. The Lord will judge her by the desires of the heart, and the day will come when the blessings withheld shall be given, though it be postponed until the life to come.” (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2. pg. 76-77).

All this to say that you shouldn’t feel that the commandment for marriage places you in a hostage situation. And having said all that, you are not absolved living worthy of, and preparing for marriage in the temple. Prophetic counsel on that subject can be found here, and here.

Gramps

 

 

 

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