For full exaltation, one cannot make it alone. One must be accompanied by one’s spouse. However, what if that spouse is a non-member who is highly unlikely to ever join the church, and thus be eligible to be sealed with me in the temple? I would very much like to be sealed for time and eternity, but my wife, a wonderful person, does not share my faith and, barring a Paul-to-Damascus kind of miracle conversion, she will never be willing to go to the temple. Will I be excluded from exaltation if she never wants to take the ordinances? Thank you very much for your kind attention and God bless you!!
It is my understanding that if your heart is right and you live worthily, no blessing will be denied you that you could not qualify for by conditions beyond your control. We are told in D&C 137:7 that
All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God.
Surely those who have accepted the Savior, who love the Lord and keep his commandments would not receive less.
The Lord works in mysterious ways. There are yet today Paul-to-Damascus kinds of miracles. As a case in point, my own father, the only one our family who did not belong to the Mormon Church, was somehow the recipient of such a miracle. He grew up as a Presbyterian, and his father was a U.S. deputy marshall who was active in hunting down and capturing polygamists in the days before the manifesto. Although my father was a good man, he would have nothing to do with the Mormon Church–until one day, out of the blue, when he was 64 years old, he asked me, “If I were to decide to get baptized, would they let you baptize me?” I had the privilege of baptizing my father and ordaining him to the priesthood on the very next day, just a few months before he passed away.
If you live an exemplary life, respect your wife’s position on religious matters and honor her in her role as wife and mother, and if you appeal to the Lord daily that He will soften her heart and bless her with a testimony of the gospel, you will have done your part. Under such conditions I feel confident that the scripture cited above will apply to you as much as to any others who would have obeyed the commandments if they were able.