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Dear Gramps,

I love your columm. As a young woman I have always been taught that the prophets advised singles to not marry outside the church. Adhering to that advise I am still single, never had the chance to be a mother, even though I had chances to marry outside the church. I know quite a few sisters who married outside the church against the advise of the prophets, raised children and have a happy family life, though still hoping their spouses will become members one day. I was taught that these sisters would become ministering angels in the celestial world but would not have the blessings of eternal marriages and offspring.

One of your previous answers gave me the impression that these sisters, who disobeyed the prophets knowingly, still get the same blessings in the eternity as the ones who denied themselves a family life, struggled with the law of chastity, were lonely etc. To me that doesn’t seem to be very fair. It’s not that I don’t want them to be blessed with eternal families, but if that is the case, I (and so many other sisters) denied myselve a family during my second estate for nothing. Could you please shed some light on this issue? Thanks,

Virginia, from the Netherlands

Dear Virginia,

I’m sorry if you got the impression that those who marry outside the Church receive the same blessings as those who are sealed for time and eternity. First, let’s differentiate between the two types of marriages. Civil marriages are consummated for time only, i.e. until one of the partners is dead. The death of one of the partners terminates that marriage relation, and the surviving spouse is legally free to marry again. This is the only kind of marriage available to those who marry outside the Church. Those whose marriages are not sealed in the holy temples for time and for all eternity will be as single individuals throughout eternity, their marriage contract having been fulfilled and terminated.

Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory (D&C 132:16).

Now, concerning those who have not had the oppportunity during mortality to be sealed to a companion for time and eternity, President Joseph Fielding Smith Jr. had the following comforting and reassuring counsel-

“You good sisters, who are single and alone, do not fear, do not feel that blessings are going to be withheld from you. You are not under any obligation or necessity of accepting some proposal that comes to you which is distasteful for fear you will come under condemnation. If in your hearts you feel that the gospel is true, and would under proper conditions receive these ordinances and sealing blessings in the temple of the Lord; and that is your faith and your hope and your desire, and that does not come to you now; the Lord will make it up, and you shall be blessed-for no blessing shall be withheld” (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.2, p.76).

Gramps

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