Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The ideal of eternal - not merely life-long - marriage should be universal among Christians

This is LeGrand Richards speaking in a CJCLDS General Conference back in 1971

H/T Junior Ganymede: http://www.jrganymede.com/2016/02/09/love-wants-to-be-forever
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I just cannot understand … how marriages could be performed in the churches all over the world until death do you part. What a flimsy concept! 

Why don’t they go back to the time when God had finished the creation of this earth, and looked upon it and found it good, and placed Adam here, at which time he said: “It is not good that the man should be alone. He made a helpmeet for him, saying, “… and they shall be one flesh.” Now what God joins together and makes one flesh, you couldn’t separate without having two halves instead of two wholes... 

How could any man who has a true love for his wife and his children not want to believe that principle? 

I like the little verse written by Anderson M. Baten, “To His Wife Beulah,” in which he said: 
“I wed thee forever, not for now, 
Not for the sham of earth’s brief years, 
I wed thee for the life beyond the tears, 
Beyond the heart pain and clouded brow. 
Love knows no grave and it shall guide us dear 
When life’s spent candles flutter and burn low.” 

There are people like that who believe that marriage ought to be eternal, but there is no other church in all this world, outside of our church, as far as I know, that believes in the eternal duration of the marriage covenant. 

Just think what a difference it makes in our lives when we know that we are to live on and on forever and forever! I would just as soon believe that death is a complete annihilation of both body and spirit as to think that when death came it would separate me from my wife and from my children and that we would not know each other. I tell you, there wouldn’t be very much to look forward to. How could you want to live on and on forever without a continuation of the love ties that bind you together here? 

We see cases of kidnapping, when children are taken away. I remember years ago, I think it was in 1932, when Colonel Lindbergh’s little boy was kidnapped and a note was left asking for $50,000. He would gladly have paid what they asked if he could have gotten his boy back again. And yet here we come along with the knowledge of life eternal. 

We had four daughters before we had a son. We were sent to California to preside over a stake down there, and our boy went out with a member of the high council and his boys, and he lost his life in an accident. That is the greatest sorrow that ever came to us, but now we are getting up on the top of the ladder, so to speak, and we look forward, knowing that these love ties are intended by God, our Eternal Father, to endure throughout the eternities. It takes the sting away from death to know that we are going to meet those who are so dear and sacred to us. 

Thank God for this knowledge! 

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I feel sure that eternal marriage and eternal families are a natural and spontaneous ideal for post-mortal life; and also something which naturally flows from the nature of Christian resurrection.

But this hope seems to have been one of those aspects of simple faith which have been (unneccesarily as well as artificially, as I perceive it) ridiculed, suppressed and in general squeezed out from Christian life by abstract theological arguments.

I find the earnest, open way of speaking of LeGrand Richards very clarifying in this regard - it is wholesome and stirs my heart.  

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Note added - my response to the testimonies of couples on this video is a confirmation and strengthening of my faith in the doctrine of eternal marriage.

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-08-014-expressions-of-love?cid=HP_FR_2-12-2016_dPFD_fMLIB_xLIDyI-1_&lang=eng