Each young woman will understand the divine purpose of marriage.
Picture 11, A Temple Ordinance Room; picture 5, Salt Lake Temple (62433), located at the back of the manual, or a picture of the temple serving your area.
Make a silhouette of a young woman, one of a young man, and several of young children.
Assign young women to present any scriptures, stories, or quotations you wish.
Suggested Lesson Development
Marriage Is Ordained of God for a Divine Purpose
Teacher testimony (optional)
Show the picture of a temple ordinance room. Express your feelings about the beauty of the interior of the temple and the spirit that is there. Express the hope that every young woman in your class will live so that she will be able to enter the temple and be married for time and all eternity.
Have a young woman read Doctrine and Covenants 49:15.
What does it mean that marriage is ordained of God? (Marriage is commanded by God.)
Explain that the Lord brought Adam and Eve together and performed a marriage ceremony to make them husband and wife. This is the pattern that every person should plan to follow.
Read the following quotation:
“Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions and has the most far-reaching effects, for it has to do not only with immediate happiness, but eternal joys as well. It affects not only the two people involved, but also their families and particularly their children and their children’s children down through the many generations” (Spencer W. Kimball, Marriage and Divorce [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], p. 10).
What is a divine purpose of marriage? (To have children and to teach and train them so they can return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus.)
Read the commandment given to Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28.
How important is having children? (It is a commandment.)
Explain that those who live righteously and are not allowed the privilege and blessing of marriage or of children in this life will receive these blessings and all other blessings of eternal life in the life to come.
A Celestial Marriage Is the Beginning of an Eternal Kingdom
Explain that marriage is good in the sight of God; however, only a celestial marriage entitles us to certain blessings.
President Spencer W. Kimball said:
“This is the theme of Mormonism today, and we are spreading it through all the world: marriage, family, home, children, grandchildren and all that is beautiful and glorious. …
“It is natural for a girl to look toward the boys and for the boys to look toward the girls and to ask for marriage at the right time—to be married and sealed for eternity.
“That is natural; that is the way the Lord has done it” (address given to the Young Women General Committee, 28 Apr. 1977, in Church News, 7 May 1977, p. 6).
Have the young women listen for one of the eternal blessings of celestial marriage as Doctrine and Covenants 131:1–4 is read aloud.
What must we do to be able to have an “increase,” meaning children, forever? (Be married in the temple.)
Display a picture of a temple. Explain that temple marriage makes it possible for a husband and wife to reach the highest degree in the celestial kingdom.
In addition to being married in the temple, what must we do to ensure that we will be together in the celestial kingdom? (Live worthy lives, keep the commandments of Heavenly Father, and endure to the end.)
Read the parts of Doctrine and Covenants 132:15–17, 19 that you feel the young women can understand.
Read John 14:2. Explain that each family is a unit and can inherit a place or mansion in Heavenly Father’s kingdom.
Place the silhouette of a young woman on the chalkboard under the heading “In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions.” By the side of the young woman’s silhouette, place the silhouette of a young man. Explain that someday each of the young women will select a young man for a companion. In order for this companionship to last for eternity, the couple must be married in the temple. Place silhouettes of young children by the other silhouettes. Explain that these figures are symbolic of an eternal kingdom. Through their worthiness, each young woman and her eternal companion can inherit a place, or mansion, in our Heavenly Father’s kingdom.
Preparation for Celestial Marriage Requires Commitment and Effort
When should you begin to prepare for a celestial marriage? (Now.) Why?
How will deciding on celestial marriage today affect your future? Your eternal life?
President Spencer W. Kimball told the following true story:
“A few years ago a young couple who lived in northern Utah came to Salt Lake City for their marriage. They did not want to bother with a temple marriage, or perhaps they did not feel worthy. At any rate, they had a civil marriage. After the marriage they got into their automobile and drove north to their home for a wedding reception. On their way home they had an accident, and when the wreckage was cleared, there was a dead man and a dead young woman. They had been married only an hour or two. Their marriage was ended. They thought they loved each other. They wanted to live together forever, but they did not live the commandments that would make that possible. So death came in and closed that career. They may have been good young people; I don’t know. But they will be angels in heaven if they are. They will not be gods and goddesses and priests and priestesses because they did not fulfill the commandments and do the things that were required at their hands.
“Sometimes we have people who say, ‘Oh, someday I will go to the temple. But I am not quite ready yet. And if I die, somebody can do the work for me in the temple.’ And that should be made very clear to all of us. The temples are for the living and for the dead only when the work could not have been done. Do you think that the Lord will be mocked and give to this young couple who ignored him, give them the blessings? The Lord said, ‘For all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.’ (D&C 132:7)” (in Conference Report, Japan Area Conference 1975, pp. 61–62).
Ask the young women to ponder in their minds the following questions:
Is temple marriage important to you? Why?
How committed are you to marrying in the temple?
Will a young woman who has made a commitment to marry in the temple be more selective of the young men she will date?
Story and discussion
Elder LeGrand Richards related the following story:
“This was a girl that was the daughter of one of the families that I presided over when I was president of a stake down in California. …
“She started keeping company with a young man who had been baptized a member of the Church, but he was not active in the Church. Then he finally got serious and he proposed to her. Do you know what she said? She said, ‘I will never marry a man who does not honor his priesthood and his membership in the Church. I am going to be able to point to my children and say, “You follow your father.”’
“Their courtship ended right there. He was not willing to pay the price” (How You Can Best Honor Your Parents, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Provo, 29 Oct. 1963], pp. 4–5).
When do you think this young woman made the commitment to be married in the temple?
How did her commitment to be married in the temple affect her decision about the young man?
Point out that once a young woman has made a definite commitment to marry in the temple, she can make the effort necessary to accomplish her goal.
What can you do now to prepare for a temple marriage?
As the young women respond, record their responses on the chalkboard under the heading “Things I Will Do Now to Prepare for My Temple Marriage.” (Answers may include the following: be morally clean, respect and support the priesthood, pay tithes, practice the law of the fast, be honest, obey the Word of Wisdom, set a good example, maintain clean speech, pray regularly, honor parents.) Reassure the young women that the Lord will help each of them keep their commitment to be married in the temple if they will keep his commandments.
Read the following quotations to the young women:
“Youth should begin today to so order their lives that they will be found worthy at the proper time to go to the House of the Lord and be uplifted and sanctified by the temple ceremony” (Harold B. Lee, “Enter a Holy Temple,” Improvement Era, June 1967, p. 144).
“I believe that no worthy young Latter-day Saint man or woman should spare any reasonable effort to come to a house of the Lord to begin life together. …
“The blessings and promises that come from beginning life together, for time and eternity, in a temple of the Lord, cannot be obtained in any other way and worthy young Latter-day Saint men and women who so begin life together find that their eternal partnership under the everlasting covenant becomes the foundation upon which are built peace, happiness, virtue, love, and all of the other eternal verities of life, here and hereafter” (Heber J. Grant, “Beginning Life Together,” Improvement Era, Apr. 1936, pp. 198–99).
Tell the young women that you want each of them to kneel at the altar of the temple and be sealed for time and all eternity to a worthy young man so that they can establish an eternal kingdom. Bear testimony that marriage is divine and that a temple marriage is the Lord’s way and the only way to eternal happiness.
Arrange for a woman who has been married in the temple to speak at a midweek activity on the topic “The Beginning of a Kingdom.” The following may suggest ideas for her presentation:
Her feelings about the experience of being married in the temple
The influence that being married in the temple has had on her marriage
The blessings of a temple marriage
Some of the challenges of marriage
Some spiritual experiences