Each young woman will understand that her decision to marry in the temple has eternal consequences.
Prepare five wordstrips containing the questions to be asked in the second section of the lesson.
For each class member, make a small triangle with God, Husband, and Wife written on the three corners, and Sacred Triangle written across the front.
Assign young women to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.
Note: As you teach this lesson, remember that some young women belong to families who are not living in ways that qualify them to be together in the celestial kingdom. Be sensitive to this. Help the young women realize that they can influence their present families for good and create eternal families of their own someday.
Suggested Lesson Development
Write the words A Sacred Triangle on the chalkboard. Beneath them, draw a triangle.
Tell the class that they may ask twenty questions to discover what the triangle represents. You may answer their questions only with yes or no. When they have discovered that the triangle represents the relationship between a husband, wife, and God, write God at the top of the triangle, and the words Husband and Wife at the other two corners.
Explain that in a temple marriage, God is able to bless and guide the husband and wife more completely than in any other kind of marriage.
Ask the following questions:
How many of you have ever heard a lesson or talk on temple marriage?
How many have heard more than one lesson or talk on temple marriage?
Why do you think the Lord has inspired his leaders to direct us to teach this sacred principle over and over again?
Explain that the Lord is concerned that all people in the Church be aware of their sacred obligation to be sealed for time and all eternity and the eternal consequences of this decision.
Write the lesson objective on the chalkboard, and have the young women read it together.
Temple Marriage Brings Great Blessings
Ask the young women to name the two types of marriages that we as members of the Church have available to us.
When civil marriage is mentioned, post a wordstrip or write on the chalkboard: Contract for Time. When temple marriage is mentioned, post a wordstrip or write on the other side of the chalkboard: Covenant for Eternity.
Distribute the five questions you have prepared. Have young women read them, and let the class members discuss the answers. Use the scriptures and information below to help the young women understand the ideas. Summarize the answers under the appropriate heading. Have the young women turn to Doctrine and Covenants 132 and prepare to read the suggested scriptures.
Where does the marriage take place?
Civil: Home, church, office of the justice of the peace, almost anywhere.
Temple: A sacred sealing room in the temple.
Who will perform the marriage?
Civil: Justice of the peace, minister, judge, bishop, stake president.
Temple: One who has been appointed and given the sealing power from the prophet of the Lord.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 132:7–8 to discover who performs a temple marriage.
Explain that the prophet of the Church holds the priesthood authority to seal a man and woman together for time and all eternity. He confers this priesthood power upon others, who then have the authority from God to perform sealing ordinances in temples that bind families together for eternity.
How long will the marriage last?
Civil: Until death parts the husband and wife.
Temple: For time and eternity.
Read the following quotation:
“Life is eternal. Death does not terminate the existence of man. He lives on and on. … The greatest joys of true married life can be continued. The most beautiful relationships of parents and children can be made permanent. The holy association of families can be never-ending if husband and wife have been sealed in the holy bonds of eternal matrimony. Their joys and progress will never end” (Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Oct. 1964, p. 25; or Improvement Era, Dec. 1964, p. 1055).
What will people be doing throughout eternity?
Civil: Those who have the opportunity to receive the covenant of eternal marriage in a holy temple but choose to be married outside the temple may enter into the celestial kingdom or one of the other kingdoms. But they cannot be exalted and live eternally with their families. They will live as single people and ministering servants to those who chose to follow God’s plan. They will lose great blessings because “they think more of the world and its covenants, than they do of God and his covenants” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56], 2:65).
The sealing ordinances may be performed after death for those who do not have the opportunity for temple marriage in this life.
Temple: Those who marry in the holy temple and are faithful to the covenants they make there will become gods and goddesses. They will be exalted and will have all power. They will live eternally as families.
What will be the state of the family in eternity?
Civil: Those who are married only for time will have no claim upon their family members in the next life. They will live as single people. This will be a source of great sorrow for them.
Temple: Those who are married in the temple and live worthily throughout their lives will be united with their righteous parents, brothers and sisters, and children for eternity. This continuing family unit is one of the greatest blessings God can give to his children.
Which kind of marriage has the potential to bring the most happiness? Why?
Continued Worthiness Entitles Us to the Blessings of a Celestial Marriage
Refer to the sacred triangle. Ask the class what three parties are involved in the sacred covenants made in the temple.
Erase the lines leading from husband and wife to God, leaving a straight horizontal line.
Explain that the young women must do all they can to prevent a situation in which God is not part of their marriage.
Read again the following part of Doctrine and Covenants 132:19. Ask the class to discover what must happen to each temple marriage before it can last through eternity.
“And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood.”
Make sure the young women understand that the marriage must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.
Explain that an act which is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise is one that is approved by the Holy Ghost and by the Lord. Each sacred ordinance we receive must be approved in this way before it is binding for eternity. We must live worthy to receive all the blessings we are promised. The blessings do not come to us automatically just because we receive an ordinance.
Some people who marry in the temple do not keep the covenants they make. They will not receive the blessings of eternal families because their temple marriages will not be approved by the Lord. Those who do keep their covenants and live worthily throughout their lives will receive the promised blessings of exaltation because their temple marriages will be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.
Emphasize that marrying in the temple is not a guarantee of eternal families and exaltation. Each young woman must strive to keep the Lord’s commandments and all the covenants made in the temple throughout her life.
Explain that when two righteous and worthy people take upon themselves the covenants of eternal marriage, God becomes part of their marriage.
Redraw the sacred triangle. Ask the young women to suggest ways in which a marriage would be blessed by having God as a part of it. You may want to share an experience of your own or of someone else to illustrate how a temple marriage can be blessed by God.
Explain that preparation for an eternal marriage cannot be accomplished in a few hours, weeks, or even months. Such preparation takes years, and it needs to be started now.
Give each young woman a small triangle with God written on one point, Husband on another, Wife on the third, and the words Sacred Triangle across the front. Have each one write on the back: “I will prepare now to be worthy of participating in the sacred triangle of eternal marriage.”