Marriage in Heaven – What do you think?

Carol and I just finished a small marriage group series on ‘Love and Respect‘ from Dr. Emerson Eggerichs which has enriched our life immensely. I endorse it wholeheartedly. It was one of the most eye-opening experiences for each of us to come to an understanding of the pink-vs-blue way that we each experience life. To quote Dr Eggerichs, “Not bad. Not good. Just different.” We enjoyed the DVD series so much with the small group that we bought his book and are now reading it together.

The book and the series and I suppose Dr Eggerichs ministry are all based on Ephesians 5:33 – “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” Or as Emerson quotes it from the New International Version: “However, each one of you must also love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Dr Eggerichs teaches in his seminar about the Crazy Cycle, in which we communicate poorly because we are seeing, hearing and speaking from our own male / female point of view. His entertaining style as he explains how misunderstandings occur is most enjoyable and downright hilarious at times.

Section two of the seminar is about the Energizing Cycle in which he helps us understand that ‘his love motivates her respect which in turn motivates his love…” It is in this section that we are introduced to the acronyms COUPLE and CHAIRS. I won’t reveal what they represent here as I would not want to spoil it for you or Dr Eggerichs. Finally, he closes with the Rewarded Cycle in which he illustrates beautifully the concept that we can give unconditional love or unconditional respect regardless of the reciprocating love or respect from our spouse (or lack thereof). I was with Emerson 100% up until we heard him say something in this section that just wasn’t right.

It is based on a misunderstanding of Matthew 22:30: “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” He said, we are not married in heaven but are angels to God. Dr Eggerichs is not alone in his interpretation of this scripture. In fact, I believe that most of the Christian world would agree with him. I do not agree with the idea of no marriage in heaven nor does my church. We base our understanding of this scripture on modern revelation found in the book of Doctrine and Covenants 131:1-4.

To quote the scripture, which was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1843, “In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.” This and the following section of the Doctrine and Covenants are the scriptural basis for the Mormon belief of Marriage in Heaven.

And finally, to quote one of my favorite authors, Bruce R McConkie, “This colloquy between Jesus and his Sadducean detractors does not question or throw doubt, in proper cases, on the eternal verity that the family unit continues in the resurrection. Jesus had previously taught the eternal nature of the marriage union. “What therefore God [not man!] hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” That is, when a marriage is performed by God’s authority [not man’s!] it is eternal. See Matt. 19:1-12. “Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever.” (Eccles. 3:14.). Source: (DNTC v1, p604).

What do you think?

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