As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe firmly in the concept of marriage and family - not just while on this earth - but for time and all eternity.
In a world where many "call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"(Isaiah 5:20), I take comfort in knowing that joy can still be found in one of the sweetest gifts our Heavenly Father can give. These words inspire me as I work towards my goal of an eternal, covenant marriage.
"If we pursue the goal of an eternal marriage with purity and with both our hearts and our minds, I believe in most cases we will eventually be rewarded with a companion who is at least our spiritual equal and who will cleave unto intelligence and light as we do, who will receive wisdom as we receive it, who will embrace truth as we embrace it, and who will love virtue as we love it. To spend the eternities with a companion who shares the most important fundamental values with us and who will discuss them, live them, and join in teaching them to children is among the most soul-satisfying experiences of true romantic love. To know that there will be someone who walks a parallel path of goodness and growth with us and yearns for the same eternal values and happiness is of great comfort.
Elder Parley P. Pratt, who had been married civilly thirteen years earlier, first heard about the concept of eternal marriage ... in 1839. His reaction, as recorded in his autobiography, may be difficult to understand for those of us who have grown up with the anticipation of marrying in a temple for time and all eternity. This concept was completely new to Elder Pratt, however, and he was overwhelmed by it:
“I received from [Joseph] the first idea of eternal family organization, and the eternal union of the sexes in those inexpressibly endearing relationships which none but the highly intellectual, the refined and pure in heart, know how to prize, and which are at the very foundation of everything worthy to be called happiness.
“Till then I had learned to esteem kindred affections and sympathies as appertaining solely to this transitory state, as something from which the heart must be entirely weaned, in order to be fitted for its heavenly state.
“It was Joseph Smith who taught me how to prize the endearing relationships of father and mother, husband and wife; of brother and sister, son and daughter.
“It was from him that I learned that the wife of my bosom might be secured to me for time and all eternity; and that the refined sympathies and affections which endeared us to each other emanated from the fountain of divine eternal love. It was from him that I learned that we might cultivate these affections, and grow and increase in the same to all eternity; while the result of our endless union would be an offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, or the sands of the sea shore. …
“I had loved before, but I knew not why. But now I loved—with a pureness—an intensity of elevated, exalted feeling, which would lift my soul from the transitory things of this grovelling sphere and expand it as the ocean. I felt that God was my heavenly Father indeed; that Jesus was my brother, and that the wife of my bosom was an immortal, eternal companion; a kind ministering angel, given to me as a comfort, and a crown of glory for ever and ever. In short, I could now love with the spirit and with the understanding also” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979, pp. 297–98).
This came from a great talk from Elder Marlin K. Jensen. I wish you all a happy Sabbath!