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I don’t want to share my husband in Heaven

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So I’m new to the church and plan to be sealed to my husband who is sealed to his ex wife. He is going to apply for a clearance. But it’s my understanding that unless she remarried and asked for a cancellation they will be sealed for eternity also. This bothers me. I understand that the doctrines were created for one marriage but that isn’t always the case. And we are certain his ex does not plan to ask for a cancelation.  Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you. 

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14 minutes ago, Hello said:

So I’m new to the church and plan to be sealed to my husband who is sealed to his ex wife. He is going to apply for a clearance. But it’s my understanding that unless she remarried and asked for a cancellation they will be sealed for eternity also. This bothers me. I understand that the doctrines were created for one marriage but that isn’t always the case. And we are certain his ex does not plan to ask for a cancelation.  Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you. 

The Holy Spirit of Promise has to ratify any sealing that is performed in the temple in order for it to persist in the exalted world, and He won't ratify that which is not in accordance with the desires of the consenting agents and God.

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A sealing represents a three-way relationship between husband, wife, and God.  Even when the couple voluntarily dissolved that portion of the sealing that binds the two of them together by choosing to no longer live as man and wife, the bonds between each partner and God remain intact (conditional on faithfulness, of course).

The Church assumes that those bonds add depth and dimension to a divorced person’s relationship with God, and so it does not compel a divorced woman to nullify those bonds merely because her ex-husband remarries.   But the fact that the sealing remains “on the books” says nothing about whether the two exes will “be with” each other in the hereafter—it merely provides the promise that a suitable partner will eventually be found for any person who keeps their covenants. 

If you harbor a deep suspicion that your husband is still carrying a flame for his ex—that’s something that the two of you need to deal with, independently of what happens at church.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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I know my husband doesn’t carry a flame for his ex. That’s why he would prefer a cancellation if possible, but was told that only a clearance is allowed unless his ex remarried. I’m still learning. And the process of sealing, cancellation and clearance are all so new to me. My husband keep reassuring me that it will be just him and I in heaven and the Heavenly Father will make it all right. 

This is not based on a fear of my husband carrying a torch. Rather, my marriage being a holy union between myself and my spouse through eternity. And like most people I don’t want to have to think about someone else (whoever it should be) getting the same privileges as me his wife for all of eternity when that person didn’t cherish the covenant they made. 

Edited by Hello

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8 minutes ago, Hello said:

I know my husband doesn’t carry a flame for his ex. That’s why he would prefer a cancellation if possible, but was told that only a clearance is allowed unless his ex remarried. I’m still learning. And the process of sealing, cancellation and clearance are all so new to me. My husband keep reassuring me that it will be just him and I in heaven and the Heavenly Father will make it all right. 

This is not based on a fear of my husband carrying a torch. Rather, my marriage being a holy union between myself and my spouse through eternity. And like most people I don’t want to have to think about someone else (whoever it should be) getting the same privileges as me his wife for all of eternity when that person didn’t cherish the covenant they made. 

If you husband desires to not be with another person, than God honors that choice- He always respects our agency.  You have nothing to worry about in that regard.  

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Hello @Hello, and welcome to the forum!

As a personal suggestion, I would recommend viewing doctrine pertaining to the next life under the paradigm that by the time you get there, you will have a different frame of mind and will be willing to accept whatever is God's will.  Obviously we all have agency, however, part of the gospel is learning to forsake our will and do the will of the Father.  Right now you may be opposed to your husband having more than one eternal spouse, but by the time you get to the Celestial Kingdom, who's to say that you will still feel that way?  I don't think any of us really even know, because the purification we receive by the cleansing of the Holy Spirit has a unique way of removing all negative thoughts, doubts, and emotions that we experience in mortality.  If God or Christ at some point tell you to your face that your husband needs to have a second wife, are you really going to object?  As others have suggested, that may never be required of you because of the uniqueness of your situation and individual agency.  However, I would caution you against ever rejecting/refusing a seemingly unpleasant doctrinal concept that will realistically have no bearing on the way we live out our current life.

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@person0 perhaps your right. But the thought of sharing my husband with anyone now or for eternity is heartbreaking. I feel marriage is created to make us holier. My convenient between myself and my husband is a sacred thing and can’t see having to share that with anyone especially someone who already had their chance to create a celestial marriage with my spouse and chose otherwise. 

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3 hours ago, Hello said:

So I’m new to the church and plan to be sealed to my husband who is sealed to his ex wife. He is going to apply for a clearance. But it’s my understanding that unless she remarried and asked for a cancellation they will be sealed for eternity also. This bothers me. I understand that the doctrines were created for one marriage but that isn’t always the case. And we are certain his ex does not plan to ask for a cancelation.  Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you. 

Were there children from the previous marriage? I ask because the sealing may impacts them.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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@wenglund yes. My husband has already spoken to our bishop and was told that even if a cancellation is granted that that doesn’t cancel his sealing to his children. Again, a cancellation is very unlikely in my situation so we are just happy to get a clearance but I wasn’t  sure exactly what that mean as far as eternal companionship. This isn’t something my husband or I are going into with out much thought or prayers. We feel that our sealing is important for our marriage and for our family (including the children).  

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16 minutes ago, Hello said:

@wenglund yes. My husband has already spoken to our bishop and was told that even if a cancellation is granted that that doesn’t cancel his sealing to his children. Again, a cancellation is very unlikely in my situation so we are just happy to get a clearance

:)

Quote

but I wasn’t  sure exactly what that mean as far as eternal companionship. This isn’t something my husband or I are going into with out much thought or prayers. We feel that our sealing is important for our marriage and for our family (including the children).  

That is good to hear.  In part, I asked about the children because, as you intimate, they are physically, if nothing else, an eternal link between your husband and his first wife, regardless of cancellation or clearance. Sp, at least in some respects, you and your husband will always be "sealed" in this way to his first wife.

As comforting as it may be to wish for a clean break as if this were your and your husband's first marriage, it won't bring you peace because it isn't the way things really are. Instead, peace may come through accepting what is, and making the very best of things regardless.

If nothing else, it may ease your relationship with the children of your husband's first wife.. 

Forgive me if you already understand this, but I put it out there just in case. All the best,

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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7 minutes ago, Hello said:

@wenglund thank you. yes I am very aware that for now and forever she is apart of our life. Which I have no problem with. I just don’t want to share my husband with her as a joined covenant. 

Hello, Hello. (Sorry, had to say that.)

Your covenant with your husband is yours and his. No one else's. Technically, your covenant and his are with the Father,  not with each other. His former wife's covenant has nothing at all, in any sense, to do with your and his reciprocal covenants with God. She is no part of your covenant with your husband, and never will be.

Hope that's of some help.

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13 minutes ago, Hello said:

@wenglund thank you. yes I am very aware that for now and forever she is apart of our life. Which I have no problem with. I just don’t want to share my husband with her as a joined covenant. 

The good news is, whether your husband remains covenanted with his first wife or not, the covenant between you and your husband can only be shared with God. 

[Edit: I should have read @Vort's salient post before post this one. Great minds...]

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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6 minutes ago, Vort said:

Hello, Hello. (Sorry, had to say that.)

Your covenant with your husband is yours and his. No one else's. Technically, your covenant and his are with the Father,  not with each other. His former wife's covenant has nothing at all, in any sense, to do with your and his reciprocal covenants with God. She is no part of your covenant with your husband, and never will be.

Hope that's of some help.

In a way, that is why it is called "plural marriage"because the wives are each respectively married to the husband and not to each other.

Thanks, -Wade ENglund-

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15 hours ago, wenglund said:

In a way, that is why it is called "plural marriage"because the wives are each respectively married to the husband and not to each other.

I was going to ask about this before I left yesterday, thanks for reading my mind @wenglund !!

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18 hours ago, Hello said:

@wenglund thank you. yes I am very aware that for now and forever she is apart of our life. Which I have no problem with. I just don’t want to share my husband with her as a joined covenant. 

Each marriage covenant is independent from the other.  Your marital covenant is between you and God.  Your husband's marital covenant is between him and God.  His ex-wife is nowhere in that covenant so your covenant is not "joined" to her in any way.  Your marital covenant is a promise to God that you will love your husband for all eternity.  Your husband's marital covenant is a promise to God that he will love you for all eternity. This covenant and the blessings thereof are only present when the person is fulfilling their promise in the covenant (God always fulfills His promise so it will not happen that God breaks the covenant, it is always that the person breaks the covenant).  Your husband can't break your covenant with God.  Only you can do that.  The blessings one receives for fulfilling one's marital covenant is to be sealed and numbered with all the other righteous souls of heaven.  So, let's just talk about your covenant for a minute - let's say your husband breaks his covenant with God and stops loving you.  This does not mean that your own covenant with God is broken.  No.  Your marital covenant is not dependent on your husband's righteousness.  It is only dependent on your righteousness in loving your husband.  Therefore, you will continue to receive the blessings of the sealing - that being sealed and numbered among the other righteous in heaven as long as you remain righteous in fulfilling your promise to love your husband.  There's no requirement in that covenant for your husband to have to love you back.  You will not lose that sealing to the righteous even when your husband breaks his covenant and is not anymore sealed to the righteous.  Now, we always, of course, hope and pray that our husbands will remain one of the righteous in heaven as we also remain one of the righteous in heaven and we remain sealed to each other as we are sealed with the righteous.  But we have no control over our husbands, we can only control ourselves.

So, then we add the complication of his ex-wife.  His ex-wife's covenant is between her and God.  If she remains righteous (we can't judge her - even if as you say she was not righteous in her dealings with your husband.  The only person that can judge her righteousness is Christ.) or if she repents of her sins, her covenant remains active and she will reap the benefits of being sealed to the righteous of heaven.

We, in our mortal minds, think of the ex-wife's active covenant as some form of "ownership".  Like she lays claim on a piece of your husband.  This is a mortal understanding and is not an eternal understanding.  We don't really know what a marital relationship looks like in the celestial kingdom when all mortal cares of ownership and jealousy is no longer present.  In any case, your husband already broke his covenant to love his ex-wife for all eternity.  So his sealing to her is broken unless he, in his heart, still holds the promise of his covenant to love her for all eternity - we can't judge this one either, only Christ can for He's the only one that can see into your husband's heart.

My suggestion to you is to be benevolent and think of your husband's ex-wife as a child of God who desires celestial glory.  We don't want to be the reason that she doesn't attain it.  Rather, we want for her to attain it just like we want for our husband and for us to attain it.  Yes, it is hard to think of an ex-wife in such positive light and to be so magnanimous as to think of her as sealed to the rest of the righteous.  But that's why it is easier for us to leave her fate to God and simply concentrate on fulfilling your own covenant to love your husband.  The fact of the matter is - all of this is moot if neither you nor your husband make it to celestial glory.  And being benevolent to ex-wives is one of those requirements for celestial glory. 

Hope this gives you a bit of a different perspective.

Edited by anatess2

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On 3/5/2018 at 12:11 PM, Hello said:

I know my husband doesn’t carry a flame for his ex. That’s why he would prefer a cancellation if possible, but was told that only a clearance is allowed unless his ex remarried. I’m still learning. And the process of sealing, cancellation and clearance are all so new to me. My husband keep reassuring me that it will be just him and I in heaven and the Heavenly Father will make it all right. 

This is not based on a fear of my husband carrying a torch. Rather, my marriage being a holy union between myself and my spouse through eternity. And like most people I don’t want to have to think about someone else (whoever it should be) getting the same privileges as me his wife for all of eternity when that person didn’t cherish the covenant they made. 

Men may request a sealing cancellation from their ex even if she has not gotten remarried and sealed to another spouse.  My husband requested a sealing cancellation from his ex-wife and it was granted about 3 to 4 years ago.  She has not been sealed to a new spouse.  From my understanding, it was more difficult in years past for men to request and get sealing cancellations from their exes.  In fact when my husband and I were married over 30 years ago  he requested a cancellation but received a letter from the first presidency that it wasn’t necessary.  Twenty plus years later my husband asked our current bishop about getting his previous sealing cancelled and was told “yes” it could be done.  So, my husband wrote the required letter and our Stake President sent it into headquarters.  My husband got his reply back several weeks later, and his cancellation request was granted.

Perhaps your bishop is not aware that men are allowed to request a sealing cancellation.  Maybe, your husband can try asking your bishop again, or go to your Stake President with the request.

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Hello Hello! Welcome to the forum. As I have studied the gospel, in weakness, I understand a concept that finally made more sense about 1 year into my mission. In scripture we are often informed to teach "faith and repentance." At first my mind when reading this constantly thought, "But there is so much more to teach"!

With your questions let's look at what we know, what we can exercise our faith in:
1) God is perfect. His love, his knowledge, and his plan are perfect!
2) God's doctrine is perfect, and perfect love casteth out all fear!
3) Truth is perfect. It will stand the test of time, and if we fight against truth, like Saul before he became known as Paul -- we kick against the pricks. Things which are meant to assist and help we kick against!
4) Our perfect Father in heaven will work out all things in the end according to truth, according to his love, mercy, and compassion which is greater than anything we have ever offered anyone else.
5) God is companion to a "perfect" woman -- heavenly parents. Think upon this notion for a moment. We are taught that God commands us to be "one" and if we are not "one" we are not his. As God is not a hypocrite, he walks what he preaches. He and heavenly Mother are perfect. They are one, like the Savior and God the Father are one. Nothing that has been done by the Father has not been accepted by the Mother. All the Father hath done, the Mother equally would have done so (Temporal is patterned after that which is spiritual).

In light of this, we have a choice, we can either live in fear causing over anxiety over something we can not control, or we can live in faith knowing that when we die temporal knowledge (Telestial knowledge) will not inhibit us from accepting pure and virtuous principles. We don't have the "little" devil on our shoulder telling us "bad things are good, and good things are bad."

Place your trust, place your faith, in a loving heavenly Father who has a perfect plan that he executes with perfect love. Hold onto what you have now, and do not be bothered by something that may or may not be.

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Guest

I have been toying with an idea in my head.  Perhaps the lower degrees of the Celestial Kingdom are (at least in part) composed of women who were sealed to their husband but refused to share him who was also sealed to another on earth.  Obviously not doctrine. But I do wonder sometimes why this issue comes up so much.

I've said it before that if the positions were reversed, I'd be ok with it.  There would be some practicalities that would be a problem.  But emotionally and spiritually I wouldn't feel any reservations.  Yes, I spoke about it with my wife -- mainly because I supposed that I needed a woman's opinion from someone I knew and trusted.  She said that if the Lord required it, then He required it. If He didn't, He didn't.  That was about the extent of her feelings on the matter.

So, I'm really unable to empathize with those who have such difficulty with this.  Not an insult or criticism.  I just plain don't get it.  Yes, yes, I'm sure many women would have a problem with it.  But I simply don't understand why.

On earth we feel insecurities, betrayal, jealousy, suspicion, selfishness, dishonesty, etc.  All the feelings that keep us from truly being one with our spouse.  But if you truly are one with your spouse, all these feelings would be gone.  And in heaven, we have no such problems.  So, if you take all those feelings out, what motivation would there be to be upset by this practice?

Edited by Guest

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20 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

So, I'm really unable to empathize with those who have such difficulty with this.  Not an insult or criticism.  I just plain don't get it.  Yes, yes, I'm sure many women would have a problem with it.  But I simply don't understand why.

I don't understand why either.  I think it is ownership - "He's mine!  He can't be anybody else's!".  But that's just me guessing. 

I have no sense of ownership on my husband.  He's not with me because he's mine.  Rather, he's with me because he freely chooses to be.  If God desires for him to have another wife in the eternities that doesn't change the fact that he's still sealed to me and freely chooses to be.  Now, if he had to do this in mortality, there's gonna be some issues - because now there is time and resources to consider.  How much time is he going to have to spend with me and my children as opposed to another woman?  How is his income going to be divided among us?  Etc.  But none of these are insurmountable if God desires it.  But, this is what I think - God wouldn't want my husband to have another wife in mortality because He promised me He wouldn't give me more than I can bear.  In all honesty, I don't think I can bear it.  In any case, if God desires it, then I'll have to rethink that I must be able to bear it after all.  Another wife in eternity I don't have a problem with at all.  If I'm righteous enough to attain Celestial Glory I'm righteous enough to desire what God desires.  I do think of the possibility that my husband will divorce me and marry another.  I don't worry about that because that means my husband did not choose me anymore and that fact is more tragic than that he has another wife. 

 

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Perhaps it is hard to empathize if you’ve never been in my situation and it’s easy to say how we think would act in a situation. And yes maybe it is selfish. The idea of sealing is so very new to me. And sounds very permanent. Given free agency I have no doubt my husband wants me and only me for his eternal companion. The idea of sealing made it sound as if he didn’t have a choice. I have no doubt that God will make things right in Heaven and what he ordains will be. But I also believe He has given me the knowledge and the love for my husband to do all things possible here on earth to bring us closer together and closer to Him. And He knows my heart, my weakness and my strengths and my husband is all three.  So yes the idea of having him sealed to someone who doesn’t love him or appreciate him is hard for me to bare. I feel God has spoken in my heart to find out more about this process and His plan for myself and my husband. 

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Guest MormonGator
4 minutes ago, Hello said:

Perhaps it is hard to empathize if you’ve never been in my situation and it’s easy to say how we think would act in a situation. And yes maybe it is selfish. The idea of sealing is so very new to me. And sounds very permanent. Given free agency I have no doubt my husband wants me and only me for his eternal companion. The idea of sealing made it sound as if he didn’t have a choice. I have no doubt that God will make things right in Heaven and what he ordains will be. But I also believe He has given me the knowledge and the love for my husband to do all things possible here on earth to bring us closer together and closer to Him. And He knows my heart, my weakness and my strengths and my husband is all three.  So yes the idea of having him sealed to someone who doesn’t love him or appreciate him is hard for me to bare. I feel God has spoken in my heart to find out more about this process and His plan for myself and my husband. 

It's totally understandable to feel the way you do-I think we all understand, as best we can. 

Praying for you...

Edited by MormonGator

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50 minutes ago, Hello said:

Perhaps it is hard to empathize if you’ve never been in my situation and it’s easy to say how we think would act in a situation. And yes maybe it is selfish. The idea of sealing is so very new to me. And sounds very permanent. Given free agency I have no doubt my husband wants me and only me for his eternal companion. The idea of sealing made it sound as if he didn’t have a choice. I have no doubt that God will make things right in Heaven and what he ordains will be. But I also believe He has given me the knowledge and the love for my husband to do all things possible here on earth to bring us closer together and closer to Him. And He knows my heart, my weakness and my strengths and my husband is all three.  So yes the idea of having him sealed to someone who doesn’t love him or appreciate him is hard for me to bare. I feel God has spoken in my heart to find out more about this process and His plan for myself and my husband. 

This is one of the fantastic truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Agency trumps everything. Even if sealed, God will not force any man or any woman to be with someone for eternity who chooses not to be with them.

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20 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

This is one of the fantastic truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Agency trumps everything. Even if sealed, God will not force any man or any woman to be with someone for eternity who chooses not to be with them.

True, but He also might have to inform them that their choice is either to do it, or to forfeit their opportunity for eternal increase, or deny someone else said opportunity.  Unfortunately we don't really know what the actual end game determining factors are going to be.  We simply trust that He will make it right according to how it should be.  But our thoughts about how it should be are limited compared to His knowledge on the subject.

Edited by person0

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1 hour ago, Hello said:

Perhaps it is hard to empathize if you’ve never been in my situation and it’s easy to say how we think would act in a situation. And yes maybe it is selfish. The idea of sealing is so very new to me. And sounds very permanent. Given free agency I have no doubt my husband wants me and only me for his eternal companion. The idea of sealing made it sound as if he didn’t have a choice. I have no doubt that God will make things right in Heaven and what he ordains will be. But I also believe He has given me the knowledge and the love for my husband to do all things possible here on earth to bring us closer together and closer to Him. And He knows my heart, my weakness and my strengths and my husband is all three.  So yes the idea of having him sealed to someone who doesn’t love him or appreciate him is hard for me to bare. I feel God has spoken in my heart to find out more about this process and His plan for myself and my husband. 

I'll readily admit that I''ve never been in your situation.  I won't pretend to truly understand.  In fact, I specifically said that I just plain don't understand.  But I think I may understand something that you may have hinted at.  See the bolded portion above.

I have a brother-in-law (probably the most upright man I've ever known) who went through a horrible divorce.  And it was all 100% HER fault.  Even after she broke her vows, he was still trying to forgive her and keep the family together.  Not only did he think of the kids, he was also still in love with her.  He wanted nothing more than to forgive her and see her come back to him, the children, and to the Lord.  But she outright rejected it all.  She sold her birthright for a mess of pottage.

At the judgment day she will have no excuses.  She had every opportunity to repent and flat out chose not to.

But it had a happy ending for him at least.  He eventually got his life back together and found a wonderful woman with a good head on her shoulders who truly appreciates him.  While you didn't come right out and say that the Ex-wife committed adultery, it seems that you're talking about something close to that level at least.  Thus, it seems like your situation is similar to theirs.

If so, I'd ask:  Is it that you don't want to share your husband at all?  Or is it that you don't like the idea of possibly sharing him with HER?

If it is the former, I would encourage you to continue looking at your partial admission that it could very well be selfishness on your part.  If it is the latter, then I totally agree.  But you'd have no fear.  If she broke her vows, she broke her covenant.  If she broke her covenant and refuses to repent, then she effectively is no longer sealed to him.  That is how I understand it.

But we need to always allow for repentance.  And that will only be between her and the Savior.  Is she truly repentant?  Is she going to turn around and look to the Lord?  Part of obtaining the power of the Atonement is to allow for forgiveness in our hearts for others.

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