If Unmarried When I Die Is Exaltation Out Of The Question?


Recommended Posts

I have been married three times.  I’ve never cheated or been abusive.

*My first wife was a non-member but was active in our Ward.  She even had a calling.  She always said that she might join the church.  She bore us two children and then had an affair and wouldn’t stay away from the guy.  I tried for three years to “fix” the marriage but ultimately she wanted a divorce.  She ended up marrying the guy.

*I met my second wife through mutual single friends in the church.  We both had temple recommends.  We married and spent ten years together.  She started hanging out with a gay woman who was a member.  She started coming home well after midnight an eventually asked for a divorce and moved in with this other woman.  A few years later she remarried in the temple so our sealing was cancelled.

*I met #3 on a church dating site.  We were sealed in the temple and married for 18 years.  Almost from the start she was saying she shouldn’t have left her grown daughter behind and then she kept saying she wasn’t happy.  We moved to Louisiana because she wanted to.  I ended up being called to serve on the High Council there. Then I consented to move anywhere she wanted if it would make her happy.  At that point she told me she didn’t want anything to do with the church and she wanted a divorce.

*I met a nice woman from Utah.  After a while we wanted to be sealed in the temple.  She had strong feelings about me still being sealed to my previous wife.  The previous wife had told me she was going to request a cancellation anyway so I went ahead and initiated that.  After the cancellation and a lot of my money spent she said things weren’t working out.  This after she told me repeatedly, “***, I would never leave you”.

So here’s my dilemma and I praying someone has some comforting and encouraging words; I want to be exalted more than anything, but I’m not sealed to anyone and although I’ve been a member all my life, I don’t have confidence in my understanding of where this leaves me.  I’m 68 years old and love being married, but the opportunities are few, even on dating sites.

‘I’m begging to find some comfort and confidence.  Please!

Edited by 55Spud
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel for your situation.  I'm basically in the same.  Been divorced for 23 years now.  I'm just a couple of years younger than you and not sealed to anyone.  I worry about my exaltation as well.  I don't think you and I are the only ones in this boat.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was raised in the Church, and was always taught that those who do not have the opportunity to receive the blessings of eternal marriage in this life, will do so in the next life.  And, yes, one must be sealed to a spouse to enter the highest degree of glory in the Celestial Kingdom; however, if one does not have that opportunity during their mortal probation, they will have that opportunity in the next life, so long as they are worthy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

On 11/5/2023 at 8:35 PM, 55Spud said:

But Jedi-Nephite, I’ve had the opportunity twice!  I feel like such a loser. All I want is to live in Father’s presence again.

A celestial marriage takes both a husband and a wife.  From what you said it doesn't sound like you had a righteous and willing partner wanting to be and remain sealed to you. 

But regardless of what happened in the past, rest assured that there is great cause for hope in all blessings!!   It is not too late.  Even if you don't find and marry someone in this life, it's not too late.  The plan of salvation allows for all blessings to the faithful!  This is one of the great truths of the restoration.  Jesus Christ is your hope!!   As you seek Jesus, all blessings remain available to you because of Him.

Here are some quotes from a recent Liahona article ( https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/liahona/2023/06/06-acting-in-faith-while-hoping-for-marriage-8-ideas-for-adults-who-are-single?lang=eng )

 

Quote

Many prophets have spoken of the promised blessing of marriage for adults who are single and who remain worthy of that covenant. For instance, President Russell M. Nelson taught: “Through no failing of their own, they deal with the trials of life alone. Be we all reminded that, in the Lord’s own way and time, no blessings will be withheld from His faithful Saints.”

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has also reminded us that while the blessing of celestial marriage is assured to the faithful, “the precise time and manner in which the blessings of exaltation are bestowed have not all been revealed.” Thus, an ongoing question can remain for those who are single: will the promise of marriage come in mortality or not? And with that question, some people may experience feelings of uncertainty, pain, and even a sense of intangible loss—the loss of becoming a spouse or parent by the time they’d hoped.

Through faith in and blessings from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, those who are single can continue to find hope, strength, and joy as they wait upon the Lord for the promised blessings of celestial marriage.

 

 

Quote

President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, taught: “Singleness, childlessness, death, and divorce frustrate ideals and postpone the fulfillment of promised blessings. … But these frustrations are only temporary. The Lord has promised that in the eternities no blessing will be denied his sons and daughters who keep the commandments, are true to their covenants, and desire what is right.”

 

The Lord intends to bless you with a celestial marriage and exaltation.  Have faith and hope in Jesus's power and ability to provide all blessings to the faithful, even if you don't understand the how.  Live according to that faith.  Here's one last quote:

 

Quote

In speaking to members of the Church who were single, President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) counseled: “I assure you that we are sensitive to the loneliness that many of you feel. Loneliness is a bitter and painful thing. … But there is also that which comes from Him who said, ‘I, even I, am he that comforteth you.’ (Isa. 51:12.)”6 Christ is our source of comfort and hope amid uncertainty.

 

=== Edit to add this from Revelation 21:2-4

Quote

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes ...

 

Edited by Rhoades
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/5/2023 at 8:35 PM, 55Spud said:

But Jedi-Nephite, I’ve had the opportunity twice!  I feel like such a loser. All I want is to live in Father’s presence again.

If failure were enough to deny us the blessings of exaltation, none of us would ever be exalted.  Repent as needed, continue faithful to the end.  Despair is Satan's tool.  Don't give in to it.  Find hope in Christ.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Screwed up the one and only good relationship I've ever had because I was dealing with an undiagnosed mental health condition and it was affecting my judgement. 

Am now staring down 40 with zero prospects and no means to support anyone anyway due to how little I make at the local-level newspapers I'm with. 

All I can do is trust that whatever will happen will happen. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/5/2023 at 8:06 PM, 55Spud said:

I’m 68 years old and love being married, but the opportunities are few, even on dating sites.

I hear that.  I've got 3 people in roughly your situation.   A divorced guy in his 40's, a divorced guy in his 50's, and a widowed guy in his 70's.   I've walked with all 3 and heard their stories of dating.  They all decided to try dating.  Both online and local.  They all have a year of "dating horror stories".  Two are now married.  One via dating site and multiple trips between states.  One found someone a couple wards away.  One is, to put it diplomatically, way too unique to find the right match.   But holy heck did they all end up with some weird stories.  

My guy in his '40's lives in CO, found someone in ID, they flew back and forth to date for 6 months, then got married.  3 months after the marriage, they moved to VT to start fresh.  It was weird, but it seems to be working.

My guy in his '70's was terribly lonely after his wife's passing, but did indeed finally find a widow with a similar story, and they're going to be together for the rest of life, which is enough for them.  

 

If you've got energy, I'd say keep trying.  Mind your private data.  Trust nobody at first, use dating as a way to test and develop trust in each other.   "It's good to meet you, glad to find out you're not a scammer from another country." :D 

The numbers are in your favor.  There are far more single women in their '50's and '60's yearning for a temple marriage, then men.  They are out there to be found.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/5/2023 at 10:10 PM, pam said:

I feel for your situation.  I'm basically in the same.  Been divorced for 23 years now.  I'm just a couple of years younger than you and not sealed to anyone.  I worry about my exaltation as well.  I don't think you and I are the only ones in this boat.  

This could be a love connection......  😇😉❤️

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/7/2023 at 1:06 PM, Ironhold said:

Screwed up the one and only good relationship I've ever had because I was dealing with an undiagnosed mental health condition and it was affecting my judgement. 

Am now staring down 40 with zero prospects and no means to support anyone anyway due to how little I make at the local-level newspapers I'm with. 

All I can do is trust that whatever will happen will happen. 

I think trust is the key.  Sometimes we just have to turn it all over to a higher authority.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the doctrine is pretty clear in this matter: if we are worthy of a blessing and willing to receive it, but for some reason denied it, then we will receive it in the next life. This includes blessings we have lost somewhere along the way but now want to recover. Remain worthy and willing and trust in God's love for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/13/2023 at 7:34 AM, laronius said:

I think the doctrine is pretty clear in this matter: if we are worthy of a blessing and willing to receive it, but for some reason denied it, then we will receive it in the next life. This includes blessings we have lost somewhere along the way but now want to recover. Remain worthy and willing and trust in God's love for you.

The doctrine isn’t clear at all if you study it.  D&C 132 says one thing, a past Prophet said something else, President Nelson says something else.  There are too many scenarios to address them all in one conference talk or several scriptures.  I’m just going to throw my hands up and let whatever comes (or doesn’t) come and if exaltation isn’t in my future then so be it.  I’m tired.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, 55Spud said:

The doctrine isn’t clear at all if you study it.  D&C 132 says one thing, a past Prophet said something else, President Nelson says something else.  There are too many scenarios to address them all in one conference talk or several scriptures.  I’m just going to throw my hands up and let whatever comes (or doesn’t) come and if exaltation isn’t in my future then so be it.  I’m tired.

You are in my prayers my friend. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/5/2023 at 8:28 PM, Jedi_Nephite said:

I was raised in the Church, and was always taught that those who do not have the opportunity to receive the blessings of eternal marriage in this life, will do so in the next life.  And, yes, one must be sealed to a spouse to enter the highest degree of glory in the Celestial Kingdom; however, if one does not have that opportunity during their mortal probation, they will have that opportunity in the next life, so long as they are worthy.

This is not what I was taught growing up, at least not specifically so easily.

I know many times we want to be sympathetic and offer a comforting word on the subject, but the answer to the Original question I think is a little more questionable, especially with so many different things happening (1st marriage to a non-member, 2nd marriage and then divorce, 3rd appears to have a cancellation..etc).  It's not something that I feel can easily have a specific answer...though in general I agree with what you wrote.

It will DEPEND on the desires of their heart.  At one point, Spencer W. Kimball said that men who did not get married in the temple or married outside of it were writing that they did not want to reach the highest degree of glory as their actions already indicated where their heart lay.  He also stated that young men that chose not to get married or did not get married were also at fault (at the time, initiation of courtship in most nations was reliant on men courting women).  On the otherhand, woman who could not find a righteous spouse but wished (and did not date or marry those who were not members) should not need to worry.  HE was the one who said at the time that those woman who had these desires and stayed true to them would have every opportunity that  other women did.  That no blessing of exaltation would be withheld from them.  IN this instance, it was SPECIFIC to woman.

Which is why I've seen MANY men worry and wonder about this issue ever since.  We know, as per the prophets on this that women, who truly desire to have a celestial marriage and have done all they could to obtain it, will be blessed with these blessings in the next life if they are not able to obtain them in this life.

When we come to men, the most honest answer I have that fits doctrinally is to leave it up to the Lord.  Commit to live all the commandments of the Church and strive with your heart to do all that the Lord asks of you.  It is up to us to trust that the Lord will do the best thing for us in the hereafter. 

Only one or two prophets have said something to the effect of thus saith the Lord on the subject...and it may not give everyone the best comfort of heart by just reading it out and hearing it.

No one recently has said...thus saith the Lord...on the subject as far as I'm aware of.  There IS one individual that has said what I feel is the BEST words of advice on this subject recently though, and it was in general conference.

3 hours ago, 55Spud said:

The doctrine isn’t clear at all if you study it.  D&C 132 says one thing, a past Prophet said something else, President Nelson says something else.  There are too many scenarios to address them all in one conference talk or several scriptures.  I’m just going to throw my hands up and let whatever comes (or doesn’t) come and if exaltation isn’t in my future then so be it.  I’m tired.

 

This is true.  Unfortunately this means that we may not have the answers we would want to know in this life.  There are some things that may not be revealed to us.  Some MIGHT be lucky enough with enough prayerful study and seeking to get an answer, but many will not.  However, trust that the Lord knows our hearts, our true wants and true desires, and who we are and would truly wish to have.

He is the only one that truly knows and is our judge.  He is the one that loves us and will be our advocate. 

There is a Talk by Dallin H. Oaks from 2019 that he gave during General  Conference that discussed Marriage questions in this regard.  One question was from someone who was a second wife and wondered about her own marriage and it's singularity in regards to others.  In addition he addressed other things (in a way, even your question) in the talk.  I PERSONALLY feel this is the best instruction we have received on the topic in the past decade on this subject.  I normally try to adhere to the scholarly idea of only quoting a maximum of 3 paragraphs of something and referencing the rest.  I will attempt to do so here, BUT, hopefully will not be looked down upon if I quote a bit more and will not have the Church be angry at me if I do so. (edit: obviously I failed in this, I have quoted far more than 3 paragraphs, but there is a LOT that is extremely pertinent to the question posted in this topic). It has a LOT of good bits of information within it. 

Trust in the Lord

Quote

My dear brothers and sisters, a letter I received some time ago introduces the subject of my talk. The writer was contemplating a temple marriage to a man whose eternal companion had died. She would be a second wife. She asked this question: would she be able to have her own house in the next life, or would she have to live with her husband and his first wife? I just told her to trust the Lord.

I continue with an experience I heard from a valued associate, which I share with his permission. After the death of his beloved wife and the mother of his children, a father remarried. Some grown children strongly objected to the remarriage and sought the counsel of a close relative who was a respected Church leader. After hearing the reasons for their objections, which focused on conditions and relationships in the spirit world or in the kingdoms of glory that follow the Final Judgment, this leader said: “You are worried about the wrong things. You should be worried about whether you will get to those places. Concentrate on that. If you get there, all of it will be more wonderful than you can imagine.”

What a comforting teaching! Trust in the Lord!

--------------------------------------------------------------

As to all of these, the wise cautions of Elders D. Todd Christofferson and Neil L. Andersen in earlier general conference messages are important to remember. Elder Christofferson taught: “It should be remembered that not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. It is commonly understood in the Church that a statement made by one leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, not meant to be official or binding for the whole Church.”5

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For all questions about the spirit world, I suggest two answers. First, remember that God loves His children and will surely do what is best for each of us. Second, remember this familiar Bible teaching, which has been most helpful to me on a multitude of unanswered questions:

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5–6).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trust in the Lord is a familiar and true teaching in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That was Joseph Smith’s teaching when the early Saints experienced severe persecutions and seemingly insurmountable obstacles.9 That is still the best principle we can use when our efforts to learn or our attempts to find comfort encounter obstacles in matters not yet revealed or not adopted as the official doctrine of the Church.

That same principle applies to unanswered questions about sealings in the next life or desired readjustments because of events or transgressions in mortality. There is so much we do not know that our only sure reliance is to trust in the Lord and His love for His children.

This is a LONG way of saying, I don't know the answer to your question specifically.  The best thing is to trust in the Lord.  He loves you and knows the desires of your heart.  He knows what will be the best for you and for the rest of us.

Edited by JohnsonJones
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...