Marriage Covenant is Between a Man and a Woman
Marriage is a covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and God.
“We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)
Marriage is to be Legal and Lawful
We as Latter-day Saints, believe in being married legally and lawfully. Elder Boyd K. Packer gave a warning to the world: “There is a practice, now quite prevalent, for unmarried couples to live together, a counterfeit of marriage. They suppose that they shall have all that marriage can offer without the obligations connected with it. They are wrong!”
“However much they hope to find in a relationship of that kind, they will lose more. Living together without marriage destroys something inside all who participate. Virtue, self-esteem, and refinement of character wither away.”
“Such words as unselfishness and sacrifice will then be tossed aside. Then self-respect will fade and love itself will not want to stay.”(Elder Boyd K. Packer; Ensign, May 1981, 13–15)
– Why is it important to be legally married not just living together?
Marriage a Sacred Covenant
There are two forms of legal marriage. God established marriage with Adam and Eve. Since that time it has been a natural right of men and women. According to Heavenly Father, a marriage is formed when a man and woman make a marriage covenant with each other under God(see D&C 132:15, 18, 19). Marriage after this pattern is legal and acceptable to God so long as the couple keeps their covenant to each other. Christ taught there is no divorce with this type of marriage. (see Mark 10:4-7).
When a man and woman covenant with each other and with God they form a sacred triangle. When the husband and wife are obedient God will bless them.
This simple type of legal marriage has been acceptable to God since the beginning of earth. When Abraham received Hagar as his wife all that was needed was for Sarai to give her unto him. Mutual commitment between the couple being married is all that is required for form a legal marriage.
– What are the three points of the sacred triangle of marriage?
– What is needed for a man and woman to enter into a legal and lawful marriage covenant with each other?
Marriage and Marriage Licenses
The second form of legal marriage has roots in the Great Apostasy. During the 17th century Christian religions passed laws which made it illegal for people of certain races to get married. In order for those people to get married they had to get permission from the government. This was done by acquiring a license. During the 1920s many states in the United States adopted these marriage licenses laws for racist purposes. In later years other states saw that marriage licenses provide a good source of income through license fees. Marriage license laws were passed making them applicable to all races. Eventually every state in the United States adopted marriage licenses laws. For a time marriage licenses were used to regulate benefits, spouse, and child support. However today marriage licenses are no longer used for these purposes.
The legal definition of a license is: “The permission by competent authority to do an act which without such permission, would be illegal.” However marriage is not an act that would be illegal without the government’s permission. Marriage of the first kind is legal for all men and women regardless of government permission.
The second type of legal marriage modifies the sacred triangle. By obtaining a state marriage license a couple includes the government as a partner in their marriage.
The Ohio State Bar Association gives information about this in one of their publications about marriage licenses. It says, “Actually, when you repeat your marriage vows you enter into a legal contract. There are three parties to that contract. 1.You; 2. Your husband or wife, as the case may be; and 3. the State of Ohio.”
With the government as a partner in the marriage, the couple receives benefits from the government. Such benefits include recognition of their marriage, ability to divorce for any reason, tax status, etc. In addition to receiving benefits in the government, the couple grants the government rights and permissions within their marriage. Such rights include jurisdiction of the the fruits of the marriage. By obtaining a marriage license the couple gives the government permission to regulate their property and children.
In 1993 the government in Wisconsin did not have to get permission from parents to administer an invasive test to their children. When asked what gave then the right, the government responded that their marriage licenses gave the government permission. By including the government in the sacred triangle, the state is an additional spouse in the marriage and an additional parent to their children.
As the use of marriage licenses has increased, divorce has also increased. By bringing the government into a couple’s marriage they have the government’s permission to divorce for any reason. However if a couple marries with the first type of legal marriage the couple is bound to God’s rules for marriage. Divorce is not a frivolous thing but a very serious matter to God.
– How did marriage licenses originate?
– When a couple gets a marriage license what are some of the rights the government gets in their marriage?
Luke 16:13(No man can serve two masters)
Marriage is Sacred
The government has no jurisdiction over the first type of legal marriage. Because of its sacred and divine nature as a right of men and women, the government cannot regulate it. The covenant remains between the couple and God. By legally marrying without a marriage license a couple forgo govern-mental “benefits” and intrusions. However, they are still recipients of the blessings of a covenant marriage relationship.
– What are the two types of legal Marriage?
– Why is it impossible for the government to restrict or legislate the first type of legal marriage?
Additional Scriptures and Other Sources
Deuteronomy 21:13(mutual commitment is enough to make a legal marriage)