“Eternal Marriage, Lesson 51: Section 132, Official Declaration 1,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324–325 (1981), 101–2
“Lesson 51,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide, 101–2
Those who desire to live in a family unit throughout eternity must be married in the temple by the power of the holy priesthood.
The keys governing celestial marriage and a fulness of the sealing powers of the priesthood were given to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Only those marriages performed by the Lord’s authority will remain in force in the hereafter.
If a man and woman make a marriage covenant for time only, their covenant is not binding hereafter.
If a man and woman marry by covenant for eternity but it is not according to the Lord’s law and authority and not sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, it is not valid when they are out of the world.
If a man and woman marry according to God’s law, if their marriage is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, and they abide by their covenants, the marriage will have full validity when they are out of mortality and they shall be exalted.
Section 132, Official Declaration 1
Use material from Historical Background and Notes and Commentary to teach each revelation in its historical context.
D&C 131:1–4. What must an individual do to obtain the highest degree of celestial glory?
Jacob 2:27–30. When is plural marriage justified?
2 Thessalonians 1:9. What does the Lord mean in the scriptures when he indicates that those who don’t obey his law will be destroyed?
Teachings, pp. 323–24. Who holds the keys of plural marriage?
DS, 2:44, 73–74. Where must celestial marriages be performed, and who in the Church can perform them?
DS, 1:45, 55. What does it mean to be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise?
DS, 1:156–59. What is the new and everlasting covenant? DS, 2:93–99. What is the meaning of Doctrine and Covenants 132:26?
DS, 2:32–34, 43–44, 65–69. Is celestial marriage essential to exaltation?
Gos. Doc, pp. 279–80. How important is it to marry a member of the Church? Are there marriages in heaven?
Spencer W. Kimball, “Temples and Eternal Marriage,” Ensign, Aug. 1974, pp. 2–6. Can members of the Church have eternal happiness without a celestial marriage?
Spencer W. Kimball, “The Importance of Celestial Marriage,” Ensign, Oct. 1979, pp. 3–6. Vital nature of the marriage decision and its far-reaching effects. Necessity of celestial marriage to happiness and exaltation. Marrying out of Church places eternal welfare in jeopardy.
Heber J. Grant, in CR, Apr. 1931, pp. 5–14. Unlawful plural marriage denounced. Church leaders not teaching or practicing plural marriage.
James R. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, 5:315–16, 316–26, 326–30. A historical review and reaffirmation of the position of the Church regarding plural marriage.
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 577–79. Plural marriage discussed.
Wilford Woodruff, in Journal of Discourses, 23:131. Testimony that Joseph Smith introduced plural marriage and that “Emma Smith gave her husband in marriage several women while he was living,” but she later denied it.
The teacher should note that this lesson is a continuation of the previous lesson, “The Way to Eternal Life,” and should be prepared accordingly.
This is a lesson on celestial marriage and not a lesson on plural marriage. A few of the above sources refer to plural marriage but only to prepare you to answer questions that may arise. Focus on the principle of marriage for time and eternity. Official Declaration 1 should be read to show that the practice of plural marriage was stopped and that the critical question for our youth today is how to achieve a celestial marriage.
Using Doctrine and Covenants 132:15–19 and the two articles on marriage by President Kimball listed under Additional Sources, create some case studies or situations in which people who are contemplating marriage may find themselves. Present the situations one*at a time and lead the class in a discussion of the possible events which could lead to each situation and the probable outcome of continuing on the same course. (Examples are interfaith marriage, marriage to an inactive member, death of one partner after “time-only” marriage, and falling in love with someone who is a nonmember or someone who has different feelings about marriage and family and the gospel.)
There are several films produced by the Church on the subject of marriage. The best resource is the BYU film library. With some advance planning, one or two films could be selected and used as a basis for discussing temple marriage versus civil marriage.
Have students look carefully through Doctrine and Covenants 132 and identify statements that indicate that the Lord requires his people to be pure and obedient to his laws to attain exaltation. Discuss the Lord’s laws of moral purity and his teachings concerning adultery as given in this section as well as other scriptures. Note the purity and obedience of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph Smith, and others of the Lord’s anointed. Discuss the standard by which God expects his people to live, and compare it with the world’s standards. Help students see the value of moral cleanliness and the great promises the Lord has made to those who keep themselves pure. Discuss ways of avoiding the pollutions of the world and resisting Satan’s lures into immorality.
Review several talks from President Kimball which are given in the Ensign and deal in part or in full with the subject of marriage. Make a list of specific counsels and instructions he has given on the subject.
Provide copies of one of the following and assign students to read them.
Spencer W. Kimball, “President Kimball Speaks out on Morality,” Ensign, Nov. 1980, pp. 94–98; or New Era, Nov. 1980, pp. 38–46.
Spencer W. Kimball, “Marriage and Divorce,” in Speeches of the Year, 1976 (Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1977), pp. 141–55.
Spencer W. Kimball, Love vs. Lust, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year (Provo, 5 Jan. 1965).
Hugh B. Brown, Purity is Power (address at Brigham Young University tri-stake fireside), 30 Sept. 1962.
Boyd K. Packer, “Why Stay Morally Clean?” Ensign, July 1972, pp. 111–13; or Conference Report, Apr. 1972, pp. 136–39.
Boyd K. Packer, Eternal Marriage, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year (Provo, 14 Apr. 1970).