“Is it true that before a temple marriage is eternalized it must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise?” New Era, Nov. 1971, 6
Answer/O. Leslie Stone
Every marriage performed in a temple for time and eternity is sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise if entered into worthily. Sealings by this Spirit are not limited to marriages, but also apply to every other ordinance performed by the priesthood.
Marriages can be performed in a temple only by one who has received the sealing power from the prophet or president of the Church or from someone who has been given the keys to confer this authority. Other than General Authorities, this sealing power is limited to the particular temple to which the sealers are assigned.
What does the Holy Spirit of promise mean? It simply means that every sealing performed in the prescribed manner by one having the authority has the “stamp of approval” and promise of our Heavenly Father—subject only to the faithfulness of the individual receiving the blessing.
“And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments. …” (Mosiah 2:22.)
“I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” (D&C 82:10.)
“For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world.” (D&C 132:5.)
President Joseph Fielding Smith has written:
“I will make an explanation of the expression, ‘Sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.’ This does not have reference to marriage for time and all eternity only, but to every ordinance and blessing of the gospel. Baptism into the Church is sealed by this Spirit, likewise confirmation, ordination, and all ordinances as well as marriage for time and all eternity.
“The meaning of this expression is this: Every covenant, contract, bond, obligation, oath, vow, and performance, that man receives through the covenants and blessings of the gospel, is sealed by the Holy Spirit with a promise. The promise is that the blessing will be obtained, if those who seek it are true and faithful to the end. If they are not faithful, the Holy Spirit will withdraw the blessing, and the promise comes to an end.” (Doctrines of Salvation [Bookcraft, 1957], vol. 2, p. 94.)
The Lord always keeps his promises! Every sealing bears his promise that we will receive the blessings if we do our part and keep our covenants with him; otherwise, we won’t.