“Does a temple marriage cost money?” New Era, June 1978, 30
Answer/Brother Cecil E. Hart
The only “price” of admission to the temple is the recommend itself; there is no fee received by the temple or the officiator performing the ceremony. Confining this question to these limitations, the answer would be that a temple marriage does not cost money!
Again from this limited viewpoint, one might also ask, does it cost money to be baptized or does it cost money to receive the Holy Ghost?
The word cost denotes an amount paid in gaining something. Here again the first impulse prompts one to say, no, it does not cost money for baptism or the right to receive the Holy Ghost or for a temple marriage.
Broadening the view a little, there are very real costs in the careful and personal preparation necessary before coming to the temple. There are also such costs as wedding gowns, other clothing, dinners, and travel to the temple. Faith-promoting experiences abound in the Church where individuals and families convert their life holdings into cash to pay such costs.
From another viewpoint, there are social, domestic, and religious adjustments made that some might label costs, but here again, it may be indirect in its application. Temple marriage may exact special commitments that change the course of one’s life. Self-discipline imposes changes in turning away from bad habits. It may even cost the breaking of close friendships—the breaking of intimate family ties. Yes, even the severance of life-long religious affiliations. Yet a temple marriage, in itself, does not cost money. It would appear that a voluntary covenant or promise is more lasting, more binding, and a more constant influence than if one had paid a fee for it.
Temple marriage thus becomes a sacred covenant in a sacred ceremony between two people, a sacred gift of God, given through the power and authority delegated to the temple officiator. This is supported by a revelation recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants:
“Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.
“Seek to bring forth and establish my Zion. Keep my commandments in all things.
“And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” (D&C 14:5–7.)
Hence, the couple through their faithful obedience, which is the real price, receive the gift of eternal life—“the greatest of all the gifts of God.”