”So how does it feel to know that you WILL NOT be with your husband and daughter that you love so much for ever?
Regardless of your beliefs, had your marriage occurred in any forum or religion other than a temple marriage, the last words before you say I do are "til death do us part".
First, for many who are not familiar to the idea of Celestial or Eternal Marriage, here is some information from lds.org to explain what it is.
“The covenant of eternal marriage is necessary for exaltation. The Lord revealed through Joseph Smith: "In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; and in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; and if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase" (D&C 131:1–4).
”After receiving the sealing ordinance and making sacred covenants in the temple, a couple must continue in faithfulness in order to receive the blessings of eternal marriage and exaltation.”
I really don’t care about the actual ceremony itself because many churches have their own unique way to performing marriages so I can understand that. The problem is that it divides families and does not allow those who are not considered worthy to enter the temple to be a part of it. Instead, they are relegated to second class citizens, forced to wait outside, only to hear about how great the moment they missed was. Talk about adding insult to injury. It is like saying, “your not one of us so not only are we going to not let you in on our little ritual, but were gong to tell you how beautiful and special it was and that it was too bad you missed it. If only you were Mormon too, then you could have seen your own daughter/son or brother/sister married.” And all this time I thought the church was really about family.
The greater issue when looking at eternal marriage is what comes after the ceremony. Being married for eternity or “sealed” as they call it really does nothing because you are never guaranteed the blessings promised.
Elder Bruce McConkie in his book “Mormon Doctrine” talks about this.
”Marriages performed in the temples for time and eternity, by virtue of the sealing keys restored by Elijah, are called celestial marriages. The participating parties become husband and wife in this mortal life and if after their marriage they keep all the terms and conditions of this order of the Priesthood, they continue on as husband and wife in the Celestial Kingdom of God. Celestial Marriage puts a couple on the path leading to exaltation of heaven of that world.”
”Those who have been married in the temples for eternity know that the ceremony itself expressly conditions the receipt of all promised blessings upon the subsequent faithfulness of the husband and wife.”
The odds of actually doing enough to make it happen are stacked against you. All it takes is one mistake by either of you and the promise is null and void. If you or anyone in your family does not reach each “spiritual milestone” on the path to exaltation then they will not be with you.
Whymormon.net says it pretty well.
• Don't pay your tithing? Your family won't be together.
• Don't perform secret rituals in the temple? Your family will be separated.
• Someone in the family doesn't believe? You can't be with them.
• Children not married in the temple? Eternal separation.
• Family not active in church? You won't be together.
• Someone in the family not a member? They're cut off.
• Relatives not members? You can't be with them.
If you look at the average ward membership numbers and then count the number of people who actually attend, you will see that only around ½ of them are active at that is probably being generous. That leaves a lot of people who, in some way, are tied to an eternal family that will not be allowed to be with their loved ones when they die.
The LDS church teaches that “neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man”. They interpret that to mean that you can not be exalted without being married to someone who is also worth to make it. What happens if your significant other decides to do something as small as have a cup of coffee every morning? Not obeying the Word of Wisdom would keep him/her from being worthy of attending the temple and entering the CK. If they died before they repented, then that would in affect destroy the bonds between you because they would not be allowed into the highest kingdom of heaven. How sad to think that you could spend your whole life focused on eternity to have it slip through your fingers at the last moment because of something you had no control over.
I think of the unnecessary pain and sadness my poor mother has gone through as she has had to deal with husbands who have not lived up to their end of the deal and two sons who do not prescribe to the Mormon faith. Much of her grief stems from the idea of an eternal family that will never be. Where is the hope in that?
One of the things that attracted my wife to the church was the idea of an eternal family and the strong family values the Mormon church presented. When I stopped going to church, she began to wonder what would happen if I never came back. The idea that you can not be exalted without your husband or wife was hard for her to accept. How could someone else have that kind of control over your personal salvation? Some people told her not to worry but that God would work it all out in the end. That if she held up her end of the bargain that she would still have a chance of being exalted but with another man. That thought disgusted her. Why would she want to be eternally married to someone she does not even know or love? She has found comfort and peace in her new beliefs because she is now fully in charge of her own salvation through Christ. She has faith that she will be with her loved ones in Heaven when the time comes.
As far as I'm concerned being an Eternal Family is really only reserved for a "lucky" few in the church. If your child or another member of your family does not follow the gospel 100% then I’m sorry to say that, despite all your efforts, they won’t be with you in the Celestial Kingdome. There are too many restrictions on it to really make it as great as it sounds.