If Temple Marriages Are Eternal Why Is It Ok For A Widow To Marry Again?
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By Five Solas
Related to the “Baptisms for the Dead in the Second Temple?” thread – but now the question is whether LDS-style “temple marriages”/”eternal marriages” were performed in the Second Temple (prior to its destruction in 70 AD).
In the previous thread we established vicarious ordinances for the dead were not authorized until after Christ’s resurrection. Therefore it would have been a very short window of opportunity (from a historical perspective) for any such proxy work to have been performed in the ancient temple. And no one on that thread made any argument in favor of such work being done there. So I think we succeeded in getting that answer.
So now I want to shift gears and focus on ordinances for the living, using marriage as an example. Is there any evidence to suggest temple marriages/eternal marriages were performed in the Second Temple?
If so, what is that evidence? What do folks think?
PS. I remember a stake fireside, back in my LDS days, where the recently-released temple president (Seattle temple) came and spoke. (This would have been early in the last decade.) He was old and frail and strikingly tall and thin – but he had a strong voice and expressed himself clearly. He had held the position for a long time and was much admired and respected, and I recall a sort of hushed reverence in the room.
I came motivated by some mix of loneliness (I didn’t have anything else to do on a Sunday evening) and some curiosity (I had never met a temple president before). So I didn’t have quite the same sentiment as others. And as a result, I undoubtedly gave his words a more critical reception.
He talked about being asked numerous questions in his capacity at the temple, participating members sometimes looking to him for guidance and clarity on difficult questions—and how he would always admonish questioners to seek out the answers themselves through a combination of prayer and meditation while there. He didn't answer questions, he redirected questioners--that was an important part of his calling.
But what really caught my attention was his expressed belief the temple was carrying on “the same” practices and tradition that had been done at the time of Christ—and indeed all the way back “to Adam.” How exactly that last bit was possible—no one asked, and I dismissed it as a bit of hyperbole (although he gave us no reason to think he considered it such). The LDS temple and what transpired therein was connected to antiquity. He wanted us all to understand he had played his part in a truly ancient play.
Afterwards with a few folks who were left I made a small joke that the City of Bellevue (where the “Seattle” temple is actually located) probably wasn’t appreciating their growing herd of feral goats (referring to the ancient Israelite practice of “scapegoating” – where one goat would be sacrificed and the other banished to the wilderness, Leviticus 16:8). But as was not infrequently the case, my humor fell flat. (Yet another spiritual moment soiled, dang it!)
So it was particularly interesting to me to read the replies on that other thread. The old gentleman would have disapproved.