Doesn't Matthew 22:30 simply mean that there will be no marriage ceremonies in heaven?

LDS take “neither marry, nor are given in marriage” in Mat. 22:30 (cf. Mk. 12:25, and Lk. 20:35-6) to refer only to a ceremony in the resurrection, and claim that Jesus clearly ruled that out. This allows LDS the open question as to whether a temple marriage may be conducted prior to the resurrection. This understanding has a few basic problems though. 

First, even though LDS use this excuse, they really don't believe it. They all believe that marriage ceremonies will be going on in the resurrection for those who didn't have an opportunity in this life (e.g., kids who die) as well as an opportunity for men to become polygamists. 

Second, LDS have Jesus dodging the Sadducees’ question, since they are wondering about who will be married to this woman in the resurrection. The simple answer is to determine who was properly sealed to the woman in the temple in this pre-resurrection life. Jesus could have easily stated this and put an end to the matter. Instead, why would Jesus, according to LDS, go into an exposition of this life being the only time to get sealed for eternity? It makes no sense. Ah, thanks for that bit of info Jesus, but back to the question at hand… whose husband will be sealed to this woman in the afterlife? There was a point in answering the Sadducees question about marriage: the afterlife exists (the Sadducees denied it), and it is not an extension of the pleasures and trials we can experience here on earth. In other words, the Sadducees' question is silly since marriage is non-existent in the resurrection.

Third, the point of the biblical passage is to describe what we will be like, viz., the angels. What we will be like is contrasted to both states of marrying and being given in marriage, and thus we will all be single in the resurrection. The Luke passage is particularly clear that marriage is only for the life that leads to death, whereas in the resurrection we have no use for that system, but are as the angels. Even the LDS scripture D&C 132:17 teaches that the angels are single!

There are good reasons to think this is actually what Jesus taught. There is a consistency with the other gospel writers. There is a consistency with all the New Testament manuscript testimonies. There are quotes from lectionaries and early Church fathers as well. This is why New Testament scholars (conservative or liberal), who are not LDS, don’t buy the LDS view concerning these biblical passages. With this as a basis, the burden is on LDS to show the inconsistency with manuscript testimony. Until that happens, the traditional view is innocent until proven guilty.

The Bible does not give another passage stating that marital bonds may be eternal. Rather, it gives the exact opposite in Romans 7:2-3. The Bible only speaks of marriage for this life. Further, there is no indication in the Bible that the temple was used for marriages. The Bible has always been very clear as to what exactly went on in there--it was a place of sacrifices and offerings unto God. If there was another biblical passage that contradicted all these passages, then they both cannot be true, and we would have a reason not to believe that God’s big enough to take care of His word. Jesus would be a liar when He said that “scripture cannot be broken” (Jn. 10:35). Given progressive revelation, God continues to reveal more truth as time goes by. So whatever passage comes after and contradicts the former, then that latter-day passage must be damned (Acts 17:11 and Gal. 1:6-9). Since LDS scripture comes after the fact, and it contradicts this established truth of marriage, among other doctrines, LDS scripture must be rejected.

R. M. Sivulka 

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