In the Doctrine & Covenants 132, we learn all about the nature of and difference between a marriage that will be eternal and those who end at the end of mortal life. The difference relates to whether or not you marry in the temple (and keep those covenants) versus if you marry civilly. The idea is that your choices determine these outcomes. However, what if you really want an eternal temple marriage but you settle for civil, hoping for more at some point? Or even possibly hope you will be given an opportunity on the other side for eternal marriage because you weren’t able to find it here? What about any number of other life circumstances?
What We Know:
We at least know this from what is given in D&C 132:15-21. These scriptures are a bit long, but worth the entire read since this is the main given doctrine on the subject:
15 Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.
16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.
17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.
18 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.
19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.
20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have call power, and the angels are subject unto them.
21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.
What we really don’t fully know is what would ever constitute a person somehow “losing their opportunity” for eternal marriage, just that civil marriages as an institution don’t go on beyond this life. If a person is always single but passes on marriage opportunities they didn’t feel right about, they marry civilly, or they get a temple divorce, does that or any other condition mean they may have “lost their chance”?
Read the rest here.