Marriage decision affects generations

Perhaps more than any other people, Latter-day Saints understand why Isaac insisted that Jacob marry within the covenant. (See Gen. 28:1-2.)

Prophets of this dispensation have given the same counsel, as reflected in a discourse by Brigham Young: "One of the first transgressions of the family called Israel was their going to other families or other nations to select partners. This was one of the great mistakes made by the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for they would go and marry with other families, although the Lord had forbidden them to do so, and had given them a very strict and stringent law on the subject. He commanded them not to marry among the Gentiles, but they did and would do it. Inasmuch as they would not do what He required of them, then He gave them what I call a portion of the law of carnal commandments. This law told them what they might and whom they might not marry. It was referred to by the Savior and His apostles and it was a grievous yoke to place on the necks of any people; but as the children of this family would run after Babylon, and after the pride and the vanity and evils of the world, and seek to introduce them into Israel, the Lord saw fit to place this burden upon them." (Discourses of Brigham Young, pp. 196-197.)President Ezra Taft Benson has delivered numerous addresses counseling Latter-day Saints to marry in the temple. In one such address, he said: "Don't trifle away your happiness by an involvement with someone who cannot take you worthily to the temple. Make a decision now that this is the place where you will marry. To leave that decision until a romantic involvement develops is to take a risk, the importance of which you can't calculate now." (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 538.)

At general conference in April 1979, President Benson said: "I want to speak frankly to you young men and young women of the Church. When you marry, your decision not only affects you, but your future children and generations after you. Every child born to Latter-day Saint parents deserves to be born in the covenant of temple blessings."

At the General Women's Meeting in September 1986, President Benson counseled the Young Women of the Church: "Our Heavenly Father wants you to date young men who are faithful members of the Church, who will be worthy to take you to the temple and be married the Lord's way. There will be a new spirit in Zion when the young women will say to their boyfriends, If you cannot get a temple recommend, then I am not about to tie my life to you, even for mortality!' And the young returned missionary will say to his girlfriend,I am sorry, but as much as I love you, I will not marry out of the holy temple.' "

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