Temple marriage lays foundation for an eternal family

"There is no other way to start an eternal family unit than to be married in the proper place, at the proper time, by the proper authority, receiving the proper instructions that will lay the proper foundation," said Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve during the April 1985 general conference.

Concerning the proper place, President Spencer W. Kimball said in April 1979 general conference: "When the selection of a life's companion is made and the time comes, our young people should marry in the holy temple and have their families..."What we are saying about eternal marriage is not my opinion only or the opinion of the leaders of the Church today. This is the word of God, which supersedes all other opinions."

Following are the expressions of four couples who were married in the temple. They show an understanding of what Elder Perry said in his address:

"Can we think of anything more important than residing in an eternal fmaily unit with parents loving children, and children loving parents? It begins, of course, with a husband and wife married in the holy temple of God for all eternity by those holding priesthood authority. For we know that '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). ' (D & C 131: 1-2)."


When asked during a Young Women activity when she was a beehive to make a list of qualities she wanted in a future mate, Jenn Wilks included: "He must be able to take me to the temple."

Ryan Harbertson said he remembers hearing Primary teachers along with his parents encouraging temple marriage from the time he was a child.

Jenn and Ryan each set a goal to settle for nothing less than a temple marriage. They reached their goals together on March 26 when they were married for time and eternity in the Portland Oregon Temple.

"I don't think I ever questioned the importance of temple marriage," Jenn said during a Church News interview. "I wanted something more than just an earthly thing. I wanted to be one of the ones who would make it to the temple."

They said they have reason to believe that their coming together was a blessing from their Heavenly Father. Jenn had lived in several places with her family while she was growing up. Then, when she was a junior in high school and Ryan was a senior, her family moved from San Diego to Beaverton, Ore., just across the border from where Ryan lived in Portland.

The circumstances of their meeting gave Jenn some insight: "A lot of young people might have the idea they have to wait to get to BYU or Ricks to find someone to marry. But sometimes he's in your own backyard."

For their first date, Ryan invited Jenn to a family activity. They attended seminary together and started dating regularly.

Their relationship was tempered by their goals, and one of Ryan's was to serve a mission. They were also counseled by their parents to stick with group dating, and if they were meant to be married it didn't have to happen before Ryan's mission.

He was called to the Spain Barcelona Mission and while there his commitment to a temple marriage was strengthened even more.

"I learned a lot on my mission about what I wanted out of my life," Ryan said. "While seeing so many non-member families, it was easy to recognize the positives in the lives of families who joined the Church and understood they could be together forever."

When Ryan returned home his romance with Jenn blossomed.

They never questioned their desire to be married in the Portland Oregon Temple. They watched the temple being built while they were dating.

As they waited for their wedding day, they strengthened each other, according to Jenn. "We helped each other out on goals like prayer and reading the scriptures," she said.

Shortly after they were engaged, Ryan moved to Ogden, Utah, to continue his education at Weber State University. "Being apart helped up know how much we wanted to be together," Ryan said.

Living in Layton, Utah, while Ryan attends school and teaches seminary part-time, they have expanded their goals. They said those goals now include living worthy so they can be together forever in accordance with their temple covenants. - Greg Hill


Tova Bryan: Being married in the temple is a dream that came true in my life. I will never forget my wedding day. In fact, it is one of the few days in my life that I can remember every detail.

I will never forget the feeling that came as I entered the sealing room in the temple surrounded by our families and friends. Many of my teachers and leaders from my youth were there to share this day with us.

Nothing has ever felt quite so wonderful. I am grateful that Heavenly Father has a plan of eternal life and that His plan includes my eternal companion and me as long as we are worthy and keep the covenants we made with Him and with each other in the temple.

Darren Bryan: From an early age, I was taught that the ultimate goal of this life is to remain worthy so that one day I will be able to return and live with my Father in Heaven for eternity.

Sunday School teachers, priesthood advisers and other Church leaders taught me the importance of a celestial marriage. All my teachers and advisers stressed the importance of choosing the right early in my youth, so that when I would be faced with more important decisions I would have trained myself already to choose the right.

My parents were the most influential teachers in my life. My father and mother together have taught me and set the example of how a successful temple marriage can bring joy into our family. - Tova and Darren Bryan, married Dec. 16, 1993, in the Dallas Texas Temple.


We were both brought up in the gospel and have lived in the same ward since we were small children. Although in essence we grew up together in Church activities, it was not until three years ago that we started to take an interest in each other.

A year after we started going out together, Gerard decided to embark for a full-time mission. He served in the England Birmingham Mission and was fully supported by Rebecca during this time with many letters and generous food parcels. The two years were a growing time for both of us.

Soon after Gerard's return, we were engaged, and planned to marry six months later. In March we were married in the London Temple.

We were taught from an early age that being married in the temple was important, so it was a natural choice for both of us. Our temple marriage is meaningful for us for many reasons, primarily because we both know that it is a requirement for exaltation.

In addition, it is reassuring to know that your spouse has the same high regard for the doctrines and standards of the Church as you do. Hence, we are sure that we are heading in the same direction. - Rebecca and Gerard Staines, married March 26, 1994, in the London Temple.


Our decision to marry in the temple was made a long time ago. Our realization of the importance of a temple marriage began when we were young. Our parents were married in the temple and were monuments of what a temple marriage should be. Our homes were filled with love, harmony and the Spirit of the Lord.

In our families, we were taught - and we always assumed - that we would be bound together as family in an eternal bond because our parents had been married in the temple. As we grew up, marriage outside of the temple for each of us wasn't even considered an option. Almost without realizing it, this wonderful example was instilled in our minds - there was never a question - we both wanted a temple marriage someday.

The choices we made when we were young led us to the temple - to a moment in our lives that we would never ever have wanted to miss.

We know a temple marriage doesn't solve all problems, but it is a solid foundation on which to build.

We never considered not getting married in the temple; in fact, we never considered getting married in any other temple than ours, here in Washington D.C. - Stephanie and Lewis Larsen, married Dec. 4, 1993, in the Washington Temple.

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