“What . . . God Hath Joined Together, Let Not Man Put Asunder”

Matthew 19:1–6

1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judæa beyond Jordan;
2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.
3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

President N. Eldon Tanner said:

“When the Pharisees came to Jesus, tempting Him, to ask about divorce, His answer included the following: ‘Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

“‘And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

“‘Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder’ (Matt. 19:4–6).

“These scriptures indicate that celestial marriage, ordained by God and performed by His authority in His holy temples, is eternal, and couples so united are sealed for time and all eternity, and their children are born in the covenant of the everlasting gospel. They will be an eternal family according to their faithfulness.

“How does one prepare for such a marriage? All young people should consider very carefully and prayerfully the kind of mate they would like to have for eternity and for the father or mother of their children. Parents have a responsibility to teach their children the importance of keeping themselves clean and pure, with high moral standards, so they will be worthy of the kind of men and women with whom they want to associate and marry. Someone has said that a man breeding livestock is very careful about what he allows in the pasture with his prize animals, but he lets his son or daughter go with anyone without checking on their credentials.”

(“Celestial Marriages and Eternal Families,” Ensign, May 1980, 16.)

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