Thursday, February 9, 2012

Melvin Ballard on Exaltation and Marriage

The following is a snippet from a discourse delivered by Melvin J. Ballard (then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) during General Conference on 6 April 1921. For the following quote, see Ninety-first Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1921), 167-168.
My brethren and sisters, again, not only do we desire that our sons and daughters shall marry within the fold, but we desire that they shall come into the house of the Lord and enter into the sacred and holy obligations of matrimony in the Lord's approved and appointed way. We desire it again for their peace, for their salvation. Our records show that the divorce rate among those who enter into marriage in this holy, approved way is very much lower in the Church among that group than among the group who marry for time only. And why? Of course it is significant to all of us that those who enter into these holy bonds of matrimony for time and eternity do not begin to plan to separate and to part, but they begin to plan to live together not only in time but in eternity, for we are not building for time, we are building for eternity also. And there are connected with these blessings certain privileges, of course, that except men shall enter into them in this life, or they are performed in this life for men and women, those who fail to receive these blessings cannot come into the celestial kingdom of God where God and Christ dwell. It is a "Mormon" truism that is current among us and we all accept it, that as man is God once was and as God is man may become. That does not signify that man will become God. I am sorry to say, and yet it is a truth, that not many men will become what God is, simply because they will not pay the price, because they are not willing to live up to the requirements; and still all men may, if they will, become what God is, but only those who are heirs of the celestial glory shall ever be possible candidates, to become what God is. We desire, therefore, that these boys and girls shall have the safety and protection of this kind of marriage.

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