Mormon (LDS): Email Defense of the Gospel, p. 7

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>>>I read your article about Eternal Marriage [in my online book]and I will like to point out how I think you err in your analysis and belief.

>>>First of all I think your interpretation of Matthew 22:30 is not accurate. The question the Sadducees asked was:

>>>”Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.”

>>>Jesus response:

>>>”Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”

>>>If you believe that Jesus answered their question then your interpretation can not be true.

Let’s go back to Matthew 22:30 and read again what Jesus said.

For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Jesus didn’t say that in the resurrection there were no married people. He said they neither marry (perform marriages) nor are given in marriage (perform marriages). Jesus didn’t talk about the condition of being married. He talked about the act of becoming married. According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the Greek word in that verse for “marry” is gamĕõ (1060) and means “to wed”. The Greek word for the marriage part of “given in marriage” is ĕkgamiskõ (1548) and means “given in marriage”. In both cases, the Greek supports the interpretation that Jesus was talking about the act of becoming married not the state of being married. Jesus didn’t address the question if there are married people in the resurrection. He only addressed the question if marriages would be performed at that time.

>>>So if what you are saying is true that “marriages will exist in the resurrection”, then could you answer the question the Sadducees were asking. Who will the lady “be” married to  in heaven, all seven brothers?

I answer that question in my chapter on Marriage, but I’ll repeat the answer here. If she were married in this life by the Priesthood of God as an eternal marriage to one of the brothers, then she would be married to that brother in the next life.. Otherwise, she would be married to none of them. None of the brothers were married to the woman for eternity by the Priesthood of God, so the only way one of them could be married to her in the next life was to have that marriage performed in the next life. Jesus made it clear that none of the brothers could be married to her in the next life (that is, the marriage ceremony being performed in the next life), because marriages don’t take place in the next life. The Sadducees asked a question about the “state” of being married. Jesus answered the question in terms of the “act” of getting married, because the only way a brother could be married to her in the next life was for a marriage to be performed in the next life (the “act” of being married). Jesus said that was not possible.

>>>If that is what the LDS scriptures teach then they are contradictory to that verse in Matt 22. Jesus was very clear. The context of the question was resurrection and what happens afterward.

I agree the context is the resurrection. However, the discussion between Jesus and the Sadducees only involved whether marriages could be performed in the next life. They did not discuss whether marriages in this life could be in effect in the next life.

>>>The sadducees erred because they only thought in an earthly perspective. I think Jesus answered the question clearly: Marriage is something of this life.

All Jesus said was that marriages can’t be performed in the next life. He didn’t address the question if marriages performed in this life can be in effect in the next life. Now, let’s go to your next question, because it gets us into a discussion about marriages being in effect in the next life.

>>>The following verses:

>>>And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:19)

>>>Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:18)

>>>It is unfortunate that these verses together with (John 20:22-23) have been taken by many to assume that they can change the course of events in heaven by “binding” or doing things on earth. You certainly can’t believe that humans can have authority of decisions in heaven do you?!

What I believe is what it says in Matthew: That Jesus gave his apostles the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatsoever they would bind on earth would be bound in heaven and what they would loose on earth would be loosed in heaven. What I believe those verses mean is that Jesus gave his apostles his Priesthood authority (I won’t discuss Priesthood here because I cover it in great detail in my book in my discussion of the ancient church. With that authority, the apostles could, acting in righteousness, perform their ministry and Jesus would accept their actions. For example, if an apostle performed a baptism, that baptism would be recognized by God in the next life since it was done by the authority of the Priesthood. If a person who had the Priesthood at one time but had subsequently become wicked performed a baptism, that baptism would not be recognized by God, because God only accepts acts done in righteousness. This principle of binding in heaven is the basis for our belief that marriages performed in this life by the Priesthood of God can be in effect in the next life.

>>>Working from the original Greek text it has become increasingly clear that these verses are not giving authority to people (apostles or whoever) to take decisions that change things in heaven.

Nobody is saying that the apostles could change things in heaven, that is, go against the will of God. We’re saying that if the apostles and others to whom the Priesthood was given acted in righteousness, then God would recognize and accept their actions. It follows that if they acted unrighteously then God would not accept their actions.

>>>What these verses say is that: “What you bind/loose on earth is what is bound/loose in heaven”.

Well, the KJV phraseology is “What you bind/lose on earth shall be bound/loosed in heaven. Jesus didn’t say “is what is [already] bound/loose in heaven”. The Greek word translated ‘bind’ in those two verses is deo and means to tie or to be in bonds. Likewise, the Greek word translated ‘loose’ is luo and means to loosen, breakup, destroy, or dissolve. There is nothing in those two words to imply that the apostles could only mimic what had already been decided in Heaven. The apostles acting in righteousness could tie or could dissolve conditions and God would recognize and honor their actions. We believe baptism is one of those conditions. We believe eternal marriage is another of those conditions.

>>>In other words, what you bind on earth shall already have been bound/loose in heaven. Jesus is essentially telling his disciples (as church leaders) that they should permit/forbid only “what has already been decided in heaven”.

Again, the KJV phraseology is different than that.

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