D&C 132:19–22 . How Does an Individual Obtain a Fulness of God’s Glory?
The revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants include all of the laws necessary for exaltation. If we keep the law revealed in section 132 and all the other laws, such as faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost, we can be exalted.
Celestial marriage is a covenant, a contract between the two marriage partners and the Lord. Covenants have “if-then” clauses: if we keep certain commandments, then the Lord promises us certain blessings. Verses 19–22 form such a clause.
| If a couple— || Then they will— |
|1. Are married in accordance with the Lord’s law ||1. “Inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths” ( v. 19 ) |
|2. Are married by one who has the keys of the priesthood ||2. “Pass by the angels” to their exaltation ( v. 19 ) |
|3. Have their marriage sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise ||3. Be gods for all eternity (see v. 20 ) |
|4. Abide in the covenant ||4. Have a “continuation of the lives” ( v. 22 ) |
Some members of the Church mistakenly believe that marriage in the temple fulfills the requirements of the covenant. But marriage in the temple fulfills only the first two parts of the covenant. Having one’s marriage sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise requires a lifelong commitment to righteousness (see Notes and Commentary on D&C 132:7 ). Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught that “baptism is the gate to the celestial kingdom; celestial marriage is the gate to an exaltation in the highest heaven within the celestial world. ( D. & C. 131:1–4 .) To gain salvation after baptism it is necessary to keep the commandments of God and endure to the end ( 2 Ne. 31:17–21 ); to gain exaltation after celestial marriage it is necessary to continue the same devotion and righteousness. Those who have been married in the temples for eternity know that the ceremony itself expressly conditions the receipt of all promised blessings upon the subsequent faithfulness of the husband and wife. (emphasis added)
“Making one’s calling and election sure is an addition to celestial marriage and results from undeviating and perfect devotion to the cause of righteousness. Those married in the temple can never under any circumstances gain exaltation unless they keep the commandments of God and abide in the covenant of marriage which they have taken upon themselves.” ( Mormon Doctrine, p. 118.)(Doctrine and Covenants Institute Student Manual pp. 329-330)