Young Women Lesson: Why Is Temple Marriage Important?


To begin this lesson, consider showing your young women the Mormon Messages video “Enduring Love.”

After watching this video, ask your girls if they would like to have a marriage like that, someday. Ask the girls to consider the ways that they saw Christ-like love demonstrated in the video, and why that kind of love was possible. Consider the quote at the end of the video from Elder Scott:

“Marriage provides an ideal setting for overcoming any tendency to be selfish or self-centered… Pure love is an incomparable, potent power for good, and the foundation of a successful marriage.” — Richard G. Scott

With that discussion in mind, I would proceed with my young women by having the following on slips of paper:

  • You never marry in this life.
  • You marry a worthy priesthood holder and have six children, but two leave the church.
  • You are sealed in the temple, but are widowed with small children.
  • You marry a wonderful man, and he is the step-father to your oldest son.
  • You are happily married in the temple, but are unable to have children for a long time.
  • You marry in the temple, and are later divorced through no fault of your own.

    Depending on your class, you can have each girl (or set of girls if your class is large) draw a paper out of the bowl, or you can make thoughtful assignments based on sensitivity and circumstance.

On the board, write “Why is temple marriage important?”

Have the girls each read their prompt to the class and attempt to answer this question as if they were in the situation on their paper.

Prompt them to consider how that situation changes or deepens their answer. What does the doctrine of eternal marriage and family teach us about how our Heavenly Father and our Savior love us, regardless of our circumstances? Why do they want that, for you?

Turn to the scriptures.

Once the class has discussed and shared, explain that each of these situations was taken from women in the scriptures. This a great opportunity to talk about how the scriptures give us so many examples of righteous people who lived the gospel in all different kinds of circumstances.

  • Single sister: Sister Vienna Jacques (Ensign/Liahona, June 2016). Also Sister Barbara Thompson is a single sister that was in the General Relief Society Presidency from 2007-2012.
  • Mother of wayward children: Sariah: 1st Nephi chapter 5 for a great peek into a woman and the wife of a prophet who was fighting for her testimony and her family.
  • Step-family: Mary, the mother of the Savior: 1st Nephi 11: 13-20, Luke 1:26-38, Bible Dictionary “Mary”
  • Widow: Emma Smith (Grow, Matthew J., “Thou Art an Elect Lady”)
  • Infertility: Hannah — See Samuel 1:2-2:21.
  • Hagar — See Genesis 16 and Genesis 21 for the gut-wrenching story of Hagar. In your summary, focus on how God made promises to Hagar and saved both her and her son Ishmael.

Consider and review each of these women’s stories, briefly, and consider some of the ways that these women taught us why temple marriage is important–no matter your circumstance.

  • How did eternal marriage bless these women?
  • How did eternal marriage bless their families?
  • How did these women cope when their life situations were less than the ideal? (Refer to scriptures as needed.)
    ○ Temple
    ○ Service to others
    ○ Prayer
    ○ Faith
    ○ Fasting
    ○ Struggling
    ○ Consecrating
    ○ Trusting

At this point, I would prayerfully invite someone to share their testimony of the importance of being sealed in the temple, and how it (or the hope of it) blesses them in some of their challenges and trials. It could be a single sister, a newlywed, a widow(er), or anyone that the girls can really relate to and admire for the power of their testimony. If someone else isn’t available, share your own testimony of how your life has been blessed by the sealing power of the priesthood (this could be your own temple marriage, your parents temple sealing, or the sealing you hope to enjoy in the future).

Keeping baptismal covenants now prepares me to make temple covenants someday.

To conclude the discussion, encourage each of your young women to think of how we can prepare to be sealed someday by working daily to keep our covenants now. Recite, or have the young women recite, the lines from the Young Women theme that say:

“We believe as we come to accept and act upon [our young women] values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.”

One of the most important aspects of the young women program is helping our girls to understand that by making and keeping covenants, we draw ourselves closer to God. With each covenant we make, He takes a firmer and firmer hold on us. We become the person that He wants us to be, and we begin to truly want what He wants and to love as He loves. That is why covenants shower blessings on us, whether we are married or single.

To finish, pass each girl a paper (you could make a bookmark or handout) with these questions:

  • What are my baptismal covenants? (See Mosiah 18)
  • How can I better keep them this week?
  • How can I support and strengthen home and family this week?
  • What can I work on now to prepare to be sealed to my family someday?

Challenge the young women to place these questions some place that she can look at them daily and try to work on them in the next week, and see how that affects her relationship with her family and with her Heavenly Parents.

Rebecca Riding is a returned missionary, wife, mother to 5 children, and aunt to 35. Her heart lives in North Carolina, although she currently finds herself in American Fork, Utah as a Temple Preparation instructor and a Laurel advisor. In her spare time, she is ashamed to admit, she plays Candy Crush.

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3 Responses

  1. Lauren says:

    Another “extenuating circumstance” for the list; you marry a worthy priesthood holder who later loses his faith, but who remains a worthy husband and father.

    Is there a scripture story for this? I gave read a couple of good articles from places like this blog, Sunstone, and even BYU, but I have not yet encountered something on perhaps more exhaustive research is needed though 🙂

  2. Alys's Wonderlandd says:

    Temple marriage blessed Hagar???? What? I appreciate the effort put into this lesson, but it’s a stretch to say that temple marriage blessed ANY of these women. The HOPE of it blesses single women? Really? We have no evidence that Sariah and Lehi were married in the temple. What does temple marriage have to do with Mary’s situation either? Emma Smith was widowed at a young age in part because her husband was temple married to dozens of other women. I don’t understand the positive tie-in to “temple marriage” with any of these stories.

  3. Isaac says:

    We tell all the boys to serve a mission. If they work hard, they will be blessed with a “hot wife.” About a third serve.

    We tell all the girls to marry a RM in the temple. About two thirds remain active, searching for that temple marriage.

    The result makes an old beach boys song into prophecy-come-true about the singles ward: Two girls for every boy. (The numbers are simplified allegorical estimates to emphasis my point.)

    As long as we send these messages to our youth, we set half of the faithful women up for failure, This, as the price to get 60,000 free church workers for 2 years. The effectiveness of said church workers is somewhat dubious.

    And what about the girls who “don’t want to be a junior companion for life”? It is not like the missionary companion relationship is a good preparation for marriage for every girl.

    A popular hymn of a previous century is called: Will the Circle Be Unbroken? It expresses a belief in family togetherness in heaven in the next life. It is most definitely not a Mormon hymn. We are the ones who teach that righteous people won’t be together with family in the next life, unless they pay us tithing to go into our temples. The LDS view of the next life seems to have family relationships central and Christ in the background. I believe that we have it backwards.

    If I was one of your young women, I might not think temple marriage is as important as other factors, regardless of the circumstances.

    The covenant pathway is great for youth in the spring of life. But most of us by the fall of life realize we broke too many covenants and had bad breaks of no fault of our own. We are pierced with the need to rely mostly on forgiveness and repentance and atonement. For many, this is a life of failure, disappointment, and suffering. If the economy does collapse, this will grow more obvious. We don’t lift ourselves to become the person God created us to be until we are resurrected into it. Not even close.

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