By Seventy James L. Noland
Before I get into the meat of this subject, I want to address a few of the questions that seem to be the greatest problems and/or ambiguities when facing the complex issues of Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage(s), etc. This is not meant to be a thorough or a complete and comprehensive study nor the FINAL WORD on this subject. It is only meant to be a short summery of scripture and thoughts and the understanding that I have come to after many years of study on this question.
Please Note: I do not consider myself an authority on this subject. However, after completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Psychology with an emphasis on Family and Marriage counseling in 1979; this has been my avocation, my study and the preparation for my ministry for many, many years.
I will also NOT be addressing the PURPOSES OF MARRIAGE in this article except to say the following:
[Sec 111:4B] “Inasmuch as this Church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy: we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife; and one woman but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again.” (August 17, 1835 by W.W. Phelps – not by revelation.)
This article is NOT meant to CONDEMN anyone or to JUDGE anyone. It is only meant to teach, instruct, inform, exhort, expound, etc. and to lead all persons to Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He came only to do the will of His father as follows:
[Sec 22:23b] “…for this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
I speak only to those who know or should know the law.
Many will close their eyes and ears to this understanding.
[Romans 7:1] “Know ye not, brethern, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man only as long as he liveth?”
The commandments of Alma, to his son, Corianton.
[Alma 19:5-10] “And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron, among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel; yea, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry, wherewith thou wast entrusted. Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins, save it be the shedding of innocent blood, or denying the Holy Ghost? For behold, if ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you, and ye know that ye deny it; behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable; Yea, and whosoever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness; yea, I say unto you, my son, that it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness. and now my son, I would to God taht ye had not been guilty of so great a crime.”
I would also like you to consider the application of the law as follows:
When Jesus found the woman caught in adultery, what did he say to her?[John 8:10-11] “…He said unto her, ‘Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?’ She said, ‘No man, Lord.’ And Jesus said unto her, ‘Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.‘ And the woman glorified God from that hour, and believed on His name.”
[Romans 4:15] “…for where no law is, there is no transgression.”
[Romans 5:13] “(For, before the law, sin was in the world; yet sin is not imputed to those who have no law)”
[2 Nephi 3:51-55] “Wherefore he hath given a law; and where there is no law given there is no punishment;”
[2 Nephi 6:52] “And where there is no punishment, there is no condemnation; And where there is no condemnation, the mercies of the Holy one of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement: For the are delivered by the power of Him: for the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them, that they are delivered from that awful monster, death and hell, and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment; And they are restored to that God who gave them breath, which is the Holy One of Israel.”
[Moroni 8:26] “For the power of redemption cometh on all they that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent;”
[Moroni 8:25] “For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law.”
WHAT ABOUT FORGIVENESS?
[Mark 3:22] “But he answered them and said, ‘Verily, I say unto you, All sins which men have committed, when they repent, shall be forgiven them; for I cam to preach repentance unto the sons of men. And blasphemies, wherewith soever they shall blaspheme, shall be forgiven them that come unto me, and do the works which they see me do. But there is a sin which shall not be forgiven. He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, hath never forgiveness; but is in danger of being cut down out of the world. And they shall inherit eternal damnation.'”
It is left up to the reader to come to their own conclusions as to whether they come under the law and are in need of repentance or if they come under the law of “atonement” satisfying the demands of Justice.
Next I will attempt to address some of the confusion in the interpretation of scripture that has led many to justify their actions concerning Divorce and Remarriage.
Please note: Throughout this booklet the term “remarriage” means to marry another person while the first spouse is still alive. It does not mean to remarry your first spouse after divorce.
THE EXCEPTION CLAUSE
What is the “exception clause” taht most use to justify not only the divorce, but a remarriage?
[Matthew 19:9] “And I say unto you, ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery; and whoso marrieth her that is put away, doth commit adultery.'”
Most biblical scholars will use the Greek definition of “fornication” as follows: (Using Strong’s Concordance Number 4202) the word is porneia.
This Greek word occurs 25 times in the New Testament. The word (in the English language) has a very broad meaning and includes illicit sexual behavior such as prostitution, homosexuality, lesbianism, incest, premarital sex and bestiality. The Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament states:
PORNEIA means: “prostitution, un-chastity, fornication” and is used “of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse.”
Now let’s look at the word “fornication” in context and see how Jesus stated the exception clause.
[Matthew 19:8] “He said unto them, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives; but from the beginning, it was not so.”
Jesus was clearly stating that Moses suffered you to put away your wives. I can only imagine how Moses suffered from the hardness of the Israelite people and had at least hoped with this allowance there might be some peace.
No matter how the word “fornication” is interpreted or applied, it is clear, Moses gave this exception, not our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus clearly stated that this was not so in the beginning. Is our God a changeable God, so when things get tough the law can be changed to make the people happy?
NOT UNDER BONDAGE?
Apostle Paul suffered under the same problem as Moses when he spoke from his own emotions and feelings by saying, “A brother or a sister is not under bondage?” Really?
In the Corinthian letter Apostle Paul makes it clear, when he is speaking by permission, of himself or by commandment.
[I Corinthians 7:6] “And now what I speak is by permission, and not by commandment.”
[I Corinthians 7:12] “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord;”
[I Corinthians 7:12-16] “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord; If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases; but God hath called us to peace. For what knowest though, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband: of who knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save they wife?”
One more matter of understanding must be addressed before we begin; that of an abusive, destructive, violent ,emotionally and physically failed marriage. I have worked with many of these kinds of marriages in the past. I have never asked a woman (or a man) to stay in or under these conditions. I have always recommended that the abused party”s) “depart, until reconciliation can take place.” This could last several years. It might never happen. However, I have NEVER recommended divorce. I have always asked for a miracle instead.
If the offending spouse gets a divorce anyway, I always counsel the offended or innocent party keep the covenant and not remarry. (Note: In all my years of counseling, I have never found an “innocent” party.)
[Romans 3:23] “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
When Apostle Paul was being led by the Holy Spirit, here is the counsel he gave:
[1 Corinthians 7:10-11] “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, let not the wife depart from her husband; but if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband; but let no the husband put away his wife.”
DOES DIVORCE END A MARRIAGE?
Many people view divorce and a second marriage as one and the same. For instance, the assumption is often made that if a person living in a second marriage situation cannot be accepted as a member of the church, then a person who is divorced is not able to be a member in that church either. When divorce and a second marriage are viewed as one and the same, it significantly hinders one from understanding what God says about both divorce and the second marriage.
The assumption is often made that divorce makes a person “single” again and the second marriage is the purpose of divorce. Because a second marriage is viewed as the purpose for divorce, they view divorce and the second marriage as one and the same; if divorce is permitted then a second marriage is permitted also. However, this is not the case according to Scripture.
ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE, IN MARRIAGE, GOD MAKES THE MAN AND WOMAN ONE FLESH
Marriage is more than a marriage certificate from the civil government. In marriage, God makes the man and the woman one in the Covenant of Marriage. God says about the beginning made one as follows:
[Malachi 2:14] “Yet ye say, ‘ Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of they youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously; yet is she thy companion, and the wife of they covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the Spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that He hateth putting away; for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts; therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.'”
Jesus also stated that it is God who joins a man and woman together as one flesh in marriage.
[Matthew 19:4-6] “And he answered and said unto them, ‘Have ye not read, that he who made man at the beginning, made him, 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 no man put asunder.'”
DIVORCE IS A LEGAL ACTION THAT THE CIVIL GOVERNMENT ADOPTED
A couple may go to the church to get married, but they have to go to the Civil Government to get a divorce.
THE CHURCH CANNOT GRANT A LEGAL DIVORCE
Although divorce can end the legal aspect of a marriage, it cannot end the “one” aspect of the marriage which God has joined together. Once divorce occurs, a person is NOT single again in God’s judgement; therefore he/she is not free to marry another person even if their first spouse has remarried.
The “one” union with their spouse can only be ended by the death of one of the marriage partners. According to Jesus, a marriage cannot be ended by the legal proceedings of the court.
In the same passage in Malachi 2:14, God states that He makes the man and woman one. God also clearly states that after divorce the marriage is still binding “yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.” Divorce does not end the “one” aspect of the marriage that hs God joined two into one when they were married. God also says:
[Romans 7:3] “So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”
WHAT IS THE ACTO OR ACTION THAT IS ADULTERY IN A SECOND MARRIAGE?
Jesus makes it clear that adultery occurs in a second marriage. This is stated clearly in the following passages:
[Matthew 5:36] “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that whosoever shall put awy his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced, committeth adultery.”
[Matthew 19:9] “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery; and whoso marrieth her that is put away, doth commit adultery.”
[Mark 10:9-10] “And He said unto them, “Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her, And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.”
[Luke 16:23] “But He continued, saying, ‘Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery; and whosoever marrieth her who is put away from her husband, committeth adultery.'”
The term “adultery” is the Greek word “moichao.” Strong’s number 3429. In all the Greek lexicons (dictionaries) there is only one definition given for this word and that is “to commit adultery.” Thayer’s adds, “to have unlawful intercourse with another’s wife.”
Webster’s new Collegiate Dictionary also gives only one definition for the word “adultery.” Adultery, be definition, “Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband.”
Jesus added to this and stated that a man can commit the sin of adultery in the fantasy of his mind without the physical act taking place. Jesus said that for a man to desire in his mind to have sexual relations with another woman, that man commits adultery in his heart.
WOW! How many more divorces could take place if this was a justified reason for divorce and remarriage?
[Matthew 5:30] “But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after here, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
According to the definition for the Greek word for “adultery” that Jesus used, the act or action that is adultery in a second marriage is voluntary sexual intercourse with a person whose first husband or wife is still alive. Adultery is not divorce, adulterating a marriage, nor the one time act of a second marriage. Adultery is the sexual relations of the remarried couple the first time, and every time after that.
WHY DIVORCE IS NOT ADULTERY
Divorce is a serious act of violence, defiling the spiritual covering we have over our children and every other aspect of the marriage, but nowhere in Scripture does God say that divorce is adultery? There is no definition in any dictionary or Greek lexicon that says that the action of defiling the marriage with divorce is adultery.
Adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse, either mentally or physically, where at least one of those involved is married to someone else. Defilement of a marriage is a consequence of adultery. But the defiling of the marriage with a divorce is not adultery. Jesus makes it clear that adultery occurs in the second marriage, not in the divorce.
[Matthew 19:9] “And I say unto you, ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery; and whoso marrieth her that is put away, doth commit adultery.'”
WHAT IS SIGNIFICANT ABOUT ADULTERY IN A SECOND MARRIAGE?
When Jesus said, “Whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery,” He said something very significant.
PLEASE READ AND UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN JESUS MADE THAT STATEMENT, HE WAS STATING DIVORCE DOES NOT END THE FIRST MARRIAGE.
People assume divorce ends the first marriage, but Jesus said this is not true.
The sin of adultery can only occur if one or both of the persons involved is married. If neither of the persons are married the term adultery cannot be used.
When Jesus said that “whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery,” He was stating that when a man marries a divorced woman he is living with another man’s wife and therefore is guilty of adultery.
DIVORCE DOES NOT MAKE A MAN OR A WOMAN “SINGLE” AGAIN
God has joined the husband and wife together as one flesh.
[Matthew 19:4-6] “And he answered and said unto them, ‘Have ye not read, that he who made at the beginning, made him, 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 no man put asunder.'”
Man’s Civil Action of divorce in the court system does not end the “one flesh and one spirit” aspect of the marriage that God has joined together.
ADULTERY IN A SECOND MARRIAGE, IS IT A “ONE TIME ACT” OR A STATE OF “ADULTERY?”
Is the adultery a “one time” act that occurs only on the day of the second marriage or is the adultery, the sexual union of the remarried man and woman throughout their marriage; being a state of iniquity; passing the sins of the parents onto the second, third, even the fourth generation?
[Numbers 14:18] “The Lord is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.”
[2 Nephi 11:15] “And as one generation hath been destroyed among the Jews, because of iniquity, even so have they been destroyed from generation to generation, according to their iniquities;”
This question is often phrased: “Is it (the sin of adultery) an act or a state?” Many would like to view the adultery in a second marriage as a “one time act” because then the remarried couple can repent of their “one time act” and continue in their remarried state without separating or making any other changes. But is the adultery in a second marriage only a “one time act?”
The term “committeth” (adultery) in Matt. 19:9 and Matt 5:36 is in the “present indicative.” The “present indicative” represents contemporaneous action, as opposed to action in the past or the future. It normally refers to continuous or repeated action.
God states that the sexual intercourse of a divorced and remarried couple is adultery. Therefore, each time they have sexual intercourse they commit the act of adultery. As they continue to have sexual relations and there is no repentance, it becomes a state of adultery. Therefore, adultery in a second marriage is both an act each time it occurs, and a continuing state of sinning; these actions in a second marriage are Adultery.
Both the act and state of adultery, are sin. Either one bars one from FULL FELLOWSHIP with Jesus and from entering into the Celestial Kingdom. One is guilty of sin before God until they have repented of the sin of iniquity and stop the sinning. One cannot repent of the “act of state” of adultery and continue in it and expect God to ignore the fact they are continuing to commit adultery.
THE INTERESTING ILLUSTRATION OF GOD AND ISRAEL’S DIVORCE
To gain further insight into God’s position on divorce and second marriage, let’s look at God divorcing Israel.
Both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, God uses the analogy of marriage to describe His relationship with His people – in the Old Testament with Israel, and in the New Testament with Christ and the Church.
In Jeremiah 3, God states that He gave Israel a Certificate of Divorce. However, at no point did that annul or end the covenant He had made with the ten northern tribes of Israel even though Israel had married other gods.
[Jeremiah 3:1] “The say, if a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? Shall not that land be greatly polluted? But thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the Lord.”
In spite of the command by Moses in Deuteronomy 24:1-4:
[Deuteronomy 24:1-4] “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it came to pass, that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her; then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed, out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; her former husband which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord; and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”
…that a divorced woman could not return to her first husband, in Jeremiah 3:1, Jews knew divorce was only allowed during the betrothal period. The woman would have been sent away with divorce papers, called a “Get” (a Hebrew word) because of her fornication with another man. The marriage to her betrothed partner with another man, the marriage to her betrothed partner never took place, was not consummated therefore the two never became one in God’s eyes. If it was the Pharisees would have had her stoned to death.
God says to Israel, “…yet return again to me.”
God illustrates in this example, the instruction given in Deuteronomy 14:1-4 on divorce and a second marriage is not a command that He gave to Moses.
[Matthew 19:8] “He said unto them, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives; but from the beginning it was so.”
God says in Jeremiah 3:1 “They say” not “I said” in referring to Deuteronomy 24:1-4. He then goes on to ignore the command that a divorced woman may not return to her first husband by saying, “yet return again to me.”
Jesus also implied that divorce and second marriage in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 was something that Moses permitted because the people demanded it, but it was not by permission or instruction or commandment, that God gave.
Jesus said that from the beginning it was not so.
[Matthew 19:8-9] “He said unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives; but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery; and whoso marrieth her that is put away, doth commit adultery.'”
(NOTE: Fornication can only take place during the betrothal.)
Jesus at no point indicated that Deuteronomy 14:1-4 was a command that God gave to Moses.
Hardness of heart is refusing to believe what God said is sin.
Jesus would not and could not endorse the excuse of hardness of heart as justification to do the opposite of what God said.
In addition, we see that divorce and a second marriage with Israel did not end God’s marriage covenant with Israel.
[Jeremiah 3:8] “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery, I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but when and played the harlot also.”
GOD ASKS ISRAEL TO RETURN
[Jeremiah 3:12-15] “Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, ‘Return, thou backsliding Israel,‘ saith the Lord; ‘and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you; for I am merciful,’ saith the Lord, ‘and I will not keep anger forever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou has transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice,’ saith the Lord. ‘Turn, O backsliding children,’ saith the Lord; ‘for I am married unto you; and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion; and I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
Ezekiel was younger than Jeremiah. Ezekiel wrote from his captivity in Babylon after Israel’s divorce. he testifies that God’s covenant with Israel was not ended by divorce and a second marriage.
[Ezekiel 20:40-44] “For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel,’ saith the Lord God, ‘there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me; there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. I will accept you with our sweet savor, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers. And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have wrought with you for my name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord God.”
WHAT IS CLARIFIED ABOUT DIVORCE AND A SECOND MARRIAGE BY THE EXAMPLE OF GOD AND ISRAEL’S DIVORCE?
- Neither divorce nor a second marriage ends the first marriage. God said to Israel after He had given her a certificate of divorce, “For I am married to you.” (Jeremiah 3:14) Therefore in a second marriage adultery occurs as if thee had been not divorce.
- God indicates, and Jesus confirms, that Moses allowed for divorce and a second marriage and prohibiting the returning to the first spouse after second marriage was not a command that God gave to Moses. It was something that Moses allowed because of the hardness of people’s hearts, and is not one we are to follow, nor can we use to justify divorce and a second marriage. It was never God’s will from the beginning. “He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives; but from the beginning it was not so.”
- God’s desire is that the first covenant marriage partners leave all other marriage partners, return, and be reconciled to each other. God said,”Yet return to me.” (Jeremiah 3:1
- One must never give up hope that a wayward spouse will eventually return.
The great, great, greatest problem to solving this problem and removing it from the Church is that the Priesthood helps couples get a divorce in the first place and then turns right around and performs the wedding ceremony for the second, the third even the fourth, etc., marriage(s). Priestcraft abounds!
FURTHER SCRIPTURAL EVIDENCE THAT THE FIRST MARRIAGE IS NOT ENDED BY DIVORICE
In looking at whether divorce nullifies the first marriage in God’s eyes there are several additional passages of Scripture that indicate that divorce dos not end a person’s first marriage.
In Malachi 2, God indicates that even though divorce occurs, He still views them as married.
[Malachi 2:14] “Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of they youth, against whom thou has dealt treacherously; yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.”
After the divorce she is still his wife and companion.
Another passage is as follows:
JOHN THE BAPTIST LOST HIS HEAD? NO WAY? THIS CAN’T BE! WHY?
[Mark 6:18-19] “For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, ‘It is not lawful for thee to have they brother’s wife.'”
Herodias had divorced her husband and married King Herod and John accused her of committing adultery? How can this be if after a divorce, she is no longer married and being single, is no longer the wife of Philip? How could she be committing adultery? Is John saying that she is still the wife of Philip? This kind of an accusation tends to make people angry!
This is the account of King Herod and Herodias.
Even though Herod was not to marry the wife of his brother, there is another observation here. The Jewish historian Josephus, writing in the latter part of the first century AD tells us that Herodias was divorced from her first husband and had married Herod. This passage indicates that even though she was divorced and remarried, she was still considered the wife of her first husband by God. “It is not lawful for thee to have the brother’s wife.” If divorce nullified the first marriage in God’s eyes, then it would not matter who she married after the divorce. She would no longer be the wife of anyone and it would not be possible for her to marry her husband’s brother, because she would not have a husband. John the Baptist was killed by Herod and Herodias because he told them they needed to separate from their immoral second marriage relationship. It was not a message they wanted to hear! John the Baptist became a martyr because of the stance he took on the divorce and a second marriage situation.
CANNOT OUR PRIESTHOOD TAKE THE SAME STANCE?
If the second marriage had nullified the first marriage, Herod and Herodias would not have been living in sin. However, Herodias was divorced and remarried so they were living in sin. They were living in ADULTERY.
One more example is that of Uriah:
[2 Samuel 12:9-10] “Wherefore has thou despised the commandment ofthe Lord, to do evil in His sight? Thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be they wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou has despised me, and hast taken the wifre of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.”
HOW SECOND MARRIAGE DOES NOT END THE FIRST MARRIAGE
There is not any example of teaching in Scripture that the act of a second marriage ends the first marriage. Nor is there any place in the Scriptures where the making of a covenant with a second person ended the covenant with the first person. Jesus clearly stated that the second marriage does not end the first marriage when He said, “Whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
To say that a second marriage ends the first marriage is to say that the second marriage is the “divorce” from the first marriage. Thee is nothing that Jesus said that would indicate that a second marriage was “divorce” from the first marriage.
[Romans 7:2-3] “For the woman which hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband only as long as he livieth; for if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”
Romans 7:3 states clearly that a second marriage does not end the first marriage and that only death ends the first marriage.
I have not found any place in the Scriptures that would indicate that a second marriage is a “divorce” or an event that ends the first marriage.
Second marriage leads to the sin of iniquity which is a “life style” that is passed on to the second, third even the fourth generation.
[Numbers 14:18] “The Lord is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.”
PLEASE NOTE: The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has adopted the following resolutions on Divorce and Remarriage:
DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE: Adopted April 9, 1844
272. Whereas, We believe that marriage is ordained of God, and that the law of God provides for but one companion in wedlock, for either man or woman except in cases where the contract is broken by death or transgressions; therefore
Resolved, that it is our understanding that in the case of separation of husband and wife, one of which is guilty of the crime of fornication, or adultery, the other becomes released from the marriage bond, and if they so desire may obtain a divorce and marry again.
MY PERSONAL COMMENTS: Please notice that there is no revelation from God; only that “it is our understanding.”
Also notice that in this resolution the word “contract” is used rather than that of a “marriage covenant.” Notice that the resolve is “our understanding” rather than God has revealed or that God has instructed. Also in this resolve, even under the condition of a “separation” the bond may be broken and they are free to obtain a divorce and marry again. What?
Does this resolve infer that they are single again even if they are separated”? That they are no longer married? is that what our people practice today? Is this what you want your children and your children’s children to practice?
How many generations have now passed since this iniquity was adopted by the church and how has this resolution affected our children and our children’s children? How many more generations must pass away before we repent as a church of this great abomination?
MARRIAGE, DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE: ADOPTED APRIL 6, 1962
1034. 1. Marriage is ordained by God: “Marriage is ordained of God unto man.” (Doctrine and Covenants 49:3a)
2. Divinely approved purposes of marriage are mutual companionship, procreation within families, and mutual fulfillment: “It is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation; and that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the worlds was made.” (Doctrine and Covenants 49:3; see also Genesis 2:27-30; Ephesians 5:31; Doctrine and Covenants 111:2b)
3. Marriage is intended to be a life-long covenant between one man and one woman. In the event of the death of either spouse, the other is at liberty to marry again; “One man should have one wife; and one woman but one husband, except in case of death , when either is at liberty to marry again.” (Doctrine and Covenants 111:4b; see also Matthew 19:5-8)
4. Marriage should be entered into soberly, worthily, and after mature consideration. Members of the Church should marry only such persons as realize the sacramental nature of the marriage covenant and are willing to abide by its necessary conditions as well as to enjoy its rewards (see G.C.R. 972)
5. God is concerned in every marriage. marriages should therefore be solemnized with dignity in a setting conducive to worship. To this end, simplicity, propriety, and frugality in the service and its appointments are advised. Civil marriages, though legally acceptable, recognize only the civil significance of the compact and so tend to minimize the spiritual values involved. In order to preserve the sacramental nature of marriage in countries where civil marriages are required by law, a second ceremony is encourages. This ceremony is to be conducted by authorized priesthood in the recommended worshipful setting.
6. Members of the Melchisedec priesthood or a Priest of the Aaronic order may solemnize marriages when so permitted by civil law (Doctrine and Covenants 111:1b, c) Officiating ministers should require that they be given sufficient time by the parties seeking their services to enable them to make such investigation and to give such instruction and counsel as they deem helpful in maintaining the sacramental nature of the marriage covenant and of the marriage itself.
7. The church recognizes that the remarriage of an innocent party in a divorce actions is permissible when a divorce has been secured for any of the following reasons: adultery, repeated sexual perversion, desertion, such aggravated conditions within the home as render married life unbearable for the party petitioning or for the children of the marriage.*
*This is in harmony with the basic requirements of the law and also takes note the fact that circumstances develop and persist in certain marriages for which no remedy within that marriage seems to be discoverable, and which are so harmful in their effect on one or both of the partners to the marriage, and on their children as to render life under those circumstances humiliating, fraught with suffering and intolerable.
8. Though the civil court may have accepted proof of lesser indignities as sufficient grounds for divorce, permission for remarriage should be granted only when the conditions complained of were of such an extreme nature as to place the other members of the family in serious and continuing jeopardy.
Persons who have been divorced, even though innocent of wrongdoing, should pay special attention to the admonition not to marry hastily or without due consideration. Ministers asked to officiate at such weddings should assure themselves that sufficient time has elapsed and that due consideration has been had.
9. Any person who has been divorced, and who desires to be married by a member of the priesthood, should make arrangements with this minister in sufficient time to permit him to make any necessary inquiry concerning the circumstances of the divorce and to secure the approval of the branch president. If the branch president does not feel free to act, he should refer the inquiry to the next higher administrative officer of the church.
CHRIST TO MARRY ONLY ONE CHURCH
The marriage relationship, in the New Testament, is a type and shadow of the relationship between Christ and the Church of the First Born.
The worldly churches of today are MANY. Those who claim the name CHRISTIAN include — Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox Catholic, Russian Orthodox Catholic, hundreds of Protestant churches and all of the “Latter Day Saint” churches, all claiming to be “His Bride,” the Church which Christ started.
They seem to believe somehow, that when Christ returns to earth to MARRY HIS CHURCH, that Jesus Christ will be a POLYGAMIST — that He will marry HUNDREDS of churches — have HUNDREDS of WIVES! THEY ARE ALL WRONG!
THE TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH SMITH JR.
“My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner therefore did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right, for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong, and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong, and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; they teach for doctrine the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.’ He again forbade me to join with any of them: and many other things did he say unto me which I cannot write at this time.”
Jesus Christ will marry but ONE church, the True Church of GOD, The Church of the First Born, and all these worldly churches will be gone. Only one wife, the first wife, will remain, the True Church.
Has the REORGANIZED CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS taken upon itself the creeds and doctrines of the worldly churches and has it gone so far as to NOT be distinguished from all of these other churches?
THE TESTIMONY OF NEPHI
[1 Nephi 3:219-223] “And it came to pass that he said unto me, ‘Look and behold that great and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose founder is the devil.’ And he said unto me, ‘Behold, there are save two churches only; The one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; Wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; And she is the whore of all the earth.'”
THE TESTIMONY OF JOHN THE REVELATOR
[Revelation 21:1-2] “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife [not wives] hath made herself ready.”
[revelation 21:1-2] “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
[Revelation 21:9-11] “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, ‘Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God; and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;”
[Doctrine and Covenants Sec 65:1c] “…yea, a voice crying, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, prepare ye the supper of the Lamb, make ready for the Bridegroom; pray unto the Lord; call upon his holy name; make known his wonderful works among the people, call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth; that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in which the Son of man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the the kingdom of God which is set up on earth; wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come, that though, O God, may be glorified in heaven, so on earth, that thy enemies may be subdued; for thine is the honor, power and glory, forever and ever. Amen.'”
BEFORE I CONTINUE PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING:
[JACOB 2:1-12] “The words which Jacob, the brother of Nephi, spake unto the people of Nephi, after the death of Nephi: ‘Now, my beloved brether, I, Jacob, according to the responsibility which I am under to God, to magnify mine office with soberness, and that I might rid my garments of your sins, I come up into the temple this day, that I might declare unto you the word of God; And ye yourselves know, that I have hitherto been diligent in the office of my calling; but I this day am weighed down with much more desire and anxiety for the welfare of your souls, than I have hitherto been. … Yea, it grieveth my should and causeth me to shrink with shame before the presence of my Maker, that I must testify unto you concerning the wickedness of your hearts; and also it grieveth me that I must use so much boldness of speech, concerning you, before your wives and your children, many of whose feelings are exceeding tender, and chaste, and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto god; and it supposeth me that they have come up higher to hear the pleasing word of God, yea, the word which healeth the wounded soul. Wherefore, it burdeneth my soul that I should be constrained because of the strict commandment which I have received from God, to admonish you, according to your crimes, to enlarge the wounds of those which are already wounded, instead of consoling and healing thier wounds; And those which have not been wounded, instead of feasting upon the pleasing word of God, have daggers placed to pierce their souls, and wound their delicate minds. But, notwithstanding the greatness of the task, I must do according to the strict commands of God and tell you concerning your wickedness and abominations, in the presence of the pure in heart, and the broken heart, and under the glance of the piercing eye of the Almighty god. Wherefore, I must tell you the truth, according to the plainness of the word of God.”
HAVE YOU EVER HEARD THESE LINES?
I WANT THE TRUTH! YOU WANT THE TRUTH! YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
[John 18:37-38] “…for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, ‘What is truth?'”
One of the qualifications for a Minister in GOD’S church is that he has only ONE wife! No second marriages (serial polygamy) except in the case of death.
HERE IT IS PLAIN AND SIMPLE” TO THE PRIESTHOOD
[1 Timothy 3:1-5] “This is a true saying, ‘If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?'”
How is the Priesthood doing in taking care of the Church of God? Does this mean just one wife — at a time?
[1 Timothy 3:8-13] “Likewise the deacons must be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon will purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Let us then be very clear, let us understand it once and for all! Second marriages (except in the case of death), polygamy or serial marriages are SIN!
God condemns it! It is ADULTERY! IT HAS NEVER BEEN APPROVED OR CONDONED BY GOD AT ANY TIME, IN PATRIARCHAL DAYS, IN OLD TESTAMENT TIMES, IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, IN THE BOOK OF MORMON, NOT EVEN IN THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS.
Only these last days by resolutions passed by men and women at General Conference, mostly by men holding the offices of priesthood, has this abomination been condoned, accepted and approved and taught to our children.
Because of the very high rate of DIVORCE AMONG THE PRIESTHOOD this subject is not openly talked about or preached but just the opposite is preached and CONDONED BY THE PRIESTHOOD.
So now, what should you expect from your children?
[Isaiah 5:20-21] “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkenss for light and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Wo unto the wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
WHY HAVE YE POLLUTED THE HOLY CHURCH OF GOD?
[Mormon 4:47-51] “But behold, Jesus Christ hath shewn you unto me, and I know your doing; and I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts. And there are none, save a few only, who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying and strifes, and malice and persecutions, and all manner of iniquity; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts. For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ue love the poor and the needy, the sic, and the afflicted. O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God?”
MY PERSONAL TESTIMONY
My heart is heavy as I write this article. I pray, but my stomach still churns within me. My body shakes with fear of persecution, ridicule and rejection, but my Lord presses upon me to continue. He gives me inspiration and helps me to recall scripture and testimony. Sometimes he even gives me the courage to speak out. It is very difficult. I see the emotions and the countenance on the faces of Saints. I discern their struggles, their pain, their confusion; yet I must continue to speak out.
I stopped speaking and writing about this subject for several years because of the persecution and rejection and yet, the subject, hidden in the background, comes up again and again and I see generation after generation following the iniquity of the past and in the present generations.
I am in no position to condemn any man, woman or child and I do not do so. The responsibility which I am under is to declare unto you the word of God and to say “nothing but repentance unto this generation.” It is only through repentance that we gain Eternal Life with our Heavenly Father. This is my hope, my joy, and my fear for every person as I address this very difficult subject.
I pray that the Lord might forgive me for my inadequacy in presenting this trying, challenging and troublesome burden that is upon the souls of so many of our members.
[Matthew 5:19-22] “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, heaven and earth must pass away, but one jot and one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, until all be fulfilled. Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so to do, he shall in no wise be saved in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach these commandments of the law until it be fulfilled, the same shall be called great, and shall be saved in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, except your righteousness shall exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
SAINTS, WHAT ARE WE TEACHING AND DOING TO OUR CHILDREN?
[Ephesians 6:4] “And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
[Colossians 3:21] “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”
[Matthew 18:5] “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
[Sec 68:4a-c] “And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance; faith in Christ the Son of the living God; and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands when eight years old, the sin be upon the head of the parents; for this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized; and there children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old and receive the laying on of the hands: and they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.
WHAT EFFECT DOES DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE HAVE ON OUR CHILDREN AND WHAT DOES IT TEACH THEM?
The average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is eight years. People wait an average of three years after a divorce to remarry. The average age for couples going through their first divorce is 30 years old. Forty-one percent of first marriages end in divorce. Sixty percent of second marriages end in divorce. Seventy-three percent of third marriages end in divorce.
Study after study over many, many years, tell us that children of divorce and remarriage have more difficulty in school, more behavioral problems, more negative self-concepts, more problems with peers, and more trouble getting along with their parents. In 1999, adult children of divorce were only 50% more likely to get divorced than adult children from intact homes, which sounds like good news. However, the bad news is that the survey also found a 26% lower rate of marrying in the first place among adult children of divorced parents. Now just “living together” is becoming the norm; even with members of the church.
[Matthew 21:31-33] “Jesus said unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and harlots shall go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness and bore record of me, and ye believed him not;but the publicans and harlots believed him; and ye, afterward, when ye had seen me, repented not, that ye might believe him. For he that believed not John concerning me, cannot believe me, except he first repent.'”
Divorce affects family members in many different ways, most are negative.
While some children can foster healthy relationships post-divorce, most will experience challenges maintaining future relationships after coping with their parents’ divorce and/or remarriage.
“When a child’s parents divorce, the experience may allow leaving a relationship to be a viable option versus hanging in and wtestling with working things out,” says Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills, California-based psychotherapist and author of “Thr Self-Aware Parent.”
CONSEQUENCES TO THE REMARRIED PERSONS
People who have divorced and remarried tend to feel the need to explain why the remarried. Their attempt to justify their remarriage puts them on the defensive and causes them to blame their former partners. They also tend to work for acceptance by involving themselves in extra activity in the church.
This may seem a stretch but here goes: a lack of thorough self-examination will result in the Lord’s chastening.
[1 Corinthians 11:28} “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh condemnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.”
CONSEQUENCES TO THE CHURCH
The Lamanites become more righteous than the Nephites.
[Jacob 2:32-36] “For behold, thus saith the Lord, This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures; for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon, his son. Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives, and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord, Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph. Wherefore, I, the Lord God, will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old. Wherefore, my brethern, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none: For I, the Lord god, deligheth in the chastity of women.”
[Jacob 2:54-59] “Behold, the Lamanites, your brethern, whom ye hate, because of their filthiness and the cursings which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; For they have not forgotten the commandments of the Lord, which were given unto our fathers, that they should have, save it were one wife: and concubines they should have none; and there should not be whoredoms committed among them. And now this commandment they observe to keep; wherefore because of this observance in keeping this commandment, the Lord god will not destroy them, but will be merciful unto them; and one day they shall become a blessed people. Behold their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands, and their husbands and their wives love their children; And their unbelief and their hatred towards you, is because of the iniquity of their fathers; wherefore, how much better are you than they, in the sight of your great Creator? O my brethern, I fear, that unless ye shall repent of your sins, that their skins will be whiter than yours, when ye shall be brought with them before the throne of God.”
Are serial marriages the same as, “many wives?”
When divorced people tell how happy and blessed of God they have been since getting remarried, many others who have unhappy marriages will be prompted to follow their example; especially their children.
Remarried Priesthood and teachers will take a weak position regarding divorce and remarriage in order not to condemn themselves or others.
Other Priesthood and teachers will be too harsh and unloving toward those who have been divorced and remarried. They will condemn themselves in doing so.
Some remarried Priesthood and teachers will seek to justify their remarriage by distorting or misinterpreting what the scriptures actually teach about divorce and remarriage.
Others will tell shameful details about their first-marriage in order to win sympathy and acceptance for their divorce and remarriage.
Most of these consequences to the Church can be eliminated if those of the Priesthood would simply follow the scriptural requirements regarding this difficult subject.
[Alma 19:74] “Behold, I say unto you, Wickedness never was happiness.”
THE STIFLING STATISTICS
It’s no secret that children of divorced parents are more likely to get divorced.
Several studies indicate that daughters of divorced parents have a 60% higher divorce rate than children of non-divorced parents; and sons have a 35% higher divorce rate.
The reason is very simple. When parents’ divorce and remarry it sends a very direct and life example setting message as follows: Divorce and remarriage is acceptable behavior and we, their children, can also justify this behavior when our marriage becomes troubled. Mom and Dad, the Priesthood and the Church will all approve, and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. [See 2 Nephi 12:11]
Studies have shown that divorce often negatively impacts those with up to two degrees of separation from the couple. If you are friends with a recently divorced or broken-up pair, it is likely that your life may be greatly impacted in one or more of the following ways:
YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO GET DIVORCE AND REMARRIED. you wouldn’t necessarily think that someone else’s divorce could affect your marriage, but studies show it does.
Divorce contagion is a social phenomenon wherein certain behaviors, feelings and attitudes spread throughout a social network. This occurs because people tend to become more open to ideas and behaviors when they are supported by their peers, their family, the Priesthood and their church.
When a married person talks with a divorced friend, he or she directly or indirectly learns the benefits and drawbacks of separation and may become more accustomed to or interested in the idea. If your spouse has been on the fence about the viability of your relationship, a divorce within your social circle can become the tipping point.
Prominent research shows, if your friend gets divorced, your marriage has a 147% greater chance of coming to an end. Even your coworker’s divorce could affect your life, increasing your probability for divorce by 55%. However, most studies reveal that couples with children are not as susceptible and their marriages are more likely to stay intact longer regardless of the outcome of friends’ marriages.
COUPLE FRIENDSHIPS MAY DISSOLVE. If both you and your spouse are friends with divorced couples, it is quite possible that many or all of your shared friendships will dissolve. The double dates to movies, dinners and sporting events will end immediately, but it may even be difficult to remain friends with an individual within the shared friendship.
Newly divorced people tend to dislike spending time with married couples because it reminds them of their marriage failure. Similarly, couples may feel uneasy about spending time with a newly divorced friend if they were once friends with both partners. They may feel pressured to choose sides or reveal information to one party about the other.
In one study examining fallout effect of ended relationships, for 50% of recently split couples, the former partners also ended friendships with one or more members of another couple with whom the former partners had been friends. One in eight couples ended their friendships with both partners in a mutual friendship.
GROUP OUTINGS AND EVENTS MAY NEVER BE THE SAME. As mentioned earlier, if a couple in your social circle splits, your group of friends could end up losing one or both individuals from the recently parted couple. If your group is able to maintain the friendships, however, there will probably still be some difficulties when planning events such as birthday parties, group dinners, or other events that bring everyone together. One partner may not wish to see the other, forcing the group to choose when making invitations. One or both members of the former couple may choose not to come to a group event out of fear of seeing the other, or they could both come and end up arguing or making the event awkward for others in attendance. It should be stressed that this isn’t always the case. Many couples are able to maintain healthy friendships and treat each other with kindness and respect. Regardless, your group of friends will notice some changes when it comes to getting the gang together.
REMAINING NEUTRAL WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT. Most people who are mutual friends with both members of a divorced couple will choose to remain neutral and maintain friendships with both parties. Unfortunately, this isn’t easy. Many people will feel pressured to choose between friends, and they may not know how they should act when associating together after the divorce. for this reason, people may start to distance themselves and friendships could weaken. As a mutual friend of the couple, expect to experience some very uncomfortable feelings in the months even years following the divorce.
HELP YOUR FRIENDS REACH OUT FOR HELP, THEY WILL NEED IT, DO THE RIGHT THINGS. Divorce is tough on all involved parties, including a couple’s friends. In the days, weeks, and months following the divorce, people generally reach out to friends for support, confirmation that they did the right thing and a shoulder to lean or cry on.
Be a good friend and be aware of some of the changes within your friend’s life. If your friend has recently divorced, know that some things are going to change, especially if he or she (or they) belonged to a larger social circle in which you have part.
Be sensitive to these changes and try to help your friend get through them. If you notice he or she is exhibiting symptoms of depression or experiencing an unusual amount of stress and anxiety, please consider helping your friend. you must help them find the TRUTH in their circumstances. [John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”]
Hopefully, you can find a qualified Priesthood member or a qualified Christian Counselor who can provide safe, compassionate and truthful counseling that will bring about repentance, reconciliation and a healing to the broken marriage covenant. This is not easy to find!
A SHORT MESSAGE CONCERNING THE APOSTLE PAUL AS HE ADDRESSED THESE ISSUES.
The Corinthian Church is called the “troubled church” by many scholars because of their opposition to Paul’s teaching which increased proportionately with the amount of time he spent teaching in their synagogue. In a vision, while bringing ministry to the Corinthian Church, Brother Paul was given the following message:
[Acts 18:10} “For I am with the, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee; for I have much people in this city.”
You will notice that after this experience. Paul’s following letters are much more direct and to the point, when addressing the members of the church on the subject of marriage, divorce and second marriages.
HERE IS THE REAL PROBLEM THAT WE MUST FACE
The scriptures tell us that the iniquities (the life style) of our fathers (our parents) will be visited upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
Why don’t we, of this generation, stop the madness, repent of our iniquities, teach our children the truth, and set a righteous God fearing example for our children to follow. God will bless us and our children if we will do so!
WHAT DO I DO NOW? REPENTANCE? FORGIVENESS?
before I get into this very, very, convoluted, sticky and complex problem of repentance from divorce and remarriage, consider the following:
ONLY GOD CAN “UNSCRAMBLE AN EGG”
This reminds me of two very famous quotes that come from the Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet, of the 16th/17th century, Sir Walter Scott, as follows:
“Revenge, the sweetest morsel to the mouth that ever was cooked in hell.” From his novel, The Heat of Mid-Lothian
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” From his novel, Marmion
The difficulties and the entanglements, and the webs we weave in relationships today are among the worst and most abominable and distressing possible.
May heart hurts and cries in agony as I observe our children and members whose marriages have been destroyed by the iniquity of our parents and who have sought comfort and well-being in terms of a second, maybe even a third or fourth marriage.’I have seen the anguish and the guilt in the faces of those who either try to hide or justify the circumstances they find themselves in. And rather than comfort or console, no matter what is said, no matter if you can say with all the feelings of a compassionate father, mother or highly respected Priesthood man that all is OK and all is forgiven, they still feel the guilt, they know deep down inside that something is wrong. It is all emotionally and psychologically “hidden in the background” until someone says or you have to say, “My First Husband” or “My first Wife.” Then it is painful, it is excruciating, it is unjust for anyone to bring it up.
I am not sure that we, the Church or the Priesthood, can, at this time, in this “adulterous generation,” “unscramble the eggs,” stop the “revenge” and untangle the “web we weave” or understand and solve how to proceed with bringing THE CHURCH into repentance and forgiveness, without NEW REVELATION FROM GOD or without being perceived as, “judgmental,” legalistic, unloving, condemning, without compassion, etc.
We already know what God and Christ want for us…
[Sec 22:23b] “…and there is no end to my works, neither to my words; for this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
[John 3:17} “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.”
[Luke 12:35] “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
HOWEVER, HE ALSO SAID THIS…
[3 Nephi 13:11] “And it came to pass that when Jesus had ended these sayings, He saith unto his disciples, ‘ Enter ye in at the strait gate; for strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it, but wide is the gate, and broad the way which leads to death, and many there be that travel therein, until the night cometh, wherein no man can work.'”
HOW TO REPENT
Jesus tells us that adultery is not just an outward physical sin, but being in the heart.
[Matthew 15:18] “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts , false witness and blasphemies.”
For this reason, the very FIRST and most important step in repentance is to change your HEART nad change your MIND. Stop justifying and just accept, WE HAVE ALL SINNED.
[Romans 3:23-24] “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Therefore being justified only by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;”
Rebuke all thought of justifications and reasonings that enter into your mind and spend much time in MUCH STUDY, MUCH FASTING and MUCH PRAYER, and ASK GOD THE FATHER in the name of JESUS CHRIST to deliver you from your bondage and bring every thought and action you take in harmony with His will. This in itself will not an easy task.
[2 Corinthians 10:5-6] “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
[Alma 15:42] “And now surely this was a sorrowful day; yea, a time of solemnity and a time of much fasting and prayer;”
HOW CAN YOU REPENT IF YOU HAVE COMMITTED ADULTERY AND REMARRIED?
Should a person who divorced and remarried, and then later came to the Church of Jesus Christ, divorce the current spouse and try to reconcile with the first spouse?
[Sec 111:42} “All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled. (An exception to this law is that of polygamy and in that case only the First Wife would be considered the wife of the covenant. Another exception would be in the case of same sex marriage.)
There is no direct reference, in our scriptures, to this question of which I am aware. If the Lord addressed all of the possible scenarios, situations, and circumstances that arise in our complex world, “the tangled webs we weave) it would fill volumes. In cases of people who have divorced and remarried and BOTH later come into the Latter Day church, with my limited understanding, I would suggest that the best course of action would be to accept the forgiveness that comes with baptism and honor the current marriage. I might even suggest that a marriage ceremony take place to bring the marriage under the New Covenant, just as those who aware previously baptized in another faith are asked to be baptized under the New covenant of the Restored Church of these last days.
HOWEVER, PLEASE NOTE: I am not addressing all of the possible circumstances that can and have occurred and all of the necessary review that the Priesthood should take before pursuing this course of action. When there are children from the first marriage, the web gets tangled very quickly.
A rougher course to follow, and I believe the right course to follow, would be to seek reconcilliation with teh first spouse.
[1 Corinthians 7:11} “But if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband; but let not the husband put away his wife.” ( – or let him remain unmarried or be reconciled to his wife)
DO DIVORCED AND REMARRIED PERSONS NEED TO SEPARATE?
Here is the dilemma: Is consistency part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
If two people are just “living together” in fornication, we tell them that repentance is required and that they must stop the relationship and separate from each other, even if they have been living together for years.When children are involved it gets more complicated.
Note: Some tell them to “just get married.” Just getting married is not repentance and just getting married is a sure prelude to divorce. This advice has destroyed many, many families.
If two persons are involved in incest, we tell them to discontinue the relationship and repent. For most of us, this is an easy one. But what would you say if they have been living together for years, and have children together or with others?
If two people are of the same sex and are married, we tell them that they must repent, separate and dissolve the union. GET A DIVORCE, PERIOD! WOW! This is really an easy one. But wait, what if they have adopted children and have lived with and “loved” each other for years and have raised these children for many years? What do you tell them?
CAN YOU NOW SEE THE PROBLEM?
If God is an Unchangeable God and a Consistent God, NOT A RESPECTER OF PERSONS, why then would these scenarios above not apply to those who are divorced and remarried?
[Mormon 4:68} “For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today and forever; and in Him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing.”
[Acts 10:34-35] “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, ‘Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.”
OUR DECISION ON THESE MATTERS AS A PEOPLE AND AS A CHURCH HAS BORN ITS FRUIT
[Luke 6:43-44] “Fora good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit; For every tree is known by his own fruit. for of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.”
[Mormon 4:51] “O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the Holy Church of God?”
[Galatians 6:7-9] “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall for the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be wary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
[Sec 83:8a-c] “And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief hath brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all; and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written, that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom, otherwise there remaineth a scourge and a judgement to be poured out upon the children of Zion; for, shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? verily, I say unto you, Nay.”
The fruit of our decision, for many generations, to “turn the eye” to these extremely difficult problems (sins) has filled our church with adulterous unions, has undermined existing marriage, has justified our own priesthood to divorce and remarry and to perform second, third even some fourth and fifth marriages. The fruit of these decisions has shut the mouth of those men and women who would speak out and has “pocket-silenced” those of the priesthood that have preached against these sins.
As the Church has become more corrupt, immoral and perverse, we have lost the distinctives of the Latter Day Restored Church and there seems to be very little difference between us and many of the churches of our day.
Viewing second marriages as ADULTERY, not matter how happy and blessed those marriages may seem, promotes holiness and purity in the church and proves a solid foundation of the marriages of our children. It encourages parents and Priesthood to confront sin both in the Church and society.
[Acts 20:29-30} “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”
[Jude 1:4} “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We must not presume “By the grace of God,” that the blood of Christ will forgive our continued adulterous relationships.
We are ONLY CLEANSED by the blood of Christ when we REPENT.
[1 John 1:6] “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. Bur if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
[1 Corinthians 6:9-10] “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
[Galationans 6:7] “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
[Romans 12:3] “I beseech you therefore, bretheren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God is. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than the ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
THE LORD WILL SOON RETURN LOOKING FOR HIS BRIDE
[Revelations 21:1] “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I, John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
[Revelations 21:9-11] “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which has the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, ‘Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God; and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;”
Adultery will not be found among those who will be with the Lord when He returns nor will adultery be found among those who will be lifted up to meet Him when He returns.
[Ephesians 5:25-27] “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Those who seek to be lifted up to meet our Christ and those who see to REIGN with Him during the thousand years on earth must renounce the sins of fornication, adultery and all sin. This means that some will be required to live without a spouse “for the sake of the Kingdom.”
[Revelations 20:6} “Blessed and holy are they who have part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
[Matthew 19:12] “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb; and there are some eunuchs which were made eunuchs of men; and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive, let him receive my sayings.”
NOW LET ME GIVE A FINAL CAUTIONARY WORD
You are probably reading this article because you are either thinking about getting a divorce, you are divorced, your mother and father are divorced, your brother or sister, your child, or etc. It goes on and on.
If you are currently considering a divorce or considering marriage to someone that is already divorced, DON’T DO IT!
If you do it anyway, knowingly, believing that you can be forgiven later, you should consider the eternal consequences of your soul and the iniquity (lifestyle) you pass on to others and to your children.
[Hebrews 10:26-27} “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”
[Mormon 1:17] “And I did endeavor to preach unto this people, but my mouth was shut, and I was forbidden that I should preach unto them; for behold they had willfully rebelled against their God , and the beloved disciples were taken away out of the land, because of their iniquity.”
If you are reading this and you find yourself or your children or anyone that you love and care about, in an abusive intolerable marriage, and must rtherefore separate, separate for a time and then be reconciled as soon as possible. If your spouse obtains a divorce anyway, then remain unmarried.
[1 Corinthians 7:11] ” But if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband; but let not the husband put away his wife.”
I am very, very, aware, after over forty years of family and marriage counseling, that this is not and will not be easy. However, if I had the time and space I could share many testimonies of those who have waited and prayed for a miracle and their marriages have been healed.
For many this will seem impossible, but our God is a God of miracles. By faith, you can remove mountains.
By repentance you open the door for a loving and forgiving God to show you the way.
By God allowing any repentant sinner to enjoy the benefits of His grace should be a profound mystery to all of us. This alone shows how much He loves us and wants us to be o a part of His Kingdom, even to live eternally here upon this earth with the presence of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
DO NOT PROCRASTINATE THE DAY OF YOUR REPENTANCE
[Alma 10:27-30] “And now my brethern, I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety, even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance; But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on His holy name, and watch and pray continually that ye may not be tempted above that which he can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble , meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long suffering; having faith on the Lord; Having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day, and enter into His rest; And may the Lord grant unto you repentance, that ye may not bring down His wrath upon you, that ye may not be bound down by the chains of hell, that ye may not suffer the second death.”
[Jacob 2:35-38] “Wherefore, I, the Lord God, will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old. Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none: For I, the Lord God, delighteth in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me: thus saith the Lord of hosts. Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of f hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.”
[Sec 16:3e] “And how great is His joy in the soul that repenteth. Wherefore you are called to cry repentance unto this people. And if it so be that you should labor all your days, in crying repentance unto this people, and bring save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with Him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy, if you should bring many souls unto me! Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my Rock , and my salvation.”
[Sec 10:5b] “…behold, I am the light which shineth in darkness, and by my power I give these words unto thee. And now, verily, verily I say unto thee, Put thy trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good; yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit. Verily, verily I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy, and then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which is pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.”