Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve reiterated important gospel principals as he talked about the importance of marriage in the fulfillment of God’s divine plan at the Saturday afternoon session of general conference.
Elder Christofferson established that marriage goes beyond a worldly tradition but is a responsibility to mankind that comes from God. It is an essential part of God’s plan of salvation; in particular he emphasized the importance of a setting for physical birth and subsequent spiritual rebirth into the kingdom of God.
“Knowing why we left the presence of our Heavenly Father and what it takes to return and be exalted with him, it becomes very clear that nothing relative to our time on earth can be more important than physical birth and spiritual rebirth, the two prerequisites of eternal life,” Elder Christofferson said.
He emphasized the importance of a family built from marriage between a man and women. “To use the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffere, the ‘office’ of marriage, the ‘post responsibility towards mankind,’ that this divine institution ‘from above, from God’ occupies … is the ‘link in the chain of generations’ both here and hereafter — the order of heaven,'” he said.
“God ordained that men and women should marry and give birth to children, thereby creating in partnership with God the physical bodies that are key to the test of mortality and essential to eternal glory with Him,” he said.
“Communities and nations generally have encouraged and protected marriage and the family as privileged institutions. It has never been just about the love and happiness of adults,” Elder Christofferson said, reiterating that marriage is not a human invention and is in fact from God. “Nor we nor any other mortal can alter this divine order of matrimony,” he said. Marriage is an essential part of the plan of salvation, he said.
He addressed those who are not married regardless of the reason and reminded them that “everyone has talents; everyone can contribute to the unfolding of the divine plan in each generation.”
“May we each find approval in his sight. May marriages flourish and families prosper, and whether our lot is a fullness of these blessings in mortality or not, may the Lord’s grace bring happiness now and faith in sure promises to come.”