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JON - I need help to explain to a couple of nice friends of mine that marriage is of god. That we should be married and not cohabitate. They have been living and having children for 15 years. I would like them to be married and then be able to teach them the gospel. They have been attending church. They accept bible referrences better than BOM. However, they are getting close. The question of baptism will come and I need to address the fact that marriage is ordained of God and it pleases Him. Any Bible referrences I can use.

JOEL - First of all if they believe in the Bible then they must already realize that living together in an unmarried condition does not please God:

"Thou shalt not commit adultery." (Ex 20:14)

"Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." (1 Cor 6:18)

"Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." (1 Cor 7:2)

Of course you don't want to shake your finger at them and call them fornicators, but you might want to focus on the scriptures where God has encouraged marriage, as in the 1 Cor 7:2 scripture mentioned above and the following:

"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled:" (Heb 13:4)

"And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be bone 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 world was made." (D&C 49:15-17)

"And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Gen. 2: 23-24)

"I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully." (1 Tim 5:14)

"Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord." (1 Cor. 11: 11)

In order for a relationship between a man and woman to be "in the Lord", they must be legally and lawfully married. Such a marriage was always meant to be eternal:

"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 not man put asunder." (Matt 19: 5-6)

The Apostles were given power and authority from Jesus so that whatever ordinance they performed would be eternal:

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

This included the ordinance of eternal marriage. If they really love each other they will welcome the idea of having an eternal marriage.

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