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SHIRLEY - Joseph Smith and Brigham Young preached that Celestial Marriage was a necessity to be exalted. Has the church changed their position on this or is this still a requirement for exaltation?

JOEL - Yes. Celestial Marriage through temple sealing is required for exaltation. If anyone, through no fault of their own, is not afforded the opportunity to be sealed to someone in this lifetime they will have the opportunity for it during the Millennium. God will make sure everyone has the opportunity to choose to do this.

SHIRLEY - I also wondered what the actual church doctrine is on obedience to your husband. In the temple we covenant to obey our husbands and in that we submit to Heavenly Father. Will we in a sense be worshipping our husbands as they become gods in exaltation? Do your husbands have a say in whether we will rules and reign with them? Also, is it church doctrine that we will be in polygamous relationships in the eternities?

JOEL - To clarify, in the temple ceremony, women are under covenant to obey the law of the Lord and "hearken" to the council of their husband as he hearkens to the Lord. If their husband does not hearken to the Lord they are under no obligation to hearken to what their husband says (unless of course they happen to agree with what he says). As righteous priesthood holders, husbands preside in the home, but in regards to the "sacred responsibilities" of both husband and wife, "fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners." (Proclamation on the Family)
We have both a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother, "And God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness. . . . So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:26–27). Note that in the creation account in the book of Abraham, it is the "Gods," plural, who are responsible for creating man and woman (see Abraham 5:7–20), suggesting the Gods are of both genders, male and female. Wives will be equal partners with their husbands as they reign in heaven (kings and queens), the same as they should be here on earth. If both are exalted together, husbands will have no say in whether their wives will rule with them; it is simply a matter of fact that they will. If there is any worshipping going on between them it will be both ways.
We don't know how things will be in the eternities; there will be a few men who will be sealed to more than one woman but we don't really know how that relationship will play out in the hereafter.

SHIRLEY - I have heard a little and read some history on the second anointment ceremony. Is this still practiced in the church? I also wondered whether the Priesthood in “higher” positions in the church i.e. apostles have different or additional ceremonies to us?

JOEL - The second annointing is still practiced in the Church on rare occaisions and is usually reserved for the general authorities and their wives or other worthy couples at the invitation of the President of the church. It is an indication that the couple have made their calling and election sure, guaranteeing their exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom. It is not a ordinance that is required for our eternal life. Besides the second anointing, there is a washing of the feet ordinance that might be performed among the apostles and Church presidency on rare occaisions.

SHIRLEY - I have read a few of Hugh Nibley’s books and articles and see that he mentions the Kabbalah and quotes from the Zohar at times. What is our churches stand on the Kabbalah and do we agree with the principles taught in it regarding Jewish symbolism and mysticism?

JOEL - Even though the Kabbalah mentions similar concepts like a Heavenly Mother and Father, the pre-existance of souls in heaven, and speaks of the fall of Adam, the church has no official stance on these writings; only as a few of their concepts exist as interesting parrallels to some ponts of LDS theology. If it's not scripture the Church has no official opinion on other such writings.

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