Doctrine and Covenants
August 17, 1835-Kirtland, Ohio. At a general assembly of the church (see Introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants), this article on marriage was adopted by unanimous vote and ordered to be printed in the Doctrine and Covenants. Although it is not a revelation, it is a clear affirmation of the law and practice of the church regarding the sacrament of marriage.
Instructions for marriage ceremonies-Fornication and polygamy are condemned-Respect for authority
1a According to the custom of all civilized nations, marriage is regulated by laws and ceremonies.
1b Therefore, we believe that all marriages in this Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints should be solemnized in a public meeting or feast prepared for that purpose,
1c and that the solemnization should be performed by a presiding high priest, high priest, bishop, elder, or priest-not even prohibiting those persons who are desirous to get married of being married by other authority.
1d We believe that it is not right to prohibit members of this church from marrying out of the church if it be their determination so to do, but such persons will be considered weak in the faith of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2a Marriage should be celebrated with prayer and thanksgiving; and at the solemnization the persons to be married, standing together, the man on the right and the woman on the left, shall be addressed by the person officiating as he shall be directed by the Holy Spirit; and if there be no legal objections, he shall say, calling each by their names:
2b "You both mutually agree to be each other's companion, husband and wife, observing the legal rights belonging to this condition, that is, keeping yourselves wholly for each other and from all others during your lives?"
2c And when they have answered, "Yes," he shall pronounce them "husband and wife" in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the laws of the country and authority vested in him:
2d "May God add his blessings and keep you to fulfill your covenants from henceforth and forever. Amen."
3 The clerk of every church should keep a record of all marriages solemnized in his branch.
4a All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church should be held sacred and fulfilled.
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.
4c It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband; neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband.
4d All children are bound by law to obey their parents; and to influence them to embrace any religious faith, or be baptized, or leave their parents without their consent is unlawful and unjust.
4e We believe that all persons who exercise control over their fellow beings and prevent them from embracing the truth will have to answer for that sin.