19) LINEAGE: What is the importance of marrying in the right lineage and covenant?

Prophetic Statements

Brigham Young


When a man and a woman have received their endowments and sealings, and then had children born to them afterwards, those children are legal heirs to the Kingdom and to all its blessings and promises, and they are the only ones that are on this earth.  There is not a young man in our community who would not be willing to travel from here to England to be married right, if he understood things as they are; there is not a young woman in her community, who loves the Gospel and wishes its blessings, that would be married as they should be, if they lived until they were as old as Sarah before she had Isaac born to her.  Many of our brethren have married off their children without taking this into consideration, and thinking it a matter of little importance.  I wish we all understood this in the light in which heaven understands it.  (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 195-196); Journal of Discourses 11:118)


Be careful, O ye mothers in Israel, and do not teach your daughters in future, as many of them have been taught, to marry out of Israel. Woe to you who do it; you will lose your crowns as sure as God lives. 1


What was the cause of the first, or one of the first, curses that came upon Israel? I will tell you. One of the first transgressions of the family called Israel, was their going to other families or other nations to select partners. This was one of the great mistakes made by the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for they would go and marry with other families, although the Lord had forbidden them to do so, and had given them a very strict and stringent law on the subject. He commanded them not to marry among the Gentiles, but they did and would do it. Inasmuch as they would not do what he required of them, then he gave them what I call a portion of the law of carnal commandments. This law told them what they might and whom they might not marry. It was referred to by the Savior and his Apostles and it was a grievous yoke to place on the necks of any people; but as the children of this family would run after Babylon, and after the pride and the vanity and evils of the world, and seek to introduce them into Israel, the Lord saw fit to place this burden upon them.2

Supporting Statements

George Q. Cannon


“There have been a few instances of men marrying strange women, losing the faith and becoming alienated from the Church of God, but it has not been of such frequent occurrence among us with men as it has been with women. The alliances which our daughters, our sisters or our female relatives have formed of this character have been attended with the worst results, and it is a matter that should receive attention from us as a people; our minds should be directed to this. It should be the aim of every father in Israel to have his daughters married to those who are of the right lineage, who have a claim upon the blessings of God, through their descent, added to their own faithfulness in keeping the commandments of God. I deem it of great importance to us as a people, that we should look to this.

“Therefore it is a blessing from God, for a woman to bear children to such a man, or to any man who bears or holds the everlasting Priesthood of the Son of God, and who magnifies his calling, and through magnifying it, receives promises from God to himself, and his posterity after him. Hence it is, my brothers and sisters, that remarks are made from time to time about plural marriage, patriarchal marriage. It is designed of God, that it should be so. . . . Our daughters should be taught to control their feelings and affections, and not let them go out without any regard to these circumstances to which I have alluded. A woman should be exceedingly careful, a girl should be exceedingly careful, and parents should be exceedingly careful in instilling into her mind the principles that must be observed by her and by her husband to obtain exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom of God.

“Our daughters should seek, by all the faith that they can exercise before God, to obtain good husbands—husbands who will build them up instead of holding them down; who will strengthen their hands in the work of God, who will make them mothers of a righteous seed and posterity, with whom they can rejoice in the eternal mansions of our Father and our God; and no woman who has the faith of the Gospel within her, will want to bear a child to a man of whom she will be ashamed, and who cannot lead her into the presence of the Lamb. She will rather exercise faith before the Lord that God will give unto her a husband in whom she can trust, in whom she can have confidence, whose word will be as the word of God to her. And in the midst of the troubles, afflictions and trials that belong to this mortal existence, she will feel comforted by the knowledge that her husband is indeed a man of God, a man who will be true and faithful to her under all circumstances. This is a constant cause of strength and comfort to every woman, to know that she has wedded a man whom she can trust, upon whom she can rely, who will never fail her, that is, as far as human nature will permit a man to be free from infallibility. This is the course we should all take. . . .

“At the same time I would not preclude any “non-Mormon,” or Gentile as they are called, from marrying; but let such marry their own class and among their own people. I say we have no right to allow them to marry our daughters, and we should use every influence against it. It is not right to allow apostates to marry our daughters, nor for our sons to marry apostates. This is all wrong, and we should guard against it, and use all the influence in our power to prevent it. . . .

“Let them seek unto God in the name of Jesus, that they may obtain women of virtue, women of probity, women of faith, women of steadfastness, women that will be a glory to the men throughout time and eternity, and who will raise them children in whom they can rejoice; and let the women seek in like manner to obtain men upon whom they can look with respect and love in the midst of every trial, in the midst of every affliction, no matter what the circumstances may be; that their faith may be unmoved in all the trials, difficulties and afflictions that pertain to this mortal life; that they may tread the straight and narrow path as long as mortality lasts, and then enter into the celestial kingdom of our God, when they obtain their resurrected bodies, united as husband and wife, for time and for all eternity.” 3

  1. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 196; Journal of Discourses 12:97
  2. Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 196; Journal of Discourses  16:111
  3. George Q. Cannon, “The Latter-day Saints a Peculiar and Distinct People“, Journal of Discourses, vol. 25, pp. 360-371, November 16, 1884.
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