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Marriage and Family in The Book of Mormon



Happiness is a predominant theme in the Book of Mormon, specifically the joy that comes from following Jesus Christ. The stories in this book of scripture often show family members in challenging situations and highlight their reactions—both positive and negative. The Book of Mormon teaches that when you choose to follow Jesus, your marriage can be stronger, you can be a better parent, and you can have a happier family.

Book of Mormon Teachings about Marriage

  • Marriage vows are sacred. The Bible instructs husbands and wives to love each other (see Ephesians 5:33). Similarly, the Book of Mormon teaches that marriage vows are sacred. Speaking to those who had violated marital vows, the prophet Jacob warned, “Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, . . . and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you” (Jacob 2:35). However, to those who are “pure in heart,” Jacob promised they would “feast upon [God’s] love” (Jacob 3:2).
  • Marriage brings blessings. Marriage is an essential part of God’s plan. Marriage between a man and a woman creates the best possible environment in which to raise children and meet their physical and spiritual needs. Marriage betters society, and it also has big benefits for families—both temporal and spiritual—because when we marry we are following one of God’s first and greatest commandments. And, as the Book of Mormon teaches, those who follow God’s commandments are “blessed in all things” (Mosiah 2:41). The book highlights one group of people, for example, who “were married, and given in marriage, and were blessed” (4 Nephi 1:11) for their overall righteousness in keeping God’s commands.
  • Marriage should be between one man and one woman. The Book of Mormon teaches that God’s law for marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Jacob, a Book of Mormon prophet, declared, “There shall not any man among you have save it be one wife” (Jacob 2:27). In times past, God commanded His people to practice plural marriage (the union of one man to more than one woman) to fulfill His righteous purposes. God commanded prophets such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and others to practice plural marriage. 

Book of Mormon Teachings about Families

  • Teach your children right from wrong. The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). The Book of Mormon also encourages parents to raise their children in righteousness: “But ye will teach [children] to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another” (Mosiah 4:15).

Read more about the purpose of family

  • Teach your children about Jesus. Book of Mormon prophets often wrote that one reason they kept records was to be able to teach their children and future generations about Jesus Christ. The prophet Nephi wrote: “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26). Your children will be blessed when you teach them about Jesus.

Read more about being a better parent.

  • Pray for and with your family. Prayer is a powerful tool for families. The prophet Alma, gravely concerned for the spiritual well-being of his son, turned to God, and his prayers were answered in a miraculous way. His son, also named Alma, was visited by an angel, who said, “For [your father] has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth” (Mosiah 27:14). The younger Alma suffered intensely under the spiritual weight of his sins. However, when his thoughts turned to Jesus Christ, who atoned for all sin, Alma’s sorrow and suffering changed to joy: “Oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy” (Alma 36:20). Alma’s sins had been forgiven, and he was born again—he had a spiritual conversion sparked in part by his father’s prayers. He went on to become a mighty spiritual leader and witness of Jesus Christ. Also in the Book of Mormon Jesus Christ reiterated the importance of prayer when He said, “Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed” (3 Nephi 18:21).

What does it mean to have family prayer? Learn more.

Scriptural Teachings for Strengthening Marriage and Family

  • Jesus loves—and so can you. The message of Jesus in the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon is one of love. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). This implies that love is more than a feeling; it is a choice—a choice that is especially important in marriage and family relationships. “Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him [or her]” (Moroni 7:47). Jesus’s love is called charity, and it lasts forever. Marriages and families are stronger when they are built on this Christlike love.
  • Jesus forgives—and so can you. Marriage and family relationships can be hard and often require frequent forgiveness. The Book of Mormon teaches that Jesus will forgive you every time you sincerely repent but that you are required to forgive others too: “As often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me. And ye shall also forgive one another your trespasses” (Mosiah 26:30–31). Forgiveness can be difficult, especially when others don’t seem sorry or continue to do hurtful things, but as you forgive you can find greater peace and happiness in your marriage and family.
  • Jesus serves—and so can you. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma taught that those who want to be followers of Jesus should be “willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; yea, and [be] willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:8–9). By serving your family members and also serving alongside them, you foster Christlike attributes that can strengthen family relationships.

No marriage or family is perfect, but by following the teachings and example of Jesus Christ, you can find greater happiness. The Book of Mormon shows you how.

How one father found joy—and now shares it—through the Book of Mormon

Can the Book of Mormon really bless marriage and family? Chat with someone now to find out how. 

Feel the difference for yourself that the gospel of Jesus Christ can make in your family. Invite the missionaries to visit your home.

Read these and other scriptures about marriage and family. Request a free Bible or Book of Mormon