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Publication: “Latter-day Saint Marriage Rites”

January 1, 2015 - Journal of Mormon History Professor Flake's article, "The Development of Early Latter-day Saint Marriage Rites, 1831-1853," will appear in the Journal of Mormon History's 50th Anniversary issue.

Title: Kathleen Flake, The Development of Early Latter-day Saint Marriage Rites, 1831-1853 Journal of Mormon History 41, 1 (January 2015), 77-103.

Abstract: Early Mormonism rejected, over a remarkably short period of time, Christian marriage’s traditional role as a defense against carnality. When the medieval Christian church systematized the sacraments, it created a fork in the road of salvation, requiring the faithful to choose either ordination or marriage. During the Reformation, Protestantism’s denunciation of celibacy celebrated marriage within another dichotomy: the created, earthly world and the uncreated, heavenly one. Marriage was divinely instituted but meant for this world, not the world to come. In contrast, Mormonism made marriage a locus of its priesthood restorationism and its marriage rite gave men and women rights to access heavenly powers to accomplish divine purposes here and in the hereafter. Thus, marriage was eternal in both senses of the word. It was a means of inculcating the divine nature and of creating ties that transcended the limits of time and mortality. It was not only the pattern for this world, but the world to come. This was new, an extraordinary recalculation of centuries of tradition.