LDS Christians proudly proclaim that woman and man may be joined in marriage through the power of God both for this life and the life to come. For Mormons, the marriage covenant does not necessarily have to end when “death do[es] you part,” but may potentially exist “for time and all eternity” when “sealed” by God’s power, provided that both partners of the marriage relationship persist in faithfulness to each other and to God. LDS Christians usually make reference to uniquely Mormon sources, such as Doctrine and Covenants 132.15-19, when attempting to clearly delineate the source for this theological understanding. The relevant portions of D&C 132.15-19 read:
…[I]f a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world. Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven…And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word…And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood…it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world…
However, there is a tradition in the synoptic gospels that records a controversy-dialogue between Jesus and the Sadducees concerning the resurrection of the dead and marriage in the new age/afterlife, which tradition seems to seriously call into question notions of marriage, gender, and sex in the new age/heaven. The oldest account of this tradition is found in Mark 12.18-27, which account was then modified and redacted separately by both “Matthew” and “Luke.”
Mark 12.18-27 (NRSV, used throughout) reads:
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying, ‘Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man [lit. "his brother"] shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children; and the second married her and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. In the resurrection [lit. "when they rise"] whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”? He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.’
Matthew’s version (22.23-32) reads:
The same day some Sadducees came to him, saying there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, ‘Teacher, Moses said, “If a man dies childless, his brother shall marry the widow, and raise up children for his brother.” Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married, and died childless, leaving the widow to his brother. The second did the same, so also the third, down to the seventh. Last of all, the woman herself died. In the resurrection , then, whose wife of the seven will she be? For all of them had married her.’ Jesus answered them, ‘You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”? He is God not of the dead, but of the living.’
Luke’s version (20.27-38) reads:
Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, ‘Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man [lit. "his brother"] shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die any more, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.’
The following analysis is that of biblical feminist scholar Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza , and will be referring to the oldest account of this tradition found in the gospel of Mark (although I have provided all three accounts for the reader’s convenience so that the differences in each account might stand out more sharply).
The Sadducees rejected a belief in the resurrection on the grounds that such a view is not found in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible, traditionally ascribed to Moses), which is the only authority that the Sadducees accepted as authoritative. They thus approach Jesus in an attempt to show the inconsistency of the notion of a future resurrection with the procedure of levirate marriage (outlined in Deuteronomy 25.5-10), since levirate marriage would (seemingly) entail that in the resurrection one woman might be married to several persons to whom she was married serially in mortal life. For the Sadducees, the issue clearly pertains to the resurrection, as they certainly believed that the levirate marriage as prescribed in the Torah was a correct practice.
As Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza has stated:
The law of levirate marriage served the purpose of continuing the patriarchal family, by securing its wealth and the inheritance within it, a concern important to the Sadducees, many of whom were upper class and priests, rich landowners living in Jerusalem…For them the levirate law protecting and perpetuating the patriarchal structures of the “house” was of utmost importance. Although this law sometimes created more hardship for the brother of the deceased husband, while protecting the financial security of the widow, it nevertheless served the continuation of the family line and maintenance of patriarchal structures. 
According to Fiorenza, Jesus’ response that the Sadducees are wrong must be seen in the context of his call to equal discipleship for both men and women in the messianic community that is being brought about through Jesus’ proclamation of the basileia (“kingdom, dominion”). In God’s world the patriarchal marriage system, to which the Sadducees adhere, does not exist. The statement that “when they rise from the dead they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” must be seen with this context. Fiorenza states:
The last expression ["like the angels in heaven"] is often understood to mean that their “being as angels are” implies asexuality or freedom from sexual differentiation and sexual intercourse. There is no doubt that this interpretation has claimed a long tradition but it has no basis in the text. The eschatological being of men and women “like the angels or heavenly messengers” must be understood with reference to the first part of the sentence. It is not that sexual differentiation and sexuality do not exist in the “world” of God, but that “patriarchal marriage is no more,” because its function in maintaining and continuing patriarchal economic and religious structures is no longer necessary. This is what it means to live and be “like the angels” who live in “the world” of God. 
Often in apocalyptic Judeo-Christian texts of the Second Temple period, the coming eschatological age was seen in terms of the original creation of the earth. In the original creation, before there was death and corruption, God created woman and man as equal partners in marriage. Thus in the age to come women an men are to be equal. However, Jesus’ ministry, by his proclamation of the basileia of God through his miracles, was seen as inaugurating the coming age in the here and now. Jesus’ call was for “domination-free relationships in the community of disciples” in the here and now.  Thus human marriage is not to be patriarchal, but rather coequal and egalitarian in the present as well.
It seems additionally worthy of note that Jesus is not arguing for asexuality in the life to come, but rather that patriarchal marriage, grounded in patriarchal socio-religio-economical structures, will be eliminated. Jesus’ call is for equal discipleship, and this does not necessitate asexuality, but can theoretically be accomplished with sexual differentiation in place (whether in the present or future age).
What other interpretations or suggestions might be offered for the text? Is it possible to reconcile Fiorenza’s analysis with LDS Christian thought concerning “eternal marriage”? And if so, how? Additionally, what other impact(s) might this analysis have for an LDS Christian understanding of marriage in this life?
 The following feminist analysis is that of Elisabeth Schusser Fiorenza. See her book entitled In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins. (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Co., 1988), pgs. 143-145.
 pg. 144.
 pg. 144.
 pg. 143.