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RUDY - A family friend died recently without knowledge of the gospel. I want to do the ordinances to get him baptized in a year. He was common law
married, but was just a sweet person. I wish exaltation for everyone, but is it possible for those not married on earth to achieve it? I KNOW he will accept the gospel in the spirit world. What does God have in store for my friend who wasn't married in life, but who accepts His gospel in the next life?
JOEL - Sorry to hear of your friend passing on but there is good reason to have hope for his eternal future. The scriptures tell us:
"Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God;
Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;
For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts." (D&C 137:7-9)
The scriptures also tell us:
In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
And if he does not, he cannot obtain it." (D&C 131: 1-3)
When you consider both references above, since we cannot enter the Celestial kingdom without being sealed to someone, we can logically assume that all who have died without the opportunity of having a Temple marrige, who would have done so if they had been given the opportunity, shall be able to obtain this blessing in the next life; perhaps during the Millenium. For your friend perhaps he will be sealed to his common law wife or if not her someone else.
President Spencer W. Kimball said:
"we promise you that insofar as eternity is concerned, no soul will be deprived of rich and high and eternal blessings for anything which that person could not help, that the Lord never fails in his promises, and that every righteous person will receive eventually all to which the person is entitled and which he or she has not forfeited through any fault of his or her own." (“The Importance of Celestial Marriage,” Tambuli, July 1980, 1)
Your friend will have a very good chance of receiving these blessings in the next life and accepting the ordinances you perform for him, if that is his choice.