Mormon ordinances/Marriage/Were the early apostles married

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    Marriage within Church leadership

Questions and Answers

Question: Were the early apostles married?

In the early Church, it was known that the Apostles were married

In the early Church, it was known that the Apostles were married. Ignatius, who sat at the feet of the Apostle John as he taught for many years, also taught they were married. He said: "For I pray that, being found worthy of God, I may be found at their feet in the kingdom, as at the feet of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; as of Joseph, and Isaiah, and the rest of the prophets; as of Peter, and Paul, and the rest of the apostles, that were married men. For they entered into these marriages not for the sake of appetite, but out of regard for the propagation of mankind. Fathers, “bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord;” (Eph. 6:4 and teach them the holy Scriptures, and also trades, that they may not indulge in idleness." (1:81, chap. 4, Ignatius to the Philadelphians)

Clement of Alexandria wrote “Peter and Philip fathered children, and Philip gave his daughters in marriage. Furthermore, Paul did not hesitate to mention his ‘companion’ in one of his epistles...He says in his epistle, ‘Do I not have the right to take along a sister-wife, as do the other apostles?’ [1 Cor. 9:5] However the other apostles, in harmony with their particular ministry, devoted themselves to preaching without any distraction. Their spouses went with them, not as wives, but as sisters, in order to minister to housewives” (Clement of Alexandria 195 ad, Ante-Nicene Fathers 2:390-391 E)

He also wrote “The man of God eats, drinks, and marries, not as the primary things of life, but as things that are necessary. I even mention marriage...for having become perfect, he has the apostles for examples.” (Clement of Alexandria 195 ad, Ante-Nicene Fathers 2:543 E)

Papias, who travelled the countryside writing down what the Apostles had previously said, wrote "The residence of the Apostle Philip with his daughters in Hierapolis has been mentioned above." (ANF 1:154, Fragments of Papias)

Early Church leaders also spoke out against those who preached against marriage

Early Church leaders also spoke out against those who preached against marriage. In speaking about heretics, Irenaeus says that “They declare also, that marriage and generation are from Satan.” (Ante-Nicene Fathers 1:349, Irenaeus Against Heresies, chap. 24) “those who are called Encratites (self-controlled) preached against marriage, thus setting aside the original creation of God... he declared that marriage was nothing else than corruption and fornication.” (Ante-Nicene Fathers 1:353, Irenaeus Against Heresies, chap. 28)

“The apostles had permission to marry and lead wives about. They also had permission to ‘live by the means of the Gospel.’” (Ante-Nicene Fathers 4:55, Tertullian, 212 AD, W)


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