CHARGE: Not one verse in either the Bible or the Book of Mormon teaches Celestial Marriage is essential for eternal life.
LDS RESPONSE: Although the details of marriage for eternity come from the LDS scripture called the Doctrine and Covenants, there are biblical scriptures that speak of the eternal nature of the husband and wife relationship.
REALITY: Polygamy was an afterthought of Joseph Smith and it began to take shape following the publication of the Book of Mormon. Therefore, there is no mention or tie of Polygamy/Celestial Marriage to Mormonism in that volume. There are no biblical verses that mention Celestial Marriage either.
When the LDS RESPONSE indicates “there are biblical scriptures that speak of the eternal nature of the husband and wife relationship” it is in reference to such verses as Ecclesiastes 3:14, Matthew 16:19, Mark 10:2-9, 1 Corinthians 11:11, and Ephesians 1:10, 13. These verses are vague on the subject but include enough information for Mormons to justify the use of them regarding Eternal Marriage.
There is far less ambiguity in Matthew…
“Jesus answered and said unto them, ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”
LDS apologists have clever ways to weave around these passages; however, verse 29 is clear.
Joseph Smith developed the concept of Celestial Marriage so that he could secretly marry (at least) 33 additional women; most of the time having little or nothing to do with them after a quick fling. In most cases, he assured them their salvation for giving into his lust.
~See Dan Wees, Encyclopedia of Anti-Mormonism, page 129-130; 2011 edition~