The Urantia Book devotes a good deal of space to the topic of Marriage - it is far too comprehensive a subject to cover in merely isolated quotes. The following quotes are taken from various places in the book, and will give you a thumbnail view of this important topic, including some of Jesus' teachings. However, the most complete story of Marriage will be found in Paper 82, The Evolution of Marriage, Paper 83, The Marriage Institution, and Paper 84, Marriage and Family Life. The links will take you directly to these papers for a complete study.
The Original Ideal of Marriage
Upon the completion of the Creator Son's seventh and final creature bestowal, the uncertainties of periodic isolation terminate for the Divine Minister, and the Son's universe helper becomes forever settled in surety and control. It is at the enthronement of the Creator Son as a Master Son, at the jubilee of jubilees, that the Universe Spirit, before the assembled hosts, first makes public and universal acknowledgment of subordination to the Son, pledging fidelity and obedience. This event occurred in Nebadon at the time of Michael's return to Salvington after the Urantian bestowal. Never before this momentous occasion did the Universe Spirit acknowledge subordination to the Universe Son, and not until after this voluntary relinquishment of power and authority by the Spirit could it be truthfully proclaimed of the Son that "all power in heaven and on earth has been committed to his hand."
After this pledge of subordination by the Creative Mother Spirit, Michael of Nebadon nobly acknowledged his eternal dependence on his Spirit companion, constituting the Spirit coruler of his universe domains and requiring all their creatures to pledge themselves in loyalty to the Spirit as they had to the Son; and there issued and went forth the final "Proclamation of Equality." Though he was the sovereign of this local universe, the Son published to the worlds the fact of the Spirit's equality with him in all endowments of personality and attributes of divine character. And this becomes the transcendent pattern for the family organization and government of even the lowly creatures of the worlds of space. This is, in deed and in truth, the high ideal of the family and the human institution of voluntary marriage. ~ The Urantia Book, (33:3.5)
Contributions of the First Planetary Prince and the One Hundred
In the headquarters settlement on your world every human habitation was provided with abundance of land. Although the remote tribes continued in hunting and food foraging, the students and teachers in the Prince's schools were all agriculturists and horticulturists. The time was about equally divided between the following pursuits:
- Physical labor. Cultivation of the soil, associated with home building and embellishment.
- Social activities. Play performances and cultural social groupings.
- Education application. Individual instruction in connection with family-group teaching, supplemented by specialized class training.
- Vocational training. Schools of marriage and homemaking, the schools of art and craft training, and the classes for the training of teachers—secular, cultural, and religious.
- Spiritual culture. The teacher brotherhood, the enlightenment of childhood and youth groups, and the training of adopted native children as missionaries to their people. ~ The Urantia Book, (50:4.3)
These leaders contributed much to bringing about intertribal marriages. They fostered courtship and marriage after due deliberation and full opportunity to become acquainted. The purely military war dances were refined and made to serve valuable social ends. Many competitive games were introduced, but these ancient folk were a serious people; little humor graced these early tribes. Few of these practices survived the subsequent disintegration of planetary insurrection. ~ The Urantia Book, (66:5.29)
The Prince's staff lived together as fathers and mothers. True, they had no children of their own, but the fifty pattern homes of Dalamatia never sheltered less than five hundred adopted little ones assembled from the superior families of the Andonic and Sangik races; many of these children were orphans. They were favored with the discipline and training of these superparents; and then, after three years in the schools of the Prince (they entered from thirteen to fifteen), they were eligible for marriage and ready to receive their commissions as emissaries of the Prince to the needy tribes of their respective races. ~ The Urantia Book, (66:7.5)
The Function of Marriage
The function of marriage in evolution is the insurance of race survival, not merely the realization of personal happiness; self-maintenance and self-perpetuation are the real objects of the home. Self-gratification is incidental and not essential except as an incentive insuring sex association. Nature demands survival, but the arts of civilization continue to increase the pleasures of marriage and the satisfactions of family life. ~ The Urantia Book, (68:2.9)
The institutions of self-perpetuation. These are the establishments of society growing out of sex hunger, maternal instinct, and the higher tender emotions of the races. They embrace the social safeguards of the home and the school, of family life, education, ethics, and religion. They include marriage customs, war for defense, and home building. ~ The Urantia Book, (69:1.4)
Marriage in Primitive Man
In earliest times women were the property of the community, and the mother dominated the family. The early chiefs owned all the land and were proprietors of all the women; marriage required the consent of the tribal ruler. With the passing of communism, women were held individually, and the father gradually assumed domestic control. Thus the home had its beginning, and the prevailing polygamous customs were gradually displaced by monogamy. (Polygamy is the survival of the female-slavery element in marriage. Monogamy is the slave-free ideal of the matchless association of one man and one woman in the exquisite enterprise of home building, offspring rearing, mutual culture, and self-improvement.) ~ The Urantia Book, (69:9.7)
Many later tribes sanctioned the formation of women's secret clubs, the purpose of which was to prepare adolescent girls for wifehood and motherhood. After initiation girls were eligible for marriage and were permitted to attend the "bride show," the coming-out party of those days. Women's orders pledged against marriage early came into existence. ~ The Urantia Book, (70:7.13)
From "Government on a Neighboring Planet"
Marriage and divorce laws are uniform throughout the nation. Marriage before twenty—the age of civil enfranchisement—is not permitted. Permission to marry is only granted after one year's notice of intention, and after both bride and groom present certificates showing that they have been duly instructed in the parental schools regarding the responsibilities of married life. ~ The Urantia Book, (72:3.8)
In The Garden of Eden
The average age of betrothal was eighteen, and these youths then entered upon a two years' course of instruction in preparation for the assumption of marital responsibilities. At twenty they were eligible for marriage; and after marriage they began their lifework or entered upon special preparation therefor.
The practice of some subsequent nations of permitting the royal families, supposedly descended from the gods, to marry brother to sister, dates from the traditions of the Adamic offspring—mating, as they must needs, with one another. The marriage ceremonies of the first and second generations of the Garden were always performed by Adam and Eve. ~ The Urantia Book, (74:6.8)
Marriage and Religious Evolution
The cults of tree worship are among the oldest religious groups. All early marriages were held under the trees, and when women desired children, they would sometimes be found out in the forest affectionately embracing a sturdy oak. Many plants and trees were venerated because of their real or fancied medicinal powers. The savage believed that all chemical effects were due to the direct activity of supernatural forces. ~ The Urantia Book, (85:2.3)
It was only natural that the cult of renunciation and humiliation should have paid attention to sexual gratification. The continence cult originated as a ritual among soldiers prior to engaging in battle; in later days it became the practice of "saints." This cult tolerated marriage only as an evil lesser than fornication. Many of the world's great religions have been adversely influenced by this ancient cult, but none more markedly than Christianity. The Apostle Paul was a devotee of this cult, and his personal views are reflected in the teachings which he fastened onto Christian theology: "It is good for a man not to touch a woman." "I would that all men were even as I myself." "I say, therefore, to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them to abide even as I." Paul well knew that such teachings were not a part of Jesus' gospel, and his acknowledgment of this is illustrated by his statement, "I speak this by permission and not by commandment." But this cult led Paul to look down upon women. And the pity of it all is that his personal opinions have long influenced the teachings of a great world religion. If the advice of the tentmaker-teacher were to be literally and universally obeyed, then would the human race come to a sudden and inglorious end. Furthermore, the involvement of a religion with the ancient continence cult leads directly to a war against marriage and the home, society's veritable foundation and the basic institution of human progress. And it is not to be wondered at that all such beliefs fostered the formation of celibate priesthoods in the many religions of various peoples.
Someday man should learn how to enjoy liberty without license, nourishment without gluttony, and pleasure without debauchery. Self-control is a better human policy of behavior regulation than is extreme self-denial. Nor did Jesus ever teach these unreasonable views to his followers. ~ The Urantia Book, (89:3.6)
The social status, economic conditions, educational opportunities, moral trends, institutional influences, political developments, racial tendencies, and the religious teachings of one's time and place all become factors in the formulation of a personal philosophy of religion. Even the inherent temperament and intellectual bent markedly determine the pattern of religious philosophy. Vocation, marriage, and kindred all influence the evolution of one's personal standards of life. ~ The Urantia Book, (101:7.1)
Jesus' Incarnation Counsel Regarding Marriage
While you will live the normal and average social life of the planet, being a normal individual of the male sex, you will probably not enter the marriage relation, which relation would be wholly honorable and consistent with your bestowal; but I must remind you that one of the incarnation mandates of Sonarington forbids the leaving of human offspring behind on any planet by a bestowal Son of Paradise origin. ~ The Urantia Book, (120:3.8)
Jesus And Rebecca
Then began that eventful talk with Rebecca. Thus far in his life, Jesus had made little distinction in his association with boys and girls, with young men and young women. His mind had been altogether too much occupied with the pressing problems of practical earthly affairs and the intriguing contemplation of his eventual career "about his Father's business" ever to have given serious consideration to the consummation of personal love in human marriage. But now he was face to face with another of those problems which every average human being must confront and decide. Indeed was he "tested in all points like as you are."
After listening attentively, he sincerely thanked Rebecca for her expressed admiration, adding, "it shall cheer and comfort me all the days of my life." He explained that he was not free to enter into relations with any woman other than those of simple brotherly regard and pure friendship. He made it clear that his first and paramount duty was the rearing of his father's family, that he could not consider marriage until that was accomplished; and then he added: "If I am a son of destiny, I must not assume obligations of lifelong duration until such a time as my destiny shall be made manifest." ~ The Urantia Book, (127:5.4)
Jesus' Mother Talks with him About Marriage
It was during this year that Mary had a long talk with Jesus about marriage. She frankly asked him if he would get married if he were free from his family responsibilities. Jesus explained to her that, since immediate duty forbade his marriage, he had given the subject little thought. He expressed himself as doubting that he would ever enter the marriage state; he said that all such things must await "my hour," the time when "my Father's work must begin." Having settled already in his mind that he was not to become the father of children in the flesh, he gave very little thought to the subject of human marriage. ~ The Urantia Book, (127:6.8)
Marriage and the Essenes
The Essenes were a true religious sect, originating during the Maccabean revolt, whose requirements were in some respects more exacting than those of the Pharisees. They had adopted many Persian beliefs and practices, lived as a brotherhood in monasteries, refrained from marriage, and had all things in common. They specialized in teachings about angels. ~ The Urantia Book, (137:7.8)
Rodan Speaks About Marriage
Many noble human impulses die because there is no one to hear their expression. Truly, it is not good for man to be alone. Some degree of recognition and a certain amount of appreciation are essential to the development of human character. Without the genuine love of a home, no child can achieve the full development of normal character. Character is something more than mere mind and morals. Of all social relations calculated to develop character, the most effective and ideal is the affectionate and understanding friendship of man and woman in the mutual embrace of intelligent wedlock. Marriage, with its manifold relations, is best designed to draw forth those precious impulses and those higher motives which are indispensable to the development of a strong character. I do not hesitate thus to glorify family life, for your Master has wisely chosen the father-child relationship as the very cornerstone of this new gospel of the kingdom. And such a matchless community of relationship, man and woman in the fond embrace of the highest ideals of time, is so valuable and satisfying an experience that it is worth any price, any sacrifice, requisite for its possession. ~ The Urantia Book, (160:2.6)
I repeat, such inspiring and ennobling association finds its ideal possibilities in the human marriage relation. True, much is attained out of marriage, and many, many marriages utterly fail to produce these moral and spiritual fruits. Too many times marriage is entered by those who seek other values which are lower than these superior accompaniments of human maturity. Ideal marriage must be founded on something more stable than the fluctuations of sentiment and the fickleness of mere sex attraction; it must be based on genuine and mutual personal devotion. And thus, if you can build up such trustworthy and effective small units of human association, when these are assembled in the aggregate, the world will behold a great and glorified social structure, the civilization of mortal maturity. Such a race might begin to realize something of your Master's ideal of "peace on earth and good will among men." While such a society would not be perfect or entirely free from evil, it would at least approach the stabilization of maturity. ~ The Urantia Book, (160:2.10)
Jesus Teaches about Marriage
Though Jesus refused to be drawn into a controversy with the Pharisees concerning divorce, he did proclaim a positive teaching of the highest ideals regarding marriage. He exalted marriage as the most ideal and highest of all human relationships. Likewise, he intimated strong disapproval of the lax and unfair divorce practices of the Jerusalem Jews, who at that time permitted a man to divorce his wife for the most trifling of reasons, such as being a poor cook, a faulty housekeeper, or for no better reason than that he had become enamored of a better-looking woman.
The Pharisees had even gone so far as to teach that divorce of this easy variety was a special dispensation granted the Jewish people, particularly the Pharisees. And so, while Jesus refused to make pronouncements dealing with marriage and divorce, he did most bitterly denounce these shameful floutings of the marriage relationship and pointed out their injustice to women and children. He never sanctioned any divorce practice which gave man any advantage over woman; the Master countenanced only those teachings which accorded women equality with men.
Although Jesus did not offer new mandates governing marriage and divorce, he did urge the Jews to live up to their own laws and higher teachings. He constantly appealed to the written Scriptures in his effort to improve their practices along these social lines. While thus upholding the high and ideal concepts of marriage, Jesus skillfully avoided clashing with his questioners about the social practices represented by either their written laws or their much-cherished divorce privileges. ~ The Urantia Book, (167:5.3)
After Jesus had talked about marriage and divorce, later on that evening his apostles privately asked many additional questions, and his answers to these inquiries relieved their minds of many misconceptions. At the conclusion of this conference Jesus said: "Marriage is honorable and is to be desired by all men. The fact that the Son of Man pursues his earth mission alone is in no way a reflection on the desirability of marriage. That I should so work is the Father's will, but this same Father has directed the creation of male and female, and it is the divine will that men and women should find their highest service and consequent joy in the establishment of homes for the reception and training of children, in the creation of whom these parents become copartners with the Makers of heaven and earth. And for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall become as one."
And in this way Jesus relieved the minds of the apostles of many worries about marriage and cleared up many misunderstandings regarding divorce; at the same time he did much to exalt their ideals of social union and to augment their respect for women and children and for the home. ~ The Urantia Book, (167:5.7)
"Love, John, is the supreme reality of the universe when bestowed by all-wise beings, but it is a dangerous and oftentimes semiselfish trait as it is manifested in the experience of mortal parents. When you get married and have children of your own to rear, make sure that your love is admonished by wisdom and guided by intelligence." ~ Jesus, The Urantia Book, 177:2.3