No, he didn’t claim Jesus was married! Whew! He actually spoke on memorable events in life, and briefly mentioned John 2:11 with Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding in Cana c. 28 AD.
His reference to the date got me to wondering about Mormonism’s claim of Jesus being the bridegroom at Cana.
Journal of Discourses 2:82-83 “It will be borne in mind that once on a time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha, and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper to say the best of it.” – Orson Hyde, Salt Lake City, October 6, 1854
Based on historical facts, and what the Bible tells us, Jesus being the bridegroom couldn’t be true.
Let’s begin with what it says in John chapter two.
The opening scenes in this chapter tells us that Jesus and His disciples were called to attend the wedding on the third day. We’ll see more about the significance of why that particular day is important, but for now we’re calling attention to the wording of this passage.
John 2:1-2 “And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.”
If He was the bridegroom there’d be no need to call him to attend because He’d already be in attendance.
John 2:11-13 tells us Jesus, His mother, His brothers, and disciples left there and went down to Capernaum.
“This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. 12 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. 13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem”.
Now if Jesus left Cana with this entourage, where’s the wife? Why doesn’t scripture say anything about her? Is it reasonable to believe a newly married man would leave his bride, and walk 20 miles from Cana to visit Capernaum before setting off to Jerusalem for the Passover?
See William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible for great insight on other events in this passage.
Now for history…
Wedding ceremonies in biblical times were far different than they are today, and that goes for the early days of Mormonism as well. The ceremonies played out over the course of several days (usually 7-10), and sometimes even weeks depending on the families involved.
Signing the Contract Ceremony
Both families gathered to witness the signing of the marriage certificate. This always entailed a small group of close relatives; father of the bride, the bridegroom, a few close relatives of both families, and of course the bride.
This typically took place on Wednesdays (3rd day of the week) so that if there were problems with the marriage bed the next day, it still gave the bridegroom enough time during the rest of the week to go to court, and file grievances.
Marriages at this time were family contracts, and looked upon as business dealings. In essence, the bride was purchased for a price that was negotiated and agreed upon between her father, and the soon-to-be bridegroom.
The next stage of the wedding involved a larger group, but not the whole guest list. The couple would consummate their marriage at the bride’s home while the wedding party waited in the next room. After they were finished, the groom took the ‘chuppah’ (the bed sheet under the bride), and displayed it as proof his wife was a virgin.
The next step was the celebration which took place the following day.
The wedding feast took place at the home of the groom’s father on the 3rdday of the ceremony. This part of the ceremony could last anywhere from two days to a week or more, depending on the number of guests, and social standing of the families.
For detailed info on the proceedings listed above, see Marriage in the Bible and Ancient Marriage and Jewish Wedding Customs. This site provides extensive info detailing God’s purpose of marriage, and what wedding ceremonies were like for the Jewish people.
From the historical and biblical standpoints, it’d be a huge stretch to believe Jesus was the bridegroom at Cana. LDS leaders like Orson Hyde, Brigham Young, and others, threw ideas at the wall to see what would stick.
Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest lies Mormons believed then, and now. There’s no historical, or biblical proof that Jesus was married, nor is there anything stating He was a polygamist as the Church has also taught. See ‘Jesus and Mary Magdalene Married?’ for more info on that subject.
We pray you’ll share this truth with a Mormon, and using demonstrative evidence, explain who Jesus is!
With Love in Christ;