A common enough phrase, whether raised in the LDS world or not, wouldn't you say? I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Especially in regards to the Mormon response of Time and all Eternity. I went to the Rexburg Temple Open House today and got to hear some prophets and apostles talking about how heaven wouldn't be heaven without their wives and children, and how they were so grateful for the idea of time and all eternity (and of course they got that dreamy, happy look in their eyes that we always see on missionary videos). Now, I don't know how I feel about an after life (a post unto itself), but supposing we do live on after death, what would our relationships be like afterwards? According to non-LDS Christianity, we would go to heaven and not have our familial relationships. We might recognize people that we'd spent time with on earth, but we wouldn't necessarily look at them as spouses, mothers, etc. but rather as fellow praisers of God Almighty. According to LDS theology, not only will we recognize others in the same relationships as we have now, but we will also stay in those relationships if we've been through the temple to have them sealed up.
This got me to thinking about the way we practice time and eternity. Historically (from a Christian view point) a man married a woman and they (at least in theory) stayed faithful to each other until one of them died, then the other one was free to find a different spouse if the need or desire arose. In early LDS practice, a man could marry more than one wife regardless of whether or not wives could marry other husbands. However, if the husband died, then the various wives, if so inclined, could try and find another husband. Now, a woman marries a man and they stay faithful to each other until the other one dies and then the left over spouse is free to marry again. Is it me, or has "til death do us part" been in force throughout?
I know that some will say, yes, but because of the temple, they can be married after they die. What I'm saying is that "til death do us part" has been severely misinterpreted. "Til death do us part" simply refers to the life long commitment that couples have made to remain faithful to each other. It means that they are not to go forming other marriage-like relationships while their current spouse is living. However, once that current spouse is dead, all bets are off and they can find someone else. It works this way with or without a temple sealing. You don't see a widower/widow who was sealed to his/her deceased spouse staying single for the rest of her/his life (well, not regularly at least) do you? No, because death has parted the two of them and so the living one is free to find another partner.
So what I'm saying is that if there's an afterlife, then we will indeed either have our relationships as they are now or not, but I don't think the sealing power will really be relevant. Those who marry again waited for death to part them from their first spouse (at least ideally) before moving on. I don't think we need to worry about not having our spouses there with us. They'll be there waiting for us either way.