(Clearwisdom.net) I recently met a Falun Dafa practitioner who had lived with his former spouse for many years after their divorce, without renewing their marriage certificate. He thought this was a normal husband and wife relationship. I told him that this is not up to the standard a practitioner needs to follow. He had not realized this point. I told him he should register for a marriage certificate. If his spouse is not willing to do so they should separate, because it is essentially illegal cohabitation. He took my advice.

I mentioned this to another practitioner. He said he too did not register for a marriage certificate. He and his partner have been living as married for many years. Their child has already grown up. He said, "We have been getting along pretty well. Do we still need to register for a marriage certificate?" I told him that yes, they must be registered. Master has lectured on the Fa in this respect. The practitioner said he had not seen this teaching. So I found this section of Fa lecture from Master's Teaching the Fa at the Eastern U.S. Fa Conference (1999):

Question: Quite a few disciples residing in North America cohabit with their partners without being married. Some have even had children. Should they obtain a marriage certificate retroactively?

Teacher: Yes. I've told you to maximally conform to the way of ordinary human society in your cultivation. Let's talk about it another way. In China, when people got married in the past, they needed the approval of both Heaven and Earth, and that was why there was "bowing to Heaven and Earth." They needed approval of their parents, so they had to bow before their parents. In Western societies, people needed it to be acknowledged by their Lord or God, and that's why they would go to church and pledge to the Lord, and the Lord or God would be their witness and testify to their union. In today's Western societies these things have been broken and [many] people don't go through any formalities anymore. Two people just get together without any restrictions; when they're happy together, they stay together, and when they are not, they just find another partner. This is unacceptable. As students of Dafa, you should at least know these basic principles. Promiscuity in the West has created a tremendous amount of karma. It appears to me that people from the East are even worse. You should pay attention to these things. We say that human beings have degenerated, and yet when a cultivator conducts himself even worse than an ordinary person, isn't that a problem? Of course, you may think, "Even though we didn't do the paperwork, in our minds and conduct it's just like we are married. And now that we've had children together, separating isn't very doable for us at this point." But you didn't go through the proper procedures. If you feel you can be responsible to each other, I would say that's pretty good, but why don't you go through the procedures? At the very least, allow ordinary human society to consider you a legally wed husband and wife. Isn't that how it should be? In other words, you shouldn't be too casual when it comes to these things. I won't spend more time on this subject. Regardless of what you've done in the past, let bygones be bygones. Move forward and do it right.

When he read Master's Fa lecture, he truly understood.

I wondered if there were other practitioners like this. This is a very serious matter. Practitioners cultivated well in other respects but did not do well on this point, without knowing it. That is why I submit my article today, having reviewed Master's lecture of the Fa on this issue. Let's help practitioners living together without a marriage registration or renewal certificate after divorce to take the right step in this regard during our cultivation, according to Master's teachings. Because cultivation is serious, fellow practitioners: please treat this matter seriously and do well!

July 17, 2006