This is a question that faces all widowed members of the Church, whether male or female, but given the limits placed upon widows who marry again it can be a daunting question.
This is my opinion on this:
First of all, the decision to marry is between the individual and the Lord, whether it be for the first time, second, etc. The Church's official stance on this for widowed members who are sealed to their deceased spouse is that the widowed member doesn't need to worry about it if they don't want to. The basis of this comes from The Book of Doctrine and Covenants Section 132.
"4. For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory."
What are ways that members of the Church can reject a covenant marriage? One way would be to not enter it, another way is to not honor the covenant marriage between the husband and wife. However how would other members of the Church reject a covenant marriage? Could it be by not honoring the memory of that covenant marriage when the spouse has died? Should members of the Church treat the widowed member as if the covenant marriage no longer exists? I don't want to be harsh about this, but those who have recently lost their spouses need a confirmation of the eternal promise of their marriages, not to be told that their marriage no longer counts in the eyes of the Church.
More from D&C 132:
"19. And again, verily I say unto you, if a man amarry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and beverlasting covenant, and it is csealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of dpromise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the ekeys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit fthrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s gBook of Life, that he shall commit no hmurder whereby to shed innocent iblood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their jexaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the kseeds forever and ever."
I can testify that I know the Lord honors these covenant marriages. Members of the Church need to honor them as well. It should be at the widowed member's discretion if and when they will participate in the singles program of the Church.
Another way to look at this comes from the April 2009 General Conference, from the address titled Temple Worship: The Source of Strength and Power in Times of Need By Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
"Fourteen years ago the Lord decided it was not necessary for my wife to live any longer on the earth, and He took her to the other side of the veil. I confess that there are times when it is difficult not to be able to turn and talk to her, but I do not complain. The Lord has allowed me, at important moments in my life, to feel her influence through the veil.
What I am trying to teach is that when we keep the temple covenants we have made and when we live righteously in order to maintain the blessings promised by those ordinances, then come what may, we have no reason to worry or to feel despondent.
I know that I will have the privilege of being with that beautiful wife, whom I love with all my heart, and with those children who are with her on the other side of the veil because of the ordinances that are performed in the temple. What a blessing to have once again on the earth the sealing authority, not only for this mortal life but for the eternities. I am grateful that the Lord has restored His gospel in its fulness, including the ordinances that are required for us to be happy in the world and to live everlastingly happy lives in the hereafter."
The singles program, while a nice way to meet new people, is not designed to meet the needs of widowed members, but was rather designed to assist in introducing people in hopes of single members of the Church getting married.
Now, here is where reality hits. Given the limits on widows who want to marry again, are they doomed to never marry if widowers only prefer eternal marriages (meaning the widows are out of luck unless they cancel their sealings)?
What are your thoughts?
My thoughts are, again, it's between the widower and the Lord whether he marries again, and marries for time only or for eternity. I will also say, however, that if a man feels the only woman worth marrying is one he can marry for eternity, he is selling himself short, as well as selling short any potential bride the Lord may have in mind.
As for me, yes, I would like to marry again, for time only. Decker and I have an eternal future together, but right now it's been put on hold for his Heavenly mission. I know he wants me to be happy, and spending earthly time with someone else is a part of that equation. When Decker passed away I was a month shy of 34 years old. I'm 42, almost 43, years old now, so I'm a little more hopeful of meeting someone to spend the rest of mortality with. In the meantime, I am trying to make some new friends regardless of whether something more comes out of it or not.
Have I felt that feeling of "doom", though? Yes, I have. I would be lying to say I haven't, and yes, tears have been shed over that feeling. The widows are at a disadvantage as far as marrying again, but, it seems to me, to have been a protecting agent against unscrupulous suitors.
One of my good friends and former visiting teachers is a widow buddy of mine, and she was widowed younger than I. After her husband died, with one small daughter and another on the way, she was told by her Bishop that she needed to marry again. Being the good girl that she is, she followed his advice and married again. Less than 6 months into this marriage, he was complaining that she was still focused on her late husband (well, she was still grieving when she married again), drained her savings account of the life insurance money and took off and left her. She had two small daughters and $0.38 to her name when she went crying to that Bishop.
She now swears she will never marry again after that, and I can't blame her for her feelings.