Sell me on this LDS concept

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Okay I’ve been told families can be forever. Repeatedly.

Now, I’m not sure if I’m the first and only man to disagree with his in-laws, but my idea of a perfect afterlife certainly does not include spending a considerable amount of time with my mother-in-law.

This sentiment also applies to my own parents.

I love them, and I can handle my parents in small doses – but an eternity of being with them sounds only less pleasant than repeatedly stabbing myself in the eye with a letter opener.

Now I’m not sure I can speak for my kids, my lord – I can barely speak to my kids, but I’m sure that they don’t want me cramping their eternal styles any more than I want my parents around.

So all this leads to the crux of this posting.

Why, precisely, are forever-families a good thing?

45 thoughts on “Sell me on this LDS concept

  1. Well, in actuality, you won’t be spending forever with your WHOLE family. Basically with your spouse. You will be able to see your children and other family members. I think though, that by then all of our imperfections and problems we have with any family will be eradicated becuae we will develop Christlike love. :)

    Personally I would love to increase my relationship with most of my family on both sides and I can’t imagine not being with Kim forever.

  2. I’m sort of with Mary on this one, Rick.

    We are continually told that we’ll be with our families forever, but doesn’t that ultimately mean we’ll all be together (I mean, of those who make it).

    For example, in the “Families are Forever” scenario, I would be together forever with my wife and children. The same could be said for my parents: they will be with each other and their children. This means, of course, that not only will I be with my wife and my children, but also my parents, my siblings, my brothers/sisters-in-law, and my nephews and nieces. The same could be said of my parents’ parents: they will be with each other and heir children. This means of course that not only will I be with my wife, children, parents, siblings, siblings-in-law, nephews and nieces, I will also be with my grandparents, my uncles, my aunts, my cousins, my children’s second cousins, and so forth.

    This pattern, presumably, could be followed right back to Adam and then back down every branch of Adam’s family tree.

    So, I am not sure the phrase “Families can Be Together forever” really has much meaning.

    Personally, I think spouses will be together. I am doubtful of the existence of any other family relationship existing in the afterlife.

  3. So is this a case of deliberate mis-labeling?

    I mean, when I think of my ‘family’ I certainly don’t restrict the meaning of the word to ‘only my wife’.

    This seems to me, as a never-mormon, a bit misleading.

  4. The prize of being united forever with families belongs to those who have, through the grace of Christ, developed true Charity. Those who possess this charity won’t be bothered by their petty resentments of in-laws, because they won’t have them.

    I don’t understand on what basis other posters are speculating that they will be “with” only a portion of their family and not with others. Where does this idea come from? The contrary seems more consistent with doctrine–the sealing power was given so that all the generations could be joined together in a continuous chain, back through our Father Adam, and on through to our Father in Heaven through Christ. Without this chain we cannot be brought back into the family of God. So what makes it seem that we will be compartmented into small, discrete family units that don’t interact with one another?

  5. It’s also good to know that those who really don’t want to choose a life of being forever united with their families will certainly get their wish. Reject such a life, and you won’t have it.

  6. “I don’t understand on what basis other posters are speculating that they will be “with” only a portion of their family and not with others.”

    As I stated above, ltbugaf, anything else isn’t really “being together with our family” any more than it is being together wit everyone in the celestial kingdom.

    “This seems to me, as a never-mormon, a bit misleading.”

    It’s not just the never-Mormons who find it misleading, Rick.

  7. “…by their petty resentments of in-laws…” -emphasis mine

    This makes it sound like it’s my problem… I’m pretty sure that given a perfection of self, they’ll come around to my way of thinking…

    “Reject such a life, and you won’t have it.”

    This is not really sounding like such a bad option, given the fact that I don’t really think I’d like it, if it matches the descriptions I’ve heard thus far.

  8. I don’t think that “being together with everyone else in the Celestial Kingdom” and being “together with our families” are mutually exclusive. On earth, right now, I have a familial relationship with my uncles, aunts, second cousins, and so forth. I also have a familial relationship with my wife, and my children. Obviously some of these are what we would think of as “closer” relationships than others. I don’t believe that sealed relationships in the Celestial Kingdom eradicate those differences. Being eternally bound to my mother as her son is obviously different from being eternally bound to my wife as her husband, which is in turn different from being eternally bound to my sister as her brother. If I get to be my mother’s son forever, and I get to be my wife’s husband forever, and I get to be my sister’s brother forever, I don’t see how these relationships dilute each other, or what leads to the belief that relationships such as those between siblings, cousins, aunts, and so forth should not exist in a large, extended, and sealed family.

    (I’m also concerned about the tone I have been taking in some comments I have made on other “thoughts.” I pledge to be more constructive and less concerned with arguing for argument’s sake. With that in mind, I hope you’ll understand that my remarks here are not meant to be cutting.)

  9. ltbugaf, the idea that a family relationship exists in the hereafter is not the point we are arguing against. Or at least not what I am arguing against. What I am arguing against is the idea that, as the song title goes, families can be together forever.

  10. Well, I, for one, have only the vaguest idea of the actual physical arrangements of life in the Celestial Kingdom. I don’t know whether being “together” will have the same meaning as it has here. If by “together” you mean living on the same block and seeing each other all the time, I would have to guess that these concepts won’t have much meaning. Distance doesn’t matter much to God. Neither does time. Since He knows and sees all, it’s hard to imagine why having one of His relatives nearer or farther would matter, or even how He could “see” or “not see” a particular person at a given moment, since as far as I understand, He sees everything all the time. Since Eternal Life is the same as His life, I presume that those who inherit Eternal Life and are sealed forever to their families will also see and know all, as He does. And therefore I don’t know how they would not be “together” with relatives other than spouses.

  11. It’s a good explanation, and one with which I do not argue, but I’m not so sure that’s the meaning the rest of the Church membership uses when they sing the song.

  12. Yes Kim, that’s my point also.

    It’s a pretty strange concept anyway.

    That I’m going to be separated from my family by default in the hereafter.

    That just sounds mean. :P

  13. groannnnnnnnnnnn gee just what I am looking forward to… a forever family dinner with ALL our sons at the same table with ALL the loud arguing about who is right and with a spouse who will argue logistics of being the oldest therefore the most wise and the most able to be the most right in all aspects of our family….. hmmmm wonder if they have places to go for lunch with our daughter and daughter in law?????

  14. I also wonder if they have Everquest there and if all imperfections are erased in the Celestial life, does that mean we can actually have a decent coversation that touches on aspects other then computer games??? Hmmm I may have to rethink this and have something I may be able to look forward to!!

  15. Ok, what I think is that we won’t all LIVE together. But it’s like all living in the same community, or at least being able to see each other whenever we want etc. Knowing each other. But as far as actual living together, I think that will be wiht our spouses.

  16. It’s also useful to realize that we believe in a pre-existence. The way we knew each other then is different than how we know each other now. And after we die, it’ll be different, again, because we’ll have both the knowledge of each other in the pre-existence as well as during our lives.

    I think the emphasis put on families being together forever stems from other religions not believing that marriage is eternal. We do.

    I have plenty of family members I wouldn’t want to spend eternity with, believe me. But as harsh as this sounds, I doubt I will be.

  17. “It’s also useful to realize that we believe in a pre-existence.”

    Do we? Don’t we believe that we have always existed in one form or another? If so, can there be a pre-existence?

  18. It’s fine and dandy to say we knew each other in the pre-existence and we’ll be perfect so we’ll all get along – but if I retain any individuality in the hereafter, there’s no way I will want to be cooped up with my wife for time and all eternity, nor I suspect she with me.

    I really like being by myself sometimes.

    I’d also like to take the opportunity, once I’m dead, to go chumming around with some other interesting dead people. My wife will not want to meet many of these people because our interests are so divergent and she thinks I’m crazy.

    Am I the only one who wants to spend some time in the afterlife talking to people other than my wife?

  19. I think we will be. I think as far as living together it will be with our spouses. But we have the freedom to move and interact and we will get to do that. I am pretty sure of that, anyway.

  20. So if we’ve got the freedom to move and interact, then what’s the upside to eternal marriage?

    If I can associate with my spouse without a temple marriage anyway, I mean?

  21. I’ve always wondered why Mormons tend to pooh-pooh other religions’ afterlife beliefs as unfathomably cruel: families separated forever. yet the LDS version is even worse. Not all spouses want to be married forever, or married to the same partner forever. Singles and gays are marginalized. There’s intense pressure to find an “eternal companion” and then pray, pay and obey to the bitter end in order to remain married to that person for the rest of eternity.

    I’d rather sit on clouds and play a harp.

  22. “Not all spouses want to be married forever, or married to the same partner forever.”

    And how does the lDS concept of the afterlife not allow for this?

  23. Well, what if someone qualifies for all the blessings of exaltation but simply doesn’t want to be with his/her spouse forever? Or what if that person married spouse A who died twenty years before he met spouse B. He was sealed to both of them in the temple, but neither A nor he wants to be in a polygamous relationship for eternity. Or what of people who simply don’t want to be married at all, but miss the bestest, most glorious heaven simply because they don’t want or can’t attract a spouse?

  24. Or if one partner wants to be married (say Mrs. Anon) and Mr. Anon just doesn’t. Yet they both qualify for exaltation in all respects. They won’t be exalted? What if Mrs. Anon catches the eye of Brother Ministering Angel number million and five? She’s been sealed forever and ever to Brother Anon and can never change that, so she gets cast down to a lower kingdom?

  25. Back to Rick’s question: A celestial being will simply have free ACCESS to all family members (when and IF one desires). A celestial being would also have access to all friends or any predecessors of interest we never could meet in this life, (family or otherwise) regardless of the kingdom dwellings.

    A non-celestial being, however, will not have this type of access and will have limitations within their kingdom (ie they can see any loved ones who come to visit them, but they can never leave their own kingdom).

    So, you may ask, if one is a celestial being with access to all relationships, what is the point of sealings and “families forever”. First, all people that do qualify for exaltation will dwell together in the Celestial kingdom as basically one eternal dynamic family, (although I’m sure not in the same “house”, just in the same kingdom). The sibling, mother, father, daughter, son, grandparent etc. relationships remain as they are here, but keep in mind the dynamics may be a little different since everyone will be the same age. And as stated before by others, qualifying individuals will all have perfected themselves at some point and so these relationships would all likely be enjoyable and rewarding.

    OF course we wouldn’t have to be with everyone all the time, and could choose with whom our time is spent. Spouses would still dwell together as spouses, but have the freedom to pursue other friendships as well, just like in this life. But in order for spouses to dwell together as spouses, and have spirit children, they must be sealed and both qualify for exaltation. That’s the difference between an eternal spousal relationship and all others.

    As for the comments made by anonymous. Nobody is forced to stay sealed to a companion they don’t want to be with. Sealing is to enable an eternal spousal relationship that is desireable for BOTH parties.

    Also, one does NOT have to be married to dwell in the celestial kingdom, it just depends on the person’s reasons for not being married (and it is true that to produce spirit children would require an eternal spouse). If any person is unhappy with their sealing arrangement the sealing is VOID. (ie an unhappy spouse that never gets a divorce in this life, or in the case where a spouse does not want to be in a polygamous arrangement etc.).

    Sealings are only in force when all parties are not only worthy but are also HAPPY with the arrangement. It is assumed that if all parties are worthy and have acheived exaltation, they will be therefore capable of remaining happy together and loving each other forever.

    As for being cast into a lower kingdom for not wanting to be married to so-and-so, well as I said before, one does not have to be married to dwell in the celestial kingdom, a fate far more beautiful and glorious than “sitting on a cloud playing a harp” In fact, according to Mormon Doctrine even murderers and rapists will be better off than a harp playing cloud-dweller.

    So what is so cruel about Mormon doctrine if even the telestial and terrestial kingdoms are places far more beautiful and glorious than this earth?

  26. To address Rick’s point of being able to interact with his wife eternally anyway….so what is the upside of “eternal marriage”?

    1. Well, what is the upside of getting married in this life? Why not just be common law? Because being “married” is an official, symbolic commitment.

    2. To enable the ability to have spirit children, be gods, and create and inhabit worlds.

    And to specifically address anonyous:

    “What if someone qualifies for exaltation but simply doesn’t want to be married to his/her spouse?”

    Well, at least WANTING to be married to a worthy spouse is one of the qualifications, because it is desired by God, and doing ALL that which is desired of God is required for exaltation. If you don’t like it, fine, you will still get the best of everything any other religion has to offer anyways (better than playing the harp in the clouds as I said).

    If Mrs. Anon’s sealing is legit (ie she loves her worthy husband) AND she is a perfected being, she will have no need or desire to mess around with ministering angels. If Mr. Anon is a perfected exalted person (which would require that he is an all around good guy) she will probably love him and want to be with him. But if he is a jerk, the sealing is void anyway (and he would not have been exalted in the first place), and Mrs. Anon would have the option of choosing another eternal husband in that case.

    Sounds pretty fair to me.

  27. Oh in the case where both the husband and wife are otherwise worthy for exaltation but one or the other doesn’t want to be married to the other, well this scenerio is not likely, if not impossible. More than likely if they are BOTH ACTUALLY WORTHY of exaltation(and therefore kind, loving, perfected people), they will naturally still love each other and WANT to be together.

    If they don’t want to stay together, then it’s more than likely that at least one of them has other issues (selfishness, unkindness)that prevents at least one of them from being worthy of exaltation anyways. This would likely be due to the same issues they were never able to resolve in this mortal lifetime, and just never got around to the divorce. In that case, the sealing is void anyhow.

  28. Nermalcat:

    You seem to speak as though you are certain of all the dynamics of the LDS concept of Heaven.

    In my mind, it’s not as clear for members of the church as you indicate. Many of the concepts you talk about as fact are mere speculation. Would you please cite some canonized references (or anyone else who thinks they know)?

    -“everyone will be the same age”
    (try the Journal of Discourses version of the King Follet discourse)
    -“one does NOT have to be married to dwell in the celestial kingdom” (See Doctrine & Covenants… you know the one it’s probably highlighted – I thought it was D&C 130:20 but maybe I’m mistaken)
    -“If any person is unhappy with their sealing arrangement the sealing is VOID.” (I’ve never heard the topic of divorce in Heaven discussed in church)

    Also please remember that Mormon Doctrine is not Mormon doctrine (for those that don’t know Mormon Doctrine is an unofficial book by scholar Bruce R. McConkie. It’s teachings do not necessarily reflect what the church teaches and though it’s been through revisions, I wouldn’t count on anything it says that is not backed up by teachings somewhere else.)

    “according to Mormon Doctrine even murderers and rapists will be better off than a harp playing cloud-dweller.” Given the choice, I’d take the harp any day – (no need to respond to this, I understand what you are trying to say – I just think you worded it in a funny way).

  29. Nermal:

    What if I’m perfectly fine with the two kids I have now, and have no desire for god-hood?

    Given this premise, now sell me on eternal marriage.

    There’s just no upside for someone who is not interested in populating their own world.

    Quite frankly, the idea of spending the rest of eternity breeding and being disappointed with what my spirit children are doing to one another, fills me with dread.

    What a terrible way to spend eternity.

  30. Holy wowzers! I don’t even know where to start here…Just let me say this, I think those who want to will, those who don’t won’t be there. Make that out as you will. This whole question doesn’t seem to baffle my brain as much as everyone else commenting.

  31. Jeff, yeah I know “Mormon Doctrine” is not Mormon doctrine, nor are the “Journal of discourses”.

    You are right that I need to back up my comments better with canononized references here.

    See D&C 132:16-17. (The index reference to this scripture states “celestial heirs not married in covenant are appointed ministering angels”)

    Also see D&C 130: 6-10

    So…my understanding is that one can be single and serve as a ministering angel and dwell in the Celestial kingdom with God, they just can’t become gods themselves.

    My comment about everyone being the same age was based on the doctrine regarding the condition and nature of our resurrected bodies (Alma 11:43-45) and I believe it’s reasonable to assume that all celestial beings will at some point reach an equal mental and emotional developmental level.

    I didn’t intend to give the impression that I thought divorce existed in heaven, (obviously a perfected post-exaltation couple would not suddenly stop loving each other or suddenly become unworthy). I was refering to the separations that can occur at the time of death.

    Since sealings are conditional they, like all covenants, are only in force when all parties keep up their end of the deal, part of which involves love and dedication to the spouse. If either person in a marriage is abusive, unfaithful or unloving, the sealing will not be in effect at the time of death.

    Either the sealed couple will be happy to be reunited and become exalted and perfected with no need or desire to stray, OR will find themselves suddenly single at the time of death, my point being that the Mr. and Mrs. Anon scenerio is impossible.

    Rick, I understand where you’re coming from here. I’ve had the same concerns myself. I would respond by saying that I think the “upside” here could be a superior capacity to love, a superior comprehension of what is good and therefore a superior ability to achieve happiness and joy, superior wisdom, knowledge, and therefore power. Also to have more freedoms and a more interesting existance (rather than hitting a ceiling and being stuck with eternal limitations).

    I guess my personal conclusion would be that it’s probably not always easy (emotionally) to be a God since evil exists and cannot be eradicated without the evil of denying free-agency….BUT perhaps it is still well worth it.

  32. “… and being stuck with eternal limitations”

    You want to talk about eternal limitations?

    Try having a whole world to look after. That’s pretty limiting.

    Hmmm? Wanna go hang out with the Black Sox? Nah. I gotta stay at home and watch the kids – err, I mean the world. Maybe next time.

  33. Hey Kris, what happens if one person wants to be around the another, but the other person doesn’t want to be around the former?

    Who’s wants win in heaven?

    You can’t have it both ways.

    Consider the classic step-mother scenario. Try telling the kids that enternity is reserved for the step-mom and not the biological.

    Oh yeah, that soundhaveke heaven.
    //sarcasm off

  34. nor are the “Journal of discourses”.

    But the King Follet discourse is doctrine. It was the venue for a huge change in the religion! It’s where Joseph Smith first taught that man may become a god. To say that it’s not doctrine is to say that only the white washed stuff from Salt Lake City counts – and even the King Follet discourse can be read on the church website.

    The controversy comes in because the version printed in Journal of Discourses has a couple of paragraphs that were omitted from the version printed in the newspaper at the time. Particularly Joseph’s statement that at whatever age you die, that’s how old you will be physically for eternity. The church now seems to ignore those statements that were cut out – I have to admit they were pretty wild concepts, and I wouldn’t be comfortable with them either.

  35. It’s clear to me that:

    The doctrine of sealings as presently taught in the missionary discussions and curriculum are geared to invest potential members and current members emotionally, and to bind them to the Church which offers those ordinances. It tugs on the heartstrings of those who love their families/spouses and want to be with them “forever” (whatever that means—it’s never explained). It’s a nice romantic idea that sounds too good to be true.

    When you really delve into what that means for people in the following situations, it ain’t all that appealing to:

    1. A single woman with children–who’s she sealed to in this life, and what becomes of her afterwards, especially if she doesn’t WANT to be married, but DOES want to be exalted.

    2. Righteous gay members who want to live with their families of origin but don’t want to “marry” a gay partner or a straight partner.

    3. People who are divorced and don’t (obviously) want to live with the person they’re still sealed to. The church doesn’t always grant cancellations of sealings to whomever asks, and it rarely allows cancellation of sealings for women who dont’ have another marriage partner lined up.

    4. People who are in so-so marriages who are righteous, but wouldn’t have married the partner of choice if they had been older, wiser, more mature, etc. Does anyone here *really* think that a 19 year old starry eyed BYU student who marries after 2 months because of peer pressure and homesickness is obligated to stay with that husband just because they’re “sealed”? Sure, she might learn to love him, but what kind of system is this that seals people together for ever and ever just because they got married?

    Is there Musical Chairs in heaven? Because it seems there’s gonna be an awful lot of shuffling going on.

    Sealings just dont’ make sense, and it’s disingenuous and manipulative of missionaries and the Church’s PR departments to paint forever families as an understandable, attainable, desirable goal.

  36. Anonymous:

    Answer to #1 and #2: If one never marries they could still achieve the celestial kingdom, assuming all other criteria is met, (including chastity) and therefore fully enjoy their eternal relationships with their other family and friends. They wouldn’t become a gods…but that is their choice. (See the previous D&C references as well as D&C 131:1-4 regarding degrees of glory WITHIN the celestial kingdom)

    #3 and #4: As I said before, a loveless sealing simply won’t be in force after death (and whether or not either party is eligible for exaltation would depend on WHY the marriage was loveless).

    As for the difficulty in getting a sealing cancelled, well, it is a serious thing, not to be taken lightly. But the fact remains (as I have previously explained) that we can be assured that it is impossible for any spouse to remain sealed against their will after death. As I said before, sealings are conditional.

    And to answer your question, no I don’t think any couple is obligated to stay married simply based on the fact that they have been sealed. They are only obligated to make all necessary and reasonable efforts on their part to make it a truly happy and fulfilling relationship. I think if a person can honestly say that both they, and God, KNOW that they have truly exhausted all efforts to improve the relationship(or there is ongoing infidelity or abuse in any form) then they can walk away guiltless and move on.

    Yes, there probably will be some shuffling going at the resurrection. There will be situations when one person is worthy but the other isn’t or someone has been unhappy in their marriage but never got the sealing cancelled. Some of those suddenly single folks may be eligible for exaltation and the option of finding another worthy spouse and some may not, depending on the reason their original marriage became void.

    As for the “families forever” theme, I don’t think it’s meaningless, it’s just that most people haven’t thought about it very deeply. It depends on how one defines the word “together”.

    It’s been established that factors like distance and proximity would be of no relevance to a celestial being’s ability to interact with others, so while all celestial beings may call the same planet (or dimension)their home, I would say that “togetherness” has more to do with dymanics and mutual access to, and desire for, each other’s company. Certainly this applies to all members of the human “family” that achieve this level of progression, but I think the focus gets put on our more immediate family members because we are more aquainted with these individuals in a unique way in this lifetime, therefore making the appeal of such a concept more comprehensible (and certainly any positive earthly familial relationships would remain special and unique in the eternities as well).

    On the other hand, as Rick has pointed out, we may not currently all get along with our families all the time, but I think that if ALL parties have developed a superior ability and capacity to acheive happy and fulfilling relationships with family and friends, the benefits of this scenario is clear. This type of “togetherness” is a desireable thing, is it not?

    Anyway, the “families are forever” theme may be utilized as an initial attention-getter, but the concept is ultimately not meant (or able)to convince or convert anybody. And obviously this concept may not even initially appeal to everyone. The only thing that can convert is the Holy Ghost communicating to an individual that this is indeed a good thing that can lead to greater happiness, so I’ll agree that there’s not much point in trying to sell the gospel based solely on the reasoning of this particular concept.

    Jeff, I reviewed the king Follet sermon and am indeed familiar with the doctrine that infants and children will be resurrected with bodies the same age as when they died, but I was always of the understanding that their bodies would then continue to grow into adulthood after the resurrection. To quote from the 1971 Ensign publication of the King Follet Sermon…

    “But as the child dies, so shall it rise from the dead…it will never grow [in the grave]; it will still be the child in the same precise form [when it rises] as it appeared before it died out of its mother’s arms…”

    I’m not sure how and when “in the grave” and “when it rises” were added, but this how it appeared in the Ensign and it does clarify things and allows for the growth of resurrected infants. Also the Ensign publication did make mention that “Readers should be reminded that the account of the talk was reconstructed from longhand notes taken by four brethren” (intro to part II) and “Evidently there are some imperfections in the report and some thoughts expressed by the prophet which were not fully rounded out and made complete” (quote in the intro for part I taken from the Documentary History of the Church Volume 6.) Anyhow, I have always understood that all resurrected bodies will eventually achieve and then forever remain in a prime adult form. I suppose I should hunt down the exact quotations on this though.

    Rick, you must take into account that a God would be all powerful and would not be constrained by space or linear time in the way that we comprehend it, (ie a god can be anywhere, anytime). In otherwords, a God has an infinite ability to “multi-task” without difficulty. Thus your scenario would not be an issue, and responsibility over worlds would not hinder a God from doing anything else he/she desires at any time.

  37. “… a God would be all powerful and would not be constrained by space or linear time … (ie a god can be anywhere, anytime).”

    So given this scenario, why don’t you send me a sign that gods are indeed all-powerful?
    I’m sure that you’ll be exalted, right?

    And since gods can time travel according to you, why don’t you make my life a bit more interesting?

    As a matter of fact, why didn’t you do this yesterday since you’ve already read this by the time you’ve achieved god-hood and have all this free power and time and the ability to transcend space and time?

    Having completed this comment without any sort of ‘bolt out of the blue’ moment, I’m going to assume that the lack of your godly intervention has dis-proved your attaining godlihood. Sorry to hear about that. Oh well, better luck next life. Oh. That’s right, the LDS don’t believe in reincarnation…

    Or maybe you just don’t have time for the little people now that you’re a god. That hurts. That really, really hurts.

    :P =)

  38. Sealings seem astonishingly couterproductive, then, if they’re so tenuous that despite the priesthood power that binds them, “love” can break them. I thought WHATSOEVER was bound on earth was bound in heaven. What level of love do you have to have to break a sealing, or to make it effective? I thought once you were sealed, you were sealed.

    Why, then, do we do temple work for ancestors when we have NO IDEA whether or not they wanted to be married to each other in the first place, much less looooooved each other? What of ancestors 1,000 or more years ago who had no concept of courtly love, or romantic love, or even physical pleasure? What about the billions of couples throughout the world who were in arranged marriages? What about people who were/are happy with the “death do you part” kind of arrangement and who truly just want to be married for 50 years instead of 50 kazillion plus?

    What kind of love makes a sealing an eternal sealing? I thought the only thing that solified a sealing was the confirmation of the Holy Spirit of Promise. After all, we make NO covenants to love each other during the temple sealing ceremony. Some people marry after knowing each other a week. Do they “love” each other with an eternal love? Are they commanded to love each other? And are they therefore expected to love each other for all eternity simply because they’re sealed?

    What kind of love is the “right” kind of love to make marriage last after death? Are we talking about courtly love? Brother-sister love? Mutual respect? What level of love must each person have to maintain this oh-so-tenuous sealing power? What if people love each other but STILL don’t want to live together, or the other way around?

  39. Well Rick it looks like I don’t make it to Godhood. Oh well, no big shocker.

    Actually, there is doctrine in regards to demanding a sign. Signs are generally given AFTER the trial of our faith (ie you gotta earn it). Thus there are rules to this sort of thing. If you really want a sign there are scriptoral instructions on how to develop the prerequisite faith. Also you might want to seek it from the God of this world, since you are in his jurisdiction after all.

    Anonymous: A sealing is a covenant, and the definition of a covenant is that it is a two-way promise between the couple and God. If both parties fulfill their end of the contract, it is indeed eternally binding as you say. However as I said before, it is conditional.

    We do sealings for the dead so that they have the OPTION of being sealed. It’s up to them to accept or reject it.

    In answer to your questions about love, obviously it would be the kind of love that would naturally cause the couple to desire to stay sealed.

    I can’t remember the exact wording in a sealing ceremony, but I do know that we commit our complete devotion to our spouse. If you don’t really want to be sealed to them, or do things that make you unworthy, (which can also have the consequence of causing your spouse to rightfully justify not wanting to be with you eg. unrighteous dominion, abuse, lack of devotion etc) then we are not devoted to them in our hearts and the covenant is broken on our end and the sealing will not be in force.

    Just as nobody is forced to salvation (Satan’s original plan) nobody is forced to be gods and goddesses together. It’s assumed that by the time people make it to that point, it will already have been long since established that they desire the sealing to be in effect.

  40. We promise neither love nor devotion at the sealing. We do promise to have children and be faithful to the Church, however.

  41. Ok then…but doesn’t being “faithful to the church” INCLUDE devotion to the spouse (since this is one of the church’s teachings)?

    The church also teaches us the attributes we must develop to have a happy marriage. If either member of the couple won’t make reasonable efforts to develop these attributes, then somebody is not keeping up their end of the contract wouldn’t you say?

  42. In the same verse in D&C 132 that mentions the “Holy Spirit of Promise” you will find the words “…if ye abide in my covenant” the sealing “shall be of full force when they are out of the world.” The key words here being “IF ye abide in…”

    One of the dictionary definitions of “abide by” is “act in accordance with” or “keep (a promise)”

    If we covenant to be “faithful to the church” that would include keeping all covenants and “acting in accordance with” all the official teachings of the scriptures.

    In the topical guide under “marriage”, there are numerous reference to love and devotion (ie love spouse with “all thy heart” or “as thyself” and of course to “cleave” unto them and become “one flesh” etc. etc. etc.). There has been much said on the subject by modern day prophets as well.

    If we promise faithfulness to the church, it can be assumed that when we choose to be sealed to someone that we covenant to do all the things mentioned in the scriptures regarding marriage.

    If one or both spouses don’t keep up their end of the deal to both love and “cleave unto” the other the the deal is broken and the sealing is not in force when they go out of this world.

    Of course, it is possible that some spouses will not be found at fault for this happenning, and will qualify for exaltation without remaining sealed to their earthly spouse. If they tried their best and sincere efforts to make the marriage happy but the other spouse continued in behaviours inconsistent with church teachings (ie abuse, infidelity, selfishness, negligence etc) then the guilty spouse wouldn’t be eligible for exaltation in the first place. The innocent spouse (whether or not a divorce occured in this life) will not remain sealed to the guilty spouse, but will have the option of being sealed to another or remain single as per choice.

  43. Jeff, I thought you might find the following quote of interest:

    “…We were all mature spirits before we were born, and the bodies of children will grow after the resurrection to the full stature of the spirit…When they grow, after the resurrection, to the full maturity of the spirit they will be entitled to all the blessings which they would have been entitled to had they been privileged to tarry here and receive them.” (President Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:54)

  44. I also need to correct myself here. I made mention of sealings occuring at the resurrection. I believe the actual doctrine is there will be no marriages made after the resurrection (Mathew 22:23-30). So I guess it all has to be worked out before then. I suppose that is why there will be a lot of temple work going on during the millenium.

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