February 13, 2011

Yet Even More on Parents and Sealing Power


[Though the question was presented as a statement originally, I have restructured it to be a question. As it contains additional information on the subject, it is worth posting here. I have removed repetitious quotes for the sake of length. Also one was removed that had been edited from the original. I will answer the points presented in line with that stated in the previous questions on the subject]

I'm in favor of the more optimistic view on this subject. What do you feel of these quotes and Scripture texts?

Joseph Smith:
“The world is reserved unto burning in the last days. He shall send Elijah the prophet, and he shall reveal the covenants of the fathers in relation to the children, and the covenants of the children in relation to the fathers. Four destroying angels holding power over the four quarters of the earth until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads, which signifies sealing the blessing upon their heads, meaning the everlasting covenant, thereby making their calling and election sure. When a seal is put upon the father and mother, it secures their posterity, so that they cannot be lost, but will be saved by virtue of the covenant of their father and mother.”(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 321)

Brigham Young:
• “Let the father and mother, who are members of this Church and Kingdom, take a righteous course, and strive with all their might never to do a wrong, but to do good all their lives; if they have one child or one hundred children, if they conduct themselves towards them as they should, binding them to the Lord by their faith and prayers, I care not where those children go, they are bound up to their parents by an everlasting tie, and no power of earth or hell can separate them from their parents in eternity; they will return again to the fountain from whence they sprang.” (Brigham Young, JD 11:215).

Gordon B. Hinckley
• "May you be blessed, each of you. May there be love and peace and gladness in your homes. I leave my blessing upon you. May there be food on your table, clothing on your backs, shelter over your heads and a sense of security and peace and love among your children, precious children every one of them, even those who may have strayed. I hope you don't lose patience with them; I hope you go on praying for them, and I don't hesitate to promise that if you do so, the Lord will touch their hearts and bring them back to you with love and respect and appreciation.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Prophet Returns To 'beloved England', LDS Church News, 1995, 09/02/95).

Spencer W. Kimball
• “I have sometimes seen children of good families rebel, resist, stray, sin, and even actually fight God. In this they bring sorrow to their parents, who have done their best to ... to teach and live as examples. But I have repeatedly seen many of these same children ... repent... The reason I believe this can take place is that, despite all the adverse winds to which these people have been subjected, they have been influenced still more, and much more than they realized, by the current of life in the homes in which they were reared. When, in later years, they feel a longing to recreate in their own families the same atmosphere they enjoyed as children, they are likely to turn to the faith that gave meaning to their parents lives.” (President Spencer W. Kimball, Ocean Currents and Family Influences, Ensign (CR), November 1974, p.110)

Alma the younger lived a very sinful life as you may know. Then, an angel appeared to him and he received a miraculous conversion. Was it the angel that changed his heart? No. Alma 36:17 presents that he was “harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ…” So it was his memory of his childhood and the joy he felt then when his father taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ. Wayward children in Mortality (physical world or spirit world) will remember their childhood of joy if and only if their parents taught them well and the parents have sufficient faith.

Taken all together, the teachings above suggest that as long as wayward children do not commit blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, they will likely return and be redeemed and will have a relationship with their families throughout eternity. The question that remains is “what kind of redemption will they receive?” In the least, if a wicked child has not committed the unpardonable sin, they will come through the experiences of the spirit world with the help of friends and family and become clean, pure, and obedient. On the other hand, if a wayward child fully repents and embraces the covenants of the Celestial Kingdom, then there is nothing in scripture or the teachings of the prophets above to suggest that they cannot be heirs of that glory (remember that their agency has not been taken away). If this is the case, then the teachings of the prophets seem to suggest that most, if not all, of our wayward loved ones will return to their covenants and, if so, they will actually be heirs of the Celestial Kingdom. Perhaps this is why Nephi wrote, “I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment seat. . . . And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day” (2 Nephi 33:7, 12). We must have this hope.


Thanks for presenting the original statement of Joseph Smith, which plainly all are basing their beliefs on. As Brigham Young knew Joseph Smith's thoughts on so many matters his interpretation seems very important also.

I must say that overall these quotes present a far different idea than that presented before. Originally it sounded a bit like magic _ go to the temple, have some symbols done, be a reasonable person and your children are guaranteed to be magically saved at some point in eternity. This idea here, however, doesn't reflect such an irrational idea. This is actually supported in Scripture and based on sound logic.

So let's have a look at it.

Joseph Smith's statement is obviously shrouded in symbolism. Talk of "destroying angels," "four quarters of the earth," "sealed in their foreheads," etc are things to come to understand the meaning of. Fortunately the Scriptures do help us in this regard to some degree. But those ideas are interpretable (thus arguable). I personally am sure that the talk of sealing in the forehead means that the mind has taken it in and the person's mind won't be changed: They have set their course. Thus their election is secured.

I'd like to start with how Brigham sees this. He presents that if parents who have accepted the full truth, live a righteous life (by God's standard), strive with all their might to never do evil but to do good continually, strive to have their children grow up with a full faith in Christ and teaching them to pray sincerely, that even though their children may stray they will eventually be drawn back by that upbringing.

This sounds far more God like than being saved by magic and symbols (as was first posed). Brother Hinkley and Brother Kimball's statements reflect this same logic.

As to Alma the Younger, I also had my wayward years (I always believed in Christ however) and I know that my mother continually prayed for me. I know my mother's prayers are very effective. It took 3 years of wayward research for me to wake up. So I have no doubt that these things happen. I would like to believe that it is a guaranteed, as Brigham says. I'll have to take that on face value and put more faith in my prayers for some of mine. Scriptural support does exist for children turning out right as being guaranteed where the right person is the parent.

"For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken of him." Genesis 18:19

So God is saying that Abraham's children were guaranteed to come out right.

Yet it should be noted that both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young have said nothing about these children changing in the eternities. Anyone taking it to mean so would be doing such off his own bat, unless he can support such from Scripture. D&C 76 etc etc etc disagree with changes occurring to people's outcomes later. Now is the time for man to prepare to meet God. I'd suggest re-reading my old posts on this for further Scriptural confirmation of this issue.


Post a Comment

<< Home