Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Quotes about Temple Blessings for Families with Wayward Children

Here is our beautiful Ogden, Utah temple. My husband, son, and I got to volunteer at the open house three years ago after the reconstruction. Four of our five children got to participate in the cultural celebration, and one son got to shake President Monson's hand there! We are quite smitten with our temple. 

This list of quotes was shared at my recent stake conference by a man who has worked with general authorities in the temple building department. I loved the quotes and asked for a copy of them. 

"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 " (Joseph Smith, From Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith) 

"The covenant sealed on the foreheads of the parents secure the children from falling and they shall all sit upon thrones as one with the godhead, join heirs of God with Jesus Christ"  (Joseph Smith, From "Words of Joseph Smith") 

" The prophet Joseph Smith declared, and he never taught more comforting doctrine, that the eternal sealing of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the cause of truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold.  Either in this life or in the life to come, THEY WILL RETURN. They will have to pay their debt to justice;  they will suffer for their sins, and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father's heart and home, they painful experience will not have been in vain.  Pray for your careless and disobedient children; HOLD ON TO THEM WITH YOUR FAITH.  Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God"  (Quoted Joseph Smith in Conf Report, April 1929, 110) 

"The measure of our success as parents will not rest solely on how our children turn out.  That judgment would be just only if we could raise our families in a perfectly moral environment, and that now is not possible.  It is not uncommon for responsible parents to lose one of their children, for a time, to influences over which they have no control.  They agonize over rebellious sons and daughters.  They are puzzled over why they are so helpless when they have tried so hard to do what they should.  It is my conviction that those wicked influences one day will be overruled...we cannot overemphasize the value of temple marriage, the binding ties of the sealing ordinance and the standards of worthiness required of them.  WHEN PARENTS KEEP THE COVENANTS THEY HAVE MADE AT THE ALTAR OF THE TEMPLE, THEIR CHILDREN WILL BE FOREVER BOUND TO THEM"  (Joseph Smith quoted in 1992 April Conference report, emphasis added) 

"In answer to the question to what degree can righteous parents, fathers and mothers who have entered into and keep sacred covenants, affect and effect the salvation of their posterity, President Brigham Young taught,  "Let the father and mother, who are members of this Church and kingdom take a righteous course and strive 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 on earth or hell can separate them from their parents in eternity; they will return again to the fountain from whence they sprang"  (Brigham Young, Journal of discourses) 

"Those born under the covenant, throughout all eternity, are the children of their parents and NOTHING except the unpardonable sin, can break this tie."  (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation) 

"God has fulfilled his promises to us, and our prospects are grand and glorious.  Yes, in the next life we will have our wives, and our sons and daughters.  If we do not get them all at once, WE WILL HAVE THEM SOME TIME...You that are mourning about your children straying away will have your sons and your daughters.  If you succeed in passing through these trials and afflictions and receive a resurrection, you will, by the power of the priesthood, work and labor, as the Son of God has, UNTIL YOU GET ALL YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS IN THE PATH OF EXALTATION AND GLORY.  THIS IS JUST AS SURE AS THAT THE SUN ROSE THIS MORNIGN OVER YONDER MOUNTAINS.  Therefore, mourn not because all your sons and daughters do not follow in the path that you have marked out to them, or give heed to your counsel.  INASMUCH AS WE SUCCEED IN SECURING ETERNAL GLORY, AND STAND AS SAVIORS, AND AS KINGS AND PRIEST TO OUR GOD, WE WILL SAVE OUR POSTERITY...God will have His own way in His own time, and He will accomplish His purposes in the salvation of His sons and daughters...God bless you, brethren and sisters. DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED is the word I wish to pass to you." (President Lorenzo Snow, emphasis added) 

"Because of the temple sealing you parents of the willful and the wayward, don't give up.  Don't cast them off!  They are NOT utterly lost.  The shepherd will find his sheep.  They were his before they were yours long before he entrusted them to your care; and you cannot begin to love them as he loves them.  Only the fullness of knowledge brings the fullness of accountability.  Our heavenly Father is far more merciful, infinitely more charitable, than even the best of his servants, and the Everlasting gospel is mightier in power to save than our narrow finite minds can comprehend." (Elder Orson F Whitney) 

“It is the constitutional disposition of mankind to set up stakes and set bounds to the works and ways of the Almighty.  I say to all those who are disposed to set up stakes for the Almighty, you will come short of the glory of god.  Our Heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive.” (Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith)

"I promise you that all who faithfully attend to temple work will be blessed beyond measure, your families will draw closer to the Lord, UNSEEN ANGELS WILL WATCH OVER YOUR LOVED ONES WHEN SATANIC FORCES TEMPT THEM, the veil will be thin, and great spiritual experiences will distill upon this people. (Vaughn J. Featherstone, emphasis added) 

"The time will come when even the elect will begin to lose hope if they do not come often to the temples. All that we do in the temples ties to the Atonement. I believe that Saints will come to the temple not only to do temple work but also to find a God-given haven of peace." (Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, "The Incomparable Christ: Our Master and Model" p. 3-6) 
The Salt Lake City, Utah temple is where my husband and I were sealed 26 years ago!

The following statements are from Carol B. Thomas, 1st counselor in the Young Women General Presidency said at the May 1999 General Conference: 

1. GOING TO THE TEMPLE OFTEN PROVIDES BALANCE IN OUR LIVES.  She quotes Pres. Hinckley "If there were more temple work done in the church, there would be less selfishness, less contention, less demeaning of others.  The whole church would increasingly be lifted to greater heights of spirituality, love for one another, and obedience to the commandments of God." 

2.  THE SPIRITUAL ATMOSPHERE OF THE TEMPLE CURBS OUR APPETITE FOR WORLDLY THINGS.  When we attend frequently, we no longer have such a need to wear the latest fashion, and we are not so easily drawn to the entertainment of the world. 

3.  THE TEMPLE IS A PLACE OF REVELATION.  Elder John A. Widsoe said, "At the most unexpected moments, in or out of the temple will come to us, as a revelation, the solution of the problems that vex our lives...it is a place where revelations may be expected." 

4.  ONE OF THE BIGGEST LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED IS THAT SATAN WILL TRY TO KEEP US FROM GOING TO THE TEMPLE.  I remember reading of a warning given by the president of the Logan Temple that Satan and his followers will "whisper in the ears of the people persuading them not to go to the temple."  Body K. Packer said.  "Temple work brings so much resistance because it is the source of so much spiritual power to the Latter-Day Saints."

Click here for more quotes about blessings of the temple, and a family home evening lesson idea.

Click here for "Hope for Parents of Wayward Children" by President Packer.

Click here for "Faithful Parents and Wayward Children: Sustaining Hope While Overcoming Misunderstanding" by Elder Bednar.


Rozy Lass said...

I know all those things, but I still wonder how it works. We are individually accountable to God for our choices, actions, even thoughts while on earth. So how do wayward children, who are rebellious, disobedient to the commandments and engaging in worldly behaviors going to be saved in the Celestial Kingdom? Doesn't seem right to me. I think there must be more to it than has been revealed. I have three wayward sons and I grieve over them and the loss to our family.

Becky Edwards said...

Rozy, I don't understand it either, because agency is such an important thing to Heavenly Father. It is one of the questions I put on a "shelf" and trust that I will understand it more later. God bless you with your sons. There is always hope, whether in this life or in the next.

Unknown said...

Here is one more and can be found in the Teachings of the Presidents manual for Joseph F Smith

On Redeeming the Dead, Jospeh F Smith said: Jesus had not finished his work when his body was slain, neither did he finish it after his resurrection from the dead; although he had accomplished the purpose for which he then came to the earth, he had not fulfilled all his work. And when will he? Not until he has redeemed and saved every son and daughter of our father Adam that have been or ever will be born upon this earth to the end of time, except the sons of perdition. That is his mission. We will not finish our work until we have saved ourselves, and then not until we shall have saved all depending upon us; for we are to become saviors upon Mount Zion, as well as Christ. We are called to this mission. The dead are not perfect without us, neither are we without them

Unknown said...

As for Rozy's question, the story of the Prodigal son is an eternal one. As several of the articles mention - each person will still be responsible for their actions and will have to pay their debt to justice.
One person put it this way "they will have 1000 years of group therapy in spirit prison during the millennium"... meaning they will be taught and have a good long time to consider and repent of their ways.
Also consider that eternity is plural - there are 'eternities'.
In five places in the scriptures (4 in the Book of Mormon and one in the bible), it speaks of being righteous in this life to 'sit down on the right hand of God with Abraham, Issac and Jacob TO GO NO MORE OUT', which leaves the question where would the unrighteous go out to again? I'm not suggesting reincarnation by any means - but there may be other types of tests for these prodigals....other ways to continue to learn despite the kingdom they 'earn'for a season.
Consider this, we know that the D&C 76 tells us that we will be able to go down one degree of glory to minister to those in a lower kingdom. This brings up another question... if they are stuck there with no chance of ever leaving, then why would we minister and teach them? Can you imagine the Savior coming to us and saying 'well, this is what I gained, but you have no chance of ever gaining it.'? Of course not... we teach and minister to help raise others to a higher estate.
Again - eternities is plural... AND consequently this section 76 speaks a couple times of 'learning the mysteries of God'..... I believe this to be one of those mysteries.
Several times various prophets in scripture begin to expound on this concept and their utterance is stopped. I believe that is because if we knew we could 'eat, drink and be merry, and repent in some other life, many would put off their chance for spiritual growth and progression...
But we must all pray about this and get confirmation for ourselves....

Jodi said...

I can't get the name changed from unknown (above) to my name ... just wanted you to know that Jodi Stoddard posted the last two 'unknown' posts... :)

Montserrat Wadsworth said...

Salvation (being saved) and exaltation are different but sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. Everyone is saved. Plain and simple. Everyone who lives here on the earth will receive a place in one of God's kingdoms (excepting the few who will be sons of perdition).

"41 That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;

"42 That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him;

"43 Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him." (Doctrine and Covenants 76: 41-43)

"The Savior’s sacrifice opened the door of salvation for all to return to God. His “grace is sufficient for all [who] humble themselves before [God].” His grace is the enabling power that allows access into God’s kingdoms of salvation. Because of His grace, we will all be resurrected and saved in a kingdom of glory." (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, It Works Wonderfull!, October 2015)

"Yet all who receive of any one of these orders of glory are at last saved, and upon them Satan will finally have no claim” (James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith, 91–92).

"A man may be saved, after the judgment, in the terrestrial kingdom, or in the telestial kingdom, but he can never see the celestial kingdom of God, without being born of water and the Spirit." (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.12)

"We do not send our missionaries into the world to preach salvation. Salvation will come to those who reach the lower degrees of glory. They who enter into the least, the telestial, shall be saved in one of God's kingdoms, for that is His kingdom...Every ordinance of this Gospel is to prepare men and woman for exaltation, and not for salvation alone."(Melvin J. Ballard, Crusader for Righteousness, 191 - 192.)

Our works (agency) definitely play a HUGE part in what *level* of salvation we achieve. We, as members of the church, are striving to achieve exaltation in the celestial kingdom. That can only be done by abiding by a celestial law - making and keeping covenants, obeying the commandments, etc. Those in the Celestial Kingdom can go and visit those in the lower kingdoms so in that sense parents whose children who do not make it to the Celestial Kingdom because of their choices are not lost to them. Parents will still be able to visit with and see them.

Montserrat Wadsworth said...

This article by Elder David A. Bednar in the March 2014 Ensign is very good! I recommend reading it to help clear up any questions one may have. https://www.lds.org/ensign/2014/03/faithful-parents-and-wayward-children-sustaining-hope-while-overcoming-misunderstanding?lang=eng

Just one enlightening quote from that article:

"The statements by Joseph Smith and Orson F. Whitney are construed by some members of the Church to mean that wayward children unconditionally receive the blessings of salvation because of and through the faithfulness of parents. However, this interpretation is moderated by the fact that the most complete account of the Prophet’s sermon was not available to Church historians at the time they compiled an amalgamated version of his teachings from the notes of Willard Richards and William Clayton. In the more complete set of notes recorded by Howard and Martha Coray, Joseph Smith is shown to have qualified his statement to make the promised blessings conditional upon the obedience of the children:

“When a father and mother of a family have [been sealed], their children who have not transgressed are secured by the seal wherewith the Parents have been sealed. And this is the Oath of God unto our Father Abraham and this doctrine shall stand forever.”

"This clarification is more consistent doctrinally. Except for the additional information contained in the Coray records, the concept of unconditional salvation for disobedient children would contradict many foundational teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, including the second article of faith that “men will be punished for their own sins” (Articles of Faith 1:2)."

Elder Bednar references this General Conference talk by President James E. Faust that is also good reading and makes for great studying on the topic. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2003/04/dear-are-the-sheep-that-have-wandered?lang=eng

Becky Edwards said...

Thank you for the great discussion, friends!