One of the most precious doctrines of our faith is that God’s plan provides a way for family relationships to continue after death. The greatest of God’s eternal blessings are tied to eternal marriage and family relationships. Through the ordinances performed in temples, and through the authority of God that was restored through Joseph Smith exercised therein, a man and woman can be married for time and eternity.
Because of the ultimate goal of being together as families through eternity, all that we do as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints points to the temple. The temple, in turn, points us to the Savior, who makes it possible for us to receive eternal life and to be together as families.
Given the eternal importance of family relationships, a key theme in our teachings is that our most important priorities are our relationship with God and our relationships with our families. As was recently taught in a Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting,
So much of what we concentrate on in mortality—power, prominence, property, prestige—are things that we don’t have any evidence will make any difference in the next life. But family will (Elder Dallin H. Oaks).
Some of the things we are counseled to do on a regular basis are to have family prayer morning and night, to read scriptures together each day as a family, to hold Family Home Evening weekly (most of us do this on Monday nights), and to eat together each day.
This doctrine of the eternal nature of the family can bring great comfort to those who have lost loved ones. It also can provide an anchor of hope and perspective to those whose family life is currently less than ideal. Consider this from Elder Richard G. Scott (a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles):
Throughout your life on earth, seek diligently to fulfill the fundamental purposes of this life through the ideal family. While you may not have yet reached that ideal, do all you can through obedience and faith in the Lord to consistently draw as close to it as you are able. Let nothing dissuade you from that objective. If it requires fundamental changes in your personal life, make them. When you have the required age and maturity, obtain all of the ordinances of the temple you can receive. If for the present, that does not include sealing in the temple to a righteous companion, live for it. Pray for it. Exercise faith that you will obtain it. Never do anything that would make you unworthy of it. If you have lost the vision of eternal marriage, rekindle it. If your dream requires patience, give it.
We are repeatedly taught that no person who lives a faithful life will have any of the blessings that God has for His children withheld. We don’t understand all the details of how He will be able to sort through all the trials and troubles that do come to many, but we do believe that the key to obtaining all of the blessings of eternal families is faith and obedience and reception of the saving ordinances and covenants of the gospel. And trusting in the promises of God.
For more information on this topic, please see the following links:The Gospel Blesses Families and Individuals
Elder Bruce C. Hafen: Your Longing for Family Joy
Elder Robert D. Hales: The Eternal Family
President Gordon B. Hinckley: Why These Temples?
Elder M. Russell Ballard: What Matters Most is What Lasts Longest
Elder David A. Bednar: Marriage is Essential to His Eternal Plan
Elder Henry B. Eyring: The Family
Elder John H. Groberg: Family: The Eternal Perspective (link to audio)You can also search lds.org on topics such as eternal families, temples, eternal marriage, and other related topics, or browse our website on the following topics:
Purpose of Life
CovenantsIf you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to contact us at ‘mormonwoman’ AT ‘gmail’ DOT ‘com’