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Temples, Covenants, Children, and Hope — compiled by N. Gaylon Hopkins


THE PRINCIPLE

Brigham Young
I say to the congregation, treasure up in your hearts what you have heard tonight, and at other times. You will hear more with regard to the doctrine, that is, our “Marriage Relations.” Elder Hyde says he has only just dipped into it, but, if it will not be displeasing to him, I will say he has not dipped into it yet; he has only run round the edge of the field. He has done so beautifully, and it will have its desired effect. But the whole subject of the marriage relation is not in my reach, nor in any other man’s reach on this earth. It is without beginning of days or end of years; it is a hard matter to reach. We can tell some things with regard to it; it lays the foundation for worlds, for angels, and for the Gods; for intelligent beings to be crowned with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. In fact, it is the thread which runs from the beginning to the end of the holy Gospel of salvation–of the Gospel of the Son of God; it is from eternity to eternity. When the vision of the mind is opened, you can see a great portion of it, but you see it comparatively as a speaker sees the faces of a congregation. To look at, and talk to, each individual separately, and thinking to become fully acquainted with them, only to spend five minutes with each would consume too much time, it could not easily be done. So it is with the visions of eternity; we can see and understand, but it is difficult to tell. May God bless. (Journal of Discourses, Vol.2, p.90, October 6, 1854.)

Joseph Smith
What the Sealing Power Is:  “The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power, to hold the key of the revelation, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain, and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God, even unto the turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in heaven. [History of the Church, 6:251]  What is this office and work of Elijah? It is one of the greatest and most important subjects that God has revealed. He should send Elijah to seal the children to the fathers, and the fathers to the children….I wish you to understand this subject, for it is important; and if you receive it, this is the spirit of Elijah, that we redeem our dead, and connect ourselves with our fathers which are in heaven, and seal up our dead to come forth in the first resurrection; and here we want the power of Elijah to seal those who dwell on earth to those who dwell in heaven. This is the power of Elijah and the keys of the kingdom of Jehovah… Then what you seal on earth, by the keys of Elijah, is sealed in heaven; and this is the power of Elijah, and this is the difference between the spirit and power of Elias and Elijah; for while the spirit of Elias is a forerunner, the power of Elijah is sufficient to make our calling and election sure….We cannot be perfect without the fathers, We must have revelation from them, and we can see that the doctrine of revelation far transcends the doctrine of no revelation; for one truth revealed from heaven is worth all the sectarian notions in existence.  It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of–a power which records or binds on earth, and binds in heaven. Nevertheless in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the Priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence, whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah. This is a faithful saying! Who can hear it? (Doctrine and Covenants 128:9)  Now the great and grand secret of the whole matter, and the summum bonum of the whole subject that is lying before us, consists in obtaining the powers of the Holy Priesthood. For him to whom these keys are given, there is no difficulty in obtaining a knowledge of facts in relation to the salvation of the children of men, both as well for the dead as for the living. (Doctrine and Covenants 128: 12)  Herein is glory and honor, and immortality and eternal life… And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead, and the living, that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary, and essential to our salvation, … (Doctrine and Covenants 128:15)  Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? “A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy; how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things; and they say unto Zion, behold! thy God reigneth…. (Doctrine and Covenants 128:19)  The prophets goes on to explain that the “voice” and the “feet” of those mentioned in this verse, are the voice and feet of Moroni, Michael, Peter, James, John, Gabriel, Raphael, and “divers angels” from “Adam down to the present time, all declaring their dispensations, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, percept upon precept; here a little, and there a little; giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope!” (See Doctrine and Covenants 128:20-21).  All the religious world is boasting of righteousness it is the doctrine of the devil to retard the human mind, and hinder our progress, by filling us with self-righteousness.  The nearer we get to our heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs. (DPS, pp. 240-241.)  “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. (DPS pp., 320, 321)  There is never a time when the spirit is too old to approach God. All are within the reach of pardoning mercy, who have not committed the unpardonable sin. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 191)

John Taylor
“Who shall debar God from taking care of his own creation, and saving his creatures?  A great deal is said at the present time about the relation of husband and wife; but where is there a man outside of this Church who understands anything about this relationship, as well as that of parents to children? There is not one, and the Latter-day Saints knew nothing about it until it was revealed by Joseph Smith, through the Gospel.  It is the Gospel that teaches a woman that she has a claim upon a man, and a man that he has a claim upon a woman in the resurrection; it is the Gospel that teaches them that, when they rise from the tombs in the resurrection, they will again clasp hands, be reunited, and again participate in that glory for which God designed them before the world was. (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses volume 16, pages 375-76)

Wilford Woodruff
The principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ have power and efficacy after death; they will bring together men and their wives and children in the family organization and will re-unite them worlds without end.  We could not obtain a fullness of celestial glory without this sealing ordinance or the institution called the patriarchal order of marriage, which is one of the most glorious principles of our religion. (Journal of Discourses volume 13, pages 166-7)

Joseph Fielding Smith Jr.
MARRIAGE: Joseph Fielding Smith taught that such a marriage involves “an eternal principle ordained before the foundation of the world and instituted on this earth before death came into it” (Smith, p. 251), for Adam and Eve were given in marriage to each other by God in the Garden of Eden before the Fall (Genesis 2:22-25; Moses 3:22-25). This sacred act of marriage was the crowning act of all creation: “In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him: Male and Female created he them; and blessed them” (Genesis 5:1-2). With his blessing they truly could set the pattern for their descendants thereafter who two by two, a man and a woman, could leave father and mother, cleave to each other, and “be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Thus began the great plan of God for the happiness of all his children.  Message of the First Presidency: The Lord has told us that it is the duty of every husband and wife to obey the command given to Adam to multiply and replenish the earth, so that the legions of choice spirits waiting for their tabernacles of flesh may come here and move forward under God’s great design to become perfect souls, for without these fleshly tabernacles they cannot progress to their God-planned destiny. Thus, every husband and wife should become a father and mother in Israel to children born under the holy, eternal covenant. (General Conference Report, October 1942, p,12)

The continuation of the marriage covenant, and the family as a unit, was the crowning blessing in the restoration of the keys by the prophet Elijah. If there were no family organization approved of then the whole earth would be under a curse at the day of the coming of the Lord. What would be the need of the hearts of the fathers turning to their children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, if they were not to be united by some eternal union? It is the family eternally organized according to the law of God, which will save the earth from utter destruction when that great and dreadful day of the Lord shall come. The keys are here by which all who will may make perpetual their family relationship. Marriage is eternal as a part of life. The family must be also. Logically there can be no marriage without the family. (The Way to Perfection, page.253)

Ezra Taft Benson
“The temple ceremony was given by a wise Heavenly Father to help us become more Christ like. The endowment was revealed by revelation and can be understood only by revelation. The instruction is given in symbolic language. The late Apostle John A. Widtsoe taught, “No man or woman can come out of the temple endowed as he should be, unless he has seen, beyond the symbol, the mighty realities for which the symbol stands” (“Temple Worship,” address given in Salt Lake City, 12 October 1920). (Lord, Increase Our Faith,” Provo Utah Tabernacle Rededication, 21 September 1986.)  (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.248 and pages 250-251).  Temples are built and dedicated so that, through the priesthood, parents can be sealed to their children and children can be sealed to their parents. These sealing ordinances apply to both the living and the dead. If we fail to be sealed to our progenitors and our posterity, the purpose of this earth, man’s  exaltation, will be utterly wasted so far as we are concerned. (Jordan River Utah Temple Cornerstone Laying, 15 August 1981.)  Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, page 249 — Even though the Aaronic Priesthood and Melchizedek Priesthood had been restored to the earth, the Lord urged the Saints to build a temple to receive the keys by which this order of priesthood could be administered on the earth again, “for there [was] not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost, even the fullness of the priesthood” (Doctrine and Covenants 124:28).  The work we are performing here has direct relationship to the work over there.  Someday you will know that there are ordinances performed over there, too, in order to make the vicarious work which you do effective. It will all be done under the authority and power of the priesthood of God. (Sao Paulo Brazil Temple, 26 February 1979.)  Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, page253 — The Lord’s great program moves forward on both sides of the veil. (Mesa Arizona Temple Rededication, 16 April 1975.)  The veil is very thin. We are living in eternity. All is as with one day with God. I imagine that to the Lord there is no veil. It is all one great program… (“Temple Memories,” Ogden Utah Temple Dedication, 18 January 1972.) Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.257 — How did Adam bring his descendants into the presence of the Lord? The answer:  Adam and his descendants entered into the priesthood order of God. Today we would say they went to the house of the Lord and received their blessings. The order of priesthood spoken of in the scriptures is sometimes referred to as the patriarchal order because it came down from father to son. But this order is otherwise described in modern revelation as an order of family government wherein a man and woman enter into a covenant with God — just as did Adam and Eve — to be sealed for eternity, to have posterity, and to do the will and work of God throughout their mortality.  Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.258 — Elijah brought the keys of sealing powers — that power which seals a man to a woman and seals their posterity to them endlessly, that which seals their forefathers to them all the way back to Adam. (“What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children About the Temple,” Ensign, 15 August 1985, page 10)

Harold B. Lee
Those born to the lineage of Jacob, who was later to be called Israel, and his posterity, who were known as the children of Israel, were born into the most illustrious lineage of any of those who came upon the earth as mortal beings.  All these rewards seemingly promised or foreordained, before the world was. Surely these matters must have been determined by the kind of lives we had lived in that premarital spirit world. Some may question these assumptions, but at the same time they will accept without any question the belief that each one of us will be judged when we leave this earth according to his or her deeds during our lives here in mortality. Isn’t it just as reasonable to believe that what we have received here in this earth [life] was given to each of us according to the merits of our conduct before we came here?” (Conference Report, October 1973, pages 7-8.)

Russell M. Nelson
Once we know who we are and the royal lineage of which we are a part, our actions and directions in life will be more appropriate to our inheritance. (“Thanks for the Covenant,” p. 59.)

Boyd K. Packer
Some year ago I was in Washington, D.C., with President Harold B. Lee. Early one morning he called me to come into his hotel room. He was sitting in his robe reading Gospel Doctrine, by President Joseph F. Smith, and he said, “listen to this!”  “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.”  And so we pray, and we fast, and we plead, and we implore. We love those who wander, and we never give up hope. (underline added) Conference Report, October 1995, page 24.

THE PROMISE

Joseph Smith
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” (TP.J.S., pp. 320-321; emphasis added.)

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 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,  volume 11: 215; emphasis added.)

Lorenzo Snow
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, for every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. 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 morning over yonder mountains. Therefore, mourn not because all you sons and daughters do not follow in the path that you marked out to them, or give heed to your counsels. Inasmuch as we succeed in securing eternal glory, and stand as saviors, and as kings and priests to our God, we will save our posterity… God will have His own 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; but remember that righteousness and joy in the Holy Ghost is what you and I have the privilege of possessing at all times (6 Oct. 1893; in Gen. Conf., Collected Discourses, 3:364-65; emphasis added.)

Orson F. Whitney
You parents of the willful and the wayward! Don’t give them 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. They have but strayed in ignorance from the Path of Right, and God is merciful to ignorance. 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. The Prophet Joseph Smith declared – and he never taught more comforting doctrine – that the eternal sealings 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 of later they will feel 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, the 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. (Conference Report, April 1929, page 110)

Boyd K. Packer
It is a great challenge to raise a family in the darkening mists of our moral environment.  We emphasize that the greatest work you will do will be within the walls of your home (see Harold B. Lee, in Conference Report, Apr. 1973, page 130), and that ‘no other success can compensate for failure in the home’ (see David O. McKay, Conference Report, April 1935, page 116).  The measure of our success as parents, however, will not rest 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. (Conference Report, April 1992, pages 94-95)  Every soul confined to a concentration camp of sin and guilt has a key to the gate. The adversary cannot hold them if they know how to use it. The key is labeled Repentance. The twin principles of repentance and forgiveness exceed in strength the awesome power of the adversary.  I know of no sins connected with the moral standard for which we cannot be forgiven. I do not exempt abortion. The formula is stated in forty words:  “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.  By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins – behold, he will confess them and forsake them” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:42-43).  However long and painful the process of repentance, the Lord has said: “This is the covenant… I will make with them… I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” Hebrews 10:16-17 (Conference Report, October 1992, page94-95.)

Gordon B. Hinckley
I have a burning desire that a temple be located within reasonable access to Latter-day Saints through out the world.  These unique and wonderful buildings, and the ordinances administered therein, represent the ultimate in our worship. These ordinances become the most profound expressions of our theology. I urge our people everywhere with all of the persuasiveness of which I am capable, to live worthy to hold a temple recommend, to secure one and regard it as a precious asset, and to make a greater effort to go to the house of the Lord and partake of the spirit and the blessings to be had therein. I am satisfied that every man or woman who goes to the temple in a spirit of sincerity and faith leaves the house of the Lord a better man or woman. There is need for constant improvement in all of our lives. There is need occasionally to leave the noise and the tumult of the world and step within the walls of a sacred house of God, there to feel His spirit in an environment of holiness and peace.  If every man in the church who has been ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood were to qualify himself to hold a temple recommend and then were to go to the house of the Lord and renew his covenants in solemnity before God and witnesses, we would be a better people. There would be little or no infidelity among us. Divorce would almost entirely disappear. So much of heartache and heartbreak would be avoided.  There would be a greater measure of peace and love and happiness in our homes. There would be fewer weeping wives and weeping children. There would be a greater measure of appreciation and of mutual respect among us. (Conference Report, October 1995, pages 71 and 72)  I love the priesthood which is among us, this authority given to men to speak in the name of God. I am grateful for its power and authority, which reach even beyond the veil of death.  How magnificent will be the future as the Almighty rolls on His glorious work, touching for good all who will accept and live His gospel and even reaching to the eternal blessing of His sons and daughters of all generations through the selfless work of those whose hearts are filled with love for the Redeemer of the world. (Conference Report, October 1995, pages 92 and 95)

Dallin H. Oaks
Another idea that is powerful to lift us from discouragement is that the work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to bring to pass the … eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39), is an eternal work. Not all problems are overcome and not all needed relationships are fixed in mortality. The work of salvation goes on beyond the veil of death, and we should not be too apprehensive about incompleteness within the limits of mortality. (Conference Report, October 1995, p. 32).

Richard G. Scott
Thank your Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son for the plan of happiness and the gospel principles upon which it is based. Be grateful for ordinances and the covenants they have provided. I solemnly testify they have power to crown your life with peace and joy, to give it purpose and meaning. You will learn that sadness and disappointment are temporary. Happiness is everlastingly eternal because of Jesus Christ. (Conference Report, May 1996, p. 26).

Henry B. Eyring
I testify that God the Father lives and that He loves you. I testify that Jesus is the Christ, that He called you, and that He atoned for your sins and those of all you will ever serve. I testify that President Gordon B. Hinckley holds the keys that allow us to offer to our Father’s children the covenants and ordinances that can qualify them for eternal life. And I pray with all my heart that we may touch lives with faith enough to repent and to make and keep those sacred covenants. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. (Conference Report , October 1995, p. 54).  Sadly, each of us knows that even teaching, testifying, and living true to that testimony may not pass on the legacy. Great and good parents have done that and then seen their families or some in their families reject that testimony. There is reason for us to have great hope and optimism. It comes first from our testimony of the nature of our Heavenly Father: he loves our family members: he is their Heavenly Father as well as ours. It also comes from our testimony of the mission of Jesus Christ: he paid the price to redeem them. And it come from our testimony of the restoration of priesthood keys.  Because of that) the power is on the earth again to make covenants with God, which seals families together, covenants which God honors. That is why we must not despair. As we offer the legacy of testimony to our families, some may not receive it. It may even seem to skip over generations. But God will reach out to offer the legacy again and again. More than we can imagine, our faithful effort to offer to our family the testimony we have of the truth will be multiplied in power and extended in time.  We have all seen evidence of that in families we have known. I saw it in South America as I looked into the faces of missionaries. Hundreds of them passed by me shaking my hand and looking deeply into my eyes. I was nearly overwhelmed with the confirmation that these children of Father Lehi and of Sariah were there in the Lord’s service because our Heavenly Father honors his promises to families. To nearly his last breath, Lehi taught and testified and tried to bless his children. Terrible tragedy came among his descendants when they rejected his testimony, the testimonies of other prophets, and of the scriptures. But in the eyes and faces of those missionaries I felt confirmation that God has kept his promises to reach out to Lehi’s covenant children and that he will reach out to ours.  I know that we can live together in families in eternal life, the greatest of all the gifts of God. (Conference Report May 1996, p. 64).

Joseph Fielding Smith
Death does not separate righteous parents who are joined by decree and authority of the Father, neither does it take from these parents their righteous children, for they are born under the covenant, and therefore, their parents have claim upon them forever.  It may be asked, what is the advantage coming to those born under the covenant? Being heirs they have claims upon the blessings of the gospel beyond what those not so born are entitled to receive. They may receive a greater guidance, a greater protection, a greater inspiration from the Spirit of the Lord; and then there is no power that can take them away from their parents.  All children born under the covenant belong to their parents in eternity, but that does not mean that they, because of that birthright, will inherit celestial glory. The faith and faithfulness of fathers and mothers will not save disobedient children.  But children born under the covenant, who drift away, are still the children of their parents; and the parents have a claim upon them; and if the children have not sinned away all their rights, the parents may be able to bring them through repentance, into the celestial kingdom, but not to receive the exaltation. (Doctrines of Salvation  Volume 2, page 89-91)  It (sealing power of Elijah) is the authority by which parents obtain the claim of parenthood, concerning their children, through all eternity and not only for time, which makes eternal the family in the kingdom of God. (Doctrines of Salvation Volume 2,  p. 117)

Rulon S. Wells
I rejoice today that I have been born of goodly parents, that I have been born under the new and everlasting covenant. I rejoice in the work that is being accomplished by the Latter-day Saints in the building of these great temples wherein work may be performed for the living and for the dead; and while I remember those who immediately are responsible for my birth upon this earth, my heart goes back throughout the generations that have passed, and gone, until I connect and link myself up with the great household of God through Abraham his servant, and I believe with all my soul that there must be a welding link between each of us and those that have gone before until we shall indeed become members of that wonderful family that was chosen in that primeval day to come through his lineage, through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is the heritage of the Latter-day Saints, and our destiny is to fulfill these obligations, to carry the gospel to all the inhabitants of the earth, that they may hear the truth, and that the honest in heart among every nation shall be gathered into the fold of Christ and brought under the new and everlasting covenant which is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that the family may be united in that welding link that shall connect us, for without them we cannot be saved, and without us neither can they be saved; and it is essential that this work shall go on. For what man or what woman would rejoice or be happy if he could not be associated with his own kindred? What man or what woman would feel that he was enjoying a blessing in the world to come if it were not in the association of his father and his mother? What parent could possibly feel that heaven would be heaven to him unless he could be associated there with his own children? What is true of these immediate connections is true of those that have gone on before. Our fathers and our mothers would never be happy nor feel that they could be exalted and saved in the kingdom of God unless they could be associated with their fathers and their mothers. And so it will be until we connect ourselves and reunite in that one great family, the family of God, united together with that welding link under the new and everlasting covenant. (Conference Report, October 1924, p.42)

Ezra Taft Benson
In the peace of these lovely temples, sometimes we find solutions to the serious problems of life. Under the influence of the Spirit, sometimes pure knowledge flows to us there. Temples are places of personal revelation. When I have been weighed down by a problem or a difficulty, I have gone to the house of the Lord with a prayer in my heart for answers. These answers have come in clear and unmistakable ways.  If our children — and their children — are taught well by us, this temple will have special significance. It will be an ever-present reminder that God intends the family to be eternal. (Chicago Illinois Temple Cornerstone Laying, 9 August 1985.)  The richest blessings known to men and women in this world which are tied up with the sacred ordinances and blessings of the temples of God. Now let me say something to all who can worthily go to the house of the Lord. When you attend the temple and perform the ordinances that pertain to the house of the Lord, certain blessings will come to you: You will receive the spirit of Elijah, which will turn your hearts to your spouse, to your children, and to your forebears. You will love your family with a deeper love than you have loved before. You will be endowed with power from on high as the Lord has promised.  You will receive the key of the knowledge of God (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:19). You will learn how you can be like Him. Even the power of godliness will be manifest to you (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:20).  By the ordinances that they receive in holy places, they will be armed with righteousness and endowed with the power of God in great measure. Sometimes we live almost under the eaves, in the shade of the temple, and fail to take advantage of the priceless blessings that are available to us in the house of the Lord. The richest blessings of this life and of eternity are tied up with these sacred ordinances. (Conference Report October 1952)  Yes, there is a power associated with the ordinances of heaven — even the power of godliness — which can and will thwart the forces of evil if we will be worthy of those sacred blessings. This community will be protected, our families will be protected, our children will be safeguarded as we live the gospel, visit the temple, and live close to the Lord. (Atlanta Georgia Temple Cornerstone Laying, 1 June 1983.)  If a couple are true to their covenants, they are entitled to the blessing of the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. These covenants today can only be entered into by going to the house of the Lord. Adam followed this order and brought his posterity into the presence of God. He is the great example to follow. When our children obey the Lord and go to the temple to receive their blessings and enter into the marriage covenant, they enter into the same order of the priesthood that God instituted in the beginning with father Adam.  Birth in the covenant entitles those children to a birthright blessing which guarantees them eternal parentage regardless of what happens to the parents, so long as the children remain worthy of the blessings. (See General Handbook of Instructions, p. 62.)

Gordon B. Hinckley
Through the history of the generations of man, the actions of rebellious children have been latent with sorrow and heartbreak, but even when there has been rebellion, the strong cords of family life have reached out to encircle the rebellious one” (Conference Report, April
1991, p. 95.)

Joseph Fielding Smith
It may be asked what is the advantage coming to those born under the covenant? Being heirs they have claims on the blessings of the gospel beyond what those not so born are entitled to receive. They may receive a greater guidance, a greater protection, a greater inspiration from the Spirit of the Lord. (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:90.)

Russell M. Nelson
We are… children of the covenant. We have received, as did they of old, the holy priesthood and the everlasting gospel. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are our ancestors. We are of Israel. We have the right to receive the gospel, blessings of the priesthood, and eternal life. Nations of the earth will be blessed by our efforts and by the labors of our posterity. The literal seed of Abraham and those who are gathered into his family by adoption receive these promised blessings – predicated upon acceptance of the Lord and obedience to his commandments. (CR, October 1995, pp. 42-45.)

EIRay L. Christiansen
Death does not deny parents from associating with their children if they are born in the covenant previously made by their parents in the holy temple or if they are sealed in holy temples as families, provided, of course, that all remain faithful to the end. (Conference Report, October 1965, p.76)

Delbert L. Stapley
May I begin by reminding you that God extends to earthly parents a choice blessing when he sends a spirit son or daughter of his to dwell in a mortal body provided by them. God grants to parents, if they have complied with his gospel laws and ordinances, the children born to them in the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, or sealed to them by the authority of the Holy Priesthood of God as their very own throughout the eternities of time. (Improvement Era, December 1960,) p.942   Parents who live righteously and develop every natural gift and talent through service are entitled to choice spirits from our Heavenly Father and have a greater opportunity to endow them richly with their own perfected qualities and virtues which should assure their children a happy and useful life. My brothers and sisters, what joy and happiness would come to us as a result of our own righteousness? The greatest dividends we could experience would be ours, and these dividends can only come as we honor the holy ordinances and covenants that we have entered into. May we do this and be faithful and true in all our obligations and duties I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. (Conference Report, October 1952, p .124)

Henry D. Moyle
If in this life only have we hope we would indeed be of all men the most miserable. The assurance that our relationship here as parents and children, as husbands and wives, will continue in heaven and this is but the beginning of a great and glorious kingdom that our Father has destined we shall inherit on the other side, fills us with hope and joy, One of the greatest evidences to me of the divinity of this work is that it teaches there is life eternal on the other side and that there will be a reunion there of the loved ones who have known each other here, consequently as parents we may well be patient and loving toward our children, for they will eternally abide with us on the other side, if we and they are faithful. . (Conference Report, October 1948, p.36)

Robert D. Hales
Then we are sealed for time and all eternity. Our children come into the world protected, born in the eternal covenants we have taken together as husband and wife. If we enter the waters of baptism after our family is grown, our children are sealed to us as though they were born in the covenant. (Conference Report April 1997, p. 81 Ensign)

OUR DUTY AS PARENTS

Heber J. Grant
Some men and women argue, “Well, I am a Latter-day Saint, and we were married in the temple and were sealed over the altar by one having the Priesthood of God, according to the new and everlasting covenant, and our children are bound to grow up and be good Latter-day Saints; they cannot help it; it is born in them.” I have learned the multiplication table, and so has my wife, but do you think I am a big enough fool to believe that our children will be born with a knowledge of the multiplication table? I may know that the gospel is true, and so may my wife; but I want to tell you that our children will not know that the gospel is true, unless they study it and gain a testimony for themselves. Parents are deceiving themselves in imagining that their children will be born with a knowledge of the gospel. Of course, they will have greater claim upon the blessings of God, being born under the new and everlasting covenant, and it will come natural for them to grow up and perform their duties; but the devil realizes this, and is therefore seeking all the harder to lead our children from the truth.–(Conference Report April, 1902:79-80.)

J. Reuben Clark
Messages of the First Presidency, Vo1.6. p.177 — The Lord has told us that it is the duty of every husband and wife to obey the command given to Adam to multiply and replenish the earth, so that the legions of choice spirits waiting for their tabernacles of flesh may come here and move forward under God’s great design to become perfect souls, for without these fleshly tabernacles they cannot progress to their God-planned destiny. Thus, every husband and wife should become a father and a mother in Israel to children born under the holy, eternal
covenant.

John A. Widtsoe 
Why do we marry in the temple? It provides the eternal possession of children and family relationship. There is yet an added blessing. Children born under the temple covenant belong to their parents for all time and eternity. That is, the family relationships on earth are continued, forever, here and hereafter. The family, continued from earth into the next world, becomes a unit in everlasting life. In the long eternities we shall not be lonely wanderers, but side by side, with our loved ones who have gone before and those who shall follow, we shall travel the endless journey. What mother does not value this promise! What father does not feel his heart warm towards the eternal possession of his family! What heartbreaking might have been avoided if humanity had been true to the truth, and had surrendered to the sealing power of the Priesthood of God. Temple marriage becomes a promise of unending joy.  It acts as a restraint against evil. The powers of darkness are ever active to push mankind into evil paths. Often, we are tempted to do foolish things. In the family little things may lead to discord. To create unhappiness is the aim of the adversary of righteousness. Here appears one of the foremost blessings of the temple marriage. Those who have been sealed in the temple have their eyes fixed upon eternity. They dare not forfeit the promised blessings. The family is to them an everlasting possession. They remember the covenants which make possible this eternal association. The temple marriage, with all that it means, becomes a restraining force in the presence of temptation. All family acts are more likely to be shaped in anticipation of an undying relationship. Under the influence of the memory of the temple ceremony, family differences are swallowed up in peace; hate is transmuted into love; fear, into courage; and evil is rebuked and cast out. Peace is the world’s great need. From the temples of the Lord and from everything done within them, issues the spirit of truth which is the foundation of peace.  It furnishes the opportunity for endless progression. Modem revelation sets forth the high destiny of those who are sealed for everlasting companionship. They will be given opportunity for a greater use of their powers. That means progress. They will attain more readily to their place in the presence of the Lord; they will increase more rapidly in every divine power; they will approach more nearly to the likeness of God; they will more completely realize their divine destiny. Human life with its cares and worries is transfigured into a radiant experience
and adventure when it clings to this divine power and is blessed by it. The men and women who have come with this power out of the Lord’s holy house will be hedged about by divine protection and walk more safely among the perplexities of earth. They will be indeed the ultimate conquerors of earth, for they come with the infinite power of God to solve the problems of earth. Spiritual power accompanies all who marry in the temple, if they thenceforth keep their sacred covenants. (Evidences and Reconciliations, p. 299-301)

Melvin J. Ballard
I want to say to you, my brothers and sisters, that I sustain the advice and counsel that was given along this line by President Smith, because of the experiences that have come within my observation. While there are honorable Gentiles who marry Mormon girls, every girl who is thus married is risking her happiness here and hereafter.  I believe that marriage is one of the most serious and important steps in life. Whatever we may accumulate in life, we will leave when we die, but the woman who is sealed to a man according to the law of God is his for time and all eternity, and the children that are born to them in that covenant will be theirs eternally. There is nothing else that we can gain in this world, outside of our resurrected bodies, and experiences, that will cling to us and stand with us forever. I believe that every girl should feel the importance of that step. She should realize its far reaching consequences, and satisfy herself, by a testimony through the Spirit of God, that her decision is a right one, just as thoroughly as she may know that God lives and that the Gospel is true. If she would take this course and listen to the advice of her parents, she would be spared much trouble and sorrow. After all, they come back to the counsel of father and mother, after years of distress, with stripes and scars upon them. We are doing what we can to comfort these girls. We encourage them to raise their children in the Church, and we are teaching them to set an example to the community where they reside that shall reflect credit upon the work of the Lord, and assist to redeem them, so far as can be, from the errors into which they have fallen. God is helping us in this direction. (Conference Report, October 1909, p.37)

Ezra Taft Benson
Ours is the privilege of opening the doors of salvation to those souls who may be imprisoned in darkness in the world of spirits, that they may receive the light of the gospel and be judged the same as we. Yes, “the works that I do” — proffering the saving ordinances of the gospel to others — “shall ye do also” (see John 14:12).  There are many Latter-day Saints who do not understand the nature of the obligations they are assuming in the temple. The late Elder George Q. Cannon said that young people go to the temple “with no particular desire, only to get married, without realizing the character of the obligations that they take upon themselves or the covenants that they make and the promises involved in the taking of these covenants. The result is that hundreds among us go to the house of the Lord and receive these blessings and come away without having any particular impression made upon them.” (George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truths, 1:227-28.) What is said about the young people may be said today concerning some of the older ones as well. (“Temple Blessings and Covenants,” Temple Presidents Seminar, Salt Lake City, Utah, 28 September 1982.)  I would like to direct my remarks to you parents and grandparents. I would like to share with you what I would hope you would teach your children about the temple. The temple is a sacred place, and the ordinances in the temple are of a sacred character. Because of its sacredness we are sometimes reluctant to say anything about the temple to our children and grandchildren. As a consequence, many do not develop a real desire to go to the temple, or when they go there, they do so without much background to prepare them for the obligations and covenants they enter into. I believe a proper understanding or background will immeasurably help prepare our youth for the temple. This understanding, I believe, will foster within them a desire to seek their priesthood blessings just as Abraham sought his. (“What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children About the Temple,” Ensign 15 [August 1985]: 8.)  I find myself in complete accord with a statement made by President Harold B. Lee during World War II. Said he: “We talk about security in this day, and yet we fail to understand that … we have standing the holy temple wherein we may find the symbols by which power might be generated that will save this nation from destruction” (Conference Report April 1942, p. 87).  God bless Israel! God bless those of our forebears who constructed this holy edifice. God bless us to teach our children and our grandchildren what great blessings await them by going to the temple. God bless us to receive all the blessings revealed by Elijah the prophet so that our callings and election will be made sure. I make it a practice, whenever I perform a marriage, to suggest to the young couple that they return to the temple as soon as they can and go through the temple again as husband and wife. It isn’t possible for them to understand fully the meaning of the holy endowment or the sealings with one trip through the temple, but as they repeat their visits to the temple, the beauty, the significance, and the importance of it all will be emphasized upon them. (God, Family, Country, p. 183.)  Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pages 249-256)

George Q. Cannon
Let us try to make our children all that we would like them to be, as far as our influence goes. I say to you parents who have children in the covenant, If you pray for them, God will feel after them, and He will save your posterity. He has made promises to this people, and you cling to them, in the meantime doing all you can yourselves to have those promises fulfilled, so that there will be no neglect on your part. Your children may err, and do things that are sinful and are painful and sorrowful to you. But cling to them. Pray for them. Exercise faith in tills behalf. Treat them with kindness; not, however, condoning their sins and their transgressions. But be full of charity, full of long-suffering, full of patience, and full of mercy to your children. Don’t drive them away by your severity, or by being too strict. But be kind and merciful to them, correcting their faults when they need correcting, at the same time showing them that your corrections are not prompted by anything but love for them and for their happiness. (Conference Report April 6th 1891.)

David O. McKay
The greatest trust that can come to a man and woman is the placing in their keeping the life of a little child. What must the Lord think, then, of parents who, through their own negligence or willful desire to indulge their selfishness, fail properly to rear their children, and thereby prove untrue to the greatest trust that has been given to human beings? In reply the Lord has said: ” … the sin be upon the heads of the parents.” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:25.) The happiest homes in the world should be found among members of the Church. Let us begin at once as parents to maintain the kind of influence or home atmosphere that will contribute to the normal moral development of children and eliminate form the home those elements which cause discord and strife.  Fathers and mothers sometimes by unwise conduct unwittingly influence their children toward delinquency. Among these unwise acts, I mention first, disagreeing, or quarreling on the part of parents in the presence of children. Sometimes such quarrels arise out of an attempt to correct or to discipline a child. One parent  criticizes, the other objects, and the good influence of the home, so far as the child is concerned, is nullified.  I name as a second unwise condition those who pollute the home atmosphere with “vulgarity” and “profanity.” I use the term “vulgarity” in the sense used by David
Starr Jordan. “To be vulgar,” he writes, “is to do that which is not the best of its kind. It is to do poor things in poor ways, and to be satisfied with that… It is vulgar to wear dirty linen when one is not engaged in dirty work. It is vulgar to like poor music… To find amusement in trashy novels, to enjoy vulgar theatres, to find pleasure in cheap jokes, to tolerate coarseness and looseness in any of its myriad forms.”  Parents are particularly untrue to their trust who will use profane words in the home. Profanity is a national vice. Parents pollute their home when they use it. To quarreling of parents before children, to vulgarity, and to the condemnatory use of profanity, there may be added a third contributing factor to parental delinquency, and that is the non-conformity in the homes to Church standards… It is the consistent parent who gains the trust of his child. When children feel that you reciprocate their trust, the will not violate your confidence nor doing dishonor to your name.  “The parent must live truth, or the child will not live it. The child will startle you with its quickness in puncturing the bubble of your pretended knowledge; in instinctively piercing the heart of a sophistry without being conscious of process; in relentlessly enumerating your unfulfilled promises; in detecting with a justice of a court of equity a technically of speech that is virtually a lie. He will justify his own lapses from truth by appeal to some white lie told to a visitor and unknown to be overheard by the little ones, whose mental powers we ever underestimate in theory though we may overpraise in words.” (Wm. George Jordan, The Power of Truth.)  The best time to teach the child obedience is between the ages of two to four. It is then that the child should learn that there are limits to his actions, that there are certain bounds beyond which he cannot ass with impunity. This conformity to come conditions can be easily obtained with kindness, but with firmness. The most effective way to teach religion in the home is not by preaching but by living. Brethren and sisters, let us strive to have fewer broken homes, and in our homes to have harmony and peace. From such homes will go men and women motivated with a desire to build, not to destroy.  I hope that in the hearts of those who are listening there will have been awakened a realization that example in the home is entirely essential to the proclamation of peace abroad. (Conference Report, April 1955)

Delbert L. Stapley
Now, it is important to us parents to remember our responsibility in respect to all of these holy ordinances and covenants entered into in the temples of our God. We must keep them sacred, and do nothing to violate the provisions of these covenants, otherwise the blessings that are pronounced upon us, and all blessings are predicated upon our obedience, will not be ours to enjoy and perhaps we shall not bestow to our children the gifts and endowments they have a right to receive. Conference Report, October 1952, p.123 – p.124)

LIMITS OR RESERVES IN THE SEALINGs

Joseph Smith
This spirit of Elijah was manifest in the days of the Apostles, in delivering certain ones to the buffetings of Satan, that they might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.  They were sealed by the spirit of Elijah unto the damnation of hell until the day of the Lord, or revelation of Jesus Christ… According to the Scripture, if men have received the good word of God, and tasted of the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, it is impossible to renew them again, seeing they have crucified the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame; so there is a possibility of falling away; you could not be renewed again, and the power of Elijah cannot seal against this sin, for this is a reserve made in the seals and power of the Priesthood. (TPJS  pp.337-339)

Robert Millet
Isn’t it possible that one can stray so far as to forfeit blessings hereafter?  Yes, there are limits, not necessarily to God’s mercy but the extent to which mercy can temper justice. In speaking of very serious sins, President Joseph F. Smith explained that a person can and will be forgiven if he repents; “The blood of Christ will make him free, and will wash him clean, though his sins be as scarlet; but all this will not return to him any loss sustained, nor place him on an equal footing with his neighbor who has kept the commandments of the better law. Nor will it place him in a position where he would have been, had he not committed wrong” (Gospel Doctrine, 372; see also Spencer W. Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness, 310-11).  President Joseph Fielding Smith declared that “Children born under the covenant, who drift away, are still the children of their parents; and the parents have a claim upon them; and if the children have not sinned away all their rights, the parents may be able to bring them through repentance, into the celestial kingdom, but not to receive the exaltation” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:91). That is why we teach that prevention is far, far better than redemption. Though we rejoice in the cleansing powers of the blood of our Redeemer, we must, as President Harold B. Lee observed, impress the members of the Church “with the awfulness of sin rather than to content ourselves with merely teaching the way of repentance” (Decisions for Successful Living, p. 88.) [When a Child Wanders, p. 120-121]

Joseph L. Wirthlin
Since Elijah’s appearance to the Prophet Joseph Smith, temples have been erected wherein are performed these binding ordinances which seal fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters together, not only for time but for all eternity. These sealings are valid as far as eternities are concerned in so far as children honor fathers and mothers. Family relationship in this life will influence our future eternal associations. Failure to honor parents temporally will jeopardize anticipated eternal blessings. Israel’s God will never sustain any son or daughter who enjoys the privilege of having a tabernacle in the flesh and then casts that father or mother aside who has made this glorious privilege possible. As God’s covenant people, the obligation resting upon us to honor fathers and mothers is just as binding as it was upon the children of Israel and the Saints who lived in the days of Christ. If there is one people who should fully understand and comprehend the fifth commandment from a temporal and a spiritual point of view, it should be the members of the restored Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Conference Report, October 1943, p.121)

Joseph Fielding Smith
Children born to them under the covenant–that is, to parents married in the temple–are entitled to blessings which children outside of the covenant are not entitled to receive. The Lord speaks of marriage outside of the temple as “entering into the deaths–eternal deaths.” That doesn’t mean they are going to die again. Every soul will get the resurrection. But after the resurrection comes the segregation into kingdoms– celestial, terrestrial, telestial, and then to be cast out–which will come to some–with the devil and his angels. Where they go, I don’t know. The Lord has spoken of it as outer darkness. So the Lord prepares places for all. Eternal deaths means that they are separately and singly forever. They have no increase. The Lord calls that death. They do not continue–that is, they do not continue through posterity–they come to an end. (Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol 4, p.197)  In the temple of the Lord a couple goes to be sealed or married for time and all eternity. Children born in that union will be the children of that father and mother not only in mortal life but in all eternity, and they become members of the family of God in heaven and on earth, as spoken of by Paul, and that family order should never be broken. The Lord tried to impress this upon his disciples that it was only because of the hardness of the hearts of the people, because they failed to keep the commandments that the Lord had given them that Moses granted the putting away of the wife. Today the laws are different, and sometimes men put away their wives, and sometimes wives put away their husbands, but a marriage in the temple of the Lord should be one that should be considered sacred and holy, never to be violated in any way whatsoever because it means that those who enter into such a covenant shall continue after death and have eternal increase and build a kingdom.  Now how in the world a man and a woman can go to the temple and there be sealed and make their solemn covenants that they will be true and faithful before the Lord, and then the time comes when one of them is dissatisfied, maybe both, and they want to separate! They are committing one of the great crimes that could be committed, if they have children. Those children born to them have a right to the companionship of father and mother, and father and mother are under obligations \before their Eternal Father to be true to each other and raise those children in light and truth, that they may in the eternities to come, be one — a family within the great family of God, as spoken of by Paul. It is only because of transgression on the part of the wife or of the husband, or perhaps on the part of both, when a couple has been married in the temple of the Lord, and then separate. If they were true to their covenants, to the obligations that they have made to each other at the altar in the house of the Lord, they could not separate, and if they have children, they are not only committing a crime against themselves but they are harming those children and robbing them of blessings that they were born entitled to receive. (Conference Report, April 1961, p.49)  The sacred act of marriage was the crowning act of all creation: “In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him: Male and Female created he them; and blessed them” (Gen. 5:1-2). With his blessing they truly could set the pattern for their descendants thereafter who two by two, a man and a woman, could leave father and mother, cleave to each other, and “be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Thus began the great plan of God for the happiness of all his children. The Lord has told us that it is the duty of every husband and wife to obey the command given to Adam to multiply and replenish the earth, so that the legions of choice spirits waiting for their tabernacles of flesh may come here and move forward under God’s great design to become perfect souls, for without these fleshly tabernacles they cannot progress to their God-planned destiny. Thus, every husband and wife should become a father and mother in Israel to children born under the holy, eternal covenant. (Conference Report, October 1942, p,12)  The continuation of the marriage covenant, and the family as a unit, was the crowning blessing in the restoration of the keys by the prophet Elijah. If there were no family organization approved of then the whole earth would be under a curse at the day of the coming of the Lord. What would be the need of the hearts of the fathers turning to their children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, if they were not to be united by some eternal union? It is the family eternally organized according to the law of God, which will save the earth from utter destruction when that great and dreadful day of the Lord shall come. The keys are here by which all who will may make perpetual their family relationship. Marriage is eternal as a part of life. The family must be also. Logically there can be no marriage without the family. (The Way to Perfection, p.253)

Ezra Taft Benson
The temple ceremony was given by a wise Heavenly Father to help us become more Christ like. The endowment was revealed by revelation and can be understood only by revelation. The instruction is given in symbolic language. The late Apostle John A. Widtsoe taught, “No man or woman can come out of the temple endowed as he should be, unless he has seen, beyond the symbol, the mighty realities for which the symbol stands” (“Temple Worship,” address given in Salt Lake City, 12 October 1920). Temples are built and dedicated so that, through the priesthood, parents can be sealed to their children and children can be sealed to their parents. These sealing ordinances apply to both the living and the dead. If we fail to be sealed to our progenitors and our posterity, the purpose of this earth, man’s exaltation, will be utterly wasted so far as we are concerned. (Jordan River Utah Temple Cornerstone Laying, 15 August 1981.)  Even though the Aaronic Priesthood and Melchizedek Priesthood had been restored to the earth, the Lord urged the Saints to build a temple to receive the keys by which this order of priesthood could be administered on the earth again, “for there [was] not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost even the fullness of the priesthood” (Doctrine and Covenants124:28).  The work we are performing here has direct relationship to the work over there.  Someday you will know that there are ordinances performed over there, too, in order to make the vicarious work which you do effective. It will all be done under the authority and power of the priesthood of God. (Sao Paulo Brazil Temple, 26 February 1979.)  The Lord’s great program moves forward on both sides of the veil. (Mesa Arizona Temple Rededication, 16 April 1975.)  The veil is very thin. We are living in eternity. All is as with one day with God. I imagine that to the Lord there is no veil. It is all one great program… (“Temple Memories,” Ogden Utah Temple Dedication, 18 January 1972.)  How did Adam bring his descendants into the presence of the Lord? The answer: Adam and his descendants entered into the priesthood order of God. Today we would say they went to the house of the Lord and received their blessings. The order of priesthood spoken of in the scriptures is sometimes referred to as the patriarchal order because it came down from father to son. But this order is otherwise described in modern revelation as an order of family government wherein a man and woman enter into a covenant with God — just as did Adam and Eve — to be sealed for eternity, to have posterity, and to do the will and work of God throughout their mortality. Elijah brought the keys of sealing powers — that power which seals a man to a woman and seals their posterity to them endlessly, that which seals their forefathers to them all the way back to Adam. (“What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children About the Temple,” Ensign 15 [August 1985]:10.)

Joseph Smith
All the religious world is boasting of righteousness it is the doctrine of the devil to retard the human mind, and hinder our progress, by filling us with self-righteousness. The nearer we get to our heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs. (DPS, pp. 240-241.)  There is never a time when the spirit is too old to approach God. All are within the reach of pardoning mercy, who have not committed the unpardonable sin. (TPJS, p. 191.)

Harold B. Lee
Those born to the lineage of Jacob, who was later to be called Israel, and his posterity, who were known as the children of Israel, were born into the most illustrious lineage of any of those who came upon the earth as mortal beings. “All these rewards seemingly promised or foreordained, before the world was. Surely these matters must have been determined by the kind of lives we had lived in that premarital spirit world. Some may question these assumptions, but at the same time they will accept without any question the belief that each one of us will be judged when we leave this earth according to his or her deeds during our lives here in mortality. Isn’t it just as reasonable to believe that what we have received here in this earth [life] was given to each of us according to the merits of our conduct before we came here?” (Conference Report, October 1973, pp. 7-8.)

Russell M. Nelson
Once we know who we are and the royal lineage of which we are a part, our actions and directions in life will be more appropriate to our inheritance. (“Thanks for the Covenant,” p. 59.)

Joseph Smith
“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. (DPS pp., 320, 321.)

Boyd K. Packer
Some year ago I was in Washington, D.C., with President Harold B. Lee. Early one morning he called me to come into his hotel room. He was sitting in his robe reading Gospel Doctrine, by President Joseph F. Smith, and he said, “listen to this!”  “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.”  And so we pray, and we fast, and we plead, and we implore. We love those who wander, and we never give up hope. (Conference Report October 1995, p. 24.

THE PROMISE

Joseph Smith
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” (TPJS, pp. 320-321)

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 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 11:215)

Lorenzo Snow
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, for every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. 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 morning over yonder mountains. Therefore, mourn not because all you sons and daughters do not follow in the path that you marked out to them, or give heed to your counsels. Inasmuch as we succeed in securing eternal glory, and stand as saviors, and as kings and priests to our God, we will save our posterity… God will have His own 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; but remember that righteousness and joy in the Holy Ghost is what you and I have the privilege of possessing at all times (6 Oct. 1893; in General Conference, Collected Discourses, 3:364-65)

Orson F. Whitney
You parents of the willful and the wayward! Don’t give them 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. They have but strayed in ignorance from the Path of Right, and God is merciful to ignorance. 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.  The Prophet Joseph Smith declared – and he never taught more comforting doctrine – that the eternal sealings 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 of later they will feel 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, the 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. (Conference Report, April 1929, p. 110)

Boyd K. Packer
It is a great challenge to raise a family in the darkening mists of our moral environment.  We emphasize that the greatest work you will do will be within the walls of your home (see Harold B. Lee, in Conference Report, Apr. 1973, p. 130), and that ‘no other success can compensate for failure in the home’ (see David O. McKay, in Conference Report, April 1935, p. 116).  The measure of our success as parents, however, will not rest 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. (CR, April 1992, pp. 94-95)  Every soul confined to a concentration camp of sin and guilt has a key to the gate. The adversary cannot hold them if they know how to use it. The key is labeled Repentance. The twin principles of repentance and forgiveness exceed in strength the awesome power of the adversary.  I know of no sins connected with the moral standard for which we cannot be forgiven. I do not exempt abortion. The formula is stated in forty words: Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.  By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins – behold, he will confess them and forsake them” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:42-43).  However long and painful the process of repentance, the Lord has said: This is the covenant… I will make with them… I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more”  Hebrews 10:16-17; Italics added. (Conference Report October 1992, p.94-95.)

Gordon B. Hinckley
I have a burning desire that a temple be located within reasonable access to Latter-day Saints through out the world.  These unique and wonderful buildings, and the ordinances administered therein, represent the ultimate in our worship. These ordinances become the most profound expressions of our theology. I urge our people everywhere with all of the persuasiveness of which I am capable, to live worthy to hold a temple recommend, to secure one and regard it as a precious asset, and to make a greater effort to go to the house of the Lord and partake of the spirit and the blessings to be had therein. I am satisfied that every man or woman who goes to the temple in a spirit of sincerity and faith leaves the house of the Lord a better man or woman. There is need for constant improvement in all of our lives. There is need occasionally to leave the noise and the tumult of the world and step within the walls of a sacred house of God, there to feel His spirit in an environment of holiness and peace. If every man in the church who has been ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood were to qualify himself to hold a temple recommend and then were to go to the house of the Lord and renew his covenants in solemnity before God and witnesses, we would be a better people. There would be little or no infidelity among us. Divorce would almost entirely disappear. So much of heartache and heartbreak would be avoided.  There would be a greater measure of peace and love and happiness in our homes. There would be fewer weeping wives and weeping children. There would be a greater measure of appreciation and of mutual respect among us. (Conference Report, October 1995, pages .71-72)   I love the priesthood which is among us, this authority given to men to speak in
the name of God. I am grateful for its power and authority, which reach even beyond the veil of death. How magnificent will be the future as the Almighty rolls on His glorious work, touching for good all who will accept and live His gospel and even reaching to the eternal blessing of His sons and daughters of all generations through the selfless work of those whose hearts are filled with love for the Redeemer of the world. (Conference Report, October 1995, pages 92-95).  Through the history of the generations of man, the actions of rebellious children have been latent with sorrow and heartbreak, but even when there has been rebellion, the strong cords of family life have reached out to encircle the rebellious one” (Conference Report, April 1991, p. 95.)

Dallin H. Oaks
Another idea that is powerful to lift us from discouragement is that the work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to bring to pass the … eternal life of
man” (Moses 1:39), is an eternal work. Not all problems are overcome and not all needed relationships are fixed in mortality. The work of salvation goes on beyond the veil of death, and we should not be too apprehensive about incompleteness within the limits of mortality. (Conference Report, October 1995, p. 32).

Richard G. Scott
Thank your Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son for the plan of happiness and the gospel principles upon which it is based. Be grateful for ordinances and the
covenants they have provided. I solemnly testify they have power to crown your life with peace and joy, to give it purpose and meaning. You will learn that sadness and disappointment are temporary. Happiness is everlastingly eternal because of Jesus Christ. (Conference Report, May 1996, p. 26).

Henry B. Eyring
I testify that God the Father lives and that He loves you. I testify that Jesus is the Christ, that He called you, and that He atoned for your sins and those of all you will
ever serve. I testify that President Gordon B. Hinckley holds the keys that allow us to offer to our Father’s children the covenants and ordinances that can qualify them for eternal life. And I pray with all my heart that we may touch lives with faith enough to repent and to make and keep those sacred covenants. (Conference Report, October 1995, p. 54).  Sadly, each of us knows that even teaching, testifying, and living true to that testimony may not pass on the legacy. Great and good parents have done that and then seen their families or some in their families reject that testimony. There is reason for us to have great hope and optimism. It comes first from our testimony of the nature of our Heavenly Father: he loves our family members: he is their Heavenly Father as well as ours. It also comes from our testimony of the mission of Jesus Christ: he paid the price to redeem them. And it come from our testimony of the restoration of priesthood keys. Because of that the power is on the earth again to make covenants with God, which seals families together, covenants which God honors.  That is why we must not despair. As we offer the legacy of testimony to our families, some may not receive it. It may even seem to skip over generations. But God will reach out to offer the legacy again and again. More than we can imagine, our faithful effort to offer to our family the testimony we have of the truth will be multiplied in power and extended in time.  We have all seen evidence of that in families we have known. I saw it in South America as I looked into the faces of missionaries. Hundreds of them passed by me
shaking my hand and looking deeply into my eyes. I was nearly overwhelmed with the confirmation that these children of Father Lehi and of Sariah were there in the Lord’s service because our Heavenly Father honors his promises to families. To nearly his last breath, Lehi taught and testified and tried to bless his children. Terrible tragedy came among his descendants when they rejected his testimony, the testimonies of other prophets, and of the scriptures. But in the eyes and faces of those missionaries I felt confirmation that God has kept his promises to reach out to Lehi’s covenant children and that he will reach out to ours.  I know that we can live together in families in eternal life, the greatest of all the gifts of God. (Conference Report, May 1996, p. 64)

Joseph Fielding Smith
Death does not separate righteous parents who are joined by decree and authority of the Father, neither does it take from these parents their righteous children,
for they are born under the covenant, and therefore, their parents have claim upon them forever. It may be asked, what is the advantage coming to those born under the covenant? Being heirs they have claims upon the blessings of the gospel beyond what those not so born are entitled to receive. They may receive a greater guidance, a greater protection, a greater inspiration from the Spirit of the Lord; and then there is no power that can take them away from their parents. All children born under the covenant belong to their parents in eternity, but that does not mean that they, because of that birthright, will inherit celestial glory. The faith and faithfulness of fathers and mothers will not save disobedient children. But children born under the covenant, who drift away, are still the children of their parents; and the parents have a claim upon them; and if the children have not sinned away all their rights, the parents may be able to bring them through repentance, into the celestial kingdom, but not to receive the exaltation. (Doctrines of Salvation. Vol. 2, p. 89-91)  It (sealing power of Elijah) is the authority by which parents obtain the claim of parenthood, concerning their children, through all eternity and not only for time, which makes eternal the family in the kingdom of God. (Doctrines of Salvation Vol. 2, p. 117).  It may be asked what is the advantage coming to those born under the covenant? Being heirs they have claims on the blessings of the gospel beyond what those not so born are entitled to receive. They may receive a greater guidance, a greater protection, a greater inspiration from the Spirit of the Lord. (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:90.)

Rulon S. Wells
I rejoice today that I have been born of goodly parents, that I have been born under the new and everlasting covenant. I rejoice in the work that is being
accomplished by the Latter-day Saints in the building of these great temples wherein work may be performed for the living and for the dead; and while I remember those who immediately are responsible for my birth upon this earth, my heart goes back throughout the generations that have passed, and gone, until I connect and link myself up with the great household of God through Abraham his servant, and I believe with all my soul that there must be a welding link between each of us and those that have gone before until we shall indeed become members of that wonderful family that was chosen in that primeval day to come through his lineage, through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is the heritage of the Latter-day Saints, and our destiny is to fulfill these obligations, to carry the gospel to all the inhabitants of the earth, that they may hear the truth, and that the honest in heart among every nation shall be gathered into the fold of Christ and brought under the new and everlasting covenant which is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that the family may be united in that welding link that shall connect us, for without them we cannot be saved, and without us neither can they be saved; and it is essential that this work shall go on. For what man or what woman would rejoice or be happy if he could not be associated with his own kindred? What man or what woman would feel that he was enjoying a blessing in the world to come if it were not in the association of his father and his mother? What parent could possibly feel that heaven would be heaven to him unless he could be associated there with his own children? What is true of these immediate connections is true of those that have gone on before. Our fathers and our mothers would never be happy nor feel that they could be exalted and saved in the kingdom of God unless they could be associated with their fathers and their mothers. And so it will be until we connect ourselves and reunite in that one great family, the family of God, united together with that welding link under the new and everlasting covenant. (Conference Report, October 1924, p.42)

Ezra Taft Benson
In the peace of these lovely temples, sometimes we find solutions to the serious problems of life. Under the influence of the Spirit, sometimes pure knowledge flows to us there. Temples are places of personal revelation. When I have been weighed down by a problem or a difficulty, I have gone to the house of the Lord with a prayer in my heart for answers. These answers have come in clear and unmistakable ways. If our children — and their children — are taught well by us, this temple will have special significance. It will be an ever-present reminder that God intends the family to be eternal. …The richest blessings known to men and women in this world which are tied up with the sacred ordinances and blessings of the temples of God.  Now let me say something to all who can worthily go to the house of the Lord. When you attend the temple and perform the ordinances that pertain to the house of the Lord, certain blessings will come to you: You will receive the spirit of Elijah, which will turn your hearts to your spouse, to your children, and to your forebears. You will love your family with a deeper love than you have loved before. You will be endowed with power from on high as the Lord has promised. You will receive the key of the knowledge of God (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:19). You will learn how you can be like Him. Even the power of godliness will be manifest to you (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:20). By the ordinances that they receive in holy places, they will be armed with righteousness and endowed with the power of God in great measure.  Sometimes we live almost under the eaves, in the shade of the temple, and fail to take advantage of the priceless blessings that are available to us in the house of the Lord. The richest blessings of this life and of eternity are tied up with these sacred ordinances. (Conference Report, October 1952, Improvement Era)  Yes, there is a power associated with the ordinances of heaven — even the power of godliness — which can and will thwart the forces of evil if we will be worthy of those sacred blessings. This community will be protected, our families will be protected, our children will be safeguarded as we live the gospel, visit the temple, and live close to the Lord. (Atlanta Georgia Temple Cornerstone Laying, 1 June 1983.)  If a couple are true to their covenants, they are entitled to the blessing of the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. These covenants today can only be entered into by going to the house of the Lord. Adam followed this order and brought his posterity into the presence of God. He is the great example to follow. When our children obey the Lord and go to the temple to receive their blessings and enter into the marriage covenant, they enter into the same order of the priesthood that God instituted in the beginning with father Adam. Birth in the covenant entitles those children to a birthright blessing which guarantees them eternal parentage regardless of what happens to the parents, so long as the children remain worthy of the blessings.  (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.251-260).

Russell M. Nelson
We are… children of the covenant. We have received, as did they of old, the holy priesthood and the everlasting gospel. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are our ancestors. We are of Israel. We have the right to receive the gospel, blessings of the priesthood, and eternal life. Nations of the earth will be blessed by our efforts and by the labors of our posterity. The literal seed of Abraham and those who are gathered into his family by adoption receive these promised blessings – predicated upon acceptance of the Lord and obedience to his commandments. (Conference Report, October 1995, pp. 42-45.)

EIRay L. Christiansen
Death does not deny parents from associating with their children if they are born in the covenant previously made by their parents in the holy temple or if they are sealed in holy temples as families, provided, of course, that all remain faithful to the end. (Conference Report, October 1965, p.76)

Delbert L. Stapley
May I begin by reminding you that God extends to earthly parents a choice blessing when he sends a spirit son or daughter of his to dwell in a mortal body provided by them. God grants to parents, if they have complied with his gospel laws and ordinances, the children born to them in the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, or sealed to them by the authority of the Holy Priesthood of God as their very own throughout the eternities of time. (Improvement Era, December 1960,) p.942.  Parents who live righteously and develop every natural gift and talent through service are entitled to choice spirits from our Heavenly Father and have a greater opportunity to endow them richly with their own perfected qualities and virtues which should assure their children a happy and useful life. My brothers and sisters, what joy and happiness would come to us as a result of our own righteousness? The greatest dividends we could experience would be ours, and these dividends can only come as we honor the holy ordinances and covenants that we have entered into. May we do this and be faithful and true in all our obligations and duties I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. (Conference Report, October 1952, p .124)

Henry D. Moyle
If in this life only have we hope we would indeed be of all men the most miserable. The assurance that our relationship here as parents and children, as husbands and wives, will continue in heaven and this is but the beginning of a great and glorious kingdom that our Father has destined we shall inherit on the other side, fills us with hope and joy, One of the greatest evidences to me of the divinity of this work is that it teaches there is life eternal on the other side and that there will be a reunion there of the loved ones who have known each other here, consequently as parents we may well be patient and loving toward our children, for they will eternally abide with us on the other side, if we and they are faithful. . (Conference Report, October 1948, p.36)

Robert D. Hales
Then we are sealed for time and all eternity. Our children come into the world protected, born in the eternal covenants we have taken together as husband and wife. If we enter the waters of baptism after our family is grown, our children are sealed to us as though they were born in the covenant. (Conference Report, April 1997, p. 81 Ensign)

OUR DUTY AS PARENTS

Heber J. Grant
Some men and women argue, “Well, I am a Latter-day Saint, and we were married in the temple and were sealed over the altar by one having the Priesthood of God, according to the new and everlasting covenant, and our children are bound to grow up and be good Latter-day Saints; they cannot help it; it is born in them.” I have learned the multiplication table, and so has my wife, but do you think I am a big enough fool to believe that our children will be born with a knowledge of the multiplication table? I may know that the gospel is true, and so may my wife; but I want to tell you that our children will not know that the gospel is true, unless they study it and gain a testimony for themselves. Parents are deceiving themselves in imagining that their children will be born with a knowledge of the gospel. Of course, they will have greater claim upon the blessings of God, being born under the new and everlasting covenant, and it will come natural for them to grow up and perform their duties; but the devil realizes this, and is therefore seeking all the harder to lead our children from the truth.–(Conference Report April, 1902:79-80.)

J. Reuben Clark.
The Lord has told us that it is the duty of every husband and wife to obey the command given to Adam to multiply and replenish the earth, so that the legions of choice spirits waiting for their tabernacles of flesh may come here and move forward under God’s great design to become perfect souls, for without these fleshly tabernacles they cannot progress to their God-planned destiny. Thus, every husband and wife should become a father and a mother in Israel to children born under the holy, eternal covenant.

John A. Widtsoe
It provides the eternal possession of children and family relationship. There is yet an added blessing. Children born under the temple covenant belong to their parents for all time and eternity. That is, the family relationships on earth are continued, forever, here and hereafter. The family, continued from earth into the next world, becomes a unit in everlasting life. In the long eternities we shall not be lonely wanderers, but side by side, with our loved ones who have gone before and those who shall follow, we shall travel the endless journey. What mother does not value this promise! What father does not feel his heart warm towards the eternal possession of his family! What heartbreaking might have been avoided if humanity had been true to the truth, and had surrendered to the sealing power of the Priesthood of God. Temple marriage becomes a promise of unending joy. It acts as a restraint against evil. The powers of darkness are ever active to push mankind into evil paths. Often, we are tempted to do foolish things. In the family little things may lead to discord. To create unhappiness is the aim of the adversary of righteousness. Here appears one of the foremost blessings of the temple marriage. Those who have been sealed in the temple have their eyes fixed upon eternity. They dare not forfeit the promised blessings. The family is to them an everlasting possession. They remember the covenants which make possible this eternal association. The temple marriage, with all that it means, becomes a restraining force in the presence of temptation. All family acts are more likely to be shaped in anticipation of an undying relationship. Under the influence of the memory of the temple ceremony, family differences are swallowed up in peace; hate is transmuted into love; fear, into courage; and evil is rebuked and cast out. Peace is the world’s great need. From the temples of the Lord and from everything done within them, issues the spirit of truth which is the foundation of peace. It furnishes the opportunity for endless progression. Modem revelation sets forth the high destiny of those who are sealed for everlasting companionship. They will be given opportunity for a greater use of their powers. That means progress. They will attain more readily to their place in the presence of the Lord; they will increase more rapidly in every divine power; they will approach more nearly to the likeness of God; they will more completely realize their divine destiny. Human life with its cares and worries is transfigured into a radiant experience and adventure when it clings to this divine power and is blessed by it. The men and women who have come with this power out of the Lord’s holy house will be hedged about by divine protection and walk more safely among the perplexities of earth. They will be indeed the ultimate conquerors of earth, for they come with the infinite power of God to solve the problems of earth. Spiritual power accompanies all who marry in the temple, if they thenceforth keep their sacred covenants. (Evidences and Reconciliations, p. 299-301)

Melvin J. Ballard
I want to say to you, my brothers and sisters, that I sustain the advice and counsel that was given along this line by President Smith, because of the experiences that have come within my observation. While there are honorable Gentiles who marry Mormon girls, every girl who is thus married is risking her happiness here and hereafter. I believe that marriage is one of the most serious and important steps in life. Whatever we may accumulate in life, we will leave when we die, but the woman who is sealed to a man according to the law of God is his for time and all eternity, and the children that are born to them in that covenant will be theirs eternally. There is nothing else that we can gain in this world, outside of our resurrected bodies, and experiences, that will cling to us and stand with us forever. I believe that every girl should feel the importance of that step. She should realize its far reaching consequences, and satisfy herself, by a testimony through the Spirit of God, that her decision is a right one, just as thoroughly as she may know that God lives and that the Gospel is true. If she would take this course and listen to the advice of her parents, she would be spared much trouble and sorrow. After all, they come back to the counsel of father and mother, after years of distress, with stripes and scars upon them. We are doing what we can to comfort these girls. We encourage them to raise their children in the Church, and we are teaching them to set an example to the community where they reside that shall reflect credit upon the work of the Lord, and assist to redeem them, so far as can be, from the errors into which they have fallen. God is helping us in this direction. (Conference Report, October 1909, p.37)

Ezra Taft Benson
Ours is the privilege of opening the doors of salvation to those souls who may be imprisoned in darkness in the world of spirits, that they may receive the light of the gospel and be judged the same as we. Yes, “the works that I do” — proffering the saving ordinances of the gospel to others — “shall ye do also” (see John 14:12). There are many Latter-day Saints who do not understand the nature of the obligations they are assuming in the temple. The late Elder George Q. Cannon said that young people go to the temple “with no particular desire, only to get married, without realizing the character of the obligations that they take upon themselves or the covenants that they make and the promises involved in the taking of these covenants. The result is that hundreds among us go to the house of the Lord and receive these blessings and come away without having any particular impression made upon them.” (George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truths, 1:227-28.) What is said about the young people may be said today concerning some of the older ones as well. (“Temple Blessings and Covenants,” Temple Presidents Seminar, Salt Lake City, Utah, 28 September 1982.) I would like to direct my remarks to you parents and grandparents. I would like to share with you what I would hope you would teach your children about the temple. The temple is a sacred place, and the ordinances in the temple are of a sacred character. Because of its sacredness we are sometimes reluctant to say anything about the temple to our children and grandchildren. As a consequence, many do not develop a real desire to go to the temple, or when they go there, they do so without much background to prepare them for the obligations and covenants they enter into. I believe a proper understanding or background will immeasurably help prepare our youth for the temple. This understanding, I believe, will foster within them a desire to seek their priesthood blessings just as Abraham sought his. (“What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children About the Temple,” Ensign 15 [August 1985]: 8.)  I find myself in complete accord with a statement made by President Harold B. Lee during World War II. Said he: “We talk about security in this day, and yet we fail to understand that … we have standing the holy temple wherein we may find the symbols by which power might be generated that will save this nation from destruction” (James R. Clark. April 1942, p. 87). God bless Israel! God bless those of our forebears who constructed this holy edifice. God bless us to teach our children and our grandchildren what great blessings await them by going to the temple. God bless us to receive all the blessings revealed by Elijah the prophet so that our callings and election will be made sure. (“What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children About the Temple,” Ensign 15 [August 1985]: 10.) I make it a practice, whenever I perform a marriage, to suggest to the young couple that they return to the temple as soon as they can and go through the temple again as husband and wife. It isn’t possible for them to understand fully the meaning of the holy endowment or the sealings with one trip through the temple, but as they repeat their visits to the temple, the beauty, the significance, and the importance of it all will be emphasized upon them. (God, Family, Country, p. 183.)  Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pages 249 to 256

George Q. Cannon
Let us try to make our children all that we would like them to be, as far as our influence goes. I say to you parents who have children in the covenant, If you pray for them, God will feel after them, and He will save your posterity. He has made promises to this people, and you cling to them, in the meantime doing all you can yourselves to have those promises fulfilled, so that there will be no neglect on your part. Your children may err, and do things that are sinful and are painful and sorrowful to you. But cling to them. Pray for them. Exercise faith in tills behalf. Treat them with kindness; not, however, condoning their sins and their transgressions. But be full of charity, full of long-suffering, full of patience, and full of mercy to your children. Don’t drive them away by your severity, or by being too strict. But be kind and merciful to them, correcting their faults when they need correcting, at the same time showing them that
your corrections are not prompted by anything but love for them and for their happiness. (Conference Report. April 6th 1891.)

David O. McKay
The greatest trust that can come to a man and woman is the placing in their keeping the life of a little child. What must the Lord think, then, of parents who, through their own negligence or willful desire to indulge their selfishness, fail properly to rear their children, and thereby prove untrue to the greatest trust that has been given to human beings? In reply the Lord has said: ” … the sin be upon the heads of the parents.” (D. & C. 68:25.) The happiest homes in the world should be found among members of the Church. Let us begin at once as parents to maintain the kind of influence or home atmosphere that will contribute to the normal moral development of children and eliminate form the home those elements which cause discord and strife. Fathers and mothers sometimes by unwise conduct unwittingly influence their children toward delinquency. Among these unwise acts, I mention first, disagreeing, or quarreling on the part of parents in the presence of children. Someti es such quarrels arise out of an attempt to correct or to discipline a child. One parent criticizes, the other objects, and the good influence of the home, so far as the child is concerned, is nullified. I name as a second unwise condition those who pollute the home atmosphere with “vulgarity” and “profanity.” I use the term “vulgarity” in the sense used by David Starr Jordan. “To be vulgar,” he writes, “is to do that which is not the best of its kind. It is to do poor things in poor ways, and to be satisfied with that… It is vulgar to wear dirty linen when one is not engaged in dirty work. It is vulgar to like poor music… To find amusement in trashy novels, to enjoy vulgar theaters, to find pleasure in cheap jokes, to tolerate coarseness and looseness in any of its myriad forms.” Parents are particularly untrue to their trust who will use profane words in the home. Profanity is a national vice. Parents pollute their home when they use it. To quarreling of parents before children, to vulgarity, and to the condemnatory use of profanity, there may be added a third contributing factor to parental delinquency, and that is the non-conformity in the homes to Church standards… It is the consistent parent who gains the trust of his child. When children feel that you reciprocate their trust, the will not violate your confidence nor doing dishonor to your name. “The parent must live truth, or the child will not live it. The child will startle you with its quickness in puncturing the bubble of your pretended knowledge; in instinctively piercing the heart of a sophistry without being conscious of process; in relentlessly enumerating your unfulfilled promises; in detecting with a justice of a court of equity a technically of speech that is virtually a lie. He will justify his own lapses from truth by appeal to some white lie told to a visitor and unknown to be overheard by the little ones, whose mental powers we ever underestimate in theory though we may overpraise in words.” (Wm. George Jordan, The Power of Truth.) The best time to teach the child obedience is between the ages of two to four. It is then that the child should learn that there are limits to his actions, that there are certain bounds beyond which he cannot ass with impunity. This conformity to come conditions can be easily obtained with kindness, but with firmness. The most effective way to teach religion in the home is not by preaching but by living. Brethren and sisters, let us strive to have fewer broken homes, and in our homes to have harmony and peace. From such homes will go men and women motivated with a desire to build, not to destroy. I hope that in the hearts of those who are listening there will have been awakened a realization that example in the home is entirely essential to the proclamation of peace abroad. (Conference Report, April 1955)

Delbert L. Stapley
Now, it is important to us parents to remember our responsibility in respect to all of these holy ordinances and covenants entered into in the temples of our God. We must keep them sacred, and do nothing to violate the provisions of these covenants, otherwise the blessings that are pronounced upon us, and all blessings are predicated upon our obedience, will not be ours to enjoy and perhaps we shall not bestow to our children the gifts and endowments they have a right to receive. Conference Report, October 1952, p.123 – p.124)

LIMITS OR RESERVES IN THE SEALINGS

Joseph Smith
This spirit of Elijah was manifest in the days of the Apostles, in delivering certain ones to the buffetings of Satan, that they might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. They were sealed by the spirit of Elijah unto the damnation of hell until the day of the Lord, or revelation of Jesus Christ… According to the Scripture, if men have received the good word of God, and tasted of the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, it is impossible to renew them again, seeing they have crucified the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame; so there is a possibility of falling away; you could not be renewed again, and the power of Elijah cannot seal against this sin, for this is a reserve made in the seals and power of the Priesthood. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,. pp.337-339)

Robert Millet
Isn’t it possible that one can stray so far as to forfeit blessings hereafter? Yes, there are limits, not necessarily to God’s mercy but the extent to which mercy can temper justice. In speaking of very serious sins, President Joseph F. Smith explained that a person can and will be forgiven if he repents; “The blood of Christ will make him free, and will wash him clean, though his sins be as scarlet; but all this will not return to him any loss sustained, nor place him on an equal footing with his neighbor who has kept the commandments of the better law. Nor will it place him in a position where he would have been, had he not committed wrong” (Gospel Doctrine, 372; see also Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness, 310-11). President Joseph Fielding Smith declared that “Children born under the covenant, who drift away, are still the children of their parents; and the parents have a claim upon them; and if the children have not sinned away all their rights, the parents may be able to bring them through repentance, into the celestial kingdom, but not to receive the exaltation” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:91). That is why we teach that prevention is far, far better than redemption. Though we rejoice in the cleansing powers of the blood of our Redeemer, we must, as President Harold B. Lee observed, impress the members of the Church “with the awfulness of sin rather than to content ourselves
with merely teaching the way of repentance” (Decisions for Successful Living, p. 88.) [When a Child Wanders, p. 120-121]

Joseph L. Wirthlin
Since Elijah’s appearance to the Prophet Joseph Smith, temples have been erected wherein are performed these binding ordinances which seal fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters together, not only for time but for all eternity. These sealings are valid as far as eternities are concerned in so far as children honor fathers and mothers. Family relationship in this life will influence our future eternal associations. Failure to honor parents temporally will jeopardize anticipated eternal blessings. Israel’s God will never sustain any son or daughter who enjoys the privilege of having a tabernacle in the flesh and then casts that father or mother aside who has made this glorious privilege possible. As God’s covenant people, the obligation resting upon us to honor fathers and mothers is just as binding as it was upon the children of Israel and the Saints who lived in the days of Christ. If there is one people who should fully
understand and comprehend the fifth commandment from a temporal and a spiritual point of view, it should be the members of the restored Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Conference Report, October 1943, p.121)

Joseph Fielding Smith
Children born to them under the covenant–that is, to parents married in the temple–are entitled to blessings which children outside of the covenant are not entitled to receive. The Lord speaks of marriage outside of the temple as “entering into the deaths–eternal deaths.” That doesn’t mean they are going to die again. Every soul will get the resurrection. But after the resurrection comes the segregation into kingdoms– celestial, terrestrial, telestial, and then to be cast out–which will come to some–with the devil and his angels. Where they go, I don’t know. The Lord has spoken of it as outer darkness. So the Lord prepares places for all. Eternal deaths means that they are separately and singly forever. They have no increase. The Lord calls that death. They do not continue–that is, they do not continue through posterity–they come to an end. (Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol 4, p.197) In the temple of the Lord a couple goes to be sealed or married for time and all eternity. Children born in that union will be the children of that father and mother not only in mortal life but in all eternity, and they become members of the family of God in heaven and on earth, as spoken of by Paul, and that family order should never be broken. The Lord tried to impress this upon his disciples that it was only because of the hardness of the hearts of the people, because they failed to keep the commandments that the Lord had given them that Moses granted the putting away of the wife. Today the laws are different, and sometimes men put away their wives, and sometimes wives put away their husbands, but a marriage in the temple of the Lord should be one that should be considered sacred and holy, never to be violated in any way whatsoever because it means that those who enter into such a covenant shall continue after death and have eternal increase and build a kingdom. Now how in the world a man and a woman can go to the temple and there be sealed and make their solemn covenants that they will be true and faithful before the Lord, and then the time comes when one of them is dissatisfied, maybe both, and they want to separate! They are committing one of the great crimes that could be committed, if they have children. Those children born to them have a right to the companionship of father and mother, and father and mother are under obligations before their Eternal Father to be true to each other and raise those children in light and truth, that they may in the eternities to come, be one — a family within the great family of God, as spoken of by Paul. It is only because of transgression on the part of the wife or of the husband, or perhaps on the part of both, when a couple has been married in the temple of the Lord, and then separate. If they were true to their covenants, to the obligations that they have made to each other at the altar in the house of the Lord, they could not separate, and if they have children, they are not only committing a crime against themselves but they are harming those children and robbing them of blessings that they were born entitled to receive. (Conference Report, April 1961, p.49)


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