Sunday, July 12, 2015

I Believe (3rd in Series): Families Can Be Forever


The first two installments in this series have discussed some fairly controversial subjects, and I have appreciated the calm manner in which comments have been given.  Although I don't anticipate that everyone will hold my same beliefs on the topic at hand today, I think that the ideas presented might be comforting and hopeful. Today's topic:  the eternal nature of families.


As I've mentioned before, I believe that each of us is literally a spirit child of heavenly parents.  We lived with them before we were born on this earth.  The Family:  A Proclamation to the World states:
IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
At birth, a spirit gains a physical body; at death, it is separated from that body.  Adam's fall introduced death to the world--both physical, and spiritual, as we were separated from the presence of God by sin and transgression. Jesus Christ came to earth to overcome both deaths, and provide the way for us to be reunited--to our physical bodies after death at the time of resurrection, and to our Heavenly Father as we accept through covenant the power of Christ's atonement in our lives.  

There is life after death, and we can enjoy the same family relations that exist here on earth, through the blessings of temple ordinances. Of course, when a loved one dies, we feel profound sorrow, but we can also feel hopeful that we will be reunited again.  Death becomes a temporary separation, not an end to a relationship. 

Just as vicarious ordinances happened in the days of Christ (Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?--1 Corinthians 15:29), so vicarious ordinances for the dead take place in temples today, for the purpose of sealing families together. Everyone will have an opportunity to accept or reject ordinances performed in their behalf.  



Though I am in no hurry to leave this earth life, when I do depart, I will look forward to being reunited with loved ones who have gone before.  Grandma will still be Grandma, my grandpas will still be my grandpas.  

Knowing that families can be together forever brings me comfort, peace, and security.



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Thanks for families.

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17 comments:

  1. While I don't know exactly what happens of course, I do believe that my brother and his wife go to the temple to baptize those who have died. Is that right?
    Funny side story...my brother brought his 12 year old son to our niece's baptism into the Catholic Church. My nephew had all sorts of questions and thought plenty of the things we were doing were a bit odd. My brother laughed and told him, "Well, you haven't been in a temple yet. You might want to hold off on deciding what you consider to be odd." Yes, we have different beliefs and different ways of doing things, but we can most certainly respect those differences and find commonalities.
    And another side note...My brother and his family will be coming to Indy on Friday to tour the new temple. My four oldest and I will be going with them.

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    1. Oh, good. I saw recently the announcement about the open house dates for the temple,and meant to tell you about it. Sounds like you got the memo anyway.:-)

      Yes, one of the ordinances performed is the temple is baptism. We act as proxies for those who have died. When you tour the temple, you will be able to see the font and will probably have a better understanding of the purpose of the temples. I'll be curious to hear your impressions.

      I can imagine your nephew being a lot like one of my nephews--always asking questions! I get the impression that Catholic services are more ceremonial than LDS church services, but our temple worship is very ceremonial.

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  2. I understand how comforting this belief must be. I don't know what I believe on this subject. Sorry I missed your last.

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    1. No need to apologize; I know you've been preoccupied with more important things. I've been thinking about you.

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  3. I fully believe that I will be reunited with loved ones in Heaven. Knowing that makes it easier to get through the grieving process when a loved one dies.

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  4. Although I'm not LDS, I believe in God and Heaven and that we're united with family and loved ones once we die. I honestly can't imagine not believing and feel so sad for people who don't.

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    1. It is sad to imagine that some people do not have the comfort that comes with that belief.

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  5. I am really confused but seem to be alone in that... baptism for the dead? I dont even know what my question is other than I dont understand it... let me think and maybe I can develop an intelligent question!
    I like to think we are reunited with loved ones, but Im afraid I dont have enough faith to fully believe that lately.I'm working on it.

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    1. I just have a second before I need to leave the house, but let me give you a quick explanation and then you can let me know if you have further questions. We believe that baptism is an essential ordinance. Obviously, people might live in a time or place where baptism is not available. Therefore, we are baptized in the temples, acting in proxy for an individual who was not baptized while on earth. Because choice is so important, we believe that the individual for whom we are baptized has the opportunity to accept or reject that ordinance. Gotta run now, but I hope that quick explanation helped. Let me know if it wasn't clear.

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    2. That helps a lot... so is your baptism multipurpose? I mean for you and for them? Or ( I doubt this is the case) is it something that you do more than once?

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    3. No, a baptism is not multipurpose. It is an individual ordinance. I was baptized at age 8 for myself. When people go to the temple to perform baptisms by proxy, they are baptized multiple times--once for each person for whom they are proxy. So, yes, it is something I have done more than once.

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    4. hmmm..... very cool .thanks Kristi!

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  6. You have explained this very well, and I have felt that same comfort and peace knowing that families can be together for ever.

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  7. I am not sure what I believe anymore but it does help to think I will get to see my Dad again someday.

    I thought your post about "forever families" was going to be completely different -- more about families staying together here on Earth. I don't think that happens for everyone, or that it should. But I'm very glad that my daughter and her husband have such a very strong marriage. I really see them growing old together and that makes a Mom smile!

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    1. Unfortunately, sometimes there are situations which require, for the safety of individuals, family ties to be broken. That is terribly sad. I'm glad that your daughter and her husband have a very strong marriage!

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!