Obtaining an Eternal Family

Note: This post is a follow-up to “Turning the Heart of a Father to His Children and the Heart of the Children to their Father”, published on May 11, 2017. For complete context and understanding of the following, it may be helpful to read the preceding. This information was previously shared during the rededication of the Idaho Falls, Idaho Temple.

A father planned to spend a day with his young children. Instead of taking them to the zoo or some other place of entertainment, he took them to see the temple. He walked with them to the grounds, allowing them to feel the Holy Ghost as they observed the beauty of the building, the flowers and the trees. After letting them experience this special place, the father whispered to them, “Now you have seen and touched the temple, and the temple has touched you. One day you will go inside.”

Larry Wilson, Executive Director of the temple department for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, said members regard temples as the most sacred place on earth.

“We think of them, literally, as the house of God, and the place where we can go to draw closest to him.”

As we mentioned in the previous post (above), worthy members of the church go to the temple to perform sacred ordinances for themselves and their deceased ancestors. The highest purpose of the temple is to seal families together for time and all eternity.

Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, said, “The earth was created and this Church was restored so that families could be formed, sealed, and exalted as eternal entities.” Regarding the statement “this church was restored”,  members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints believe that after the death of Christ and the Apostles, the authority to perform baptism and other ordinances was taken from the earth. They believe the purity of Christ’s doctrine was lost. The church teaches that the fulness of Christ’s gospel was restored to the earth in 1830. Learn more in the audio below:

Donald Archibald, President of the Idaho Falls, Idaho Temple, commented on the words of President Nelson by saying, in effect,

Think of that, the Lord created this earth and restored his church so that your family could be together forever…God has a plan for his children. May we live to obtain God’s most precious gift to us.

Bradley D. Foster, a member of the Quorum of the Seventy, also spoke on the eternal nature of families, with these words,

“The family is forever, but it is not automatic. We have to choose it.”

How, then, do we obtain the blessing of an eternal family?

Before answering that question, it’s necessary to define a few terms:

Salvation, and Exaltation.

In 2008, then Elder Russell M. Nelson, said, “While salvation is an individual matter, exaltation is a family matter.” In other words, salvation is living forever with God. Exaltation is living forever with God and our families. 

In order to obtain the blessing of an eternal family we must live worthy to enter the temple. Once we have entered into those covenants, we must honor them and live righteously.

“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.” (Isa. 32:17)

The good feelings that come from living righteously are an indicator of our progress in obtaining this blessing. You can know you are on the right track when you feel the Spirit of God in your life regularly and consistently.

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