This weekend, I was able to attend the 2nd Annual Family Reunion for my side of the family. I was reminded of the principle of Eternal Families by a phrase stenciled on my cousins living room:
It is the last line that I wish to discuss in this post. “Families are Forever.” I once went to a friends wedding–it was a wonderful day with a beautiful bride. When it came time for the couple to make their vows, I was struck when the preacher said “You are now husband and wife. Married forever till death do you part.” How can a couple be married forever while at the same time be married till death do you part? That contradiction didn’t make sense in my mind. In addition, why would God put us in family units only to let them go away when we die? As I’ve learned more, I’ve come to realize that God’s plan isn’t that the family relationship (husband-wife, parent-child, etc) end at death! God’s plan is that the family can be eternal!
Jesus Christ gave power to His disciples to seal families together forever when He said, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19). This sealing power is found in the Holy Temple.
I enjoyed reading this talk on Eternal Marriage by Elder Howard. I can’t help but wonder how many of the social problems we see manifest around us today could be avoided if society returned to a time when the family was important. In fact, I can’t help but believe that many of the social ills we face today aren’t the result of a single thing…lack of respect for authority.
I believe that the prevalence of drugs, abuse of others, and the lack of civility is the direct result of children not being taught to respect authority…and that teaching is best done in the home. “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12). In Mormon’s last epistle to his son, Moroni, he describes the wicked nature of the people. Then he asks this poignant question:
“O my beloved son, how can a people like this, that are without civilization–(and only a few years have passed away, and they were a civil and a delightsome people) but O my son, how can a people like this, whose delight is in so much abomination–How can we expect that God will stay his hand in judgment against us?” (Moroni 9:11-13).
This passages teaches two principles: 1) it doesn’t take long for a society to go from righteous and pleasant to wicked and awful 2) society can’t expect blessings from God if we sin against His laws. Even though we live in a society that is forgetting all that is sacred, we can (and must) do our part in living the commandments of Jesus Christ. As we do so, we will be blessed. If we want to make a change in the world…if we want to change the course that this Nation is currently…then we must start with ourselves. And that start is to realize that the importance of the family. This message comes through in this video called “Families can be Together Forever.”
The bottom line is this…God’s Plan of Salvation not only includes the principle of family…it is centered around the principle of family. Next to the Holy Temple, the home should be the most sacred place for your family. It is where we go to learn. It is where we go to get away from the influences of the world. It is where we go to feel the Spirit and feel love.
I know that Families can be together forever. If you doubt my words, watch this video to see another witness of this principle.