Originally Posted by guast
Without getting too much into the whole family thing as opposed to the question of sealing between spouses let me just say this: I come from a broken family. Both parents remarried after the divorce, mom and step-dad active while dad is not and step-mom is non-member. A broken family is what it is: broken. I love my family but I don't want to be sealed to my step-dad (he's not my father) as much as I appreciate him and as good of a person as he is. I don't want to be sealed between two couples. I have nothing against the idea of "families forever" but once I figure out how to cancel the sealing that took place between me and my parents that's my next project (and I don't want to give the impression that I have abusive parents, cold, unloving parents or anything like that - I just want nothing to do with an eternal broken family.
I'm very familiar with the Abrahamic covenant. I'm not really sure how to state this without sounding cynical but I feel like if I want the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant it is because I'm supposed to want them, not because I really do want them. It just isn't something I wake up in the morning thinking, man if I'm righteous than I can have... There are many things that I like the idea of but at best I just don't really have an opinion on the Abrahamic covenant. I'm not apostate, I swear *smile*, it's more of an issue that I go down the route of I do right because I believe it is right, not because I anticipate great mansions or lots of kids or whatever in the future. And if I don't desire after something, I don't and certainly not simply because I'm supposed to.
As far as your concern about being sealed to a "broken family", you need not worry. Anyone who does not live up to the celestial requirements, while still recognized as sealed at this time, will no longer be so come judgement day and our placements in heaven. No eternal family will be broken. All the links in the chain will be mended, all the people perfected through their efforts and the atonement. Our focus should be an attempt to extend the sealing to all possible, so that God can sort it out later and everyone who has the potential of living up to the celestial law can enjoy those blessings. Remember that our covenants are an earthly
requirement and can only be completed in this life. If you have the opportunity to be sealed, and you pass it up, you will not get another opportunity later. Sealings for the dead are meant to provide those who never had the chance in this life
to also be sealed- and it is performed by those who are alive, by proxy, because it is an ordinance/covenant that must be performed while on earth.
As for the rest, I understand where you are coming from. I've entertained thoughts along a similar vein myself in the past. That is actually why I am still unendowed. I felt like I shouldn't go through the endowment when I didn't even feel a desire for the blessings and responsibilities of a celestial glory. I've always been the kind of person who is perfectly happy in a serviant/background role, maybe offering advice to whoever is in charge or running everything "backstage" so the process goes smoothly for the actors and directors. But I never felt a desire to take on the roles of director, manager, etc. In my mind, I saw a placement in the celestial kingdom as taking up one of these leadership roles that I just didn't want.
What I did then was start really studying, in depth, what we know about the afterlife and placement in the different kingdoms, as well as the covenants and promises we make and the details of the Abrahamic covenant. It's been about a year now since I first started delving deeper into everything, to get a better understanding and appreciation, and I can say that I am only now starting to feel like I want to go through with getting endowed.
Here's some scriptural food-for-thought for you:
D&C 131:1-4 "In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must
enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase." (emphasis added)
So, yes- sealing IS required for entry into at least the highest degree of the celestial glory. We know enough to know that those who aren't sealed cannot make it here. We may not know everything about the afterlife and how God is going to sort things out, but we know this at least.
D&C 88:22 "For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory."
What is the celestial law? That gets clarified here:
D&C 76:50-70 It's a bit lengthy. You can look it up if you wish, but here's the footnotes version-
Requirements for entry into celestial kingdom:
Faith in Christ, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, repentance, receive the Melchizedek Priesthood (males), be endowed and sealed, glory in God (humility and gratitude), gather upon Mount Zion (temples), be "just" (righteousness, self-improvement, enduring).
Blessings for fulfilling those requirements:
Be a "god" or co-inheriter with Christ of all God has, overcome all things, enemies subdued by God, dwell with God and Christ forever, come forth in the first resurrection, name written in heaven, receive a celestial body (light, knowledge, understanding, power).
Still don't feel like this is something you want? That's okay. I didn't at this point either. I felt I would probably be much happier in the terrestrial glory- not because I thought the requirements were difficult and didn't want to do them, but because I just had no desire for receiving the blessings. I felt I would be adequately happy and at peace with the blessings given to those who receive a terrestrial glory, as I could then serve in one of those "background" roles I prefer.
I started looking more deeply into the topic of covenants and found several articles on the topic on lds.org. There's:
The Abrahamaic Covenant
- by S. Michael Wilcox
Of Compasses and Covenants
- by Lance B. Wickman and
Children of the Covenant
- by Russell M. Nelson
just to name a select few.
I started reaching a better understanding and started making comparisons to our service in the church and our families here on earth. Our life is a type or symbol of what is to come. Right now, our attempts are flawed and we come across many "broken" circumstances. But when we strive to abide by the ideals set before us- to magnify our divine roles as parents and spouses, and to magnify our callings in the church, and to reach out in service to those in our community- that
is when we can begin
to see what heaven is meant to be like.
Heaven isn't a place just for you. It isn't a place just for me. It isn't a place where we have strived to perfect ourselves and can then become the greatest being we can on our own
. Heaven is going to be a very social place, filled with people. Heaven is a place for service. It's been said, we cannot be saved without our dead. It's been said that if we can bring but one soul unto Christ that our joy in heaven will be immeasurable. It's been said that the work will not be finished until everyone
has had a chance to hear the gospel. Why? Because heaven is for everyone
, and we are to reach out to help and serve and lift up those around us so that we can build the perfect heavenly community like the city of Enoch.
You will not feel a desire for this until you feel a desire to reach out to those around you, until you wish to help them be lifted up and to enjoy the blessings of an Enoch-like life. There is nothing wrong with wanting to cut yourself off from imperfection, but there should be an equal desire to bring the people
forward while cleansing them of all that causes them to be imperfect. We all have imperfection within ourselves, and we will need to tolerate such imperfections while in mortality, and then do everything within our power to slowly work that imperfection out of ourselves and out of others- through service, magnifying our callings, and example- leaving others to exercise their agency and hopefully strive for the same.