I write to you with a plea. I was in a temple sealing once and the sealer said to the couple if one breaks their covenants but the other stays true to their covenants the children will still be sealed to the one who keeps their covenants. One, is this true and two, if the one that broke their covenants repents will they be able to still be sealed to their children again? And does one have to do more then just go to the go to the bishop and say sorry to the person for adultery?
Thank you for sharing a difficult, yet heartfelt plea regarding our temple covenants, which are received according to our faithfulness. As I have pondered your question, my heart rests upon counsel received by King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon. King Benjamin declared a wonderful truth, “For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God…for a remission of [our] sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy.” This is gospel truth. We are all pleading for Christ to be our Advocate with the Father; however, we will address this truth after we have adequately responded to your first question regarding honoring/breaking of covenants and the blessings/consequences of doing so.
In our temples, we make covenants with the Lord. These covenants offer promised blessings as we make and keep them, and these blessings are received through our faithfulness. Every blessing, every promise, we receive from the Father is obtained by obeying its predicated law. The temple sealer, in reference with predicated laws (covenants), is correct. Individuals who are faithful to their covenant, despite if their spouse is or not, will remain sealed to their offspring. A sealing is performed by the priesthood which has the power to bind and seal on earth as in heaven. As long as we keep our part, the Father, is obligated to keep his, and we can trust in God’s words for his words are true and faithful.
The opposite is true also. We cannot expect the Father to poor out his spirit and his blessings upon us if we have not obeyed its predicated law, we have not kept our covenants; however, we now return back to King Benjamin’s words, “For behold, are we not all beggars…[depending] upon the same Being, even God…for a remission of [our] sins”? I know I am begging. The repentant liar is begging. The repentant angry father/mother is begging, and yes, even the repentant adulterer is begging the same spiritual physician for a remission of his/her sins. President Spencer W. Kimball had this to say regarding stepping onto the path of repentance,
“When one admits that his sin is as big as it really is, then he is ready to begin his repentance; and any other elements of repentance are of reduced value, until the conviction is established totally. Then repentance may mature and forgiveness eventually come” (The Teaching of Spencer W. Kimball, pg. 81)
President Spencer W. Kimball further stated,
“To every forgiveness there is a condition. The plaster must be as wide [and as deep] as the sore. The fasting, the prayers, the humility must be equal to or greater than the sin. There must be a broken heart and a contrite spirit. There must be ‘sackcloth and ashes.’ There must be tears and genuine change of heart. There must be conviction of the sin, abandonment of the evil, confession of the error to properly constituted authorities of the Lord. There must be restitution and a confirmed, determined change of pace, direction, and destination” (Miracle of Forgiveness 353, and The teaching of Spencer W. Kimball, pg 84).
In cases of adultery, the plaster must be as wide and as deep as the sore inflicted, and in my minds eye, a simple “sorry” wouldn’t be sufficient in light of this quote and the steps of repentance.
We also, must remember, who determines when the “plaster” has filled the sore. It is not you or I. It is not the victim, nor the aggravator. It is the Lord, through his chosen servants, who have been authorized, given authority (Keys), as judges in Israel to determine when the sore is completely filled. Once this has been determined, then we must allow ourselves the proper heart and mind of forgiveness, otherwise we may create our own misery because we are unwilling to forgive; although, the Lord has seen fit to forgive, and we must be willing to accept that through proper repentance, even of adultery, blessings can be restored (one of these blessings being sealed to our children).
Now, as to pertaining how all this will work out in the eternities, I don’t know; however, we do know that all things are done in the love, mercy, compassion, understanding, knowledge, and wisdom of him who knoweth all things, and who in the end will work out everything to all our satisfaction as then we will not be concerned with the mortal tendencies we now have. We will be able to see more clearly and not through a veil. We will see as God sees. We will love as God loves. We will forgive as God forgives. AND, most importantly we will know joy as God knows joy!