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Question

 

Gramps,

What scriptural justification was there for them to seal Jane Manning James to the Smith family as an eternal servant? I find this very troubling.

Matt

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Answer

 

Matt,

I can understanding why you might find this troubling, and anytime I might find something that appears to be a little off I am grateful for the Spirit of the Lord that is able to witness all truth and comfort (not as the world gives comfort). When reading the story of Jane Manning James, from different articles, I find these two testimonies given by Jane Manning James of the gospel of Jesus Christ to be very enlightening/comforting:

I want to say right here, that my faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is as strong today, nay, it is if possible stronger than it was the day I was first baptized. I pay my tithes and offerings, keep the word of wisdom, I go to bed early and rise early, I try in my feeble way to set a good example to all.

I am a widow.  My husband, Isaac James, died in November, 1891.  I have seen my husband and all of my children but two laid away in the silent tomb.  But the Lord protects me and takes good care of me in my helpless condition, and I want to say right here that my faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is as strong today, nay, it is, if possible, stronger than it was the day I was first baptized.  I pay my tithes and offerings [and] keep the Word of Wisdom. I go to bed early and rise early. I try in my feeble way to set a good example to all.

She appears also, from what is written to not have liked what happened and also was troubled, which is why it appears she petitioned to have something else. As to scriptural justification (as to the knowledge we have now) there doesn’t appear to be any. If we look at scripture and prophets who reveal new things there isn’t scriptural justification for a lot of things that we can find. What scripture justification would you find for the Law of Moses before the Law of Moses was instituted. There is a lot practices that aren’t scriptural before the Law of Moses. What scriptural justification do we have for Alma baptizing himself along with the first person he baptized in the Book of Mormon? There is no policy, practice, or doctrine that specifies this should be done, but it was done.

With regards to Jane Manning James, the decision at that time is under the all knowing and loving eye of our Heavenly Father. The reason for this, as with the priesthood ban, is known to God, and this doesn’t mean this sealing is in totality binding to Jane Manning James in the afterlife. All things are worked out by a loving Heavenly Father who is full of mercy, grace, and truth. Despite Sister James disappointment or being troubled by an event (which actually happened to her — I think she can defend herself just fine), she remained true and faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ. What greater witness can we receive then the testimony of one who passed through a difficult trial, and many others, only to share this near the time of her passing beyond this life, “I want to say right here that my faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is as strong today, nay, it is, if possible, stronger than it was the day I was first baptized.  I pay my tithes and offerings [and] keep the Word of Wisdom. I go to bed early and rise early. I try in my feeble way to set a good example to all.”

So, let us like Sister James move forward in faith with an eye single to the glory of God.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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