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Hi Gramps!

On my mission, I taught 2 girls who had just been baptized. As we discussed the temple, they asked a question that I haven’t been able to answer satisfactorily. They were the only members in their family, and wondered what their family will be like, because they’re not sealed to them. Will they still recognize each other, still love each other? If so, what’s the point of sealing? We could answer the “point of sealing”, but what will an unsealed family be like?

Thanks!

Taylor

 

Answer

 

Hi Taylor,

Thank you for your question.  You bring up a common fear that many members in the Church experience: “what will my family be like if some fall short of the Celestial Kingdom?”

Before answering this question, I would like to point out that you just never know who is going to accept the gospel, whether in this life or the next.  Between missionary work and temple work for the dead, everyone will have a fair chance to accept the gospel, and many, many people will sooner or later accept it and be saved in the Celestial Kingdom.  Don’t give up hope just because it has not happened yet!  You may be the person who brings nonmember family to the gospel!  See, e.g., Amy Veer, Waiting for an Eternal Family, Ensign, June 2017..

That said, many members still wonder about what will happen if someone in their family falls short.  In his First Presidency Message “The Hope of Eternal Family Love”, President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, revealed that he has experienced this fear himself!  President Eyring explained,

“We have all felt the hope that someday we could feel again the warm affection of that family member we loved so much and now ache to embrace again . . . For some, that eternal joy may seem a faint or even a fading hope.  Parents, children, brothers, and sisters may have made choices that seem to disqualify them from eternal life.  You may even wonder whether you have yet been qualified through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”

Eyring continued,

“A prophet of God once offered me counsel that gives me peace.  I was worried that the choices of others might make it impossible for our family to be together forever.  He said, ‘You are worrying about the wrong problem.  You just live worthy of the celestial kingdom, and the family arrangements will be more wonderful than you can imagine.'”  See Henry B. Eyring, The Hope of Eternal Family Love, First Presidency Message Aug. 2016.

One point I’d like to make is the idea that unsealed family members may not love/recognize each other in the hereafter–is absolutely without basis in scripture or the teachings of the Church.  So, to answer your question directly, what will an unsealed family be like?  There may not be a lot of specific details revealed on this topic, but according to President Eyring, if you live worthily of the Celestial Kingdom, the family arrangements will be more wonderful than you can imagine.  So have some faith, and some hope that things will work out well in the end if you live righteously!

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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