Having our families sealed together is reassuring to me. What happens, however, when our children are not members of the Mormon Church? Is it possible to be “together forever” with our children in the same degree of glory? Are children in the telestial kingdom able to have “eternal progression” that allows them to rise above their station? Must we be separate and apart from one another depending on our individual degree of glory?
Vicki, from Ukiah, California
Whether born in the covenant or sealed to parents after birth, the children belong to their parents for eternity–on one condition, that is that the parents remain true and faithful to their eternal marriage covenant consummated in one of the temples of the Lord. If the parents are not faithful, i.e., if they violate any condition of their marriage covenants, their eternal union becomes null and void. They will not become exalted beings, and they, all the rest of humanity that do not partake of and abide by the eternal marriage covenant, will spend eternity as single individuals without the propagation of their earthly family into the eternities.If the children of the faithful couples, whose marriages remain in force for the eternities, stray from the gospel and live recreant lives, those children will not participate in the first resurrection, but will be remanded to the custody of Satan for a thousand years. Then, after the end of the millennium, having paid the full price for all their sins, as though there had been no Savior, they will inherit the celestial kingdom as children of their heavenly parents. They will not be exalted in the celestial kingdom as will be their parents, but they will be in their immediate custody.Concerning progressing from one degree of glory to another–that will not happen. The wicked people will be assigned to a telestial kingdom, whose glory is that of the earth as it now exists; the good people of the earth, who nevertheless have not adopted the Savior as their redeemer, and have not accepted and lived according to the ordinances and covenant of the gospel of Jesus Crist, will inherit a terrestrial kingdom, which will be of the glory of the earth prior to the fall of Adam. Only those, in all the ages of the world, who have lived as faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ will inherit the celestial kingdom, where God and Christ dwell.