Why does the Church keep me sealed to my divorced wife and child even after she married (seven years now) a non-member. If we were sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, and there was definitely a breakdown in the “promise” and in our faith in each other, why should the document remain active? It truly is nothing more than paper now. I realize I can request a Release from Sealing, but I can only initiate that process after I get newly engaged. My divorced wife can request a Cancellation of Sealing, but has not done so due to a her low degree of activity. Since our divorce, I have never felt comfortable entering the Temple because of the bitter-sweet memories of our sealing and the fact that it is still on the records there. Thanks very much for your consideration in this matter. Sincerely,
There are two or three things to consider. First, a small technicality–you are not sealed to your wife and child; they are sealed to you. It is true that the sealing of a wife to a husband is a conditional sealing, valid only if both parties abide by the marriage covenant. But think of the baptismal covenant for a minute. Compliance with the baptismal covenant qualifies the person for the celestial kingdom of glory. If such a person does not abide by the baptismal covenant they are no longer qualified for the celestial kingdom, but would spend eternity in either the terrestrial or telestial kingdom. However, if that person fully repented of all his/her sins, he/she would be forgiven by the Lord and would again qualify for the celestial kingdom. It would not be necessary to repeat the ordinance of baptism.
It is the same for the eternal marriage covenant. If the unfaithful party fully repented, the eternal marriage covenant would again be valid. However, no force is exercised by the Father; they would be reunited as eternal husband and wife only upon their mutual agreement to be so. However again, we must recognize that as we approach the eternities, our minds, too, will be expanded to be more kind, more forgiving and to be more willing to overlook the faults of others. With the perspective of eternity, as opposed to the perspective of time, we could very well see things in a very different light.
It is my opinion that the Brethren who make decisions in such matters merely don’t want us to needlessly burn any bridges. You are in no way encumbered because your sealing remains on the books of the Church. And that fact should in no way impede you from obeying the gospel to the fullest. Keeping yourself away from the temple for such a reason just plays into the hands of the adversary. If you were to get newly engaged and plan to re-marry in the temple, that also would be no reason to request a “Release from Sealing.” If your first wife does not repent and return to full activity and compliance with the principles of the gospel, the marriage is invalid and there is no problem.
If your first wife’s new husband were to accept the gospel and the two were to qualify for a temple marriage, your first wife would be required to request a cancellation of her sealing to you before she could be sealed to anyone else since a woman can be sealed to only one man. So my suggestion would be to not let the situation bother you in the least, and whatever your first wife does about it should also not bother you in the least. In the celestial kingdom there will be perfect accord and happiness. So, because of that, there is nothing to fear, nothing to be concerned about. My recommendation would be to give the situation no more thought, to get on with your life, and strive to live a pure life, acceptable to God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, the authors of our salvation.