If parents are active and live the gospel but they have an inactive son who marries outside the temple, will the son as well as his family someday be with the parents in the celestial kingdom?
We assume that the parents will have been sealed to each other in the holy temple of the Mormon Church, and that the wayward child was born under the covenant that the parents made when they were married in the temple. If the parents honor the covenant of obedience to the principles of the gospel that they took upon themselves in the temple, then the children born to them will inherit the celestial kingdom as the children of the exalted couple. God is merciful, but He is also just. If the wayward children live such a life that they do not come under the saving grace of the Lord Jesus that he made possible through his great atoning sacrifice, they will have to pay for their own sins, as though there had been no Savior. Once the debt of sin is resolved the blessings pronounced upon the heads of the parents by the holy priesthood will be honored by the Lord, and the children born to them will be theirs for eternity. Orson F. Whitney reported a statement by the prophet Joseph Smith to this effect—
“The Prophet Joseph Smith declared-and he never taught more comforting doctrine-that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father’s heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God” (Elder Orson F. Whitney, Conference Report, April 1929, Third Day Morning Meeting, p.110).