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Dear Gramps,

I enjoy your site so much and have learned a lot. I guess today I’m in need of a little reassurance. I am a very active member of the church, married to a non-member. I was married at 18 to this wonderful man that was having the missionary lessons but never joined the church. He has been very supportive…..sent a son on a mission, a daughter to BYU and supported me when I was a temple worker and as I have fulfilled my callings as Relief Society president, gospel doctrine teacher, and everything in between. I have tried to live my life in such a way that God would be proud of me and I love him so much.

I get so sad at times knowing that I will be alone in the next life because my husband doesn’t accept the gospel. Making a wrong choice at 18 will now doom me for eternity and it is almost more than I can bear. The worst part is, my husband is the best person I know, my soul mate and my best friend. That makes it doubly hard. I will never give up but I guess that I just need assurance that my life for eternity will not be constantly sad because I can’t have him forever. I read the scriptures, I pray, and I go to the temple, but in this area I am constantly reminded that my life is not complete. We have been married for 38 years and have a great family and are all very close. The thought that I will not have my children sealed to me is almost more than I can bear.

Anon

 

Answer

 

Dear Anon,

My feeling is that you have nothing to worry about. All you need is a little faith. You appear to be living an obedient, faithful life to the covenants that you have made with the Lord. The Lord is sure in his promises. They never fail. Think of the promises of the Lord to you that are made in his holy temple. Haven’t you been promised blessings that can only be realized if you are sealed for eternity to a worthy companion?

You indicate that you love your husband very much and that he is a very good man. Do you not think that the Lord will bless him for his goodness? Let me promise you that if you remain true and faithful to the principles of the gospel you will never be alone for eternity. All your husband needs is a witness of the Spirit that the Mormon Church is the true and living kingdom of God on the earth, and the only means of the highest salvation that God has promised to man.

It seems that you have a good marriage relationship. The power of your example of righteous living will without doubt pay off in rich benefits to those that you love. Do you think that you could ever put the Lord in your debt as you obey the principles of the gospel and give yourself in service to his kingdom? You are no doubt acquainted with the wise counsel given by King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon,

And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.

 

And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore. (Mosiah 2:23-24)

It is often counter productive to try to convince one’s spouse to join the Church. However, it is often highly effective to try to convince the Lord to bless your husband with the gift of a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. The power of your example of righteous, joyful living will preach sermons that cannot be put into words. If I may, let me share with you a personal example.

My mother descended from faithful pioneers in the Church. Her grandmother was the last surviving member of the Willie Handcart Company, and her grandfather was one of the company’s rescuers. My mother was active in the Church all her life. However, she too married a person who was not a member of the Church. My father’s father was a faithful Presbyterian who became a U.S. deputy marshall in southern Idaho. One of his official functions was to hunt down Mormon polygamists, for which he received a $25 bounty for each one that he brought to justice.

My father had no objections to my mother bringing up her children in the Mormon Church, but he would have nothing to do with it himself. During my service as a missionary immediately after the Second World War, I did my best to convince my father to join the Mormon Church. I later learned that he only read the travelogue parts of my letters. However, neither my mother nor I ever went a day without importuning the Lord to bless my father with a testimony.

After my schooling at the Brigham Young University following my mission I found employment in Columbus, Ohio, and moved there with my small family. My father had developed an aneurism of the aorta, and the Ohio State University Hospital was one of the first places to perform an aorta transplant. So we invited father to come to Columbus and get a transplant. Much to our surprise he and Mother accepted the offer and came to Columbus. Examination of my father revealed that he could not undergo the anesthetic for the time it would take to perform the operation, so he was dismissed from the hospital without action.

The day before my parents were scheduled to return home, when my father arose in the morning, he asked, “If I were to get baptized would they let you baptize me?” I contacted the branch president, received approval to perform the ordinance, which was scheduled for the next day, which was a Sunday. That afternoon we repaired to the YMCA swimming pool in downtown Columbus where I baptized my father, who was 64 years old, and confirmed him a member of the Church. At the beginning of sacrament meeting that evening the branch president announced, “Since today is the 15th of May, the day of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood, I think that we should ordain [my father] a deacon.” So I had the blessing of performing that ordinance for my father. Then the branch president assigned him to pass the sacrament. So I had the privilege of receiving the sacrament from him at that meeting. Afterward we drove our parents to the train station, where they boarded the train for home. That was the last time that I saw my father alive. He passed away the following December from a ruptured aorta. A year later our family met in the temple where my father was sealed to my mother for time and for all eternity, and we three children were sealed to our parents.

Whether in this life or in the next all the promises made by the Lord to his faithful children will be kept, without any exception. So I would suggest that you continually pray with faith that the Lord will bless your husband with a testimony and that he will respond by uniting himself with the Saints in God’s kingdom.

Now, to pray with faith is to pray as though you had knowledge. Just accept the fact that your husband will one day join the Church, then live a life of confidence, peace and happiness.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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