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Temble Sealing Guaranteeing Salvation For Children?


William James

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I recently spoke with a TBM whose son left the church and is living with his girlfriend. The TBM mother told me that, although she was extremely disappointed, she had done some research on the subject and determined that at least four modern day LDS prophets have said something to the effect that, the temple sealing power is "so strong," that all wayward children sealed to their sealed parents, will eventually come back to the fold and embrace the Gospel.

With all sympathy for the heartache any parent feels when they perceive their children to be going astray, I think that doctrine is hogwash, regardless of whether any prophet has stated it. That doctrine flies in the face of my conviction that every individual alone has stewardship over their own salvation. This is so, even though I believe that the overwhelming majority of people will eventually be "saved" and experience eternal happiness, and that few if any souls will be damned to hell or an eternity in the Terrestrial Kingdom. I suppose this TBM's belief could be reconciled with my own if you consider that, in my view, nearly everyone will end up coming to a knowledge of the truth and being saved anyway, but it wouldn't be as a result of the "sealing power" helping the sealed wayward children but not the unsealed wayward children.

Two questions:

1) Do you tend to agree or disagree with this woman?

2) Does anyone know of any prophetic quotes that would support her doctrinal position?

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1) Do you tend to agree or disagree with this woman?

I disagree.

2) Does anyone know of any prophetic quotes that would support her doctrinal position?

I have seen this kind of subject before and my impression of the quotes was that righteous (and sealed) parents praying for their wayward children might have some greater effect then if nothing was happening but no guarentee.

Just imagine it. I go wayward all I want and because my parents are sealed and/or are praying for me, I will automatically come back. Possible, but....

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I think she is referring to Orson F. Whitney's talk in conference in 1929:

Paraphrasing the Prophet Joseph Smith, Elder Orson F. Whitney said â??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. â?¦ 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 fatherâ??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 Godâ? (in Conference Report, Apr. 1929, 110).

Quoted in John K. Carmack, â??When Our Children Go Astray,â? Ensign, Feb 1997, 7

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I have no idea. I'm not relying on my parents though for what happens afterwards though if this is true I guess I most likely could.

I don't know what was being said with this. I do think sealings have power. I just don't know how much, how far, and what all the conditions are.

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My brother is in a similar situation. His oldest has gone inactive and is living away from home. He told me about this doctrine, but as he understands it, the wayward child's salvation hinges on a number of things. First, the righteousness of the parents. The parents must do everything they can to recover the child. Also, if that child dies unrepentant, he must endure the agonies of hell. His sins will not be blotted out by either the parents or the atonement without the remedial time in outer darkness. The child must pay the "utmost farthing" before he can come forth and receive salvation.

There are a number of stories in the Book of Mormon where people are striken and suffer the torments of a "damned soul." To all outward appearances they appeared dead; however, in about three days they would come to, and they would be, in effect, totally different people. It not only had a profound effect on them, it caused considerable agony as they reflected on the bright recollection of their own sins. But that is hell.

Alma recorded: "Oh...that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds. And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul. And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more." (Alma 36:16-19)

So it's not like getting off scott free.

Oh, and I just found this reference from the late Elder Faust:

I believe and accept the comforting statement of Elder Orson F. Whitney:

â??The Prophet Joseph Smith declaredâ??and he never taught more comforting doctrineâ??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 fatherâ??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.â?

A principle in this statement that is often overlooked is that they must fully repent and â??suffer for their sinsâ? and â??pay their debt to justice.â? I recognize that now is the time â??to prepare to meet God.â? If the repentance of the wayward children does not happen in this life, is it still possible for the cords of the sealing to be strong enough for them yet to work out their repentance? In the Doctrine and Covenants we are told, â??The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,

â??And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation.â?

Dear Are the Sheep That Have Wandered, Ensign (CR), May 2003, p.61

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yeah but that's true for everyone, regardless if we were born into the covenant. If me and my wife lived perfectly and my son did not he would still have to repent etc to get into heaven. If me and my wife were not members and lived perfectly or imperfectly he still would have to repent... Well you get the picture.

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That doctrine flies in the face of my conviction that every individual alone has stewardship over their own salvation.

It takes a deep understanding of the gospel to grasp what's involved here and I'm not entirely sure it can be fully understood by people voting whether they agree or disagree with it.

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I believe it is our own conduct and actions that help us achieve exaltation. Not what our parents did or where they did it!

I have seen parents who were sealed in the temple and then had affairs or committed serious sins.... so what does that say of the temple sealings? IN my opinion, absolutely nothing! The temple is a goal to reach for some... but anyone can get into a temple and make promises they intend or don't intend to keep. All in all it comes down to individuals and their own true desires and their personal relationships with God that matters. Nothing else!

That poor mother can think what she wants, but unfortunately she is grasping at straws.

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So you're going to throw out a statement by Joseph Smith that has been reiterated by current prophets and apostles?

I think it must be a statement to give parents hope... but in the end each individual has their own accountability to deal with and just because your parents got sealed in the temple does not mean you are saved... by any means.

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My introduction to this idea was in Alma the Younger, Part 1 by M. Catherine Thomas. The second half contains some interesting quotes from various GA's relating to sealing/salvation. I especially like this one from Lorenzo Snow:

"
God has fulfilled His promises to us, and our prospects are grand and glorious. Yes, in the next life we will have our wives, and our sons and daughters. If we do not get them all at once, we will have them some time, for every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is the Christ. You that are mourning about your children straying away will have your sons and your daughters. If you succeed in passing through these trials and afflictions and receive a resurrection, you will, by the power of the Priesthood, work and labor, as the Son of God has, until you get all your sons and daughters in the path of exaltation and glory. . . . Therefore, mourn not because all your sons and daughters do not follow in the path that you have marked out to them, or give heed to your counsels. Inasmuch as we succeed in securing eternal glory, and stand as saviors, and as kings and priests to our God, we will save our posterity.
"

If anyone has access to the Collected Discourses from which Thomas is quoting, I'd love to see the full sermon.

-Dave

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That's an awesome quote. I'm going to repeat what I first said in this thread:

It takes a deep understanding of the gospel to grasp what's involved here and I'm not entirely sure it can be fully understood by people voting on whether they agree or disagree with it.

And from Joseph Smith:

The things of God are of deep import: and only time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can find them out.
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I think when the children reject Christ and the atonement, it's not possible for them to be saved.

I know of a family where all six kids (who were born in the covenant), though still members as far as the records go, don't even consider themselves to be Mormons. You'd think the parents would be doing all they could behind the veil (they're both deceased now) to get the kids back to church, but none of them seem to be the least bit interested.

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One time one of the kids made a sarcastic remark about something relating to Church that the parents were doing and they said "We do that because we love God," and the kid replied "I hate God."

God tends to get a bad rap. My impression of God as a kid was he was the kind of guy that went around looking for anyone having fun and putting a stop to it. I realize now that was just my parents.

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So you're going to throw out a statement by Joseph Smith that has been reiterated by current prophets and apostles?

Don't forget this part:

but if it leads them at last
.

Seems conditional on their acceptance.

Since I believe that most people are good and loving at the core and assuming that most of the prideful ones were weaned out of the pack the first go round (rejection of plan of salvation), it seems to me that most will accept in some way Christ as their Saviour (everyone born already has once after all). What will then be the most significant differences will not be that, but what they then choose to do with their own potential. Thus they may indeed be with their families as children, but not be themselves the head of their own families which would require full exaltation. Remember there is a difference between salvation and exaltation. In at least one sense, if one's child is not a Son of Perdition, they will be saved as all kingdoms of glory can be considered as salvation as they are in at least the partial presence of God. We don't know how the structure of the family will work in the next life and in what areas it will exist and what areas it won't, imo. I don't see all members having to be exalted to be considered members myself, but rather salvation itself--for me accepting Christ as Saviour--will be enough. The full family experience with all the trimmings and perks seem to me to be available to only those who are exalted and therefore have a role not only as children, but as parents...

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Elder Winkel repeated the statement by Orson F. Whitney in Oct. 2006. Since President Hinckley didn't stand up and correct him for teaching false doctrine, I think it still holds. I am counting on it. I have 2 wanderers out of my flock of six.

http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5...1-646-3,00.html

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