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Families in the Spirit World


Questing Beast

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Today in high priest group the teacher asserted that not until the convert in the spirit world accepts his vicariously performed temple ordinances, including sealing, does s/he enjoy family association. I was almost twisted into knots by that and the following comments by some of the class. These dogmatically asserted that "it's their choice" whether or not they accept to be part of the gospel. So it is their choice whether or not to reject their family!?

Joseph Smith said that in the hereafter (including the spirit world) we enjoy the very same associations that we do in this life. I have heard nothing more on the subject from any "authority". But, as today, I hear all manner of narrow, dogmatic assertions that put limits on "the work and the glory" of God.

Here's my take on this subject of families: everyone who is not a Mormon just assumes that they will be together as families in the hereafter, if they believe in it, hope in it and anticipate it. Only dogmatic denial of God's charity puts limits on family associations in eternity

I have a friend whose family antecedents are Siculo-Italian. Being Mormon, I was struck years ago by the family ties in the movie "Gladiator"; how Maximus and his gladiator friends all believed in the continuation of the family in the hereafter. I had thought in my ignorance that this was purely a Mormon belief, one of the restored "plain and precious truths". The last thing I expected was to learn that Italians have always believed in the eternal family. "But," I protested, "the Catholic church doesn't teach any such thing, does it?" My friend said it doesn't matter what the RCC teaches, Italians believe what they have always believed. And they all believe in continuing family after this life.

Only Mormonism asserts that everyone lives without family, unless they get their temple sealing ordinances done. In other words, only Mormons lose their family associations if they refuse or reject the temple. Everyone else gets family life in the hereafter for free.

During that lesson today, I did have a lot bubbling inside but said nothing: anything I interjected would have only caused contention, since I absolutely reject any assertion that says the dead don't remember their families; or, without Mormonism, they are somehow compelled to remain apart until they "join" by accepting all of their vicarious temple ordinances....

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Today in high priest group the teacher asserted that not until the convert in the spirit world accepts his vicariously performed temple ordinances, including sealing, does s/he enjoy family association. I was almost twisted into knots by that and the following comments by some of the class. These dogmatically asserted that "it's their choice" whether or not they accept to be part of the gospel. So it is their choice whether or not to reject their family!?

Joseph Smith said that in the hereafter (including the spirit world) we enjoy the very same associations that we do in this life. I have heard nothing more on the subject from any "authority". But, as today, I hear all manner of narrow, dogmatic assertions that put limits on "the work and the glory" of God.

Here's my take on this subject of families: everyone who is not a Mormon just assumes that they will be together as families in the hereafter, if they believe in it, hope in it and anticipate it. Only dogmatic denial of God's charity puts limits on family associations in eternity

I have a friend whose family antecedents are Siculo-Italian. Being Mormon, I was struck years ago by the family ties in the movie "Gladiator"; how Maximus and his gladiator friends all believed in the continuation of the family in the hereafter. I had thought in my ignorance that this was purely a Mormon belief, one of the restored "plain and precious truths". The last thing I expected was to learn that Italians have always believed in the eternal family. "But," I protested, "the Catholic church doesn't teach any such thing, does it?" My friend said it doesn't matter what the RCC teaches, Italians believe what they have always believed. And they all believe in continuing family after this life.

Only Mormonism asserts that everyone lives without family, unless they get their temple sealing ordinances done. In other words, only Mormons lose their family associations if they refuse or reject the temple. Everyone else gets family life in the hereafter for free.

During that lesson today, I did have a lot bubbling inside but said nothing: anything I interjected would have only caused contention, since I absolutely reject any assertion that says the dead don't remember their families; or, without Mormonism, they are somehow compelled to remain apart until they "join" by accepting all of their vicarious temple ordinances....

I understand your position and parts of it I agree with and other parts I disagree with:

I agree:

That nothing will ever make you forget who your family was or to stop desiring to be with those people.

That the Mormons are not the only people in the world to believe that family ties can extend into the next life.

That any Mormon that insists that people forget who there family was or that Mormons are the only people who believe that family ties can be eternal are really misinformed about a lot of things.

I disagree:

That non-LDS families can be sealed for eternity through faith in other traditions that families are eternal.

That people in the spirit world waiting for ordinances to be performed for them are already sealed

That Joseph Smith's statement taken in context with the scriptures has any weight for your argument.

I agree that the idea of Eternal Families is NOT an unique belief of the LDS, there is many ancient and modern cultures and religions that believe that families will know each other after death and that they can be together in the afterlife as a family once more. What I disagree with though is that people who have not been sealed by the proper priesthood authority in this life or by proxy after they have already passed through the veil can be sealed to each other in this manner. The sealing ceremony is the crux of the LDS covenants it is the highest law that we know of, it is the covenant required for exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom. This covenant can only happen by the proper priesthood authority and in a holy temple of God, it doesn't matter how hard you believe you will be sealed to each other in the spirit world and for eternity, without the ordinance it doesn't happen.

Now your mistake is you confuse being sealed with having knowledge of your family and being with them in the spirit world, whether or not someone is sealed they will always have knowledge of there family. They will probably seek out there deceased family members in the spirit world, the problem is that they are not an eternal family until they are sealed in the temple. There family bonds ended with death and unless they are sealed by proxy they cannot restore those lost bonds. They can spend time together, they can learn together and progress together in the Spirit World and wait as a family for there descendants to perform the required ordinances to seal them on Earth and in Heaven. You are correct that people outside the Church do believe in eternal families, but you are wrong to assume that those beliefs or any non LDS ordinances are valid beyond the grave, only the LDS sealing ordinance is recognized by Heavenly Father and only it can seal a family together for time and eternity.

The teaching of Joseph Smith that the family unit is enjoyed in the hereafter as it is in life, doesn't support your claims. Smith didn't say that it was enjoyed automatically or that any belief was sufficient to enjoy the fullness of the family unit in the spirit world. The D&C teaches us how to enjoy the blessings of the family in there fullest after we pass away, this is done trough the sealing ceremony performed by the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood in a Temple. No other ordinance or faith in any other belief can seal a family for eternity no matter how much they desire it. One cannot be an eternal family without the sealing ordinance performed by the Melchizedek Priesthood in a Temple, people can still know who there family is and spend time with there loved one's but they have nothing binding them to that person unless they had the sealing ordinances performed while they lived or they accept the ordinances in the spirit world performed on there behalf.

God cannot allow such sealings to happen outside his proper priesthood authority because these sealings open the door to exaltation and if anyone could make this covenant then anyone could enter into God's presence unprepared and full of sin and injustice if such thing was to happen God would cease to be God according to the scriptures (See Alma 42:45)

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Today in high priest group the teacher asserted that not until the convert in the spirit world accepts his vicariously performed temple ordinances, including sealing, does s/he enjoy family association.

It comes from D&C 132, but I think the finer point is that they do not enjoy exaltation as a family association:

13 And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God.

14 For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed.

15 Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.

16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.

17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.

People that "remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever" must still have loving association of some kind with one another, but they are not involved with their loved ones in those activities in which only the exalted can participate.

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Joseph Smith said that in the hereafter (including the spirit world) we enjoy the very same associations that we do in this life.

D&C 132:2 seems only to refer to the Celestial Kingdom in context. However, as far as the Spirit World is concerned, here is an interesting comment from official LDS doctrine:

Family relationships are also important. President Jedediah M. Grant, a counselor to Brigham Young, saw the spirit world and described to Heber C. Kimball the organization that exists there:
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Honestly, I think it's possible that the Church has gone a little overboard on the whole "families are forever" thing.

In the end, our best and closest family members are like really, really good friends. Depending on our ages and the conditions our families live in, we may have 15 or 20 years of actually living together, but it's highly unusual for us to spend even 20-30% of our lives with our "families" (i.e. parents and siblings). Over the course of our lifetimes, we make dozens of friends, and pick up a spouse or two. Then, sometime before our 110th birthday, we die.

So when we find ourselves on the "other side", what does it mean to be part of a family with someone? What does it mean to see a spirit and know that they were a brother or sister to us on Earth? Will we have that much more to talk about? Will we enjoy hanging out with them more there than we did here? While some siblings get along swimmingly, others just don't have that much in common, or don't like each other at all.

And then we find ourselves suddenly among the spirits of all those who lived in all ages of the Earth. While I might enjoy chatting with my sister, I might also really enjoy talking with someone who lived in ancient Rome, or among the Nephites. From an eternal perspective, the more important thing probably won't be recognizing the people with similar DNA, but the ability to make and keep friends. Unless God puts people in the lesser kingdoms into some kind of solitary confinement, they'll probably just make new friends, and the people they knew on Earth will eventually be distant memories (just as friends on Earth become over our short lifetimes).

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Imho, "cinepro" has it closest so far. The rest is just dogmatic assertion based on faith in the LDS paradigm. The rest of the world's 99.5% of sapient souls either does not even know of it or disagrees. The Mormon religion is small peanuts outside of Utah.

As for the rest at this point: I am disappointed that more responses have not questioned the Mormon claim to exclusive "salvation" for families. Maybe lurkers have just read it, shaken their heads in weary disbelief in so narrow a definition of "salvation", and moved on with more important things than debating with Mormons yet again....

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I am disappointed that more responses have not questioned the Mormon claim to exclusive "salvation" for families.

There is a great talk about salvation of individuals being one thing and exaltation for families being another thing; while they can overlap, the term family is really used to embrace all the children of God who choose to be sealed into the family of Adam by covenant.

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Honestly, I think it's possible that the Church has gone a little overboard on the whole "families are forever" thing.

If I have to deal with my anti-mo mother-in-law in the spirit world, they might as well crate me up and ship me to outer darkness, as I cannot concieve of a worse hell than having to deal with her for more than 10 minutes at a time. She is one member of the family who my wife and I hope and pray will NEVER accept the gospel just so we can be rid of her eternally.

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As for the rest at this point: I am disappointed that more responses have not questioned the Mormon claim to exclusive "salvation" for families. Maybe lurkers have just read it, shaken their heads in weary disbelief in so narrow a definition of "salvation", and moved on with more important things than debating with Mormons yet again....

I would be disappointed if most people oustide the Church didn't recognize that having such exclusive claims is a logical requirement for any church to be God authorized and for their system to be effective.

The only assumption in this case is that God is not a liar and a respector of persons. If that is the case, then any church or philosophy that does not have such exclusive claims cannot possibly be accepted by God as that would make Him a liar and a respector of persons.

For example, if God says to one group this is sin and these are the requirements for salvation and then to another group God says this is not sin and these are not the requirements for salvation, then God is a liar and a respector of persons.

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I would be disappointed if most people oustide the Church didn't recognize that having such exclusive claims is a logical requirement for any church to be God authorized and for their system to be effective.

The only assumption in this case is that God is not a liar and a respector of persons. If that is the case, then any church or philosophy that does not have such exclusive claims cannot possibly be accepted by God as that would make Him a liar and a respector of persons.

For example, if God says to one group this is sin and these are the requirements for salvation and then to another group God says this is not sin and these are not the requirements for salvation, then God is a liar and a respector of persons.

Unless God tailors the human experience to each individual in such a way that each is given what is needed to help them progress in a way most beneficial to them.

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Unless God tailors the human experience to each individual in such a way that each is given what is needed to help them progress in a way most beneficial to them.

Are you saying Individualized Salvation Plans? How would that work?

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If I have to deal with my anti-mo mother-in-law in the spirit world, they might as well crate me up and ship me to outer darkness, as I cannot concieve of a worse hell than having to deal with her for more than 10 minutes at a time. She is one member of the family who my wife and I hope and pray will NEVER accept the gospel just so we can be rid of her eternally.

Although I admit that there are certain members of my family that I don't want to have to deal with down here on earth, I would hope that in the end, when we all receive the knowledge of the truth, we can accept it and embrace it and be better for it. My SIL lost a friend recently and when I offered to do her temple work for her, my brother told me not to mention it to her since she is not LDS and the thought of doing something LDS for her friend would offend my SIL greatly, it hurt. But I understand that we all have to come to our personal relationship with Heavenly Father and what the Truth is. Being able to ask questions of the Holy Spirit and receive personal revelation is a great blessing to me. I treasure that greatly.

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God cannot allow such sealings to happen outside his proper priesthood authority because these sealings open the door to exaltation and if anyone could make this covenant then anyone could enter into God's presence unprepared and full of sin and injustice if such thing was to happen God would cease to be God according to the scriptures (See Alma 42:45)

I couldn't find Alma 42:45, it seems the chapter ends at verse 31

As to your other statement, I praise God that I enter God's presence on the basis of Christ's righteousness alone.

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I couldn't find Alma 42:45, it seems the chapter ends at verse 31

As to your other statement, I praise God that I enter God's presence on the basis of Christ's righteousness alone.

He meant Alma 42:25. Alma 42:13 and Alma 42:22 also generally mention it I think. Reading all of Alma 42 would be interesting for you, I think... you'd find it unusual.

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He meant Alma 42:25. Alma 42:13 and Alma 42:22 also generally mention it I think. Reading all of Alma 42 would be interesting for you, I think... you'd find it unusual.

It actually reminds me of non-sensical ramblings, similar to what college students do.

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cinepro, on 21 March 2011 - 03:01 PM, said: Unless God tailors the human experience to each individual in such a way that each is given what is needed to help them progress in a way most beneficial to them.

Are you saying Individualized Salvation Plans? How would that work?

You are judged by what is in your heart as truth. Adherence to any dogma, while defying your authentic self, results in lying to yourself, plain and simple. You cannot get anywhere on the basis of adhering to any dogmatic belief while disbelieving it.

As we are c. 7 billion sapient, sovereign souls, it is evident that "God" is the only contact with reality outside of our own that we have. No two of us share thoughts, feelings, perceptions, etc; we can only communicate empirically, not metaphysically. The metaphysical contact we have is singular and with "God" alone. Therefore, how can "Individualized Salvation Plans" NOT work?...

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You are judged by what is in your heart as truth. Adherence to any dogma, while defying your authentic self, results in lying to yourself, plain and simple. You cannot get anywhere on the basis of adhering to any dogmatic belief while disbelieving it.

As we are c. 7 billion sapient, sovereign souls, it is evident that "God" is the only contact with reality outside of our own that we have. No two of us share thoughts, feelings, perceptions, etc; we can only communicate empirically, not metaphysically. The metaphysical contact we have is singular and with "God" alone. Therefore, how can "Individualized Salvation Plans" NOT work?...

I believe that an individual relationship with Heavenly Father is important and each individual has to work on that themselves...but if Individual Salvation Plans are what works, then why did Jesus feel it important enough to come down to earth to die an innocent man so that we could have an opportunity to get back to Heavenly Father? There has to be a common plan for all to follow and then individualize their relationship afterward. There was only 1 Christ who gave the ultimate sacrifice out of love for ALL of us...I don't believe in Individual Salvation Plans. ~My belief, My choice, My relationship~

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It might be better stated that they have no association with family in "paradise" until they are at least baptized and confirmed vicariously. Those family members in paradise can visit them whenever convenient in "spirit prison" which is hell for the damned and a waiting area for those who are awaiting their ordinances and have repented. But you are right, to say that there is no family associations is not accurate.

Today in high priest group the teacher asserted that not until the convert in the spirit world accepts his vicariously performed temple ordinances, including sealing, does s/he enjoy family association. I was almost twisted into knots by that and the following comments by some of the class. These dogmatically asserted that "it's their choice" whether or not they accept to be part of the gospel. So it is their choice whether or not to reject their family!?

Joseph Smith said that in the hereafter (including the spirit world) we enjoy the very same associations that we do in this life. I have heard nothing more on the subject from any "authority". But, as today, I hear all manner of narrow, dogmatic assertions that put limits on "the work and the glory" of God.

Here's my take on this subject of families: everyone who is not a Mormon just assumes that they will be together as families in the hereafter, if they believe in it, hope in it and anticipate it. Only dogmatic denial of God's charity puts limits on family associations in eternity

I have a friend whose family antecedents are Siculo-Italian. Being Mormon, I was struck years ago by the family ties in the movie "Gladiator"; how Maximus and his gladiator friends all believed in the continuation of the family in the hereafter. I had thought in my ignorance that this was purely a Mormon belief, one of the restored "plain and precious truths". The last thing I expected was to learn that Italians have always believed in the eternal family. "But," I protested, "the Catholic church doesn't teach any such thing, does it?" My friend said it doesn't matter what the RCC teaches, Italians believe what they have always believed. And they all believe in continuing family after this life.

Only Mormonism asserts that everyone lives without family, unless they get their temple sealing ordinances done. In other words, only Mormons lose their family associations if they refuse or reject the temple. Everyone else gets family life in the hereafter for free.

During that lesson today, I did have a lot bubbling inside but said nothing: anything I interjected would have only caused contention, since I absolutely reject any assertion that says the dead don't remember their families; or, without Mormonism, they are somehow compelled to remain apart until they "join" by accepting all of their vicarious temple ordinances....

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We live in the telestial world now. We have family and marital relationships now.

As we know, family and marriage can be the most exquisite heaven or the most excruciating hell.

The difference is the principles upon which we establish these families and marriages. Celestial principles (charity) maintain these relationships in bliss and endless bonds. Unrighteousness causes us to lose our families.

Our rituals are the image of what is to be lived in reality, so that we can have the pattern to learn from in order to create the celestial kingdom we are going to live in here on earth (NOT on some far [time or space] heaven).

In my family of my siblings, all of us have temple covenants with our spouses--except one of our brothers, who is both single and also has not sought for his endowment (yet). All of us our sealed to our mother, at least (father, up for grabs a bit; another story), including this brother. Also this brother, while he was baptized at 8, has taken a long journey to eventually want to participate in the church and eventually come to desire and receive the Melchizedek Priesthood (which he now enjoys). (And I shouldn't give the idea that just because the rest of us have temple covenants we possess some higher personal righteousness than he does, this is demonstrably not true! ha ha.)

As I've pondered this, for myself I've come to realize that 1) we are never going to lose this brother, because we want him. He is ours. We will always know him, he will always be our brother. He is always invited to the circle, and indeed comes often. This inclusion is based on our understanding and day-to-day living of covenant and righteousness (ours and his). 2)YET he "cannot come where we are". Why? Because of some wall of ritual or legality or physical-geographic? No. Because he cannot know where he has not been and has not done and cannot be who is not, yet. That is the only way he has not been able to enter. When we all gather for family reunions and the rest of us are in challenges (and rewards) of marriage and children, he cannot know these things yet (neither the challenges nor the rewards). So there is some "bond" missing for him, until he undertakes the celestial quest of marriage and family.

But he's still our brother and a million, trillion years from now, he will still be invited to family "heavenly" BBQs and he and I will still be texting on our urim and thummims.

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I believe that an individual relationship with Heavenly Father is important and each individual has to work on that themselves...but if Individual Salvation Plans are what works, then why did Jesus feel it important enough to come down to earth to die an innocent man so that we could have an opportunity to get back to Heavenly Father? There has to be a common plan for all to follow and then individualize their relationship afterward. There was only 1 Christ who gave the ultimate sacrifice out of love for ALL of us...I don't believe in Individual Salvation Plans. ~My belief, My choice, My relationship~

Christianity for the Christians, then. You surely can't invalidate a Muslim's experience? or a Buddhists? Etc. It is high arrogance, bigotry even, to assert that everyone else must change to accept your religious paradigm. "God" has not resolved the issue of "Who is right and who is wrong" by giving any revelation that trumps all the rest.

Historical Christianity shows a developing religious paradigm, not a revealed one. Jesus of Nazareth evolves into the "Son of God". The atonement is an evolving concept. Mormonism, Joseph Smith's first establishment of doctrine, is clearly drawn from historical concepts that he grew up surrounded and influenced by. "Primitive Christianity" is no longer a knowable paradigm. All we can do is peer back "through a glass darkly" and guess what it was really like. One thing is certain to me: all subsequent "revelations" draw upon what came before. I say "certain", in the context of "beyond all reasonable doubt" - for nothing besides Existence itself is ever "certain".

This is, of course, my belief, my choice, and my relationship, to "God" and the "revelation" that is my own....

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