President Dallin H. Oaks stated in the October 2018 General Conference that “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is properly known as a family-centered Church. But what is not well understood is that our family-centeredness is focused on more than mortal relationships. Eternal relationships are also fundamental to our theology.”
This beautiful doctrine, like so many in our faith, was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. We read about the coming of Elijah to restore the sealing power in the 110th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants.
13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us and said:
14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—
15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—
16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.
This weekend, my wife and I slipped down to the Salt Lake City/Provo area to attend the BYU graduation of my brother-in-law. With four children and another on the way, this was a rarity for us. The recent announcement of the impending closure of the Salt Lake Temple for renovation urged us to take advantage of our time away from the kids to attend a session while we still could. It’s always a treat to enjoy a “live action” session and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves while taking numerous “mental pictures” to compare with whatever changes are in store for that historic Mountain of the Lord.
Upon completing our session, we had some time to sit in the Celestial Room. There were no less than four couples sitting in there waiting to be sealed. Welcome to Spring at the Salt Lake Temple! While in that holy room, my wife and I were enjoying the reverence and atmosphere when out of nowhere we heard the very shrill scream and cry of a young baby!
My wife and I were both very startled but began to quickly put two and two together as to why that angelic scream was being heard in the Lord’s House. Another family was being sealed together for time and all eternity – including this young and precocious spirit being sealed to their parents. Upon recognition of this, a flood of emotions poured over my wife and me for the blessings from our sealing and the children with whom the Lord entrusted us. How thankful we are for the keys brought back by Elias and Elijah in this dispensation!
Here on earth, as well as in the hereafter for those who may not have the opportunity, there are no greater blessings available to us as men and women than to make those covenants and receive those blessings found by living worthily under the New and Everlasting Covenant as husband and wife.
With so many temples dotting the earth, we are truly in “The Dispensation of the Fullness of Times.” Never in the history of mankind have so many blessings been accessible to so many people than there are at this very moment. Do WHATEVER IT TAKES to claim yours like this young family did today.
“The Eternal Family” -Elder Robert D. Hales, October 1996
StJohn724 is married and a father to five children. He is a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can follow him @stjohn724