- An eternal bond doesn’t just happen as a result of sealing covenants we make in the temple. How we conduct ourselves in this life will determine what we will be in all the eternities to come. To receive the blessings of the sealing that our Heavenly Father has given to us, we have to keep the commandments and conduct ourselves in such a way that our families will want to live with us in the eternities. The family relationships we have here on this earth are important, but they are much more important for their effect on our families for generations in mortality and throughout all eternity.
Satan has a plan to destroy the family unit and make us feel that eternal families are unimportant. Without the family unit, we will find less need to be morally clean and more discouraged about why we are here on earth.
- Because of the importance of the family to the eternal plan of happiness, Satan makes a major effort to destroy the sanctity of the family, demean the importance of the role of men and women, encourage moral uncleanliness and violations of the sacred law of chastity, and to discourage parents from placing the bearing and rearing of children as one of their highest priorities.
Elder Hales speaks about what we should be striving for in our lives. The plan of God is that we return to live with Him again but that plan is not to come alone to Him. We are to bring our families with us. With our families in eternity, we will be able to obtain the greatest happiness after this life.
- When families are functioning as designed by God, the relationships found therein are the most valued of mortality. The plan of the Father is that family love and companionship will continue into the eternities. Being one in a family carries a great responsibility of caring, loving, lifting, and strengthening each member of the family so that all can righteously endure to the end in mortality and dwell together throughout eternity. It is not enough just to save ourselves. It is equally important that parents, brothers, and sisters are saved in our families. If we return home alone to our Heavenly Father, we will be asked, “Where is the rest of the family?” This is why we teach that families are forever. The eternal nature of an individual becomes the eternal nature of the family.
The home is the key to family relationships.
- The home is where we are nurtured and where we prepare ourselves for living in mortality. It is also where we prepare ourselves for death and for immortality because of our belief and understanding that there is life after death, not only for the individual but also for the family.
Elder Hales speaks about several people he knows that have recently passed away. He speaks of one man who understood the eternal nature of the family and another who didn't have the knowledge of the gospel. One passed with an understanding that he will see his family again and the other left family alone and scared about what was going to happen to their loved one after this life.
- The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ brings great comfort in stressing times of mortality. It brings light where there is darkness and a calming influence where there is turmoil. It gives eternal hope where there is mortal despair. It is more than just beautiful doctrine. It is a reality in our lives that if we can be obedient and obtain the eternal rewards that God grants us, if we will draw nigh unto Him and embrace the eternal doctrine, we will be blessed.
- The knowledge and understanding of the doctrine that God lives and Jesus is the Christ and that we have an opportunity to be resurrected and live in the presence of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, makes it possible to endure otherwise tragic events. This doctrine brings a brightness of hope into an otherwise dark and dreary world. It answers the simple questions of where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. These are truths that must be taught and practiced in our homes.
The eternal family is the greatest doctrine that is taught in the church. The ability to be with our loving and caring families throughout all eternity gives us hope for the future if we are valiant in keeping our covenants. There are great blessings that are given to us as we work to build an eternal family. Although the path may be difficult at times, we are blessed with the assurance that if we are true and faithful to our covenants, we will be with our families after this life. This promise gives me a reason to live close to my covenants and a desire to never give up on those relationships that mean the most to me.