Sunday, August 30, 2009

Families Can Be Together Forever

Thanks, for the help, but I really thought I had written a post exactly like the one I wrote last week--not the one about not feeling guilty for your happiness. And thanks for the tips on squashing those guilt feelings when they come. You all are so insightful!

This last week was one that has made me do a lot of reflection. Our friends' son died from a car accident early in the week. It's been heartbreaking to watch his parents and family grieve his loss.

But at the same time, it has made me so grateful for my faith. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have known from an early age that families can be together forever. In "The Family: A Proclamation to the World", the leaders of our church state that "the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children." And that "the divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."

We believe that by being married in a temple of God by an individual possessing authority, families will be united together forever, as long as they live in obedience to God's commandments. Through God's mercy and grace, we can be bound together by a power stronger than death.

Our friends were married in the temple and so have access to this blessing. I cannot imagine the grief they are experiencing. I can relate a little as I watched HH's family go through the same thing when his younger brother died shortly after we were married. I don't know if there is anything worse for a mother than to have to bury one of her children. But my in-laws were strengthened by their faith in the principle of eternal families. And I know our friends have been relying on their faith at this time.

So, even in what is a dark and tragic time, our loving Heavenly Father provides us with the priceless gift of hope. Our friends can find the comfort they need in His love and His divine plan. When we remember that what He most wants is for us to find joy, it makes sense that our families should be eternal.

An eternity without HH, Sweet P, and Little M could hold very little joy for me, no matter how wonderful a place I was in. I love them and they are an essential part of me and my life. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father's plan and for our Savior's sacrifice and mercy to make this all possible. And I am grateful for this knowledge and the peace and joy it brings to me, especially at a time like this.

Please, share your thoughts on the joy of eternal families.


Jen said...

I have often wondered what it would be like to have no hope in life after death -- to think that the person that you love and cherish, whether a child or a parent or a friend, could be lost forever. Although death is never an easy thing for those left behind, I too am immensely grateful for the knowledge we have of the plan of salvation and eternal families. We know that there is life after death and possibilities for a better life at that. . . . it just requires a lot of patience and faith to remember that in times of trouble.

Amy said...

I too am grateful for the knowledge that families are eternal. That knowledge helps me realize more fully the love that Heavenly Father has for us, His children. He doesn't want us to be alone, He wants us to be together in families. He wants us to experience that love here and in the eternities. However, experiencing this in a day-to-day realm, requires us to CHOOSE to love our families, to express it, and then we can find joy in it. Too often I get caught up in the daily frustrations and arguments that are part of family life, and forget the influence that I can be in helping my family to feel love and joy.

Linda said...

Sometimes when I think about how hard it is to live so far away from our kids now, and only see them a few times a year, I think about how difficult it would be to spend eternity apart. Thank goodness for temples to unite us as families!

When I heard about what your friends are going through, I remembered when close friends of ours lost their 8 month old baby to meningitis about 30 years ago. They had been converted to the Church a few years earlier and had just been sealed as a family in the temple. I remember how grateful they were for the eternal covenants they made. It was a great source of comfort at a time of almost unbearable grief.

I remember listening to my friend again and again as time passed. That was a bittersweet experience because she needed to talk and have her feelings validated along the way. I'm sure you will have opportunities to help your friends in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.

love you!

Meg said...

At the Oquirrh Mountain Temple dedication Sister Allred (I think i t was her) told the story of a young family who traveled 27 hours by bus to get to their temple in Argentina. They were sealed together with their two children. On the way back, the bus was so cold that their baby got sick and died- they had to bury him along the way. She said that their faith was so great because they knew that they did the right thing by sealing their family. Even when they lost their little one, the comfort of knowing that they had an eternal family kept them strong. Pretty amazing.