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Fether

What does “Eternal Families” mean?

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On 12/19/2021 at 10:56 AM, Fether said:

I have met MANY members (current and former alike) that understand it all to mean that if you don’t go to the celestial kingdom, you will be barred from seeing your family, but you can still hangout with everyone else in your respected kingdom. 

On 12/19/2021 at 4:26 PM, Grunt said:

Interesting.  I have NEVER heard anyone say this.   Is this a Utah thing?

5 hours ago, mirkwood said:

No, I've heard this every state I've lived in.

I, too, have never heard anyone explain the limitations of the lower kingdoms in this way.  I have only heard it taught that one who inherits a lower Kingdom of Glory will be unable to visit a higher, but will still be able to be visited by and ministered to by those who dwell in one.  Hence, the statement by @Fether would be speculative and most likely false (based on what is currently known), because it assumes that one's family members who have inherited a higher kingdom would intentionally choose not to visit that family member in a lower kingdom.

It is my current understanding, however, that the familial sealing bonds are not taught to be in effect outside of Celestial Glory.

3 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Why would that be the case? It's hard to put into explicit detail without being too...you know...explicit... but... why would the creation of spirit bodies by perfected physical ones be the same messy, mortal, fallen method that is the means of procreation in mortality? . . . Will physical sex even be something needed? I dunno.

Why would it not be the case?  Why would male and female be an eternal part of our gender identity if not for the explicit purposes males and females serve in procreation?  Why would we assume the process to be messy, mortal, or fallen in the next life, rather than simply assume that those are side-effects of the fall of man?  Surely, we will quantify 'needs' differently but I think it makes a lot more sense to believe that there will be a perfected form of the earthly process than that God created man after His image with eternal body parts that serve only an extremely temporary purpose.

1 hour ago, Anddenex said:

We will have to agree to disagree pertaining to chastity only being a "temporal" law. It is more likely chastity is a spiritual and temporal law. We don't disagree that chastity is a law for our carnal desires.

I think the scriptures agree with you as it pertains to chastity not being a temporal law:

Quote

Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created. (D&C 29: 34)

Edited by person0

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13 hours ago, Anddenex said:

We will have to agree to disagree

I'm not sure what you think we're actually disagreeing on. My only point was that we don't know. Do you think we do know?

My other thoughts were entirely what-if, maybe, who knows, speculative sorts of thoughts -- so there's really nothing to disagree with me on.

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12 hours ago, person0 said:

Why would it not be the case?

Maybe it is.

But do you assume God has to eat three times a day or He get's hungry too? That if He doesn't drink water He'll die or thirst? That he needs Oxygen to breath? That he needs to sleep? Etc. etc.?

The idea that everything translates from mortality to the eternities is, in my opinion, clearly not going to be the case.

I think that most people haven't bothered to really think about the matter. They just assume that because they have hormones rushing through them driving them to strongly desire sexual activity in mortality that the same will be true in the eternities. I don't think that logic follows.

The question was asked, "what is stopping them from living together as if they are married. Nothing I assume?" The entire premise of the question is based on the idea of sex. Because that's the end all of "as if they are married". Otherwise why can't the question be, "as if they are brothers", or "as if they are roommates" or, "as if they are father and daughter" or, "As if they are best friends." etc., etc. The thing that differentiates marriage from other relationships is the sexual, procreative nature of it. That's the reason marriage, as an institution, exists. Because of sex and the resultant procreation. The question presupposes that  sex is part of the equation in the afterlife. I'm not convinced it will be, and I think anyone who cares to put a level of thought into the matter would question the matter in the same way.

Am I determined that I'm right in such a supposition? No. It's supposition. But for anyone to presume we know the other way around to be factual (that Telestial beings will be driven by hormones and sex) is also supposition.

Now the questions I raised on "Celestial sex" are only related in that I was trying to suggest that we don't know, at any level, how that's really going to work or be. But it wasn't specific to the question about Telestial beings living "as if they are married".

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14 hours ago, Anddenex said:

We will have to agree to disagree pertaining to chastity only being a "temporal" law.

Btw, I'm not suggesting chastity isn't an eternal law. It's a question of application. Like having a law against murder among resurrected beings. The law would still be, theoretically, eternally true...but you can't murder a resurrected being. So....sure. Still a law. Just not really applicable.

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2 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I'm not sure what you think we're actually disagreeing on. My only point was that we don't know. Do you think we do know?

My other thoughts were entirely what-if, maybe, who knows, speculative sorts of thoughts -- so there's really nothing to disagree with me on.

We take the opposite "likely" outcome, that's all. You specified (you can correct if wrong), that it was less likely pertaining to desires for sex and chastity. I take the other side that is is probably more likely, and the other way is less likely. That's all.

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2 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Btw, I'm not suggesting chastity isn't an eternal law. It's a question of application. Like having a law against murder among resurrected beings. The law would still be, theoretically, eternally true...but you can't murder a resurrected being. So....sure. Still a law. Just not really applicable.

That's a valid point.

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On 12/19/2021 at 4:56 PM, laronius said:

I think the practical application of the eternal family doctrine to couples is pretty straightforward. They remain united enjoying the continuation of the seeds, I assume perpetually. We call it eternal marriage.

When it comes to the children though I have often wondered what's the point? In the ideal situation they will grow up and get sealed to their own spouse and start their own family. And to top it off, to my knowledge there is no covenant made between parents and children. Neither do we speak of them as our eternal children nor us as their eternal parents (lower case p).

But if we look closer at the doctrine of sealing we find that the sealing of parents to children is generally couched in the broader doctrine of the welding together of all generations back to our father Adam with whom God made covenant and then later renewed with Abraham. Entering into this Abrahamic covenant relationship is clearly referenced in the temple sealing ceremony. In doing so we can become the "seed of Abraham" and potential heirs to all that the Father has. 

I would argue that the child-to-parent sealing is a major point—indeed, perhaps THE major point—of the spouse-to-spouse sealing.

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On 12/19/2021 at 7:56 AM, Fether said:

“Eternal Families”

“Families can be together forever”

“family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave.”

What does all this mean? What does this actually look like? Do we have any sources that qualify this a little more beyond those phrases? What do we know and not know?

I have met MANY members (current and former alike) that understand it all to mean that if you don’t go to the celestial kingdom, you will be barred from seeing your family, but you can still hangout with everyone else in your respected kingdom.

I have always taken the approach that we don’t really know what eternal family means beyond those few lines.

Up to this point, we mostly agree. But I am convinced that when we discover the real meaning of eternal life, it will be the most obvious and natural thing imaginable. I suppose we might even wonder how we could have been so blind not to have seen it the whole time.

On 12/19/2021 at 7:56 AM, Fether said:

I’ll sometimes point the Doctrine and Covenants 19 where it explains that the word “Eternal” simply means “belonging to God”, so “eternal family” is just “God’s family” that that not being an eternal family does not mean that God is going to bar you from those you were raised by, but rather, eternal family means to eternally live in an ever growing family setting…however, as nice as that sounds, the context of what is said and the feeling of the wording doesn’t always support that, but rather seems to support the cultural understanding many members have.

Does anyone have any insights on this? Any references to words of the prophets or scripture?

Doctrine and Covenants 130:2

And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.

So eternal life sounds a lot like old home week, assuming you love your family deeply and enjoy sharing you life and your time with them. That's my take.

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23 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Chastity is a principle that is directly related to the carnal -- it is to control the carnal within the bounds of the Lord's law. It exists because there is a sex drive. The sex drive is a result of our physical, mortal bodies. A lot of our mortal drives are the carnal that we must overcome. Hunger, fatigue, the drive for sex, etc. These things, as best I understand, will not be part of a perfected resurrected individual's needs. I know many fancy that some sort of physical eternal sexual mating is part of Celestial Glory. I think that's silly. Why would that be the case? It's hard to put into explicit detail without being too...you know...explicit... but... why would the creation of spirit bodies by perfected physical ones be the same messy, mortal, fallen method that is the means of procreation in mortality? First, it isn't like to like...meaning it's flesh and bone creating spirit. Second, certainly the rest of the mortal, physical process of procreation is not the same. Mortal procreation is a painful, toil-filled, harsh experience. It's part of our fallen nature. I don't know how things will work...but I don't think it's going to be carnal coupling leading to 9 months of gestation and then physical birthing of children. Will physical sex even be something needed? I dunno.

I don't see why not. I would also argue that the law of chastity is only tangentially about sex. At its root, it is about honoring one's covenants.

23 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Anyhow, chastity only applies because of the drive for sex and procreation. You can be naked in a locker room where you aren't sexually driven to procreate with the other's naked there without breaking the law of chastity in doing so. Etc. etc.

Whether resurrected bodies have a physical, chemical, hormonal drive to procreate is an unknown, of course. But I see no reason to presume that we'll have the need for such a drive, even in the celestial kingdom. And I most certainly see no reason to presume Terrestrial or Telestial beings will have the need for such a drive, being as we know they won't have the ability to procreate. Why would creatures that have no ability to procreate have a sex drive -- or even the physical means of procreation at any level.

Am I suggesting those in the lower kingdoms won't have genitalia? Well.....no. I'm just asking the question.  But who knows. It's entirely possible though. But a sex drive? That seems unnecessary and unlikely to me.

It actually doesn't seem at all unlikely to me. I do not know how God procreates. I have never even asked him that question. But I have long believed that the procreative act is one of the most intrinsically spiritual and Godly of acts, unless it is polluted by outside evils.

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6 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

But do you assume God has to eat three times a day or He get's hungry too? That if He doesn't drink water He'll die or thirst? That he needs Oxygen to breath? That he needs to sleep? Etc. etc.?

The idea that everything translates from mortality to the eternities is, in my opinion, clearly not going to be the case.

In my opinion, these things are not known. If a person may always choose to live, and if that person, in a state of fulness of joy, would never choose death because that would be not only irrational but antithetical to the principles the person holds dear—well, to me, that sounds like immortality.

Note also that resurrected beings most assuredly can eat (and drink). If all appetites are kept strictly under control, I see nothing intrinsically unlikely about this. I believe the only reason this seems objectionable is from two thousand years of neo-Greek rationality arguing that nothing on the Earth is sacred.

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32 minutes ago, Vort said:

In my opinion, these things are not known.

Which is my point.

I don't conclude that we, as Celestial Beings, don't have sex. In point of fact, I rather, secretly, hope we do. ;) But I certainly don't conclude we do either. I conclude we don't know.

34 minutes ago, Vort said:

Note also that resurrected beings most assuredly can eat (and drink).

And, therefore, presumedly, must poop and pee somehow. :D :D :D

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3 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

And, therefore, presumedly, must poop and pee somehow. :D :D :D

Plausibly, but I have wondered if a perfect body is able to perfectly assimilate / convert all edible matter into energy in a way our mortal bodies can't.  Though, that would beg the question as to the eternal significance and need of certain parts of the digestive system.

10 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

But do you assume God has to eat three times a day or He get's hungry too? That if He doesn't drink water He'll die or thirst? That he needs Oxygen to breath? That he needs to sleep? Etc. etc.?

The idea that everything translates from mortality to the eternities is, in my opinion, clearly not going to be the case.

I think that most people haven't bothered to really think about the matter. They just assume that because they have hormones rushing through them driving them to strongly desire sexual activity in mortality that the same will be true in the eternities. I don't think that logic follows.

It seems like others addressed most of these in a way with which I agree, so I won't beat it to death here.  Just wanted to point out that I didn't join in the conversation in relation to the "what is stopping them from living together as if they are married" question.  I'm not sure I really care about the question all that much because the idea of doing something that somehow circumvents the blessings and limitations of the Kingdom of Glory one receives seems illogical and unrealistic on its face.  To me, it is about as logical as asking what would stop two people from playing basketball once arriving at a tennis court with rackets and tennis balls.

To address one other thing, I don't think sexual desire and sexual activity necessarily need be related in the eternities.  I imagine much more driving desires would be the desire to procreate and the desire to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man".  In fact, I imagine that if we are to believe that plural sealings are to remain in the eternities as anticipated by practitioners, we must also assume that the carnal nature of sexual desire will be done away, such that lust and jealousy could not enter into it.  On a related note, if sexual desire is ultimately eliminated rather than perfected, that seems far too 'easy' of an out in terms of overcoming the natural man and perfecting ourselves.  Anyway, even if sexual relations remain, I imagine the pain of not inheriting celestial glory and eternal increase will be felt not in the absence of sexual relations, but in the inability to have increase through progeny who also follow some form of the plan of salvation, because a perfected being would innately feel that as the truer and much deeper desire of the procreative act.

Of course, I'm sure there's a whole lot more to all of this that none of us understand yet, I just think it is both preferable and more realistic to assume our mortal abilities and functions will be perfected rather than eliminated, even if we don't know what the result of such perfection could possibly be (i.e. the digestive and circulatory systems).  Thanks for hearing me out 🙂

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On 12/21/2021 at 6:59 PM, person0 said:

To address one other thing, I don't think sexual desire and sexual activity necessarily need be related in the eternities.  I imagine much more driving desires would be the desire to procreate and the desire to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man".

I hesitate to put blatant speculation out there...but I'm doing it anyway.

I speculate that, possibly, our time here in mortality is at least partly to learn to master our bodies. That's why we fast, for example. But why would mastering the flesh be sooooo important to our progress when, in the eternities, we will have a perfect body without carnal drives and such?

Because there is no indication that a "perfect body" is a body without physical drives. Such seems quite obviously untrue to me. I would imagine that the drives and desired of a glorified, perfected, and exalted (note the word) body would be vastly greater than those we experience today. It is certain that the element of flesh is absolutely necessary to partake of exaltation:

D&C 93:33-34 The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.

I speculate that this "fulness of joy" includes such things as the proper and righteous fulfillment of the physical drives of a perfected and exalted body, not unlike our situation today, but to a vastly greater degree.

FWIW.

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1 hour ago, Vort said:

I hesitate to put blatant speculation out there...but I'm doing it anyway.

I speculate that, possibly, our time here in mortality is at least partly to learn to master our bodies. That's why we fast, for example. But why would mastering the flesh be sooooo important to our progress when, in the eternities, we will have a perfect body without carnal drives and such?

Because there is no indication that a "perfect body" is a body without physical drives. Such seems quite obviously untrue to me. I would imagine that the drives and desired of a glorified, perfected, and exalted (note the word) body would be vastly greater than those we experience today. It is certain that the element of flesh is absolutely necessary to partake of exaltation:

D&C 93:33-34 The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.

I speculate that this "fulness of joy" includes such things as the proper and righteous fulfillment of the physical drives of a perfected and exalted body, not unlike our situation today, but to a vastly greater degree.

FWIW.

FWIW, I blatantly speculate carnal desire and learning to control it is more a similitude and/or a lower level thing that doesn't tie directly to itself the way you're speculating. As I see it, when an individual is as God is, the mastery of self is, clearly, a part of that. But that doesn't mean there's a one to one relationship in what we do in mortality with our carnal selves to what we must master in the eternities.

As an example, my mother once suggested that what she looked forward to in the eternities was being able to water-ski again. I remember thinking in response that that's like presuming as a child that when you grow up you'll be able to play with blocks all you want to! Or pick your nose and eat it all you want to. Or eat a whole bag of some disgusting candy that only kids like. Or never go to bed. Or do nothing but watch TV all day. Etc., etc. Now as an adult, it's true. I can do any of those things. But having actually grown up, I don't want to. (My examples may be imperfect, but hopefully my idea is coming across). I thought to myself, why would a perfected, exalted being who has past, present and future constantly before them, sees all, knows all, can command all things and have all power, and can, presumably, travel anywhere they want or need to instantly... why would such a being want to be dragged behind a motor boat while standing on a piece of wood for fun?

Additionally, I have nowhere near the desires and temptations (sexually speaking) that I did when I was younger. Part of that may be a lowered libido....but partly I just grew up. The idea of going to a club and dirty dancing with a stranger, for example, might have had an appeal when I was in my 20s. Now the idea sounds disgusting and stupid. Point being, things change in the way we think and feel as we mature. And we have no comprehension of God's maturity, but...just that glimmer of difference in mortality suggests something to me.

I see young teenagers engaged in activities that are "fun" and I think they're stupid and have stupid interests and desires and cannot imagine how anyone could find such silly things fun -- despite the fact that I found things like that fun when I was a teenager. Inane, giggling silliness just isn't appealing anymore. I grew up.

But I digress.

My speculative point is that, yes, learning to overcome the carnal is important -- but I don't know that that translates to some sort of reality that we'll always have those carnal desires pressing on us in some sort of manner.

FWIW, I also speculate just the opposite of your final statement. I tend to believe physical drive is a result of our fallen state. I don't tend to think we'll have physical drives -- or, rather, the perfection of our bodies means the removal of physical drives. Our need/drive to sleep, eat, take in oxygen, have sex, etc., I believe to be temporal. In point of fact, no more hunger, pain, or fatigue is, indeed, scriptural. I do understand your speculation, and, yes...maybe... Removal of hunger might not mean removal of the joy of eating. But since our enjoyment of eating stems directly from our bodies' need to fuel itself....

It'll sure be interesting to find out someday how it's all going to work though, right?

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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A couple of thoughts:

1) For those that can get past the SL Tribune sponsorship, the Mormon Land podcast did an interview this week (episode 214) with Nate Ohman about Pres. Woodruff's change to sealing policies in 1894. Bro. Ohman suggested that this change was very significant because of the way it changed how we as Latter-day Saints think of the sealing ordinance and it's eternal implications. Bro Ohman's ideas might shed some light on the OP.

2) As one who leans more and more into my "heresies" (at least, as Elder McConkie saw them), I notice that much of the discussion assumes no progression between kingdoms. As I see more and more of the historical disagreements over this topic, I find myself more and more open to the possibility that those who are not prepared for Celestial glory at the end of life will have the opportunity to grow into Celestial beings in the next life. I know it has come up before, and many in this group are not fond of the idea of progression between kingdoms, but I said it anyway.

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On 12/30/2021 at 8:47 PM, MrShorty said:

As I see more and more of the historical disagreements over this topic, I find myself more and more open to the possibility that those who are not prepared for Celestial glory at the end of life will have the opportunity to grow into Celestial beings in the next life. I know it has come up before, and many in this group are not fond of the idea of progression between kingdoms, but I said it anyway.

I have often thought that none of us will really be prepared for Celestial glory when we die, but will have time before being resurrected to become so - not by progressing through the kingdoms, but through our work in the spirit world.

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On 12/30/2021 at 8:47 PM, MrShorty said:

A couple of thoughts:

1) For those that can get past the SL Tribune sponsorship, the Mormon Land podcast did an interview this week (episode 214) with Nate Ohman about Pres. Woodruff's change to sealing policies in 1894. Bro. Ohman suggested that this change was very significant because of the way it changed how we as Latter-day Saints think of the sealing ordinance and it's eternal implications. Bro Ohman's ideas might shed some light on the OP.

on 1).

Can you give a summary of it?

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@SilentOne Perhaps it is required to all be completed before the "final judgement", I don't know. Interestingly, your comment reminded me of when my wife got an I (incomplete) in one of her college classes. This grade meant, "the coursework was not completed before the deadline for submitting grades, but, due to "circumstances", this grade may be updated when the coursework is completed." Considering that I have no idea how "long" there is between death and final judgement (if time even has meaning after death), I have no problem insisting that everything must take place before the final judgement. I still think that most if not all will inherit Celestial glory.

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@JohnsonJones In short, Ohman is talking about the cessation of "dynastic" or "kingdom" sealings where Church members with "questionable" sealing opportunities (married to a non-member or spouse/parent leaves the Church or just because) would be sealed to prominent Church leaders. Ohman suggests that the cessation of these non-familial sealings and insisting that everyone be sealed along family lines was a significant moment in our history that, in many ways, completely changed our ideas of what being sealed truly means.

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On 12/19/2021 at 7:56 PM, laronius said:

I think the practical application of the eternal family doctrine to couples is pretty straightforward. They remain united enjoying the continuation of the seeds, I assume perpetually. We call it eternal marriage.

When it comes to the children though I have often wondered what's the point? In the ideal situation they will grow up and get sealed to their own spouse and start their own family. And to top it off, to my knowledge there is no covenant made between parents and children. Neither do we speak of them as our eternal children nor us as their eternal parents (lower case p).

Suppose you have a God who had two sons and two daughters.  Those two sons and daughters
become Gods themselves and procreate two spirits sons. One of those sons becomes the God
and Heavenly Father of our planet Earth.  Is this Heavenly Father of Earth considered part of the
eternal family of only the children he procreates on Earth or is he also part of the eternal family
of the other Gods and relatives in his lineage before him (where they all live in the same Celestial
kingdom)?  Or do you have multiple eternal families, which each God and his wife is separated from
all the other families in their own Celestial kingdom?

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1 hour ago, romans8 said:

Suppose you have a God who had two sons and two daughters.  Those two sons and daughters
become Gods themselves and procreate two spirits sons. One of those sons becomes the God
and Heavenly Father of our planet Earth.  Is this Heavenly Father of Earth considered part of the
eternal family of only the children he procreates on Earth or is he also part of the eternal family
of the other Gods and relatives in his lineage before him (where they all live in the same Celestial
kingdom)?  Or do you have multiple eternal families, which each God and his wife is separated from
all the other families in their own Celestial kingdom?

I believe that the scriptures are very clear concerning a man and a woman leaving their parents to become "one" in marriage - and yet the commandment that we honor our father and our mother is still a commandment.  It is my understanding that marriage is divine and defines what is meant by a Celestial Kingdom.

 

The Traveler

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2 hours ago, romans8 said:

Suppose you have a God who had two sons and two daughters.  Those two sons and daughters
become Gods themselves and procreate two spirits sons. One of those sons becomes the God
and Heavenly Father of our planet Earth.  Is this Heavenly Father of Earth considered part of the
eternal family of only the children he procreates on Earth or is he also part of the eternal family
of the other Gods and relatives in his lineage before him (where they all live in the same Celestial
kingdom)?  Or do you have multiple eternal families, which each God and his wife is separated from
all the other families in their own Celestial kingdom?

Please, I beg you, stop with the ridiculous oversimplifications and unidimensional presentations of multidimensional ideas. We fully realize you are antiMormon and wish to destroy the kingdom of God. But hypotheticals such as the above are so absurd and ignorant that they offend anyone with the Spirit, without any possibility of enlightenment.

Just stop. Please.

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6 hours ago, romans8 said:

Suppose you have a God who had two sons and two daughters.  Those two sons and daughters
become Gods themselves and procreate two spirits sons. One of those sons becomes the God
and Heavenly Father of our planet Earth.  Is this Heavenly Father of Earth considered part of the
eternal family of only the children he procreates on Earth or is he also part of the eternal family
of the other Gods and relatives in his lineage before him (where they all live in the same Celestial
kingdom)?  Or do you have multiple eternal families, which each God and his wife is separated from
all the other families in their own Celestial kingdom?

I wonder whether this, like the question in Matt 22:25-28, is simply calculated as an attempt to make a pre-rejected doctrine seem ridiculous; but on the chance that the question is sincere I’ll offer the following:

1 Cor 8:5-6 makes it pretty clear that whatever gods or so-called gods may exist here or in the eternities—as mortal humans, our focus is on the God who created this earth and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Does humankind, through the course of eternal progression, eventually connect directly with the broader divine council/family clan of which our own Creator and Heavenly Father is presumed to be a part?  That’s all speculative; though to me it does seem logical.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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On 12/20/2021 at 2:04 PM, Fether said:

“Families can be together forever” is somewhat problematic in this conversation. Eternal families is not really about being with your family forever, it seems to be more akin to eternal increase with your spouse.

I remember looking into this after the topic of temple divorce was brought up and the concern of what happens to the children's seeling. I found the most important seeling is to your spouse which is the most important relationship you have bar the one with God.  

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