What does “Eternal Families” mean?


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On 1/29/2022 at 7:36 AM, 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?

What you ask about is definitely not the milk of the gospel and perhaps not even the meat. You just might be gnawing on some bone here. And while there is still much about the life to come we do not yet understand I will try to respond on the same level as your questions. Here is an excerpt from Joseph Smith's King Follett Discourse. (I am using the Newly Amalgamated Text as it seems to have more details of what he actually said.)

I want you to know the first principles of consolation. How consoling to the mourners when they are called to part with a husband, father, wife, mother, child, dear relative, or friend, to know though they lay down this body and all earthly tabernacles shall be dissolved, that their very being shall rise in immortal glory to dwell in everlasting burnings and to sorrow, die, and suffer no more and not only that but to contemplate the saying that they will be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? To inherit and enjoy the same glory, powers, and exaltation until you ascend a throne of eternal power and arrive at the station of a God, the same as those who have gone before. What did Jesus Christ do? "Why I do the same things that I saw my Father do when worlds came rolling into existence." Saw the Father do what?  "I saw the Father work out His kingdom with fear and trembling and I am doing the same, too. When I get my kingdom, I will give it to the Father and it will add to and exalt His glory. He will take a higher exaltation and I will take His place and I am also exalted, so that He obtains kingdom rolling upon kingdom." So that Jesus treads in his tracks as he had gone before and then inherits what God did before. God is glorified in the salvation and exaltation of his creatures.

So it appears that these eternal families or kingdoms are really families within families or kingdoms within kingdoms. Kind of like an earthly kingdom where the king never dies but gives each of his own children part of his kingdom to rule over, who then give their own children the same and so on. Of course we are talking about the universe so there are no limitations, geographically speaking, to how many times these kingdoms can multiply. Each kingdom is a kingdom in it's own right but it is also part of perhaps an infinite number of greater kingdoms. Likewise each family is an eternal family in it's own right but also part of many, many eternal family units. 

I would correct one thing you said when you mentioned "each God and his wife." While we see very little reference to our Heavenly Mother, you cannot really speak of God without referring to them both. 

Edited by laronius
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On 1/30/2022 at 2:29 PM, laronius said:

I want you to know the first principles of consolation. How consoling to the mourners when they are called to part with a husband, father, wife, mother, child, dear relative, or friend, to know though they lay down this body and all earthly tabernacles shall be dissolved, that their very being shall rise in immortal glory to dwell in everlasting burnings and to sorrow, die, and suffer no more and not only that but to contemplate the saying that they will be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? To inherit and enjoy the same glory, powers, and exaltation until you ascend a throne of eternal power and arrive at the station of a God, the same as those who have gone before. What did Jesus Christ do? "Why I do the same things that I saw my Father do when worlds came rolling into existence." Saw the Father do what?  "I saw the Father work out His kingdom with fear and trembling and I am doing the same, too. When I get my kingdom, I will give it to the Father and it will add to and exalt His glory. He will take a higher exaltation and I will take His place and I am also exalted, so that He obtains kingdom rolling upon kingdom." So that Jesus treads in his tracks as he had gone before and then inherits what God did before. God is glorified in the salvation and exaltation of his creatures.

This would imply that Heavenly Father participated in an Atonement on some other world and married a woman 
whom he atoned for on that world.

I do not see Jesus following the path that he saw the Father do when Jesus is God before taking on human 
flesh and Joseph Smith taught Heavenly Father was once a man who became a God.

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On 1/29/2022 at 12:33 PM, Vort said:

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.

I mean no offense but the question stems from trying to follow the implications of eternal families when 
it comes to all the gods and goddesses and their spirit children that are believed to exist in your church 
theology. 

You should not conclude my trying to understand the concept of eternal families then asking some hypothetical
questions as absurd or ignorant.  If you are uncomfortable with some hypothetical answers, then I cannot help
you there.  I have a hard time trying to understand how God has always existed as God and nothing less than
God.

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On 1/29/2022 at 11:35 AM, Traveler said:

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.

I am aware of that scripture but do not see anything about a man and two or more women leaving their parents 
and becoming "one" in marriage.

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12 hours ago, romans8 said:

I mean no offense but the question stems from trying to follow the implications of eternal families when 
it comes to all the gods and goddesses and their spirit children that are believed to exist in your church 
theology.

The above sentence demonstrates that you haven't the least idea what you're talking about. Goodwill should always be assumed, at least initially. But when someone draws out his "ignorance" over months and years, never actually learning but instead just pushing his foolish suppositions and wrong scriptural and doctrinal glosses, one must finally conclude that that person is simply dishonest. Thus I have concluded with you.

12 hours ago, romans8 said:

You should not conclude my trying to understand the concept of eternal families then asking some hypothetical
questions as absurd or ignorant.  If you are uncomfortable with some hypothetical answers, then I cannot help
you there

This has nothing to do with my supposed discomfort over hypothetical answers, and everything to do with your refusal to modify your basic underlying model of Latter-day Saint theology based on feedback you have received here. For example, Just_A_Guy has written you many excellent and detailed answers addressing most or all of your underlying points regarding LDS theology—all of which you have apparently glided right past without bothering to read at all. No matter what JAG or anyone else has written, your model of LDS theology remains utterly unchanged. This is dishonest for one who styles himself a sincere seeker after truth.

Edited by Vort
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12 hours ago, romans8 said:

I am aware of that scripture but do not see anything about a man and two or more women leaving their parents 
and becoming "one" in marriage.

So your implication here is that Latter-day Saints have in the past, and perhaps do now, combine "a man and two or more women" in "becoming 'one' in marriage". Is this correct? Because it is a pernicious and obvious falsehood. But since you are Mr. I-Never-Change-My-Model-Of-"Mormons"-No-Matter-What, I don't expect anything I say to make a dent.

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15 hours ago, romans8 said:

I mean no offense but the question stems from trying to follow the implications of eternal families when 
it comes to all the gods and goddesses and their spirit children that are believed to exist in your church 
theology. 

You should not conclude my trying to understand the concept of eternal families then asking some hypothetical
questions as absurd or ignorant.  If you are uncomfortable with some hypothetical answers, then I cannot help
you there.  I have a hard time trying to understand how God has always existed as God and nothing less than
God.

Sure, the idea of a divine council whose origins stretch back through the eternities can be mind-boggling in some of its ramifications; and at this point we simply don’t know how they all work out.  As someone who presumably subscribes to the Athanasian Creed, I would think you’d be used to accepting a certain amount of mystery in your concept of divinity.  

On the other hand, I am inclined to think your “golly gee willikers, this is just soooo hard to understand” is something of an affectation.  Do you find family reunions confusing?  If you go to a multi-generational gathering of parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins multiple times removed—does the existence of all those people really create difficulties in your relationship with your own parents?  When a toddler at a family reunion stubs his toe and runs to seek comfort—does the presence of all those additional family members make him somehow forget who his own mother is?  

15 hours ago, romans8 said:

I am aware of that scripture but do not see anything about a man and two or more women leaving their parents 
and becoming "one" in marriage.

You know very well that Traveler was talking about the way individual parties to a marriage leave their parents, not the way they bond to their spouses; and in this context, your resorting to changing the topic with a cheap shot about polygamy just shows that you’ve conceded the argument about the purported confusion caused by multiple generations of gods.  Thank you for acknowledging the soundness of the Latter-day Saint theology in this topic.  Glad we could help you understand it!

As to polygamy, though:  you are absolutely right.  LDS polygamous families were not seen as “group marriages” between a man and all his wives—in other words, there was no formal theological or social covenant as directly between the various wives.  Rather, an individual man was bound to each wife in a marriage that was separate and independent from his marriage to each of his other wives.  

And yes, this created some interesting discussions in LDS culture of the late 19th century about what it really meant to “be one” in the marital covenant and how it could be that a man could “be one” with multiple individuals simultaneously.  (Too bad they didn’t have good old Athanasius to tell ‘em how it’s possible to simultaneously be three, and yet one, and yet three, and yet one, but also three, but also one.)

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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On 2/5/2022 at 12:12 PM, Vort said:

So your implication here is that Latter-day Saints have in the past, and perhaps do now, combine "a man and two or more women" in "becoming 'one' in marriage". Is this correct? Because it is a pernicious and obvious falsehood. But since you are Mr. I-Never-Change-My-Model-Of-"Mormons"-No-Matter-What, I don't expect anything I say to make a dent.

I don't know if Latter-day Saints consider polygamy as a man and his wives becoming "one flesh". I could only
find a scriptural reference for monogamy.

Edited by romans8
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21 hours ago, laronius said:

The wives aren't married to each other. The marriage covenant is made between the man and each wife individually.

I am just astounded that this needed to be said out loud. "In the LDS tradition, water is wet."

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On 2/4/2022 at 9:21 PM, romans8 said:

I am aware of that scripture but do not see anything about a man and two or more women leaving their parents 
and becoming "one" in marriage.

In many ancient societies women did not have the right that they do in some modern societies.  Women were often thought of as "owned" by their husband.  The primary difference between a wife and concubine was that a wife brough to a dowery with her to the marriage.  The dowery was considered something that belonged to her and must be returned if she left the marriage (regardless or reason or who instigated the end of the marriage covenant).   It is my understanding that the woman (for most of human history) was given to the man.  Therefore that scripture references that man to leave his parents and "cleave unto his wife" - placing the primary responsibility with the man to become one flesh with his spouse.

 

The Traveler

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On 2/16/2022 at 2:55 PM, Traveler said:

Therefore that scripture references that man to leave his parents and "cleave unto his wife" - placing the primary responsibility with the man to become one flesh with his spouse.

I agree. But we have no indication in scripture where becoming one flesh is with a man and his spouses.

I also believe that marriage is as much about the man cleaving unto his wife as it is a woman cleaving to her
husband. Exodus 1:24 says "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife,
and they shall become one flesh" (ESV).

As the man leaves his parents, so does the woman also leave her parents.  It is not a condition solely put on
the man.  I do not see the concept of a primary responsibility or a secondary responsibility placed on Adam
and Eve in this case.

In another unrelated incident, maybe you feel God put the primary responsibility to eat from the forbidden
fruit on Eve and the secondary responsibility on Adam.

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On 2/13/2022 at 8:05 PM, laronius said:

The wives aren't married to each other. The marriage covenant is made between the man and each wife individually.

That makes sense.  So it sounds like the man can have as many marriage covenants as he has wives
whereas each wife has only one marriage covenant. 

Is there any type of covenant between each of the wives to each other or between the first wife to all the
other wives?

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2 hours ago, romans8 said:

I agree. But we have no indication in scripture where becoming one flesh is with a man and his spouses.

I also believe that marriage is as much about the man cleaving unto his wife as it is a woman cleaving to her
husband. Exodus 1:24 says "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife,
and they shall become one flesh" (ESV).

As the man leaves his parents, so does the woman also leave her parents.  It is not a condition solely put on
the man.  I do not see the concept of a primary responsibility or a secondary responsibility placed on Adam
and Eve in this case.

In another unrelated incident, maybe you feel God put the primary responsibility to eat from the forbidden
fruit on Eve and the secondary responsibility on Adam.

You make some good points.  I was attempting to add some thoughts.  In the ancient Hebrew language there are some interesting grammatical references.  There are two words in Hebrew that are translated into the English word "one".  The particular word used for one flesh is ehad.   In ancient Hebrew words are singular, two or many.  It is interesting that the word "ehad" is plural and refers to many united together.  The original Hebrew reference to one in one flesh of a man and wife is the word "ehad".  

 

The Traveler

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3 hours ago, romans8 said:

That makes sense.  So it sounds like the man can have as many marriage covenants as he has wives
whereas each wife has only one marriage covenant. 

Is there any type of covenant between each of the wives to each other or between the first wife to all the
other wives?

None that I'm aware of. If the goal is exaltation and exaltation is defined, at least in part, in terms of the ability to continue having offspring then the presence of additional wives has no bearing on that covenant relationship.

Edited by laronius
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  • 4 weeks later...

I'd like to disagree with something that has been said on this thread and many like it.  I believe the notion that the marital covenant/sealing is more important than the parent/child sealing is a false one.

Two facts we know:

1) To obtain the highest degree of the Celestial, we must enter into the marriage covenant.

2) We without our dead cannot be made perfect in Christ.  Neither can they without us be made perfect in Christ.

I've spent several years pondering why we cannot be made perfect without them.  And I believe I came to an inescapable conclusion about that.  I've since prayed for understanding, and I believe I've received personal revelation one exactly why.  As such, I don't expect anyone to accept it, nor will I share it publicly.  But it does explain point number two when nothing else does.

 And regardless of whether anyone received revelation on the matter or not, it is written in the D&C.  We need them to be sealed to us or we CANNOT be made perfect in Christ.

Sealing means a lot more than we tend to believe.

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7 hours ago, Carborendum said:

I'd like to disagree with something that has been said on this thread and many like it.  I believe the notion that the marital covenant/sealing is more important than the parent/child sealing is a false one.

FTR, I have never said, intended to imply, or believed this idea.

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8 hours ago, Carborendum said:

I'd like to disagree with something that has been said on this thread and many like it.  I believe the notion that the marital covenant/sealing is more important than the parent/child sealing is a false one.

Two facts we know:

1) To obtain the highest degree of the Celestial, we must enter into the marriage covenant.

2) We without our dead cannot be made perfect in Christ.  Neither can they without us be made perfect in Christ.

I've spent several years pondering why we cannot be made perfect without them.  And I believe I came to an inescapable conclusion about that.  I've since prayed for understanding, and I believe I've received personal revelation one exactly why.  As such, I don't expect anyone to accept it, nor will I share it publicly.  But it does explain point number two when nothing else does.

 And regardless of whether anyone received revelation on the matter or not, it is written in the D&C.  We need them to be sealed to us or we CANNOT be made perfect in Christ.

Sealing means a lot more than we tend to believe.

I would like, if possible, to drill down and have a discussion to clarify some points.

The first principle is the principle of being perfect in Christ.  It is my impression that that elements of perfection are not necessarily indications of what is "more important".   When it comes to the principle elements of the "Plan of Salvation" - I am not sure that discussions of what is more important is more likely to create delusions and misunderstandings.  However, It is obvious, at least to me, that there are priorities specific to where we are on the "path" or "way" concerning the "tree of life" as symbolically presented in the garden of Eden epoch.  

I am impressed that the terms "perfect in Christ", "becoming whole", "being sanctified", "spiritually reborn in Christ", "becoming holy", "having faith in Christ", "taking the name of Christ", "acting in the name of Christ", "a Saint of G-d", "being a child of G-d", "receiving eternal life" and "being one with G-d" are all terms describing the same "thing".   I do not believe that the terms presented are all the terms that can be used to describe the principle we are discussing.  

I would also point out some things about making and keeping our covenants with G-d:

1. Marriage is a covenant with G-d and is the "first" covenant of family which is the order of the Celestial Kingdom.

2. Children cannot be sealed to parents nor parents to children unless the parents are sealed in the covenant of marriage.  -- This seems to indicate that the covenant of marriage is a "priority" and necessary precondition for sealing children to parents. 

3. If children are born to parents of the covenant of marriage with G-d - the children are "born under the covenant" and are sealed.

4. Breaking the everlasting covenant of marriage will negate the sealing ordnance.

5. There are pre-conditions to the marriage covenant that include baptism - but children can be sealed to parents without the children being baptized. 

 

I am not sure what you mean by "more important".  If you mean that we cannot be perfect without both - then I would agree.  One cannot be fulfilled without the other.  But if you intend to infer that one should not enter into the marriage covenant until they are sealed to their parents; I think you are in error.  Or if you are attempting to infer that being sealed to our ancestors is "more important" than being sealed to one's spouse -- I think you are also in error.  If you are intending that being sealed to our ancestors is a necessary step for salvation that must be pursued, even if we never marry in this life - then I agree.

 

The Traveler 

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8 hours ago, Carborendum said:

Sealing means a lot more than we tend to believe.

I don't mean to be irreverent or disrespectful, but I think about the math.  Every individual requiring to be sealed to at least four, hopefully five other people, and maybe 100 billion people have lived on earth to date?  Our grandmas are doing their indexing as fast as they can, and our temples are re-opening as fast as is safe, but there's an obvious insurmountable delta that mere pre-millennium humans won't be able to handle.  As a guy who works with hardware manufacturing, the paperwork alone will be a monumental task.

 

 

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44 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

I don't mean to be irreverent or disrespectful, but I think about the math.  Every individual requiring to be sealed to at least four, hopefully five other people, and maybe 100 billion people have lived on earth to date?  Our grandmas are doing their indexing as fast as they can, and our temples are re-opening as fast as is safe, but there's an obvious insurmountable delta that mere pre-millennium humans won't be able to handle.  As a guy who works with hardware manufacturing, the paperwork alone will be a monumental task.

On a practical level, I understand where you're coming from.  But "practical, earthly" limits have never stopped the Lord from performing his work.  And if he requires it of us, there will be a way provided.  

For a practical explanation, I believe that is really the primary reason behind having The Millennial era.  I'd say within four or five generations in, the entire earth will be involved in the work.  And with the records being guided by and approved by heavenly hosts, I don't see this as a problem.

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  • 5 weeks later...

For me, eternal families means we are linked by covenant to our Savior Jesus Christ. If we are truly spiritually reborn, then Jesus Christ becomes our spiritual father in the eternities. We become part of His eternal family, He becomes our God and our Father. The sealing link in the Temple, links us back to Him. So to be an eternal family to me means that I belong to His family, that I choose by covenant and the fulfillment of that covenant to become even as He is. To be an eternal family means living with my spouse the life that the Savior lives, becoming as He is, fulfilling His plan for His children, my brothers and sisters and all that goes with that. It means I and my wife become one as together we become as He is and thus as our Heavenly Parents are, and progressing, growing through exhaltations as we continue together to become as they are, to live the life they do, to do what they do.  

I find it interesting that though we know of the kingdoms and who goes where, and so forth that there has to be more to the plan than that which is revealed.  I sat in a meeting once where Neal A. Maxwell and Rex D. Pinegar went through the the plan of salvation and when they came to the three kingdoms of glory, both Elder Pinegar and Maxwell explained that what we know is what goes on to that point. Elder Maxwell pointed to the sealing ceremony and reminded us that  kingdoms, thrones, principalities, powers, dominions and exhaltations are all plural and inform us that there is more to the plan beyond what is openly revealed, that there is a continuation of the plan and for us to become even as the Father and the Savior will take ions . . .  and then he paused, stopped, and said  to paraphrase,  that is not for public teaching and we won't go into that. It is enough to know that we must gain the highest degree of glory in the Celestial Kingdom for now."  He teased us that yes, there is more to the plan, but it is not one of those things the Lord allows to be discussed to those who are not ready for it. He then focused on what we need to be doing in the here and now in order to qualify ourselves through the atonement to continue to progress and come back into the presence of the Lord. 

I have my own personal opinion what it means to be part of an eternal family and what the plan is for those who obtain the highest degree of the  celestial kingdom and what it means for those that don't.  However, I do agree, now years later, and after many experiences and further mentoring with the Lord,  with Elder Maxwell that the here and now is focused on exercising faith unto repentance, learning to draw upon the powers of the atonement, thus yielding my will and heart and mind to the Savior's and then striving to fulfill His will in service to my spouse, my family and to others and in thus serving them, gain the experiences that I need in order to move step by step to becoming even as He is. To be honest, it isn't just what I need to learn, that is part of it, a lot of it is what my spouse and I need to learn to become together that I think matters perhaps a little more as we place Him in the center of our personal lives and our lives as a couple. 

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On 1/29/2022 at 8:36 AM, 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?

@romans8

At first, I just shrugged this off as yet another attempt at your usual trollery.  But I remembered that I had actually pondered this a long time ago.  I also have an answer for this.  But because of your past trollery, I must conclude that you're not really interested in receiving an answer.  So, why would I share it with you?

You're just poking a sleeping dog to see if it will bark.

*bark*

Try showing more respect for our faith and then we can have a real conversation.  You have two options.

1. Take time to ponder and ask YOURSELF AND THE LORD "how can I change my thinking and perspective such that I can understand how this can be true?"
2. Let's see what nooks and crannies I can dig into until I can find what I hope to be the Achilles Heel of Mormonism to prove just how foolish it is.

The first shows respect.  The second is trolling.

On 2/4/2022 at 10:18 PM, romans8 said:

This would imply that Heavenly Father participated in an Atonement on some other world and married a woman 
whom he atoned for on that world.

I do not see Jesus following the path that he saw the Father do when Jesus is God before taking on human 
flesh and Joseph Smith taught Heavenly Father was once a man who became a God.

Yes.  YOU DO NOT SEE.

Edited by Carborendum
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