Friday, January 6, 2017

Repentant wayward children will enjoy salvation

This subject of wayward children is a big one. I found a good compilation of quotes that really helped piece it together for me. There are two important components to consider, 1. The specific level of righteousness of the parents is critical and 2. The children must repent of their sins, either in this life or the next, and they will enjoy salvation, just not exaltation. So, let's look at a few quotes.

Brigham Young:
"Let the father and mother, who are members of this Church and kingdom, take a righteous course, and strive with all their might never to do a wrong, but to do good all their lives; if they have one child or one hundred children, if they conduct themselves towards them as they should, binding them to the Lord by their faith and prayers, I care not where those children go, they are bound up to their parents by an everlasting tie, and no power on earth or hell can separate them from their parents in eternity; they will return again to the fountain from whence they sprang."
(in Journal of Discourses, 11:215)

Keep in mind the word "bind," because it explains the specific level of righteousness that the parents must rise to, but we will come back to it later.

Spencer W. Kimball
"In the impressive parable of the Prodigal Son the Lord taught us a remarkable lesson. This squanderer lived but for today. He spent his life in riotous living. He disregarded the commandments of God. His inheritance was expendable, and he spent it. He was never to enjoy it again, as it was irretrievably gone. No quantity of tears or regrets or remorse could bring it back. Even though his father forgave him and dined him and clothed him and kissed him, he could not give back to the profligate son that which had been dissipated. But the other brother, who had been faithful, loyal, righteous and constant, retained his inheritance, and the father reassured him: 'All that I have is thine.' (Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 307-308)

The Prodigal Son's inheritance "was irretrievably gone." What does that mean in plain terms? This next quote will clarify this for us.

President James E. Faust
“Repentant wayward children will enjoy salvation and all the blessings that go with it, but exaltation is much more. It must be fully earned. The question as to who will be exalted must be left to the Lord in His mercy.” (Conference Report, April 2003,
p. 68)

So, they will enjoy salvation, but not exaltation. Remember that exaltation is the highest level of the celestial kingdom and in whom become gods. Which means our wayward children will have a wonderful life with us, their parents, but they will not populate worlds of their own.

This is consoling that they are not lost, but it brings up the question how does one earn exaltation in the first place, in order to have that promise that our children will be ours in salvation? In this next quote, we will find out that it is much more than just holding a temple recommend. Remember the word "bind" that I told you to keep in mind, let's look at that now and it means to bind or children to us.

William Clayton Diary
"When speaking of the passage "I will send Elijah the prophet &c" [Joseph] said it should read and he shall turn the hearts of the children to the covenant made with their fathers. Also where it says and they shall seal the servants of God in their foreheads &c it means to seal the blessing on their heads meaning the everlasting covenant thereby making their calling & election sure. When a seal is put upon the father and mother it secures their posterity so that they cannot be lost but will be saved by virtue of the covenant of their father." (emphasis added)
(both in Words of Joseph Smith, pp. 241-42)

There it is, in simple and plain language, we as parents must make our callings and elections sure, both individually and as a couple. Then and only then will we "bind" or "seal" or children to us with a seal that cannot be broken, except or children have sinned away all their blessings.

As parents let us "gird up our loins" and be diligent and put in the required faith and works to qualify us and make our callings and elections sure, so that all our children will be ours through time and all eternity. This is my sincere prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.



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