As I read through these conference talks, the predominant messages seem to be
- to follow and obey the prophet, recognizing that he is called of God and
- to take care of our homes and families so the gospel can be preached to all generations.
Is it my imagination that these are the very key issues we face today? Eldred G. Smith, the last to hold the office of Patriarch To The Church, gave us important advice in his talk, “Do Not Procrastinate!” His talk brought up the family and raised a perfectly clean and impressive argument why families are so important to maintain, protect, and train up in the ways of the Lord. A good chunk of his talk is worth quoting here:
“This family unit is so important that the Lord has made it known to us that by the time of the end of the Millennium all of Adam’s posterity who accept the gospel must be sealed together as one family by the power of the priesthood, which is the power to seal on earth and it shall be sealed in heaven, and to bind on earth and it shall be bound in heaven.”
This is how Moses 1:39 will come to pass, by way of sealing families by the power of the priesthood. As we all know, Satan will do anything to destroy God’s purpose. He has attacked the family for a long time, but he is straining at the bit in these latter days.
“Every person who comes on this earth must have an opportunity to receive all the blessings of these sealings, if he will accept, sometime before the end of the Millennium. There could not be a just God if it were otherwise.
“These sealing blessings are obtained first through the ordinance of baptism into the church of Jesus Christ. Then the wife is sealed to her husband for time and all eternity, and those children who are not born under the marriage covenant must be sealed to their parents, that they may receive all the blessings as though they were born under the new and everlasting covenant.”
The new and everlasting covenant is sealed upon a family, by the Holy Spirit of promise who promises, “Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection and if it be after the first resurrection, the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths … in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things” (D&C 132:19). This is a promise made available to all of us if we but follow, and do not procrastinate, the divine path toward our Heavenly Father. My heart races every time I hear these words because I know they are true. The amazing thing to me is that God gives us so many chances. This is His predominant message of love to each one of us.
“Those who have died without this law may have the privilege of receiving these blessings by proxy. That is where our responsibility comes in. We must first teach the gospel to the living. Then we must gather the records of those of our families who died without this law and get this great and important work done for them.
“The promise was given to our forefathers that when the gospel is restored in the last days, “the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers” (D&C 2:2.) This means we must fulfill the promise to our ancestors to do the ordinance work for them. If we do not, then our own salvation may be in jeopardy.
“Not only the ordinance of baptism, but also the sealing of families together as an eternal unit must be done on the earth. Hence, we must perform these ordinances ourselves first, then by proxy for our ancestors who have passed on to the spirit world. These most sacred ordinances must be performed in a holy temple erected and dedicated to the Lord for this very purpose.”
The message is simple. What is so overwhelming to me is that it’s true. God loves His family. He has many beautiful promises He is anxious to fulfill. We have everything we need at our fingertips to help Him help us. In contrast, Satan is doing his best to destroy the eternal family and he doesn’t care about the wreckage. When our prophets speak to us their predominant messages are to bless the family and keep us focused on what is true and important and happy, which is eternal families.