23 June 2012

Becoming “the Seed of Abraham”: The Sealing and Healing Power of Elijah

In D&C 132, we read the promise that those who accept the covenants of celestial marriage will enjoy “a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.” This idea relates to the next set of promised blessings described in D&C 84:34:
They become… the seed of Abraham…
The reference to becoming the “seed of Abraham” includes the blessings of the celestial marriage ordinance and the sealing of parents to children in the temple. In D&C 132:30-31, we read:
Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins... [that] both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars... This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham...
Of course, being a literal descendant of Abraham does not guarantee the fulfillment of these promises, as they are conditioned upon personal faithfulness to the covenants received: “they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are all children of Abraham, are they the seed.... But the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”

The blessings of Abraham received through the sealing ordinances are, of course, intended for men and women alike: “Elder McConkie noted that ‘what we say for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob we say also for Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel, the wives... who with them were true and faithful in all things,’ for, as President Joseph Fielding Smith taught, ‘the Lord offers to his daughters every spiritual gift and blessing that can be obtained by his sons.’”

The sealing power exercised in the temple is essential for the redemption of families. By this means, both our posterity and our ancestors and can be linked to us eternally in a restoration of the perfect order that God designed for the happiness of His children before the earth was created. Without these “welding links,” as the Prophet Joseph called them, neither we nor they can be made perfect. Explaining the priority of this work on both sides of the veil, Elder Melvin J. Ballard asked:
Why is it that sometimes only one of a city or household receives the Gospel? It was made known to me that it is because of the righteous dead who had received the Gospel in the spirit world exercising themselves and, in answer to their prayers, elders of the Church were sent to the homes of their posterity that the Gospel might be taught to them, and [that] through their righteousness they might be privileged to have a descendant in the flesh do the work for their dead kindred. I want to say to you that it is with greater intensity that the hearts of the fathers and mothers in the spirit world are turned to their children than that our hearts are turned to them.

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