Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Sealing Power of the Atonement

We decided to study the Atonement this week for family night. I was in charge and assigned us to read the article by Elder Holland in the April Ensign on the Atonement. In addition to that I read "Why the Atonement was necessary?" from The First 2000 Years by Brother Skousen.

When we were sealed in the temple (and in other occasions) I've heard that as long as parents keep the covenants that they make to God in the temple, their children will be with them in the Celestial Kingdom no matter how far they may seem to stray in this life. I accepted that explanation purely on faith because I wasn't sure how that could be possible. I thought that only Christ's holiness could guarantee our salvation. As I thought more about this the following thoughts began to formulate in my brain.

It is only through Christ that we can obtain Celestial glory. Christ compares himself to the Bridegroom and the Church (disciples) as his bride. He came to earth among his brethren to establish His church and teach His followers what they must do in order to return to live with Him. He suffered all things even unto death to prove to His Father how much He loves us and desires us to return to his presence. In light of our fallen state, the Father would not be able to admit us into His kingdom were it not that we had been purchased through the atoning blood of His Son.

In a similar way we as parents, by proving to God how much we love our children, by keeping the sacred covenants we have made to Him in His holy temples, by not giving up on our children, and by pressing forward with a steadfastness in Christ, we can be assured that our example will be seen by our children and they will have the desire to remain or return to Christ's fold through the sealing power of His holy Priesthood.


Officer Leeroy said...

Here's some doctrinal foundation for what I was talking about. “The Prophet Joseph Smith declared—and he never taught a more comforting doctrine—that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father’s heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God” (Orson F. Whitney, in Conference Report, Apr. 1929, 110).

sherrie bebe said...

So basically our baptism is our sealing to Christ, when we take upon ourselves His name and become His children. That is why everyone must be baptized, otherwise we are not sealed to Him and His atonement can have no effect on us. But the scriptures say that eventually every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and I believe everyone will be baptized. So really, everyone will be "saved," saved from Satan's grasp and Hell. The only exception will be the Sons of Perdition who will be cast into outer darkness. But, that must be a relatively few number of people who don't receive some degree of glory in the end. How amazing is God's plan? Even if only a small amount will live with God, the majority will be "saved" thanks to Christ's Atonement and Him sealing us as His children.

Officer Leeroy said...

My first thought was, "Why wouldn't the sealing ordinance in the temple be what actually seals us? Everyone will eventually be sealed together?" But baptism really is the first step we take toward becoming one with Christ. The other ordinances help strengthen that bond between us and the Savior. That is an interesting/inspiring thought that the majority of people on earth will be "saved" in that they won't be lost to an everlasting hell, though they won't all make the Celestial kingdom either.