March 10, 2011

Together Forever

As a child, I grew up singing the song, "Families Can Be Together Forever." The concept is simple, really, but the truth that it teaches is eternal.

I have a family here on earth,
They are so good to me.
Siblings: Cooper, Nate and McKenzie
I want to share my life with them through all eternity.

Families can be together forever
Through Heavenly Father's plan.
I always want to be with my own family,
And the Lord has shown me how I can.
The Lord has shown me how I can.

While I am in my early years,
I'll prepare most carefully,
So I can marry in God's temple for eternity.

Families can be together forever
Through Heavenly Father's plan.
I always want to be with my own family,
And the Lord has shown me how I can.
The Lord has shown me how I can.



When I was young, I thought this song encompassed the perfect family unit. Mom, Dad, four kids, and two dogs. That's what my family consisted of. However, I have since then learned that families come in all shapes and sizes. My different experiences have taught me one vital truth, that families are ordained of God, and that they can be eternal. This is my story.

In October of 1994, my Mother, Father and brother Cooper entered into the Jordan River Temple to be sealed for time and all eternity as a family. Temples are literally houses of God on the earth. In the temple, sacred ordinances are performed that bind families together forever. Also, individuals make sacred covenants with the Lord in order to prepare for eternity.



In this sacred temple, our family was bound together not just for this life, but for the life to come. In the temple, men holding the priesthood, or the authority to act in the name of God, have the ability to seal families together for time and all eternity. In this holy place, couples can be married not until death do they part, but for all eternity. All of these ordinances are done through the power of the Priesthood.

Jesus Christ himself taught of this sealing power. When asked "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" the apostle Peter responded, "Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God." Peter testified of his Redeemer. The Savior responded, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." He then gave Peter the keys of the kingdom. We know this to be the priesthood authority. The Savior then tells Peter that "whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:13-19) Peter held the priesthood authority to bind families together forever.

After the death of Christ and His apostles, that priesthood authority was taken from the earth. The earth was in darkness for many years, and the Great Apostasy was in full swing. However, in the early 1800's, God was preparing his children to once again hear the voice of the Lord through his servant, the prophet. Joseph Smith was called to be that prophet, and under the direction of the Lord himself, Joseph restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth in these the latter-days. With the restoration of the Gospel came the restoration of priesthood keys. This meant that once again, the power to bind on earth as well as in heaven was available to faithful members of Christ's church. I testify that that is the work that is done in holy temples today.

My Mom and Will's wedding
In 2005, my life was forever changed. In December, I found out that my parents would be getting a divorce. That had been a childhood fear all of my life. Now, as it became a reality, a great deal of fear, trepidation, and uncertainty of the future filled my mind. What was going to happen now that my family was "broken?" How could we be together forever if we were in pieces? I was very concerned. My parents divorce was unique in that they were no longer sealed to each other. Where did that leave me and my siblings? Were we lost? As the shock of my new situation turned into acceptance, I came to understand that the Lord has a plan for all families- even the unconventional ones. My siblings and I are still sealed to my parents, even though they are not sealed to each other. We can still be a family.


My Dad and Julie's wedding
In 2006, my mom met a man named Will Scott. Will became my step-father, and my best friend. In 2007, they were married for time and all eternity in the temple. They are bound together. In 2007 my father met a wonderful woman named Julie Frambauch. They were married, and sealed in the temple in 2010. My family keeps extending, and we are continually bound together through sacred covenants and ordinances.


I won't lie. Sometimes it's awkward having divorced parents. However, that is to be expected. But what I have learned has made all of the difference. I have to sets of parents who love and support me; they care for me, and support me. How blessed am I? I know that I needed to learn some things that could have only have been taught through the divorce of my parents. Though not ideal, coming from a divorced family has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. Jesus Christ is the reason for this blessing.

In 1995, the prophet of the Church, President Gordon B. Hinckley gave this proclamation to the world, in regards to the family. He talked about the family sphere, the responsibility of the family, and the sanctity of the family. He also gave this profound statement: "The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan....Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." When my parents divorced, it forced me to look at things differently. It taught me the principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work and wholesome recreational activities. My parents divorce taught me more than anything else that families are ordained of God. I know that the positive outlook I have on this chapter of my life comes from the teaching of Jesus Christ that are so central in both of my parents marriages. Also, I came to realize that God doesn't leave us alone. He is with us always, and he wants our families to be eternal.


Step-Sister Jillian, and McKenzie
Now my family has grown in size, and in love. I testify that the family is ordained of God. Indeed, I have not had any earth shattering witness of the divinity of the family. Nor do I have a family of my own. Instead, it's the small moments that make up the knowledge of God's plan. I testify that families can be eternal. We do have a prophet on the earth today; we do have the priesthood authority restored to us today. We have temples all over the world where these sacred ordinances can be performed. We have Jesus Christ at the head of our Church. I testify that he has prepared the way for us to live in eternal families, whatever shape and size they may be, for eternity.



Maybe it sounds cliche, but families really can be together forever. I want to share my life with mine through all eternity.

3 comments:

  1. This post was so relatable!!! I felt my world starting to fall apart when my parents started silent fighting. It was awful. I tried to play mediator and fix things but ultimately it wasn't up to me. The reality that things were not in my control drove me to hate myself and not respect the gift of my body. I, like you, finally accepted the truth of my family's separation and worked to develop strong ties with each family member. Those strong bonds and ties remind me constantly that a family is ordained of God.

    I love your posts! Thanks for these last few :)

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