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At times it can be difficult to decode the mysticism surrounding what blessings may come through keeping the covenants we make with our Heavenly Father. Throughout the history of the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the prophets have strived to teach the people the meaning behind these sacred promises.
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 the virtue of the covenant of their father and mother.
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 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.
I have here an interesting statement by Elder Orson F. Whitney: “The Prophet Joseph Smith declared—and he never taught 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 back to the fold. Either in this life of 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” (Conference Report, April 1929). If any of you have a child or loved on in that condition, do not give up. Pray for them and love them and reach out to them and help them.
Rewards for obedience to the commandments are almost beyond mortal comprehension. Here, children of the covenant become a strain of sin-resistant souls. And hereafter . . . children of the covenant, and “each generation [will] be linked to the one which went before . . . [in] the divine family of God” (Joseph Fielding Smith, CR, April 1965). Great comfort comes from the knowledge that our loved ones are secured to us through the covenants.
Many of us have suffered the pain and frustration that comes from watching loved ones stray from the path that leads back to our Heavenly Father. There are no timelines included, and many may not see the day when those loved ones return, yet we all can draw comfort from the promises made by these men who were ordained to lead.