A couple of days ago I wrote Serendipitous Living, circumstances that fall into our path, whether by heavenly design or happenstance, that cause radical change — if only in the life of one. Us.
I already shared my circumstance, now I’d like to share the help I received. The promise in this prophetic statement seems too good to be true. Yet, I hold onto it like an eighty-year-old women holds onto her purse, with compressed gums and with clenched fists.
I quote from a talk by Boyd K. Packer, in the May 1992 Ensign, in which he quotes Orson F. Whitney quoting Joseph Smith.
…the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises 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. (The emphasis is mine.)
They WILL RETURN! Not, they might return, or they probably will, or in most cases they will, but emphatically, THEY WILL RETURN. That’s a big promise. HUGE! As I look around our Relief Society room on Sunday, I estimate 90% of the women my age are anxiously wondering what they can do to help their children, who have strayed from the gospel plan, to come back.
In that same talk, Elder Packer also quotes Brigham Young concerning children who stray from the gospel:
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.
From these two quotes I got one earth shattering enlightenment:
My temple sealing doesn’t just save me, but it also saves MY CHILDREN!?
That’s mind boggling to me. How is it possible? I read it again, and saw the disclaimer. Brigham Young’s words proceeding the above quote state that parents should:
“…take a righteous course, and strive never to do a wrong, but to do good all their lives;” and they would receive the promised blessing. The disclaimer does not dishearten me. I don’t feel like he was saying I have to be perfect to attain the promise. He said that I should ‘strive’ to do good. Which I assume would include repenting when I get it wrong. A far too often occurrence.
Strive—make great effort, exert oneself, do all one can, work, labor, pull out all the stops. I’ve been doing that!
Thinking back, I know I have always striven, my whole life to convince my children that they should do good.
AHA! I get it! I was aiming at the wrong target. A major redirecting of where I needed to concentrate my efforts was in order.
So, I jumped right over the hurdle of individual agency in all of this, and grabbed the end of the rope that said, ‘they will return’ and ‘no power of heaven or hell can separate them from their parents.’
I wonder if my children have felt a cooling of parental concern in the past few weeks as I’ve taken the heat off of them, and turned to face myself, firing off a barrage of questions.
- Darcee, How seriously do you take your temple covenants?
- How hard do you strive to go to the temple?
- Could you go more often?
- What about scripture study, Darcee?
- Have you become complacent thinking you’ve read them more times than you can count?
- Have you read and pondered this months ensign and what is is saying to you and your life?
- What about Missionary work? Searching for your ancestors?
- Are you absolutely honest at all times and in all things?
- Do you exercise the pure love of Christ to strangers, neighbors and family?
- How much effort and contemplation do you put into fasting?
- What are you doing now to ensure that you and Rob will be able to serve a couple’s mission?
- When’s the last time you called your compassionate service leader to ask who needed help in the ward?
- O.K. Have you ever called your compassionate service leader to ask who needed help in the ward?
- Are you really and truly searching for opportunities to ‘stand for truth and righteousness’ every day?
- What good have you done, today?
Since contemplating that I can only help my adult children in their life’s journey by working on my own salvation, I feel a greater urgency to do good. Retrospectively, I wonder if I would have taught them differently when they were children if I could have seen the future. But who can see the future? I suddenly have a renewed desire to do everything I can, now, so that I can take this promise to the bank.
They Will Return.