Thursday, May 6, 2010

Qualifying for the blessings under adverse circumstances

I was asked about someone who is an active, faithful man married to a non-member wife.  The issue is their chances to receive all the blessings associated with an eternal family, despite the spouse's lack of faith.
From the question it is apparent that the person has first, has accepted and believes in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Second, is living everything they can at present. Third, would gladly take the spouse to the temple if the spouse were willing to go and enter into the covenants there.
This, once again, is a Section 137 issue in which the person qualifies for everything which they would have gladly received, had the circumstances permitted it:
  6 And marveled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins.
  7 Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God;
  8 Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;
  9 For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.
By continuing to be loyal to, supportive of, and loving toward the non-believing spouse the husband is living an example which will, in the Day of Judgment, be credited him for righteousness.  This is particularly true when the husband remains loyal and faithful to her when she does not share his faith.  It reflects credit on his character to do so.  I cannot help but believe the Lord is pleased with such a man.
Finally, who knows but what the spouse will, at the end, convert and all the blessings be sealed upon them while still here anyway.  Life is not over yet.  There is something compelling and convincing to even a skeptic of the Gospel when they see someone actually live it. 


  1. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of repentance and hope. This blog illustrates this truth perfectly. Thank you for reminding me of the value and hope that exists by honoring the Light of Christ and of a good influence we can have through example. This blog reminded me of Mother Theresa and others who have been true to principles of truth. These thoughts inspired me. Goodness, kindness, gentleness, meekness, and so forth are powerful influences for good and offer the greatest hope in the world.

  2. My grandmother was a faithful and devoted member of the church all her life. Grandpa was not. He had no problem with Grandma going to church and being involved....he just was not interested. We all felt so bad for Grandma who wanted so much to go to the temple...she remained loyal and faithful to her husband all her life. To our great shock and surprise, Grnadpa at age 72 decided to join the church after lengthy and private missionary efforts by my Dad (Grandpa's son). It was the most wonderful and glorious day when we all went to the Idaho falls temple to be with Grandpa and Grandma and see them kneel and be sealed as husband and wife.... and have their two sons sealed to them as well. You just never know. My Grandpa spent his last years of life doing his best to be a faithful home teacher to others in his little Idaho community.

    My other grandpa and grandma never did come around even though they had been baptised as youngsters in Idaho. My wife and I were eventually able to do temple work for them.

  3. Denver: Thank you much. That reaffirms my hope and strengthens my faith. It also reminds me of an impression I had in the Temple about 18 years ago when I was in the Celestial Room praying about this very issue and wondering when my wife would accept the Gospel so we could be sealed. A distinct thought--not quite a voice, but almost--came into my mind as I pondered after praying--that was "Just keep doing what you are doing". That gave me comfort then but after another 14 years have gone by, I think I was getting a little discouraged again. It's the Lord's time frame, not mine. Thank you again so very much. Jeff

  4. This is a reassuring post for us who are married to non member wives or husbands. My wife is as pure as Mother Theresa trapped in a cheerleader's body, and loves many things about the church, but is still tethered to the large and spacious building. . She bakes cookies when I teach in HPG and is polite and friendly to the members. I pray for her often, we're about 50 yrs of age-so there is still time-we shall see..

  5. The unbelieving husband is sanctified (cleansed) by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean (unsaved), but now they are made holy (saved). D&C 74:1

    One spouse's love & righteousness can save an unbelieving spouse, member or not & the children & give them greater opportunities than they would have had, even entrance into the Celestial Kingdom.

    "We all should beware, whether members of the Church or some other church, or no church at all, how the sacred covenant of marriage & the rights of the family are observed."
    Joseph Fielding Smith, The Restoration of All Things, p.254-255.

    As we see, even if someone is no religion at all, we are commanded to keep our marriage covenants. God would not ask us to love & serve someone faithfully in the marriage covenant all the days of our lives & thus fall more & more in love with them, if he couldn't guarantee us them for eternity, as long as we keep that covenant. Of this I am sure.

  6. I really enjoyed this post. It was especially comforting to me since I am married to a wonderful lady who is not a member of the church - but she is a saint. I have mourned and struggled with her reluctance to commit to baptism and other covenants. She is the love of my life and I can't imagine an existence without her companionship. This post has renewed a sense of hope and determination to quietly continue loving and serving her while I strive to live the commandments and seek the Lord.

    Thank you.

  7. Everyone who is going to the Telestial, Terrestrial or Celestial Kingdoms must eventually join the Church & believe in Christ & his gospel & become perfect, in this life or the next.

    But Prophet's (JS,BY,JFS,etc.) have taught, that 'valiant spouses' who lovingly hold on & wait for their spouse to repent or join, even if it's not until the next life til they do, will have the rare but great power & blessing of bringing their spouse to the Celestial Kingdom with them to be married for eternity, along with their children too.

    The power to 'save a spouse' will be rare in the hereafter, for few spouses choose to hold on til their spouse repents, most give up on their errant spouse & break their covenants too & move on to someone else who is easier.

    But no one ever need despair about their spouse or marriage or errant children. Just 'one' spouse holds the power to make it all eternal, if we will.


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