Thursday, June 4, 2009

If my parents divorce, am I no longer sealed to them?

I have done a lot of research on this subject and cant find an answer that suits me. When I ask a church leader they say..."You need to find that answer out for yourself. That is personal." I want to believe that but there seems there should be a doctrinal answer to my question which is as follows... My parents are divorced. Their sealing was dissolved. So that being said, am I still sealed to them, and if so how does that work? If not then what? Am I going to have to choose who I want to live next door to? Is my being born in the covenant now pointless? There are a lot of questions there, but I think there is a fundamental answer out there. I hope we can find the answer.

That's a very good question, and a hard one to answer. However, I have to admit it's discouraging to hear a church leader say you need to find it out for yourself, as if it varies from case to case. Granted, each situation is unique, but it seems what you're asking is a simple "cause and effect" question. Since all sealings entail essentially the same blessings, it seems likely that the dissolving of a sealing would likewise have universal results.

Like with any question pertaining to gospel doctrine, this one has an answer. In the December 1975 issue of The New Era (the link is found at the bottom), Elder James A. Cullimore said this:

"As to the question, 'What happens to the children in the next life when there has been a cancellation of sealing of the parents?' it is understood that in the case of a cancellation of the sealing of the woman to the man, this does not cancel the sealing of the children to the parents, since they were born in the covenant, which is a birthright blessing. They remain in the status of the sealing to their parents and can never be sealed to anyone else. The decision as to with whom they will go will be determined by the Lord in the hereafter.

"Regarding being born in the covenant the General Handbook of Instructions states, 'Children born in the covenant cannot be sealed to anyone, but belong to their natural parents. This rule is not altered by adoption, consent of the natural parents, request of the child after becoming of age or death of the natural parents.' (P. 101.)

"It should be kept in mind that to be born in the covenant is a birthright blessing, and that if a child remains worthy in this life of celestial blessings, regardless of the actions of his parents, he is assured of that birthright and is guaranteed eternal parentage. One’s worthiness in this life through living the gospel and keeping the commandments, in this as in all things, is the key to eternal life."

I hope this answers your question. To some extent, the specific future of children born into a later-dissolved covenant remains unknown and case-specific, at least regarding which parent they end up with. That seems to depend on the behaviors and situations of the parents. But of this we can be sure: Ours is a loving, merciful, compassionate, and understanding Heavenly Father who will never revoke the blessings and inheritances of one due to the actions of another.

Again, if anyone has any questions, I'm happy to answer them as best I can at Thanks for reading!

For Elder Cullimore's full article, check here:

Sunday, May 31, 2009

There's Nothing Wrong With Questions

Hey folks, it's the ol' Chris Bringhurst here!

This blog, known as "The Why Blog," is here to answer questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Its target audience is Mormons, non-Mormons, and everybody else who's ever had a question about the LDS church and its teachings. I think that a lot of members of the church take for granted the beauty of the church's teachings, without ever stopping and wondering why we practice what it preaches. Meanwhile, there are many non-members who, though they may not necessarily want to join, are likely to have questions about our more peculiar doctrines and practices.

Before, during, and after my mission, I was asked hundreds of questions that I had never thought about before. Looking back, I wonder how, in all my years of membership in the church, I never asked them myself. I think that often we're so afraid to get an answer we don't like that we decide not to ask at all. This can give us a false sense of comfort to a certain point, but there comes a time in our lives when the things we believe in will be tried and tested, and a hollow testimony based on ignoring the hard questions won't be enough to support them.

Members of the church need to not fear questions. Imagine what would have happened if Joseph Smith was too scared to ask which church was true. A simple question, followed by a sincere search for the answer, always opens the door to greater knowledge and understanding.

I hope the questions I try to answer in this blog will also be ones that non-Mormons ask about us, so that they can find at least a slightly better understanding of our church and why it is we believe what we believe.

Why doesn't the LDS Church condone gay marriage? Why do Mormons believe that God has a body? Why did the early LDS Church practice polygamy? Why does a couple need to be married in the temple to be together forever?

Don't be afraid of these questions. Each one has an answer. It's true that some of the answers require faith to be believed, but whether you agree or not, there is a reason and an explanation for every LDS doctrine in existence.

I encourage everyone who has ever had a "why" question to e-mail me at and let me know. I have a lot of questions I plan to study and answer on this blog, but I am more than willing to answer someone else's questions first. The questions will all be anonymous unless requested otherwise.

Keep in mind, I'm not
in any way trying to prove our church right. I merely want to provide some insight into the motives for doing what we do. And again, remember that even the most embarrassingly doubtful questions have answers. Like a wise man once said, "Tell me sufficiently why a thing must be done, and I will move Heaven and Earth to do it."