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:


  1. That is a good answer. Thanks for that. You concluded that whole answer very well in the last statement.

  2. No problem, and thanks for the question!

  3. also... the blessings of being born in the covenant are misleading. The purpose of sealing is to 'make one' a husband and wife. The children do benefit from their sealing, but in the life after we stay in couples, not in conglomerate sealed families with ooh I wonder who I'm sealed to questions. The point of it is that the sealing power connects the generations, and brings us all back into Heavenly Father's family. As for who you will be with... hopefully you won't still be living with your mom or dad by that point, but will be with your husband or wife.

  4. Very insightful comment. That's true, I'd forgotten about that, strangely enough. Thank you.

  5. My parents are divorced as well and I had the same question. I asked a BYU religion professor this question and he told me that in my case I would be sealed to my grandparents that are members and who have both passed on.

  6. The Jews looked to the law to find answers such as this and could not see Christ when he came and dwelt among them. Why do we fret over similar things and likewise miss the deep impact of the atonement --that is that all things can and will be restored in a perfect way. This is why the wise bishop Preposed the best answer, a spiritual answer, one that is between Christ and the one who asks.