Families, eternal

(also see “Divorce”, “Plan of Salvation”, and “Temple work”)

 

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
For many believers, a temple wedding is sacred, spiritual, and often the best day of their life. Because of temple sealings, families can be together forever. Eternal families are the entire point of Mormonism. The temple is what every child is taught to look forward to, for the sole purpose of having an eternal family.
 
Having an eternal family is a great source of comfort when loved ones die and provides hope and meaning to life. For some, life is not worth living without knowing you will be with those you love again after you die.
Having an eternal family is a great source of comfort when loved ones die and provides hope and meaning to life. The nonbeliever who no longer believes in an after life can often long for the days when the believe. A nonbeliever who attends a funeral, for instance, can have a much more difficult time grieving for the dead person they believe they will never see again.
 
Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Many believing members of the church personally feel pain that friends and family members without a temple recommend cannot attend the temple with them.  Feelings can be hurt and relationships damaged when close family members and friends are unable to attend a wedding because they do not have a temple recommend. The necessity of temple marriages also makes Mormon weddings, by default, have less variety and probably less fun than they otherwise could be.
 
In a mixed-faith marriage, one spouse can get worried that the other spouse is not keeping the commandments, causing spousal tension, arguments, and dividing a marriage. This fighting can stem from the fact that one spouse is worried that they will not be with the other spouse eternally due to sin. Ironically, the aim of having an eternal family can destroy families now.
 
Many believing Mormons who are LGBT wonder if they will ever have an eternal family, and if they do have one they wonder if it comes at the sacrifice of personal identity (see “LGBT issues”).
 
Eternal families can present numerous problems for believers in second marriages. Sealings have to be canceled by the first presidency to get resealed. In some cases, a couple will assume they have a “time only” marriage because a widow or widower is already sealed to somebody else.
Non Mormons and former, nonbelieving Mormons frequently feel
hurt by the exclusionary nature of temple ordinances.
Feelings can be hurt and relationships damaged when close family members and friends are unable to attend a wedding because they do not have a temple recommend. The necessity of temple marriages also makes Mormon weddings, by default, have less variety and probably less fun than they otherwise could be.
 
In a mixed-faith marriage, one spouse can get worried that the other spouse is not keeping the commandments, causing spousal tension, arguments, and dividing a marriage. This fighting can stem from the fact that one spouse is worried that they will not be with the other spouse eternally due to sin. Ironically, the aim of having an eternal family can destroy families now. In some instances, a believer with a nonbelieving spouse is encouraged to divorce and find a “worthy” spouse. Many nonbelievers have been on the receiving end of this, and they find it bitter indeed that the church had a hand in destroying their family, all in the name of aiming for an eternal family.
 
Many Christians and people from other religions don’t think of themselves as not being able to be with their families after they die. In Heaven, it’s generally assumed that everyone can be together. Mormons introduce the problem of “eternal families” and conveniently offer a solution – “Join us! Otherwise, you’ll never see your family again after you die…” To many nonbelievers, this seems like a made up problem that is used by the church as extortion to encourage us to keep the commandments. The church’s emphasis on eternal families can also detract from spending quality time with family now, and resolving family issues now. There is a great temptation to delay fixing family problems, believing that these can be worked out in the afterlife.
 
Many believing Mormons who are LGBT wonder if they will ever have an eternal family, and if they do have one they wonder if it comes at the sacrifice of personal identity (see “LGBT issues”).
 
Eternal families can present numerous problems for believers in second marriages. Sealings have to be canceled by the first presidency to get resealed. In some cases, a couple will assume they have a “time only” marriage because a widow or widower is already sealed to somebody else.

 

Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

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