Families are a big part of God’s plan for our happiness. We are born into a family. We aspire to build strong family relationships. Home can be a place where we feel support, safety, and love. God does not want family ties to end when we die. Because of temples, we can be reunited with our families in the next life.
When Latter-day Saints get married, they understand that marriage is meant to last forever. Marriage ceremonies in temples contain the words “for time and all eternity,” not “till death do you part.” But it isn’t the words that make eternal marriage possible—it’s the power of God.
In the Bible, Jesus gave the Twelve Apostles the sealing power, or sealing “keys.” That power meant that marriage, and many other wonderful blessings, could last forever. The “keys” lock the marriage together. Nothing can break that lock except unfaithfulness to spouse or to God.
When God restored His Church through Joseph Smith, He also gave him the sealing power. When couples are married in a Latter-day Saint temple, the person performing the ceremony has been given permission to use that power.
Children born to couples married in temples are automatically “sealed” to their parents. Families who join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints later in life can also go to the temple to be sealed together.
The blessing of a forever family isn’t just for us today. What about your great-great-great-great grandmother who was never sealed to her husband and children? Thankfully, God thinks eternal families are so important that He provided a way to make sure everyone can be united with their loved ones forever.
Latter-day Saints research their ancestors and keep careful records of who has been sealed. When they find people who have not been sealed, they go to the temple and do a stand-in ceremony in behalf of that ancestor. That ancestor can choose to accept the sealing or not. The sealing power is like a chain that links family generations together.