There is nothing more precious than family. As we gathered our family for several special events this weekend, I was amazed yet again at how different we all are -- and yet we all fit together as individual cogs in one big wheel. It was especially apparent to me this weekend, as we gathered to seal an adopted grandchild to her parents in the LDS Temple for eternity. The next day priesthood power was used to bless (christen) that same grandchild, as well as another grandchild.
The power to seal families together for eternity is an awesome thing. In Matthew 16:19, we read:
"And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
The keys of the kingdom of heaven -- think of that -- what power that is -- literally, the power to act in God's name. He gave us the power to literally seal our families together forever. Priesthood power is a wonder to me! What an incredible gift Heavenly Father gave to His children to bind our families together forever. Nothing can separate us if we follow the principles of the gospel and are faithful to our covenants. I can't think of a greater gift than that!
Each family member is an individual in his/her own right. We are many different personalities in our little group. Every member of the family gives a unique quality to our family unit. We may not always agree with each other, and as in all families, we have our ups and downs. We quarrel and bicker, repent, and proceed. We are not perfect, but each in our own way is striving to become more Christlike -- and that is the purpose of this whole experience on earth. There is no member of a family who is "dispensable." Each cog in the wheel is needed to make the wheel strong enough to withstand the test of time. I don't want to end this life with any broken or missing cogs in our family wheel.
I was so impressed by my two little grandchildren in the temple. As young as they are, they felt the Spirit of the Lord there. When was the last time you heard two little children whisper for three hours straight? As they walked the hallway with the temple worker towards the sealing room, they spontaneously began very quietly singing, "I Am a Child of God." They may not completely understand the significance of the ordinance performed, but they felt something very special that will remain with them for a long time.
The next day in church, as two of our grandchildren were given blessings (christenings), one of my daughters spoke with me about the differences in the two blessings. It was a testament to the fact that they are two completely different personalities, and they have two completely separate missions on this earth. Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us; all we need to do is be faithful and live up to our covenants. If we slip, there is always repentance. He is here to help us. When we reach a stumbling block, we need to dynamite it and push forward. We will make mistakes -- but that doesn't mean that all is lost. Heavenly Father knew what mistakes we would make from the beginning, and built cushions in the plan for that purpose. When we hit a wall, we must bounce back. It's in the plan. We just need to have confidence to push forward.
I pray that each member of our family unit will continue to strive for this goal of an eternal family. If we can just hold on to the rod of iron and keep putting one foot in front of the other. There will be rough days ahead when it will feel like all is lost -- but all is NOT lost, nor will it ever be lost. The power that binds us together is God's power, and if we keep our covenants, he is bound to keep His. Don't ever give up!