Scripture Roundtable 35: D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 31, “Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity”

(Originally published on 13 July 2013.)

This is Scripture Roundtable 35 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #31, “Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity,” focusing on D&C 131, and 132, bringing in various insights to help us better understand the scriptures. These roundtables will generally follow the 2013 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.

Some interesting highlights from this roundtable discussion include:

  • The LDS concept of heaven centers around family.  This flows naturally from the LDS concept of heavenly parents.  Eliza R. Snow said she learned the principle of heavenly parents from Joseph Smith, which inspired her to write her famous poem “O My Father” hymn 292 in our LDS hymnal, which says in part:
    I had learned to call thee Father, Through thy Spirit from on high,But until the key of knowledge Was restored, I knew not why.In the heavens are parents single? No, the thought makes reason stare!Truth is reason, truth eternal Tells me I’ve a mother there. (See Eliza R. Snow, “My Father in Heaven”, Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 1039 (15 November 1845)).
  • Another LDS hymn, “Oh, What Songs of the Heart” hymn 286, mentions meeting our heavenly parents after this life.
  • These concepts of Heaven are quite distinct from the rest of Judaism and Christianity, which views God as a “parent” of the human family, metaphorically at most, certainly not literally as do LDS.
  • The sealing concept is the way LDS believe God authenticates, authorizes and makes permanent family relationships so they last beyond this life, thus making our families like God’s family.  D&C Sections 131 and 132 focus on these most important concepts.
  • Malachi did not say “it would be a pretty good idea” for the hearts of the fathers to turn to their children and for the hearts of the children to turn to their fathers, he said if not so, the earth would be wasted at the second coming of Jesus Christ.  Thus, Malachi teaches us sealing power is most important!

Panelists for this roundtable include Brant Gardner, Craig Foster, and Martin Tanner.

This roundtable is also available as an audio podcast, and will be included in the podcast feed. You can listen by pressing the play button or download the podcast below:


9 thoughts on “Scripture Roundtable 35: D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 31, “Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity”

  1. Since “the same sociality that exists among us here will exist among us there” (D&C 130) what is to prevent a man and a woman who are not sealed in the temple from being together in the afterlife?

    • I always thought the same sociality referred to social groups. That is, those of a celestial nature will tend to group together with others of a celestial nature, those of a telestial nature with others of a telestial nature. Etc. Similar to how things are here right now. I tend to associate mainly with those who would probably be considered more of a celestial or terrestrial nature (including those who are not members of the, or any, church). People seem to congregate with those they feel most comfortable with.

  2. As to Craig’s portion of the round table discussion “Eternal Nature of Family/ Marriage” “as early as 1831….foundations to understanding of eternal nature of family and marriage…for example, the family as a sacred unit…Joseph’s Smith….early members….Whitman, Knighton, Young’s, Campbells, Stringham’s… (These names are significant to the Mormon faith because of their early association with the faith? What were these families specific contribution to the Mormon faith to have their names mentioned in this broadcast?)….doctrine 131 and 132, as to the Latter Day Saints and the revelation of eternal marriage is the ordinance and covenant which leads to the…blessing of the order of the Lord Jesus Christ…referring to Malachi sacred second coming of Jesus Christ (I have heard that the Latter Day Saints believe that Jesus is walking on earth among us today, is this true?) This is such complex information for someone who has not studied with the Mormons and is listening for the first time, that I realize that in order to truly understand the Mormon Faith one must study with them.

    Concepts of “seals” being discussed as an area of research, I am assuming that each of you are practicing Mormon’s who are researching and analyzing the Mormon religion in a continuum to understand and reaffirm your own faith? As in the Christian Bible, the book of Revelations has many references to seals, and despite being raised a Christian, I have not even begun to study this book of the King James Bible. Do you use the book of Revelations to cross reference with the Mormon Bible? (Not to be humorous or make light of this discussion, this reminds me of the Lord of the Rings, and the series of books written by J.R. Tolkein) Children of God, referenced as an “adoption” is this referencing Gentiles and are Jews understood to be the children of God, or do Mormons consider all of mankind adopted children of God? This is confusing.

    This seems to be geared toward practicing Mormons with the subject matter you are talking about being understood among your faith. As to someone who is interested in learning about the Mormon faith, this discussion certainly may spark their interest in continuing to learn.

    The ideology that separates Mormons from other religions is brought up that we are literally descendants of God, when tracing our ancestry. Craig mentions he works specifically on research and genealogy….and the profound emotions he has witnessed when people are able to find their missing ancestry, this is something that really sets the Mormon faith apart from other institutions and faiths with their expertise and wealth of information to ancestry among the populations on the earth; this alone is a mystery to me and intriguing to me.

    I am genuinely interested in learning about my ancestry through the Mormon Faith, when I am able to afford these services one day, I intend to look into this and have my ancestry examined, as I believe this will shed light on my life’s struggles and the difficulties I have had in raising awareness and trying to advocate for citizens rights. [For example, in the Discovery Public Inquiry Unit 120559 I prepared for the State of California in 2006 with ongoing issues documented.] Most recently I have found an advocate (a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has encouraged me to secure a civil rights lawyer), in which I am continuing to try to work toward a round table discussion in order to address issues, and be able to recognize the violations of human, civil, and constitutional rights because I believe a round table discussion is the beginning of mediating and resolving issues.]

    All the while, my goal to ensure that these issues do not escalate and continue to be problems within my hometown, and other communities effected by the same issues. I realize this may seem out of the scope of the forum in which you are conducting a study, yet, my point is to recognize that I believe that ancestry plays a pivotal role in how people are treated, and whether they are taken seriously within the community.

    A great opportunity to share your faith with the public, I appreciate having Craig Foster on my Facebook and having the privilege to be hear your discussion.

    Shelly Conley

    • Shelly,

      I am a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You have stumbled onto a discussion of a Sunday School lesson that is taught weekly in every ward & branch of the church throughout the world. The members who attend these classes are pretty well-heeled typically in the history and doctrines of their church and so these discussions are pretty high level so as to give experienced church members a nugget or takeaway from the lesson that they hadn’t already become familiar with. I would agree that the information given in this roundtable is very beneficial, but I can see how you could be confused by some references. The family names you asked about, i.e. knights, whitmers, are well-known to church members for their contributions to the early church. They were original witnesses of the physical book of Mormon and were heavily involved in the genesis of the church along with the Prophet Joseph Smith. If you have further questions, perhaps a better place to start for more basic doctrinal questions would be to get hold of some missionaries to teach you in person and answer many of your questions about the importance of families in God’s eternal plan of happiness and salvation. If you need a referral, I’d be happy to provide one.

      Thank you for your comments,


    • Shelly,

      You mentioned your interest in researching your family. You may want to check, which is the site the LDS church has established to allow anyone access to all the online resources the church has available for family history. Billions of records are already present and more are being added all the time. It’s all free to use, including Family Tree which allows you to set up your pedigree and link it into what someday may become the genealogy of all humanity.

      This site is available to everyone for free. Some images may be restricted, but that is due to the wishes of the agencies that own the rights to those images. There are a lot of help documents and online classes freely available as well. From the site you can also find the Family History Centers near you where you can go and get free one-on-one help with your research.


  3. I LOVE these roundtables! LOVE them! Thank you guys so much for going to all this trouble for us.

    I’m not sure if you guys are aware of this, but I think it was 10 minutes and 14 seconds into that roundtable before we heard anyone else present.

    It could be that I’ve just been programmed by television roundtables, but I wonder if your roundtables would be just as informative yet more engaging if discussion passed between people more frequently.

    Of course the roundtable shouldn’t be as mashed and chaotic as television talk roundtables can be, (e.g. The Five), but maybe these television shows have viewer data that informs their format. Perhaps brisker handoffs would broaden your roundtable appeal.

    That said, I emphasize again that I find the roundtables very appealing as they are and very much enjoy them. Thank you again for doing this for us.


  4. Rosemary,

    I believe it can be found here:

    Elder Lorenzo Snow, Collected Discourses, Vol.3, October 6, 1893

    God has fulfilled His promises to us, and our prospects are grand and glorious. Yes, in the next life we will have our wives, and our sons and daughters. If we do not get them all at once, we will have them some time, for every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is the Christ. You that are mourning about your children straying away will have your sons and your daughters. If you succeed in passing through these trials and afflictions and receive a resurrection, you will, by the power of the Priesthood, work and labor, as the Son of God has, until you get all your sons and daughters in the path of exaltation and glory. This is just as sure as that the sun rose this morning over yonder mountains. Therefore, mourn not because all your sons and daughters do not follow in the path that you have marked out to them, or give heed to your counsels. Inasmuch as we succeed in securing eternal glory, and stand as saviors, and as kings and priests to our God, we will save our posterity.

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