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:

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The Integration of Temples and Families: A Latter-day Saint Structure for the Jacob Cycle

Abstract: Scholars from many religious backgrounds — including Latter-day Saints — have noted both temple themes and parallel structures in the Jacob Cycle (Genesis 28-35). The present paper surveys that body of work and then offers a new structural understanding of the text, one that is uniquely LDS. This interpretation focuses on the entwining of temple and family themes in the narrative, showing how the form of the text uses each to support the other. Continue reading

Scripture Roundtable 49: D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 45, “The Family Is Ordained of God”

This is Scripture Roundtable 49 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #45, “The Family Is Ordained of God,” focusing on The Family: A Proclamation to the World, bringing in various insights to help us better understand the scriptures and church history. These roundtables will generally follow the 2013 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.

Panelists for this roundtable include Daniel Peterson, Ben McGuire, and Mike Parker.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuMReYnQClY

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:

Play

A Note on Family Structure in Mosiah 2:5

Mosiah 2:5 provides the reader of the Book of Mormon with new insights about Israelite-Nephite family structure. In a passage set during what John A. Tvedtnes has persuasively argued is the Feast of Tabernacles,1 we read: “And it came to pass that when they came up to the temple, they pitched their tents round about, every man according to his family, consisting of his wife, and his sons, and his daughters, and their sons and their daughters, from the eldest down to the youngest.” Continue reading


  1. John A. Tvedtnes, “King Benjamin and the Feast of Tabernacles,” in By Study and Also by Faith, ed. John M. Lundquist and Stephen D. Ricks (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1988), 2:197-237.