Temples can Save Families
Sometimes as parents, we raise our children the best that we can and they still have the choice to lose their way. This can be devastating to us as parents who are teaching are children the gospel of Jesus Christ and none of us want our children to fall away from correct principles and commit serious transgressions. But it does happen.
When I was 16, I strayed away from what I was taught. My parents are wonderful people and they loved the gospel and taught us the best that they could. They were wonderful examples. We were sealed in the temple as a family and always went to church. I chose a different path for about three years. Without going into too much detail, I strayed way off the path, but thankfully during this time, I had a wonderful adviser in Young Women's who never gave up on me. She loved me no matter what. My parents never gave up on me either. During my senior year, I finally opened my eyes and realized I did not want to live that kind of life anymore. It wasn't easy, but I repented and feel like because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, was forgiven.
During this period, I know my parents were heartbroken and had no idea what to do. They knew, however that the Atonement and sealing ordinances are sufficiently powerful to eventually bring salvation to the children of parents who diligently seek to keep their temple covenants. Our Heavenly Father knows, far better than any mortal, the pain and sorrow associated with having children who exercise their moral agency to their condemnation rather than exaltation.
My parents were very forgiving of what I had done. They never judged me or gave up on me. The had unconditional love for me. In the proclamation, love is tied to moral commitment and obligation, even toward family members who seem committed to break God's commandments. "Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children" and "parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness,..to teach them to love and serve one another" (paragraph 6). It is important for mothers and fathers to forgive, love and have compassion.
Elder James E. Faust said, “The Prophet Joseph Smith declared—and he never taught more comforting doctrine—that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father’s heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God.’6
In this life as followers of Christ, we must rely on faith. To know where the true path is, we must listen to the Holy Ghost and his promptings. They are quiet. Stepping off the path, even if it is not very far, diminishes the most powerful force: the Holy Spirit. Satan will try to entice us off the path, but we have a choice to choose the right. If we follow Jesus Christ and his plan, then we can progress in this life and eventually have eternal happiness. In Moses 1:39, it says, "For behold, this is my work and my glory-to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."