On Sunday I had a very interesting case. Two sisters who are 48 year old twins came to see me. One had joined the church as an adult and is an endowed temple attending member. The other is not a member despite numerous efforts to reach out to her.
The member is single and is unlikely to ever marry in this life. Like all good latter-day saints she has had her deceased parents baptized and endowed in the temple which are essential steps in their eternal progression. She is now planning on having them sealed (married) to each other for all eternity which will in turn enable her to be sealed to them.
She feels strongly that since she likely won't marry in this life she should at least complete this sealing in order to be sealed into the family of God.
She decided out of respect to inform her non member sister of her intended actions. As a non believer her sister had been kind enough to allow the baptisms to take place, but was uncomfortable with this next step. This is what prompted them to come and see me.
I first explained the doctrine to the sisters that members of the church have been charged with the solemn responsibility to seal all members of the human family together; husbands to wives and children to parents all the way back to Adam. I further explained that in order to be sealed to ones parents the parents must first be sealed together and this is done on their behalf by proxy in our sacred temples.
The non member sister explained that their parents loathed each other. They wanted nothing to do with each other after the divorce. It was so bad in fact that they could not even both be in the same room on her wedding day.
I was able to explain to her that while these feelings may have existed in their earthly life we must assume the best of them now. I tried to assure her that they may have forgiven each other and are likely looking forward with great anticipation to being sealed for eternity together in order to be eligible to attain the highest degree of glory within the celestial kingdom.
The non member sister further explained that their father was very abusive both physically and verbally. She was sure that even if some sort of reconciliation had taken place in the next life they still would not want to be married to each other for eternity.
I opened the handbook of instructions (Book 1 for Stake Presidents and Bishops) and read to them as follows:
"Deceased couples who were divorced may be sealed by proxy. These sealings often provide the only way for children of such couples to be sealed to parents."
I told her that in Mormonism we marry and seal together divorced couples all the time once they are dead regardless of their ill feelings for each other in this life. This is done that the purposes of the Lord may be fulfilled. I also told her that this is the only way that she (if she humbles herself and joins the church) and her sister (who is ready for this sealing to take place) can be sealed to their parents.
The non member sister then asked if her sister could simply be sealed to their mother. I responded by quoting from the handbook that "A child may be sealed only to two parents - a husband and wife - and not to one parent only."
Since the non member sister wouldn't budge I felt a little like Solomon. Solomon when faced with deciding who the mother of the baby was decided to cut the baby in two so that each mother could have half. When one mother cried out, "Please, give her the child” Solomon knew that it was in fact her who was the real mother.
I offered a silent prayer and then felt a distinct prompting. I asked them ‘Who is the first born among you?’ The sister who was a member stated that she had been the first born (as per the spiritual prompting I had received). With that information I then passed the judgment that the first born had the authority in this matter to make the final decision.
At this point the other sister stormed out of the office. I explained to the member that this is a perfect example of Satan doing all he can to halt the progress of the Lords work on the Earth. I further promised her that her sister would eventually be grateful to her when she realizes the importance of the work being done.
I am grateful for the wisdom I have been accorded as I seek to do the will of the Lord and further His work and kingdom upon the Earth.