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Broken Temple Covenants

“What happens when a couple gets a temple divorce? What happens to the children in the next life?”
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Answer/Elder James A. Cullimore 

As to the first question, “What happens when a couple gets a temple divorce?” we should understand that there is no such thing as a temple divorce. What we refer to as a temple divorce is in fact a cancellation of a temple sealing. When a couple is married in the temple, they not only satisfy the law of the land as to a legal civil marriage, but they are also sealed for time and all eternity in an eternal relationship.

A civil divorce nullifies the marriage so far as the civil law is concerned, but only by a mandate of the president of the Church can the sealing of the couple be cancelled. A cancellation of the sealing is what we are really referring to when we talk about a temple divorce.

When one has been granted a civil divorce after his temple sealing, he must be cleared by the First Presidency before he can be granted a temple recommend by his bishop. After a divorce clearance has been granted by the First Presidency, an application for a cancellation of the temple sealing might be made to the president of the Church. Normally it is the woman who seeks a cancellation of sealing. Since a woman cannot be sealed to two men at the same time, she must have a cancellation of sealing from one before she can be sealed to another.

As to the next question, “What happens to the children in the next life when there has been a cancellation of sealing of the parents?” it is understood that in the case of a cancellation of the sealing of the woman to the man, this does not cancel the sealing of the children to the parents, since they were born in the covenant, which is a birthright blessing. They remain in the status of the sealing to their parents and can never be sealed to anyone else. The decision as to with whom they will go will be determined by the Lord in the hereafter.

Regarding being born in the covenant the General Handbook of Instructions states, “Children born in the covenant cannot be sealed to anyone, but belong to their natural parents. This rule is not altered by adoption, consent of the natural parents, request of the child after becoming of age or death of the natural parents.” (P. 101.)

It should be kept in mind that to be born in the covenant is a birthright blessing, and that if a child remains worthy in this life of celestial blessings, regardless of the actions of his parents, he is assured of that birthright and is guaranteed eternal parentage. One’s worthiness in this life through living the gospel and keeping the commandments, in this as in all things, is the key to eternal life.

Assistant to the Council of the Twelve


​http://lds.org/new-era/1975/12/qa-questions-and-answers/qa-questions-and-answers?lang=eng&query=temple+divorces




Fireside:  "The Prophets Power To Loose On Earth What is Bound in Heaven"
This was taken from a fireside in our area given by Stake President Gary Riding and notes taken by Rhonda Baron

I have rarely had such a powerful experience of love, compassion and truth presented to me personally in a fireside format- I am very thankful to Pres. Riding for his efforts to teach us and accept our questions with answers that the Spirit testified as truth. He always teaches with the Spirit and with love and in this topic it was GREATLY appreciated by all in attendance.  


Using the handbook, scriptures (including an April 2009 Conference talk by Elder Scott) and personal experience as resources, President Riding began with Matthew 16:19 "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." Helaman 10:7 "Behold I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people." Doctrine and Covenants 124: 93-94, 97- paraphrasing that the Prophet, and others that are given keys that have the power to "loose." Matthew 18:18-20 (paraphrasing) is instruction that Christ be "in the midst of them." These keys are authorization for restoring blessings, and temple clearances and cancellations. President Riding bore witness to the prophetic nature of this process.



Ordinances: Men have 5 and women, 4. In common we share Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, personal endowment, and being sealed. Men also have the Melchizedek Priesthood.



When a couple is sealed they are sealed into the family of God. Think of a triangle and you have God at the top and each spouse at the other corners. This picture is used throughout Pres. Riding's talk. Remaining married, or not, EVERY blessing remains available to each of us as sons and daughters of God.



Basic Policies and Doctrine:



■Women remain sealed and may not receive a cancellation until another sealing opportunity presents itself. If the former male spouse has not already been sealed to a new spouse he is then no longer covered in the sealing ordinance. In explanation President Riding said, "Heavenly Father loves His daughters."  
■Men receive clearance to be sealed again, which does not end sealing to previous wife, which keeps the previous wife sealed into God's family. This is not a binding covenant to the former spouses. In Elder Scott's talk (previously mentioned) it is taught that after we have reached a point in the hereafter each person that entered into a sealing STILL has their agency to stay within that sealing or choose not to be a part of it.
■In the instance of divorce, think of the triangle again, only with a break in the bottom line of the triangle between the former spouses. Both people are still bound to God and the blessings but not to each other.
■Every ordinance is working out our own personal salvation. It is each individual's responsibility to be obedient, be tested in knowledge, and participate in other temple ordinances. Married/Sealed couples will each individually have to work out their own salvation to the highest kingdom, have the Holy Spirit of Promise Bind their sealing and then will be asked if it is your desire for the sealing to be eternal. Heavenly Father wants you to be happy and He will grant you the blessings you desire but obedience is required.
■Children born under the covenant: Children are promised, "eternal parentage" and are also blessed into the family of God. Children born to a mother will be born under the sealing in which she and her spouse are under. Many of these situations will have to be sorted out in the 1000 year millennium. One comment was that we have to remember our perspective here on earth is limited. Our children here on earth will be seen differently after the veil of being here is removed- yes, always our children but also our spiritual brother and sisters! We are in a chain of family connections and will carry this into the eternities.
■Logistics: in seeking a clearance or cancellation permission from the former spouse is not needed but their perspective on what occurred is sought and it is important to the priesthood that all financial obligations were/are met. One certified letter is normal, one call or visit is the follow-up if the certified letter isn't responded to or is sent back.
■Logistics: First Presidency does not want any sealing/wedding dates set until you have received their response.
■Spiritual impressions are sought by all leadership: Stake President must feel that the new couple is eternal. Your recent history and current activity are considerations in the application process. If you are not attending church and the temple regularly it is likely that you will be counseled to put more energy/effort/time into becoming worthy for the temple sealing.
One thought President Riding shared that I found VERY valuable was the parable of the 10 lepers found in Luke 17: 11, 19 where we know the Lord healed them all, but only one turned around to give thanks to God from whom all blessings flow. The comparison for us is many are cleansed when they enter the Stake President's office but he is also looking for those who are "whole" as in healthy and ready. He said that this was one of the hardest lessons to learn: the Lord's will and timing must be in our hearts- nothing can be decided just upon our insistence.


Sister Melissa Riding contributed Mosiah 5:7,15 which adds emphasis to the sealing being personal and of importance as it seals us unto Him.



Broken Things To Mend: by: Elder Jeffrey R Holland--link below

http://lds.org/general-conference/2006/04/broken-things-to-mend?lang=eng&query=broken+temple+covenants





For many of us, when we get divorced in the church, it also means the disintegration of a temple marriage and a bond with an eternal companion. That can be a very difficult thing to deal with and is a painful process and experience.  It is important to continue to attend the temple and keep your temple covenants with God because if you continue to live worthily, all the blessings promised to you are still yours in staying true to those covenants. You do not become less-than or broken.  God still loves you fully and completely. Those temple blessings and covenants are still yours and will remain yours in your worthiness. 



















There are many good Church members who have been divorced. I speak first to them. We know that many of you are innocent victims—members whose former spouses persistently betrayed sacred covenants or abandoned or refused to perform marriage responsibilities for an extended period. Members who have experienced such abuse have firsthand knowledge of circumstances worse than divorce.

When a marriage is dead and beyond hope of resuscitation, it is needful to have a means to end it. I saw examples of this in the Philippines. Two days after their temple marriage, a husband deserted his young wife and has not been heard from for over 10 years. A married woman fled and obtained a divorce in another country, but her husband, who remained behind, is still married in the eyes of the Philippine law. Since there is no provision for divorce in that country, these innocent victims of desertion have no way to end their married status and go forward with their lives.

We know that some look back on their divorces with regret at their own partial or predominant fault in the breakup. All who have been through divorce know the pain and need the healing power and hope that come from the Atonement. That healing power and that hope are there for them and also for their children.    Elder Dallin H. Oaks General Conference April  2007


Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “[The Lord] will make possible all you qualify in worthiness to receive. Do not be discouraged. Living a pattern of life as close as possible to the ideal will provide much happiness, great satisfaction, and impressive growth while here on earth regardless of your current life circumstances” (“First Things First,” Liahona, July 2001, 7; Ensign, May 2001, 7).


“To you who have experienced divorce: Don’t let disappointment or a sense of failure color your perception of marriage or of life. Do not lose faith in marriage or allow bitterness to canker your soul and destroy you or those you love or have loved. … “May God bless each of us to treat one another as befits one who refers to himself as a Latter-day Saint. May there be none among us who are made to feel as ‘strangers and foreigners,’ but may we all feel as ‘fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God’ (Ephesians 2:19).” President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95), “The Church Is for All People,” Tambuli, Aug. 1990, 45; Ensign, June 1989, 77.