[ Author: Kathy Petersen ]
Is the title of this article a bold statement? Yes, but I can back it up with Scripture.
A common and strong belief in Mormonism is that of “forever families” – that is, that families on earth can remain a family in the afterlife. The Bible does not speak of family relationships continuing in eternity, but nothing specifically says they certainly will not, except for such things as, “they neither marry nor are given in marriage” – yet LDS say that this does not mean that marriages will end, but that this teaches the importance of being married before the resurrection, so that the marriage relationship can continue in eternity! If they can twist such a clear statement into meaning exactly the opposite of what was originally meant, imagine what they can do with other verses.
In practice, a Mormon’s family is held out as a “carrot” to cause them to become full “Temple Worthy Mormons” in the first place, or to keep wavering or questioning Mormons in line, because only those Mormons who are “Temple Worthy” (requiring paying a full 10% tithe, among other things) are allowed into the “Celestial Kingdom”. Families must also be sealed to each other as families in order to remain “forever families” in eternity, and all of the sealed family members must equally qualify to enter the same level of heaven, or else the non-worthy members will be in a different, lower level of heaven. So much for “forever families”!
But because this is promoted so heavily, I have seen many Mormons say things like, “Heaven just wouldn’t be heaven without my [spouse, children, parents, etc.],” and “I couldn’t possibly be happy being separated forever from my [spouse, children, parents, etc.],” and even accusing Christians and Christianity of having a hateful view of eternity, for thinking family relationships end at death (or at least, are changed). Some Christians even say the same types of things about “heaven not being heaven” or “I couldn’t be happy” if one or another family member weren’t there. Sadly, the same thing applies to them.
Here are some of the applicable Scriptures:
Psalm 73:25, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.”
Matt. 10:37, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
Matthew 19:29, “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”
Luke 9:59-62, “And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Luke 14:26, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
Christ above all
Sadly, Mormons – or anyone else! – who says, “I couldn’t be happy in heaven without this or that relative,” is testifying against themselves that they are not worthy of Christ, because they are saying that they love that family member more than they love Jesus; they are also showing that they don’t have the Psalmist’s attitude of valuing God above everything else, but instead say, “whom have I in heaven but my [spouse, child, etc.]?”
Now, the Mormons will say that they believe these verses, and they probably use them as the support for leaving their non-Mormon families, but they are not consistent in the use of these verses. It depends on where they and their relatives are, as far as religion goes. If the beloved family member is not LDS, they may either have some sort of justification for expecting to see them in heaven (perhaps they think that they can visit the lower levels of heaven?) or may steel themselves to the prospect of losing them as family members for eternity.
However, if the beloved family member is LDS, they will say such things as above, denying that they themselves could be happy without the other person. But in so doing, they are showing themselves as putting that family member above Jesus. They are tacitly admitting that the presence of God the Father and Jesus Christ is an insufficient source of happiness for eternity, and that true happiness requires the existence of their spouse, parents, child, etc.
But Jesus said that if HE is not primary in someone’s life and love, then that is evidence that the person is unworthy. So much for paying 10% of the gross (among other things) in order to be “Temple Worthy”! Being “Temple Worthy” in Mormonism is of no value if Jesus says you’re UNWORTHY.