Families Can Be Together Forever

imageThe other day I was in Charlottesville with my husband, celebrating our wedding anniversary. We had good food, had fun shopping, and then we ran into the perfect people.

Missionaries!

Amid evening twinkle lights, street musicians, and folks dining al fresco, these enthusiastic folks were having a gerat time, giving out free lemonade and telling people that Families can be Forever.

Last night I had a chance to sit in on a lecture about how we use DNA to discover whether or not we are right when we are forming out family tree. As my friend talked about the research that led them to confirm two individuals were brother, and then to determine that their ancestor, Evey, was the daughter of a family that had somehow failed to document her (insufficient 1800 census and mother who wasn’t at home when she gave birth to that daughter), I was caught up in the excitement of trying to determine the answer. And I felt an echo of the excitement my friend must have felt after all the hundreds of hours of research, seemingly confirmed by DNA, when finally a letter was found, where some chatty relative had taken the time to list what had happened to all the siblings – and this one document, of all the extensive research on this 1800s family, finally listed Evey as the second child in the family and told of her marriage and children.

This is the great news of our day, that the family of mankind can be united, across time, across cultures, across continents. We can be united as one in the eyes of God, taking upon ourselves the name of Christ, believing in His ability to save us individually and as families, able to even save those willing who might have died ignorant of His grace and salvation.

I have a son, who would now have just gotten home from his mission, had he survived past infancy. I can see him in my mind’s eye, with wavy dark blond hair and a merry smile. That is the way my mother saw him, these decades ago after he had passed away, standing next to another cousin who had died as an infant. I imagine him/them working on the other side of the veil, like these missionaries in Charlottesville, with a smile and pure love, helping those of our family who didn’t believe in life understand and rethink their mortal position.

On the other side of the spectrum, my eldest daughter, who believed herself infertile, discovered this past month that she is pregnant. And so our hearts are drawn to the next generation yet unborn, and preparing a place (both a physical place and a spiritual haven).

And so I sit, this day, with one foot in heaven, my heart in the past, and my other foot in the future, able to enjoy the companionship of my daughters on a daily basis and the wisdom of my elders as regularly as their busy schedules permit.

It is a blessed time, a time that promises a grand future when I shall be bound to all those I love, throughout the history of this world, the billions my mortal mind cannot comprehend, but who I imagine I loved individually and dearly in a time before this (and will love again in the life we will enjoy in some future day).

This great love, for all, for eternity, is the great and grand message that we have received, the great message it is our privilege to share with others.

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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-day Saints) for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but may have privately defied the commandment for love of his wife, Emma.

6 thoughts on “Families Can Be Together Forever

  1. I get articles from The Guardian out of England on my Facebook feed and sometimes I find the stories very interesting particularly as they relate to families. I Had previously read that is that it is now in fashion for elite couples in New York to have large families. It is a sign off wealth and status to be able to support four or more children with not only stay at home parent to care for them but nannies and pricey private schools as well. England apparently is also experiencing a trend toward larger families. Meanwhile a number of studies indicate that the happiest couples are those who have three or more children and celebrate a religion. I know my own personal greatest joy is in my posterity, even when death, illness, and errant choices are present.
    I am so happy that Meg will be able to experience the particular sweetness of having a little grandchild put their arms around her neck.

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