Are Families Forever?

For a 3-part Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast series originally airing in September 2011, click on the following links: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3

By Bill McKeever

Mormons often find comfort in the idea that one day they will be able to live together as a family throughout all eternity. However, with all the details LDS leaders have given to this teaching, the logical possibility breaks down.

First of all, dwelling together as a family unit presupposes that each member of the family was able to follow the whole law during the mortal probation. According to tenth LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith, “To enter the celestial and obtain exaltation it is necessary that the whole law be kept…” (The Way to Perfection, p. 206). Given the fact that no Mormon (or human) can meet this requirement, the chance of meeting once again in the celestial kingdom is nil.

Suppose for the sake of argument that living the whole law was likely. Would such a relationship then be possible? Let me use my personal family as an example. Suppose each member of the McKeever family was a faithful Mormon. My son Jamin, being a good Latter-day Saint who followed the precepts of Mormonism and married a faithful Mormon girl, would be rewarded with his own kingdom or earth in the next life. Since he would be busy running his own earth, he certainly would not be with me on my earth.

Suppose my daughters Kristen and Kendra were good Mormons who married good Mormon men. Theoretically, the men they married will be eligible to become Gods of their own world once they died, allowing my daughters to join them in eternity as goddess wives on the earth their husbands would eventually inherit. Again, since they are with their husbands on their world, they could not possibly be with me on mine.

Let us also suppose that my wife Tamar came from a good Mormon family and her father obtained the status of God. He too would have his world to rule over with my mother-in-law as his goddess wife. Would my wife spend eternity with her parents? Or would she be with me on my world?

Consider also that LDS theology presupposes that God the Father also had parents. To our knowledge no LDS leader has ever taught that God the Father resides with those parents. In fact, few ever speak of his family connections. Furthermore, if the LDS Jesus became God in the pre-existence as LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie alleged, why is he still living at home after all these years? If the LDS Jesus still hasn’t received his world, can you imagine how long it is going to be for the Mormon to receive his?

On the surface, the idea of eternal families may sound very appealing, but once it is carried to its logical conclusion, it no longer makes sense. This is not to say that Christians will not be able to share eternity with their loved ones who also found faith in Christ. The Bible does tell us that we will enjoy the company of fellow believers; however, our purpose will be to glory in the presence of our Savior and Redeemer, not have homage paid to us for being the best humans we could possibly be. To God only be the Glory forever and ever. Amen.