“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Moses 1:39.
As wonderful as living with Heavenly Father for eternity is, there is one more gift He planned for us. And that is to live there together with our families!
The gift of being resurrected – having our spirit and body reunited, never to be separated again – is a free gift bestowed automatically on everyone, the wicked as well as the righteous, because Christ died and was resurrected.
But the gift of eternal life – living forever in the presence of God – is conditional, made possible through Christ’s atonement when He suffered for all our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane. We accept this gift as we repent of our sins and change our lives to become more Christ-like in our thoughts, words, and actions.
The gift of living forever with Heavenly Father together with our families is the most beautiful gift He offers. It is the crowning pinnacle of Heavenly Father’s plan, His Plan of Happiness! But it is also conditional. Certain principles and ordinances are required. They include baptism, confirmation, ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing. With each of these ordinances, we enter into solemn covenants with the Lord.
We are sealed together forever as families by someone who has the priesthood of God, the power and authority to act in God’s name. Christ organized His church and bestowed His priesthood on His apostles when He was alive on the earth. He restored His church and again bestowed His authority in these latter days upon His prophet, Joseph Smith.
Today the sealing power of the priesthood that binds families together forever is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This sacred ordinance, or ceremony, is performed in the temple, the House of the Lord.
Because all who have lived on the earth have not had the opportunity to be baptized, or sealed, by proper authority during life on earth, baptisms may be performed by proxy, meaning a living person may be baptized in behalf of a deceased person. Baptisms for the dead are performed by Church members in temples throughout the world. They act as a proxy for the deceased. In the temples all the necessary ordinances are performed, by proxy, for those who have died without receiving them.
It is a glorious and beautiful plan that was designed long before the world was even created! God loves every one of His children and desires all to return to Him. Christ prepared the way so that all who desire to do so and are willing to follow His commandments, receiving the necessary ordinances in person or by proxy, will be partakers in the entire Plan of Happiness!