Sealed on Earth, Sealed in Heaven


On April 3, 1836, in the newly dedicated temple in Kirtland, Ohio, the Lord Jehovah appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Then Moses, Elias, and Elijah each appeared and committed the keys of vital and eternal works to earthly leaders once more.

Elijah’s appearance was in fulfillment of the prophecy made in Malachi 4:5–6:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

The keys and power of the priesthood Elijah restored on that day in the Kirtland Temple are described in Doctrine and Covenants 132:46: “And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens.”

These sealing ordinances, which bind families together for eternity, can be performed only in holy temples by those having the proper priesthood authority.

The art on these pages celebrates the joy of family history work and temple ordinances that seal generations of families together eternally.

Circle of Life(click to view larger)

Circle of Life, by Keith Mallett, of California. Infant daughter, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother make up four generations of this “circle of life.”

Mountain of the Lord’s House(click to view larger)

Mountain of the Lord’s House, by Don Busath, of Utah. This artistic treatment of the photograph of the Salt Lake Temple captures the temple’s grandeur as a holy place where sacred ordinances are performed, including the sealing of families for “time and all eternity.”

A Family Home Evening(click to view larger)

A Family Home Evening, by Bruce Clovis Smith, of Missouri. The love and family unity Latter-day Saints seek through the sealing ordinances of the temple begin in a Christ-centered home.

Genealogy(click to view larger)

Genealogy, by Theodore Gorka, of South Carolina. “Let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation” (D&C 128:24).

Tree of Life(click to view larger)

Tree of Life, by Ada Redd Rigby, of Utah. This intricate cut-paper picture captures the beauty and joy that can come to families as they reach back through their family tree and seal generations of families together.

Genealogy(click to view larger)

Genealogy, by Randi Helen Austenaa, of Norway. This woven fabric tapestry symbolically combines family history, represented by the pedigree chart, and temple work together. This work won a Purchase Award in the Seventh International Art Competition sponsored by the Museum of Church History and Art.

Think Temple, Think Family!(click to view larger)

Think Temple, Think Family! by Richard H. Olagunju, of Nigeria. This carved wood relief sculpture shows an African family going to the temple.