Lesson 8: Eternal Families

Young Women Manual 3, (1994), 28–31


Objective

Each young woman will understand that the Lord has provided a way for us to live as families eternally and will desire the blessings of an eternal family.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Picture 7, A Family by the Temple, located at the end of the manual.

  2. 2.

    Provide paper and pencils for the class members.

  3. 3.

    Assign young women to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.

Note: Be sensitive to the needs and feelings of young women who may be the only members of the Church in their families or who may come from troubled homes.

Suggested Lesson Development

The Family Is the Basic Unit in God’s Plan

Quotation

Read the following statement:

“The whole aim and purpose of the gospel is to enable men and women—united as one in the Lord—to create for themselves eternal family units in eternity. Celestial marriage prepares us for the greatest joy and happiness known to mortals and for eternal life in the realms ahead.

“May we say, as many have done before, that what men call Mormonism is the very system of laws and truths which will make of earth a heaven and of man a god” (Bruce R. McConkie, in Conference Report, Oct. 1979, p. 82; or Ensign, Nov. 1979, p. 55).

Chalkboard discussion

Explain to the young women that this lesson will focus on how the family can be eternal.

Draw the following illustration on the chalkboard:

pre-earth and earth life

Review with the young women the following things:

  1. 1.

    In heaven, we learned of God’s plan for us to come to earth and live as families.

  2. 2.

    Life on earth is a test that will determine our worthiness to progress and become more like our heavenly parents.

  3. 3.

    According to God’s plan, if we are faithful and worthy in this life, we will receive greater blessings. If we are not, we will have limitations placed upon us in the next life.

  4. 4.

    If we prove faithful and worthy, our families will be sealed and our family life will continue eternally. This is all a part of God’s plan to provide a way for us to be together as families eternally.

Chalkboard discussion

Add the following to the chalkboard illustration:

family progresses

Have the young women use their scriptures to answer the following questions:

  • What do we know about family life in the next life? (See D&C 132:19–20; those whose marriages are sealed in the temple and who live worthily will be exalted and will live as families forever.)

  • In which degree of what kingdom will families be allowed to remain together? (See D&C 131:1–4.)

Complete the chalkboard illustration as shown, and emphasize that when God organized the family unit he meant for it to continue eternally. However, that blessing will come to us only if we are worthy of it. In order to remain a family unit eternally, we must be worthy of going to the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. The chalkboard shows that families are together in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom.

family in celestial kingdom

The Blessings of Eternal Family Life Can Be Obtained Only in Temples

Scripture reading and discussion

Read Doctrine and Covenants 132:13–20 to the young women and discuss the verses.

  • According to these verses, whose authority is necessary for covenants to be binding? (See D&C 132:13–14.)

  • Where would you need to be married in order for your marriage covenant to be binding eternally?

  • What happens in the next life to those who do not take the opportunity in this life to be married in the temples of the Lord? (See D&C 132:15–17.) What about those who do not have the opportunity in this life? (Temple sealings can be done for the dead.)

  • What will be the condition of those who do live as families in the next life? (See D&C 132:18–20.)

Picture

Hold up the picture of the family by the temple.

Make sure the young women understand that those who reach the highest degree of the celestial kingdom will live as families and will be gods.

We Must Prepare for Eternal Family Life Now

Quotation and discussion

Read and discuss the following quotation:

“If a man [or woman] cannot abide a celestial law, he cannot receive a celestial glory; if a man cannot abide a terrestrial law he cannot receive a terrestrial glory; and if he cannot abide a telestial law he cannot receive a telestial glory, but will have to dwell in a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory. This is according to the revelations of God to us” (Wilford Woodruff, in Journal of Discourses, 12:278).

  • Why is it important that we prepare for eternal life now?

Make sure the young women understand that they cannot live with their families eternally unless they are striving now to live a celestial law. They will spend eternity in the kingdom they have prepared themselves for, and it is worth every effort to qualify now for the blessings of the celestial kingdom.

Testimony

Express your feelings and bear your testimony about the importance of obtaining necessary temple ordinances and living a celestial law in our earthly families so that we can become eternal families.

Lesson Application

Hand out paper and pencils to the young women. Remind them that they have discussed many important things in the lesson about their future lives. Ask them to think of one thing that keeps them from being the kind of person who could qualify to have an eternal family relationship.

They could write, “I am going to try not to …” and then add the thing they have decided to work on. Some examples might be—

  1. 1.

    Get angry so easily at home.

  2. 2.

    Selfishly put my own interests and desires above the good of my family.

  3. 3.

    Lose my patience with my parents so easily.

When the young women have written the things they are going to work on, suggest that they think of something they need to start doing in order to be part of an eternal family unit.

Have them write, “I am going to try to …” and fill in the rest of the statement. Some examples might be—

  1. 1.

    Show more love and respect to my parents.

  2. 2.

    Be loving and courteous to my brothers and sisters.

  3. 3.

    Help more with household responsibilities.

  4. 4.

    Give more freely of myself.

Encourage the young women to accomplish the goals they have just set for themselves and do all they can now to prepare themselves to be worthy of the blessings of eternal family life.