My Beliefs

ARE WE RELATED?
Donny Osmond

“As I’ve traveled all over the world, the fact that I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has caused a lot of interesting questions. I’ve received so many letters and e-mails asking things like, What are the basic beliefs of Latter-day Saints?”

Debby & Donny Osmond

My Testimony

Listen

…Some want to know how Debbie and I have been able to maintain a strong marriage — over all these years — while living in the world of show business. Others want to know how we dealt with the challenges of raising a close and happy family in such difficult times.

How do we maintain a balance between work, and family life? Well, you know it’s not always easy, but the following pages are my attempt to explain a way of life that helps answer these kinds of questions. It gives me stability in a world, and in a business, that can be uncertain, compromising, and stressful. It’s the pattern that gives me direction in my life. And, I hope that this information will help answer some of your questions.

Questions & Answers

  • Question from your website

    Dear Donny,

    Thank you so much for your wonderful career and the inspiration you have provided for so many years! I appreciate all that you have done and are doing. I also thank you for your website, and for answering questions about your faith. The following question was asked on your site:

    **Question:** Are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints allowed to remarry upon death of a believing spouse? If so, would a man or woman have two spouses in the Kingdom of God? Would the second marriage also be deemed an ‘eternal marriage’?

    I understand your answer clearly: Mormons may remarry after the death of a spouse, and in the case of men they can be sealed to more than one woman (insofar as she has not already been sealed to another man). I have been studying and thinking about your teachings for a long time, and those about marriage and family are simultaneously the most attractive to me and the most challenging.  May I seek your response to two follow up questions?

    First, there appears to be a contradiction in your teachings about polygamy. On the one hand, it is said that polygamy is a relic of the past. From what I read, including in your answer to the above question, it sounds like it is something that Will very much be alive and well in the afterlife. And while you’re answer can find polygamy to men only, I have also read that in doing genealogical work for the day and you seal deceased women to all husbands she had in life. But whether it is men only, or men and women, will heaven be one big polyamorous congregation in your view?

    Second, it seems to me that physical and emotional exclusivity is a major feature of marriage – and that is true for more than just Mormons. But it is especially true in the teachings of your church that I read. How is remarriage after the death of one’s spouse not a violation – physically and emotionally dash of that special exclusivity we are to cultivate with one person and one person only?

    The only reply I have been able to find online or from Mormon acquaintances go something like this: “things will work themselves out in the next life”. But that is not really satisfying – doctrinally or emotionally. I’ve been deeply moved by the idea of marriage for “time and eternity”. But I am genuinely confused about what Mormons actually promise to each other when they marry. Do they promised “I am yours exclusively exclusively forever, physically, emotionally, and in every other way,” or is it truly “until death do us part – at which point I may share all of those things with another person when you are gone.” And might not such an act violate the feelings of one’s deceased spouse?

    I recognize this must be a sensitive question since some prominent leaders of your church have remarried. I read that Howard Hunter, for example, remarried late in life to woman who is already sealed to another man. Others, such as Russell Nelson and Dallin Oaks, resealed women who had never married before. And others, still, have chosen not to remarry at all, such as Richard Scott.

    Can you provide me with some perspective and, frankly, some comfort about these points? I realize your website is likely not the proper forum for these questions which are more complicated. If you have any opportunity to respond to this email directly, I would greatly appreciate it. And I will certainly commit to keep in the correspondence private.

    Thank you again for all that you do.

    Mark

    Mark,
    Thank you for your generous remarks.  I think your question is one that all of us have as it is not really clear in our mortal minds, how these relationships will work in the eternities.  We do know that the promise of eternal family is real as it relates to the Celestial Kingdom where God and Christ dwell and rule.  I consider it one of the greatest blessings of my life, to be bound to my wife and family by the keys of priesthood authority given to Peter:
    19  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.    (Matthew 16:119)
    We declare that these keys of priesthood authority were directly restored by Peter, James and John n May of 1829.  Here is a video of one of the modern day apostle and prophet describing this event:
     
    Elijah the Prophet apparently held specific special keys of authority pertaining to eternal family relationships also and his return prior to the Second Coming of Christ was promised in the last two verses of the Old Testament:
    5  ¶ Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
    6  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.
     
    His return, and the specific keys of priesthood authority were so very critical to the Lord’s plan, that without it, the earth would be “smitten with a curse” or as is stated by the angel Moroni, who delivered the ancient records from which The Book of Mormon was translated.  On his initial visit, he paraphrased this same passage, but put it in some different terms::
    1  BEHOLD, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
    2  And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.
    3  If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.  (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 2:1 – 3)
    Elijah did appear to the prophet, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery April 3, 1836 as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants:
     
    13  After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
    14  Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—
    15  To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—
    16  Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.   (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 110:13 – 16)
     
    This “turning of the hearts of fathers to the children and the children to the fathers”  has generated a massive undertaking of microfilming records around the world and indexing them into a computer database for genealogical research and the development of the online tool:  <https://familysearch.org/ >
    This highly important work is so critical to the Lord’s plan, because, it involves identifying our ancestors (and before the thousand year millennium is completed, it will identify every one who has ever lived on the earth) so that those who did not live in times and places where they could  have a chance to accept or reject the gospel of Jesus Christ and choose to follow him or not could have the essential ordinances of salvation, such as baptism, performed in their behalf by proxy.  The gospel being taught in the world of spirits (see 1 Peter 4:6), then, provides that every last child of God will have had a chance to accept the gospel and will have been able to have their earthly ordinances performed for them in the sacred temples .  That work is now proceeding in over 130 temples around the world.  Without this offering to all of God’s children, his purposes would be “utterly wasted at his coming”.
    Now, why am I explaining this work?  Well, because the binding of families together is part of it, but it is done only under the auspices of those special priesthood keys held by Peter and restored specifically by Elijah.
    HOWEVER; the promises associated with this binding or sealing of families are contingent upon entering and keeping the promises made as part of the covenant and keeping those promises which involve living righteously.  According the Lord,  relatively few would enter this path:
    14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.   (Matthew 7:14)  
     
    It is not generally understood what the Lord meant by the word “life” but it was clarified to the Prophet Joseph in July of 1843:
    9 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.
    20  Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them.  Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.
    21  Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.
    22  For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.
    23  But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.
    24  This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent.  I am he.  Receive ye, therefore, my law.  
    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 132:19 – 24)
     
    Mark,  we are criticized and even mocked because we adhere to this doctrine.  It is said that we are bringing God down to our level, when the reality is that he, as our Father is offering all that he has and is to those of his children who are willing to prepare to CARRY  ON THE NEXT GENERATION.  Those who mock this doctrine seem to ignore the passages referring to our being the “offspring of God”  (Acts 17:29) such as:
     
    16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
    17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    (Romans 8:16 – 17)
    As joint heirs with Christ, we stand to inherit “all things”, and to me that implies all knowledge, all power and capacity to procreate spirit children.
    1  GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

    2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
    (Hebrews 1:1 – 2)
    See also Revelation 3:21:
    To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
    (Revelation 3:21)
    21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
    Please note that those who do not prepare for this royal eternal role, one of carrying on the next generation, so to speak, will not be in hell as it is commonly taught, but will inherit a degree of glory for which they have prepared.; however, this is another discussion.  Those who are not involved in the “continuation of lives” will not be able to have increase in the form of spirit children and will not be married, for their marriage was promised only “until death they part”.  Jesus is quoted in Matthew 7:13 as describing the alternitive:  “…and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:”  which would be better understood if the translation had said “… leadeth to damnation”  referring to not participating in the eternal continuation of families.
    Well, this is a long way to lead up to the answer to your question about potential plurality of marriages in the hereafter.  Obviously, Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness relating to his eternal posterity is limited to the relatively few who are serious in seeking the true purpose of this life.  Clearly, there will be cases where some worthy men will be sealed to more than one woman and as difficult as it is for most of us to imagine that kind of eternal marital bliss, it surely will, in that divine atmosphere, not create the kinds of jealousy or discomfort that it seems to do for us mortals it this life.  That is the only way it can be explained, and I agree, that is difficult to understand for us who are subjected to the perceptions of the flesh.
    Let me know what you think and if you have additional questions.  I would love to share my beliefs with you further.
    Thanks,
    Donny Osmond
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