What does it mean when a person (baby or child) is born "Under this Covenant" after the marriage sealing?
How is being married (rather “sealing ordinance” or “being sealed” ) in the temple different?
These are all very good questions...ones that I did not fully understand when I was young, but knew there WAS a difference!
I remember, while growing up, hearing often, "Who would dare to compare the tinsel of the temporal with the gold of God?" It made sense to me.
I was taught that everything there at the Temple would awaken your senses to a deeper feeling of love and reverence—for each other, for your respective families, for other people, for your Heavenly Father, and for His Son, Jesus Christ.
I was taught that as the Spirit of this place touches your soul, you will wonder, “Where have I felt this before?” You will search your memory, and in your search you will recall the love you felt as a child.
So, of course as I grew, even if I hardly understood it… I highly valued the sacred LDS Temple and its spirituality, beauty, and higher standards I sensed I would find there, ….and later found out that this was indeed true.
Naturally, I (while dating or getting to know who I wanted to spend my life with) made it my goal to be married (sealed) in one of these awesome locations and Ceremonies. I knew God was suppose to help me in this process, but I thought that I made the ultimate choice and that if I was going to marry someone for "eternity", that I better marry someone who I got along with extremely well.
With this goal in mind, I knew that I would have to keep myself clean, moral, or worthy of this opportunity to enter this Temple.
I began dating at 16 1/2 and found that it was easy to stay pure, due to the fact that I was rather shy anyway. The thing that was hard to control was the fact that since I was attention starved, it was difficult to control the amount of attention boys were wanting to give me. Regardless, I was still able to keep myself clean and date often the first year, due to the fact that I worked and lived near a University (BYU) with many opportunities to be asked out, and I was more on the "cute" side of looks, and was attractive enough that many around me wanted to ask me out on dates.
Being shy, I had very few close personal friends I could trust, so in turn, I was unable to group date very often. Only when going to a school dance.
Looking back, I truly wish I had done LOTS more group dating, so that we could have kept the dating fun and NOT inmate. I found way too often through my dating years that many boys desired ME as their girlfriend or wife... due to my clean appearance, my kind personality, my cute looks, and my vast knowledge of being a super and faithful wife and someday an excellent Mother.
I knew I wanted to marry a "Prince"....so if that be true...I needed to conduct myself as a "Princess".
My great struggle came in the form of the intense amount of attention I started to receive at 16 ~ after a long life of extreme attention depravity! This was extremely difficult to handle!! My mind was strong with conviction...my heart weak with love starvation. How was I going to balance the two extreme opposites?
Looking back now I see that my goal to keep myself clean in order to be sealed in this sacred place played a huge part in who I was dating, and my ability to keep myself morally clean with that person.
Instead of allowing God to guide my dating and then using my learning of staying clean until entering the temple, I was using my desire to being clean as a guideline to finding an eternal mate.
I felt like I knew what was best for me…especially since God had let me down throughout my youth (or so I thought). Also, my ideal of the word “Eternal” was 1,000’s and 1,000’s of years….like in a Timeline!
Later in life I found that the word Eternal meant an actual state of being…in the present. HELLO!
Keeping myself clean was the ultimate goal in reaching this temple goal, so I dated boys that were of MY choosing and that made it possible to be able to control the situation. I looked upon a dates personality much more than any other quality, so that I could find someone who I could find their company pleasurable for years and years to come.
They were good looking or attractive of course, yet I was fine if there was no passion between us, so that this way I could be a clean girl and complete my goals in keeping myself worthy of such a lofty goal.
I was looking for the “perfect” personality match. The person who was my opposite, so that we could match perfectly ….instead of allowing God to choose whom I should marry and then working on a bumpy surface relationship. Instead, I decided I would find “the perfect relationship” and then let God come into it after that.
That is why when I met my ex-husband Bernd Holler, and he and I got along like two peas in a pod, him seemingly reading my every thought, granting my every wish and desire, never arguing; I couldn’t help but think that BECAUSE we got along so well (and I had such a great “LIKE” for him) this surely is a relationship where I could keep my morals before marriage and I loved to hang around him endlessly that THIS is what Eternity meant?
Bernd was attractive, but more importantly he was excellent at being my “best friend”. He was more of a “brother” to me in my eyes, but this was all great for me, since it afforded me the ability to work toward my goal of getting married in the temple and keep myself and all my thoughts and actions clean.
Up to this point, just having someone THIS compatible was a miracle in my eyes and made me feel that this union was surely a gift from God.
This would have been GREAT, for the rest of our lives, if not for the fact that we both were unaware that we had other soul mates that God had prepared for us on Earth that we were NOT aware of at our young ages when we met.
Bernd had some worldly habits when we first met which concerned me, and many which he hid from me. He was interested in our relationship enough that he convinced me that he would abandon his bad habits and change in order to have me accept him in a serious relationship.
I noticed that I was attracted to him, but I was NOT smitten, because of the brotherly love I felt for him. Rather a sense of feeling sorry for him and his unfortunate background, is what made me more pity him and have compassion upon him.
He decided to be baptized into the LDS faith and I was happy that he had made that choice…but I had always wondered if he had done it for me…or if he had done it for himself. Only he can tell you this.
I knew that because I feel in love with his personality instead of a deep passionate connection, that we could enjoy our cohesive relationship for years and years morally and that once married, it could possibly even last an eternity as I had envisioned Eternity meant at my naïve young age. Again the Eternity definition at a young age was different than what I know today. Thus we were able to date for nearly 3 years without engaging in a sexual affair.
Do you see where this is heading? (Remember my views today of what happened are all hind-sites!)
OK here comes the twist….
While Bernd and I were dating during college, I ran across a man named Carl~ who at first I did NOT even physically notice ….due to being wrapped up in my goals AND me ignoring God’s promptings at that time…UNTIL someone pointed Carl out and then when Carl asked me out, I figured I’d go out with him just to be polite.
To my Surprise, my Spirit must have recognized many spiritual qualities in him since I instantly feel deeply in LOVE with him and we were BOTH smitten. This was all new to me. This was NOT at all like my relationship with Bernd. It was the opposite.
You see, this Carl was stuck up, self-centered, egotistic and I could hardly stand his personality…but my soul was on fire and PASSIONATE when we were together. Looking back now, I really felt a deep connection but didn’t know what to think of it.
We could hardly keep our hands off each other. Our minds went out the door when we were together and we felt a soul connection like I had NEVER felt before. It was heavenly. Even with the intense passion between us we still managed to not have sex.
Yes I was very attracted to him physically ….but it was so much MORE because remember at the beginning of seeing him, I did NOT even pay attention that he was hanging around my work area,…so it was NOT his looks that attracted me at first. I did find him very attractive AFTER we began to date. It was after I met him that my world came alive. It was as though we were a spark and fuel together …and that scared us both!
It was all VERY confusing as a young person…what these feelings were suppose to mean to me…how the whole intimate relationship learning and growing lessons I was experienced fit into what was the right relationship for me …compared to what I had been taught growing up.
No one can teach you what you are going to feel while dating….just about different ideas of what you might encounter while dating and how one might handle them.
So there you have it….I had two very extreme opposite relationships to choose from!
One, Bernd, who I was attracted to, but in a friendly way, and I relied more on the fact that we got along famously, that he had a fun and fantastic personality, that he pampered me, and that he was fulfilling my every emotional need I had ever had. More of a Best friend than anything.
Two, Carl, who I was extremely deeply passionate about, but he could NOT relate to me emotionally, I could not relate to his ways, and who in fact had treated me “coldly” at times and had made it difficult to accept his arrogance. He actually would ignore me for many months during the year and ½ that we were dating off and on.
Instead of facing the reality of our passion connection and doing the decent thing of moving forward in asking me to marry him, (yes we were that serious) Carl treated me like I had somehow made him into a bad person when around each other, for these intense passionate feelings that existed between us. He was much more comfortable avoiding me, because of this “almost” uncontrollable PASSION we had between us.
When expressing my dilemma with my father at 19 years of age, he suggested that I had NOT given proper time or energy into dating Carl without constraints, since Bernd had been VERY controlling and domineering all during my years of dating him at the same time… and that maybe I should give myself a chance to explore a singled out relationship with a person like Carl BEFORE making my decision on whom I felt would be an eternal companion for myself.
I KNEW my father’s advice was wise and correct yet found myself unable to let go of my relationship with Bernd because he was so emotionally available.
I decided to let God guide my path to allow this to happen if it so be…and sure enough doors started to open for Carl and I… whereas I started to run into Carl on BYU campus more and more… and we started to spend more time together.
It was NOT long after this, before Bernd sensed this in our relationship, and he then did something about it! (years later Bernd admitted all of this to me)
He admitted to me years later that he went out of his way one day to find Carl on campus and tell Carl a bunch of LIES about ME and Bernd’s and mine relationship…in order to make Carl be disgusted with me, believe that I was a WHORE and that he should drop our relationship immediately if he knew what was good for him.
I wonder if Carl MUST have felt these were LIES (?) because instead of confronting me he gave me an ultimatum. Instead of asking me the truth about Bernd and I and any lies or info he had heard, Carl instead gave me an ultimatum the next time I saw him.
It was an awkward situation since when I saw Carl that day in his apartment, unbeknownst to me he had disgust for me which I was confused about. He treated me coldly and made snide remarks about some black underwear that he had in his room that were not mine. I was thinking that he must of surely had other women in his life and it greatly offended me, and it made me cringe to think I had not been really loved by him. This had to have been the way Carl felt too after hearing all the lies about me and my relationship with Bernd.
Carl told me that Bernd had talked to him but I did NOT know what Carl and Bernd had spoken of, this next time Carl and I saw each other. He said “Chose Bernd or him” (which was completely fair)… and he wanted his answer that very second. Not knowing many details of what was going on, this was unfair to me since I didn't even have a chance to think or pray about it !!
It just so happened that at the very moment that he was giving me that ultimatum…Bernd was outside honking his horn loudly and knocking on Carl’s apartment door yelling at me to come outside and get into his car!!! I know without a shadow of a doubt that IF Carl had asked me to stay…I would have.
He wanted it to come from my heart but in the heat of the anger, the domineering pressure from Bernd… I did not have the strength to think on my own that day.
At that time I believed that Bernd could become an eternal companion based on what my belief in eternal meant at that young age …IF I did not have my soul mate on Earth, then I was extremely blessed to have such a caring companion. How was I to know the future?
I believed that he was being a Godly man by going to Church with me…and that because he was compatible with me… that God could open the doors of spiritual love with Mr. Holler eventually after a time of both him and I living good and decent lives under the Covenants of a Temple Sealing.
So without having the strength to make my own decisions…I allowed whoever was stronger, to take control of my life. Between Carl and Bernd, that would be Bernd.
The “Passion” was only there for Carl, no one else…but I could NOT get along with him mentally/emotionally. I did NOT know what to do. Wasn’t compatibility an important part of being with someone for eternity? Gee eternity is a long time to NOT be able to get along with someone.
Carl was NOT giving me the attention I so desperately needed…. so I told him the ONLY thing I could think of that day that was deep in my heart at that time. That "he was NOT giving me this attention I so much needed" at this young age and had to say "good-bye". As we parted that day, I said that I probably should go and I left his apartment to go get into Bernd’s car.
Every day after this I questioned my actions and my choice that day over and over in my mind until during an intense prayer to God a few days later, I poured my heart out about my feelings for Carl and how I felt that I truly loved Carl but that I did not have the strength to do anything about it.
Then God put my heart at ease, and told me that someday in the future everything would work out right and that it was not the last of Carl (or someone like him?), and that I had not seen the last of him and that I would see him again. (Whatever that meant)
Hind site – My soul recognized many attributes of Carl from the Spirit World so my Spirit fell head over heels in love with him spiritually and physically. Today I see that he had had many qualities of a soul mate and that is why I was drawn like a bug to a light...lol. It was truly magical.
Today my current husband Rudy has all of these same qualities as Carl had....and even more! No wonder Carl had set my world on FIRE. Rudy does this and to even more compatibility. Rudy gives me his heart and cares for me, which Carl was too scared to do. Everything is the same with Rudy as it was with Carl, even down to the same facts that I can NOT stand his arrogant stuck up personality. BUT, NOW that I am much more mature, my Spirit feels at home and is passionately in love and I can maturely be patient with these surface irritants. I have found that the cruelty mixed with love brings about an intense relationship.
LOVE is never without pain I have found. Also, I have found that with the intense amount of PASSION between us - it is a breeze to be a faithful wife since he is EVERYTHING my heart desires and I don't have the desire for another! I don't have to "work" on being faithful...it is just THERE!
It's amazing how God can lead you to a soul mate he has prepared for you... IF you are only patient, humble, trust your Spirit, and follow your HEART...and then BELIEVE in yourself !! Many times it takes Maturity to understand this concept, as was in my case.
It was not long after this Bernd asked me to marry him and promised me that he and I would agree to make sacred covenants in the LDS Temple and that he would be the righteous husband and father I deserved, and that we would be married under these sacred covenants hoping one day that God would seal us with the Holy Spirit of Promise…IF we would obey these covenants and keep our selves clean and faithful.
I knew that this was a worthy goal and that because I could NOT think for myself I was extremely grateful for what was being offered by my best friend…that at the very least…this was a morally clean, righteous goal that any young woman would be proud to have in her life… and I was extremely happy and on cloud 9 with anticipation of a life of happiness, success, faithfulness, pampering and morality!
Especially since I believed that Bernd was in love with the real me…not just the ideal of who I was.
My heart told me that he might be doing this all “for me” instead of it coming from what he desired in his heart, but I didn’t think that mattered.
I figured that he would come to see that it was what he wanted after he saw how wonderful life could be when lived righteously. After all, that is the missionary work I was taught in youth.
Hind-site now, the fact that we were both attracted to other people while we were dating should have been a HUGE red flag that in the future( if we did NOT keep our promises in the temple) that we would come to a crashing end.
On August 15th, 1987, I being a virgin and living the LDS standards, was able to be Sealed to Bernd Holler in the LDS Salt Lake City Temple.
A few seconds before this took place that day, as we knelt across an alter, I heard a voice in my head say, “This is not your eternal companion”. I felt that I was just having a nervous negative jitter and with a room full of people and family, there was NO WAY I was going to explore that thought…so I pushed it away and ended up having a wonderful day.
Hind- site looking back, just the fact that I even questioned my actions in marrying Bernd should have been a HUGE red flag, (if I knew what I know today, but that is impossible. I was too young to understand a lot of what was happening)
I will say one thing. I KNEW that God was ok with my marriage with Bernd since I relied on Gods promise that all would work out fine in the future if I trusted God, since I could not do for myself what he maybe would have liked for me at that time, and God knew it.
If you are a young person, this makes sense. Hind-site is always 20-20. I was doing what I could handle at that time, and was extremely grateful to have Bernd in my life and God accepted this, since this was all I could do, given my extreme immaturity and naivety. I believe that God wanted Bernd to be a good person too and our relationship seemed to help him be that better person, so why not?
That is why although Bernd and I could have had a different companions that God had in mind for us, if we had waited into the future; I didn’t have the faith to act upon this, so God (like any loving parent) lovingly accepted what we were able to do.
The first few years after making our sacred covenants in this beautiful temple, were good years.
OK, What Does Being “Sealed” Mean?
Sometimes the word “sealed” is visualized as attaching or bonding a man and a woman together. While that is one of the results of being sealed, it is much too restrictive to be accurate. It has always seemed to me that the word “sealed” refers much more to the act of conferring the blessings of God upon the husband and wife individually and jointly (and upon their children) than it does to just “uniting” a man and a woman.
The word “sealed” also indicates that God is putting His seal or stamp of approval upon the ordinance in which you will participate. The term “celestial marriage” is also appropriate to describe what occurs in the sealing ordinance. That is because the two words together constitute a title which describes not only the joining of a man and a woman together in marriage but also all of the other elements of the sealing ordinance.
How Is Temple Marriage Different?
Too often there is the erroneous conclusion that the only difference from a civil marriage is the location. While marriage in a chapel allows you to be married for time only, the sealing ordinance makes you eligible to have your marriage last forever. To compare a civil marriage to one performed in God’s way is like comparing a big flashlight to the sun. A civil marriage has two basic ingredients:
1. The bride and groom make certain promises to each other.
2. The bride and groom can then legally live together under the laws of the land.
Of course, the one officiating will dress it up as much as possible. There will be counsel about the role of the husband and the wife and the need for love. There will also be sage comments about the institution of marriage.
But no matter how it’s packaged, that’s all a civil marriage will ever be. The addition of words from scriptures, so often incorporated into civil ceremonies, such as “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” does not change that fact.
A civil marriage is powerless to do anything but qualify the man and the woman to live together under the laws of the land. Adorning the ceremony with a minister or even an LDS bishop, a beautiful church or other building, tuxedos, limousines, music, and all of the other trappings will not change that.
An empty box is not given substance by the most beautiful gift wrapping. So it is with a civil marriage. It is not the Lord’s way, and no amount of rationalizing will ever change that unchangeable fact.
In the temple you make covenants and promises to Heavenly Father. The authority for the promises in a celestial marriage comes from God, and the consequences of your failure to honor those promises also will come from God. In a civil marriage, the authority for the promises between bride and groom is the integrity of the two people. It rises no higher than that. It cannot.
Its authority comes from man and not from God.
Even the counsel you hear in the temple takes on more significance when received within the confines of His sacred house in the context of an eternal priesthood ordinance.
So, Bernd and I were married (or sealed) in the beautiful SLC temple in Salt Lake City with the promise that any children born to us under this covenant would be eternally sealed to us as a family.
Austin and Jordan Holler were our two children born under this sacred covenant BEFORE we were excommunicated from the LDS Church, our temple blessings and everything pertaining to this, in 1994.
Wild story about that is: I was 4 months pregnant with my 3rd boy Michael when we were excommunicated… shortly after Michael died at birth, and the Doctor (Specialist) at the hospital who was in charge of Michael told us that Michaels development in my womb had STOPPED at exactly 4 months and that they did NOT have a reason as to WHY Michael did not develop further after that month, which in turn was the reason WHY he ended up dying at birth.
I don’t think I wanted to believe this was true at that time, but hide-site I know that us losing these scared covenants at Michael's Fourth month of development MUST have been a big factor in WHY Michael’s development STOPPED at his fourth month.
I now believe that this was a reason WHY Michael did not come to earth to join our family. I believe that Bernd knows this is true also. Hind site is always so much more clear.
The Sealing Ordinance
The sealing ordinance isn’t a marriage in the way that word is commonly used. When you go to a temple to become man and wife, you are really going to participate in a sacred and divinely appointed ordinance called the “sealing ordinance.” It is an ordinance established by God Oh, it’s true that one result of being sealed in a celestial marriage is that you are authorized to live together as husband and wife under the laws of the land and you do make certain promises to each other, but that is the beginning and end of any similarity between a civil marriage and the sealing ordinance.
A religious ordinance in the LDS Church is a specific rite or ceremony performed under the power of the holy priesthood. In the sealing ordinance, a major requirement has been added: the one officiating must hold the power to perform the sealing ordinance. This power is referred to as the sealing authority—the power by which, conditioned upon obedience to the covenants made, eternal family units are formed.
Temple marriage, that sealing ordinance, is a crowning blessing that you may claim in the holy temple. That is why I highly recommend all my children to have this incredible blessing in their lives too.
Elements of the Sealing Ordinance Having received individual endowments before, and dressed in appropriate temple clothing, you kneel on opposite sides of an altar in the sealing room and there you receive good and proper counsel. Then, under the direction of the officiator—one of those few men on the earth upon whom the prophet of God has authorized the sealing power to be conferred—you participate in the ordinance of celestial marriage;
Individual covenants and blessings.
You individually and separately make promises, commitments, and covenants with your Heavenly Father and individually receive promises of blessings conditioned on your individual worthiness. The individual nature of these promises is such that even if you were to cease being obedient following your participation in the sealing ordinance and so lose the promises made to you, the other partner who remained faithful would continue to be eligible to receive the promised blessings.
Joint covenants and blessings.
Two of you jointly make promises, commitments, and covenants with your Heavenly Father and make covenants to receive each other as husband and wife. You then jointly receive promises of blessings conditioned upon your joint faithfulness. The continued faithful obedience of both of you is essential if the promised blessings are to be received jointly. This is because the promises are made to you as one—that is, as a single unit consisting of two halves.
Joining in celestial marriage.
This element qualifies you to live together as husband and wife under the laws of the land. It is here that you are united forever, becoming one flesh before the Lord and forming a new family unit that, if you are faithful and obedient, will last forever.
Blessings for children born in the covenant.
All children born to the two of you are born under the blessings of the sealing covenant; thus, it is common to say that your children are “born in the covenant.” They are entitled to blessings of the Abraham covenant, including:
a. The gospel
b. The priesthood
c. Celestial marriage
d. Eternal life
It is revealing to know that even if you cease to be faithful in keeping the covenants you make in the temple, these blessings will still flow to your children.
That is why, Austin and Jordan who were born in the covenant are assured the right and privilege of eternal parentage based upon their individual faithfulness and agency.
If Jordan and Austin remain worthy, these blessings remain secure.
For each of us, the realization of eternal blessings is conditioned upon personal worthiness and individual agency.
Such blessings, including our eternal family relationships, will be determined by our wise and loving Father after we have complete our mortal probation.
It is comforting to know the Lord has provided that even adopted children and children born to a couple before they are sealed in the temple (as with new converts to the Church) may be sealed to their parents, and upon such sealing they also become entitled to these same promises and blessings.
I pray daily that my children Christian Jacob and Andrew Sterling will desire to be sealed to us, as they witness us being their righteous parents.
In the temple, all of the promises, commitments, and covenants you make are witnessed by two Melchizedek Priesthood holders of your choosing and are recorded in heaven as well as on earth.
As you see, Bernd and I made serious commitments and covenants in 1987, that within a few years sadly Bernd was persuaded to break and then eventually this lead us and our family into losing it all. I can’t blame him completely since he did NOT grow up with the Gospel in his life and he must not have had a strong testimony of the incredible blessings and safety of the Gospel, in order to fight for them when the storms of life came and hit us hard.
Of course I take my responsibility for allowing him to later corrupt me while I was staying in our relationship believing that if I was patient he would repent and change his ways (as he continually promised), and that somehow it would work. Sadly that didn’t happen and after I had lost most of my soul, right as I was about to lose my soul completely, I made the hardest decision in my life. That was to let go of who I still thought was my best friend and what was left of our worldly partnership, and decided to come back to God. I have NEVER regretted that decision!
Note: I know, as God is my witness, that the failure in this relationship hit hardest when Bernd began to secretly bring Porn videos into our home in 1989. This chased the Holy Ghost out of our home. He said he would play hooky from Church while I was in my classes and he would go home to watch them. He admitted this to me and our Bishop later. (He was doing this shortly BEFORE we met the Acosta Family, but that’s a whole other story and I am not here to focus on blame.)
What is the Importance of the Sealing Ordinance?
The sealing ordinance, which eternally unites man and woman, is a requirement for exaltation, which means living with God our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ His Son in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, where the power for continuing to extend the family throughout eternity is present. That revelation, found in section 131 of the Doctrine and Covenants, reads as follows: “In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
“And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
“And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
“He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase”
Many people reading this section of the Doctrine and Covenants do not grasp its full import.
The gospel, which is called “the new and everlasting covenant,” includes many specific covenants, one being called “the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.” This title, or name, is simply another way of saying “patriarchal order.”
The patriarchal order refers to priesthood government by family organization.
The highest order of the Melchizedek Priesthood is patriarchal authority” and that “the patriarchal order of the priesthood is the right of worthy priesthood-holding fathers to preside over their descendants through all ages; it includes the ordinances and blessings of the fullness of the priesthood shared by husbands and wives who are sealed in the temple”
The patriarchal order will be the order of things in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom; thus, without participation in the sealing ordinance, you simply cannot qualify for admission to that high and holy place.
Of course, some individuals, through no fault of their own, may not have the opportunity to marry in this life; yet they will have that opportunity.
The term “sealing ordinance”; is more—so much more—than what the term marriage suggests to most.
I hope you grasp the tremendous depth of the sealing ordinance and the significance attached to it.
Can you now begin to understand why my heart weeps for those people who say they can’t see much difference between this magnificent ordinance and the “fool’s gold” of a civil marriage?
The Holy Spirit of Promise
There is one more thing pertaining to a sealing I really want you to think about. Don’t forget that every blessing promised to you in the temple, whether individually or jointly, is conditioned upon your faithful obedience to the covenants you make in the temple. If you, or I, cease to be obedient to those covenants, you lose blessings associated with the covenants. Of course, the repentance process may re-qualify you for those blessings.
(This is what I did, after years of humbling myself and through great repentance. Brother Acosta helped me tremendously in this difficult process.)
1. The ordinance must be performed by someone who possesses the sealing power.
The authority to confer the sealing power rests with the President of the Church and is conferred by the laying on of hands, either by the President or as he may direct by other members of the First Presidency or the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
( Note: After years of repentance and being released from all Temple covenants I had with Bernd Holler, I was fortunate enough to have Elder Craig Zwick of the LDS Seventy lay hands on my head and restore my temple blessings in February 2012. It was a day of rejoicing. My sweetheart Rudy and I now look forward to our sealing date when we will make these same sacred covenants. This time they will not be promises that I will have to "try" to keep. This time they are promises that I know are already in my soul (a part of me) and then I will joyfully keep. Also, we pray often that Bernd Holler will repent, so that someday he can have his blessings restored too, and be sealed to one of his eternal soul mates. I KNOW he feels this truth, since I KNOW what I saw that day in his eyes when he spoke of the LOVE he had for Lori Pinckney - one of his soul mates. (Which he did NOT have for me, and I am ok with that.) We pray that he will find this same great joy soon!
2. The covenants, commitments, and promises that each of you make must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.
The Holy Spirit of Promise is another way of saying the Holy Ghost. What the scriptures mean when they say that something must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise is that it must receive the approval of the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Ghost can see into the heart of each of us and can consequently discern deceit, half-truths, or misrepresentations. Thus, when a sealing ordinance is “sealed by the Holy Spirit,” the Holy Ghost is satisfied that the parties to the sealing ordinance have been obedient in order to enter into the sealing ordinance and afterward obedient to the covenants they have made.
There is so much more to all this…and what I have written so far will require careful reading, pondering, and prayer to fully understand.
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment, and hopefully I can help.