Sealing someone to you is not a claim over them, rather it is you taking responsibility, accountability, and vouching for the individual being sealed to you. What is that responsibility? To endow them with light sufficient for them to lay hold upon the promise of eternal life. The oath and covenant of the priesthood is God extending His arms to receive those willing to be sealed to Him, for Him to instruct and endow them in the light of Eternal life. There is accountability associated with being sealed.
The Decay of Sealing: Initially, at the restoration, Joseph sealed people to himself, taking them as his children. Not long after Joseph’s death, from Brigham Young to Wilfred Woodruff, the sealing changed to sealing father to son, all the way back as far as possible, and then sealing them to Joseph Smith. Between W. Woodruff and today, the church’s policy doesn’t seal people’s lineage to Joseph Smith anymore. Large strings of families are ceremonially sealed to one another, as far back as possible, without anyone being sealed to Christ. Latter-day Saints are the only known group to claim an ordinance that seals marriages for time and all eternity (most are till death do us part). But even the Latter-day Saints fail to hear the disclaimer, “…after having been proven true and faithful in all things.”
Sealing a Child: When a child is sealed to a parent, the parent holds themselves fully responsible to provide light for their children, taking it upon themselves to ensure that their child obtains nothing less than eternal life. Their child’s failure to obtain eternal life is taken upon themselves for the accountability (sins upon the heads of their fathers). Thus, it is the responsibility of the parent to give their child a name, setting them apart for their performance, and identifying them as belonging to themselves (parents), as if they were an extension of their own body.
Adam, when he and Eve were placed in the garden (before the fall), went and dressed the garden, and gave all things their names, sealing it to them. They took it upon themselves to provide the entire creation eternal life. Thus, at Adam-Ondi-Amon all priesthood comes back to Father Adam, and from Adam to Christ, as one.
It is no surprise that John the Beloved, in Revelations 2:17, tells of the appearing of Christ to you as an individual, in the flesh, and states that you will be given a stone, and on that stone shall be written a name (your name). With that name comes the removal of the veil and the knowledge that you have obtained from before the foundation of the world. Along with that knowledge comes the power as well. That is when you are sealed to Christ, and God has given you to Christ as His backload. Therefore Christ has redeemed you from the fall, and you are brought back into His presence, just like the brother of Jared (Ether 3:15).
Responsibility of the Fathers: When you are given to someone, or sealed to them, they take you on as their responsibility. What are they responsible for? They are responsible for clothing you with light (that’s what an endowment is, clothing with light). They are responsible for teaching you light and knowledge, so that you can obtain eternal life by overcoming this world and becoming a member of the church of the firstborn. Those who take on children by way of sealing are called “Fathers.” They have obtained sufficient light to teach others to return to Christ’s presence, because they know Christ personally, they know the way back into His presence and are instructed to teach it. For this reason, Malachi teaches us to turn our hearts to the Fathers, and Moroni taught us to turn to the promises made to the Fathers.
Those sealed to you are your responsibility. If you claim to seal your children to you for time and all eternity, then where is your light? How is it that you teach them how to obtain eternal life, when you are unsure of your status before God? How can you teach redemption when you have not yet been redeemed from the fall, brought back into the presence of Christ, and witnessed Him in the flesh (Ether 3:15)? How is it possible to teach the way back to Christ, when you haven’t been there?
Joseph Smith claimed to have that knowledge. He had been in Christ’s presence and knew that path. He had received angelic visitations. However, Brigham Young at age 79-ish said that he had not seen angels or Christ, and that if he lived till 80 he would (because that’s when Moses did), but he died before he turned 80. Wilfred Woodruff stated in General Conference that he didn’t even know what Joseph Smith was up to when he sealed people to himself. And since then no one really teaches that stuff. They only allude to it, and hint around it, but no one has said it straight forward as Joseph Smith did. So, where are the “Fathers?”
Can you see how far we have strayed from the concept of sealing? Although many symbols are still in tact, the modern saint associates the “temple ritual” as proof of salvation, rather than merely instructions to get something. We somehow believe that since we’ve been to the temple endowment session, that is proof that we have proven true and faithful in all things. Therefore, the more we go, the more true and faithful we have proven ourselves. And we can follow the endowment process in our sleep (and many can do it in their sleep- I’ve seen it), and feel that we have obtained it, when all we’ve done was caught up on missing sleep.
Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood: In our false idea that we have all the priesthood restored in these the latter-days, we have attributed a bishop’s and stake president’s interview as sufficient to claim being “…faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods…, and the magnifying of their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.”
This is the oath and covenant of the priesthood that is read to every newly ordained elder in the church. I never understood it when I was ordained an elder, and that hasn’t changed till this day. Most elders believe that this is all of it, and they even consider themselves members of the church of the firstborn, after the order of Melchizedek, after the order of Enoch, and after the order of the Only Begotten Son. But, what they fail to see is the penalty.
The penalty states that whoso receives this covenant and then breaks it, they shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the worlds to come. That’s pretty bad considering all the return missionaries who have gone astray and broken that covenant, …if that’s what it’s talking about here (which I don’t think it is).
The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood is nothing less than the voice of God to you, claiming you as being sealed to God. When sealed to God, God holds Himself accountable to give you His light. And someone who has obtained His light is also given “all that the Father hath.” God makes this promise. And God does not break His promises.
“33. For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewingof their bodies.
34. They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.
35. And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;
36. For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;
37. And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;
38. And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.
39. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.
40. Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.“
Conclusion: Get out of your comfort zones and obtain a promise from God. Forget all the foolish traditions you have been taught in the past and take a fresh look at the scriptures, with a sincere heart and real intention to act upon what the Holy Ghost teaches. Although God has created all of us, through His son, and we are considered God’s created children, …your agency still matters in identifying who you choose to be your Father. Whom you choose to serve is who you claim to be your Father. No man can serve two masters. How can a man claim a master whom he has not served, or whom he does not know?
Who you choose to follow is who you choose to seal your fate to. Those choosing God, must receive Christ and the words of Christ, presented by Christ’s servants (angels) (D&C 84:36). However, those choosing the devil receives less and less portion of the word, until they know nothing of the mysteries of God, and they are dragged down by the chains of hell, which is darkness (Alma 12:11).
The parable of the ten virgins is an invitation to be sealed to Christ, so that Christ can redeem you from the fall. The way Christ does this is by teaching you light, as He did to the Nephites in 3 Nephi 19, when they prayed together and Christ increased their light and uttered words that are unutterable. When you are sealed to Christ, He takes on the responsibility to teach you light. You are His. God has given you to Him, and He is very capable of making you just as He is. All of this begins in the words of Christ. So feast upon the words of Christ, it will tell you all things what you should do.