From the Archives: Millennial Children

August 8, 2007 | 11 comments
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Over time I’ve discussed various reasons to think that we’ll have the pleasure of raising kids in the Millennium. For convenience I’ve collected all those reasons and shortened them down, with links to the longer original versions.

“The children whom thou shalt have”

The children whom thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the first, shall again in thine ears say: The place is too strait for me; give place to me that I may dwell.

Then shalt thou say in thine heart: Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? And who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where have they been?

Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

What if Isaiah meant this promise of unexpected posterity literally?

Not everyone will be saved. Some will reject the stewardship God gives them and it must then be that God will then their “bishoprick let another take.” Parenting is a stewardship. Children need to be sealed to somebody.

Imagine coming up on Resurrection Morning, marveling in your new body, and then seeing around you the clean-limbed youths you never knew you had.

Will He Give Him a Stone?

In Sunday School we learned two different things about Abraham and the Abrahamic covenant.
We learned that we can have the Abrahamic covenant ourselves. If we are faithful to the temple covenants, for instance, we are promised “a continuation of the seeds forever,” just like Abraham was.

We also learned that part of the covenant is that anyone can become the seed of Abraham through adoption. The lesson relied on Abraham 2:10 , but as usual Christ made the same point blunter and pithier:

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Even I can make a connection when its in front of my face. If God has given us the same covenant that is made to Abraham, will we also find ourselves the unexpected parents of many adopted children?

Pioneer Children

We don’t perform baptisms on behalf of children who died before the age of eight at any time, even after they reach that age.

Once Christ chose to be baptized, why would anyone want to enter the kingdom through any other gate?

We won’t know for sure until God reveals it, but parents raising children in the millennium might make sense of all this. Suppose that pioneer children and all the other children aren’t resurrected right off, but merely brought back to life—like Lazarus—to be raised by their parents. Vicarious baptisms on their behalf need not be done because they can be baptized in the flesh. These children would get to be obedient, make covenants, and follow Christ’s example by being baptized just like anyone else.

P.S. Only the last post is concerned with what we typically think of as biological children, while the first two posts deal with what we would call adopted children, but I’m not sure the distinction will be so clear in the Millennium.

11 Responses to From the Archives: Millennial Children

  1. se7en on August 8, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    I love kids.

  2. Mike on August 8, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    I hear at church that “Families are Forever.”

    Families are not forever. I look at this picture we have on the wall of my teenage children when they were preschoolers. I think of what a golden age that was. How quickly the time has slipped past. They were so cute when they were little. Now my son is stronger than I and he can grab me around the neck and throw me to the ground. I worry that they might not make good decisions concerning dating marriage, education, careers, missions etc. in the very near future. I will be glad when they do; but then where will that leave me? On the cusp of the so called golden years, at best, or worried sick that I did not do enoough. And we know the golden years are laced with lead. I will never be a young father again.

    Certain things we only do once or a few times in this life and then those times are gone. We should cherish them. I recall a feeling I had when I was serving as EQP and my children were very young. I felt like I was neglecting them. In a way I regretted the time I did not spend with them since the majority of the time to do quorum business came directly out f family time. It got to the point I came close to resigning from the position. I was delighted when I was released and I am happy that other such demanding and time-consuming callings have not come my way.

    My wife had obstetric difficulty bringing children into the world. She nearly died doing it and we did not have as many children as we would have otherwise if her health had not been an issue. Will we raise these hypothetical other unborn children in the next life or were they assigned to other families? It won’t be the same no matter what because those we have now will be adults and hopefully have long productive lifes. It is my hope that my children will see the dawn of the 22nd century. But the experience of them having addition siblings growing up will not happen.

    My relationship with my own parents is also gradually being transformed. My mother recently pased away from dementia and before she passed she became a child again in every way and worse. My father is gradually getting more dependent on his children and is sort of like a teenager in some ways but not others. My sister never married and it seems her lot to be front and center caring for her aging parents.

    It is enough for me to try and understand the paradoxes of this present life. The future worlds are beyond my comprehension, except in the most general way.

  3. Adam Greenwood on August 8, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Mike, I think you will be a young father again. But much of what you say is true, especially about the perishability of our relationships, or rather, the perishability of our relationships as we have them now. Family relationships are forever, in other words, but the relatonships are not forever the same. Loss and change aren’t illusions.

    I do have a hope, though, that in the eternities we enjoy a kind of timelessness where all the moments of our lives are present to us.

  4. NJensen on August 8, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    My patriarchal blessing promises me that I will be able to “raise my family in the Millennium.” No joke. Of course that doesn’t necessarily mean children, but you would think so.

  5. Jack on August 9, 2007 at 12:10 am

    “I do have a hope, though, that in the eternities we enjoy a kind of timelessness where all the moments of our lives are present to us.”

    That’s my hope too.

  6. Ray on August 9, 2007 at 12:39 am

    “It is enough for me to try and understand the paradoxes of this present life. The future worlds are beyond my comprehension, except in the most general way.”

    Amen, Mike.

  7. Mike on August 9, 2007 at 9:39 am

    I think I agree with you that I will be sort of like a young person again when the resurrection comes and maybe I will be able to be a father again. But what I meant about never being a young father again is more like I will never be a a young inexperienced father again struggling and figuring out what to do. It was challenging and there were times I didn’t think I would make it through various stages, but I did it.

    Sort of like this cliff by a lake I jumped off of a couple weeks ago with the boy scouts. The first time was terrifying but thrilling and the water was cold. If left entirely alone and to my own devices I would not have jumped. But after a couple jumps it was not that interesting any more. The younger boys found it interesting for hours at a time. I might not ever be like that again.

    “…enjoy a kind of timelessness where all the moments of our lives are present to us.”

    I can think of more than a few moments of my life I wish to not remember. But in general I agree.

  8. A Dawg on August 9, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    Adam,

    I know this is terribly bad blog etiquette but I haven’t been able to reach you any other way. I’ve searched high and low on this website for info about how lowly T&S participants like me can apply to become a guest blogger or just contribute a single item for posting. I’ve emailed you twice about this at your times&seasons email address but haven’t heard back, and I wonder if my emails are getting bounced by your anti-spam software or something. Or perhaps you guys are flooded with emails like that every day and just don’t have time to answer them. If the latter is the case, it might be helpful to post a statement on T&S addressing this question so you don’t get hounded.

    I only raise the question again here on this post because the title above indicates it has been resurrected “From the Archives”–which suggests to me that maybe the Perma-Bloggers are in need of additional new material to post. Could you please let me and others know whether it’s even possible to submit something for an original post and, if so, how to go about doing it? Thanks and sorry again for using this unconventional way of contacting you.

  9. Adam Greenwood on August 9, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    We have a policy on this but I can’t remember what it is. Sorry. We hardly ever receive guest post submissions, but we hardly ever put up guest posts either. Millennial Star is a good place for that. My T&S email should be working: adam at times and seasons dot org I have posted an email before.

  10. J. Stapley on August 9, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    A while back I pulled together a developmental history of child salvation, including the idea of Millennial children.

  11. Adam Greenwood on August 9, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Extremely interesting, J. Stapley. Its interesting to see the doctrines getting knocked around and the rough edges coming off.

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