When we fantasize about the marvelous possibilities of creation, we think of creating worlds, mountains, rivers and seas, men, women, children and animals. Seldom do we think about the incredible responsibilities associated with these marvelous powers. As noted before, creators are always responsible for their creations. This is an eternal law of the universe. There are no exceptions. Creations are the extensions of their creators! Nothing comes from nothing! If a thing exists, it is at the very least a reflection of the creator. Someone caused every creation to come into being. The cause is responsible!
Eternal law, therefore, requires that the cause must always be the responsible party. The alternative, as we have seen already, is chaos. Parents as creators are responsible parties regarding their offspring. Creators who attempt to shirk responsibility or show little or no responsibility for their creations will lose their creative prerogatives. The power will be revoked. To irresponsibly unleash life forces into the universe with little or no thought for the subsequent repercussions is a destructive course that would lead to ruin left unchecked.
Children, as new creations, need intensive care and nurturing until they reach the state of knowledge known as full accountability. Once a living creation is fully accountable in the eyes of spiritual and temporal law, the creator is no longer held accountable. The creator cannot pay for the transgressions of its creation any longer, for such a thing would not be just.
Spiritually, we speak of being accountable at age eight. Actually, the scriptures show this to be only a “quasi-accountability,” because we older mortals are still children in the eyes of God with respect to our limited understandings.
Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. (D&C 50:40).
We are not fully accountable until we have sufficient knowledge to make our calling and election sure. (See TPJS, 339, 357-358). Prior to making our calling and election sure the blood of Christ’s atonement may cover and cleanse us from our sins. After making our calling and election sure we pay the price for sin ourselves. Christ can no longer be our advocate at the bench of justice as our Creator, because we have reached a point in our progress where too much knowledge has put us beyond his redemptive power. We become fully accountable. We know what we are doing.
Accountability has to do with knowledge, including the knowledge of the law. The more knowledge we have about the law, the more accountable we become to the law and vice versa. (See D&C 82:3; Mosiah 15:24; D&C 29:47-50; 2 Nephi 9:26).
Until children reach certain stages of accountability, then, parents can and must pay for the transgressions of their creations to comply with divine law. The ubiquitous and inflexible law of a universe based upon order demands responsibility, if not from the unknowledgeable child then from the knowing creator of the child. There are no unaccountable acts in the universe.
The world provides ample evidence that parents are carelessly and thoughtlessly creating (organizing) new living souls through the misuse of their procreative powers, and do not take literally and seriously the responsibilities associated with creation. The consequences for these reckless acts are significant: 1) The sin for failing to teach the children sufficiently in gospel principles will be upon the heads of parents (see D&C 68:25), and likewise all the sins of the children may fall upon negligent parents who do not make an honest effort to teach their children; 2) the irresponsible parents will lose their procreative powers in the resurrection, having demonstrated they are unprepared to righteously and effectively shoulder the role of parenting; and 3) individuals who lose these powers forfeit the eternal thrones, principalities and dominions accompanying the violated covenants. Having no eternal posterity, they lose every joy, every right and every power pertaining to eternal posterity and kingdoms.
The promises made to Abraham were patriarchal in nature. They pertain to eternal families. These great promises of eternal blessings can be divided into three major categories:
1. Posterity. A family to lovingly rule and preside over as King and Queen.
. . . in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore. . . (Genesis 22:17).
2. Property. A domain of space and matter to own and possess as an eternal inheritance, within and upon which the family kingdom may dwell.
. . . I have purposed to take thee away out of Haran, and to make of thee a minister to bear my name in a strange land which I will give unto thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession, when they hearken to my voice. (Abraham 2:6).
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5).
3. Power. Power and authority as a Priest and Priestess unto the Most High God, power to create, procreate, bless, protect, sanctify and exalt. It is the power to control and destroy upon the principles of righteousness. Where there is a kingdom of posterity and property there must, of necessity, also be power to direct, bless and preserve it.
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal. (Abraham 2:11).
Ironically, kingdoms and dominions of property and wealth, and power and authority are the very things the natural man has always coveted. In the end, however, the natural man who has conquered and obtained in this life often proves least worthy of the responsibilities of creatorship as an eternal parent, if he does not embrace the fullness of the gospel in the patriarchal order.
If we members of the Church do not understand why prophets counsel, warn, even plead with the saints to put their family duties above personal interests, professions, education, in fact, above all other things, perhaps it is because they do not comprehend the eternal ramifications of these principles. Seers who preside see things as they really are, because they have an inspired eternal perspective. It is within our reach to become seers for our own posterity. We too will come to see there must be a full-time father who does the best he can to provide and contribute to the preservation of the home’s environments, and a full-time mother in the home who provides love, tranquility and nurturing. Then we have become seers in our own homes.
Fathers, because their duties to the home are significantly external in nature, will primarily perform their labors outside the homes, while mothers will primarily perform the preponderance of their important duties within the home. As couples we must obediently and whole-heartedly adopt these true principles, thereby proving ourselves prepared and worthy of these eternal privileges and responsibilities in worlds to come. Those who faithfully embrace and shoulder the duties and responsibilities of full-time parenthood here will eventually come to comprehend these seeming burdens of mortality as great privileges that will give joy and rejoicing to the participants in the day of the Lord.
We must be wise. These divine and eternal duties cannot be passed over lightly, assigned to others or handled on a part-time basis, as we seek to juggle them with other priorities we mistakenly value as being of equal or greater importance.
This divine service of motherhood can be rendered only by mothers. It may not be passed to others. Nurses cannot do it; public nurseries cannot do it; hired help cannot do it -- only mother, aided as much as may be by the loving hands of father, brothers, and sisters, can give the full needed measure of watchful care.
The mother who entrusts her child to the care of others, that she may do non-motherly work, whether for gold, for fame, or for civic service should remember that “a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” (Proverbs 29:15.) In our day the Lord has said that unless parents teach their children the doctrines of the Church “the sin be upon the heads of the parents.” (D&C 68:25.) (Ensign, May 1974, 8).
The living prophets fifty years ago and beyond saw our day. The price of a kingdom is all we possess. If we expect to receive all the Father hath, we must prepare our whole souls to give all we possess. We must consecrate our whole souls to the building of a kingdom of God. It is not, never has been, never will be part-time work, and the principles will never expire. No offering short of all we have is acceptable. Yet, how many times do we hear some say in their testimonies, “The gospel is an important part of my life?” There is no greater offering to God than a new kingdom worthy of all acceptation within his kingdom. This is his glory. This is how he progresses in glory from degree to degree, as his kingdom expands by the power of the seeds through faithful sons and daughters assisting him in his work to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men and women worlds without end. Herein is the Father glorified!
There are three grand kingdoms with which we directly interact:
1. The Kingdom of God the Eternal Father to which we all belong as his offspring.
2. The Kingdom of God on the earth, which is our generation (speaking spiritually of the 70 billion (in round numbers) who have inhabited this planet. We must create our own kingdom, Zion, sanctify the earth, and present it pure before God that those of us who are worthy may have part and portion of his glory worlds without end.
Do we realize that if we enjoy a Zion in time or in eternity, we must make it for ourselves? That all, who have a Zion in the eternities of the Gods, organized, formed, consolidated, and perfected it themselves, and consequently are entitled to enjoy it? (JD, 9:282).
3. Our own personal family kingdom, which should be obvious, is the seed of a new kingdom of glory in eternity. This is the fruition of the formative promises that were made to us when we first embarked upon our marriage covenant.
We must serve with an eye fixed and immovable on these three kingdoms of God, which are kingdoms within kingdoms. If our eyes are single, if our hearts are right, if our motives are pure, we will bless and honor God in these things. His glory is expanded, so is ours! By becoming responsible creators of Zion and family kingdoms, we righteously contribute to the goodness of the universe and will have joy and rejoicing therein.