Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke during the Saturday morning session of October 2023 general conference about the importance of the sealing power in the gathering of Israel. The following is a summary of what he said.
Elder Christofferson’s talk summary
What is the purpose of the gathering of Israel?
Perhaps the most important reason for the gathering is to bring the blessings of salvation and exaltation to all who will receive them. “It is how the covenant promises given to Abraham are realized.”
The prophet Elijah made this possible when he restored the authority and keys to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple in 1836.
“The power to validate all priesthood ordinances and make them binding on earth and in heaven — the sealing power — is crucial for gathering and preparing a covenant people on both sides of the veil.”
Another vital purpose in the gathering of Israel that has special meaning in terms of the sealing power is that of building and operating temples. In temples, the sealing power makes individual salvation and family exaltation universally available to the children of God wherever and whenever they may have lived on the earth.
“With access to the sealing power, our hearts naturally turn to those who have gone before.”
The highest and holiest manifestation of the sealing power is in the eternal union of a man and woman in marriage.
“This is the ultimate step in gathering the covenant people.”
“We tend to think of the sealing authority as applying only to certain temple ordinances, but that authority is necessary to make any ordinance valid and binding beyond death.”
“This sealing power is a perfect manifestation of the justice, mercy and love of God.”
“Without the sealings that create eternal families and link generations here and hereafter, we would be left in eternity with neither roots nor branches, that is, neither ancestry nor posterity.”
Who is Elder Christofferson?
- Elder D. Todd Christofferson has been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since April 5, 2008. He was called as a General Authority Seventy in 1993 and served in the Presidency of the Seventy from 1998 until his call as an Apostle.
- In 1968, he married Kathy Jacob. The two met at a football game — at the time, he had been helping with crowd control, and she was a Cougarette. They are the parents of five children.
- From 1975 to 1980, Elder Christofferson practiced law in Washington, D.C., after serving as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge John J. Sirica during the trials and other proceedings known as Watergate (1972-1974).
What has Elder Christofferson done recently?
- During the October 2022 general conference, he outlined three parts of the doctrine of belonging.
- Last April, Elder Christofferson’s general conference message focused on unity and being one in Christ.
- Later that same month, Elder Christofferson spoke to BYU graduates about preserving and promoting moral agency.
- In June, Elder Christofferson ministered to members in various cities of Australia.
- Also in June, Elder Christofferson taught and testified of the Book of Mormon at the 2023 Seminar for New Mission Leaders.
- In August, Elder Christofferson encouraged young single adults at the Utah Area YSA conference to be “armed with righteousness.”
Read more of Elder Christofferson’s general conference addresses, or follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.