If my parents get divorced, who am I sealed to?


As we’ve taught seminary and other classes, we’ve noticed that when this question is asked, many people are interested in the answer. Divorce affects several  people, and we want to know who we will be sealed to.

There are many similar questions — like, “If one parent dies and the other remarries and they have children will I still be sealed to their children?” or “If both my parents remarry and are sealed in the temple to their new spouse, who will I be sealed to?”

There are at least three key principles to keep in mind if you are wondering about these questions.

First, in some situations we just don’t know how the sealing will work out. It could be different depending on each individual circumstance. BUT,

The second principle is this: God is a kind, loving Heavenly Father.  He will make sure your sealing situation works out well. Don’t worry if your sealing situation doesn’t have an answer right now.  God will make sure your receive the blessings you are worthy of. Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught, “Singleness, childlessness, death, and divorce frustrate ideals and postpone the fulfillment of promised blessings…But these frustrations are only temporary. The Lord has promised that in the eternities no blessing will be denied his sons and daughters who keep the commandments…and desire what is right (Ensign, Nov. 1993, 75).

One of our favorite scriptures is in Revelation 21:4 . Talking about the millennium it says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”


God will make it so that everything works out.

A third principle to consider is that even more important than which parent you will be sealed to is which SPOUSE you will be sealed to (see why does who I date matter?) You can prepare now for a temple marriage and do your best to be sealed in the temple to that special someone, your very best friend.

By the way, the New Era has a great article on what to do when your parents get divorced.

We express love to any who feel scared or confused about who they we will be sealed to. Even though we cannot give a clear general answer to this question, these three scriptures may provide some comfort for you. Listen to the words of the Lord to you:

“I know thee by name” (Exodus 33:12)

“I have loved thee with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3)

“I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5)


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40 Responses to “If my parents get divorced, who am I sealed to?”

  1. Tami says:

    In the temple the sealing line when doing geneaology work-I was told by an office worker- follows the mother. Anyone else hear that?

  2. Sandy says:

    My step-son isn’t sealed to either of his parents and his mom doesn’t go to church anymore. He can’t be sealed to my husband and myself because his mom won’t allow it so he has to wait until he’s 18. Heavenly Father knows the righteous desires of our hearts and I know that if something should happen before he has the chance to be sealed to us on earth, that when we are all together again, we will be sealed together as a family. I believe the same thing applies to those sealed together and then divorced.

  3. I was curious about the “sealed to your mother” idea that Tami mentioned so I called the temple and talked with the Recorder there. He said that there is no clear-cut answer as to whether a person would be sealed to his father or mother. It would depend on a variety of circumstances and would ultimately be determined by a loving Heavenly Father. He said that the the idea that the line “follows the mother” is _not_ correct. He said this is sometimes talked about because we don’t always know who the father of a child is, but we almost always know who the mother is. He again stated that God is in charge and the sealing blessings will not be withheld from any righteous child of God. We do not know in all cases _who_ the person will be sealed to, but we do know that ultimately God will work it out.

  4. Bret Bassett says:

    This is a great question to ask. As a Stake President I get all kinds of interesting questions from concerned saints asking “who will I be sealed to if…happens?” I appreciate the scriptures cited and the sentiments expressed in this article. For those I visit with, I especially encourage them to live righteously, make sure they get sealed to Christ through the sealing powers, and put their trust in Christ to make it all work out perfectly.

  5. Sydnie says:

    I just recently joined the Church a few months ago. I am only in high school and have only been to the temple once for baptisms for the dead. I was wondering though what happens with me? I am the only member of my family that is LDS. I always love hearing about being sealed for eternity, but I might not have that chance here on Earth. Please help.

  6. denice says:

    When a person is born in the covenant they are sealed to their parents and the LORD. I have done a lot of research on this because my first marriage ended in divorce. It was so hard an I wanted to know what was going to happen to my children in the big picture. In the letter I received from President Hinckley regarding the cancellation of the sealing I was told that my children are Sealed to the LORD, just like me so if we are righteous then we will all be together. There is not better person to be sealed to then the LORD. I am full of peace.

  7. Jennifer M says:

    What Denice says helps me a lot. My parents and my half sisters and brothers are not sealed to our mom or our dads. It is nice to know that we are sealed to the Lord because my mom is sealed to my grandma which gives us a direct line to someone sealed but at least we have someone who loves us in Heaven and that is our Heavenly Father. Who better to be sealed to. I hope that made sense. I have always wondered who we go to since my mom and dad are not sealed and my mom and step dad are not sealed. I am sealed to my spouse so I know I have someone but none of my brothers and sisters have ever made those covenants.

  8. Elizabeth Geer says:

    After my divorce, I had a long talk with my bishop. As long as both parents remain worthy, the child remains sealed to both parents in the eternity — even if the parents have their sealing broken and are sealed to someone else. As far as I know, that’s the official understanding.

  9. Melinda says:

    I was married to a wonderful man but because of his addicions to alcohol and drugs I divoeced him. We have a son together. He died 2 years later. Can I be sealed to him and my son even though we were divorced?

  10. Laura says:

    I am a recent convert and coming up on one year. I am a single mother. I never married my sons father. My son and I want to be sealed together to be a family for eternity. It is my understanding that we can’t be sealed that it takes me getting married to a worthy man to have my son sealed to us. Is this true? So what happens if I never marry or I marry a unworthy man. Is my son and I not going to be a family forever?

  11. Noel says:


    I am in the exact same position as you, except I am divorced from my son’s father. I got divorced before my child turned two, and I would love to be sealed to my son for eternity, but I am under the same impression as you . . . that I have to be married for this to happen. It just doesn’t seem right! I have the same questions about what happens if I never marry again. I feel like there should be something in the doctrine about this!

  12. Craig says:

    Noel and Laura, if you haven’t already found your answer here’s what’s happening.

    You cannot be sealed at this time without getting married. That does not mean that you are forever doomed to remain unsealed. If you are faithful our Heavenly Father will work things out. I would recommend finding a good man to get married to and taking care of it in this life though, it seems that it would give both of you peace of mind.

  13. Lo says:

    I had a friend and his parents get divorced and someone asked him this question, he didn’t know wath to asnwer. Now something like this is happening to me. I feel so calm know knowing that no matter what if I am faithful it’ll all work out.

  14. Paula says:

    Sydnie, when I first got converted, my family were members, but inactive. It sort of hurt to think of all the talk about “eternal families”. Years later my parents got divorced, my sister started sleeping around and I never got to feel we were “an eternal family”. So my goal, since I was 12, was to “make it happen”. I decided to make my own “eternal family” and may be someday, through my example, my family will see how much happiness the Gospel brings into my life and would want to join me in my quest to return to Heavenly Father. So far I succeeded in marrying in the temple, though it’s been rocky and life has given me many tribulations, I’m certain i’m “making it happen”, through my decisions and drawing from the Lord’s strength. I know my children will be born in the covenant and i know my parents even know wonder why I’m so happy amidst tribulation. So keep the faith, endure to the end, and Heavenly Father will bless you so much the blessings won’t be able to be contained :D
    Melinda, I don’t think you can be sealed to your ex-husband, because from what I’ve seen at the Temple, you need your marriage certificate to make it happen. BUT, it’s not like your husband is lost, or you and your son lost from his reach. Rest assured he’ll hear the Gospel in the other side, rest assured he probably watches over you and loves you both very much, and he probably cheer you on, for you to hold on strong to the iron rod and keep going no matter what life throws at you. You’ll see him again, and you’ll all be together. Stay worthy, attend the temple, teach your son to long for the temple that he may grow to love it and to attend to it regularly (and to marry there ;)… that your worthiness and love may be eternalized and that you both may earn through your deeds the company of your husband. Hang in there!
    Laura and Noel, it is hard to understand why things as unfair as you not being able to be sealed to your son happen. All I can say is the Lord has a plan for you. He knows you can be great mothers in Zion, and has trusted you with a spirit son (each of you) to care for, to teach the Gospel, to teach to love the temple…. and to help them learn to love the covenants they one day will make there. He trusts you can do it, and though your share in this life is hard, he knows you have the strength to do it. And the reward promised is so much bigger because of it!!! Imagine meeting the Savior one day, along with your son and all those beloved family members who’ve gone before (or those who’ve come after you)… imagine the Savior himself sorting out any situations that seemed complicated here on earth, and in his infinite wisdom simplifying it to the point that you achieve perfect happiness in him. Shoot for that and nothing less!!!! Hang on tight and endure…. the promised blessings are all true and WILL come to pass! Just hang on…stay worthy, teach your son(s) to stay worthy. Be the mothers God intended you to be!!!!
    This is my humble opinion. Love to y’all!!! and may Heavenly Father bless you abundantly in your times of need. He does know us by name and has felt our pains himself. The Church is true. :D

  15. Melanie Liljenquist says:

    There is a time that it follows the mother. My mother was married in the temple to her first husband who died in a plane crash. She remarried and I was born later. I was born under the covenant even though my parents were not sealed in the temple. I am sealed to my mother and her first husband.

  16. Kevin says:

    I think its so sad when children are involved in something like that! It tears them between 2 loves and losses:Mom and Dad, Who should i go with.

  17. Andrea says:

    I know this…. My mom is a member, who doesn’t have temple rights, due to personal reasons, my biological father isn’t a member of the church, and my stepfather (yes, my parents are divorced, my mom remarried) is a member, but chooses not to have the priesthood. I’m 30 now, (I still don’t have my endowments) and I haven’t been sealed to my parents, and my stepdad is sealed to his first wife (my mom is his second wife, they are legally divorced, but not eternally divorced) and my mom has never had a temple wedding. Who do I get sealed to, and how do I get sealed to my parents? Can I have an answer to who do I get sealed to? and how?

  18. Susie says:

    Melinda, yes you could be sealed to your ex-husband. A divorce, while painful doesn’t have to be final. My husband’s grandparents divorced at a young age. Both remarried but there were no other children. After their other spouses died they became friends again but never remarried each other. Grandma joined the church and after Granddad died she was sealed to him.

  19. Ruthiechan says:

    Andrea, The first step to answering your question is to become Temple worthy and receive your endowments.

  20. Holly Martin says:

    Divorce is always a bad news among married couples. Some couples just cannot iron out their differences.~:”

  21. Eve Reid says:

    Divorce will always lead to depression and anger towards the other party. As much as possible avoid divorce~`;

  22. Sabrina Rose says:

    My dad was a convert – my parents got sealed to one another and my brothers when I was 24. I didn’t have a temple recommend at the time, so I was not sealed to them. Can I still be sealed to my family once I attain a recommend? What if my parents die before then?

  23. john says:

    Yes Sabrina you can be sealed to them when you and they have current temple recommends. It would still be possible even if they die before then, but I think you will have so much more joy if you can experience that day with them while they are alive.

  24. Emily says:

    If your parents get a divorce, they are no longer sealed to each other, but the sealing between child to parent, both of the parents, still exists.

  25. Colin says:

    I’ve found myself in a bit of a predicament… My mom and dad are divorced; my mom and I converted to the Church and want to be sealed in a temple, and were told that, because my father is not sealed to my mother in an eternal marriage, that we cannot be sealed unless she remaries, which, although she is interested in, is unlikely given her age. I would like an answer as to why we cannot be sealed. I have fervrently searched the scriptures and the web and found no answer that satisfies me. All I see on the web is “well, there’s a Celestial law…” Where!? Where in the scriptures or from the tongue of a prophet does this come from!? Where does it explicitely say that I cannot be sealed to my mother because she is divorced!? Please, if someone has an answer, name the exact verse, or talk, where this is stated explicitely, because parents are unmarried, that a child cannot be sealed to them if such exists.

  26. divorce is always not a good news but it maybe necessary if relationships aren’t going in the right direction*`*

  27. Amy Morris says:

    Divorce is usually the end of a good relationship, every couple should avoid it–.

  28. there is nothing good getting a divorce, this is perhaps the saddest moment of your life,;,

  29. divorce is of course one of the worst thing that you could experience but you could get over it -*-

  30. Kate Hadley says:

    through my experience of hearing what other people have to say if your mom stays worthy, but doesn’t get married in this life she will have the opportunity to find a partner in the next life. God is merciful and if she stays true to the church he will give her a way to be sealed to you. I don’t know an exact verse, but i know that Heavenly Father is merciful and through diligence in staying true to the church anything can happen.

    Hope that helped!

  31. Teresa says:

    According to my bishop, even though I am divorced civilly, I am still sealed to my ex-husband – until I am granted a sealing cancellation. The cancellation needs to be granted by the First Presidency. I can only apply for a cancellation if I intend to remarry and be sealed for eternity. I know this bothers some people who do not wish to be sealed to their ex-spouse.

    I was counseled that the reason for not breaking my temple sealing until I remarry was to keep the continuous line for my children’s sake. I am perfectly satisfied with this. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father will take care of everything and make up to me all my losses if I remain faithful.

  32. Teresa says:


    Have you contacted a temple recorder? I am sure someone at the temple can give you more insight into your question about why they do not seal children to only one spouse. Because this is the current policy, there must be a very good reason, or they would allow you to be sealed to her. In the meantime, as you search for peace in your question, I encourage you to focus on your own sealing to the Lord through your own endowment and temple marriage, if you haven’t done so already. Also, you and your mother might start working on your own family history and begin to have your ancestors sealed….especially on your mother’s side.

    If her parents are deceased, you can have their work done, and your mother can be sealed to them. If not, start with your most recently deceased ancestors. It’s a lot of work but it is worth it! Good luck with everything and trust Heavenly Father’s plan and his love for you.

  33. Teresa says:


    Have you checked with the temple recorder? I am sure someone at the temple could give you more insight into your question and where the policy comes from. There must be a good reason for this policy or they wouldn’t be so strict.

    While you are searching for peace in your question, I encourage you (if you have not done so already) to focus on being sealed to the Lord through your own endowment and temple marriage. Also, you and your mother could begin doing family history work and submitting names to the temple so that your ancestors can be sealed to each other. If your mother’s parents are deceased, you can do their work and have them sealed and your mother can be sealed to them. I wish you the best of luck in your search.

    One of my favorite scriptures says something like this: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, might, mind, and strength, and lean not unto thine own understanding. Sometimes we have to just go on pure faith from what we’ve been counseled.

  34. Bailey says:

    My parents were never married when my mom had me. They broke up before she knew she was pregnant. She married my step-dad, and they wanted to get sealed. I have an older brother from a different father who is the same as I am. But our fathers would not allow us to be sealed. I have heard that we will have to be either 18 or 21? And I would just like to know if any of you knew the answer. :)

  35. john says:

    Bailey — I’m not sure what the answer to your question is. I think the best thing in this case would be to check with your bishop. Sorry I’m not more helpful!

  36. Truly says:

    Divorce is never an easy thing to go through. But I respectfully disagree that it is never a good idea. I used to be in the camp that was so close minded about divorce until my marriage began to dissolve and God put his stamp of approval on it’s dissolution… Read Jacob 2 in the Book of Mormon and you may understand. Sometimes God does say enough is enough… And I praise his name everyday because he freed me from an unrighteous man who was living a facade and thought he was ‘safe’, that his poor choices could be cloaked and his wife would never leave because of the fear the church puts into you about divorce basically being an abomination.

    Ok… Two different subjects… Divorce and now the seing blessings. Deciding to get a divorce the undoubtable hardest part was knowing the effect it would have on the children. At the time I believed the sealing would follow the patriarch, but I knew God was in charge, and trusted in his plan. I heard from another mother that the sealing follows the mother and I was skeptical without seeing that in writing. So I began searching and found an article about the what someone else has mentioned in divorce children who have been born under the covenant remain sealed to BOTH parents. That was so comforting to me. It makes sense to hear it explained as they are sealed to the Lord. As far as how foes it all work out does a child choose who they will ‘go’ with. … In my OPINION if we all make it to the celestial kingdom that is the most I
    Portabt thing and there won’t be a his and hers we will all have a Christlike love for eachother. … You can get divorced and still ‘love’ your ex. As Christ loves them. ..

    Best wishes to all as you try to come to some sort of peace with these questions.

  37. Truly says:

    Appoligies for poor grammar and spelling ;) typing on iPhone. … That’s my excuse.

  38. Wade says:

    I think that the child will be sealed to whom ever is living the righteous life.

  39. Toni says:

    Just from personal experience this past week, if you have a child that wants to be sealed to a biological parent and their step-parent you either have to get written permission from the outside biological parent or wait till the child is 21. It used to be 18 and we waited 11 years for our daughter’s 18th birthday to come so we could be sealed knowing her biological father would never give permission. Come to find out, 6 days before our sealing that my daughter now needs to be 21!!!!!! I’m not sure why or when this changed but I don’t want to see anyone else go through this roller coaster of emotions like I have.

  40. Chancey says:

    I am a mother to 2 boys and a step mother to 2 more boys, My husband, myself, and my 2 biological boys are sealed in the temple. My faith has began to crumble in my struggles to leave my 2 step kids out of the eternal picture. My husband left the church completley over the matter. My husbands ex is not a member, but we get along with her fine. As a mother myself, i can not bring myself to ask the ex to “sign over the boys” so we can be an eternal family. I would be livid if someone wanted to take my kids for themselves for eternity. As much as i love my step kids, i will not ask that of her. What is the point of doing anything if the lord supposedly “works it out”? help

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