What is the Church’s teaching on if we will be re-united with our loved ones and/or even recognize them in heaven? I had a member of my bible discussion group pose the question and I have not been able to answer it for him.
I believe that I have heard that YES we are reunited with our loved ones in heaven. Because it is a logical assumption that those in heaven are united as the Body of Christ and the Communion of Saints. How exactly this reunion will occur, no one really knows.
The church is very cautious to make doctrine of things they are not certain about. i.e. infants who die before baptism. The church does not definitively say they will go to heaven but have a pretty good idea that God’s mercy will allow them into heaven.
I think a reasonable answer would be, “Well, no one really knows what heaven is going to be like, but because we are all united as the Body of Christ, it would be a safe assumption to say yes.”
P.S. My 20 month old son passed away last March, without being baptized. It has been a real struggle for me since I could have rushed his baptism after we adopted him. But I was waiting until after Easter.
I live everyday hoping that I will be reunited with him. God won’t let me down.
I’m going to take the other side of this issue.
Jesus, in replying to the Sadducee debater (Matt. 22:23-33) said that men and women would not be married in their resurrected state, but would be “like the angels.” Obviously, human beings won’t become angels, but I’ve looked at this passage as describing the relationship-direction of angels and post-resurrection humans as differing from that on humans on earth.
What is the direction of our relationships with each other? It is horizontal–husband to wife, parent to child, friend to friend, etc.
What is the direction of the relationships of the angels (and, by extension, post-resurrection humans)? I believe it is vertical–created being to creator. The recognition of friends and relatives may be there, but I believe that it will be way down the list, as far as importance goes.
I send condolences on the loss of your infant son. It is so hard to lose a beloved child. Cherish that hope which is in you, and trust in God’s infinite mercy.
One thing that is fairly certain is that we will not be in eternal life in the same physical age or condition when we leave our mortality. In other words, if we die at 20 months, 20 years, or with the infirmities of a 90-year old, we won’t look the same or have the same physical characteristics. Men, you might even have hair!
We profess in the creed that we will rise from the dead in our after-life. It is interesting to ponder how that will be, and with our resurrected bodies, I would imagine that we will all relate to one another in very loving relationships.
I saw an interesting program a week ago where the speaker mentioned the importance of reconciling women who commit abortions with their child. In the very fact of conception when we know God infused an immortal soul, these women will see their infant some day. These babies LIVE in some fashion, even though they were not fully developed.