Heritage is something we get from our ancestors that they pass down to us. There is something else that is maybe akin to heritage that goes the other direction. It is something our children offer to us that is unique.
It is the righteousness of the spirit children that they are worthy for Heavenly Father to send down to them.
Is it a coincidence that Abraham and Sarah bore such a one as Isaac? Is it a coincidence that Isaac and Rebekah bore such a one as Jacob?
All the world is given the gift of children. The gadianton robbers themselves were allowed to procreate. The measure of the gift is not merely in the obtaining of children. The choicest gifts are given as the choicest spirit children.
Truly Gabriel spoke aright when he said that Mary was blessed among woman. For she was to bear the soul of Christ.
Were not Joseph Smith Sr and Lucy Mack Smith greatly honored by being blessed with the spirit of Joseph Smith Jr as one of their own little ones?
So we have heritage that we inherit from our ancestors and that we pass down.
And there is a gift that our children can pass back in return, in the measure of their worthiness for the choicest spirit children to be sent them. That is the gift they give back to their parents and ancestors. It is the other side of heritage.
If they are not very worthy, they will not be given the most righteous spirit children. Sometimes one of those children, or even many, may repent and even choose exaltation. Certainly the way they are raised influences that. But, by and large, being worthy of the spirit children who were not as righteous in the premortal life brings about generation upon generation of wickedness, sorrow, disolution, waste, and descendants whose actions bring shame to our names.
If they are very worthy, will not God send them the choicest spirit children? Sometimes one, or even many, of those spirit children may turn from their righteousness and do wickedly, losing their birthright as did Esau the brother of Jacob. But by and large this is the path of generation upon generation of righteousness, fidelity, joy and rich rewards and descendants whose actions bring increasingly more joy to us.
The joy of having children is given to mankind generally. It is part of their reward for keeping their first estate.
Now, as I recall, when Christ discusses issues related to having been peculiarly righteous in the premortal life he also includes this important teaching: there are many who were first who shall be last and many who were last who will be first. The meaning of this teaching is that many spirits who chose to be very righteous in premortality will turn from that righteousness here, and many spirits who were less righteous in premortality will turn their lives around and choose exaltation here in the days of their mortal probation. Our premortal intelligence rises with us in this life, but it does not predetermine what choices we make.
But, that being said, it is no coincidence that it was Jacob and Rachel that were given a spirit like Joseph. It is no coincidence that a Hannah was given a Samuel.
And we can choose to be worthy of those spirits who are most prepared, or for those spirits who are least prepared. And such preparation will make an enormous difference in the pattern of the generations that succeed us.
The joy of having the most righteous spirit children given to us as our posterity is dependent on us. For Heavenly Father rewards his spirit children according to their faith and works, so which spirit children will be ours is measured by the degree to which we keep his commandments and fear to displease him, particularly in whether or not our family and morals are after the image of his commandments and covenants or after the image of the world.