Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lesson: Temple Work and Family History

Gospel Principles, chpt 40,
Temple Work and Family History
taught by Debbie Horton

This chain represents the steps necessary for each of us to obtain Eternal, repentance, baptism, confirmation, priesthood, endowment, eternal marriage, endure to the end.

This chain that represents the steps necessary for our ancestors who have passed on is the same but with links missing. While in the Spirit World, they obtain their own faith and repent. And, because they must follow the same steps we do, they must somehow endure to the end, but there are some links missing and we must help.

We must help fill in the missing links of the chain
David A. Bednar, General Conference, Oct 2011:
The introductory events of the Restoration revealed a correct understanding of the Godhead, emphasized the importance of the Book of Mormon, and anticipated the work of salvation and exaltation for both the living and the dead.  This inspiring sequence is instructive about the spiritual matters of highest priority to Deity.” 
A. Theodore Tuttle, April 1980:
The Prophet Joseph taught that you and I are to become saviors on Mount Zion.  We are to gather, build temples, seek after our dead, and perform all the vital ordinances.  This work welds eternal links that bind us to each other and to our fathers.  We are exalted as family units.
Teachings of  Joseph Smith, 472-73:
But how are they to become saviors on Mount Zion?  By building their temples … and going forth and receiving all the ordinances … in behalf of all their progenitors who are dead; ... and herein is the chain that binds the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, which fulfills the mission of Elijah.
The Prophet Joseph Smith declared:
The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us it to seek after our dead… For it is necessary that the sealing power should be in our hands to seal our children and our dead.
D&C 128: 15, 18:
And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation.  For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation… neither can we without our dead be made perfect … unless there is a welding link … between the fathers and the children.
Resources to help us
Fortunately, there are many resources that can help us in our quest to do the work for our ancestors.  The first two you should know about are the Ward Family History Consultant and  They can help you go through the following steps:
    •    Find Them
    •    Determine if the Temple Work has been done.
    •    If not, do it.  Then find more.
    •    If so, find more.

Jenny Boyer told of learning of the first Boyers to settle in this area. Through a series of connections she is now helping to restore and ancestors headstone, protect the historical church and correspond with a man who is helping her fill in her line. Her testimony is that if we are willing the Lord will help us do our family history work even when our lives are busy.

Additional opportunities
In addition to providing temple ordinances for the ancestors we know about, we can help those in the spirit world in many other ways. We should seek the guidance of the Spirit as we prayerfully consider what we might do. Depending on our circumstances, we can do the following things:
  1. Attend the temple as often as possible. After we have gone to the temple for ourselves, we can perform the saving ordinances for others waiting in the spirit world.
  2. Do research to identify ancestors who are more difficult to find. Family history consultants can guide us to helpful resources.
  3. Help with the Church’s indexing program. Through this program, members prepare genealogical information for use in the Church’s family history computer programs. These programs make it easier for us to identify our ancestors.
  4. Contribute family history information to the Church’s current computer programs for family history. These programs contain genealogies contributed by people all over the world. They allow people to share their family information. Family history consultants can provide more information about the Church’s computer programs.
  5. Participate in family organizations. We can accomplish much more for our ancestors as we work together with other family members.
Those of our ancestors who have accepted the gospel are waiting for the temple ordinances to be performed for them. As we perform these ordinances in the temple for our ancestors, we can share their joy.

Debbie's challenge: Choose one thing, something, anything from related to family history and do!

You'll be glad you did. You'll feel the Spirit of Elijah and you'll find the time in your busy lives.


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