“Finding Joy in Temple and Family History Work”
Taught By Jeff Stone
November 22, 2009
This was lesson #1 of the day as we set a world record at break-neck paces to cover two complete lessons in one day. It’s a bit out of order, but in Lesson 41 we discuss the 3-fold mission of the church, and we specifically address two of the three in that lesson. The third one will be addressed here.
- Proclaim The Gospel (Missionary work for those who have not heard the gospel)
- Perfect The Saints (Missionary work for those who have received the gospel – keep them active)
- Redeem The Dead (Missionary work for those who have passed on)
Proclaim The Gospel and Perfect The Saints are addressed in Lesson 41. That leaves this lesson to discus . . .
Redeem The Dead
Redeeming the dead is all about Temple work and Family history. The majority of this lesson discusses, via quotes and scriptures, the value of temple work and family history. Lesson 39 was also about this subject. I would highly recommend that you review the material in the teacher’s manual and the student’s manual for both lesson 39 and 40.
- Lesson 39 Teacher’s Manual
- Lesson 40 Teacher’s Manual
- Lesson 39 Student’s Manual
- Lesson 40 Student’s Manual
Here are just a few brief highlights from this lesson. Again, the question is, “what can we do?”
- Have a current temple recommend and attend the temple regularly
- Prepare to have ordinances performed for deceased relatives
- Learn about ancestors’ lives
- Keep a journal or prepare a personal history of family history
Here are a few quotes from the brethren about these subjects:
President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “I urge our people everywhere, with all of the persuasiveness of which I am capable, to live worthy to hold a temple recommend, to secure one and regard it as a precious asset, and to make a greater effort to go to the house of the Lord and partake of the spirit and the blessings to be had therein. I am satisfied that every man or woman who goes to the temple in a spirit of sincerity and faith leaves the house of the Lord a better man or woman. There is need for constant improvement in all of our lives. There is need occasionally to leave the noise and the tumult of the world and step within the walls of a sacred house of God, there to feel His spirit in an environment of holiness and peace” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 72; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 53).
President Howard W. Hunter said: “It would please the Lord if every adult member would be worthy of—and carry—a current temple recommend. The things that we must do and not do to be worthy of a temple recommend are the very things that ensure we will be happy as individuals and as families” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 8; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 8).
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve counseled: “Arrange to participate for deceased ancestors in the sealing and other ordinances. … I find it helpful when receiving ordinances for another to try and relate to that person specifically. I think of him and pray that he will accept the ordinance and benefit from it. Do these things with a prayer in your heart that the Holy Spirit will enhance your understanding and enrich your life. Those worthy prayers will be answered” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1999, 33; or Ensign, May 1999, 27).
Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander of the Seventy told of his responsibility to teach his children and grandchildren about their family’s history:
“Not one of my children has any recollection of my grandparents. If I want my children and grandchildren to know those who still live in my memory, then I must build the bridge between them. I alone am the link to the generations that stand on either side of me.
It is my responsibility to knit their hearts together through love and respect, even though they may never have known each other personally. My grandchildren will have no knowledge of their family’s history if I do nothing to preserve it for them. That which I do not in some way record will be lost at my death, and that which I do not pass on to my posterity, they will never have. The work of gathering and sharing eternal family keepsakes is a personal responsibility. It cannot be passed off or given to another” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1999, 109; or Ensign, May 1999, 83–84).
Lastly we have a list of resources:
- A Member’s Guide to Temple and Family History Work (34697)
- Family history forms (such as pedigree charts and family group records).
- Information on the Internet
- Family History Centers
Also remember that each ward has a Family History specialist who is always willing to help. Ask the relief society president or elder’s quorum president if you don’t know who the specialist is.
It is our duty to Redeem the Dead by taking care to do temple work and family history. So get out there and do it.