Family History Moments: “We Are Your Family”
Contributed By Matthew F. Hanna, Church News contributor
- A couple worked to research the family names they found on a trip to Wales.
- A temple patron reminded Brother Hanna that his wife’s family names were his too.
My wife and I have worked diligently to research the family names we found on a trip to Wales and to perform the temple ordinances for almost 100 ancestors. We have had very special experiences and felt the hand of the Lord blessing our efforts. The work has progressed as if there were people helping us from the other side of the veil.
One recent experience was very special and insightful, helping me make the temple service for my ancestors a precious blessing in a time of personal challenge. I had been traveling for work for some time away from my family and decided to make a goal to visit the temple at least once a week. My wife provided some of the names of her ancestors from Wales, and it was while I was acting as a proxy during the initiatory ordinances that I was asked a question by the ordinance worker that I had answered many times before.
The question was, “Are these family names?” My usual response was, “Yes, they are the names of my wife’s family.” The temple worker then looked at me with a kind look and smile and said simply, “Then they are your family names.”
I was then blessed with a sure witness about as strong, and with no less power, as the witness I received when I asked to know if the Book of Mormon was true. The Holy Ghost whispered to me, “This is true. These are your family through the sealing powers. When you [and your wife were sealed], these family members became your family too.”
I pondered this testimony as I performed the work for five brothers. During one of the ordinances, I heard a voice that warmed my heart, and a great sense of love and comfort came over me.
The voice whispered, “I am your family.” I continued to think about the testimony and special witness I had received, and just a few names later I heard another voice with the same feeling of love and comfort say, “We are your family!”
After finishing the initiatory work and an endowment session, I ended up in the celestial room. I considered all of the special feelings my Heavenly Father had given me, and I looked around the room at all of the other patrons who were at the temple together in what looked like groups of family members. My feelings of loneliness that I had brought with me to the temple that day had been replaced with peace and comfort, because I knew I had been doing the temple ordinances for “my family” and that my Heavenly Father loves me.
I know Heavenly Father loves us and that we are joined together as families through priesthood power and the holy sealing ordinances performed in temples today.