Church News and Events

Elder Scott Urges More Involvement in Family History and Temple Work

  • 07 October, 2012

The spirit of Elijah is touching the hearts of many of Heavenly Father's children throughout the world, causing the work for the dead to accelerate at an unprecedented pace, said Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve.

“But what about you?” he questioned. “Have you prayed about your own ancestors' work? Set aside those things in your life that don't really matter. Decide to do something that will have eternal consequences. Perhaps you have been prompted to look for ancestors but feel you are not a genealogist. Can you see that you don't have to be anymore? It all begins with love and a sincere desire to help those beyond the veil who can't help themselves. Check around. There will be someone in your area who can help you have success.

”This work is a spiritual work, a monumental effort of cooperation on both sides of the veil where help is given in both directions. Anywhere you are in the world, with prayer, faith, determination, diligence and some sacrifice, you can make a powerful contribution. Begin now.“

Speaking during the Sunday afternoon session, Elder Scott called temple and family history work ”one work divided into two parts.“

”They are connected together like the ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost.“

He said Heavenly Father wants Church members to receive both parts of the blessing of this vital, vicarious work. ”He has led others to show us how to qualify. It is up to you and me to claim those blessings.

“Any work you do in the temple is time well spent, but receiving ordinances vicariously for one of your own ancestors will make the time in the temple more sacred and even greater blessings will be received. The First Presidency has declared, 'Our preeminent obligation is to seek out and identify our own ancestors.'”

Elder Scott asked Latter-day Saint young people if they want a sure way to eliminate the influence of the adversary in their life. “Immerse yourself in searching for your ancestors, prepare their names for the sacred vicarious ordinances available in the temple, and then go to the temple to stand as proxy for them to receive the ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. As you grow older you will be able to participate in receiving the other ordinances as well. I can think of no greater protection from the influence of the adversary in your life.”

Many faithful Church members have done the work of researching their family lines and are using the reserve feature of FamilySearch to hold the ordinances for their own family members to serve as proxy, Elder Scott said.

“There are currently 12 million names and millions of corresponding ordinances that are reserved,” he added. “Many names have been reserved for years. ... We encourage those of you who have a large reservation of names to share them so that members of your extended family or ward and stake can help you in completing that work.”

Elder Scott said he has tasted enough of the fruits of this work to know that “the keys Elijah restored to Joseph Smith permit our hearts to be bound and each of us linked to those of our ancestors who are waiting for our help.”

“Through our efforts in holy temples here on earth using the authority delegated by the Savior, our progenitors receive the saving ordinances that allow them to enjoy eternal happiness.”