Temple Moment: Completing Aunt Jenny’s Work

Contributed By Rochelle R. Hale is from the Simi 5th Ward, Simi Valley California Stake

  • 16 October 2017

A reflection of the Salt Lake Temple. Our hearts turn to our fathers as we participate in our family history work and perform ordinances for deceased family members in the temple.

Article Highlights

  • As we listen to promptings, we will be inspired to complete ordinances for those who have passed on.

“The gospel gives us hope to see and be reunited with our loved ones for all eternity.” —Rochelle R. Hale, Simi Valley California Stake

As a convert to the Church, I have immersed myself in family history and temple work, though I still have much to accomplish. A few years ago, I was working on the name of my great-great-aunt Jenny. I knew little about her except how she was related by marriage and where she had lived.

My husband and I took a batch of family names to the temple for baptism, but when we arrived home Aunt Jenny’s family file card had been skipped. A short time later one of our daughters was accompanying her ward Young Women to the temple for baptisms, so I sent Aunt Jenny’s card along with them. Once again, her card came back unprocessed.

Someone suggested to me that she didn’t yet want to receive her temple ordinances, but I knew how strongly I felt her spirit urging me to do this work for her. Finally, on the third attempt her temple baptism was performed.

I had several family names I was working on, and Aunt Jenny’s name was in a stack of those needing further ordinances. I received a notice from FamilySearch that names that hadn’t been processed within two years should be shared with other family members or released to the temple. I was reluctant to share, but I wanted to follow the rules. It would take a long time to do all of the temple work myself. Aunt Jenny’s name was in the batch, and I strongly felt her spirit as I shared the group of names.

A few weeks later our stake was holding a temple session prior to stake conference. I wanted to take a family name, but having shared the last group, I didn’t think I had any others that were ready. About 10 p.m. the night before our session I signed in to FamilySearch.org. I looked at my temple list and found that Aunt Jenny was now ready to receive her endowment. She and several other relatives had received their previous ordinances in temples around the world—Brazil, Mexico, and Nigeria. At this time, I learned that I could retrieve a name from the “shared” list, so I was able to be Aunt Jenny’s proxy at our stake session the following day.

I testify that this work is true. Our families are prompting us to accomplish what they couldn’t. I am so grateful that the gospel gives us hope to see and be reunited with our loved ones for all eternity. They are not lost. I know that the work of temples has been inspired, that the sealing power is real, and that this work is to bring us all home again.