Youth Respond Worldwide to Temple Challenge

  • 17 September 2015

Thousands of youth have accepted Elder Neil L. Andersen’s challenge and have spent countless hours involved in family history and temple work.

Article Highlights

  • Thousands of youth have participated in the temple challenge since 2014.
  • Youth share their experiences of the blessings they received from participating in the challenge.

“Prepare as many names for the temple as baptisms you perform in the temple and help someone else to do the same.” —Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

In an address given at the 2014 RootsTech Conference, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued a challenge to the youth of the Church to “prepare as many names for the temple as baptisms you perform in the temple.” At the next year’s conference he again challenged the youth to get involved in family history work and added eight more words to the call: “and help someone else to do the same.”

Since that day, thousands of youth have accepted the Apostle’s challenge and have spent countless hours involved in family history and temple work. Many have shared their stories—available on LDS.org—of the blessings that have come into their lives.

Mayara Barreto of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Mayara has a testimony that deceased ancestors are waiting for their opportunity to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. Mayara had done family research with her mother but hadn’t gone to the temple to do the work.

After getting a temple recommend from her bishop, she took her family names to the temple. She hadn’t put them into FamilySearch.org because she didn’t know that she needed to. She thought about leaving the temple and going home to do that, but then she heard a voice say, “Why wait any longer? It’s not right for you to leave this until later.”

With the help of temple staff, she prepared and printed the family names in the temple and performed the proper ordinances for those ancestors. She said, “I know that now they can have the opportunity to return to the presence of Heavenly Father like me.”

Wesley Raveau of France

Wesley considers himself an advanced family historian and wondered what more he could do in his genealogy research.

“I had heard the promises and blessings that would be given to me if I accepted the [temple] challenge, and so I decided to put those words to the test,” Wesley said.

He revisited a part of his family tree that had stumped him before. But this time when difficulties arose, he prayed. While rereading birth certificates, his eyes were drawn to the village where his family was from. A search of archives in that village revealed four new family names.

“I strongly felt the Spirit at that moment, and I knew that up there on the other side of the veil, other spirits were just as excited,” he said. Besides being able to offer those blessings to his ancestors, Wesley gained a testimony that this challenge was inspired by God.