Service Through Temple Work

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers (Mal. 4:6).

Malachi taught that the heart of the children would be turned to their fathers (see Mal. 4:6). In our day, his prophecy is being fulfilled. Both Church members and nonmembers do family history research, and Church members perform temple ordinances for their ancestors.

When we look for ancestors’ names and do their temple work, we serve them. Sometimes the Spirit tells us that our ancestors know what we have done for them and that they are grateful. Sometimes the Holy Ghost lets us know that we are receiving help from beyond the veil. Elder John A. Widtsoe, a former member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said that “those who give themselves with all their might … to this work receive help from the other side. … Whoever seeks to help those on the other side receives help in return.” *

Family history work is uplifting because we learn about our ancestors and come to love them. We learn that they really are a part of our eternal family, that they know us, and that they love us. Elder J. Richard Clarke, a former member of the Seventy, said, “Through family history we discover the most beautiful tree in the forest of creation—our family tree. … Family history is the … expression of eternal love. It is born of selflessness. It provides opportunity to secure the family unit forever.”

Even if we cannot enter the temple yet, we can begin working on family history by learning about our ancestors and loving them. We can serve others by keeping our own journals and scrapbooks. Just as we enjoy finding out about our ancestors, our future families will want to learn about us, too.


Remove page 45 from the magazine and glue it to lightweight cardboard. Cut out the baptismal font and each oxen head. To make the font stand up, fold the oxen bodies on the broken lines (see illustration below). Then glue an oxen head to each body.

Baptismal font oxen heads
Baptismal font(click to view larger)

Illustrated by Brad Teare

Show References

  1.   *

    Ensign, May 1980, page 40.


    Ensign, May 1989, page 60.