"Introduction," A Member’s Guide to Temple and Family History Work: Ordinances and Covenants, (1993), iv

Life is a homeward journey for all of us back to the presence of God in his celestial kingdom.

“Ordinances and covenants become our credentials for admission into His presence. To worthily receive them is the quest of a lifetime; to keep them thereafter is the challenge of mortality.

“Once we have received them for ourselves and for our families, we are obligated to provide these ordinances vicariously for our kindred dead, indeed for the whole human family” (Boyd K. Packer, in Conference Report, Apr. 1987, p. 27; or Ensign, May 1987, p. 24).

Why are we obligated to provide ordinances for our deceased ancestors? The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that our own salvation and the salvation of the dead are inseparably connected:

“Let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as … they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect” (D&C 128:15).

This booklet describes how gospel ordinances and covenants help us in our journey back to the presence of God. It explains our responsibility to receive ordinances for ourselves and for the dead. It also explains how we can begin providing ordinances for our ancestors.

Many members will find that this booklet is all they need to get started. Others may want the additional help of ward family history consultants. Family history consultants can help members begin to identify their ancestors and provide temple ordinances for them. To find out who the consultants are, members can contact a member of the elders quorum presidency or high priests group leadership.

This booklet can also help ward family history consultants. Ways in which consultants might effectively use it are explained in the Temple and Family History Leadership Handbook, pages 11–12.