Family history can be an exciting adventure and an invigorating challenge. Discovering the journeys, triumphs and struggles of our ancestors can inspire our own actions and leaps of faith. If, however, we get caught up solely in the activities of finding photos, stories and records, we will leave our ancestors desperate for ordinance work and stranded on the other side of the veil.
Providing the saving ordinances for our ancestors can often require some kind of sacrifice, but it is sacrifice that “brings forth the blessings of heaven” (Hymns, no. 27). When we give our time, attention, and energy to discovering ancestors who are waiting for temple ordinances, the promised blessings that will come into our own lives are profound and will simultaneously bless those who are waiting on the other side of the veil.
Promised blessings include healing within our families, protection from temptation, power to overcome life’s challenges, discovery of family information and stories, and a stronger sense of identity. Additional blessings may include more love, joy, self-mastery, peace, and meaningful moments. Immersing yourself in family history and regularly attending the temple for deceased family members can help you become a better person by increasing your ability to love and forgive, helping you pray with power, and providing you with a feeling that you’re making a difference. Your service can also bless your life in unexpected ways that are both spiritual and temporal. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself spending more and more time on the things that truly matter in life.
As you take family names to the temple, you can strengthen relationships with your family on both sides of the veil. You can feel your heritage awaken in your life. Our ancestors are anxious for us to find their names. Each year at Family Discovery Day, challenges have been extended to us to take family names to the temple and teach others to do the same. This year the challenge is one of sacrifice—a sacrifice of time. As we consciously choose to make family history a priority and take our family names to the temple we will bring forth the blessings of heaven for ourselves and unlock the gates of heaven for our ancestors.