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Why is it important to do family history work and prepare names for temple ordinances?

Because Heavenly Father is merciful and loves all of His children, He has prepared a way for everyone to hear the gospel and receive the ordinances of the priesthood—even people who did not have this opportunity during mortal life. As part of this work, you can receive sacred ordinances in the temple in behalf of your deceased ancestors. In this way you become a “savior on Mount Zion” (see Obadiah 1:21), making it possible for your ancestors to receive the blessings of the gospel. Your heart will turn to theirs, and theirs to yours, as you participate in this important work.

Ideas to Help Me Learn

Search the scriptures
Study the scriptures listed in this outline. Which scriptures would you use to teach someone why we do ordinance work for the dead? Think of a family member, friend, or neighbor with whom you could share what you learned.

The hearts shall turn
Watch or read Elder David A. Bednar’s talk “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn.” Write down things from his talk that are meaningful to you. What do you feel inspired to do in response to his invitation to “learn about and experience the Spirit of Elijah”? You might consider meeting with a grandparent to talk about family stories or reading an ancestor’s journal.

Family history blessings
Watch or read Elder Richard G. Scott’s talk “The Joy of Redeeming the Dead,” and make a list of the blessings Elder Scott mentions that come from doing work for the dead. What blessings have you received? Talk with several people who have participated in family history work about the blessings that come from it, and add blessings they mention to your list. As you participate in family history work, record in your journal the experiences you have in which you receive these blessings.

Youth and Family History website
Explore the “Youth and Family History” website. Using what you learn, find out all you can about one of your ancestors. If this ancestor has not been baptized, follow the instructions on the website to prepare his or her name for temple ordinances. If possible, go to the temple to be baptized and confirmed for this person, and invite a family member or ward member who has been endowed to receive the other ordinances in his or her behalf.

Study More

1 Corinthians 15:29 (Saints in ancient times performed baptisms for the dead)

1 Peter 3:18–20; 4:6; D&C 138:32–34 (The gospel is preached to those who are dead)

D&C 110:14–16 (Elijah restored the sealing power)

D&C 128:16–18 (Ordinances for the dead create a welding link between generations)

David A. Bednar, “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 24–27

Richard G. Scott, “The Joy of Redeeming the Dead,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 93–95

Website: “Youth and Family History