Have you ever been interested in your ancestors?

Through temple work and family history research to open the sky

President Nelson: When my grandfather, A. C. Nelson, was a young husband and father - he was just 27 years old - his father died. About three months later, his late father, my great-grandfather, appeared to him. It was on the night of April 6, 1891. Grandfather Nelson was so impressed by his father's visit that he wrote the experience in his diary for his family and friends.

"I was in bed when my father walked in," wrote Grandfather Nelson. “He came to me and sat on the edge of the bed. He said, 'My son, since I had a bit of time, I was given permission to visit you briefly. I am fine my son. I've been very busy since I died. ‘"

When Grandfather Nelson asked him what he was doing, his father replied that he was preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in the spirit world.

"You cannot imagine, my son, how many spirits in the spirit world have not yet received the gospel," he said. “But many accept it, and a great work is being done. Many are impatiently waiting for their friends who are still alive to do the work in the temple for them. "

Grandfather Nelson said to his father, "We want to go to the temple and be sealed on you as soon as possible, Father."

My great-grandfather replied, “That, my son, is one of the reasons I came here. Yes, we will be one family and live forever. "

Then Grandfather Nelson asked, "Father, is the gospel as this Church proclaims it, right?"

His father pointed to a picture of the First Presidency on the wall in the bedroom.

“My son, as sure as you see this picture, the gospel is true. The gospel of Jesus Christ has power to save all who obey it. And in no other way can they ever obtain salvation in the kingdom of God. My son, hold fast to the gospel always. Be humble. Be prayerful. Submit to the priesthood. Be loyal. Keep the covenants you made with God. Never do anything that displeases God. What a great blessing the gospel is! My son, be a good boy. "

Sister Nelson: I like this advice: “Be humble. Be prayerful. Submit to the priesthood. Be loyal. Keep the covenants you made with God. ... Be a good boy. ”Six pieces of advice that came to you from your late great-grandfather. This reminds me very much of President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) and his six pieces of advice.1

President Nelson: Yes that's true. It means a lot to me that my grandfather left us a report on this experience. We also know that his father's children were later sealed to him. So the purpose of his visit has been fulfilled.

The spirit of Elijah

President Nelson: A very significant name in the scriptures explains why families are so important. That name is Elijah. EL-I-JA literally means "Jehovah is my God" in Hebrew2. Just imagine that! The name Elijah contains the Hebrew terms for the father and the son.

Sister Nelson: Elijah was the last prophet before the time of Jesus Christ to hold the sealing authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Elijah's mission was to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children so that they could be sealed together, otherwise “the whole earth would be upon His coming completely devastated (Joseph Smith — History 1:39; italics added). Those are very clear words.

President Nelson: I consider the spirit of Elijah to be a "manifestation of the Holy Spirit bearing testimony of the divine nature of the family"3. The Guide to the Scriptures says: "The power of Elijah is the sealing power of the priesthood with which something that is bound or loosened on earth is bound or loosened in heaven." ("Elijah".)

Sister Nelson: So when we say that the spirit of Elijah moves people to search for their dead ancestors, we really mean that the Holy Spirit is directing us to do what will seal families together for eternity.

President Nelson: It is wonderful to turn children's hearts to their fathers by telling important family stories in a vivid and unforgettable way. Our testimonies can be strengthened by keeping a constant eye on documents, stories, photos, or memorabilia from our family history (see Mosiah 1: 5). Having them with us on the wall, table, computer, iPad, or even cell phone may inspire us to make better decisions and get closer to the Lord and our families.

However, if we just leave it at that, we definitely haven't done enough. As members of the Church, we have an interest in family history research because the Lord taught that neither our ancestors nor we can be made perfect without us (see D&C 128: 15). This means that we must be connected to one another by the sacred sealing in the temple. We must be strong links in the chain - from our ancestors to our descendants. If at some point we are only concerned with collecting stories and photos, when we know our ancestors and know wonderful things about them, but leave them to their own devices without the ordinances for them in the hereafter, our pastime will be of no use to them; they will continue to stay in the prison of the spirits.

Sister Nelson: Preserving stories of our ancestors is important, but it should never be done at the expense of ordinances for our ancestors. We must take time to gather information about our ancestors that is required for ordinances.

President Nelson: So we have to sacrifice time that we would otherwise use. We need to spend more time in the temple and doing family history research, which includes indexing.

Sister Nelson: Sacrifice certainly brings blessings from heaven.4 For example, I have been blessed to have found many ancestors who I felt confident were ready to make covenants with God and receive necessary ordinances. Over time, I also found something interesting: When I was working on a difficult project and ran out of time, strength, and ideas, and then I sacrificed time researching the ordinances required for some ancestors, or as a As a substitute for her to go to the temple, the heavens opened and I received new strength and new ideas. Somehow I always had enough time to meet the deadline. It was utterly impossible, but it was like that every time. I have a joy in temple work and family history research that is truly out of this world.

Family research and missionary work

President Nelson: If I were a missionary today, my best companions in my assigned ward would be the ward mission leaders and temple and family history advisors.

People have an innate desire to learn about their ancestors. Our missionaries benefit from this. When missionaries get to know and love the people they teach, they also take an interest in their families and ask, for example, “Are your parents still alive? Are your grandparents still alive? Have you met all four of your grandparents? ”When the missionaries let these people, who listen to them, tell them about their loved ones, the conversation turns out to be very informal.

This in turn naturally leads to another question that missionaries (or members of the missionary work) can ask: “Do you know your great-grandparents? Do you know their names? ”It is very likely that the Friends of the Church do not know the names of all eight great-grandparents.

The missionaries may then suggest, “We know someone in our ward who could help you find the names of some or even all of your great-grandparents. Would you like to spend a few hours figuring out who your great-grandparents are? ”This Church acquaintance is, of course, the temple and family history counselor.

Sister Nelson: Surely it is a comforting thought to missionaries that they are never alone in finding and teaching people who are receptive to the truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. President George Q. Cannon (1827–1901), counselor to four Presidents of the Church, taught that those who join the Church in these last days are doing so precisely because their ancestors pray for one of their descendants to join Joins the Church so that they, the ancestors, may, through a vicar, receive the ordinances they need.5

The increase: a family affair

President Nelson: The increase is a family affair. Families can only be exalted through the saving ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The ultimate goal we seek is that we will become happy as a family - that we have received endowment, are sealed together, and prepared for eternal life in the presence of God.

Sister Nelson: Every teaching in the Church we attend, every ministry we do, every covenant we make with God, every priesthood ordinance we receive, everything we do in the Church leads us to sanctification Temple, the house of the Lord. A married couple and their children can benefit greatly from sealing when they are faithful to their covenants.

President Nelson: Day by day we decide through our thinking, feeling, speaking and acting where we want to live in eternity. Our Heavenly Father taught that it is His work and glory to bring about immortality and eternal life (see Moses 1:39). But he would like tothat we choose to return to him. He will not force us to do so in any way. Exactly how we keep our covenants shows him how much we want to return to him. Each day brings us either closer or farther away from the glorious opportunity of having eternal life. Each of us must keep our covenants, repent daily, and strive to be more like our Savior. Then, and only then, can the family be together forever.

Sister Nelson: I testify to you, no matter how amazing your life is right now, or however daunting and heartbreaking it is, it will get better when you dedicate yourself to temple and family history research. What do you need in your life right now? More love More joy? More self-control? More peace? More meaningful moments? Do you feel that you are making a difference even more often? More fun? More answers to questions that move your heart? More intimate relationships with others? Better Understanding What You Read in the Scriptures? To be better able to love and forgive? To be better able to pray powerfully? More inspiration and creative ideas for your work and other projects? More time for what is really important?

I urge you to sacrifice your time to the Lord and spend more time doing temple work and family history research and then watching what happens. When we show the Lord that we are serious about helping our ancestors, the heavens will open and we will receive everything we need, I testify.

President Nelson: Throughout the day, we can be inspired by experiences others had while doing temple and family research. But we have to become active ourselves in order to experience this joy for ourselves. I would like to ask something of all of us so that the wonderful feeling that accompanies this work lasts and becomes even stronger: Please think prayerfully about what sacrifice - preferably a sacrifice of time - you can make for more this year Do temple work and work more on your family history.

We are active in the work of Almighty God. He lives. Jesus is the Messiah. This is his church. We are his children who made covenants with him. He can rely on us.