Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Our Role in Temple and Family History Work

Provo Utah City Center Temple
The doctrine of our collective responsibility for temple and family history work as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is clear. We are to assist in turning the hearts of the children to their fathers (see D&C 2:2). Our personal doctrinal obligation is to our own ancestors. As it says in the Doctrine and Covenants 128:17-18:
17 And again, in connection with this quotation I will give you a quotation from one of the prophets, who had his eye fixed on the restoration of the priesthood, the glories to be revealed in the last days, and in an especial manner this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel, namely, the baptism for the dead; for Malachi says, last chapter, verses 5th and 6th: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. 
18 I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands. It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other—and behold what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time. And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times.
During the very recent past, there has been a recognition of the very personal nature of this work. We each have this responsibility and we cannot transfer that responsibility to others. We may ignore it or neglect it but we do so as individuals. We cannot transfer this responsibility to our ancestors in the form of the grandmother or aunt who "does all the genealogy in our family." The words of Joseph Smith quoted above do not give us the option of transferring this obligation to others.

The individual nature of this obligation is being emphasized with the calling of Temple and Family History Consultants whose main responsibility at every level is to work with, teach and tutor individuals in their own homes when possible. No matter what level of responsibility, Ward, Stake or Area, each of the Temple and Family History Consultants needs to be actively involved in the process of helping their Ward and Stake leaders and members to have their own opportunity to find their ancestors who need the necessary temple ordinances.

The Church and FamilySearch have both provided a "flood" of instructional material and support for these new callings. But if we do not take our own initiative and act in our callings, we will lose the blessings. It is as simple as that.

No comments:

Post a Comment