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

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Give a gift to yourself and to your ancestors

A few days ago, my wife and I took two of our grandchildren who attend Brigham Young University to the airport in Salt Lake City, Utah so they could fly home for Christmas break. We planned to go downtown and see the new Church History Museum exhibits. Since the Museum did not open until late in the morning, we decided to spend a little time next door in the Family History Library where we found the first floor closed for construction. Here is a photo of what we saw when we walked in.

Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, December 19, 2015
We thought we would spend an hour or so but ended up spending most of the day researching. I looked at some restricted microfiche records from an English parish and found three of my ancestors' burial records. When I go home, I discovered that one of the three names was not in any of my records. I had just found a missing child from a family that had been researched for over a hundred years. This family member died at the age of 30 years and there may well be other records of him that can be found. Probably the reason he was not found previously was the notation that he was "unbaptized" on the record.

Doctrine and Covenants 6:13 says.
If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to theend, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God; for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.
As it pertains to those who have passed on, we believe the following quoted from the website article, "Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?":
Jesus Himself, though without sin, was baptized to fulfill all righteousness and to show the way for all mankind (see Matthew 3:13-17; 2 Nephi 31:5-12). Thus, baptism is essential for salvation in the kingdom of God. We learn in the New Testament that baptisms for the dead were done during the Apostle Paul’s time (see 1 Corinthians 15:29). This practice has been restored with the establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Prophet Joseph Smith first taught about the ordinance of baptism for the dead during a funeral sermon in August 1840. He read much of 1 Corinthians 15, including verse 29, and announced that the Lord would permit Church members to be baptized in behalf of their friends and relatives who had departed this life. He told them “the plan of salvation was calculated to save all who were willing to obey the requirements of the law of God” (Journal History of the Church, 15 Aug. 1840).
If follows that searching our our kindred dead provides them with the greatest gift of all; the gift of salvation in the kingdom of God. Perhaps in this Christmas season, it would be a good idea to remember that through diligently seeking out our dead ancestors, we can enable them to receive the greatest gift of all. Why not spend some time with your family this Christmas and during the coming year? I mean your extended family, including your ancestors.

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