Family History Quotes 1

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Elijah's Mission

Elder Boyd K. Packer:

"No work is more of a protection to this Church than temple work and the genealogical research which supports it. No work is more spiritually refining. No work we do gives us more power. No work requires a higher standard of righteousness.

Our labors in the temple cover us with a shield and a protection, both individually and as a people."

From his Book: The Holy Temple, p. 265


Ezra Taft Benson:

"In this work we cannot fail if we do our part. The Lord will not permit us to fail. This is His work. He will open doors in our genealogical research. He will bless us as we come to the temple. No, we cannot fail."

The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 163


Spencer W. Kimball:

"...My grandfather, being one of a family, searched all his life to get together his genealogical records; and when he died, in 1868, he had been unsuccessful in establishing his line back more than the second generation beyond him. I am sure that most of my family members feel the same as I do—that there was a thin veil between him and the earth, after he had gone to the other side, and that which he was unable to do as a mortal he perhaps was able to do after he had gone into eternity. After he passed away, the spirit of research took hold of men—his family in the West and two distant relatives, not members of the Church, in the East. For seven years these two men—Morrison and Sharples —unknown to each other, and unknown to the members of the family in the West, were gathering genealogy. After seven years, they happened to meet and then for three years they worked together. The family feels definitely that the spirit of Elijah was at work on the other side and that our grandfather had been able to inspire men on this side to search out these records; and as a result, two large volumes are in our possession with about seventeen thousand names."

The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 543


Joseph Fielding Smith:

"The Lord expects of us all that we do what we can for ourselves and for our dead. He wants us to make the search for our ancestry because he does not do for us what we can do for ourselves. And after we have done all we can, then means will be furnished, or the way will be opened for the finishing of the information which we are unable to discover."

Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 2:149


Ezra Taft Benson:

"The Lord is in this work. He wants it to prosper. He wants us to be successful in our efforts. While living with my grandmother, Louise Ballif Benson, in Logan as a student, I knew she had been working very hard on her research. She kept referring to the fact that there was a gap that she couldn't fill and it worried her. She prayed about it fervently. One day she received a package addressed just 'Benson Family, Utah.' The package contained a printed book which had come from a man in Syracuse, New York, who had done research independently—not as a member of the Church. You can imagine the joy that filled my grandmother's heart when she found that this not only filled the gap, but did much more than that. Her prayers had been answered. Yes, there are many ways to help get the job done."

Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 164


"Many suppose that they are discharging their responsibilities by simply 'going to the temple.' But that is not wholly true. We must go to the temple, of course, and often. If we do not as yet have the records of our own dead kindred, then while we search for them, by all means let us help others with theirs. But be it understood that if we go to the temple, and not for our own dead, we are performing only a part of our duty, because we are also required to go there specifically to save our own dead relatives and bind the various generations together by the power of the holy priesthood."

Elder Mark E. Petersen, The Message Of Elijah, April 1976


"President Hunter's classic statement emphasizes the importance of temple work for our own families and helps us to understand the Old Testament prophecy that "saviours shall come up on mount Zion." (Obad. 1:21) This exalting service for others unseen is one of the most noble acts of human kindness."

Russell M. Nelson, CR, Oct. 1994, "The Spirit of Elijah"


Sometimes we feel we just don't have time to write in our journals. I wonder. President Kimball stood before the World Conference on Records last August and said:

"By now, in my own personal history, I have managed to fill seventy-eight large volumes, which are my personal journal. There have been times when I have been so tired at the end of a day that the effort could hardly be managed, but I am so grateful that I have not let slip away from me and my posterity those things which needed to be recorded."

Ensign, Oct. 1980, p. 72


"The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead. Those saints who neglect it in behalf of their deceased relatives, do it at the peril of their own salvation."

Teachings of the Prophet, p. 193


"Latter-day Saints are encouraged to prepare family records as a Book of Remembrance, containing patriarchal blessings, records of ordinations and other sacred information, as well as personal and family histories, spiritual experiences, and other evidences of God's goodness and love"

Encyclopedia of Mormonism


"Only a genealogist regards a step backwards as progress!"


"To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?"

Cicero- The Orator


"Another most significant way to enhance your capacity to understand and live eternal truth is through temple worship. Only by receiving the fullness of temple ordinances and living the covenants made there can you enter into the highest degree of glory and receive the greatest measure of happiness eternally. Temple attendance has a calming, settling, consoling influence that distills peace and contentment. The accompanying family history work to identify ancestors to receive those ordinances yields similar blessings."

Richard G. Scott BYU Education Week, 19 August 1997


"The seen and the unseen worlds are closely connected. One assists the other. Those who fail to partake of the privileges and blessings of temple work deprive themselves of some of the choicest gifts within the keeping of the Church. Temple work begins with genealogy."

John A. Widtsoe (quoted by Boyd K. Packer in his book: The Holy Temple)


"Why is it that sometimes only one of a city or household receives the gospel? It was made known to me that it is because of the righteous dead who had received the gospel in the spirit world exercising themselves, and in answer to their prayers elders of the Church were sent to the homes of their posterity that the gospel might be taught to them, and through their righteousness they might be privileged to have a descendant in the flesh do the work for their dead kindred. I want to say to you that it is with greater intensity that the hearts of the fathers and mothers in the spirit world are turned to their children than that our hearts are turned to them."

Elder Melvin J. Ballard Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin Joseph Ballard, p. 249


"The spirit and influence of your dead will guide those who are interested in finding those records. If there is anywhere on the earth anything concerning them, you will find it."

Elder Melvin J. Ballard Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin Joseph Ballard, p. 230


D&C institute manual, p. 446

*Righteous spirits, those who have been converted to the gospel in the spirit prison, are still held in the spirit prison until the ordinance work is done (see Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:230). These loyal believers are not able to fully progress because, while they can have faith and repent in their spiritual state, such ordinances as baptism and confirmation must be done in mortality, if not by themselves, then by proxies. They too await a day of deliverance. Speaking on this delay President Spencer W. Kimball said: "Some of us have had occasion to wait for someone or something for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, or even a year. Can you imagine how our progenitors must feel, some of whom have perhaps been waiting for decades and even centuries for the temple work to be done for them?"

"The Things of Eternity - Stand We in Jeopardy?" Ensign, Jan. 1977, p.7



Joseph Fielding Smith:

"But how are they to become saviors on Mount Zion? By building their temples, erecting their baptismal fonts, and going forth and receiving all the ordinances, baptisms, confirmations, washings, anointings, ordinations and sealing powers upon their heads, in behalf of their progenitors who are
dead, and redeem them that they may come forth in the first resurrection and be exalted to thrones of glory with them; and herein is the chain that binds the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, which fulfills the mission of Elijah..."

"Conference Report", April 1948, p.136


"This is a spiritual work, a monumental effort of cooperation on both sides of the veil where help is given in both directions. It begins with love. Anywhere you are in the world, with prayer, faith, determination, diligence, and some sacrifice, you can make a powerful contribution. Begin now. I promise you that the Lord will help you find a way. And it will make you feel wonderful."

Richard G. Scott, CR, Oct. 1990, "Redemption, the Harvest of Love


"I don't need to tell you the details of where to go and who to see. When you determine you are going to succeed, you will find a way. You will discover those who can help you. I promise you the Lord will bless you in your efforts, for this is His work, and He will guide your prayerful efforts to bring the ordinances and covenants to your ancestors."

Richard G. Scott, CR, Oct. 1990, "Redemption, the Harvest of Love


"When the full measure of Elijah's mission is understood-­that the hearts of the children will be turned to the fathers, and the fathers to the children-­it applies just as much on this side of the veil as it does to the other side of the veil (see Malachi 4:5-6). If we neglect our families here in having family home night and we fail in our responsibility here, how would heaven look if we lost some of those through our own neglect? Heaven would not be heaven until we have done everything we can to save those whom the Lord has sent through our lineage. So, the hearts of you fathers and mothers must be turned to your children right now, if you have the true Spirit of Elijah, and not think that it applies merely to those who are beyond the veil. Let your hearts be turned to your children, and teach your children; but you must do it when they are young enough to be schooled. And if you are neglecting your family home evening, you are neglecting the beginning of the mission of Elijah just as certainly as if you were neglecting your research work of genealogy."

"Teachings of Harold B. Lee," p. 281