Quotes on the Importance of Doing Work for your own Family Members

Family History Quote

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Our Grandparents Watch... And Wait...

"Yet there are many members of the Church who have only limited access to the temples. They do the best they can. They pursue family history research and have the temple ordinance work done by others. Conversely, there are some members who engage in temple work but fail to do family history research on their own family lines. Although they perform a divine service in assisting others, they lose a blessing by not seeking their own kindred dead as divinely directed by latter-day prophets."

Howard W. Hunter, "A Temple-Motivated People," Ensign, Feb. 1995, p. 4

"Note that we are to become saviors for our own direct ancestors or progenitors and not for collateral relatives who are direct-line ancestors of somebody else. Note that it is our line of ancestry that is to be preserved, for the promises of Abraham come to us through these lines of lineal."

Elder Theodore M. Burton, Genealogy: A Personal Responsibility, October 1972

"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. It 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

"Temple work is for the redemption of the dead. The scriptures and the doctrine, however, refer more specifically to a particular group of the dead. Malachi spoke about 'binding' fathers to children and children to fathers. (See Malachi 4:6.) Joseph Smith emphasized temple blessings for our kindred dead, our dead. (See D&C 124:32-36, 127:5-6; 128:8, 14-15.) The emphasis is on the family. The priority is to seek out our own deceased relatives."

Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter, What Temples Are For, April 1982

"There are some members who engage in temple work but fail to do family history research on their own family lines. Although they perform a divine service in assisting others, they lose a blessing by not seeking their own kindred dead as divinely directed by latter-day prophets. ...I have learned that those who engage in family history research and then perform the temple ordinance work for those whose names they have found will know the additional joy of receiving both halves of the blessing."

President Howard W. Hunter - Ensign 1995

"Here, on this side of the veil, there are limitations of available time and temples. This means that choosing to identify and perform ordinances for 'our own kindred' should receive our highest priority."

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

"Each of us has a fascinating family history. Finding your ancestors can be one of the most interesting puzzles you ... can work on."

President James E. Faust - General Conference, October 2003

"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

"The great work of providing the saving ordinances for our kindred dead is a vital part of the threefold mission of the Church. We do this work for a purpose, which is to redeem our dead ancestors. Temple work is essential for both us and our kindred dead who are waiting for these saving ordinances to be done for them. It is essential because 'we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect' (D&C 128:18). They need the saving ordinances, and we need to be sealed to them. For this reason it is important that we trace our family lines so that no one is left out."

James E. Faust, "The Phenomenon That Is You," Ensign, Nov. 2003, p. 54

"We want the Latter-day Saints from this time to trace their genealogies as far as they can, and to be sealed to their fathers and mothers. Have children sealed to their parents, and run this chain through as far as you can get it ...This is the will of the Lord to this people."

Wilford Woodruff, The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham (1946), 157

"We do not know how many millions of spirits are involved. We know that many have passed away in wars, pestilence, and various accidents. We know that the spirit world is filled with the spirits of men who are waiting for you and me to get busy...We wonder about our progenitors—grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, etc. What do they think of you and me? We are their offspring. We have the responsibility to do their temple work...We have a grave responsibility that we cannot avoid, and may stand in jeopardy if we fail to do this important work."

Spencer W. Kimball, "The Things of Eternity—Stand We in Jeopardy?" Ensign, January 1977, p. 5

"The Lord has also placed upon the individual members of the Church a responsibility. It is our duty as individuals to seek after our immediate dead—those of our own line. This is the greatest responsibility that we have and we should carry it through in behalf of our fathers who have gone before."

President Joseph Fielding Smith, "Thoughts on Temple Work and Salvation," The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, 20 January 1929:42-43

"As we learn to be loving, caring families in mortality, our hearts will naturally turn to members of our kindred family in the spirit world. As they continue to live beyond the veil, they wait—they wait for us, their family, to share the blessings of the ordinances of the priesthood. They yearn to belong to the eternal family circle. They are anxious for us to make this possible. Are we not compelled to do so?"

J. Richard Clarke, "Our Kindred Family—Expression of Eternal Love," Ensign, May 1989, 61

"Our grandparents watch—and wait—for us to identify them, be linked to them, and provide temple ordinances for them. "

Elder Russell M. Nelson, "A New Harvest Time" - Ensign, May 1998, p. 36

"When you were baptized, your ancestors looked down on you with hope. Perhaps after centuries, they rejoiced to see one of their descendants make a covenant to find them and to offer them freedom. In your reunion, you will see in their eyes either gratitude or terrible disappointment. Their hearts are bound to you. Their hope is in your hands. You will have more than your own strength as you choose to labor on to find them."

Elder Henry B. Eyring, Hearts Bound Together, April 2005 General Conference Address

"The process of finding our ancestors one by one can be challenging but also exciting and rewarding. We often feel spiritual guidance as we go to the sources which identify them. Because this is a very spiritual work, we can expect help from the other side of the veil. We feel a pull from our relatives who are waiting for us to find them so their ordinance work can be done. This is a Christlike service because we are doing something for them that they cannot do for themselves."

President James E. Faust, "The Phenomenon That Is You," Ensign, November 2003, 55-56

"When you come to the temple you will love your family with a deeper love than you have ever felt before. The temple is about families. As my wife, Karen, and I have increased our temple service, our love for each other and for our children has increased. And it doesn't stop there. It extends to parents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, forebears, and especially our grandchildren! This is the Spirit of Elijah, which is the spirit of family history work; and when inspired by the Holy Ghost, it prompts the turning of the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. Because of the priesthood, husbands and wives are sealed together, children are sealed to their parents for eternity so the family is eternal and will not be separated at death."

Richard H. Winkel, "The Temple Is about Families," Ensign, Nov. 2006, 9