Saviors on Mount Zion

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Call to Temple Work

Brethren, something has happened to me. For twenty-two years I have been a General Authority. I have traveled the world over in my ministry. Over the course of these years, I have had marvelous experiences and have met many wonderful people. I have participated in sacred meetings. The choice association with my brethren has taught and inspired me.

Now something has happened — I have been called to serve in a temple. I want to bear witness — and my witness is true — that the work for the redemption of the living and the dead is divine. It is a keystone of our religion. The work performed in temples stays the judgments of God from smiting the earth with a curse. It is not unusual, therefore, that the Prophet Joseph would say, "The greatest responsibility in this world that God had laid upon us [as individuals] is to seek after our dead."

The prophet Joseph taught that you and I are to become saviors on Mount Zion. We are to gather, build temples, seek after our dead, and perform all the vital ordinances. This work welds eternal links that bind us to each other and to our fathers. We are exalted as family units.

Elder Melvin J. Ballard testified that "the spirit and influence of your dead will guide those who are interested in finding those records. If there is anywhere on earth anything concerning them, you will find it." And Elder Widtsoe said, "I have the feeling . . .that those who give themselves with all their might and main to this work receive help from the other side, and not merely in gathering genealogies. Whoever seeks to help those on the other side receives help in return in all the affairs of life". I testify that this is true.

Brethren, the great priesthood leaders of past dispensations look to us to move this work. All the righteous men and women who ever lived look to us! We are their only hope for salvation. We hold the key to their prison doors. We must set them free! How can we any longer ignore their right to salvation? President Brigham Young said, "When I think upon this subject, I want the tongues of seven thunders to wake up the people."

It was this supernal work — redemption of the living and the dead — of which the Prophet Joseph spoke when he said, "Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! . . . . Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, . . . for the prisoners shall go free" (D&C 128:22).

O God, please grant that the spirit of Elijah may fall upon the vast body of priesthood in thy Church, to cause thy great work to move forward. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

Elder A. Theodore Tuttle—Priesthood Session, April, 1980 General Conference