A 2nd Year of Family History Quotes

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January

"We have a great work before us in the redemption of our dead. The course that we are pursuing is being watched with interest by all heaven. Our forefathers are looking to us to attend to this work. They are watching over us with great anxiety and are desirous that we should finish these temples and attend to certain ordinances for them, so that in the morning of the resurrection they can come forth and enjoy the same blessings that we enjoy."

Teachings of Presidents of the Church Wilford Woodruff, p. 190


"While serving as President of the Church, Wilford Woodruff dedicated the Salt Lake Temple.  On that occasion he pleaded with the Lord to help the Saints in their efforts to redeem the dead:  "Wilt thou...permit holy messengers to visit us within these sacred walls and make known unto us with regard to the work we should perform in behalf of our dead.  And as thou hast inclined the hearts of many who have not yet entered into covenant with thee to search out their progenitors, and in so doing they have traced the ancestry of many of thy Saints, we pray thee that thou wilt increase this desire in their bosoms, that they may in this way aid in the accomplishment of thy work.  Bless them, we pray thee, in their labors, that they may not fall into errors in preparing their genealogies, and furthermore, we ask thee to open before them new avenues of information, and place in their hands the records of the past, that their work may not only be correct but complete also."

Teachings of Presidents of the Church Wilford Woodruff, p. 186


"Our motive is to help members of the Church and others find their roots. The doctrine of the eternal nature of the family is one of the most important and sacred of our teachings. As I learn more about my own ancestors who worked so hard, sacrificed so much, it increases my sense of identity and deepens my commitment to honor their memory. Perhaps there has never been a time when a sense of family, of identity and self worth has been more important to the world. Seeking to understand our family history can change our lives and helps bring unity and cohesion to the family."

President Gordon B. Hinckley, Deseret News, "Unveiling of a Heritage", 17 Apr 2001


"Every temple, be it large or small, old or new, is an expression of our testimony that life beyond the grave is as real and certain as is mortality."

President Gordon B.Hinckley - "This Peaceful House of God," Ensign, May 1993, 74


"With regard to temple and family history work, I have one overriding message:  This work must hasten.  The work waiting to be done is staggering and escapes human comprehension.  Last year we performed proxy temple endowments for about five and a falf million persons, but during that year about fifty million persons died.  This might suggest futility in the work that lies before us, but we cannot think of futility.  Surely the Lord will support us if we use our best efforts in carrying out the commandment to do family history research and temple work.  The great work of the temples and all that supports it must expand.  It is imperative!"

Howard W. Hunter ("We Have a Work to Do," address given November 13, 1994 at the Family History Department Commemorative Fireside)


"These are trying days, in which Satan rages, at home and abroad, hard days, evil and ugly days. We stand helpless as it seems before them. We need help. We need strength. We need guidance. Perhaps if we would do our work in behalf of those of the unseen world who hunger and pray for the work we can do for them, the unseen world would in return give us help in this day of our urgent need. There are more in the other world than there are here. There is more power and strength there than we have upon this earth. We have but a trifle, and that trifle is taken from the immeasurable power of God." 

Elder John A. Widtsoe (Conference Report, Apr. 1943, p. 39)


February

"The family is a creation of the Almighty. It represents the most sacred of all relationships. It represents the most serious of all undertakings. It is the fundamental organization of society."

President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, May 2005, p. 82


"Let us therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the record s of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation." 
DC 128:24
      
 "Those who do not look upon themselves as a link, connecting the past with the future, do not perform their duty to the world."     

 Daniel Webster


"For the past forty-three years my husband has been away most weekends on Church service. This has been a productive family-history time. Becoming acquainted with previous generations has given me great joy and happiness.  Our family has enjoyed researching, writing, and illustrating life stories and having the temple experiences together. Knowing our ancestors and serving them has brought a richness into our lives. Our ancestors are vitally interested in our successes here on earth. I know on many occasions I have received help from the other side."

Packer, Donna; "Her Calling — Her Blessing"; BYU Speeches, April 2004


"It remains the responsibility of every individual to know his or her kindred dead—even if the work is done.  It is each person's responsibility to study and become acquainted with their ancestors."

President Joseph Fielding Smith - Hearts Turned to the Father's, page 184


March

"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


Blessings of the Temple

"The ideals of faith, hope, and charity are most evident in the holy temples. There we learn the purpose of life, strengthen our commitment as disciples of Christ by entering into sacred covenants with Him, and seal our families together for eternity across generations. Receiving our own endowment in a temple and returning frequently to perform sacred ordinances for our kindred dead increases our faith, strengthens our hope, and deepens our charity. We receive our own endowment with faith and hope that we will understand the Lord's plan for His children, will recognize the divine potential within each of us as children of our Heavenly Father, and will be faithful to the end in keeping the covenants we make. Performing temple ordinances for the dead is a manifestation of charity, offering essential blessings to those who have preceded us, blessings that were not available to them during their mortal lives. We have the privilege of doing for them what they are unable to do for themselves."

Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Cultivating Divine Attributes," Ensign, Nov. 1998, 27


We are not saved as congregations nor as groups, but we are saved as we come into the world as individuals, and the Lord's purpose is to save the individual, each being precious in his sight."

David O. McKay   (General Conference Report, April 1957)


"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


"From the very beginning of this Church, its members have been under religious obligation to identify their ancestors."

President Gordon B. Hinckley  


"Through family history we discover the most beautiful tree in the forest of creation—our family tree.  Its numerous roots reach back through history, and its branches extend throughout eternity.  Family history is the expansive expression of eternal love.  It is born of selflessness.  It provides opportunity to secure the family unit forever."

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


April

A great responsibility is associated with the supernal work of the redemption of the dead. In a funeral sermon for his close friend, King Follett, Joseph the Prophet said: "The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead." (History of the Church, 6:313.)

David B. Haight, "Personal Temple Worship," Ensign, May 1993, 23


"Family history work has the power to do something for the dead. It has an equal power to do something to the living. Family history work of Church members has a refining, spiritualizing, tempering influence on those who are engaged in it. They understand that they are tying their family together, their living family here with those who have gone before.

"Family history work in one sense would justify itself even if one were not successful in clearing names for temple work. The process of searching, the means of going after those names, would be worth all the effort you could invest. The reason: You cannot find names without knowing that they represent people. You begin to find out things about people. When we research our own lines we become interested in more than just names or the number of names going through the temple. Our interest turns our hearts to our fathers—we seek to find them and to know them and to serve them.

"In doing so we store up treasures in heaven."

(Boyd K. Packer, "Your Family History: Getting Started," Ensign, Aug. 2003, 12)


"Thirty-five years ago I was called to serve a mission in England. My mother had been pursuing her grandmother’s family history, but she knew nothing more than that her grandmother had been born in a little place called Pilly Green, England. My mother had never been able to locate this town. Near the end of my mission, as I was driving to a conference, I saw a little sign that said "Pilly Green." Several weeks later I returned and drove down a winding country lane until I came to a quaint little village with a church that had been built in 1174. I went out into the cemetery and looked at each headstone. During the next few hours, I had the privilege of finding the headstones of my great- grandmother’s family members. I’ll never forget how I felt that day standing in that cemetery in that beautiful place in England. I felt a connection with my ancestors, particularly with my great-grandmother, who as a seventeen-year-old girl loved the Lord enough to leave her family in England and move to Zion. What a great experience! This kind of joy really can come to every member of the Church."

(Monte J. Brough, "Everyone’s Blessing," Ensign, Dec. 1994, 18)


"Your opportunities and the obligations they create are remarkable in the whole history of the world. There are more temples across the earth than there have ever been. More people in all the world have felt the Spirit of Elijah move them to record the identities and facts of their ancestors' lives. There are more resources to search out your ancestors than there ever have been in the history of the world. The Lord has poured out knowledge about how to make that information available worldwide through technology that a few years ago would have seemed a miracle."

Henry B. Eyring, "Hearts Bound Together," Ensign, May 2005, 79


Prayerfully determine what you should do for your ancestors. Many factors affect this—what other family members might have done already, your own abilities and interests, the time you have available. But it is important that you do something.

David B. Haight, "Personal Temple Worship," Ensign, May 1993, 23


May

"Our fathers cannot be made perfect without us; we cannot be made perfect without them.  They have done their work and now sleep.  We are now called upon to do ours; which is to be the greatest work man ever performed on the earth.  Millions of our fellow creatures who have lived upon the earth and died without a knowledge of the Gospel must be officiated for in order that they may inherit eternal life." 
                      
- Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 407


"The purpose of family history work is to obtain the names and data of our ancestors so that temple ordinances can be performed in their behalf."

Russell M. Nelson, "Young Adults and the Family," Ensign, Feb. 2006, 15


"Regular temple attendance is one of the simplest ways you can bless those who are waiting in the spirit world. If you live near a temple, partake of the opportunity to go often and regularly. If you live some distance from a temple, plan excursions so that you, too, might be uplifted and edified through this most satisfying and much-needed labor of love."

David B. Haight, "Personal Temple Worship," Ensign, May 1993, 23


"At the dedication of the lower story of the St. George Utah Temple, on January 1, 1877—the very year that President Brigham Young died—he said:

"'What do you suppose the fathers would say if they could speak from the dead? Would they not say, "We have lain here thousands of years, here in this prison house, waiting for this dispensation to come?" … What would they whisper in our ears? Why, if they had the power the very thunders of heaven would be in our ears, if we could realize the importance of the work we are engaged in. All the angels in heaven are looking at this little handful of people, and stimulating them to the salvation of the human family.… When I think upon this subject, I want the tongues of seven thunders to wake up the people.'"

Russell M. Nelson, "Young Adults and the Family," Ensign, Feb. 2006, 15


"Several years ago, prior to my call as a General Authority, it was my good fortune to respond to a call to serve as a member of the Priesthood Genealogy Committee and to have the privilege of visiting stakes and missions, speaking to the membership of the Church relative to this sacred subject—one that is perhaps most misunderstood among all of the programs of the Church.

"Our chief responsibility at that time was to convince the membership of the Church that they need not be specialists, they need not be in their eighties, they need not be exclusively genealogists in order to understand the responsibility which rests upon each member of the Church to seek out his or her kindred dead and to perform the work which must necessarily be accomplished in their behalf."

Thomas S. Monson, "The Key of Faith," Ensign, Feb. 1994,   2


June

"The salvation of our Heavenly Father’s children from Adam and Eve to the present generation is the most important work in time and eternity. Our joy—or our disappointment—in the eternities may hinge on our willing participation in this great latter-day work.

"God bless us to love our ancestors and to be worthy of temple participation. I declare this work is true."

David B. Haight, "Personal Temple Worship," Ensign, May 1993, 23


"These are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over. . . . They without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect. . . We must redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free. . . .let us (therefore) present. . . .a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation."

D&C 128:15, 22,24


"The Lord has poured out His Spirit upon His children—which is manifest in new technology, simplified procedures, and expanding resources, which enable us to accelerate our progress in the redemption of the dead.

"When we have conscientiously done all we can to locate records of our ancestors, the Lord will direct our attention to obscure records in unlikely places where ancestral information has been preserved.

"A dedicated Family History missionary could not read the microfilm information for one woman. He could not decipher it. He knelt at his work area to ask the Lord for help—but still could not read the microfilm. He knelt again and petitioned the Lord, but still could not read it. The third time he knelt down and suggested to the Lord that he felt that this woman was waiting for her work to be done and if he couldn’t read the microfilm, how could this take place? As he got up and looked at the microfilm again, it was perfectly clear.

"I believe that when you diligently seek after your ancestors—in faith—needed information will come to you, even when no mortal records of their lives are available.

"Our labor for our ancestors is part of the divine plan of our Heavenly Father. It is a momentous assignment given to His Church, which we will complete because He has ordained it. This work is a powerful witness of the divine mission of Joseph Smith, through whom it was revealed.

"Elder John A. Widtsoe made this remarkable statement: 'When the history of human thought shall be written from the point of view of temple worship, it may well be found that temples and the work done in them have been the dominating influence in shaping human thought from the beginning of the race. Even today,' he continued, 'political controversies are as nothing in determining the temper of a people, as compared with religious sentiments and convictions, especially as practiced in the temples of the people.'" ("Temple Worship," p. 52.)

David B. Haight, "Personal Temple Worship," Ensign, May 1993, 23


"It is unlikely that we can accomplish the temple work that must be done if we continue to rely upon individual research alone. In recent years we have moved into the computer age. New technology is progressing rapidly. The time has come for us to take advantage of this remarkable mechanism which the Lord has made available to us."

Royden G. Derrick, "The Heritage of Royal Families," Ensign, May 1979, 26


"Doing work for others is accomplished in two steps: first, by family history research to ascertain our progenitors, and second, by performing the temple ordinances to give them the same opportunities afforded to the living. Furthermore, the dead are anxiously waiting for the Latter-day Saints to search out their names and then go into the temples to officiate in their behalf, that they may be liberated from their prison house in the spirit world."

 Howard W. Hunter, "A Temple-Motivated People," Ensign, Mar 2004,  38-44


July

“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.” 

Elder Richard G. Scott (Ensign, Nov 1990, 7)


President Spencer W. Kimball said, “The more clearly we see eternity, the more obvious it becomes that the Lord’s work … is one vast and grand work with striking similarities on each side of the veil.” (Ensign, Jan. 1977, p. 3.)

David B. Haight, “Personal Temple Worship,” Ensign, May 1993, 23


The Prophet Joseph Smith taught the importance of temple ordinances for the living and the dead:

“‘Let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as…they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect’ (D&C 128:15).”

Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2: Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders, Section 9, “Temple and Family History Work,” 262


“As we look to the future we must extend the great work carried forward in the temples, both for the living and the dead. If this people cannot be saved without their dead, as the Prophet Joseph declared, then we must make it possible for many more to accomplish this work.”

Gordon B. Hinckley, “Look to the Future,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, p. 67


“Deceased ancestors must be identified and their names submitted to a temple before the saving ordinances can be performed vicariously for them.  As Church members serve their ancestors in this way, the promise of Elijah is fulfilled—their hearts are turned to their fathers (see D&C 110:15), and they become saviors on Mount Zion (see Obadiah 1:21).”

Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2: Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders, Section 9, “Temple and Family History Work,” p. 262


August

“At the dedication of the lower story of the St. George Utah Temple, on January 1, 1877—the very year that President Brigham Young died—he said:

“What do you suppose the fathers would say if they could speak from the dead?  Would they not say, 'We have lain here thousands of years, here in this prison house, waiting for this dispensation to come?'... What would they whisper in our ears? Why, if they had the power the very thunders of heaven would be in our ears, if we could realize the importance of the work we are engaged in.  All the angels in heaven are looking at this little handful of people, and stimulating them to the salvation of the human family.... When I think upon this subject, I want the tongues of seven thunders to wake up the people.'” 

Elder Nelson continued,

“The purpose of family history work is to obtain the names and data of our ancestors so that temple ordinances can be performed in their behalf.”

Russell M. Nelson, “Young Adults and the Temple,” Ensign, Feb. 2006, p. 15


“Family history builds bridges to the temple. Family history work leads us to the temple. Family history and temple work are one work. The words family history should probably never be said without attaching the word temple to them. Family history research should be the primary source of names for temple ordinances, and temple ordinances are the primary reason for family history research.”

Dennis B. Neuenschwander, “Bridges and Eternal Keepsakes,” Ensign, May 1999, p. 84-85


September

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October

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November

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December

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