The gathering occurs on both sides of the veil. As we consider this, we realize that our ancestors who have passed away need the covenants of the gospel. Those gospel covenants can be provided to our beloved relatives through our service in the temple. We prepare them for their next ordinance by doing our family history. As we help them start the covenant path, we will increase our love for them. We will learn things about their lives that will help us to understand them, and the Spirit will bear witness of the key role of families in the eternal design of our God. Through these efforts, we minister to our ancestors so that they can have the necessary priesthood ordinances and covenants to achieve exaltation and eternal life.
Elder Walter F. Gonzalez
Elder Walter F. Gonzalez
...as you follow the promptings to learn about your family history, you may discover that a distant relative shares some of your facial features or your interest in books or your talent for singing. This could be very interesting and even insightful. But if your work stops there, you will sense that something is missing. This is because to gather and unite God’s family requires more than just warm feelings. It requires sacred covenants made in connection with priesthood ordinances.
Many of your ancestors did not receive those ordinances. But in the providence of God, you did. And God knew that you would feel drawn to your ancestors in love and that you would have the technology necessary to identify them. He also knew that you would live in a time when access to holy temples, where the ordinances can be performed, would be greater than ever in history. And He knew that He could trust you to accomplish this work in behalf of your ancestors.
Of course, all of us have many pressing and important responsibilities that need our attention and time. All of us find parts of what the Lord expects us to do beyond our abilities. Fortunately, the Lord provides a way for each of us to gain confidence and satisfaction in all our service, including family history service. We gain strength to do what He asks through our faith that the Savior gives no commandment “save he shall prepare a way for [us] that [we] may accomplish the thing which he commandeth” (1 Nephi 3:7).
Henry B Eyring, "Gathering the Family of God" April 2017
Mercifully, the invitation to “come unto Christ” can also be extended to those who died without a knowledge of the gospel. Part of their preparation requires earthly efforts of others. We gather pedigree charts, create family group sheets, and do temple work vicariously to gather individuals unto the Lord and into their families.”
Russell M Nelson, “The Gathering of Scattered Israel”, October 2006
During these perilous times of which the Apostle Paul prophesied, Satan is no longer even trying to hide his attacks on God’s plan. Emboldened evil abounds. Therefore, the only way to survive spiritually is to be determined to let God prevail in our lives, to learn to hear His voice, and to use our energy to help gather Israel."
President Russell M Nelson, October 2020
“While worshipping in the temple is presently not possible, I invite you to increase your participation in family history, including family history research and indexing. I promise that as you increase your time in temple and family history work, you will increase and improve your ability to hear Him.”
President Russell M Nelson, April 2020
As you pursue family history work, you are going to find yourself running into roadblocks, and you are going to say to yourself, “There is nothing else I can do.” When you come to that point, get down on your knees and ask the Lord to open the way, and He will open the way for you. I testify that this is true.”
President Thomas S Monson, "Hastening the Work" June 2014
Engaging in family history and temple work shows God that you care about Him, His family, and His purposes. As you forge a bond with your Father in Heaven, He will forge a bond with you."
Jeffery R Holland, Facebook Post, Sat, Feb 7, 2021
Do you young people want a sure way to eliminate the influence of the adversary in your life? Immerse yourself in searching for your ancestors”
Richard G. Scott, “The Joy of Redeeming the Dead,” Oct. 2012”
I promise you will be protected against the intensifying influence of the adversary. As you participate in and love this holy work, you will be safeguarded in your youth and throughout your lives”
David A. Bednar, “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn,” Oct. 2011 general conference
Faith in Jesus Christ propels us to do things we otherwise would not do. Faith that motivates us to action gives us more access to His power. We also increase the Savior’s power in our lives when we make sacred covenants and keep those covenants with precision. Our covenants bind us to Him and give us godly power. As faithful disciples, we repent and follow Him into the waters of baptism. We walk along the covenant path to receive other essential ordinances. And gratefully, God’s plan provides for those blessings to be extended to ancestors who died without an opportunity to obtain them during their mortal lives."
President Russell M Nelson, “Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives”, April 2017