Thursday, October 13, 2011
Lesson: Temple Work and Family History, Chapter 40
Teacher Sister Joanne Thomas
Sister Thomas said it was wonderful to have listened to Conference last weekend. It seemed to be filled with messages of encouragement and inspiration. She hoped this lesson would have that same message for everyone.
One of the most tender, inspirational comments in this lesson is simply this: “Heavenly Father wants all of His children to return and live with Him.” What parent does not feel the same way—we don’t just want 2 or our 3, or 3 of our 5 children to be with us as an eternal family, we want every one of our children. The quote goes on… “For those who died without baptism or the temple ordinances, He has provided a way for this to happen. He has asked us to perform ordinances for our ancestors in the temples.”
From our new book “Daughters in My Kingdom” we learn how important this concept was to the early saints: “Church members in Nauvoo found great comfort in baptisms for the dead and the promise of eternal families. One of these members was a sister named Sally Randall. When her 14-year old son George died, she sent the sad news to family members. Soon thereafter, she learned about baptism for the dead. Again she wrote to her relatives, this time with newfound peace and assurance: ‘George’s father has been baptized for him and what a glorious thing it is that we believe and receive the fullness of the gospel as it is preached now and can be baptized for all our dead friends and save them as far back as we can get any knowledge of them. I want you to write me the given names of all of our connections that are dead as far back as grandfather’s and grandmother’s at any rate. I intend to do what I can to save my friends…I expect you will think this is strange doctrine but you will find it to be true.” To her mother, who had also lost a child to death, Sally testified, ‘Oh, mother, if we are so happy as to have a part in the first resurrection, we shall have our children just as we laid them down in their graves.”
Baptism for the dead is one thing we do in temples. Our lesson reminds us of the great education we receive in the temple about where we came from, the meaning of earth life, and life after death. We gain a better understanding of our relationship with Heavenly Father and with His son, Jesus Christ. We go there to make covenants with Heavenly Father and perform sacred ordinances that can only be performed in temples by the power of the priesthood. We call this priesthood power “sealing”. What does that word mean to you?
Bind, bound. D & C 132:7
Elder Bednar in his Conference address shared the importance of the role of Elijah in the restoration of all things. Because Elijah held the sealing power of the Melchizedek Priesthood and was the last prophet to do so before the time of Jesus Christ, he was instrumental in restoring the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and all the ordinances belonging to the Kingdom of God. “This sacred sealing authority is essential for priesthood ordinances to be valid and binding both on earth and in heaven. The restoration of the sealing authority by Elijah in 1836 was necessary to prepare the world for the Savior’s second coming and initiated a greatly increased and worldwide interest in family history work.”
Our ancestors need our help so that they too can receive all the saving ordinances. Our manual says “Many of our ancestors are among those who died without hearing about the gospel while on the earth. They now live in the spirit world. There they are taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. Those who have accepted the gospel are waiting for the temple ordinances to be performed for them. As we perform these ordinances in the temple for our ancestors, we can share their joy.”
Basic step for doing Family History work are:
1. Identify our ancestors. Often we learn wonderful, inspiring stories and great appreciation for our ancestors.
2. Find out which ancestors need temple ordinances performed.
3. Make certain that ordinances are performed for them.
Sister Thomas asked Katie Gauger to share some of her recent experiences and the enthusiasm she has for this work:
Sister Gauger talked about some of the treasures that her mother had given her, including some very old vintage Whiting and Davis handbags. She told how precious they were because one belonged to her Grandmother and she didn't have any other thing of hers. She cherish it, but even though it is wonderful, lovely, rare, it isn't as precious as what she had inside the treasure chest that she showed to the class..
She used the scripture found in Luke 12:34 " For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also". Sister Gauger expressed that her heart is inside the treasure chest as she had been literally digging up her buried ancestors as she begun my hunt for them. She opened up the chest and began pulling out old photos and stories of her ancestors. She told how some of these ancestors came from the Willy and some from the Martin Handcart companies. Without these wonderful people making the sacrifice they did, and meeting and marrying, she would not be here today. She showed the video case of the movie "17 miracles", that just came out this year that is all about the Willey handcart company, and that one of the miracles it told about in the movie was about her ancestor, Elizabeth Cunningham, who was left for dead on the trek.
"At one time during the journey across the plains Elizabeth was left for dead, as she was thought to be frozen to death. The ground was frozen so hard that they could not dig a grave so they just wrapped her in a blanket and laid the body on the ground and hurried on to make camp for the night, as darkness was fast overtaking them. After they had made camp, the mother of Elizabeth felt impressed to go back to the child. Her friends ridiculed the idea, but the mother was determined, for she maintained that the child was not dead. She had been promised in Scotland that if she was faithful, that she and all her family would reach Zion in safety. She went back to the child and found her undisturbed by the wolves. She carried the child back to camp and worked over her. Some hot water was spilt on her foot accidently and it caused a quiver to go through the limb. Convinced that she was still alive, they kept up their efforts until they brought her back to life. Elizabeth lived to be the mother of thirteen children, and the foster-mother of three others."
She explained that many of these ancestors inside my treasure chest, have not had their temple work done for them. She showed one famous Pioneer ancestor whom she thought probably had all her work done, because she was so well known, but when Sister Gauger began checking into it, there was one ordinance that was missed. She found it and will be doing it very soon for her.
Sister Gauger bore testimony that our ancestors who are in the spirit world, are anxiously awaiting their turn to have their temple ordinances done for them, and many of them have been waiting for hundreds of years. She then told the story of a family of my ancestors ( 3 girls and 1 boy) who were sealed to the prophet Brigham Young back in the late 1800's, but had been waiting ever since for someone to find them and do the rest of their work for them. In her digging, she found them last year, and have been working on doing their work. She told the sister of my special experience of doing the initiatory work for one of them in the temple and how this sister's spirit permeated the room to the point that everyone was weeping. We all knew that she was there and had accepted the work I was doing for her.
Sister Gauger closed with bearing my testimony that during the millennium, there will be 3 major things that will be accomplished.
1. Missionary Work
2. Temple Work
3. Genealogy work and finding record of every person who has ever lived on this earth and preparing to take their names to the temple.
She urged the sisters to not delay in learning how to do Genealogy and Family history work. It is easier now than ever before. She gave a bunch of websites on her handout (See Attached file) that are great resources, besides the Family history centers in every city, and taking the Family history class that our ward offers.
So what can we do if “all the work is done” or “we have little time in our busy lives”?
1. Attend the temple
2. Do research
3. Help with the church indexing program.
4. Contribute Family History information.
5. Participate in family organizations
6. Told this Conference that we can contribute to the General Patron Assistance Fund
7. Elder Bednar told us in this Conference that the youth need to get involved in Family History work. He said that they have not learned technology just so they can text message. He said if they respond in faith they will be safeguarded and will be contributing to the salvation for the Human Family.
Speaking of our ancestors, Elder Bednar said “they without us cannot be made perfect—we cannot be made perfect without them.”
We have been taught that the Savior vicariously did for us what we could not do for ourselves. Mormon Doctrine tell us “Those of his brethren who perform, vicariously, for others—meaning for those who have died without a knowledge of the gospel—the saving ordinances which they cannot perform for themselves are called ‘saviors on Mount Zion.”
What a glorious opportunity, promise and blessing. And at the same time we save ourselves. As Pres. Monson said “As you & I go to the holy houses of God, as we remember the covenants we make within, we will be more able to bear every trial and to overcome each temptation. In this sacred sanctuary we will find peace, we will be renewed and fortified.”
In closing, Elder Bednar said "Family history is not simply an interesting program or activity sponsored by the Church; rather, it is a vital part of the work of salvation and exaltation.”
HANDOUT FROM THE LESSON
How We Begin Helping Our Ancestors
Latter-day Saints are encouraged to participate in family history activities. Through these activities we learn about our ancestors so that we can perform ordinances for them.
Family history involves three basic steps:
1. Identify our ancestors. To do our ancestors work, we must first know their names. We also need important dates and places such as birth, marriage and death date. We can find this information by asking parents and relatives, through family Bibles, obituaries, cemetery head stones, family histories, diaries and journals. Much of this information can be found on the internet, as well as at new.familysearch.org. You can also visit family history centers and they are located in practically every city in Utah County. Go to http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhc/frameset_fhc.asp to find their locations. All information we find should be recorded on pedigree charts and family group records.
2. Find out which ancestors need temple ordinances performed. You can log on to the internet and go to http://new.familysearch.org. You will then be able to see if your ancestors work has been done already. If not, you can reserve those ancestors work, print off the ordinance sheets to take to the temple to have them print our the ordinance cards to begin their work.
3. Make certain that the temple ordinances are performed for them. We should prepare ourselves to receive a temple recommend so that we can do the work for our kindred dead. Children 12 years old and older can also get a temporary temple recommend that lets them go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. If it is not possible to go to the temple, the temple will arrange to have the ordinances performed by other members of the church who attend the temple.
Our ward has a family history committee and consultants that can answer questions and direct us to the resources we need in our family history quest. Our ward provides a Family history class 4 times a year, to help you to learn the process of doing your own Family history research. You should request to be in this class and get your own family history started, or go further from what has already been done.
There are additional Family history opportunities that we can do to help our Ancestors:
1. Attend the temple as often as possible. After going for ourselves, we can then perform the saving ordinances for our ancestors who are anxiously waiting in the spirit world.
2. Do research to identify ancestors who are difficult to find. You can get the assistance of either ward family history consultants, or consultants at any of the family history centers.
3. Help with the Church’s indexing program. To find out more about this program go to https://www.familysearch.org/volunteer/indexing
4. Contribute family history information to the Church’s current computer programs for family history. These allow people to share family history information from all over the world.
5. Participate in family organizations, have family reunions to share family history.
The following are some good websites to visit to help you in your search:
è http://new.familysearch.org LDS Church genealogy collection of records, resources and services to help people with their family history.
è http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Search/WebSites_frameset_websites.asp Browse and search Family History Websites for Cencus, Legal records, regions and religious groups, and much, much more.
è https://www.familysearch.org/learn Learning Resources - Research Wiki, Research courses, Getting Started with Family history step by step videos.
è https://www.familysearch.org/ Discover your family history by typing in the name of your ancestor, Place and year range. Advanced search options as well. Also find your family trees, catalog and Books in the BYU Family history Archive
è https://www.familysearch.org/locations Family Search Centers and what’s available there.
è http://www.ancestry.com Free trial then paid subscription. Millions of online family history record source for historical records, photos, stories, family trees, photos, and more. It is very worth at least doing the free 14 day trial subscription.
è https://lds.org/youth/family-history?lang=eng Youth and family history website and lds.org is a great resource for Youth as well as adults to help them get started doing family history work.
è PAF – Personal Ancestral File Version 5.2, Windows
è http://www.cyndislist.com/ Cindi’s list is a free research center of links and resources on the internet.
è http://www.deadfred.com/ Dead Fred site is filled with tons of photos of people who are dead. Be sure to check out their “links” as they offer great internet resource.
è http://www.distant Cousin.com
è http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/ Legacy 7.5 is a genealogy software with a free limited version or you can pay for the full version. Will load your PAF files, or directly from familysearch records.
è http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gs& Find the grave of your ancestor.
The Scriptures tell us why do we need to seek out our ancestors and do their temple work:
3 Nephi 25: 5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Corinthians 15:1–29 (Jesus Christ died for our sins – He rose from the dead and was seen my many, proving that all mane will be resurrected. Paul speaks of baptism for the dead.)
D&C 128: 1-25 (Epistle form Joseph Smith to the LDS Church containing further directions on baptism for the dead. 1-5 Local and general recorders must certify to the fact of baptisms for the dead; 6-9 Their records are binding and recorded on earth and in heaven; 10 – 14, The baptismal font is a similitude of the grave; 15 – 17 Elijah restored power relative to baptism for the dead; 18 – 21 All of the keys, powers and authorities of past dispensations have been restored; 22-25, Glad and glorious tidings are acclaimed for the living and the dead.)
John 5:24, 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hearth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, Verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. (Jesus promises to take the gospel to the dead – Man is resurrected, judged and assigned his glory by the Son)
Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. What is your buried treasure, and how much is it worth to you and to your ancestors by digging it up? What do you think those who are preserved during the second coming of Christ, in the millennium, will be doing? Want to know? Go to the Gospel principles Manuel chapter 45 or online at this link: http://lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-45-the-millennium?lang=eng
Maybe it is time to learn how to do genealogy, and then like President Spencer W. Kimball said…
“Just do it!”
General Conference Talks
General Conference Reports
Proceedings of Recent General Conferences
What shall we give?
An Apostles Easter Thoughts on Christ
This short video is an Important message from the mouths of our Prophets!
July 6 - Pioneer Cooking
Click on this link to take you to the Pioneer Recipes:
I was also thinking that if you were to copy some of these recipes and print them off, that might be a fun handout for the Sisters you Visit Teach!
July 2nd - Diana Lucina Spicer Block
Visiting Teaching Tips, handouts and Ideas
For many years, I have been creating very cute and fun things to take to the ladies I Visit Teach. I have shared from time to time, my ideas with others and they have really appreciated them. I decided that since I do these anyway, I would start doing one every month and then post it on this blog to share with anyone for their Visiting Teaching. I do need to make a disclaimer.... the ideas, thoughts, stories, graphics etc. used are created by me and they are not in any way official LDS Church quotes, handouts or ideas. They are my creations or others as noted, except for the quotes that will come directly from the Monthly Visiting Teaching message found in the Ensign. Also, many thanks to the talented designers of the digital paper and elements that I use to create the beautiful artwork, and handouts you see on my blog.
You can go to http://www.lds.org/ and look up and even print the monthly message if you do not have your own Ensign magazine subscription in English or to choose to read the Liahona or Ensign in a different language go to http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=03103c7ff44f2010VgnVCM1000001f5e340aRCRD&locale=0.
For Spanish you can go to http://www.sud.org.es/
I highly recommend you get your own subscription because you will find a wealth of really good & wholesome, moral reading, that you can't find anywhere else. If you go to http://www.lds.org/ and click on "Gospel Library" then click on "Magazines" you can order your own Ensign, Liahona, New Era, or Friend magazines.
Posted by Katie Gauger at 10:41 AM 0 comments
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"Returning to the Past" A Relief Society Activity Idea
I just found your blog. It is so great. I love the idea of the Hearts of Angels. I am trying to figure out how we can use it for our VT conference and incorporate some of the things for our VT interviews. I am a new R/S president and all these things we have to do throughout the year are a little overwhelming. I love all of you ideas. So much work involved, thank you for being willing to share with all of us! I would love anything else you could pass my way.
WE had the thought earlier to use a theme of "Returning to the past" for our activities this year. So all of your old-fashioned pictures will be great to use as invites and handouts.
You might be interested in the idea we had for our B-Day dinner. We always have a progressive dinner in December to the homes of different sisters. We divide them up into about 5 smaller groups and go around to the different sisters homes in the ward. Because of the weather we cancelled it and had it at the church. We decided to do it for our B-Day dinner instead when the weather would be better. We are having the women bring a sack lunch with them and to wear something old, like a grandmothers broach or shawl, or to dress up in the time of the 1800's, and to bring a pint jar with a lid. We will have the sisters make lemonade at the first house and take with them in the jar that they brought, and then go to the next house. At the last house we will have and old fashioned cake to serve like apple walnut cake or something like that.
We still have some details to work out but at the end each member of the presidency will be at a different home and will share a prepared script. It will be written as if they were at the very first R/S meeting when the prophet Joseph Smith organized the R/S with just a handful of women.
Anyway, thank you for sharing what you have! You have a great talent!
Stacey McClellan - Blackfoot, Idaho
SELF RELIANT SISTERS BLOG HAS A GREAT ACTIVITY ABOUT GARDENING WITH KIDS - go to http://selfreliantsisters.blogspot.com/ It is well worth the time and a terriffic idea as Spring is just around the corner! Here is a tiny bit of information that you will see at the site.....
Gardening with Kids has great tips on getting kids started with gardening. Give your child some space; literally! Kids loving having spaces that are all their own, whether it`s their own desk area in the house, or the tent they've created with chairs and blankets in the family room. The same is true for gardening. Dedicate a small plot of the garden just for them. Put a fancy border around it, perhaps purchase one of the stepping stone making kits found at crafts stores in which they can mold their name and make their hand print.
Let them join you at the nursery. Let your kids know you value their opinion. Ask them which kinds of plants, flowers, and vegetables they like. Explain what will work well in your garden and what won't.
Give them (limited) choices. While you're at the nursery, ask them if they'd like pansies or petunias, marigolds or zinnias. This will give them the feeling of power without letting it get out of control.
Remind them money doesn't grow on trees. With older children discuss the budget. Let them help select seeds and blossoming plants at the nursery - and turn it into a math lesson. Let your child do the money calculations; they can tell you when the money runs out.
Let your child do what he will (especially if you have a preschooler). Let him dig, explore, play with bugs. You may be tempted to steer your child in another direction (like actually watering or weeding his garden), but this is a great way for your child to explore this exciting new universe.
Plan, plan, plan. If you have older children, say 8 or 9 or older, let them plot out their own garden on paper. Provide him or her with graph paper, pencils and seed catalogs. Give them a group of flowers and vegetables from which to choose, and then let them draw out their garden.
Get them their own gardening tools. Nothing will motivate your little gardener more than having her own little shovel, her own gardening gloves, and her own watering pail. And don't forget those bright colored rubber boots. You need to go to the site and explore all the rest of the links and ideas.