Monday, November 02, 2009

Family History

I wanted to do a big long post - but it's late and I need to go to bed. I just wanted to record one thing that we discussed in my class today and I can type faster than I can write.

My first lesson for my Family History course is, of course, about the gospel principals that accompany the work we do in relationship to doing temple work and the saving ordinances.I watched the short clips that the teaching manual provides and was really struck with how important this work is. How much we need to change our attitudes about doing Family History and how much work there really is to do.

It struck me in the video, one of the brethren that was interviewed was talking about how there are many who leave this life wondering if there is a God, and if He knows and loves them. There are so many that depart this life feeling burdened by grief, pain, loneliness and sin - and by providing a way for them to be saved by us, shows that a loving Father in Heaven is mindful of them and has provided a way to return to Him. Not only that, but that every name on every record that we are able to gain access to represents a living, breathing person from the past who had a family. Someone who lived and loved and struggled throughout this life and has work that needs to be done. We have to remember that these lists of names aren not just names to be forgotten - they are sons and daughters of God who need to have their work done just as much as we do ourselves.

One of the girls in my class described Family HIstory in a very striking way. She said that Family History and temple work have been designed like a relay. In a relay, it is common practice to put the second to fastest runner/swimmer first. That way, they are able to get the work going and pull into a comfortable lead. The second and third person go, each playing an important part in this race. And then the fourth person is set forth - the fastest. The one who is meant to close the race with victory. While she was telling this analogy, I thought of the pioneers and how they were so excited when the revelation of baptisms for the dead was given. They used a wooden font to the point where they had to replace it with a stone one. They continued to do the work while being driven out of their homes. They worked unceasingly in the temple in order to provide their deceased loved ones with the same saving ordinances in which they held so dearly to themselves.

We are in the finally leagues of the race and we have to be the fastest. We have to do as much as we can in order to get this important work going.

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