Temple work and family.

I sometimes run into those who do not see family temple work through eyes of faith. They see cards with names printed on them, but do not think of the actual people those cards represent.

My daughter recently turned eight and was baptized. Imagine if when the time for the baptism arrived the bishop had picked out whoever caught his eye first and asked that person to do the baptism. Most of us would recognize that something was wildly wrong if I was sitting there ready and willing to do the baptism, but some local authority intervened, acting like he had the right (which he doesn’t) and assigned someone else to perform the baptism of my own daughter as I sit there.

But you can go to the temple and some people there do exactly the same thing. People bring the names of their own ancestors and relatives to the temple. They can be sitting there ready and willing to do the ordinance, and some local authority at the temple will think they have the right to ignore family relationships and just give the ordinance out to whomsoever they see fit.

The dead are as real as we are. They have families, just as we do. I sometimes wonder whether they are not shocked at our ignorance of their own reality, and of their own family. There are those who do not have sufficient faith and they ignore that these dead ancestors are perfectly real, and they ignore that these dead ancestors have families, just was you or I do. It is because they don’t have the faith. They say they do, but in reality they just see a card with a name printed on it. They want efficiency or convenience and lack the faith needed to see the truth.

We cannot be made perfect without our fathers, and they cannot be made perfect without us. Work for the dead is a family affair. If we cannot be made perfect without the fathers, then we should not treat these relationships lightly at the temple. If the fathers cannot be made perfect without us, then we should not treat family relationships lightly when doing work for our dead.

When we are doing family history and we find an ancestor name, it not infrequently happens that we feel that ancestor telling us they want us to research and do the temple work for some of their other descendents, who are not our direct ancestors. What does that mean? It means that ancestor either knows that the person desires to receive the gospel, and would like their work done by you, or it means that the ancestor who is prompting you is committing themselves to actually take the gospel to those relatives if you do the work. When we feel prompted to extend the work to other relatives than our direct ancestors, feeling whispers by an ancestor to do work for another relative, or by a relative to do the work for themselves, we can trust those promptings from beyond the viel. If we follow the Holy Ghost we can always have confidence that what is going on beyond the veil matches up with the work we are prompted to do on this side of the veil. The holy ghost will always lead us right.

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