Youth doing Family History Work
There was a very nice talk given by the Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, Elaine S. Dalton, in the October 2004 General Conference. She directed her comments to the youth of the church and how they can become Saviors to their ancestors by doing family history work and going to the temple. I completely agree because younger generations know how to use computers and the Internet much better than older generations. I am in my 20s and began using the Internet in high school. Children growing up now will not remember a time without the Internet available. They can do family history work easily if they take the time and make the effort.
Here are some excerpts:
How can the promises made to the fathers be planted in the hearts of the children? How can the hearts of the children be turned to their fathers? This can happen only when we understand our identity and roles in this work and remain worthy and prepared to enter the temple and act on behalf of those who have gone before.
Brigham Young said: “We have a work to do just as important in its sphere as the Savior’s work was in its sphere. … We are now called upon to do ours; which is to be the greatest work man ever performed on the earth.”
In the vision of the redemption of the dead given to President Joseph F. Smith, he saw many of the noble and great prophets who had been on the earth prior to the Savior’s coming. He also saw the Prophet Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, his father, and “other choice spirits who were reserved to come forth in the fullness of times to take part in laying the foundations of the great latter-day work.” Who were those other choice spirits? Our generation was somewhere there among those “noble and great” leaders, prepared in the world of spirits to be on the earth at this time! The scriptures tell us that “even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.” The labor we were prepared and reserved to perform includes “the building of the temples and the performance of ordinances therein for the redemption of the dead.”
Brigham Young foresaw the time in which we are now living. He said, “To accomplish this work there will have to be not only one temple but thousands of them, and thousands and tens of thousands of men and women will go into those temples and officiate for people who have lived as far back as the Lord shall reveal.”
....When President Faust talked to the young men in the priesthood session last October, he called on them to lead out and become a part of temple and family history work. He said: “I encourage you … to begin to unlock the knowledge of who you really are by learning more about your forebears. … You can easily access a vast collection of family history records using the Internet on your home computer or at your nearest family history center. … Temple work is essential … because ‘we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect.’ ”
The youth have been prepared “for such a time as this.” They are intelligent and bright. They are proficient on computers and the Internet. They are a great untapped resource for good in the world! They have been reserved for these latter days, and they have a great work to do. And not only do they have a great work to do there, but the temple will also be a refuge for them that will protect them from worldly pressures and influences.
As I contemplate President Faust’s words, I can visualize an army of righteous youth prepared and worthy to attend the temple. I can see families sealed together for eternity. I can see youth who understand what it means to be “saviors … on mount Zion.” I can see youth whose hearts are turned to their fathers. And I can envision youth growing up in such a way that they will come forth from the temples filled with strength to resist worldly pressures. I can see a generation of youth who will “stand … in holy places, and be not moved.”