President Monson speaks on Genealogy
I found a wonderful article from President Thomas S. Monson in the February 1994 Ensign. It is called The Key of Faith and he talks about Family History Work, which he says is probably one of the most misunderstood programs in the Church. It has a great message about our duties as Latter-Day Saints. Here is an excerpt:
President Hugh B. Brown declared to a group of us when the Priesthood Genealogy Committee was first organized that missionary work is going forward in the spirit world at an accelerated pace, compared to how it is going forward in our earthly existence. Then he quoted the statement of President Joseph F. Smith, indicating that all those who have not had an opportunity in mortality to hear the everlasting gospel are hearing it now:
“This gospel revealed to the Prophet Joseph is already being preached to the spirits in prison, to those who have passed away from this stage of action into the spirit world without the knowledge of the gospel. Joseph Smith is preaching that gospel to them. So is Hyrum Smith. So is Brigham Young, and so are all the faithful apostles that lived in this dispensation under the administration of the Prophet Joseph.”
And as President Smith indicated in 1916:
“Through our efforts in their behalf their chains of bondage will fall from them, and the darkness surrounding them will clear away, that light may shine upon them and they shall hear in the spirit world of the work that has been done for them by their children here, and will rejoice with you in your performance of these duties.”
I like that word, duty. He did not say “rejoice with you in the fulfillment of an assignment, in response to a calling.” He said, “In your performance of these duties.”
The person who is working on his or her family history fits the description of one who is fulfilling his or her duty. I know the effort, I know the expense, I know the difficulties through which one may go to uncover one name. I know our Heavenly Father is aware of these efforts. And those for whom we perform sacred ordinances are aware of our efforts. Oftentimes, in a miraculous way, there shall appear before us a clear pathway through a field of turbulence.