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Interesting Quotes on Family History and Temple Work
in response to common questions

"My genealogy has all been done."

"Your genealogy has not all been done. My own grandparents performed ‘all’ the temple work for their deceased relatives fifty-five years ago. Since that time our family has discovered sixteen thousand others."

- Elder W. Grant Bangerter

"The work has been done for all of my ancestors."

". . . in addition to providing ordinances for our direct ancestors. we can also provide ordinances for the descendants of our direct ancestors."

- George G. Durrant ("Branching Out on Your Family Tree, Ensign, April 2007)

"I don’t have time for family history."

". . . we should understand that in the work of redeeming the dead there are many tasks to be performed, and . . . all members should participate by prayerfully selecting those ways that fit their personal circumstances at a particular time. . . . Our effort is not to compel everyone to do everything, but to encourage everyone to do something."

- Elder Dallin H. Oaks

"I’m not interested in genealogy research."

"Some of the most important temple and family history work is done at home. . . . At home we can keep our journals and gather pictures and data for the books of remembrance of our family members. We can gather and record information available through living relatives. We can write family histories and share their great lessons with our children."

- Elder Dallin H. Oaks

"I feel guilty that I’m too busy to think about family history."

"Some members may feel guilty about not furthering the mission of the Church when they are actually doing so. This kind of guilt comes not from insufficient efforts, but from insufficient vision. For example, a mother with several young children may be furthering the mission of the Church most profoundly in all three of its dimensions in her own home when she helps her children to prepare for missions, when she teaches them to revere the temple and prepare to make covenants there, and when she shows them how to strive for perfection in their personal lives."

- Elder Dallin H. Oaks

"Is family history work really important?"

"Searching for our kindred dead isn’t just a hobby. It is a fundamental responsibility for all members of the Church.

- President James E. Faust

"Is family history work really important?"

"Many of your deceased ancestors will have received a testimony that the message of the missionaries is true. When you received that testimony you could ask the missionaries for baptism. But those who are in the spirit world cannot. The ordinances you so cherish are offered only in this world. Someone in this world must go to a holy temple and accept the covenants on behalf of the person who is in the spirit world. That is why we are under obligation to find the names of our ancestors and ensure they are offered by us what they cannot receive there without our help."

- Elder Henry B. Eyring

"Is family history work really important?"

". . . remember that the names which will be so difficult to find are of real people to whom you owe your existence in this world and whom you will meet again in the spirit world. When you were baptized, your ancestors looked down on you with hope. Perhaps after centuries, they rejoiced to see one of their descendants make a covenant to find them and to offer them freedom. In your reunion, you will see in their eyes either gratitude or terrible disappointment. Their hearts are bound to you. Their hope is in your hands. You will have more than your own strength as you choose to labor on to find them."

- Elder Henry B. Eyring

"Is family history work really important?"

"And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers—that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect."

- D&C 128:15

"What if my ancestors won’t accept the gospel?"

"We often wonder if our ancestors will accept the gospel. Ironically, in many instances, they accepted it before we did. Their prayers and faithfulness have brought the gospel into our lives instead of the other way around."

- S. Michael Wilcox

"What if my ancestors won’t accept the gospel?"

"Why is it that sometimes only one of a city or household receives the Gospel? It was made known to me that it is because the righteous dead who have received the Gospel in the spirit world are exercising themselves, and in answers to their prayers elders of the Church are sent to the homes of their posterity. . . ."

- Elder Melvin J. Ballard

"What if my ancestors won’t accept the gospel?"

". . . when the Gospel is preached to the spirits in prison, the success of that preaching will be far greater than that of the preaching of our Elders in this life. I believe there will be very few indeed of those spirits who will not gladly receive the Gospel when it is carried to them. The circumstances there will be a thousand times more favorable."

- President Lorenzo Snow

"I go to the temple often. Isn’t that enough?"

"[T]here are some members who engage in temple work but fail to do family history research on their own family lines. Although they perform a divine service in assisting others, they lose a blessing by not seeking their own kindred dead as divinely directed by latter-day prophets. . . . I have learned that those who engage in family history research and then perform the temple ordinance work for those whose names they have found will know the additional joy of receiving both halves of the blessing."

- President Howard W. Hunter