There are many blessings in doing family history. Each of them very different for each person. However, I would like to name a few that have occurred in my live.
1. Temple Attendance
I know that this is an obvious thing. It has been a lot of fun to be able to take the names you research to the temple. But it is more than that. Much more. I can’t even recall all of the blessings that my wife and I have received because of temple attendance. I listed at least three things that we have gained by attending.
- Knowledge would be my first choice in what we have received. We have received knowledge of our first parents, the creation, the fall, and the atonement of Jesus Christ. We have learned of the covenants and what it takes to get back to the presence of our Father in heaven. We have even learned that mistakes happen, but yet we can repent and still be able to return to His presence.
- Second, Inspiration. When Julia and I were first married, we went to the temple. We had this impression that she was pregnant. We went to get a pregnancy test and sure enough, she was. There have been countless times that I had been struggling with what I needed to do in certain situations, like moving our family, or changing jobs. I may not have received “You should do this” type of response, but I felt like it cleared my mind to be able to make the decision necessary to move forward.
- Last, Empowerment. “Satan has nothing on me.” Have you ever felt that nothing can get in your way because of the knowledge or the inspiration that you received? Wow, what a feeling. And when we act on that feeling, you see that faith increase. However, when we leave the temple, this feeling can dissipate very quickly because of the outside world. What better way to get it back, then to attend the temple again. To receive the blessings of the temple, one must attend.
2. Family Unity
It is an awesome experience to learn about your ancestors, where they are from, how many children they had or didn’t have, how long they lived. Even more importantly, we are able to do their ordinances. To be able to connect with them on a spiritual level. There are even feelings that they have been waiting for a very long time, that sigh of relief of no more waiting, “About time.”
There is another side of family unity. Taking your children, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, and grandparents to do these ordinances. It is a fun and spiritual high to be able to work together as a family to be able to fulfill the promise of Elijah. To be able to see your family performing these sacred ordinances. Even some people are not able to attend for health reasons. We are able to help them with their family’s name, so they can feel that family unity. Which brings us to help someone that cannot do it for themselves.
3. Knowing that you help someone that cannot do it for themselves.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “That which goes on in the House of the Lord … comes nearer to the spirit of sacrifice of the Lord than any other activity of which I know. Why? Because it is done by those who give freely of time and substance, without any expectation of thanks or reward, to do for others that which they cannot do for themselves” (Ensign, Mar. 1995, 62–63).
Who has done something for us that we can not do for ourselves?
Going to the temple and doing work for those who can not do it for themselves, is a huge blessing. In a little way, we are able to help with the plan of salvation, to be a Savior on mount Zion.
Joseph Smith wrote,” 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.
Heavenly Father and his son want us to be able to partake in this plan, and Family History is one of those ways.
Your Brother in the Gospel,