by Elder Allan F. Packer
This talk was one of those that I didn't want to hear, but one that I really needed to. The emphasis of this talk was on Family History work. I've had a hard time catching the "Spirit of Elijah". I know I should be doing it -indexing names, and finding my own names to take to the temple-, but I have a thousand excuses why I can't. After studying this talk, I realized that I don't have to do everything at once, but I can find start with just one thing and go from there. The blessings that are promised from doing family history are too great to pass up.
"There has been a renewed emphasis on family history and temple work from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve. Your response to this emphasis will increase your individual and family joy and happiness."
Increased joy and happiness individually and in my family is a pretty awesome blessing.
I was also surprised to learn that
"Temple and family history work is part of living the gospel at home. It should be a family activity far more than a Church activity"
IT SHOULD BE A FAMILY ACTIVITY. I better get going on that.
Elder Packer also quoting Elder Bednar's promise to the youth:
"I invite the young people of the Church to lean about and experience the Spirit of Elijah. . . I promise that you will be protected against the intensifying influence of the adversary. As you participate in and love this holy work, you will be safeguarded in your youth and throughout your lives."
"Family History is more than genealogy, rules, names, dates, and places. It is more than a focus on the past. Family History also includes the present as we create our own history. It includes the future as we shape history through our descendants. A young mother, for example, sharing her family stories and pictures with her children is doing family history work."
I believe keeping this blog can count as family history because I am documenting and recording my family's history.
Elder Packer says "Whatever your past perception, it is different now!"
It is no longer hours spent at the family history center looking through microfiche, or months waiting for records to come from out of the country.
"As Elder Quentin L. Cook explained, "We [now] have the doctrine, the temples, and the technology." Doing the work now is much easier and limited only by the number of members who make this a priority. The work still takes time and sacrifice but all can do it, and with relative ease compared to just a few years ago."
"To assist member, the Church has gathered records and provided tools so that much of the work can be done in our own homes or in the ward buildings and the temple. . .However, there is one obstacle the Church cannot remove. It is an individual's hesitation to do the work. All it requires is a decision and a little effort. It does not require a large block of time. Just a little time on a consistent basis will yield the joy of the work. Make the decision to take a step, to learn and ask others to help you. They will!"
I really believed Elder Packer was speaking straight to me when he said:
". . .Few members of the Church are regularly involved in finding and doing temple ordinances for their family. This calls for a change in our priorities. Don't fight the change, embrace it."
I love that - Don't fight it, Embrace it!
"The steps are simple: just find a name and take it to the temple. . .With few exceptions, everyone -- everyone -- can do this!
And that includes me. Challenge Accepted.
Time to watch a few episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? to psych me up, and then I better get to learning how use familysearch.org. Here I go.