Be 'intimately acquainted with ancestors'
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New technological developments, revealed in this dispensation in greater fullness than ever before, will aid in the culmination of all of God's work on the earth, Elder David B. Haight said Sunday afternoon.
Speaking specifically about family history and "linking the family of man," Elder Haight of the Council of the Twelve said, "We are anxiously engaged in the Lord's work, which includes the performance of certain ordinances for all who have lived and will live upon the earth."Elder Haight spoke of the Church's granite vaults in the mountains east of Salt Lake City where the largest collection of family history records are stored - the records of nearly 2 billion people who have lived on the earth.
" `Why do you do this?' ask some. `Why does the Church commit millions of dollars and tens of thousands of hours to this immense, yet unusual project? Why have such a great concern for those who have died?'
"Our answer is simple yet profound: Because we love them. Because they are entitled to the same blessings that we enjoy. Because this is a major part of the heavenly plan for this, the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times - for the blessing of all people," Elder Haight explained.
"We gather these records to identify our ancestors. We identify our ancestors so that we may perform for them the saving ordinances of the gospel in holy temples dedicated to that purpose.
"It is our responsibility, given us by the Lord, to help redeem all those of our Father's children who have lived and died without receiving the sacred ordinances of the gospel, yet each has the opportunity to accept or reject the ordinances performed in their behalf."
Many people may question how they can unlock the secrets hidden away in those microfilms and identify their ancestors, he continued.
"Genealogy has long been associated with tedium, painstaking research and musty books. But no more! Now we have available a modern miracle called FamilySearch. FamilySearch is a powerful, innovative computer system."
After typing in a name of an ancestor, FamilySearch, in just a few moments, races through millions of names and finds any that match what was typed, Elder Haight explained.
"We know that God our Father is our greatest teacher and nothing we might read or hear should quicken our attention like His instructions and counsel. These marvelous new technological developments have been revealed in . . . greater plainness than ever before in the history of the world as far as we know so that His purposes might speedily be brought to pass. The Church, in establishing family history centers, is now bringing these marvelous developments directly to you.
"One of the most thrilling results of being involved in family research and genealogical research is becoming intimately acquainted with our ancestors - their challenges and achievements - and then showing our gratitude by performing for them the ordinances that will allow them to obtain the greatest of all gifts, the gift of eternal life."