As I write this article I can see out of my office window the hustle and bustle of people moving along the road and sidewalk outside of the beautiful Manila Temple. Most of those passing by are oblivious to the importance of this sacred edifice and what it represents. You and I know the temple is a holy place where sacred ordinances are performed through the restored Holy Priesthood. What happens in the temple is yet another manifestation of God's love for us.
Linking family members to their ancestors through sacred temple ordinances is an unselfish work done in mortality and as many can attest, it is a work which often has the assistance of those who have stepped into immortality. Your preparation of family names for temple work helps you to be a type of savior for those who have gone beyond the veil.
Preparing family names to take to the temple can begin by getting to know your ancestors. Recently, I undertook a brief study of the life of my grandfather, Edwin Daniel McVicar who was born in 1897. Although of Scottish heritage, as his family name suggests, he was born in Australia and later moved to New Zealand. I learned that as a very young man he served in the New Zealand Army in France during World War One, returned to New Zealand after being wounded and married my grandmother, Elizabeth Mary McCrae. When World War Two started he again joined the army and went off to war. President Monson said, 'We discover something about ourselves when we learn about our ancestors.' (President Thomas S. Monson, “Constant Truths for Changing Times,” Ensign, May 2005, 21) The discoveries I made about Edwin McVicar have taught me a little more about his life and this has given more meaning to my life.
I encourage all of us to get ready to make some interesting discoveries. Get a My Family booklet and then follow the simple steps outlined so you can bless the lives of those who are waiting for temple ordinances. To complete the booklet you will need to begin with your own story and because you know it so well it will probably be one of the most interesting. By the time you reach the back page of your 'My Family' booklet you will better know your ancestors and have names ready to take with you to the temple so their life saving ordinances can be received.
Elder Scott taught, “Any work you do in the temple is time well spent, but receiving ordinances vicariously for one of your ancestors will make the time in the temple more sacred, and even greater blessings will be received.' (Elder Richard G. Scott, “The Joy of Redeeming the Dead,” Ensign, November 2012)
In line with our Area Goals we invite all individuals and families to be worthy to attend the temple. We also invite you to talk with others about your family so you can make some interesting discoveries and enter what you discover into FamilySearch which your Ward Family History consultants can help you with. Finally, we invite you to attend the temple on behalf of your ancestors. In so doing you will find the joy and will be able to share the joy that comes from being in the temple to receive sacred ordinances on behalf of your ancestors.
find the joy
share the joy
With love and appreciation for each of you.