Monday, November 3, 2014

This Week's Lesson: October 26, 2014

Taught by Katie Warnock

He begins his talk by sharing a story of the writer William Saroyan, who just before 
he died of cancer in 1981 told the press “Everybody has to die, but I always 
believed an exception would be made in my case. Now what?”

QUOTE 1. The “now what” in the face of death in this life and the 
“now what” in contemplation of life after death are at the heart of the 
questions of the soul that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ 
answers so beautifully in the Father’s plan of happiness.
In this life we laugh, we cry, we work, we play, we live, and then we 
die. Job asks the succinct question, “If a man die, shall he live 
again?”2 The answer is a resounding yes because of the atoning 
sacrifice of the Savior. Part of Job’s diverse preamble to the question 
is interesting: “Man that is born of a woman is of few days. … He 
cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down. … There is hope of a 
tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender 
branch thereof will not cease … and bring forth boughs like a plant.”

Our Fathers plan is about families. Several of our most poignant scriptures 
use the concept of the tree with its roots and branches as an analogy. 
In the closing chapter of the Old Testament, Malachi, in describing the 
Second Coming of the Savior, vividly uses this analogy. Speaking of the 
proud and wicked, he notes that they shall be burned as stubble and “that 
it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Malachi closes this chapter 
with a reassuring promise from the Lord.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the 
great and dreadful day of the Lord:
“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the 
heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth 
with a curse.”

We hear more about Elijah at the beginning of the Restoration when 
Moroni reemphasized this message in his first instructions to Joseph Smith 
in 1823. 
Elijah was an Old Testament prophet through whom mighty miracles were 
performed. He sealed the heavens, and no rain fell in ancient Israel for 3 ½ 
years. He multiplied a widow’s meal and oil. He raised a young boy from 
the dead, and he called down fire from heaven in a challenge to the 
prophets of Baal. At the conclusion of Elijah’s mortal ministry, he “went up 
by a whirlwind into heaven” and was translated. 
Christians and Jews everywhere accept the Old Testament account of 
Elijah. In fact the Jews have been waiting for Elijah’s return for 2.400 
years. To this day, at their annual Passover Seders, or dinners, they set a 
place for him and go to the door hoping he has arrived to herald the 
coming of the Messiah.
We learn from Joseph’s revelations that Elijah held the sealing power of 
the Melchizedek Priesthood and was the last prophet to do so before the 
time of Jesus Christ.
We know that Elijah has already returned and it occurred in the Kirtland 
Temple on April 3, 1836. At that time he declared he was fulfilling 
Malachi’s promise and committed the priesthood key for sealing families in 
this dispensation.

QUOTE 2: The Prophet Joseph Smith explained, “The spirit, power, 
and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power to hold the key of the 
fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and to obtain all the 
ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God.”

This sacred sealing authority is essential for priesthood ordinances to be
valid and binding both on earth and in heaven. 

In another talk, given 16 years ago by Elder Russell M. Nelson titled “A 
New Harvest Time” he spoke about how this restoration was accompanied 
by what is sometimes called the Spirit of Elijah—which is a manifestation 
of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the divine nature of the family. Hence, 
people throughout the world, regardless of religious affiliation, are 
gathering records of deceased relatives at an ever-increasing rate.
In a footnote for that talk I found the following information very interesting. 
It says genealogy is now among the fastest growing applications for 
noncommercial use of computers in the home. The popularity of a recent 
television series entitled Ancestors was unprecedented. It was subscribed 
to by 340 of 353 PBS television stations—the highest response rate in their 
history. In connection with that effort, a book was prepared entitled 
Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide to Family History and Genealogy. More 
than 35,000 copies of it were sold in less than a year. Some experts have 
estimated that 20 percent of Internet use pertains to genealogy.

President Howard W. Hunter declared in November 1994: ‘We have 
BEGUN using information technology to hasten the sacred work of 
providing ordinances for the deceased. The role of technology has been 
accelerated by the Lord himself. However we stand only on the threshold 
of what we can do with these tools.

And that was almost 20 years ago!! Think about how much has changed 
for us and our children in the last 2 decades. In the 19 years since this 
prophetic statement, the acceleration of technology is almost unbelievable. 
In Elder Cook’s talk he relayed a conversation he had with a 36-year old 
mother of young children.

She exclaimed to me “Just think – we have gone from microfilm readers in 
dedicated family history centers to sitting at my kitchen table with my 
computer doing family history after my children are finally asleep.”

Sisters!! Family history centers are now in our home. I like to think of it, the 
same way I think about my Thanksgiving Point family membership. I take 
my kids to the gardens, or the dino museum or the childrens museum 
when I have an hour to kill here or an hour to spare there simply because 
I’m not concerned with the box office ticket price. I have already invested in 
the membership. The hour has already been paid for, we go in for free. 
Just like my TP membership, we can use those 10 spare minutes before 
baby wakes up to hop on our computer and index. Because instead of 
having to find a babysitter and drive to the dedicated family history center – 
we have our family history membership at home. We can open up our 
computer and work immediately – with no cost to us!

The church is doing a phenomenal job of pushing the work forward. They 
are doing their part to make it easier, more accessible and more 
convenient for us to attend the temple and do the work needed for those 
beyond the grave. Elder Cook points out that less than a year after 
President Monson was called as an Apostle, there were only 12 operating 
temples. During the period President Monson has served in the senior 
councils of the church, 132 of our 142 operating temples have had their 
initial dedication, and 26 more temples have been announced and are in 
various stages of completion. 85% percent of the Church members now 
live within 200 miles of a temple. 
So take note, theyre making this possible. Now it is up to us to follow their 
lead and do our part.

Our part can be manifested in many ways. It is up to us evaluate our lives 
individually and see how we can best serve at this time in our lives. 
Whether it is going to the temple to do baptisms, initiatories, sealings or 
endowments – actually being a set apart temple worker – sitting at our 
kitchen table after bedtime indexing or researching our ancestors – or 
teaching our youth about the vital part they play in this work.

In October 2011 conference Elder Bednar gave a talk titled “The Hearts of 
the Children Shall Turn” which I would urge you all to read. It is 
INCREDIBLE and still so pertinent to our lives today. Quote #3 comes from 
this talk – who has quote #3?

QUOTE 3: “It is no coincidence that FamilySearch and other tools 
have come forth at a time when young people are so familiar with a 
wide range of information and communication technologies. Your 
fingers have been trained to text and tweet to accelerate and 
advance the work of the Lord – not just to communicate quickly with 
your friends. The skills and aptitude evident among many young 
people today are a preparation to contribute to the work of 

As leaders and parents we can teach the youth that they can learn about 
and experience the spirit of Elijah. By responding to the invitation faithfully, 
just like us, their hearts can be turned to the fathers. The promises made 
to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be implemented in THEIR hearts, as 
they can be in ours. 
Elder Bednar promises that “your patriarchal blessing, with its declaration 
of lineage will link you to these fathers and be more meaningful to you. 
Your love and gratitude for your ancestors will increase. Your testimony of 
and conversion to the Savior will become deep and abiding. And I promise 
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.”
How powerful is that! Don’t we all want that for our children, our families, 

It seems to me that taking the time to be an example of this work for our 
children, and teaching them what they can do to further the work should be 
at the forefront of our minds. By looking to the past for our roots we will be 
planting our family trees firmly in the gospel, where our future branches will 
have a deep and everlasting foundation to draw from.

If I could leave with one thing to remember it is this quote from Elder Cook 
"Temple and family history work is not just about us. Think of those on the 
other side of the veil waiting for the saving ordinances that would free them 
from the bondage of spirit prison. Prison is defined as a state of 
confinement or captivity. Those in captivity might be asking William 
Saroyan’s question: Now What?"

I bear my testimony that I know the “NOW WHAT” is up to us. Heavenly 
Father has faith in us and has given us the tools that we need to help 
those who have gone on before us. I am grateful for what I can do to 
further this crucial work and the blessings that I receive from my efforts.

This Week's Lesson: Nov 2, 2014

Skyler Brunner taught us about Indexing. 

Indexing can be done by virtually anyone, young and old. It touches the lives of both those who do the indexing and those who use the indexed records. Some of the benefits of indexing include:
It provides a way for individuals to more quickly search for and find their ancestors.
It provides opportunities for service. Members—including those who are less active, homebound, or elderly—can do indexing in their homes.
It provides an opportunity for youth and young adults to participate in family history work.
Download the Indexing Program HERE 
Follow instructions for getting started HERE

Additional Help: