On March 2, 2019, Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Susan, were the featured speakers at Family Discovery Day at RootsTech. They talked about the latter-day gathering of Heavenly Father’s children prophesied of in the scriptures and the responsibility members of the Church have, as the seed of Abraham, to help.
Because of the prophet Abraham’s obedience, God promised him a great posterity (Abraham 2:9–11). He also promised him that in the latter-days, Abraham’s heirs would be blessed with the Savior’s gospel and the authority of the priesthood.
Elder and Sister Bednar explained the responsibility that comes with those blessings. It is the responsibility to share the Savior’s gospel and to gather God’s children—on both sides of the veil.
“Having received the saving ordinances of the restored gospel,” Elder Bednar said, “and as covenant-keeping disciples of the Savior, we are the seed of Abraham. Brothers and sisters, we are the gatherers!”
Sister Bednar quoted President Nelson, who recently taught how temple and family history service relates to gathering. “Anytime you do anything that helps anyone—on either side of the veil—take a step toward making covenants with God and receiving their essential baptismal and temple ordinances, you are helping to gather Israel. It is as simple as that.”
Simple Ways to Feel Inspired and Help Others
Sister Bednar introduced several things members of the Church can do to help others participate in temple and family history work. She said that asking a friend, neighbor, or family member to talk about an ancestor is an easy way to help that person feel the Spirit of Elijah and set them on the path of discovery and gathering. “All that is needed to begin is an inspired question,” she said.
Elder Bednar and Sister Bednar next demonstrated Relatives Around Me from the FamilySearch Family Tree app. With Relatives Around Me, a person can see if he or she is related to people nearby who are also using the feature. Of the 7,000 people attending Discovery Day, Sister Bednar was related to more than 4,000 of them!
Finally, Sister Bednar showed how to use Ordinances Ready, another feature on the app that shows the user a list of ancestors in need of temple ordinances. With Ordinances Ready, a person can pick specific ordinances to perform and reserve them for an upcoming trip to the temple.
As Sister Bednar’s presentation demonstrated, engaging in temple and family history work has never been simpler or more convenient. “You can do this!” she said. “We have a tremendous responsibility to help gather God’s sons and daughters, and He is providing resources and tools to accomplish this great latter-day work,” she said.
The Responsibility to Assist
Elder Bednar urged members of the Church to take seriously their role as heirs of the Abrahamic covenant. “Today and always, we are to invite all to receive the saving ordinances of the Savior’s restored gospel,” he said. “As the seed of Abraham, this is who we are, and this is why we are here—today and always. We have been given much, and much is required of us. We are the gatherers!”
He promised members of the Church that Heavenly Father will bless them as they do the “very simple things” that they know they should do. “I promise, the doors will open,” he said. “Heavenly help will be available to you, and you will be blessed to know that you can do this. Your personal assurance will grow that the course of life you are pursuing is in accordance with God’s holy mind and will.
“I joyfully testify and witness that the heavens are open, revelation is real, and the Restoration is ongoing.”
2019 Temple and Family History Leadership Instruction
Did you miss the 2019 leadership instruction? On February 28, 2019, Elder Bednar, Elder Stevenson, and
Elder Renlund gave important guidelines to consider when organizing temple and family history work in a ward. The counsel given at this Temple and Family History Leadership Instruction meeting can help ward leaders and members coordinate their efforts and inspire others to connect with family and enjoy the blessings of the temple.
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