Wednesday, May 12, 2010
DOING THE WORK
17So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).
18But someone will say [to you then], You [say you] have faith, and I have [good] works. Now you show me your [alleged] faith apart from any [good] works [if you can], and I by [good] works [of obedience] will show you my faith.
On Tuesday evening my husband and I went to the Temple to help with the Young Women and the Aaronic priesthood. They were performing vicarious baptisms for the dead. I knew this was a great opportunity that I could not miss,I felt that our Heavenly Father was personally reaching down and opening a door wide for me and for my deceased family members. Maybe they had prayed for this moment too.
I have been slowly gathering the basic info for the relatives I remembered. It is amazing how life will rob us of our memories.Most of my older family members long gone, no pictures or papers, and no one left in their generation to bear witness of them. My family is scattered and not that close. I was able to find info on my maternal grandparents, my paternal grandmother,and my dad. It is interesting to note that I find that I don't know much about my dad, except my own memories of when I was a little girl. He left no letters or cards to remember. My dad was a good dad, very loving, our family was totally dysfunctional. But,he was a good dad in spite of it all. He didn't like to write much and he was an infrequent corresponder. So not many letters.There were quite a few pictures, but my stepmother has most of them. There were no small tokens of remembrances from him, nothing to pass down. My stepmother gave me some items that represented his job as a school bus driver, a pin proclaiming him employee of the month. I still find it amazing how far I am from my family or whats left of it. I experienced the lives of both sets of grandparents when I was very young,so I have no other references. My maternal grandmothers children are dead,a daughter and son,and my mother is the last in her line. Quite a few grand children are dead also, quite a few at a very young age. I remember these episodes in my history. I remember going to a lot of funerals when I was quite young. I had no idea what would happen to these family members. People would tell me that my grandma had gone to heaven because she was a good and God fearing woman.I hoped so, because I felt it would be a waste if she wasn't there. I was 8 years old when she died.
Since I have joined the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, I have been exposed to wonderful opportunities to learn about our Savior and our Heavenly Father's plans for us in this life and the next. I was taught about heaven and hell,but I could not know even the half of it since coming to this church. The scriptures reveal their secrets to me.
D&C 127: 6-7
6 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning your dead: When any of you are baptized for your dead, let there be a recorder, and let him be an eye-witness of your baptisms; let him hear with his ears, that he may testify of a truth, saith the Lord;
7 That in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven; whatsoever you bind on earth, may be bound in heaven; whatsoever you loose on earth, may be loosed in heaven;
My husband acted as witness and he said that when he heard his mothers name and witnessed the young sister being baptized in her name, he felt a release, he said that he felt as if someone were hugging him. I have to say that the people that participated were a lively group. It was a great evening and I am sure there may have been celebrating beyond the veil.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
“It remains the responsibility of each individual to know his kindred dead. … Even if the [temple] work is done, then it is still each person’s responsibility to study and become acquainted with his ancestors.”
President Joseph Fielding Smith quoted in Hearts Turned to the Fathers: A History of the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1894–1994 (1995), 184.
The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 pleads an eloquent case for baptism of the dead:
1 Corinthians 15:20-23: 26:29
20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
21For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
26The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
29Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
For the longest time, I have been apprehensive about searching for my family members. I sense that I may have to travel. I feel that members of my family are being spared so that they might help me. I know that there is more to do. In my sometimes disorganized state, I find clues. I can move forward now, I know that I had to at least start the process on the names I had and I know that information will be available to me to find the rest. I am the portal in our family. Maybe this is the reason, I am here....... now.