Friday, April 13, 2012

WHO SHALL DECLARE HIS GENERATION

Honeymoon:James & Ruth
MOSIAH 15:101And now I say unto you, who shall declare his generation? Behold, I say unto you, that when his soul has been made an offering for sin he shall see his seed. And now what say ye? And who shall be his seed
I have been having a moment, maybe a series of moments. So recently I treated myself to a 6 month gift of Ancestry.com. Have you seen those commercials? I love them, I have to find out what genius started this company. So the 1930 and 1940 census has been made available...... OK, that was my reaction too. So I have been working on my family history and about 2 years ago I came to an impasse and stopped. But I decided to give it one one more try.
And just like on the commercial, the name of an Aunt that I had previously worked on "popped up". Seriously, there was a little green leaf waving at me. It said "We have some new information for you"." Would you like to see what it is?" Of course I said yes and I clicked the leaf on my Aunt and the screen opened up to "The 1930 United States Census".
And I thought, where am I? So the site is somewhat interactive and my mouse immediately zoomed in on my Aunt's name and then the names of 2 sisters and 2 brothers and my great-grandmother, of whom I had never heard of. I felt like I was having my own personal family reunion. My Dad's grandma Madge, who knew? He never talked about her, but then in 1930 he was just a baby. I felt in my heart, that whisper, that small confirmation that this insight, this break through was a gift, because if left to my own devices, I would not have found them  
I feel and then I know too, that I am the "gate keeper" in my family. It seems that all of my older relatives have passed on, and they seemed to have lived a long life, that started to end when I was old enough to make conversation with them. I don't remember many family stories, there aren't many pictures left. I did manage to grab this really cute and old picture (top) of my mom and dad. This was their honeymoon/meet the rest of family picture. I found the last picture they took together and it was at my brothers wedding. 

Mom & Dad
So far I have managed to created a few branches to my tree. The whole allegory of trees in scripture is not lost on me, and now more clear. When I first joined the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I was taught a lot of information, and this scripture in D&C123 caused me to pause. What did it mean that my salvation is contingent on the salvation of my family members, specifically those who were dead? 

Doctrine and Covenants 123:151And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers—that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect.
I was then taught about the "Spirit of Elijah" and at the time I was even more confused. What does it mean to manifest the Spirit of Elijah, and why?   
"Elder Russell M. Nelson has taught that the Spirit of Elijah is “a manifestation of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the divine nature of the family” (“A New Harvest Time,” Ensign, May 1998, 34). This distinctive influence of the Holy Ghost draws people to identify, document, and cherish their ancestors and family members—both past and present.The Spirit of Elijah affects people inside and outside of the Church. However, as members of Christ’s restored Church, we have the covenant responsibility to search out our ancestors and provide for them the saving ordinances of the gospel. “They without us should not be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:40; see also Teachings: Joseph Smith, 475). And “neither can we without our dead be made perfect” (D&C 128:15)".The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn/Elder David L. Bednar

 I have sought out that Spirit and I believe that I did find it. One benefit of studying and pondering the Book of Mormon. So that sweet spirit  did whisper to me concerning the names of long lost family members, and prompted me to dig a little deeper, and to have patience and exercise a measure of faith. It is an awesome experience, because as you look at each name, and then even just a small amount of historical information, the story of your life and their life is being written. I believe that sites like Ancestry.com and LDS Family Search and others contribute to the Lambs Book of Life.
 MOSIAH 5:7And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters. BOOK OF MORMON 
I am so thankful for the family I was given, I feel humbled that I have the privilege to be a "savior" of sorts for my family. When I look back at my life, it was not an ideal family situation and my parents struggled and we all suffered. But here is where the Atonement of our sweet Savior can be a "Balm in Gilead". All of the pain and tears and loneliness during that part of my life and sometimes now, in missing my parents, the Savior can succor us and he has made it right. So my responsibility is to accept that and benefit from it and hope that my family is happy. 
At a recent Stake Temple Day, the Temple President mentioned that our families pray for us on the other side of the veil. They are anxious for us and pray for us that we may continue on in the worked we have been charged.       
Malachi 3:16-1716 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.


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