A sextant is a navigation instrument which helps you reach a Goal
And behold, one came and said unto him, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. The young man saith unto him, “All these [commandments] have I kept from my youth up. What lack I yet?” Jesus said unto him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and come and follow me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:16–22) (emphasis added)
Ponder the young man’s question, “What lack I yet?” Ponder: Is Temple and Family History work a commandment?
Our Greatest Responsibility Joseph Smith declared: “The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead…. “Those saints who neglect it, in behalf of their deceased relatives, do it at the peril of their own salvation.” History of the Church, 6:313
This message by President Joseph Fielding Smith first appeared in the February 1910 Improvement Era (p. 352). “The theme is so timely and the words so pertinent as to merit restating.”* “It matters not what else we have been called to do or what position we may occupy or how faithfully in other ways we have labored in the Church; none are exempt from this great obligation. It is required of the apostle as well as the humblest elder. Place, distinction, or long service in the Church will not entitle one to disregard the salvation of one’s dead. If we neglect this weightier privilege and commandment, notwithstanding all other good works, we shall find ourselves under severe condemnation.” * First Presidency message, Ensign, February 1971
Boyd K. Packer said, “There somehow seems to be the feeling that genealogical work is an all-or-nothing responsibility. That is not so. Genealogical work is another responsibility for every Latter-day Saint. And we may do it successfully along with all the other responsibilities that rest upon us. “The bishop can do it without neglecting his flock. A stake missionary can do it without abandoning his mission. A Sunday School teacher can accomplish it without forgetting his lesson. A ward Relief Society president can do it without forsaking the sisters in the ward. “You can fulfill your obligation to your kindred dead and to the Lord without forsaking your other responsibilities. You can do this work. You can do it without becoming a so-called ‘expert’ in it. “Once we started, we found the time. Somehow we were able to carry on all of the other responsibilities. There seemed to be an increased inspiration in our lives because of this work. But the decision, the action, must begin with the individual. The Lord will not tamper with our agency. If we want a testimony of genealogical and temple work, we must do something about that work.” The Holy Temple,Bookcraft, 1980, pp. 223-30, 239-40. (emphasis added)
In the October 2014 General Conference, Elder Allan F. Packer said “From the Doctrine and Covenants we read: ‘The great day of the Lord is at hand. … Let us, therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple, … a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.’ D & C 128:24 “This “book” will be prepared using the records of names and ordinances in the Church’s Family Tree database. “LDS Church Handbook 2: 2.2 ‘the Church focuses on divinely appointed responsibilities. These include helping members live the gospel of Jesus Christ, gathering Israel through missionary work, caring for the poor and needy, and enabling the salvation of the dead by building temples and performing vicarious ordinances. ‘These four focuses and all other laws, commandments, and ordinances are required and not optional.’
“As we work toward exaltation, we must work on all of the requirementsand not become distracted by focusing on one or two requirements or other unrelated things. “We do not set the requirements, but, individually, we must meet all of them. The plan of salvation contains all of the doctrines, laws, commandments, and ordinances needed for all to qualify for exaltation. “The leaders did not set the requirements for exaltation. God did! “Few members are regularly involved in finding and doing temple ordinances for their family. This calls for a change in our priorities. Don't fight the change, embrace it! This work needs to be done, for our dead and for ourselves. It is essential to our salvation. “We must not sacrifice our exaltation or that of our families for less important interests.” October 2014, General Conference. (emphasis added)
The Question was: Is Temple and Family History work a commandment? What is the answer? Why did the young man go away sorrowful? What “possessions” keep people from this work?
“I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for the future.” (General Conference Oct 2008. Finding Joy in the Journey, President Thomas B. Monson) “Our job is to search out our dead and then go to the temple and perform the sacred ordinances that will bring to those beyond the veil the same ordinances we have.” “Man was not given a choice to do this [family history] work when and if he pleased, or when he had time, but the work was given as an obligation to be filled. This work must hasten.” (The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter .)
The Process: We covenanted to “Sacrifice” and “Consecrate”. The law of consecration is that we consecrate our time, our talents, and our money and property to the cause of the Church; such are to be available to the extent they are needed to further the Lord's interests on earth.” (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Conference, Apr. 1975, pp. 74-76) “That which goes on in the House of the Lord, and which must be preceded by research, comes nearer to the spirit of the sacrifice of the Lord than any other activity of which I know. Why? Because it is done by those who give freely of their time and substance, without any expectation of thanks or reward, to do for others that which they cannot do for themselves. Great is our mission, and tremendous our responsibility.” Gordon B. Hinckley, "A Century of Family History Service," (Ensign, Mar. 1995, 62-63) “If temple ordinances are an essential part of the restored gospel, and I testify that they are, then we must provide the means by which they can be accomplished. All of our vast family history endeavor is directed to temple work. There is no other purpose for it.” Gordon B. Hinckley, (Ensign, May 1998) (emphasis added)
“The Things of Eternity—Stand We in Jeopardy?” “The Lord’s work in which we are engaged is one vast and grand work with striking similarities on each side of the veil. “I hope to see us dissolve the artificial boundary line we so often place between missionary work and temple and genealogical work, because it is the same great redemptive work!” President Spencer W. Kimball First Presidency Message, “The Things of Eternity - Stand We in Jeopardy?” Ensign, January 1977, p. 3
“To the missionaries, I repeat, it will do no good for you to baptize someone and have that individual fall away from the Church shortly thereafter. What have you accomplished? You may have labored long and hard, you may have fasted and prayed as you taught a particular individual the gospel. But if he does not remain active in the Church, all of your labor has been in vain. The whole process counts for nothing. Any investigator worthy of baptism becomes a convert worthy of saving.” President Gordon B. Hinckley “Find the Lambs, Feed the Sheep”, 21 February 1999
Family History Is a Major Factor in Retention and Activation “The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve have encouraged a much broader use of family history and the family history centers in the retention of new converts and the activation of those who have fallen out of regular church activity. “Early involvement in finding and preparing family names for the temple and, where possible, participation in vicarious baptisms for them are major factors in the retention of new members.” Research Information Division, Church Correlation Department
In Leadership Training on 5 Feb 2016, Elder Allan Packer taught, “The Savior charged his apostles to bring forth fruit and that the fruit would remain.” Elder Brent H. Neilson of the Seventy taught, “The keys of the gathering of Israel bestowed by Moses and Elijah are the keys that mission presidents, stake presidents and temple presidents share. When missionaries get involved in family history with their investigators and see both the baptismal font and the temple as the goal, amazing things happen. When recent converts perform baptisms and confirmations in the temple with family names within the first two months, convert retention improves significantly.” Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy, Executive Director of the Temple Department, taught, “In terms of the plan of salvation, the temple becomes the culmination of everything we are talking about. Missionary work is the entrance into the kingdom and temple ordinances are the culmination or the fulfillment of those ordinances.” (emphasis added)
Apply the foregoing counsel from The First Presidency and Priesthood Leaders by developing a goal. Goal: Help the member find family information and enter it into FamilySearch Family Tree. Help the member print temple ordinance cards and present them in the temple for ordinance work. Recent converts will perform baptisms and confirmations in the temple of their own family names within two months of their own baptism.
Our Greatest Responsibility Joseph Smith taught: “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…they without us cannot be made perfect - neither can we without our dead be made perfect.” (emphasis added) (D&C 128:15)
Standards for entering information into Family Tree.
Important policies have been established to facilitate family history research and the submission of names to the temple for ordinance work. A letter from the First Presidency, dated 29 February 2012, reiterates policies first stated in 1995. “Our preeminent obligation is to seek out and identify our own ancestors. Those whose names are submitted for proxy temple ordinances should be related to the submitter. “Without exception, Church members must not submit for proxy temple ordinances any names from unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims. If members do so, they may forfeit their FamilySearch privileges. Other corrective action may also be taken.”
“It is the disposition of many of the people to hurry their work along in an unorganized fashion because of their zeal for temple work. Patience, accompanied by prayer and thorough research, will prove best in the end.” • Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 2 • “That which goes on in the house of the Lord…must be preceded by research.” Gordon B. Hinckley (Ensign, Mar. 1995, 62-63) B. “Because of the sacred nature of this work, members should be diligent in assuring the accuracy of all information submitted.”First Presidency, 1995 Sources help make Family Tree accurate and worthy of all acceptation. In April 1999 general conference, Elder Dallin H Oaks, stated “Witnesses...are vital in God’s plan for the salvation of His children... The scriptures state that ‘in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.’” (2 Cor. 13:1; D&C 6:28). C. “The Lord expects you and me to perform our family history work well. We are going to make mistakes, but none of us can become an expert ... without first being a novice. Therefore, we must plunge into this work, and we must prepare for some uphill climbing.” Thomas S. Monson, June 2014 (emphasis added)
October 8, 2012 Letter from the First Presidency to members of the Church. When members of the Church find the names of ancestors and take those names to the temple for ordinance work, the temple experience can be greatly enriched. Members whose family trees seem to be complete or difficult to add to are encouraged to perform vicarious ordinances with names provided by other members or by the temple. All members are blessed and respected for exercising their faith to attend the temple and perform ordinances for themselves and for deceased individuals.
FamilySearch Family Tree is designed to create one common pedigree for all who have lived on this earth. All may enter and modify data which allows: • Sharing family information with others. • Collaborating with others to research and accurately identify relatives. • Submitting names of deceased relatives for temple ordinances. • Reserve only family members’ names you want to do and share the rest with temple file. • Don’t reserve more than you and your immediate family and friends can do in a few months. NOTE: Family Tree was not created to be a replacement for personal family records nor for keeping records of living family members. On February 11, 2017 Elder Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, admonished, “I invite you to prayerfully consider what kind of sacrifice - preferably a sacrifice of time — you can make to do more family history and temple work.” Play Video: A Sacrifice of Time Download video from Web site
What Will I Do ? “What lack I yet?”
Set goals “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” (Thomas S. Monson, Conference Report, Oct. 1970, 107) What goal have you set for your personal family history work? What family history goal has your family set? What family history goal has your ward and stake set? “What lack I yet?”
Examples of Personal Goals: 1. Enter a goal for increased regular temple attendance on my calendar. 2. Use the https://familysearch.org/ web site. Assure the accuracy for four or five generations of my ancestors and their descendants with sources containing documented proof. Research and prayerfully seek to identify other family members. 3. Schedule two hours a week to work on family history without interruptions. Use time management skills. Ask “What is the best use of my time for the next thirty minutes?”Regulate effort by working from a “To Do” list. Unless we know how to pick up where we left off we will easily become overwhelmed and feel like giving up. 4. Covenant to accurately identify family members, and to “press on.” When feeling overwhelmed; stop for the hour or the day or the week but determine to return to the sacred work as a Savior on Mount Zion. “What lack I yet?” Faithfully follow HIS way
Goal: At least 15 percent or 82 ward members will seek to submit names for temple ordinances. Each adult and youth over age 12 is to sign into their own FamilySearch Family Tree account. Seek a heartfelt experience by finding and entering data into Family Tree or studying the life of ancestors.
Goal: One hundred fifteen or 80 percent of our members age 12 and older are to assure the accuracy of the first Four Generations of their Ancestors using document sources.
Adults will perform proxy ordinances for the deceased by going to go the temple weekly if at all possible. Members who do not have a family name are to attend the temple and perform work for names that have been submitted to Temple File or prepared by ward or stake members.
Goal: One hundred (100) of our ward members will participate in the indexing program of Family Search weekly if resources are available. More adult members will seek opportunities to serve as ordinance workers in the temple.
Family Organization: • Help all members age 12 and older when possible to seek and submit names of their relatives requiring temple ordinances. • Share research goals and efforts with family members. • Share temple ordinance work with extended family. • Each family member will record and update their personal life sketch annually and share it with other close family members. • Add Memories of deceased relatives to Family Tree. • Organize photos and documents for living family members into personal Books of Remembrance.
Priesthood: (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 20:38, 46-47, 51, 53-55)38 The duty of the elders, priests, teachers, deacons, and members of the church of Christ ... 46 The priest's duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament,47 And visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties.51 And visit the house of each member, exhorting them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties. 53 The teacher's duty is to watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them;54 And see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking;55 And see that the church meet together often, and also see that all the members do their duty.
Home Teachers will exhort the family to do its duty by asking the following family history questions: Have all the members of your family, age 12 and up, created their own FamilySearch Family Tree accounts? Does each family member, age 12 and up, have accurate entries of the first four generations of their family in Family Tree? Does your family keep a Book of Remembrance containing current life sketches of each living family member? Is it up to date? Have the family members used the "My Family" booklet at https://familysearch.org/myfamily to accurately identify their family members? Has the family kept "Life Sketches" from the "My Family" booklet in a private file in their home so as to protect the identity of living family members? Are records preserved from catastrophic disaster? What personal and family goals forTemple & Family History have you set, that you would like to share with us home teachers? How may we help you?
Authored by Terry Mason July 4, 2016 Revised: October 2017 http://lessons.tmason1.com/What-lack-I-yet-Clermont.pps (All images in this presentation are from the Gospel Art Kit and the Ensign magazine).