Fether

Us without our dead cannot be made perfect(?)

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I am giving a talk next Sunday on family history. I love this topic and have a lot of passion for it. But in my ponderings I realized that there are a couple questions I have and that I feel naturally come to our minds.

1) When it comes to family history, why do Ivneed to do it now? EVERYONE is ganna get their work done in the millennium, why do I need to put great effort into it now?

2) What does it mean when Joseph Smith said “they without us can not be made perfect - neithet us without  our dead be made perfect”

thoughts?

Secondary question:

Is keeping a personal journal part of doing family history work?

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51 minutes ago, Fether said:

I am giving a talk next Sunday on family history. I love this topic and have a lot of passion for it. But in my ponderings I realized that there are a couple questions I have and that I feel naturally come to our minds.

1) When it comes to family history, why do Ivneed to do it now? EVERYONE is ganna get their work done in the millennium, why do I need to put great effort into it now?

2) What does it mean when Joseph Smith said “they without us can not be made perfect - neithet us without  our dead be made perfect”

thoughts?

Secondary question:

Is keeping a personal journal part of doing family history work?

1)  By analogy—why should I take my wife on a date next Friday, when I’ll have all eternity to do it?

I think there is value to trying to foster such relationships in the here-and-now.

2)  In legal terms (especially in the field of secured transactions), “perfect” is both a noun and a verb (the latter pronounced “per-FECT”) that is more or less synonymous with “complete”.  

A separate, but related analogy:  Would Queen Elizabeth II be a “queen” independently of her forbears who also carried a royal title?  And, what would it mean for her if she had no one to pass that title on to?

I don’t know if it will be helpful, but maybe take a look at this Conference talk?  

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2000/10/be-a-strong-link?lang=eng

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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6 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

1)  By analogy—why should I take my wife on a date next Friday, when I’ll have all eternity to do it?

That is a great analogy, but I feel like it still doesn’t drive home the need to do family history now.

One reason people don’t do it is cause there isn’t a noticable need for it. No one is ever turned away at the temple because they ran out of names. I often wonder what would happen if we as members were only allowed to attend the temple when we brought our own names.

Are there even consequences for not doing family history work???

How can I/we instill the need in a different way so it teaches those that aren’t listening? 

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28 minutes ago, zil said:

Yes.

I believe so too. Do you know why and how? Do you know if any references or sources? I know quite a few but none that directly relate it to genealogy

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Just one minor point to keep in mind for your talk: WE without them cannot be made perfect, nor they without US.

Pronoun usage makes all the difference. (Not really, but there you go.)

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

I am giving a talk next Sunday on family history. I love this topic and have a lot of passion for it. But in my ponderings I realized that there are a couple questions I have and that I feel naturally come to our minds.

1) When it comes to family history, why do Ivneed to do it now? EVERYONE is ganna get their work done in the millennium, why do I need to put great effort into it now?

2) What does it mean when Joseph Smith said “they without us can not be made perfect - neithet us without  our dead be made perfect”

thoughts?

Secondary question:

Is keeping a personal journal part of doing family history work?

My response is just based on personal experience and is most likely not found in resource. I had the privilege of visiting the spirit world. I was very ill a few years back and I had been vomiting intermittently. After a particularly bad session of vomiting I laid down and all of my pain went away. The last thing I remember feeling was my entire body had the fuzzy feeling, like when your foot falls asleep. I then found myself in an area of the spirit world where people had not known Jesus during mortal life. I was given authority to feel all of their emotions and identify each emotion in specificity. Some were even "speaking" aloud or projecting their thoughts. They were afraid, confused, angry. Some didn't expect to still be alive after leaving mortality. They had not planned for this ordeal and it was frustrating. They could not leave the designated area. I felt my brethren and I heard their pleas for relief. My spirit ached and began to call out to them. I testified to them that they had a Savior. That Jesus had suffered for them. Mid sentence I was removed from their presence and I abruptly awoke. I could feel my pain again. The Lord had mercy on me and sent me back to my wife and babies.

I testify to you that the spirits of the dead ARE suffering without their temple work done. It is OUR responsibility to help them along in a timely manner. The sooner the better to feel relief. Are not we all family? Are we not kinsmen of the Kingdom of our Father? We are ALL Children of God and the mercy of His Beloved Son is extended to all who call upon Him and enter into His righteous covenants. We help them enter into those covenants if ever the occasion warrants. This life is madness at times; thank goodness for the plan of salvation and the holy temples that are part of that plan.

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42 minutes ago, Fether said:

I believe so too. Do you know why and how? Do you know if any references or sources? I know quite a few but none that directly relate it to genealogy

I consider it simple logic:

1) Your journal (as opposed to the fictional story you wrote) is a history of your life.

2) You are part of a family.

Therefore, by definition, your journal is family history.

I know the Church used to include keeping a journal in lists suggesting things families could do - as part of keeping their own family history - but looking at the Family History portal on LDS.org, it's now much more geared toward temple work.  Back when the "keep your own family history" was more prominent, so was learning about your ancestors through their journals.  Right now, the closest thing is:

Quote

Interview family members, and share stories
This can be easily done on the free FamilySearch Memories app. Gather your family stories and memories, and record them for generations to come.

Oh, I found one reference - the "Journaling" link on this page opens a PDF:

https://www.lds.org/topics/family-history/host-a-family-history-fair/resources/activities?lang=eng&old=true

IMO, the scriptures all started as really good journals.

Some lds.org searches that turn up GC results about keeping a journal:

https://www.lds.org/search?domains=general-conference&lang=eng&query="keep+a+journal"

https://www.lds.org/search?domains=general-conference&lang=eng&query="keeping+a+journal"

(there aren't many - there are plenty more if you remove the "GC" restriction)

"journal writing" (without the quotes) pulls up others.

President Kimball's quote seems popular:

Quote

Get a notebook, my young folks, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity. Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies” (New Era, Oct. 1975, 5).
—President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985)

FWIW.  I suspect this is one of those topics where we've heard it enough, and now it's up to us - kinda like food storage.

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2 hours ago, Fether said:

I am giving a talk next Sunday on family history. I love this topic and have a lot of passion for it. But in my ponderings I realized that there are a couple questions I have and that I feel naturally come to our minds.

1) When it comes to family history, why do Ivneed to do it now? EVERYONE is ganna get their work done in the millennium, why do I need to put great effort into it now?

2) What does it mean when Joseph Smith said “they without us can not be made perfect - neithet us without  our dead be made perfect”

thoughts?

Secondary question:

Is keeping a personal journal part of doing family history work?

1) Family history is a commandment, and obedience is the first law of heaven. There is a law irrevocably decreed by which all blessings are predicated. If we aren't doing our family history than we are missing out on some blessing. In our stake right now thoughts are being shared that the work we perform for our ancestors allows them to be ministering angels to us, or of some sort.

We also often do not know the blessing being missed until we do, but for sure one blessing being missed is an increase of the Spirit of the Lord in our lives. In Joel we are informed that young man (I would include woman) will see visions. I wouldn't be surprised if this is also accomplished through temple work and doing temple work for our ancestors. I had a bishop who shared a vision he had in the temple where the veil was rent before him. I am not going into this too deeply on a public forum, but needless to say the veil was rent. I would say this is part of the blessing, or could be a blessing in our lives and for our youth. I wouldn't though say, "Go to the temple, do family history work, and you will rend the veil."

2) The last part of Joseph Smith's quote is easy to define and see how they are able to be made perfect through the atonement and our efforts. I am not sure though how we are not able to be perfect without them. The only principle that comes to my mind is repetition. As we do the work for others we learn more of the mysteries of God. These mysteries allow us to gain knowledge and understanding that lead more to become Godlike.

3) Yes, keep a journal is part of family history work. The quote in the Bible that the hearts of the children shall be turned to the hearts of the fathers, and the fathers to the children. Our journal writings fulfills the fathers turning their hearts toward their posterity. When our children read our journals (grandchildren and great grandchildren) their hearts turn toward their fathers (who they may or may not have known), which then correlates with the following verses of scripture in Jacob 4: 1-6:

Quote

 

"Now behold, it came to pass that I, Jacob, having ministered much unto my people in word, (and I cannot write but a little of my words, because of the difficulty of engraving our words upon plates) and we know that the things which we write upon plates must remain;

2 But whatsoever things we write upon anything save it be upon plates must perish and vanish away; but we can write a few words upon plates, which will give our children, and also our beloved brethren, a small degree of knowledge concerning us, or concerning their fathers—

3 Now in this thing we do rejoice; and we labor diligently to engraven these words upon plates, hoping that our beloved brethren and our children will receive them with thankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learn with joy and not with sorrow, neither with contempt, concerning their first parents.

4 For, for this intent have we written these things, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory many hundred years before his coming; and not only we ourselves had a hope of his glory, but also all the holy prophets which were before us.

5 Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him; and for this cause it is sanctified unto us for righteousness, even as it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness to be obedient unto the commands of God in offering up his son Isaac, which is a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son.

6 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea." (emphasis mine)

 

Our children need to know that we knew of Christ and that we had a hope of his glory years before his second coming. They need our witness, and we need to fulfill this prophecy in our lives by turning our hearts to our posterity (children), and they in turn turning their hearts toward their fathers as they read the words we have written.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Fether said:

1) When it comes to family history, why do Ivneed to do it now? EVERYONE is ganna get their work done in the millennium, why do I need to put great effort into it now?

2) What does it mean when Joseph Smith said “they without us can not be made perfect - neithet us without  our dead be made perfect”

1) JAG answered this one - for the same reason you do any good thing now.  (Plus, "The Millennium" might need to become "The Millennia" in order to get all the work done.)

From a speculation standpoint, there are those who theorize that the Spirits of our ancestors, once sealed to us, have greater power to protect us from the adversary.  (This kinda seems like a no-brainer to me.)  The implication is that it's our ancestors who help and protect us from beyond the veil, not strangers or randomly assigned spirits - therefore, until they're sealed to us, they have little to no ability to help us, and no authority wherewith to act for good.

2) The short answer, IMO, is that this has not be explicitly spelled out for us.  Thus, we are left to assume.  JAG's analogy was an excellent one, I think.  The Family Proclamation would give us other hints, as would temple sealings.  Certainly, it seems obvious from a functional standpoint that righteous ancestors set the example and lay the groundwork for righteous and prosperous descendants, and that righteous descendants can extend by proxy the ordinances of salvation to their ancestors - in other words, functionally, we need each other's help.  For whatever reason, exaltation requires that all the participants be sealed into one great big family.  Intuitively, this seems right, but don't ask me how to lay out a geometry-class-style proof.

1 hour ago, Fether said:

How can I/we instill the need in a different way so it teaches those that aren’t listening?  

You/we can't.  The Holy Ghost and the Spirit of Elijah do this.  Worry about inviting them, so they can touch the listeners' hearts.

Edited by zil

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4 hours ago, Fether said:

I am giving a talk next Sunday on family history. I love this topic and have a lot of passion for it. But in my ponderings I realized that there are a couple questions I have and that I feel naturally come to our minds.

1) When it comes to family history, why do Ivneed to do it now? EVERYONE is ganna get their work done in the millennium, why do I need to put great effort into it now?

2) What does it mean when Joseph Smith said “they without us can not be made perfect - neithet us without  our dead be made perfect”

thoughts?

Secondary question:

Is keeping a personal journal part of doing family history work?

1) Generally, because everything the Lord asks us to do is for our and all his children's benefit. Of course, Mosiah 4:27 applies and we have the Holy Ghost to guide us in what to do, how much, and when.

2) I think it means two things: one to become like Christ, and two, to become complete* (individually as a link between two others, and collectively as a larger family chain)

* see https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/perfect?lang=eng

Yes, a personal journal is part of family history work (more current events that past history) and sharing your testimony for future generations.

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3 hours ago, Fether said:

I believe so too. Do you know why and how? Do you know if any references or sources? I know quite a few but none that directly relate it to genealogy

" Any Latter-day Saint family that has searched genealogical and historical records has fervently wished its ancestors had kept better and more complete records. On the other hand, some families possess some spiritual treasures because ancestors have recorded the events surrounding their conversion to the gospel and other happenings of interest, including many miraculous blessings and spiritual experiences." https://www.lds.org/new-era/1980/12/president-kimball-speaks-out-on-personal-journals?lang=eng

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3 hours ago, zil said:

You/we can't.  The Holy Ghost and the Spirit of Elijah do this.  Worry about inviting them, so they can touch the listeners' hearts.

But we can present commandments in new light; allowing understanding to take over and give them testimonies.

This happened to me with scripture study, temple attendance, honesty, integrity and many other topics. Simply inviting someone to do what has already been commanded is essential, but I’m sure there is more we can do beyond just invite.

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1 minute ago, Fether said:

Simply inviting someone to do what has already been commanded is essential, but I’m sure there is more we can do beyond just invite.

I wasn't suggesting you invite the congregation - I was suggesting you invite the Holy Ghost and the Spirit of Elijah.

You do that, in part, by presenting true doctrine and bearing testimony (as I'm sure you know - I'm just reminding you).

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26 minutes ago, zil said:

I wasn't suggesting you invite the congregation - I was suggesting you invite the Holy Ghost and the Spirit of Elijah.

You do that, in part, by presenting true doctrine and bearing testimony (as I'm sure you know - I'm just reminding you).

I see.

I will definitely do that :)

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10 hours ago, Fether said:

2) What does it mean when Joseph Smith said “they without us can not be made perfect - neither us without  our dead be made perfect”

We must receive the power of the priesthood as found in the temple. This can only be obtained through the Fathers who hold the keys to that power. Joseph earlier in the discourse said, "Now the great and grand secret of the whole matter, and the summum bonum of the whole subject that is lying before us, consists in obtaining the powers of the Holy Priesthood" (D&C 128:11). They alone hold the keys, they alone administer the power to those who will receive it. 

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The saving ordinances such as baptism and temple ordinances are required to be exalted. All must receive those ordinances. We do the work for our dead so they may progress. As we do their work our hearts are turned to them, and they likewise to us. I like the thought that they may be the ones who minister to us from the other side of the veil.

Journals are a wonderful means of connecting us to our ancestors and posterity. I was teaching my Sunday School Class (12/13 year olds) last month and we were discussing journal writing. One yong man said he had only ever written a few pages and his writings “sounded stupid”. I told the class how my father had died when I was only 6 years old. He never kept a journal. Do you think even one page of a journal would be precious to us, his family? It would be priceless.

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18 hours ago, Fether said:

1) When it comes to family history, why do Ivneed to do it now? EVERYONE is ganna get their work done in the millennium, why do I need to put great effort into it now?

 

I'm not so great at progressing my family genealogy tree presently, so hypocritical to a little degree in saying this...but

If everyone has that attitude towards it...when will it actually get done?  Better to take the attitude to get as much done as you can possibly do and hope others follow suite, that way the work actually gets done (hopefully) someday.

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On 9/11/2018 at 9:23 AM, Fether said:

I2) What does it mean when Joseph Smith said “they without us can not be made perfect - neithet us without  our dead be made perfect”

I propose two meanings in addition to the ones already suggested.

First, our personal perfection is tied to our fulfillment of responsibilities and stewardship.  If we are to become like Christ, then his work and glory needs to become our work and glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. This is no more important or so than within the confines of our home and throughout our family trees.

Second, our personal perfection is also tied to our relationships (no man is an island), particularly those that are bound and sealed in heaven as they are on earth. A parson cannot become perfected until they become husband or wife (neither is the man without the women...), and a father or mother (they twain becoming one flesh). Just as God is glorified in perfection by His children, and His children glorified by Him, so too are mortal parents perfected in and by the perfecting of their children, and the children perfected in and by perfecting of the parents--progenitors as well as posterity.  Honoring Father and mother is as vital as suffering the little children to come unto Christ.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

 

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Another question! Do the dead see the blessings of being sealed together prior to the resurrections and entrance into the Celestial Kingdom??? If my wife and I are in the spirit world and didn't receive the gospel prior to our deaths, but accept it in the spirit world, is there a noticeable change that comes upon us when someone seals us together? 

Oh! And this is a thought I have had for a long time, not sure where it came from or if it is doctrinal. With every person we do temple work for, we add numbers to the post-mortal missionary force (assuming they also accept the ordinances we provided). How accurate is that? Are there any references to this idea? Again, not sure where it came from, but it has been something I have thought of before.

Edited by Fether

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I have no sources (that is, I cannot tell you where I got these ideas), but I swear I've heard it taught that proxy work - specifically baptism - is what allows spirits out of spirit prison - that until their baptism has happened, the are locked in prison (to some degree).

To me, it makes perfect sense that as people on the other side of the veil receive ordinances, they are empowered (endowed with power, if you will) to minister to those who have not yet received the gospel.  I imagine they end up in something like a ward, with something like callings and assignments, and go out and engage in the salvation of the dead.

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3 hours ago, Fether said:

Another question! Do the dead see the blessings of being sealed together prior to the resurrections and entrance into the Celestial Kingdom??? If my wife and I are in the spirit world and didn't receive the gospel prior to our deaths, but accept it in the spirit world, is there a noticeable change that comes upon us when someone seals us together? 

Oh! And this is a thought I have had for a long time, not sure where it came from or if it is doctrinal. With every person we do temple work for, we add numbers to the post-mortal missionary force (assuming they also accept the ordinances we provided). How accurate is that? Are there any references to this idea? Again, not sure where it came from, but it has been something I have thought of before.

This is a very interesting question, and I would have to say the "noticeable change" probably doesn't occur until a person is resurrected. Let me clarify with this question, Is there a difference who will obtain different degrees of heaven, or is this difference only viewed when we have our glorified immortal bodies?

As zil mentioned, when a person is baptized (by proxy) and they accept this baptism they are released from prison. As to my knowledge, those who are baptized and do not accept are still in prison. If we take other accounts pertaining to the Spirit World there isn't a two separate places, but more a state of mind. If a person is in prison, accepts their proxy work, and released then I would say to those who are aware they will see the mental change and freedom.

I would say there is a difference also for those who are racked with what they are viewing of themselves. We are informed that when we die we will have a full recollection of all our guilt. Only those who believed in Christ and accepted his do they enjoy peace. I would think for someone who never knew of Christ, or who knew, but were not aware of the fullness of the gospel, they may be racked with some form of torment, and then when taught and work is accomplished they then will feel the freedom from their sins. I think this will provide a noticeable change so to speak.

In this sense, when resurrected we will see a noticeable change of glory and countenance, and mentally we will see a noticeable change of saved rather than those who remain in prison.

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On 9/11/2018 at 11:25 AM, Fether said:

That is a great analogy, but I feel like it still doesn’t drive home the need to do family history now.

One reason people don’t do it is cause there isn’t a noticable need for it. No one is ever turned away at the temple because they ran out of names. I often wonder what would happen if we as members were only allowed to attend the temple when we brought our own names.

Are there even consequences for not doing family history work???

How can I/we instill the need in a different way so it teaches those that aren’t listening? 

Someone brought up a quote from a GA (sorry I don't remember who) just a couple weeks ago.  He said basically that the "protection" that we've been promised recently comes from those on the other side that are fending away the evil spirits from us to ensure that we're doing their family history and temple work for them.

I've read too many stories of special blessings while doing indexing and family history work to dismiss this out of hand.  I, myself, had an amazing gift of tongues with a particular document while indexing.  My wife had checked the box for "English" documents only.  However, this one document was partially English and partially another language.  She saw it and asked me to translate the German words on the page.  I looked at it and said,"That's not German.  it's Afrikaans.  And I told her what the document said.

It didn't occur to either of us until we were done with the document that I don't speak Afrikaans. I've never even learned how to read it.  But I knew what it was.  And I translated.  If you see both Afrikaans and German, you'll note they are related.  But there is no way you could translate words on a government form without knowing the language.

3 hours ago, Fether said:

Another question! Do the dead see the blessings of being sealed together prior to the resurrections and entrance into the Celestial Kingdom??? If my wife and I are in the spirit world and didn't receive the gospel prior to our deaths, but accept it in the spirit world, is there a noticeable change that comes upon us when someone seals us together? 

Oh! And this is a thought I have had for a long time, not sure where it came from or if it is doctrinal. With every person we do temple work for, we add numbers to the post-mortal missionary force (assuming they also accept the ordinances we provided). How accurate is that? Are there any references to this idea? Again, not sure where it came from, but it has been something I have thought of before.

I dont' know how time here affects time there or vice-versa.  What I do know is that prophets have told us again and again that there are spirits in prison who are anxiously awaiting the work that we do for them.

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3 hours ago, zil said:

I have no sources (that is, I cannot tell you where I got these ideas), but I swear I've heard it taught that proxy work - specifically baptism - is what allows spirits out of spirit prison - that until their baptism has happened, the are locked in prison (to some degree).

Perhaps D&C 138:58-59?

Quote

The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God, and after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation.

 

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