Sunday, September 23, 2012


I attend my church because I have felt The Holy Ghost testify to me that it is Christ's Church, established for the cause of bringing all of us home to our Heavenly Father.  But one of the things I love about my church is how our lessons are taught.  None of our clergy is paid and every position; from the organist to the Scout Master, every one of us are volunteers.  The teachers in the classroom are regular moms and dads, accountants and mechanics and optometrists.  We don't have (for the most part) degrees in theology and are not trained lecturers.

There is something, though.  Something that each one of us has and that most others in the room do not have.  We have our life experiences, our struggles and successes, our personal search for truth and the quiet moments kneeling at our bedside.  Each one of us has a unique relationship with our Heavenly Father and with our Savior, Jesus Christ.  The scriptures teach us:

"And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.  Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand."  Doctrine and Covenants 88:77-78

In a classroom where the Spirit is welcome, this kind of more perfect instruction is possible.  The teacher may teach it, but it is more likely that we, the students, learn from one another and when done right, by the Holy Ghost himself by speaking to our hearts and minds.

Indeed, sometimes we even teach ourselves!  A clarity of thought, given as a gift of the Spirit, helps us know what to say.

I had just such an experience this week.  In a class where we were talking about family history work and the importance of the promise given to Elijah, as spoken of in the very last verse in the Old Testament:

"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet . . . And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers . . ." Malachi 4:5-6

Anyone who has done any genealogy at all will testify that this promise is coming to pass.  The hearts of the fathers are turned to the children!  There is help from beyond the veil.  Our fathers and mothers are doing everything they can to help us find the dusty book in the corner of the library, the tombstone in the overgrown cemetery, the distant cousin who just happened to check a site where you were posting questions to which she knew the answers.

I know this is already long, but stick with me.

My comment was something like this:

Several years ago, I had an epiphany--and it wasn't a positive epiphany.  I realized that when Lucifer and his followers were banished from Heaven, they came as a group.  We didn't.  We came as we come; one or two at a time, born into families.  And we don't stick around for long.  Satan and his "angels" all came at once and they have been here for a long time.  They have practice and experience and, since these are the last days, they are getting desperate.

It had a dooming effect on me.  We are totally outnumbered!  They are all out there and they are all attacking my family!  We don't have a chance!

And then the lesson came, from my lips, but not from me, if you know what I mean.

Why are the hearts of the fathers turned to the children?  It isn't just for selfish purposes.  It isn't just because they want their temple work completed (though they do want that, too).  It is because they love us!  We are their grandchildren and they are interested in our welfare.  They are doing everything they can to help us.
The hearts of our fathers are turned to us because they want us to be saved!

We are not outnumbered.  There are so many more of us than there are of them.

Suddenly, my heart is turned to my fathers in a whole new way.  Duty is not the reason for searching out our kindred dead.  Now, for me, it is selfish.  My family and I need all the help we can get.


  1. I LOVE this. I have felt that doomed feeling as I had the same realization. I love the insight! It's also one of those things that make me say, "Duh. Why wouldn't I have realized this?" Thanks for posting.

  2. I think these thoughts come when someone you love so dearly is on the other side...and when that someone loved you so dearly as well. A mother who dies must and still would do anything for their children despite the "distance" between the veil. I think the same way about our ancestors who so passionately love their family and posterity on earth, their main work in heaven besides accepting the gospel, is to direct us to salvation as well.

    I think the unseen armies between righteousness and evil have always been in the favor of the righteous. 2/3 of God's army chose to come to earth- not all at once, but who to say how those 2/3 after death or before birth influence those on earth. We are surrounded by angels!!!Good ones! They are fighting the fight with us!

    Our ancestors in heaven and us down here trying to do their work can interchangeably say the same thing "In saving others we are saving ourselves"