In 1997, during the year of celebration of the sesquicentennial of the arrival of the pioneers, my father gave me some family names that he had researched and for whom he had received clearance for temple ordinance work.
I took the first batch of female names to do the ordinance work for them. As I sat waiting to begin, I looked at one of the female names for whom I was doing work. I was startled to realize that her father, Wellington Paul Wilson, was the brother of my great-great-grandfather, George Deliverance Wilson, with whose life I was well-acquainted. I noticed with emotion that this girl for whom I was about to do vicarious work had been born in Winter Quarters, Neb., in 1846, and who likely died a short time later.
This infant was born into very trying circumstances, where the very next spring, her family carted away across the plains to Utah and spent most of their lives trying to tame the wilderness.
I realized that I was doing something of eternal significance for one of my pioneer ancestors whose family suffered so much through extreme opposition to be obedient to the counsel of the prophet of God.
I am a beneficiary of their sacrifice, and have had the legacy of their example to inspire me to greater heights in life. Realizing that I had an opportunity to do for her what she couldn't do for herself left me so touched by the Spirit that I started to quietly weep as the ordinance proceeded. Soon all the ordinance workers were weeping, too. Although they didn't know why, they, too, felt the profound spirit present.
I will always remember that as one of the sweet, sacred moments as I served the Lord and my kindred dead in the temples of our God. Marilyn Haslem Groneman, Cedar Hills 8th Ward, Cedar Hills Utah Stake