Family History Moment: Church members around the world accept Elder Andersen's challenge

In an address given at the 2015 RootsTech Conference, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued a challenge to the youth of the Church to “Prepare as many names for the temple as baptisms you perform in the temple and help someone else to do the same.”

The Apostle promised those who accept the challenge and teach it to others that they would “feel the beautiful link that binds us together as families through the generations. You will feel a happiness for those who accept your sacred offering. Your hearts will truly be turned to your fathers, and you will feel their hearts turned toward you. You will feel purpose and strength that will help you to avoid the temptations that surround you. You will better see the unseen — the eternal things that the world does not see.

“As you add this work to your righteous life, the Gift of the Holy Ghost will be a stronger influence upon you. Your belief in and appreciation for the Savior will increase. You will better understand the power of His Atonement, and you will be safeguarded from the distractions that can so easily pull you from His commandments.”

Youth of the Church have accepted the apostle’s challenge by getting involved in family history and temple work both in ward activities as well as on their own. Many have shared their stories — available on — of the blessings that have come into their lives.

“I know this work is true”

Leaders in the Glasgow Scotland Stake have been inviting members to find family names to take to the temple for a couple of years. Hearing Elder Andersen’s challenge raised the bar for them even more.

The youth typically attend the temple twice a year, performing proxy baptisms in the Preston England Temple. Prior to those trips, the youth in the Motherwell Ward spent time researching on to find ancestors to perform work for in the temple. All six of the active youth were able to find at least one name to take to the temple.

Allan Duncanson, the Motherwell Ward Young Men president, shared an experience of baptizing one of the young women for her sister that had died as a teenager, and her deceased grandmother.

“The Spirit has never been stronger for me in the baptistry,” he said. “It was a testimony-building experience. I know this work is true.”

“Saving ordinances … that enable us to be together”

After performing temple ordinances for 321 of his own ancestors, Rene Mora of Ecuador said, “It was a very special day for me where I could feel the spirit of Elijah testifying of this marvelous work.” He added, “It’s very important to know that we can provide the saving ordinances to our families that enable us to be together someday. What a great joy I feel doing my family history.”

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