After making the long trip to the Montevideo Uruguay Temple, her parents realized they forgot to bring temple names.
“They called me right away for help,” said the young woman from Argentina, identified as Emma, on a Zoom discussion. “So, thanks to technology, I was able to send them some temple names. Isn’t technology amazing? I think Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father gave us this tool to accelerate the gathering of Israel.”
She was one of eight young adults on a panel at RootsTech 2023. Scott and Angelle Anderson, volunteers for thefhguide.com, met with them via Zoom on Saturday, March 4, to hear their testimonies from Croatia to England to Colorado.
In the class, “Opening the Heavens: A Live Panel Discussion With Young Adults From Around the World,” participants shared how temple and family history work brings them closer to their ancestors and to their Savior.
The gathering of Israel
“Every single one of these young adults joining us today,” said Angelle Anderson at the start of the class, “is truly taking the lead in gathering Israel.”
She shared a declaration that Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles offered in 2021: “I have a particular emphasis on the young adults of the Church. You are leaders. You can take the lead in the gathering of Israel on both sides of the veil. ... You will influence the lives of more people than you can ever imagine.”
Holding this panel at RootsTech with young adults from all over the world, said Scott Anderson, is evidence of that statement.
“These remarkable young adults are fantastic leaders, committed, remarkable members and wonderful gatherers,” he said. “This work is [the Lord’s] work, and the ultimate goal is to come to Christ through ordinances in His beautiful temple and to help everyone else do the same on both sides of the veil.”
The privilege of temple attendance
When she returned from her mission in Provo, Utah, she set a goal to attend the temple every week: “I don’t care how long it takes me,” she said. “I thought: ‘I don’t want to be someone that’s close to the temple and not go. I have to go because it’s a privilege.’”
Butler has found a personal connection to her ancestors by doing their temple work. During one visit to the temple, she had a powerful experience with a deceased relative.
“I did her initiatory, and I just felt she was there. And I felt she was so overjoyed, and she was so ready and anxious, like, ‘I want to have my temple work done now.’”
“Going to the temple is one of the most significant ways for us to follow Jesus and follow His example,” she said. “Through the temple, you can also draw other people close to God and close to the gospel. … It’s one of the greatest gifts God ever gave us in this dispensation.”
Cherishing covenants and familial bonds
A panel member from Utah prepared throughout her senior year of high school to receive her endowments in the temple. After graduating in 2022, she started college and the difficulties that brought.
“It kind of feels overwhelming sometimes,” she said, “and I’ve realized that so much of what has kept me grounded and kept me happy and focused on my Savior is elements of family history work.”
One element of family history work that has helped her through tough times is journaling: “I love making a personal record that my kids will read someday. … It’s helped me to both appreciate this wonderful phase of life I’m in and record it and process things as I write them out.”
She was called as a temple preparation teacher at age 18 and recently received a mission call to Salta, Argentina. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity I have to … cherish the covenants that I’ve made before my time serving.”