“Joyfully Bound to the Savior through Ordinances and Covenants: The Blessings of Power and Protection” serves as the theme of the 2022 Temple and Family History Leadership Instruction, with the online broadcast looking to the past, present and future benefits of temple service and family history work.
Life isn’t perfect and isn’t always smooth, and anecdotes and examples shared during the broadcast showed people encountering life’s bumps. “The joy and the protection and the power help you traverse the bumps,” said Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “It doesn’t eliminate them but gives you the strength to press forward and deal with them.”
Released Thursday, March 3, on the Gospel Library app, ChurchofJesusChrist.org and RootsTech.org, the instruction meeting featured five members of the Church’s Temple and Family History Executive Council — Elder Bednar and Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; President Camille N. Johnson, Primary general president; Sister Reyna I. Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency; and Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, a General Authority Seventy who is executive director of the Family History Department.
The broadcast includes excerpts from past general conferences and RootsTech sessions where the First Presidency and Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles offered invitations and promised blessings to those who participate in family history and temple service.
The 93-minute broadcast will also be divided into short video segments available online. Each bold subhead below reflects a video segment for separate use in teaching and trainings.
‘Nauvoo’s Temple Legacy’
Standing in front of a mural depicting the completed original Nauvoo temple, Elder Hamilton, cited examples of the importance of covenants and ordinances. They include Nephi’s prophetic visions in the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith’s revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Saints receiving their ordinances in the Nauvoo Temple before departing for the Salt Lake Valley, and President Nelson’s repeated teachings focusing on temples, ordinances and covenants.
In his introduction, Elder Hamilton invited viewers to listen carefully and study repeatedly the instruction given. He also encouraged viewers to use the teachings in their personal ministries to help others not only understand the temple and sacred ordinances, but also to connect them with the power and protection of heaven.”
‘Her Heart’s Desire — the Hurtado Family’
A five-minute video filmed a decade ago showed the Hurtados — a family from Rio Rancho, New Mexico. It depicted the desires of fourth-grader Hannah along with her family’s blossoming interest and involvement in family history.
“My daughter kept praying that I would be baptized someday,” said Joe Hurtado, “and that we could all be sealed together.”
The video concluded with the Hurtados outside the Albuquerque New Mexico Temple after their sealing.
‘10 Years Later — Temple Ordinances and Covenants’
President Johnson and Sister Aburto led a discussion with the Hurtado family, catching up with where family members were in their lives and how the temple sealing and ongoing family history work has blessed them.
“As a family, you only have so much time on this earth,” said Nick Newton, Joe Hurtado’s stepson. “But after a sealing, you then know your family is for eternity.”
The conversation with the Hurtados was divided into four segments.
‘Family History Seems Hard’
With Hannah Hurtado calling family history “fun and amazing,” her father emphasized the ease of the FamilySearch app — simply inputting a photo, description, timeline or name.
“Within two or three minutes, you’ve created family history,” Joe Hurtado said, “and you’ve created a memory not only for your family that surround you but for future generations.”
‘Drawing on the Power of Our Covenants’
Hannah Hurtado described how relying on covenant promises has helped her overcome loneliness, distance and uncertainty as a new college student.
Connie Hurtado, her mother, said she feels a personal cleansing and remission of sins as she prepares to do temple work for ancestors, particularly the initiatory ordinance.
‘The Power and Protection of Covenants Represented by the Temple Garment’
MJ Newton, Nick Newton’s wife acknowledged the spiritual protection that comes when the garment reminds us of covenants we have made in the temple. “I’m showing God my commitment to Him in a way that I can’t any other way.”
Connie Hurtado said the garment is a visual reminder of purity and covenants. “It’s that constant reminder that there is a way home, that I can be received into heavenly grace.”
‘Ordinances Bring Us Closer to the Savior’
Justin Hurtado said temple ordinances, covenants and service provide connections with unseen individuals who are watching out for him.
“It feels like I have a safety cable. So I can walk through life, and if I stumble, it will catch me and I can return to where I’m supposed to be. And every time I go [to the temple], someone adds another cable.”
‘My Calm in the Storm’
In a brief video recorded 10 years ago, Bridgette Feowox shares how temple and family history work created a calming reassurance for her as a young single adult. “Being able to go to the temple, it is my calm in all the storm. It’s that time when I can … come out and say, ’OK, I can breathe, I can do this.’”
In a follow-up panel discussion, Elder Gong drew perspectives from the now-married Bridgette F. Wheatfill and young adult temple workers from the Philippines and France.
‘There Is a Calm in the Storm’
Wheatfill listed what is still a hectic life — five years married, a child born and passed, a second child’s birth, and then working as a nurse during the pandemic.
“It’s just so easy to get caught up in how busy you are and then realizing what the temple really does do for you — just that peace that you need in your life.”
‘Temple and Family History Brings Me Closer to the Savior’
As one does family history and serves ancestors, “it helps us to increase our understanding about our Savior’s Atonement,” said Donna Melise Salangad, adding “we increase also the influence of the Holy Ghost.”
Frèdèric Paulet said that despite the shock of a pandemic-caused loss of job, he sensed a chance to search more for who he is to become and to rely on the Lord. “This has helped me feel closer to Him and know that anything can happen in my life,” he said. “As long as I stay close to Him, I will be able to go through those trials and feel protected.”
‘Working in the Temple Brings Me Closer to the Savior’
Elder Gong then joined five young adult temple workers from Hong Kong, Brazil, and the United States to discuss how serving in the temple brings one closer to Christ.
Enoch Schek said he feels the love the Father and the Son have for those attending the temple and he tries to see them through Their eyes. “I think that serving in the temple has definitely helped me develop more charity in my life.”
Melanie Guevara and Nicole Barker met Elder Gong when the Apostle and his wife, Sister Susan Gong, went for proxy baptisms at the temple where the two were serving. Both Guevara and Barker recalled “an immense feeling of love” — not only for those present and participating in the ordinances but for those on the other side of the veil for whom the work was being done.
‘Serving as an Ordinance Worker Brings Connection’
The connections for temple workers are many — being mindful of God, of those whose ordinances are being done, of the participating patrons. Schek also cited connections with the “community” of other temple workers. “I’ve learned so much from their example,” he said.
Barker recalled a time when she was less involved in the Church and without a temple recommend. “If anyone is trying to think about whether or not they should become an ordinance worker,” she said, “it doesn’t matter where you are right now — you can get there.”
‘Life Is Busy, but the Blessings of Serving Are Great’
In a new city and with a new career, Cederic Piangnee felt impressed to ask his bishop if he could serve in the temple. “Once that happened, I received so many promptings in my life, about how I can better my life, and it has been super great.”
Juggling evening college classes with daytime work, Aarão Maia said he “put the Lord to the test” to help him organize his life if he committed to officiating in the temple on Wednesday afternoons. “When I leave the temple, it comes to my mind — ‘Do it this way at work, do it this way in college, optimize your time this way.’ And in this way, I have been able to do it.”
‘Temple and Family History Work Blesses Me with Power and Protection’
Following a brief video of excerpts from his October 2011 general conference address, “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn,” Elder Bednar joined young adults from Korea, New Zealand, Brazil and the United States to talk of the blessings of temple and family history work.
Recalling a time of personal trials, Jiseon You said she learned “my true identity” through family history work, adding that it “gave me the strength to forgive and to have faith to pray for others, even those who hurt me or criticized me.”
Several shared concise, poignant expressions. “By serving I gain access to Christ’s power,” said Samuel Roberts.
Julene Mortensen said temple and family history work “gives me power to be a disciple and keep my covenants,” adding later that it “protects me by giving me access to the Spirit.”
Said Elder James Hamilton, a full-time missionary: “Family history work guides my thoughts and attention toward Christ.”
‘I Have Felt Blessings; So Can You’
When Elder Bednar asked what might be said to a young person who thinks family history work isn’t very exciting, Samuel Sosa said he believes that for young people, “it is necessary to show an example, to show that it can be done. In this way, they will surely be able to make family history a priority in their lives.”
Roberts added that family history work has “helped open my eyes to the realities of miracles when I simply try to do something on my own. … And I think that’s something that the youth of the Church can develop a testimony of by doing family history.”
‘Concluding thoughts’ — executive council
Elder Bednar asked each executive council participant for a key lesson or takeaway from the instruction broadcast.
Said Elder Gong: “No matter who we are, no matter where we are in the world, no matter our circumstance, there is something we can do to continue on the [covenant] path or get on the path. And as we do so, there is great power and great protection in the ordinances and covenants. It is an invitation to all of us to feel good about where we are and to keep going.”
Sister Aburto said efforts to keep covenants, live the gospel and be active in the work of salvation result in blessings. “Maybe our life is not going to be perfect — we all have problems, we’ll have our struggles. But our heart has changed.”
Elder Hamilton underscored the power and protection available by participating in temple ordinances and making covenants. “That experience is significantly enhanced when we bring our own family names to the temple, when it’s our family.”
President Johnson said she learned the power and protection of temple blessings are liberating. “Being bound to the Savior gives us that power and protection to exercise our agency, draw closer to Him and take the steps we need to take to return to Him individually and collectively as families.”
Elder Bednar underscored the reality of the promised joy, protection and blessings. “All of these things are true,” he said. “All of these things are real. And all of these things apply individually and personally, in your individual life and in your family.”
With Elder Gong, he invoked an apostolic blessing — “that as you learn, study and pray and ponder the things that you have learned tonight, that you will come to know that they apply to you.”