It has been a great week! It is has been full of gospel insight to me personally. It has all come from reading 10 pages of the Book of Mormon every day! It has been the greatest blessing in my life! I have now read the Book of Mormon more than I can count but each time I read a new insight is found. Reading the scriptures daily is so important!
We have had some great interesting lessons this past week. One with a man that walked into church last Sunday. It a weird scenario that I quite don't understand but the good new is we are going down there tonight!
The thing that has been on my mind more than anything is family history. I finally understand why my grandparents do it so much. It is a necessary doctrine of salvation. Family history is the way we personally fulfill prophecy and become saviors on mount Zion. In Malachi 4: 5-6 we read
"¶Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."
The similar thing is said in Doctrine and Covenants 2. Moroni tells Joseph Smith,
"1 Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 2 And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. 3 If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming."
We see in verse 1 he mentions the priesthood. We know that before receiving the higher priesthood and all the keys associated with that (the Priesthood that Elijah had) one must first have the lesser priesthood or the Aaronic Priesthood. The Aaronic priesthood was restored on May 15, 1829 by John the Baptist to Joseph Smith. It is found in D&C 13. An important part in the prayer is this, "until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness." What is that offering?
Well we know that Elijah did come. (Sad for the Jews that keep an empty chair for him at the Passover.) We find the fulfillment of the prophecy of Malachi in D&C 110:13-16. It says, "13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said: 14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors." I know that Elijah did come and restore the keys of the work for our dead to Joseph Smith.
Now back to the offering in D&C 13. The Lord reveals to Joseph Smith what the offering is in D&C 128:24, "he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Let us, therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation."
Therefore the offering that will be given is a book of the temple work that has been done. If that book is not finished or at least close to the words of Malachi and Moroni will ring in our ears, "lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." or " If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming". If we do not do the temple work for our ancestors then we will be prepared for the Messiah's second coming as much as the people were not prepared for his first coming. Do you want to take part in the offering that will be given to the Lord? Those on the other side of the veil need us! In the words of the Apostle Paul, "that they without us should not be made perfect." Might I add that us without them will not be exalted. The Lord is hastening his work more than ever! We as members of the Church have free access to the tope websites and records for ancestry. Have you even taken the time to sign up? Part of family history work is taking those names to the temple. It is really not that hard to find a name. Last month President Birch challenged us to take a family name to the temple. I thought that would be impossible. My grandmas are family history champs! If they have not done the work then they cannot exist. Well luckily grandma Roberts missed one on her side. Between the meetings I grabbed a members tablet, logged into Family search and within 15 minutes found a name that I will be taking to the temple on Saturday. It is my great-great-great grandmothers brother Henry J. Vivian. We need to do family history. I invite you to take a family name to the temple before the end of the year. Even if you think it has all been done it probably has not. You can be a saviours on mount Zion for those who have gone before. You can bring the blessings of the Atonement into the life of another who has passed on. How great will be your joy!