On April 3, 1836, the prophet Elijah came to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. He conferred upon them the sealing power of the priesthood, making it possible for families to be sealed throughout the generations. In conferring this power, he fulfilled the prophecy that the Lord would send him “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers” (see D&C 110:14–16; see also Malachi 4:5–6).
Through family history work, you can participate in the continuing fulfillment of this prophecy. You can learn about your ancestors and increase your love for them. You can be inspired by their stories of courage and faith. You can pass that legacy on to your children.
These are lasting benefits that come from family history work, but they are not the principal reasons for the Church’s great effort to gather genealogical records. All of the Church’s family history endeavors are directed to the need to form a “welding link … between the fathers and the children” (D&C 128:18). This welding link is formed by the power of the priesthood, through sacred temple ordinances we receive in behalf of our ancestors. Continue reading