As members of Christ’s restored Church, we have the covenant responsibility to search for our ancestors and provide for them the saving ordinances of the gospel. They without us cannot “be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:40), and “neither can we without our dead be made perfect” (D&C 128:15).
Family history work prepares us for the blessings of eternal life and helps us increase our faith and personal righteousness. Family history is a vital part of the mission of the Church and enables the work of salvation and exaltation for all.
Supplement: Read the following excerpt from Elder David A. Bednar's talk "The Hearts of the Children Will Turn," from the October 2011 general conference.
Troy Jackson, Jaren Hope, and Andrew Allan are bearers of the Aaronic Priesthood who were called by an inspired bishop to team teach a family history class in their ward. These young men are representative of so many of you in their eagerness to learn and desire to serve.
Troy stated, “I used to come to church and just sit there, but now I realize that I need to go home and do something. We can all do family history.”
Jaren reported that as he learned more about family history, he realized “that these were not just names but real people. I became more and more excited about taking the names to the temple.”
And Andrew commented, “I have taken to family history with a love and vigor I did not know I could muster. As I prepared each week to teach, I was often nudged by the Holy Spirit to act and try some of the methods taught in the lesson. Before, family history was a scary thing. But aided by the Spirit I was able to step up to my calling and help many people in our ward.”
Read the rest of Elder Bednar's talk at lds.org.