Earthly and Eternal Families
The Earthly Family
The family is at the core of social and
spiritual life as the institution in which married couples are to
offer themselves in love and the procreation of life. The family
is the basic social unit in which children being reared can learn
the values of morality, the fear and love of God, and the most
appropriate use of agency.
The Catholic Church defines family in this way: “A man and a woman
united in marriage, together with their children, form a family.
This institution is prior to any recognition by public authority,
which has an obligation to recognize it. It should be considered
the normal reference point by which the different forms of family
relationship are to be evaluated” (Catechism 2202).
More specifically, the Christian family is a spiritual union of
parents and siblings in the likeness of the Trinity between the
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The procreation and edification of
children reflects the same love, devotion, and work of the Father
towards us. Families are called to accept and worship Jesus
Christ, to pray and read the scriptures daily, and to preach the
gospel. The faith of children will be sown and grow within the
homes of the faithful, dubbing the family home the “domestic
church” where Christ, communion with God, the qualities of human
life, and Christian love and kindness are taught and practiced.
The importance of the family is so great that it prompts the
Church to exclaim: "The well-being of the individual person and of
human and Christian society is intimately linked with the healthy
condition of that community produced by marriage and family" (Gaudium
Et Spes 47 § 1, Promulgated by Pope Paul VI, December 7, 1965).
Responsibilities for the well being of the family rest upon three
key components that influence the health of the family: the
parents, the children, and society.
Parents are obliged to look upon their children as children of
God, to teach them God’s law, to encourage them to fulfill God’s
law, and in esteem their children respectfully as human beings.
Parents bear the primary responsibility for their children’s
education in all things, including the virtues, which are best
facilitated in establishing a home where “tenderness, forgiveness,
respect, fidelity, and disinterested service is the rule”
(Catechism 2223). For parents to accomplish this they must educate
themselves and practice self-denial, righteous judgment, and
self-control, while teaching their children to cling to put
spiritual matters above those which are material and prone to
A child’s education in the gospel should begin as early as
possible with the parents in a primary role, but also including
other family members helping one another grow in faith and love of
God. Parents should instruct their children in prayer with a key
purpose of identifying their profession and purpose as children of
God. Such vocations should be respected and encouraged by parents
while imparting an understanding that a Christian’s primary
vocation is to love and follow Jesus Christ. Parents must also
help children avoid the debasing pressures that endanger our
communities and families today.
Admitting their own imperfections and weaknesses before their
children, parents have the solemn responsibility of being examples
of Christianity to their children so that correction and guidance
may be more effectively accepted and absorbed. The Catholic Church
follows the admonition of Sirach who wrote: “He who loves his son
chastises him often, that he may be his joy when he grows up. He
who disciplines his son will benefit from him, and boast of him
among his intimates” (Sir. 30:1-2). Some translations use the
phrase, “He who loves his son will not spare the rod.”
The forth commandment admonishes children to “Honor your father
and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land which
the LORD, your God, is giving you” (Ex. 20:12). By developing a
disposition of gratitude toward parents, children can develop
“filial piety” (respect and love for one’s parents), enabling them
to progress in “wisdom and grace” (Catechism 2215). Sirach urges
Children to “Remember, of these parents you were born; what can
you give them for all they gave you?” (Sir 7:28). Parents are owed
by their children obedience, appreciation, respect, and help—such
actions bring about love and harmony in the home and among family.
The government of society is called upon to respect human rights
and to facilitate the exercising of free will by individuals and
families. The Catholic parish is at the core of the spiritual life
of Christian families and a place of religious learning for
families, in addition to being the Eucharistic community.
Strong families make for a strong community and therefore society
bares a specific responsibility to sustain and fortify families,
including marriages which are at the center of family living. The
Church calls on civil authorities to take seriously its duty "to
acknowledge the true nature of marriage and the family, to protect
and foster them, to safeguard public morality, and promote
domestic prosperity" (Gaudium Et Spes 52 § 2, Promulgated by Pope
Paul VI, December 7, 1965).
The Church urges families to take responsibility for all of its
members: young and old, sick and healthy, rich and poor, and the
able and disabled. James stated this commission best when he
wrote: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the
Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27).
On November 22, 1981, Pope John Paul II published The Apostolic
Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (The Christian Family in the
Modern World). The document addresses in-depth the issues most
affecting families today, including spiritual, physical and social
aspects of life. The document is 34,138 words, constituting
approximately 64 pages (12 point Times Roman font and 1” margins).
See Catechism 1666, 2202, 2205, 2207, 2208, 2210, 2215, 2222 to
2224, 2226, 2248, 2250, 2251, 2253, 2254, and 2685.
Latter-day Saint Doctrine
The Lord has commanded all of his children to
“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a
house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of
faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a
house of God” (D&C 88:119).
The family is the most important entity in the Church of Jesus
Christ and one that can last forever in the eternities. The main
purpose of the Church is to assist families in achieving this
goal, to obtain eternal blessings, and to enter into exaltation.
The Church as its organization, leadership, programs and
activities are intended to strengthen families and their members
and support this purpose and mission for all families on earth.
Since the time of Adam and Eve, where the commandment was given to
“be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen. 1:28),
Heavenly Father has willed that married parents provide
tabernacles of flesh for his spirit children. Once in the world,
God’s children are then to be raised by parents in a family in
collaboration with Heavenly Father in order to bring to pass his
purposes and plan.
To reach its full potential in the Lord, a family operates with
each member carrying out a set of temporal and spiritual
responsibilities. These responsibilities include those given to a
father and mother individually, parents together, and children.
A father should fully assume his patriarchal role as the head of
the family by exercising his priesthood and taking serious all of
the responsibilities associated with these callings with
“long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love
unfeigned” (D&C 121:41). Fathers are to lead by example. Fathers
lead the family in prayer, scripture reading, attending church
meetings, and other activities as prescribed by the Church. It is
the father’s responsibility to support the family in all of their
temporal needs. This is often accomplished by the father as being
the primary income of the home, or at least being a steady and
strong contributor of income in conjunction with the mother or
others under certain circumstances.
A mother will not only bring children into the world physically in
partnership with God, but is called to teach and care for children
in a special and specific role separate from that of the father.
President David O McKay taught: “ The noblest calling in the world
is motherhood. True motherhood is the most beautiful of all arts,
the greatest of all professions. She who can paint a masterpiece,
or who can write a book that will influence millions, deserves the
admiration and plaudits of mankind; but she who rears successfully
a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters, whose immortal
souls will exert an influence throughout the ages long after
paintings shall have faded, and books and statues shall have
decayed or have been destroyed, deserves the highest honor that
man can give, and the choicest blessings of God” (Pathways to
Happiness, comp. Llewelyn R. McKay (1957), 116).
Mothers teach the gospel to children through work and play,
helping children comprehend life and the world they live in.
Mothers are the primary home-makers in creating a loving and
nurturing environment within the home, while helping children
build strong and appropriate feelings of self-esteem.
As parents there are many things that both fathers and mothers
perform within the family together as “equal partners…to provide
for the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical needs of
the family” (Gospel Principles, 236). Parents lead and
teach their children by example starting with love,
thoughtfulness, and kindness towards each other to demonstrate the
joys of marriage. Parents together are given serious charge to
teach their children the gospel—failing to do so will bring grave
consequences upon the heads of the parents (D&C 68:25). Parents
are to teach siblings to love one another and to abstain from
arguing and quarrelling and to “teach them to walk in the ways of
truth and soberness… to love one another, and to serve one
another” (Mosiah 4:14-15). Parents should be kind, loving and
respectful of children, but with a spirit of firmness and diligent
A child should share the vision and responsibility of their
parents to create a healthy and joyful home. Children should obey
all of the commandments of God and contribute to the harmony in a
home through cooperation, love, and work. An important commandment
for children of all ages is to “Honor thy father and thy mother…”
(Exodus 20:12). To honor means to love, respect, and obey. Paul
told the Ephesians, “obey your parents in the Lord: for this is
right” (Ephesians 6:1).
The family is under constant attack. Satan is well aware of the
importance of families and the impact they can have on thwarting
his plan of evil. Satan desires to destroy families through a
variety of means that include temptation, contention, and pride.
To remain strong the General Authorities of the Church urge
families to pray together daily, have family scripture study
daily, to hold weekly family home evenings, to serve one another,
and to spend time together in wholesome activities that bring
family members together.
On September 23, 1995, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the
Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
published The Family, a Proclamation to the World. The
document is 634 words, constituting 1.25 pages (12 point Times
Roman font and 1” boarders), with the printed version being 1 page
See Gospel Principles, 231, 232, 234, 236 to 239,
Conference Report, Apr. 1976, p. 5; or Ensign, May 1976, p.
5, and the Family Proclamation.
See chapter 15 in Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest
for a more comprehensive explanation and commentary on Earthly
Temples—The Sealing of Eternal Families
The Catholic Church has parish, diocese,
seminary, convent, administrative, and other building sites
worldwide, none of which are considered temples. Temples are
considered a place where the people of God in earlier times went
to be educated, pray, offer sacrifices, and participate in
ordinances and rituals that magnified worship of God. There have
been abuses and excesses associated with temples, both ancient and
modern. Ritual in some cases became an obsession. The attitude of
Jesus toward the Jewish temple and its spiritual evolution is
encapsulated in the following passage: “Jesus venerated the Temple
by going up to it for the Jewish feasts of pilgrimage, and with a
jealous love he loved this dwelling of God among men. The Temple
prefigures his own mystery. When he announces its destruction, it
is as a manifestation of his own execution and of the entry into a
new age in the history of salvation, when his Body would be the
definitive Temple” (Catechism 593).
Worship of God is not linked to any one particular place, and thus
there is no need for a temple, as there was in times of old. Today
the Church is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit
is “the temple of the living God” (2 Cor. 6:16, Eph. 2:21). This
cascades down to each individual being a temple of the Holy Spirit
on which the Church is built. In this way the temple is not a
place, but rather a symbolic corridor which the Holy Spirit
occupies in the lives of the Church and its members.
See Catechism 593, 797, 809, 1179, 1197, 2581, and glossary.
Latter-day Saint Doctrine
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
defines temples as the following: “In the temples, members of the
Church who make themselves eligible can participate in the most
exalted of the redeeming ordinances that have been revealed to
mankind. There, in a sacred ceremony, an individual may be washed
and anointed and instructed and endowed and sealed. And when we
have received these blessings for ourselves, we may officiate for
those who have died without having had the same opportunity. In
the temples sacred ordinances are performed for the living and for
the dead alike” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Holy Temple,” 2001
Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved).
As houses of the Lord, temples are places for learning and
participating in the sacred ordinances that will allow us to
return and live with our Heavenly Father in the eternities. All
that the Church does points to the hallowed ordinances that are
performed in the holy temples of the world.
Because of the sacredness of the temple, it is required that all
individuals be found worthy before entering—adults and youth. For
adults, worthiness is determined through two brief interviews: one
with a member of the individual’s bishopric or branch president,
and a second with a member of the individual’s stake presidency or
a mission president. These interviews are not interrogations.
Members are asked simple questions about basic moral conduct,
obedience to the commandments, and adherence to their covenants.
If there are no major transgressions, a temple recommend is
granted. A temple recommend, which based upon personal worthiness
lasts two years for adults and one year for youth, is required to
enter the temple.
For youth ages 12 to 18 or adult new members of less than one
year, a temporary recommend may be granted to participate in
baptismal and confirmation ordinances. The questions asked are
similar to those asked for a two-year recommend.
The sacred nature of the ordinances performed in the temple makes
it inappropriate for members to discuss the details of these
ordinances outside the temple. This is true also of personal
experiences had in the temple that relate to ordinances
The temple is respite from the world. It is the experience of
Walden Pond without Thoreau’s account of it. The temple is, for
this if nothing else, a wondrous experience—all the more wondrous
because it must be earned through worthiness.
Regarding the ordinances and this principle of sacredness, Church
members are provided the following counsel: “They are kept
confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared.
Curiosity is not a preparation. Deep interest itself is not a
preparation. Preparation for the ordinances includes preliminary
steps: faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, worthiness, a
maturity and dignity worthy of one who comes invited as a guest
into the house of the Lord” (“Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple,”
Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple, 1, website from the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, accessed 10/27/07).
The ordinances performed in the temple include baptisms,
confirmations, initiatories, priesthood ordinations, endowments,
and sealings. While baptisms and confirmations are always done for
those who have passed on, initiatories, ordinations, endowments,
and sealings can be done for the living and the dead.
Temple baptisms and confirmations are performed for ancestors of
Church members who while on the earth were either not baptized at
all, or who were not baptized by the proper authority. Jesus
taught that baptism was essential for an individual to enter into
the kingdom of God (John 3:5). While this principle remains in
force, God in his infinite mercy has prepared a way for those who
have died without being baptized to be baptized and confirmed by
proxy in the temple. Church members can go to the temple and
“stand in” for those who are deceased and be baptized and
confirmed—thus offering them this ordinance and blessing. Because
agency is an eternal principle, the deceased are completely free
in the spirit world to accept or reject a baptism and confirmation
that was performed on their behalf.
The initiatory is an ordinance that can be likened to a washing
and anointing. This ordinance is done in preparation for the
endowment and includes the bestowing of the Melchizedek Priesthood
for male recipients. After completing an initiatory for one’s
self, an individual can complete by proxy initiatories for those
who are deceased.
The endowment is an ordinance which enriches the recipient as the
name would suggest—something of great worth being bestowed.
Brigham Young described the endowment in this way: “Your endowment
is, to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord,
which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to
enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the
angels who stand as sentinels, being able to give them the key
words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the holy Priesthood,
and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell” (Discourses
of Brigham Young, comp. John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City:
Deseret Book Co., 1971], 416).
Regarding the covenants that are made by those receiving their
endowment (living or deceased), Elder James E. Talmage wrote that
individuals covenant to ““...observe the law of strict virtue and
chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to
devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and
the uplifting of the race; to maintain devotion to the cause of
truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great
preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her
King,—the Lord Jesus Christ. With the taking of each covenant and
the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced,
contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions” (James
E. Talmage, The House of the Lord [Salt Lake City: Deseret
Book Co., 1968]).
Endowed members are given the blessing of wearing the temple
garment (underclothing) for the remainder of their lives (provided
they retain their membership). The garment, which is worn
according to specific instructions, provides a constant reminder
of the covenants made in the temple, protection against the
adversary, and serves as an outward expression of a member’s
inward commitment to follow Jesus Christ.
The crowning ordinance of the temple is celestial marriage, where
a husband and wife make sacred covenants and are sealed together
for time and all eternity. In cases where a husband and wife have
children (alive or deceased), those children are also sealed to
the parents. Where additional children are born after the sealing,
those children are automatically sealed to the parents as being
“born under the covenant.” It is through this sealing ordinance
that families can be together forever.
The temple is rich with symbolism of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It is a place where we will make the most sacred covenants of our
eternal lives. We are urged to keep and obey every covenant that
we make in the holy temple so that the blessings upon us “shall be
of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass
by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their
exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their
heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the
seeds forever and ever” (D&C 132:19).
While the temple is a place that allows us to participate in
sacred priesthood ordinances, it is also a place of prayer, peace,
and revelation. In the temple we can receive inspiration and
guidance on matters that we take before the Lord. Adding to the
peace and tranquility of the temple are the many individuals
around us who are dressed in white to symbolize the purity and
consecrated nature of heaven—especially in the Celestial Room of
See Gospel Principles, 245, James E. Talmage, The House
of the Lord, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1968)
See chapter 15 in Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest
for a more comprehensive explanation and commentary on Temples
There is no Catholic doctrine on the sealing of
families for time and all eternity; however, the Catechism of the
Catholic Church includes the following statement on the
possibility of a “reunion” in the afterlife: “A farewell to the
deceased is his final "commendation to God" by the Church. It is
"the last farewell by which the Christian community greets one of
its members before his body is brought to its tomb." The Byzantine
tradition expresses this by the kiss of farewell to the deceased:
By this final greeting "we sing for his departure from this life
and separation from us, but also because there is a communion and
a reunion. For even dead, we are not at all separated from one
another, because we all run the same course and we will find one
another again in the same place. We shall never be separated, for
we live for Christ, and now we are united with Christ as we go
toward him . . . we shall all be together in Christ” (Catechism
Although this statement is not explicit in any way about the
heavenly gathering of families in the eternities, it does imply
that some kind of gathering of loved ones does take place, laying
the foundation of hope for the faithful.
Latter-day Saint Doctrine
By the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood,
which has the power in the holy temple to bind on earth and in
heaven (Matt. 16:19), families can be sealed together for time and
all eternity. Death cannot separate those who remain faithful to
the covenants they make in the temple. Mothers, fathers, children,
and ancestors will be together forever in the eternities in the
holy mansions of God the Father.
See chapter 15 in Catholic Roots, Mormon
Harvest for a more comprehensive explanation and commentary on
Redeeming the Dead—Aiding Ancestors as Part of Eternal Families
As part of the final phase of the mission of Jesus Christ on
earth, he descended into hell so that "The gospel was preached
even to the dead" (1 Pet. 4:6). In doing so the message of
redemption was shared with all men, regardless of their time and
place on earth before their death, making available salvation to
all. This great act of love was described by the apostle John as
"the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who
hear will live" (John 5:25).
The Catholic Church today honors the memory of the dead in
purgatory and offers prayers on their behalf. These prayers have
the power to help those beyond the grave in “loosing them from
their sins”, while “making their intercession for us effective”
(Catechism 958). This practice of praying and making atonement for
the dead is mentioned in the second book of Maccabees. These
prayers and suffrage, along with the Eucharistic sacrifice,
almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance are offered so that
the dead may be purified and led to the opportunity to realize the
beatific vision of God.
Ultimately the dead are in the hands of God to render mercy as he
sees fit to bestow. The prayers and offerings of the faithful on
behalf of the dead are given to seek God’s mercy for the souls in
The Catholic Church rejects all forms of “divination” with respect
to the dead, including appeals to Satan, illusions of bringing
back the dead, and fortune telling. Such admonition to turn away
from that which disrespects the power and love of God extends to
astrology, palm reading, horoscopes, and so forth.
Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of
omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to
mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in
the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to
conciliate hidden powers. They each contradict the honor, respect,
and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
See Catechism 634, 958, 962, 1032, 1055, 1498, and 2116.
The scriptures make clear that Christ himself visited the spirit
world and commenced the preaching of the gospel to the dead. John
5:25 states, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming,
and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God:
and they that hear shall live.” 1 Peter 3:18-19 states, “For
Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust,
that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh,
but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached
unto the spirits in prison.”
Doctrine and Covenants 138 records a vision given to President
Joseph F. Smith on the preaching of the gospel to those in the
spirit world. In that vision President Smith saw Jesus Christ
“went not in person among the wicked and the disobedient who had
rejected the truth to teach them” (D&C 138:29), but rather he
chose spirits “from among the righteous” and thus “organized his
forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority,
and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the
gospel to them that were in darkness” (D&C 138:30).
The vision goes on to describe the work being done in the spirit
world: These spirits “were taught faith in God, repentance from
sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, [and] the gift
of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands” (D&C 138:33).
This great work of preaching the gospel in the spirit world, more
specifically to those in spirit prison, is on-going and will
continue until the second resurrection. These efforts are
essential and demonstrate the great mercy of our Heavenly Father
in not wanting to lose one soul in the eternities. Just as many of
the righteous spirits are given the opportunity to preach the
gospel in the spirit world, we are given the opportunity to take
part in the work of redeeming the dead through vicarious
ordinances performed on earth in the holy temple. This principle
of vicarious work for the dead was given to the Prophet Joseph
Smith by the Lord through revelation.
Although the concept of vicarious work may seem foreign to some
Christians, President Gordon B. Hinckley offers the following: “I
think that vicarious work for the dead more nearly approaches the
vicarious sacrifice of the Savior Himself than any other work of
which I know. It is given with love, without hope of compensation,
or repayment or anything of the kind. What a glorious principle”
(Gordon B. Hinckley, “Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President
Gordon B. Hinckley,” Ensign, Jan 1998, 72).
When work is performed for the dead there isn’t an automatic
change, nor does such work usurp one’s agency. These ordinances
are performed and available for acceptance by the spirits in
prison for their benefit in same way that the atonement of Christ
is available to everyone who chooses to have faith in him and
repent. Nothing is compelled. At every stage of this life and
after it, one is free to choose.
The motivation behind this vicarious work in the temple is a
combination of love of the individuals for whom the work is being
performed and a firm and relentless testimony of the Savior. Todd
Christofferson of the Presidency of the Seventy explains the
nature of this testimony of Christ in relation to temple work:
“Our anxiety to redeem the dead, and the time and resources we put
behind that commitment, are, above all, an expression of our
witness concerning Jesus Christ. It constitutes as powerful a
statement as we can make concerning His divine character and
mission. It testifies, first, of Christ’s Resurrection; second, of
the infinite reach of His Atonement; third, that He is the sole
source of salvation; fourth, that He has established the
conditions for salvation; and, fifth, that He will come again” (D.
Todd Christofferson of the Presidency of the Seventy, “The
Redemption of the Dead and the Testimony of Jesus,” Ensign,
Nov 2000, 9).
Latter-day Saints are encouraged to be diligent about completing
family history to identify ancestors who are in need of temple
ordinances for their eternal progression. In performing these
labors of love, the latter generations are turning their hearts
towards the earlier generations, fulfilling the prophecy from the
Lord, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the
coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: 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” (Mal. 4:5-6).
Latter-day Saints are encouraged to frequently attend the temple
to perform the needed ordinances for their ancestors and others—an
act of on-going service that brings love and inspiration into both
the living and the dead. Each ordinance is done in the spirit and
name of Jesus Christ who said, “I am the resurrection, and the
life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he
live” (John 11:25). There is a deep belief that Christ “died for
all” (2 Cor. 5:15) and that “He is the propitiation for our sins:
and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world”
(1 John 2:2).
The work of redeeming the dead, a work commenced by the Savior
himself, is a devoted demonstration of the Latter-day Saint
passion and belief that Christ will come again in his glory and
majesty upon the earth. This work is in preparation of the second
coming for both ourselves, and those who have passed on before us.
The Church knows with a surety that “His grace and promises reach
even those who in life do not find Him. Because of Him, the
prisoners shall indeed go free” (D. Todd Christofferson of the
Presidency of the Seventy, “The Redemption of the Dead and the
Testimony of Jesus,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 9).
See D&C 124, 128, 132; The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith,
ed. Dean C. Jessee (1984), 486; The Words of Joseph Smith,
ed. Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook (1991), 49; D&C 124:29-36,
“Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley,”
Ensign, Jan. 1998, 73., Ben Fenton, “Mormons Use Secret
British War Files ‘to Save Souls,’ ” The Telegraph
(London), 15 Feb. 1999., Greg Stott, “Ancestral Passion,”
Equinox, April/May 1998, 45., and D. Todd Christofferson of
the Presidency of the Seventy, “The Redemption of the Dead and the
Testimony of Jesus,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 9
See chapter 15 in Catholic Roots, Mormon
Harvest for a more comprehensive explanation and commentary on
redeeming the dead