FAMILIES ARE SO IMPORTANT!
I intimated in my previous blog post that in the eternal view of life which our Savior, Jesus Christ, who was born as the Babe in the Manger of Bethlehem, has brought about for us, that we can come to realize that our family relationships extend back to Adam and Eve and are extended forward to the time of the Second Coming to Earth of Jesus Christ and beyond.
In this post I am emphasizing those things that our Savior, Jesus Christ has brought about for our family members, both living and dead. Regarding the dead, remember the words of Alma from the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, you read in the previous post:
Alma 40:11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.Therefore, we can be assured that our deceased loved ones, in actual truth, are still living, although in a different state of living. I now will help you know that our Savior, Jesus Christ, through His latter-day Church, and specifically through revelations by the spirit of prophecy and revelation through his prophets in our day and time have given us the opportunity of uniting all of our family, with us, our ancestors and also our descendants.
You may ask what has this to do with the First Christmas? Without Jesus having been born and then doing all that He came into this world to do, this reuniting of families would not have been possible.
As has been usual in this "First Christmas" blog series, I will quote from the Book of Mormon, words recorded by one of Father Lehi's descendants. As in the previous blog, this will be Mormon, who, again, recorded the eyewitness account of Nephi, one of our Savior's American apostles who was called to that sacred calling soon after Jesus' resurrection in Jerusalem, on His visit to Central America.
No modern air travel is needed by a resurrected body, which Jesus was the first to have of all who have lived on earth. Each one of us will have a resurrected body in the own due time of the Lord! However, we each still have much to do in this life as I'll be showing below, in bringing family members, both living and dead, together as a united family.
At one of the resurrected Jesus' visits with the Nephite-Lamanite Nation in Central America which took place, significantly, near the temple they had built earlier, He told them along with many other important things He wanted them to know the following:
(He told them he was sharing with them these words of His prophet, Malachi, who had led his Israelitish people before His birth.): The Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 25: 5 - 6 (Also recorded in the Old Testament, Malachi 4:5-6)
Malachi 4:5 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.Now, please let that promise of the Lord's through His prophet Malachi as recorded by his American prophets Nephi and Mormon, sink into your minds and hearts. What I've been telling you about the reuniting of families is just what our Savior Jesus Christ has made available for all of us through His successful life's mission.
Elijah, in fulfillment of Malachi's prophesy, did appear to Joseph Smith, the Lord's latter-day prophet and Oliver Cowdery on April 3, 1836 in the Kirtland Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Here is Joseph Smith's report about this event.
D and C 110: 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. (emphasis added)Wow! I had to say that word (wow) because that record shows that which you've been told regarding the uniting of families. This has already actually already been taking place since soon after that recorded visit from Elijah. The power from Jesus Christ was given to His Church in our day to seal by the power of the Spirit of the Lord, family members one to another!
This sealing doesn't just automatically happen. Worthy family members who have been baptized as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, must attend to this business in one of the more than 130 temples that have already been built by this Church world-wide, with even more having been already scheduled to be built. After the ordinances and sealings are done for these living members, they can then, vicariously, do these same ordinances for their ancestors whose records they have diligently and carefully researched.
I will end this post by showing you pictures of six of these very beautiful temples along with two typical temple baptismal fonts where family members, can be baptized vicariously for their loved deceased ancestors, back as far as you can find their records.
These pictures, from top to bottom, are as follows: Mexico City Temple, San Diego, California Temple, Hong Kong, China Temple, a baptismal font of an unidentified LDS Temple, Santiago, Chile Temple, Baptismal font of the Salt Lake City Temple, Washington D.C. Temple, and the Helsinki, Finland Temple.
Something you may want to know: The twelve oxen holding up each of all our temple baptismal fonts, represent the twelve tribes of Israel.
You and I and everybody can be very grateful for the birth of our Savior at Bethlehem so that this great reuniting with loved ones could take place!
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