Our cousin has been a victim of neurological illness for many years. He has experienced untold pain both day and night, mainly in his back. At night he sits up trying to sleep. If he lies down, the pain becomes excruciating. This has rendered him almost homebound, making it difficult for him to go anywhere and do the simple things most people do, such as walking.
Thank heavens for technology and the new FamilySearch program in genealogy. For the past year, his health has begun to improve. In fact, he now has greater purpose and meaning in his life. He has been searching for common ancestors on computers and has told our family of times during the searches when the pain subsides.
After searching the records, he enters the family names found into the new FamilySearch program and processes them. Printing out the family ordinance requests is something he enjoys. Our family then takes the requests to the temple for the family file cards to be printed, and then the temple ordinance work to be done.
Not long ago, we invited his wife and him to attend the temple with us and do the work of the family names he had processed. His health condition has made it almost impossible to attend for the past 10 years, but today was going to be different.
We met them in the temple parking lot. Flanked with a friend on one side and me on the other, our cousin made his way toward the temple, and our wives followed behind us. Tears of gratitude were streaming down our faces as we approached the doors. Each step he took was sure and straight. He walked with faith in every footstep as did many of his pioneer ancestors who came across plains a century-and-a-half before. He had the same determination and spirit. I will never forget the feeling that embraced us all as we realized we were fulfilling prophecy. “O House of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5).
Truly we felt the eye of the Lord was upon us as we endeavored to “succor the weak, hold up the hands which hang down and strengthen the feeble knees” (Doctrine and Covenants 81:5). Indeed, this was nothing short of a miracle.
Once we had helped him get situated in the temple and saw his glowing face and a thumbs-up signal relaying to his wife that his pain had subsided, the sealing began. He was going to witness the sealing of all the ancestors he had found and processed. He shared later that all during this time, he felt relief from pain. We were also comforted.
Since then, he continues searching for our ancestors, processing their names and experiencing relief and comfort. All this prompted another planned trip to the temple with his wife and him in a few weeks. He is excited for this opportunity as are we. As I talked with him earlier on the phone about our next trip to the temple, I heard even greater humility in his voice at another opportunity to attend the temple.
What a wonderful blessing it is to do this great work, realizing we are helping our ancestors do something they cannot do for themselves. This blessing is amazing to see in my cousin’s life. Isaiah said it best when he stated, “Even them will I bring unto my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer” (Isaiah 56:9).
Do you know of someone who can benefit from doing this work? Try it out and see what happens.