Youth Worldwide Respond to Elder Andersen’s #TempleChallenge
- Youth around the world are responding to Elder Neil L. Andersen’s “temple challenge” by participating in family history and temple work.
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles invited all of the youth of the Church to participate in a global temple challenge, which he issued during his devotional talk held in conjunction with the RootsTech Family History Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, on February 8, 2014.
“I want to challenge each of you to set a personal goal to help prepare as many names for the temple as baptisms you perform in the temple,” the Apostle said. He added, “There is something powerful in searching out someone who needs temple ordinances, learning who they are, and then being part of their receiving these sacred ordinances.”
Youth from around the world have accepted the invitation and are sharing their experience with friends and family on social media. Through using the online search term #TempleChallenge, anyone can follow the faithful young men and young women as they share their experiences. ChurchofJesusChrist.org has published some examples of youth participating in family history work and taking their own names to the temple. Here are some examples:
“The youth in the Nakano Ward in the Tokyo Japan Stake have accepted the temple challenge. With the help of parents and leaders, the youth are doing genealogy research to find their own ancestors. Once a month they attend the temple to perform proxy ordinances for the family names found by the ward. …
“Besides finding names and taking them to the temple, the youth are also teaching others to do it as well. The youth are helping members to create their family trees and set up FamilySearch.org accounts so that they can input that information online. They also participated in an activity to visit grave sites to gather information to add to Family Tree to help connect families. Said high priests group leader Yutaka Aikawa, ‘Through the efforts of the youth, the ward family history activities are really booming.’”
Close to 200 youth in Klein, Texas, learned about the temple challenge during a stake RootsTech family discovery day. A group of youth played an integral part in planning the event, which included watching a video in which the challenge from Elder Neil L. Andersen was issued.
“Even though the nearest temple was closed for renovations at the time, the youth accepted the challenge and started searching for deceased ancestors for whom they could perform proxy ordinances in the temple. Youth leader Rob Ellis said, ‘This is the work of the Lord, and the Klein youth are excited to do their part.’”