Line upon Line: Malachi 4:5–6
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“Line upon Line: Malachi 4:5–6,” New Era, May 2008, 43

Line upon Line

Malachi 4:5–6

The Old Testament prophet Malachi foresaw Elijah’s role in latter-day temple and family history work.

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.


“The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power to hold the key of the revelation, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain, and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God, even unto the turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in heaven.”

Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 311.


To learn how Malachi’s prophecy was fulfilled, read Doctrine and Covenants 110:13–16.

Great and dreadful day

This refers to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Elder Spencer V. Jones of the Seventy said, “In contemplating ‘the great and dreadful day of the Lord’ (D&C 2:1), we may have a tendency to overlook the ‘great’ and accentuate the ‘dreadful’ ” (Ensign, June 2005, 58). It will be “great” because Christ will come again in glory, and it will be “dreadful” because the wicked will be destroyed (see the scriptures in the Topical Guide under “Day of the Lord”).

Turn the heart

Joseph Smith said that there needs to be “a welding link of some kind or other” between the fathers and the children. What could bring about this link? Read Doctrine and Covenants 128:17–18 to find out.

What do you know about your family history? You can get started by:

  • Asking your parents and grandparents about their families.

  • Filling in a four-generation chart.

  • Going to

  • Visiting a family history center.

  • Beginning to write your own family history for your posterity.

Smite the earth

When the angel Moroni visited the Prophet Joseph Smith, he quoted this scripture but changed this phrase to “if it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming” (D&C 2:3; see also JS—H 1:39). What can we learn from each of these statements?

The Angel Appears to Joseph Smith, by Tom Lovel