Both Parts of the Blessing
January 2014

“Both Parts of the Blessing,” New Era, Jan. 2014, 30–33

Both Parts of the Blessing

Temple attendance and family history are both important; when combined, they bring additional blessings.

young woman

As you flip through the pages of the New Era this month, look at the wide variety of color combinations that bring a rich energy and vibrancy to each picture, painting, or design. Many of the colors were made possible because two of the primary colors—red, yellow, or blue—were combined to create a new color, one that couldn’t exist if the primary colors were kept separate.

Family history and temple work share a similarity with those colors: you can receive more blessings by combining the two important works. That’s because family history and temple work are actually two parts of a single work—the work of salvation. Of course you’ll still receive great blessings by helping others with their family history and by attending the temple to do work for people whose names are provided there. But you receive even greater blessings—enjoy the full palette of colors—when you combine the two parts and find your own family names and then perform the work for your ancestors in the temple.

As Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught:

“Temple and family history work is one work divided into two parts. …

“Father in Heaven wants each of us to receive both parts of the blessing of this vital vicarious work. He has led others to show us how to qualify. It is up to you and me to claim those blessings.

“Any work you do in the temple is time well spent, but receiving ordinances vicariously for one of your own ancestors will make the time in the temple more sacred, and even greater blessings will be received.”1

So, what are some of the “greater blessings” that come when we receive “both parts of the blessing”? At right are several promises from modern-day Apostles.

A Refining, Spiritual Influence

President Boyd K. Packer

“Family history work of Church members has a refining, spiritualizing, tempering influence on those who are engaged in it. They understand that they are tying their family together. … When we research our own lines we become interested in more than just names. … Our interest turns our hearts to our fathers—we seek to find them and to know them and to serve them.”2

Part of a Greater Work

Elder Russell M. Nelson

“Spiritual connections … are formed. … When our hearts turn to our ancestors, something changes inside us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves.”3

A Safeguard against Temptation

Elder David A. Bednar

“Each of us benefits from all of those who have gone before. Learning those stories helps us really understand who we are and where we came from. … Are you doing the research in your own family and helping other people with their research? That for a young person in the wickedness of the world in which we live today is one of the greatest safeguards against the temptations of the adversary.”4

Aid from the Unseen World

“Perhaps if we would do our work in behalf of those of the unseen world who hunger and pray for the work we can do for them, the unseen world would in return give us help in this day of our urgent need. There are more in that other world than there are here. There is more power and strength there than we have here upon this earth.”5

What Will You Do?

What will you do to “claim those blessings” of finding family names and then taking them to the temple? Make a plan today to bring the promises of receiving both parts of the blessing in your life.


  1. Richard G. Scott, “The Joy of Redeeming the Dead,” Ensign, Nov. 2012, 93–94.

  2. Boyd K. Packer, “Your Family History: Getting Started,” Ensign, Aug. 2003, 17.

  3. Russell M. Nelson, “Generations Linked in Love,” Ensign, May 2010, 92.

  4. David A. Bednar, “The Time Is Now,” lds.org/youth/family-history/leaders.

  5. John A. Widtsoe, in Conference Report, Apr. 1943, 39.