Two Big Myths

On Saturday I learned so many cool things from going to the Utah Eagle Forum Convention. David Barton, a guy from Texas who has been on the Glenn Beck show recently, gave the keynote speech. He is the founder of Wallbuilders. He astounded all of us by speaking for about an hour with no notes. He gave a rapidfire talk loaded with historical facts about the founding fathers and nuggets of truth about good government. Some other amazing speakers shared what they’ve been learning lately, including a concerned mom who has done research about the infiltration of progressive education, right in the heart of Zion. Kitty Werthmann, a nice older lady who grew up in Hitler’s Austria, shared her experience of what it was like so we can see that socialism has been and is creeping into the US. I left after her talk so I could get back to my nursing toddler, as much for his sake as mine with my engorged breast. I took notes so hopefully I can download what I learned.


(My brother and his wife.)


But first I have to download the rest of my Christmas experience. As I wrote in my last post, my brother and his wife gave my parents some unforgettable Christmas gifts of family history research. I have been touched by the spirit of Elijah lately and got my sister-in-law to help me with research.  I’ve always resisted research before about a year ago. But with and some other sites I’ll talk about later, I can do it from home and see right away what temple work needs to be done. It’s so addictive! It’s like eating potato chips, you can’t stop with just one name. I want to find all the names branching off from that person.


(My brother, the bishop in his ward,  tries out his daughter’s new rip stick on Christmas Day.)


The biggest myth in the LDS Church, next to the one that all Utah Mormons love Jell-o (I don’t) is that “our family history research work is all done.” Anybody who tells you that is doing so because they are either blindly repeating what they’ve heard, or because they are feeling lazy and don’t want to get out of their comfort zone of learning to research.


One of the biggest myths in the world is that we need to save the earth. The earth is already saved. It was baptized in the time of Noah and the flood and will be baptized with fire at the end of the world. We do know from the scriptures though that it might not fulfill the total measure of its creation if we don’t do temple work.




Instead of saving the earth, we can save it from being cursed or wasted. We can help it fulfill the measure of its creation instead of being wasted by allowing it to be a place where God’s children are bound together in the patriarchal order. After all, we know that those who have qualified for the celestial kingdom, that is those who have bound themselves in the patriarchal order through righteous living and receiving all of the priesthood ordinances available through temples, will be the ones who live on the celestialized earth.


It’s really quite fascinating how the tree motif appears so frequently in an LDS mother’s life. Her breast ducts are in the structure of a tree, and these breasts can be trees of life to her baby. The placenta has the same structural network of a tree. Then there’s the tree of life in the plan of salvation, which is Jesus and the love of God that he manifests. Then there’s the family tree.


Eternal life would not be complete joy without being with the ones we love, and ideally the ones we love the most are those who make up our family tree. The love that a husband and wife share between them, and the love between parent and child, is among the greatest love a human can experience. Why has a tree come to be associated with the family? If you take a pedigree chart and tip it sideways, you will see why. You become the trunk. Your ancestors are your roots and your descendants are the branches.



The tree is a fitting metaphor both visually and emotionally, for just as the branches are sustained by the roots which draw up minerals and water from the soil, the descendants would not be there were it not for their ancestors. In a real, physical tree, the branches with their leaves benefit the roots by turning sunlight, water, and air into food to support the whole tree. Descendants can benefit their ancestors by doing their temple ordinance work, which opens the way to eternal life for them.

As the Lord revealed to the prophet Joseph Smith,


“And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers–that they without us cannot be made perfect–neither can we without our dead be made perfect.”


In the English King James Bible, the term “perfect” was translated from the original Greek word teleios. Teleios means “complete.” Just as a tree cut from its roots would not be a whole, complete tree, we are not whole and complete when not sealed through temple ordinances to our ancestors or roots.


The Bible uses this tree metaphor to show the protecting power of the spirit of Elijah. In the last chapter of Malachi, we are promised that Elijah will come before the end of the world to “turn the heart of the fathers to their children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” This is the spirit of Elijah. In the first verse we are told, “For behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.”



What is stubble? A stick. If a tree has the roots and branches cut off from it, what is it but essentially a large stick, or stubble? As members of the restored church of Jesus Christ, we know that Elijah did come as prophesied on April 3, 1836, to Joseph Smith, and gave him the authority or keys to do the temple ordinances of sealing parents to children. Now his spirit prompts us to do these ordinances for our dead so we can be sealed to them and be a complete tree, not a stick or stubble at the last days. We do this temple work to show our commitment to follow the Savior’s example of selfless service, and it protects us from the great fire of the last day.




(The keys to the kingdom are family history and temple work, wrapped up with the keys of priesthood authority.)


If nobody does this temple work of creating an eternal patriarchal order then there will be nobody to live on the celestialized earth. As my husband’s distinguished and learned uncle, Lynn M. Hilton PhD., says, “Imagine, all the beautiful rocks, the trees, the canyons, the mountains, the rivers, wasted; if we don’t do our ancestors’ temple work! ” (you can see Uncle Lynn at






So our primary focus should not be to save the earth from pollution but to save the earth from being cursed by God because of our internal pollution, our selfishness and laziness in not being righteous and doing temple work. We are told in another place in the scriptures to seek peace on this earth by focusing on temple work. Doctrine and Covenants 98:16 says, “Therefore, renounce war and proclaim peace, and seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children.” Saving the earth in the form of environmentalism can be a huge distraction from saving our own family, our immediate and our extended families.


(The family history wall at my brother’s home.)


So sisters, it’s time to get going on the family history research, and not leave it to Great Aunt Gladys or insist with the lame line that “It’s already all done ” When you think of all the branching lines that come off each person due to siblings, it is impossible for it to be all done already. Even if you have a pioneer ancestor, all the work is not done. Not all of that ancestors siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles joined the Church, and they haven’t all been found.Just last night I found three generations of family members branching off as a brother to my pioneer ancestor who joined the Church and came to Utah. These family members stayed in Mississippi, and I signed on to get the temple work done. I didn’t even have to leave my warm family room out into the cold winter night to do this work!


A fascinating and encouraging story by a busy young mother of how she fit in family history work amidst all of her demands appeared in the August 2006 Ensign, pages 34 to 38. It’s by Kim Sorenson. See Read it! It’s really good. I loved her descriptions of the blessings that flowed from doing this work. Because of her sacrifices to do family history research, she was blessed with HUGE blessings. Her family’s health was better, her appliances and cars broke less often, and she was able to attract clothes her son needed for his scout trip at a garage sale for a really cheap price.


I’ve taken her example as my inspiration. I can surely consecrate some of my baby’s napping time to do the work, or the alone time I get once a month on the third Sunday evening when everybody else but the nursing toddler goes to Grandma’s house (that was last night). In short, if you want mercy in your life and blessings, then consecrate some of your blessings of time, Internet connection, and brain power to family history work. As Kim concludes her article:


“The Spirit prompted me to work on family history. I was able to show mercy to my ancestors and bless their lives by doing for them something they could not do for themselves, and my family has been blessed abundantly. The Lord has promised each of us that if we are merciful we will also obtain mercy.

Then she quotes Pres. Hinckley:

“Let us be more merciful. … Let us be more compassionate, gentler, filled with forbearance and patience and a greater measure of respect one for another. In so doing, our very example will cause others to be more merciful, and we shall have greater claim upon the mercy of God who in His love will be generous toward us.” President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Blessed Are the Merciful,” Ensign, May 1990, 70.






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