Family History

Apostolic Challenge Strengthened at RootsTech Conference

Two years ago at RootsTech, the world’s largest family history and technology conference, Elder Neil L. Andersen challenged the youth: “Prepare as many names for the temple as baptisms you perform in the temple.” Last year the phrase, “and help someone else to do the same,” was added to the challenge.

At the conference this year, which is typically held each February in Salt Lake City, Elder Dale G. Renlund, along with his wife Ruth, and daughter Ashley, opened the Saturday Family Discovery Day session. They began by sharing a story about his Finnish roots, specifically speaking of his grandmother on his father’s side. Lena Sofia joined the church along with her husband, who passed away a few years later.

Elder Renlund said, “In a blazing affirmation of her faith in the sealing authority, in 1938 [she] submitted the family records for her deceased children who were over eight years of age when they died. That way, their temple work could be performed, although she herself would not get to the temple during her lifetime.”

He testified of the power that comes when we combine family history and temple ordinances.

Ashley quoted President Russell M. Nelson: “While temple and family history work has the power to bless those beyond the veil, it has an equal power to bless the living. It has a refining influence on those who are engaged in it. They are literally helping to exalt their families.”

The Renlund family discussed the temple challenge given by Elder Anderson. Then Elder Renlund strengthened the challenge and issued it to everyone: “Prepare as many names for the temple as ordinances you perform in the temple and teach others to do the same.”

If you do this,” he says, “blessings will flow to your family.” He made this promise: “You’ll find not only protection from the temptation and ills of this world, but also power to change, power to repent, power to be sanctified, power to learn, power to bind your family together and heal that which needs healing.”

He invited all to share their experiences on his Facebook page using #templechallenge as the hashtag.

Elder Renlund closed the session by declaring his witness of Jesus Christ and the restoration of the sealing power to earth.

The Renlunds’ presentation as well as other classes and speakers are available from the RootsTech video archives accessible at

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