The Worth of Souls is Great
Throughout the Bible and the Book of Mormon, prophets frequently taught the people that “He that scattered Israel will gather him.” (Jeremiah 31:10). Eventually, Christ would work a mighty work and would send many to “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17). He will gather scattered Israel and they (the Jews) and the Gentiles will come to know their Savior. Until that time, He has commissioned many to spread His word that they “may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (2 Ne. 25:26).
What is a Soul Worth?
In the Old Testament, we learn that a “soul is precious” (Ps. 49:8) and that “man more precious than fine gold.” (Isa. 13:12). New Testament writers emphasise this with Jesus’ teachings. Christ came to “save that which was lost,” (Matt. 18:11) to “go after that which is lost,” (Luke 15:4) and not to “destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” (Luke 9:56). The Book of Mormon teaches “he [God] loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children,” (Alma 24:14) and “soul[s] at this time as precious unto God as [souls] shall be at the time of his coming?” (Alma 39:17).
Why does God impress prophets to repeat this message over and over? The most frequently taught things are often the most important truths. D&C 18:10 teaches us that “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” This same God has a plan and a purpose: “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39). But, these souls need to be clean enough to live with Him in His kingdom. Through the great sacrifice of His Only Begotten, men can come to live with the Father once more.
The Worth of Souls is Great
What have we learned so far? Souls have worth, efforts should be made to gather them unto Christ, and their destiny is far greater than we can imagine. Thought that was a lot? Well, what about those souls who have passed on without a knowledge of the truth? Are these souls damned to hell because they did not receive the word? Nay, surely, a loving God could not stand for such an injustice. There are two sides to every story, even with proclaiming the gospel. Christ is the “Lord both of the dead and living” (Rom. 14:9) and He has commanded that the “gospel [be] preached also to them that are dead.” (1 Pet. 4:6).
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have the wonderful opportunity to perform vicarious ordinances for those who have passed on. Worthy Latter-day Saints are encouraged to make the temple a priority, not just by modern day prophets. , Psalms 122:1 tells, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.” The temple is His house, a holy place were the righteous do the “great work to be done” D&C 138:48) and “are baptized for the dead.” (1 Cor. 15:29). It is where what is “seal[ed] on earth,” as D&C 132:46 states, “shall be sealed in heaven.” These are some of the ordinances that take place in the temple, though spirits still have to come to know Christ and accept the work that has been done.
The Work Goes On
Christ, after the Crucifiction, spent three days teaching, instructing, and “preach[ing] unto the [righteous] spirits in prison” (1 Pet. 3:19) that they might preach the “gospel … also to them that are dead.” (1 Pet. 4:6). The spirits of those who are faithful continue to do the Lord’s work in the life to come. After a spirit accepts Christ as their Redeemer, temple ordinances are done for them vicariously. This work is made possible by genealogical work. You might find you have a lot of time on your hands these days, what with quarantines around the world. What better way is there to spend your newfound time than working to bring your ancestors (and yourself) closer to Christ?
I am sure that you all have your own experiences that taught you the importance of genealogy and temple work. The temple does not bless us alone, no, it is for both the living and the dead. Please share this with your friends! Comment below with your thoughts, feelings, and testimonies