Loved ones beyond the veil of death are not lost to us. “Families are the basic organizational unit of the eternal realms, and so He (God, our Father) intends for them also to be the basic unit on earth.” (Pres. Eyring, April 2017)

In this week’s Come Follow Me lesson, we learn the joyful news of how that can happen through the practice of baptism for the dead. The second paragraph of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” states:

“The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.”

Alongside the eternal blessings, there are practical ways we benefit from serving our ancestors. In this way, we come to know them:

“Stories of the familial past seem to provide a guide for adolescents’ developing sense of self and identity beyond everyday patterns of family interaction. Through sharing the past, families recreate themselves in the present, and project themselves into the future. Family stories are theorized to be a critical part of adolescents’ emerging identity and well-being. … Adolescents who report knowing more stories about their familial past show higher levels of emotional well-being, and also higher levels of identity achievement, even when controlling for general level of family functioning.”

Fivush, R., Duke, M., Candler, C.H., & Bohanek, J.G. (2010). The power of family history in adolescent identity and well-being.

Traditions and stories passed down can shape more than our perceptions. Because of what we learned in this week’s lesson, we know they can shape eternity.

Art: Sally Deng

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