Elder Cook: 'Turn the hearts'
By Sarah Jane Weaver , Church News
staff writer, Published: Saturday, July 12 2014 5:25 a.m. MDT
Lord is hastening His work, and as hearts respond to the atoning
sacrifice of the Savior, His purposes will be accomplished, said
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
gThis work is both for the living
and the dead,h he explained.
Speaking at the Seminar for New
Mission Presidents on June 23, Elder Cook addressed the topic, gTurn
He said the Lord has established a
covenant pathway to achieve His purposes. The gateway to this path
is the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel: faith in the
Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion for the
remission of sins and laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy
Ghost. Church members continue on the covenant pathway with the
sacred saving and exalting ordinances of the temple and enduring to
spiritual conditions necessary to proceed along the pathway all
relate to the eheart,f h
said Elder Cook. gThe scriptures refer favorably to hearts that are
changed, broken, healed, turned, and hearts full of love, gratitude,
joy and peace. The scriptures refer unfavorably to hearts that are
Elder Cook said the reference to
gheartsh has been used in the scriptures to convey the deepest
feelings that combine the spirit and the intellect.
purposes here today, I will concentrate primarily on turned hearts.
The scriptures most commonly associated with this concept are the
last two verses in the Old Testament where we read in Malachi that
before the Lordfs Second Coming, He will send Elijah the prophet,
eAnd he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the
heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the
earth with a cursef h
Elder Cook testified that the
Prophet Elijah returned on April 3, 1836, in the Kirtland Temple to
fulfill Malachifs promise. He committed priesthood keys for sealing
families in this dispensation. Elijahfs mission is facilitated by
what is sometimes called the spirit of Elijah.
Russell M. Nelson has taught the spirit of Elijah is ea
manifestation of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the divine nature
of the family,f h
said Elder Cook.
He pointed out that the ultimate
goal is the ordinances of the temple and the condition of the heart
that must accompany these ordinances.
President Spencer W. Kimball
emphasized this and is quoted in Preach My Gospel: gI hope to
see us dissolve the artificial boundary line we so often place
between missionary work and temple and genealogical work, because it
is the same great redemptive work!h
No one was more successful in
dissolving the artificial boundary between missionary work and
family history work than Wilford Woodruff, said Elder Cook. gWilford
Woodruff baptized over 2,000 people during his ministry. c His
personal example was incredible. By the time he was 78 years old,
3,188 of his deceased relatives had been baptized vicariously and
2,518 had been endowed.h
Before discussing how missionaries
can utilize family history, Elder Cook discussed the Churchfs gMy
Familyh booklet. Mission presidents had been asked to complete their
own booklet before the seminar, he said.
purpose in doing this is to give you a spiritual foundation for
sharing the spirit of Elijah with your missionaries. It is difficult
to teach the spirit of Elijah unless you have felt the spirit of
gToday we have the doctrine; we
have the technology; we have the temples to accomplish this glorious
work of salvation.h
Elder Cook said missionaries need to
understand that they are ward and branch builders. A secondary
objective is to help missionaries find fulfillment, meaning and
powerful personal conversions, he added.
Preach My Gospel
specifically recommends that family history is very effective in all
aspects of missionary work. Given the ultimate goal, it is
especially important for continuing from baptism, to baptism for the
dead, to their own endowment and other essential ordinances.
gThere is absolutely no question
that family history can be effectively utilized for new converts and
for many of the less active. People typically have spiritual
feelings as they go to the temple.h
He said, gMissionaries can and
should assist with family history training for new converts in
preparation for baptisms for the dead and ultimately their own
gThis training is also an excellent
forum for missionaries to work with less active members who have
been assigned by the ward council.h
In many missions, family history can
also be used as a primary finding effort by the missionaries. It is
easy to start conversations using family history. The Spirit of
Elijah has prepared many people to respond. After the initial
conversation, missionaries can transition to a gospel discussion.
Teaching the plan of salvation can
be especially effective as the doctrinal stepping stone from family
history to the Preach My Gospel lessons, he said.
gThe plan of salvation message
resonates with Heavenly Fatherfs children. They feel an echo from
the past with respect to pre-mortal existence and many already
believe that families will be reunited after death. The Holy Ghost
bears witness to the eternal nature of the family and changes and
Copyright 2014, Deseret News