....The more we know about our ancestors, the more we know about ourselves. Today while we are able we may turn our hearts to parents and predecessors and bless them with our love - and labor. Those we call dead are not dead at all. They are alive - on the other side of the veil. Family ties can continue beyond death because of ordinances performed in the temple. While our kindred wait for us, for what do we wait? Where do we begin? Important advice was given by *President Boyd K. Packer, who said: "I came to see that any one of us by himself can care about them, all of them, and love them." President Packer thus identified the true starting point in this great vicarious work.
Some among us still have perceived neither the spirit of Elijah nor its power. Yet we are bound by this warning: "Now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters," saith the Lord, "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...they with out us cannot be made perfect - niether can we without our dead be made perfect." (D&C 128:15.)
This doctrine and its ordinances are laden with love and are intended to perpetuate the sweetest of life's relationships - in families forever. Just as Jesus gave his life vicariously for each of us, we can serve vicariously for our kindred.
For our beloved ancestors, perhaps we cannot do everything, but we can do something. Meanwhile, we may keep ourselves free from the bondage of sin, worthy and able to endure to the end. Then, when our turn comes to pass through the gateway, we can say as did Paul: "The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:6-7.)
*Boyd K. Packer, The Holy Temple (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1980), pp.238-39.
(Russell M. Nelson, The Gateway We Call Death, (Salt Lake City: Deseret book company, 1995) pp.106-107)