Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Doctrine of the Temple

Vaughn Family about 1895. Thomas died in 1894 leaving a widow and 8 children.
My Great-Grandfather is at right front with half a smile.
In Stake Conference a few weeks ago, I was startled to attention when a speaker referenced "the Doctrine of the Temple." I have been looking for a straightforward way to explain it for some time. The speaker went on without such a definition, so maybe it isn't so simple.
Then I sat waiting for my turn at Temple service the other night and thought to read D&C Section 138 again. That's Joseph F. Smith's Vision of the Redemption of the Dead. The section should be titled, "The Doctrine of the Temple." It's all there. If possible, I recommend that it be read while sitting in the Temple.

I'm teaching the High Priests Group first-Sunday lesson tomorrow so I've been getting this organized for some time now. The Bishop said I was called to lead in the area of Temple work and family history. So I'm calling up all my persuasive lawyering skills to make a good opening argument. (Hey, we've got to work with what we've got.)

The sealing of my dad and siblings to their parents brings it home for me and becomes my starting point as I talk about the nine generations of Vaughans now linked. There won't be a lot of detail - it will be multi-media so that pictures can provide a thousand or so words as I skim along - yet I have to emphasize the point that the nine generations beginning with the illegitimate John Vaughan of 1789 have had their share of significant errors (i.e., sin). Details of history are sketchy and details will clearly be avoided with yours truly and the other living generations along with the ones not far gone. Of course the ninth from Hannah, being my dear granddaughter, is still innocent and without sin being alive in Christ.

The Joseph Smith Papers Project has posted on-line the original four journal entries of Brother Joseph's King Follett Discourse. I am quoting Wilford Woodruff's version as he also became President of the Church. This section pretty well sums up the doctrine of the Temple:
How comes the awful responsiblity if in relation to our dead, if they do not be baptized they must be damned, (I wish I had 40 days to talk) what promises are made, what can be said if in the grave[?] God dwells in eternity, and he does not view things as we do, the greatest responsibility lade upon us in this life<,> is in relation to our dead. Paul [they] cannot be made perfect without us, for it is necessary that the seals are in our hands to seal our children & our dead for the folness [fulness] of the dispensation of times, A dispensation to meet the promises made by Jesus Christ befor the foundation of the world for the salvation of man. All sins and blasphemy, were to be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost. God has made provision for evry spirit in the eternal world, and the spirits of our friends should be searched out & saved, Any man that has a friend in eternity can save him  [J SPP, King Follett Discourse, 7 April 1844, Wilford Woodruff Journal]
The Spirits of the Dead will be instructed on the principles of Faith, Repentance, Vicarious Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost,
and all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. D&C 138:32-33.
I think some of those principles necessary for the Vaughan generations are about how they should have been treating their women better. As my Grandma once said to me, "Maybe there is something about the Vaughn men that makes them difficult to live with."

Well, Grandma, we're working on fixing that up.

[some of the media that I'll be using tomorrow]
Vaughan Family about 1965 - me in the middle.

Vaughn Children about 1925 - My Grandfather the eldest at far right

Vaughn Family 2013

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