Elder Allan F. Packer, of the Quorum of the Seventy, spoke in the Sunday afternoon session about the importance of family history work for every member of the Church.
He began his talk with a story of his childhood when he obtained a brand-new hatchet and proceeded to put it to use. He described how he was chopping in the dark and seemed to be getting nowhere. Upon returning to the light, he discovered the cover was still on the hatchet. His talk focused on the idea that the Church had removed many of the obstacles, or covers, that previously made family history so hard.
“Like partaking of the sacrament, attending meetings, reading scriptures and personal prayers, family history and temple work should be a regular part of our personal worship,” Elder Packer explained. “This work can and should be done by all members at any age.”
He went on to say that with technology the Church has made it much easier to get involved in work for the dead and that the only limit now was the number of members who were making it a priority.
He spoke in detail about a book described in Doctrine and Covenants “containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.”
“I am checking and adding records to this database because I want the names of all those I love to be in the book,” Elder Packer explained. “Don’t you?”
He reasoned that the work to be done is not for the benefit of the Church, but for the dead and for the members of the Church, referencing Elijah and promising that members would be protected against the intensifying influence of the adversary if they participated in that work.
He finished with a challenge for members to go to work and not sacrifice important work for less important interests.