I had a question come up that I’m not sure about. We do genealogy and temple work. Do we know how the temple work will be done for all those who have died without any records? Thank you,
It’s true that we have the records for only a small fraction of the children of our Father in Heaven. But all who have lived since the time of Adam and Eve must have the opportunity to hear and accept the principles of the gospel that are essential for their eternal progression. That will be the great work of the Millennium. During that thousand year period, mortals who will be living during the Millennium will have the privilege of going into the temples to do the essential ordinance work for all the dead. At that time there will be direct communication between those for whom no records exist and those who will do the work for them.
The gospel is now being preached to departed spirits. As we read in D&C 138:29-32,
And as I wondered, my eyes were opened, and my understanding quickened, and I perceived that the Lord went not in person among the wicked and the disobedient who had rejected the truth, to teach them;
But behold, from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.
And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the acceptable day of the Lord and proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel.
Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.
Thus those who would have lived repentant lives had they known the truth may yet repent and accept the truth. They will appear to mortals in the temples of the Lord during the Millennium requesting that the ordinances of salvation be performed in their behalf. This principle has been clearly outlined by the prophets of our dispensation. A few of the references follow:
“The work of saving the dead has practically been reserved for the dispensation of the fulness of times, when the Lord shall restore all things. It is, therefore, the duty of the Latter-day Saints to see that it is accomplished. We cannot do it all at once, but will have the 1,000 years of the millennium to do it in. In that time the work must be done in behalf of the dead of the previous 6,000 years, for all who need it. Temples will be built for this purpose, and the labor in them will occupy most of the time of the saints.” (Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.2, p.166)
“It is our duty to go to the temple and take our records and work for the dead of our own lineage as far back as we can go, but what about these others? I will tell you. The great work of the millennium, of 1,000 years, will be for the salvation of these souls.” (Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.2, p.167)
“Baptism of the living for the dead is performed in temples of the Lord erected to his name and at his command in this dispensation. Temples will continue to be erected as needed, as the kingdom grows, until baptisms shall have been performed by the living for all the worthy dead who accept the gospel in the spirit world. This work will obviously have to continue throughout the thousand years of the millennium when the Savior will reign upon this earth. At present, we are dependent upon the written records that have been kept, but during the millennium, we will have direct communication with the heavens. Then all the names and information concerning those who are ready and worthy of baptism will be revealed.” (LeGrand Richards, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, Ch.13, p.173)