Genealogy. Research of one’s family history. Names are gathered so that those already deceased can have temple rituals performed on their behalf. According to Joseph Smith, “The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead. Those saints who neglect it in behalf of their deceased relatives, do it at the peril of their own salvation.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 193). Twelfth President Spencer Kimball told a general conference audience, “One of the important phases of gospel living is to involve ourselves in temple and genealogical effort. We know full well that the spirit world is filled with the spirits of men and women who are waiting for you and me to get busy in their behalf. It is a grave responsibility that the Lord has placed upon our shoulders, one that we cannot avoid and for which we may stand in jeopardy if we fail to accomplish it” (“Living the Gospel in the Home,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 1978, p. 100).
For a link to the controversial practice of baptizing those of Jewish descent in LDS temples, see here.
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