Family relationships "may be some of the most rewarding but challenging experiences we find," said Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. "Many of us face a fracture of some kind within our families."
Speaking during the Saturday afternoon session of the general conference on May 31, Elder Renlund said that one of those fractures developed between Parley and Orson Pratt, who were among the first converts to the Church and were ordained apostles. Both faced trials of faith but came to unwavering testimonies. However, during the Nauvoo era, a deep gap developed between them in 1846. Although Parley wrote a letter to settle the dispute, Orson did not respond.
Several years later, at 1853, Orson learned of a project to publish a book about the descendants of William Pratt, his oldest American ancestor. "Orson started to cry 'like a little boy' when he glimpsed this hidden treasure of family history. His heart melted, and he decided to repair the breach with his brother, "said Elder Renlund. Orson wrote to his brother, begging for forgiveness.
"Despite their unwavering testimonies, their love for their ancestors was the catalyst for healing a crack, repairing damage, and seeking and extending forgiveness," Elder Renlund said.
Temple work and family history bless the lives of the living, said Elder Renlund. "When God tells us to do one thing, it often has many purposes in mind. The family history and the work of the temple are not only for the dead, but also bless the living. For Orson and Parley, they turned their hearts to each other. "
The members of the church have the divinely appointed responsibility to search for their ancestors and perform the ordinances necessary to redeem the dead. Elder Renlund said: "By participating in family history and temple work today, we also reclaim the 'healing' blessings promised by prophets and apostles."
These include a greater understanding of the Savior, a greater influence of the Holy Spirit, the strengthening of faith, the ability and motivation to learn and repent, the protection of temptations and other incredible blessings.
"If you have prayed for any of these blessings, participate in family history and temple work," Elder Renlund said. "As he does so, his prayers will be answered."
Elder Renlund concluded: "Orson Pratt and Parley Pratt experienced the healing and sealing effects of family history and the work of the temple at the beginning of this dispensation. Betty, her family and Rod experienced it. You also can. Through His atoning sacrifice, Jesus Christ offers these blessings to all, both the dead and the living. "