We live in perilous times, when more than ever we need to know and remember who we are, what real happiness is, and how to have peace and harmony in our homes, our communities and the world. Heavenly Father has given us eternal truths that if we will but seek them out and live them, we can have that promised joy and fulfillment.

His Son, Jesus Christ, has taught us that all the law and the prophets hang upon two great commandments.The first is “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thymind”; and like unto it is the second, that great law of human relations, “Love thy neighbor as thyself”.

Knowing our family history and doing the important work of redeeming the dead, can help us live this second great commandment “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. Recognizing that we are all on the family tree of man, related to one another through this common brotherhood as well as in the intertwining branches and leaves and roots of that mighty tree, this counsel is the sure guide for our daily living and actions with our fellow mankind. For as it has been written in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, so we should love, serve, and respect one another as we do ourselves.

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

            14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

            18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

            19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

            20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:

25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Living the 2nd Great Commandment in the 21st Century

Because of this common shared humanity, think how our lives, our homes, our neighborhoods, our business dealings, our governments, and our very global world can be different in the 21st Century as we live the 2nd great commandment. When we act upon the truth that we are all members of one big family of man, and we have need of each member in our circle of love, think of its impact on our wants, our needs, our laws, our voting, and other social issues such as immigration, charity, taxation, justice, and mercy.

Through learningour family history and doing unto others as we would want them to do unto us, think how the truth that we are all a blend of ethnicities, races, tribes, peoples, heritages and life’s experiences, can help us seek out the contributions that our brothers and sisters of many colors can make, if webring them into our circle. Certainly, with such knowledge of our kinship, we would look differently upon the prevailing covetousness of other’s wealth, possessions and “anything that is thy neighbor’s”.

As our brother’s keeper, think how a true understanding of who we are, would help us to live the commandments that are recorded in Mark 10:19, “Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.”

We encourage everyone to participate in family history work; to do their genealogy and redeem the dead. And as hearts turn, blessings will come for mankind to have a greater capacity to love one another and all on the family tree of man.  


James W. Petty, AG, CG is the Board-Certified and Accredited Professional Genealogist, “Climbing the Family Tree Professionally Since 1969”. He is President of HEIRLINES Family History & Genealogy, Inc. (www.Heirlines.com), the “Salt Lake City, Utah BBB Accredited Business” trusted professional genealogy research services firm, providing US and International genealogical and historical research for a world-wide clientele.

For Heirlines-Quality professional genealogy services, resources, and products including free genealogy, LDS Family History advice and expert answers to commonly asked ancestry questions, visit Jim’s website www.Heirlines.com for free consultations and ordering custom family tree research services, and his genealogy blog ProfessionalGenealogy.com.