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December 23, 2015
Light for My Path
Liberty to the Captives - On Both Sides of the Veil
by Kathryn Grant

When it comes down to it, the story of life—good versus evil, right versus wrong—is the story of liberty versus captivity.

So it’s no surprise that the greatest champion of good, the Lord Jesus Christ, is also a liberator. Some 700 years before the Lord’s birth, Isaiah spoke poetically and movingly of this aspect of Christ’s mission:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. (Isaiah 61:1.)

When Christ began his public ministry, he quoted Isaiah concerning himself (see Luke 4:16–20) and then told his audience, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

Liberty to the captives—can there be a more glorious declaration, a more welcome message for those in bondage of any kind?

On the other side of the veil, those without gospel ordinances and covenants experience a kind of bondage because their progression is limited. So the Lord invites us to join Him in His mission of liberation. He allows us to stand as saviors on Mount Zion and, through our proxy work in temples, make the blessings of the atonement available to our loved ones who have died.

But something interesting happens when we serve those beyond the veil. We don’t just help deliver them from bondage; we gain blessings of deliverance ourselves. One man discovered this truth when he participated in indexing and was delivered from multiple addictions that had bound him for years.

Deliverance may be dramatic, or it may come in small ways. I love the experiences shared by Kim Crenshaw Sorensen in this Ensign article. When she followed a prompting to participate in family history, she experienced tender mercies that provided deliverance from challenges she faced in caring for her family and trying to balance the many demands on her time.

Speaking of the redemption of the dead, Joseph Smith exclaimed, “Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.” (D&C 128:22, emphasis added.)

This beautiful promise applies to us as well. President Russell M. Nelson taught, “While temple and family history work has the power to bless those beyond the veil, it has an equal power to bless the living.”

Through family history and temple work, liberty comes to those on both sides of the veil.

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