“The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn to Their Fathers”

Doctrine and Covenants 2:1–3

1 Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
2 And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.
3 If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.

President Boyd K. Packer (speaking from the Kirtland Temple) said:

“In this room on April the 3rd, in 1836, there was fulfilled a prophecy which had been given more than 2,000 years before. The closing words of the Old Testament, given by the prophet Malachi, prophesied that, ‘Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

“‘And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse’ (Mal. 4:5–6).

“When the angel Moroni appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith, he quoted many scriptures; among them, this one was separated out and appears as the second section of the Doctrine and Covenants. Then on that day in 1836, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in this room knelt in solemn and silent prayer, and after rising from prayer Joseph said: ‘The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.

“‘[And] we saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit’ (D&C 110:1–2).

“The Lord spoke to them, and then Moses appeared and committed to them the keys of the gathering of Israel. Elias committed to them the keys of the gospel of Abraham. And then it happened: Elijah the prophet came, giving that same statement, the turning of the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, and he said, ‘By this [you] may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is . . . at the [gates]’ (D&C 110:16).

“Now, in our day, the marvelous work is moving forward—the family history work, the temple work in which families are being united for all eternity. And in a world that is degrading itself with the dissolution of families, this work goes forward across the world. It is a supernal work. It is a work designed by the Lord and introduced by Himself as He came to this spot and introduced the prophet Elijah, who gave the keys of this work.

“I bear testimony that Jesus is the Christ. This is a supernal work; the mind of man could not have conceived it. It is true. Jesus is the Christ. He lives. He directs and leads this Church. Of this I bear solemn testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

(“Special Witnesses of Christ,” Ensign, Apr. 2001, 17.)