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TitleElijah, Spirit of
Publication TypeEncyclopedia Entry
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsFinlayson, Mary
Secondary AuthorsLudlow, Daniel H.
Secondary TitleEncyclopedia of Mormonism
Place PublishedNew York
KeywordsElijah (Prophet); Kirtland Temple; Spirit of Elijah
Citation Key9454

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Elijah, Spirit of

Author: Finlayson, Mary

For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the spirit of Elijah is the spirit of family kinship and unity. It is the spirit that motivates the concern to search out ancestral family members through family history; and, on their behalf, to perform proxy baptisms, temple endowments, and sealing ordinances (HC 6:252). This is seen as fulfillment of the prophecy of Malachi that in the last days Elijah "will turn the heart [in Hebrew, the innermost part, as the soul, the affections] of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers" (Mal. 4:5-6).

The appearance of Elijah to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple in 1836 inaugurated anew this spirit (D&C 110:13). The spirit of Elijah is active in the impetus anyone feels toward finding and cherishing family members and family ties past and present. In the global sense, the spirit of Elijah is the spirit of love that may eventually overcome all human family estrangements. Then the priesthood power can bind generations together in eternal family relationships and "seal the children to the fathers and fathers to the children" within the gospel of Jesus Christ (WJS, p. 329).


Smith, Joseph Fielding. "Elijah the Prophet and His Mission." Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 12 (Jan. 1921): 1-20.


Scripture Reference

Malachi 4:5-6
Doctrine and Covenants 110:13