Family History is about spending the time learning more about our ancestors, not just birth & death dates. They were real people. They had their joys, successes, disappointments, tragedies, etc that defined their life. What were they like? Would you not really want to know more about them? To know them is to study their "story" through photos, histories, old movies, recorded interviews, etc.
It is only through preserving and sharing those "memories" that we can pass on their heritage to ourselves and our posterity.
As you engage in doing this wonderful work, you will develop a great love for your heritage, and those ancestors that sacrificed so much for their posterity. Their hearts are turned to us, and we WILL feel their influence in our lives as we stay close to the Spirit of the work. Our hearts turn to them as we learn more about their lives, challenges, successes and even failures. We thus fulfill Malachi's prophecy that the "hearts of the fathers will turn to the children, and the children to their fathers". (Malachi 4:5-6). Many of our leaders have also promised us that there is no greater blessing and protection from the world that can come to us as we engage in this work.
Do you like to research?
- If yes … Share your Temple-Ready names with your family members
- If no … Try Indexing, OR work on "Preserving Your Heritage" activities.
Do you have lots of old photos & movies that need to be preserved?
- If yes … Get them digitally preserved and then share them with family and Family Tree Memories. These may include scanning those old photos you have inherited, or preserving that cassette recording of your grandmother singing a Primary song in her Danish accent. Preserve your own heritage of VHS tapes, histories and such so that they are available to your posterity. Record your memories of your parents, or grandparents and share them with your grandchildren. There is SO much to do!
- If no … Well, I can't imagine anyone not having these things around. There's always your personal photos, home movies, our family stories, and such to preserve for your children and grandchildren. We create a legacy for our posterity. Don't let it disappear. Organize your family members to each do their part in preserving your heritage.
Are you taking your family names to the Temple?
- If yes … Wonderful! This is the ultimate blessing of participating in Family History! You will feel a greater closeness to them as you do so.
- If no … Consider doing so. It is there that we will feel a greater love for all that our Heavenly Father blesses us with, along with the inspiration we need to carry on in our daily lives. I can imagine that those who we have done temple work for will be eternally grateful that we brought to them those saving ordinances.
Are you actively Indexing?
- If yes … Wonderful! You are held in high esteem, as you are helping bring these now searchable records on line for others to see!
- If no … Consider doing so. We currently are archiving MORE digital records each day, than are being indexed. We need YOUR help!! Commit to doing one batch per week and you will find great blessings will come to you. Oh…and don't forget that you are also promised special spiritual blessings for doing this work as well. You ARE making it possible for someone else to find their ancestor. I can only imagine them crying with joy as their name now becomes available to be searched by their posterity. I know that they will bless you for helping others find them.
No "Genealogy" Is Truly Done
We often see headstones of our ancestors noting their birth & death dates such as 1856 - 1923. It is that "dash" between those dates that really defines who those ancestors were and what their life was about.
Elder Bradley Foster has a great talk "It's About the Dash" that discusses this.