The generations on either side of me link me to my past and my future. My view of family history involves revealing the roots and the branches.

Throughout this blog you will find perspectives related to the doctrines of temple and family history work from revealed revelation given to living prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS - Mormon).

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Year in Review: FamilySearch Grows as World’s Foremost Family History Resource



SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - December 29, 2015— FamilySearch.org, an outstanding free website hosted by FamilySearch International, the foremost family history organization in the world, has released a 2015 year-end summary of its global efforts to ultimately connect families across generations. It has made substantial progress in creating new personal and family discoveries through significantly more access to historical records, expanded partnerships, a more powerful and user-friendly online search experience, and hundreds of free localized events hosted worldwide.

For more than 100 years, FamilySearch and its predecessors have gathered and preserved worldwide records, creating the largest collection of genealogical and historical records in the world. It continues to digitally convert its vaults of microfilm for online viewing, along with millions more newly captured record images from archives across the globe.

In the past 25 years, it has been influencing technology and initiatives that engage a broadening swath of consumers to have emotional, endearing experiences with their family and family history. It uses its nonprofit status to continue to rally the growing sea of commercial companies—large and small—in the genealogy and family markets to join in the noble efforts.

HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2015

During 2015, Steve Rockwood took the reins of FamilySearch, replacing retiring Dennis Brimhall as CEO.

Two Family Discovery Centers, which represent a new concept in presenting family history information, were opened in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Belleview, Washington. Ground was also broken for a new FamilySearch Library in St. George, Utah, which will have some of the new discovery center experiences.

RootsTech 2015, a global family history event held in Salt Lake City, Utah, and hosted by FamilySearch, uses technology and fun experiences to expand family connections. It attracted a record 300,000 attendees in person, online, and through local post–Family Discovery Day events.

During 2015, FamilySearch, in cooperation with several other organizations, launched the Freedmen’s Bureau Campaign (discoverfreedmen.org) to finish digitizing and indexing Civil War–era records that are crucial to African American research success. This project should be completed in 2016.

On October 23, 2015, FamilySearch celebrated the 30th anniversary of its well-known Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, which houses the largest and most expansive collection of family history records in the world. Hundreds of thousands of patrons still frequent the facility from around the world.

DISCOVERY

The My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together booklet, which was launched in 2014, provides an engaging way to capture and preserve family trees—particularly for those individuals and cultures who are less tech-savvy. In 2015 the number of languages the popular booklet was published in was expanded to 42.

More and more people made use of the local 4,891 FamilySearch facilities (family history centers) in 2015. North America alone has seen a 25 percent increase in attendance at these local libraries during 2015. Online, FamilySearch.org has seen 291,806 visitors daily—an increase of 19 percent.

New patron discovery experiences have been launched in family history centers worldwide during 2015, and 1,505 local post–RootsTech family discovery day events were held.

Enhancements were introduced to the FamilySearch.org Family Tree to assist patrons in creating more accurate records and to find records of their ancestors more easily. The site has introduced a redesigned landscape pedigree view, easier access to indicators in other tree views, and safeguard reminders to help patrons avoid making common editing mistakes. The indicators clearly show possible data problems for an ancestor and opportunities to provide missing information and help to locate missing ancestors.

Dynamic record hints were added through the Search feature at FamilySearch.org to aid patrons in making new research discoveries. The hints are more plentiful as they comb through the mountain of new historic records added weekly to the site from its global records preservation efforts, and the interface has been improved to easily follow through with or dismiss hints. Over 670 million new patron hints were generated during the past year.

Through partnerships with other major online genealogy sites, patrons can now use a single click to search ancestry.comfindmypast.com, and myheritage.com for the person they are viewing in FamilySearch’s Family Tree.

This year’s FamilySearch innovations have made searching and recording personal and family experiences more user-friendly and have improved the accuracy of FamilySearch’s databases. Searchers can use improved exact matches in their search criteria to more easily locate records, attach records from search results to people in their Family Tree, and gather and sort information in the new hybrid view that combines historical records with their corresponding indexed information.


FAMILY TREE
More than 120,000 new contributors added to Family Tree in 2015, making a total of 2.47 million. The new user-to-user messaging feature in Family Tree simplifies collaboration with others doing research on the same specific ancestors. There are now 1.1 billion persons in the FamilySearch Family Tree. 





RECORDS

FamilySearch carries out its mission through a dedicated team of employees and overwhelming contributions of time by volunteers. FamilySearch has enabled the public worldwide to use its constantly expanding record collection to make family connections through 4,891 satellite family history centers in 129 countries, with 2,864 of those satellite centers located outside the United States. That’s an increase of 15% over 2014.

The site launched 158 new historical collections in 2015, (bringing the total to 2,049), and hundreds of millions of new published records have been added to FamilySearch.org.

Personal discoveries are fueled by making historical records easily and quickly accessible online. FamilySearch does this through a combination of digitizing the world’s historical records online and engaging online volunteers to make them searchable by patrons worldwide with a few keystrokes. Around the world, 319 camera teams—an increase of 11%—digitally preserved over 122 million records in 45 countries, and 304,000 online volunteer indexers helped make them searchable.

In fact, volunteers logged in over 9 million hours and indexed over 106 million records in 2015. And 19 million of the records indexed were of international origin, in languages other than English.

At the end of 2015, FamilySearch.org now has over 5.31 billion searchable names in historical records.

Jennifer Kerns Davis, a manager in FamilySearch’s Records Division, said, “We republished England Wales censuses with more fields and family groupings that will make them more easily searchable. It was a huge undertaking that took a lot of resources. We also have begun similar improvements on the US censuses that we plan to update in the near future.” 


MEMORIES

The FamilySearch Tree mobile app now enables users to attach photos and stories (audio and text) to individuals in their Family Tree and to receive notifications when others add content to specific individuals.

The new memories gallery view allows users to more easily organize, sort, and add photos, stories, and scanned documents to their memories collections.

Last year patrons uploaded 4 million personal family photos and 40,000 new family stories.


HELP

Volunteerism is one of FamilySearch’s greatest assets. In addition to online volunteers, 3,850 volunteers serve as FamilySearch missionaries, helping support the worldwide operations needs. These generous volunteers donated a staggering 3.04 million hours of service. FamilySearch joined with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and other organizations to index and publish online the Freedmen’s Bureau records, a Civil War era collection that will prove very pivotal for African American research success. A record 12,000 volunteers have enlisted online to assist (see DiscoverFreedmen.org).

Patrons needing help can get immediate assistance by telephone (one-on-one to online volunteer assistants,) by viewing the hundreds of free video courses online, and by accessing the FamilySearch Wiki, an online reference source with over 100,000 helpful articles that are updated weekly.

FamilySearch enhanced its online help system in 2015. Users will now notice slide outs that provide contextual help in key areas on the site where users might need it the most.

FamilySearch also added 77 new family history centers around the world to provide free personal research assistance to patrons.

Access FamilySearch’s free services online at FamilySearch.org.


Memory Jogger Monday - December 28 ... on a Wednesday

Archibald Family - December 2015
List 20 or more things about yourself.
  1. Family Historian
  2. FamilySearch Police (this is a joke between my cousin Julie and I)
  3. Reunion Organizer
  4. Blogger
  5. Speaker/Presenter
  6. Teacher
  7. Seamstress
  8. Gardener
  9. Canner ... Bottler ... Freezer
  10. Small Business Owner - http://www.dennishorseshoes.com/
  11. Ten (10) time half marathon finisher (I walk!) - until I broke my foot
  12. Retired Textbook Buyer and Seller
  13. Wife
  14. Mother of 2
  15. Aunt
  16. Sister
  17. Daughter
  18. Granddaughter ... great granddaughter ... great-great (you get the idea)
  19. Missionary
  20. Neighbor
  21. BSA Woodbadger
  22. List Maker
  23. Card Maker
  24. Cake Decorator
  25. Soap Maker
  26. Back Seat Driver
  27. Procrastinator ... why this Monday post is showing up on a Wednesday
See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Lord Expects Us to Perform Family History Work Well

© Stuart Gardner
“The Lord expects you and me to perform our family history work well. I think the first thing we must do if we are to perform our work well is to have the Spirit of our Heavenly Father with us. When we live as righteously as we know how to live, He will open the way for the fulfillment of the blessings that so earnestly and diligently we seek.” 
- President Thomas S. Monson, “Hastening the Work,” Ensign, June 2014.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - December 21 ... on a Tuesday

Mary and Baby Jesus - Photo from LDS Media Library
List at least five people who you would categorize as truly great men or women. What did they do to be great?

The great men and women I've chosen to share about today are from the scriptures.

Eve and Adam
Eve chose to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She choose agency - the greatest gift our Heavenly Father has given to us. Adam chose to stay with Eve (and partook of the fruit) - knowing that he was choosing between two commandments that he had been given: 1) to stay with Eve and 2) to abstain from the fruit. He couldn't keep both of them after Eve had partaken of the fruit. Together they chose mortality (life and death). Adam was the first man and Eve was the mother of all living. He is the angel Michael and he helped create the earth.

Noah
Noah was obedient to God and built an ark in a time when the people were only doing evil. Again, this was about agency as the children didn't have a chance to discern between good and evil when all around them was evil. Noah plead with the people to repent and change their ways. The people didn't change and God flooded the earth and saved Noah and his family. He became the father of all living. Through him the earth was re-created. He is the angel Gabriel and he announced Jesus' birth.

Abraham
Abraham made covenants with God and was promised that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed - that he indeed would be a father of many nations. He would have numerous posterity and through his posterity all the families of the earth would receive the blessings of salvation and exaltation. He received these promises when he didn't have any children; he wouldn't have Issac until he was 100 years old! He teaches me about patience and long suffering. He was willing to sacrifice his son (his promised posterity) to do the will of God. He teaches me to trust in Heavenly Father's will and time frame. Through the Abrahamic Covenant the blessings of the temple (salvation and exaltation) are offered to all mankind.

Mary
Mary the mother of Christ "kept all these things and pondered them in her heart". What did Mary know? What were her experiences? What heavenly teaching and training did she receive to be the mother of the Son of God? What did she think of the star, and the shepherds arrival? And a few years later when the wise men arrived; did she know they were coming, did she know who they were? From Mary I am learning how to keep spiritual things more sacred. She endured much and she loved much.

Jesus Christ
There would be no Christmas if there had been no Easter. Jesus would be just another child in Israel. Because He took upon himself the sins, sickness, unfairness, etc of all mankind and atoned for all our shortcomings and injustices we are free from spiritual death. Because He took upon himself physical death and led the way to immortality through resurrection, we are free from physical death. He is our Savior, our Redeemer. He preserves agency and promises immortality (salvation) and eternal life (exaltation). He was Jehovah the creator of the earth and we choose to become His as we take upon ourselves His name.

See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Salvation of Heavenly Father's Children is the Most Important Work

Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple - Photo from LDS Media Library
“The salvation of our Heavenly Father’s children from Adam and Eve to the present generation is the most important work in time and eternity. Our joy—or our disappointment—in the eternities may hinge on our willing participation in this great latter-day work.” 

– Elder David B. Haight, “Personal Temple Worship,” Ensign, May 1993, p. 25

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Love Taza Couple to Keynote Friday February 5 for RootsTech 2016


SALT LAKE CITY - December 15, 2015—Organizers of RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, are pleased to welcome popular lifestyle bloggers Josh and Naomi Davis (of the Love Taza website), as keynote speakers in the general session on Friday, February 5, 2016, during RootsTech 2016.

Millions of Internet viewers know Naomi as Taza as they follow her blog Love Taza, which celebrates the joy and purpose she and her husband, Josh, share as they raise their three small children in New York City. She started the website shortly after marrying Josh in 2007 in New York City while she finished her BFA (bachelor of fine arts) degree at the Juilliard School. She shares photos and stories of her life as a newlywed with her family out West.

Since 2007, Love Taza has become more than an online diary—it is a digital destination where millions around the world connect and find a feeling of inspiration and a guide for finding joy in everyday life. Naomi shares details of her life in New York City with her husband and children celebrating family, home, travel, food, and, most importantly, the simple joys of life. With Josh’s help, the two have transformed her website into a global business with a massive, engaged audience.

Josh and Naomi will share their business journey at RootsTech 2016, a global family history event where people of all ages learn to discover, share, and celebrate their family connections across generations through technology. RootsTech has something for everyone regardless of experience in family history or skill level in technology.

Reserve your seat for RootsTech 2016 to find inspiration from the Davises as part of a four-star lineup of keynote speakers, get involved in the special events, and learn from the experts the how-tos of family history, family stories, and more. Join us for all the events on February 3–6 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, or choose your day to join the excitement. Register early for a discount, or pay at the door.

For more information and to register for RootsTech 2016, go to rootstech.org.

***
I am 2016 RootsTech Ambassador and will be sharing these press releases on my blog in preparation for RootsTech in February 2016.

#RootsTech

Monday, December 14, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - December 14

Archibald Garden - 2015
What are some of the personal values that are very important to you? What have you done (and what are you doing now) to teach these values to your children?

Some of the values that are really important to me are:
Hard Work
Honesty
Forgiveness
Faith
Integrity
Service

We are trying to teach our children these values by example. Here are my thoughts about a few of the values I've listed and what I'm doing to teach my children.

Hard Work

My father was a great example to me of hard work. He taught me how to work when I was young. One of the first paying jobs I had was pulling weeds; huge weeds. My siblings and I would stuff our grain sacks full of weeds; being sure to shake off any dirt. Then we weighed our bags and would get paid 5 cents a pound. There were some weeds that I hated as they made me itch. And other weeds I loved because they grew so tall and were so big and though they were hard to pull, they weighed a lot.

Today we teach our children about hard work as we work together as a family on our garden. Our children help prepare the garden by pulling weeds (not as many as in my youth), planting seeds, watering, and then helping with the harvest. Also our children see us working in other areas in our home and life.

Faith

We show forth faith by actively doing things. We believe in our Father in Heaven and in His living Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. We actively do things they have asked us to do. We serve others, we keep the Sabbath day holy, we read the scriptures, attend the temple often and we teach our children to actively show their beliefs as well. Our children pray and earnestly thank their Heavenly Father for blessings received and ask for blessings for family members. We teach our children that blessings always come as we patient wait for needed blessings. When we have prayed about something and then the blessing is received we point out that blessing to our children so they too know the blessing did come.

Service

This summer we chose to serve our neighbors by making cookies each week and choosing 4-6 families with which to share our cookies. Our children loved to take the cookies to each home. By the end of the summer we had met with over 60 of our neighbors. We involve our children when we make meals to take to others. We also show them by example when we clean the snow off our neighbor's sidewalks and driveways.

See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

RootsTech 2016 Giveaway Winner - Cyler Preece

Cyler Preece
Congratulations to the winner of my FREE RootsTech 2016 Registration - Cyler Preece!

Cyler Preece is a country boy from the small town of Morgan, Utah where he was born and raised along with many of his relatives. He has recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies and a minor in Communication. For his future career he plans on owning his own marriage and family therapy practice where he can strengthen family bonds. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Rachel and his adorable little boy Porter; who can melt your heart just from his adorable smile. Cyler was introduced to family history from his mother in-law Vickie who has spent many years working at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. He is currently assisting a friend with research who is wanting to discover her family roots as well. Cyler is excited for the opportunity to attend RootsTech 2016 so he can learn the best practices of how to research his family history.

I recently learned that Cyler and my husband are related. They are 3C2R. Their common ancestors are Thomas Archibald and Elizabeth Russell Archibald.

Thank you to those who entered my 1st giveaway contest here on my blog. I hope to have other giveaways in the future.

This was my first time using Rafflecopter to run the giveaway. To select the winner the Rafflecopter software utilizes Random.org to ensure true randomness. Also in order to boost the views to my giveaway, I utilized Facebook Ads for the first time. My Facebook post about the giveaway received 2110 views of which 444 were from the sponsored post. Of the 444 views I received 23 actions (clicks, likes, and shares). I learned a lot from running that Ad (target audience, keywords, expectations, etc).

For some more numbers, that may be interesting only to me:
34 people entered the giveaway
131 entries from those 34 people

One of the entry options of my giveaway was to come back to my blog everyday and read another post; which resulted in two additional entries each day.

The winner had 7 entries. The most entries had by one person was 19!

EACH RootsTech Ambassador has a free registration to giveaway. One of the Ambassadors is attempting to keep track of everyone's giveaway. You can visit Tami at Relatively Curious to see what other giveaways are available. Check back often as she is working to keep her list updated as each Ambassador launches their giveaway.

Thank you again for participating in my giveaway! I look forward to seeing you at RootsTech 2016!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Light May Shine Upon Them


“Through our efforts in their behalf their chains of bondage will fall from them, and the darkness surrounding them will clear away, that light may shine upon them and they shall hear in the spirit world of the work that has been done for them by their children here, and will rejoice with you in your performance of these duties.”

 – President Joseph F. Smith, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, 1998, p. 247.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - December 7

Earth and Moon
What are some of your life philosophies or life views that you would share with others?

I have always liked the philosophy that we are "spiritual beings having a mortal experience."

Sometimes it is hard to remember that this Earth life is really not our home. We came into mortality (Earth life) from the presence of our Heavenly Father as His spiritual offspring. We took upon ourselves physical Earthy bodies and our body is the veil that covered us (the spirit) and also caused us to forget our pre-mortal life. As we go throughout mortality we strive to live in the world, but not be part of the world.

I really like this line from the Hymn - More Holiness Give Me:

More purity give me,
More strength to o'ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom,
More used would I be,
More blessed and holy--
More, Savior, like thee.

I have experienced many times that "longing for home". And that wishing for "more freedom from earth-stains". There are times that I have glimpses of eternity and during those times the "worldliness" around me really irritates me. Even little petty things like common bumper stickers.

Being immersed in family history and temple work helps me keep my focus that I'm a "spiritual being having a mortal experience." As I work to find my ancestors and provide needed temple ordinances, my life is put into proper perspective. I really love this quote. It sums up my feelings.

“There really can be a bond and a sense of belonging that tie together generations on both sides of the veil. This bond gives us a sense of identity and purpose. Our ties with the eternal world suddenly become very real, sharpening our life’s focus and lifting our expectations.” 
– Bruce C. Hafen, “Planting Promises in the Hearts of the Children”, Ensign, June 1994, p. 48.

See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

I Promise You Will Love Them

Back: Left to Right - Lucinda Pierce Pendleton, Maria Ann Jakeman Pierce
Front: Left to Right - Alice Crompton Jackson, Lucinda Pendleton, Maria Jackson Jakeman
Venice, Utah 1904
“... I seriously doubt that you will ever turn your own heart more to your own fathers than by writing your family history. You must know a lot about them before you can write it. This will lead you to much in-depth research. I promise you will love them when you become acquainted with them. They were noble people, and they sacrificed much to give you the heritage you have today. They deserve the best you can give them, which of course is membership in the Church and the kingdom of God and the sealing of their loved ones to them.” 
– Hartman Rector, Jr, “Turning the Hearts,” Ensign, April 1981.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - November 30

By debaird (http://www.flickr.com/photos/debaird/107053474/)
[CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
What were some of the major community, national, and world events you lived through? How did these events change your life?

By Kennedy Space Center
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Challenger Explosion - January 28, 1986
I was 14 years old and in 9th grade English class when the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded after takeoff. We had a television in our classroom and we were watching some kind of video that related to our class topic. Another teacher ran in our room and wanted our TV. Instead our teacher turned the TV to the news and for the remainder of class we watched the news showing the shuttle explode over and over again. Children all over the country were watching this shuttle launch as it was the first time a teacher was part of the crew. I put together a scrapbook of various newspaper and news magazine clippings from this event and the aftermath that affected the space program. I even wrote a poem about it and my brother created a computer graphic of the shuttle.


By SSGT F. LEE CORKRAN
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Berlin Wall - November 9, 1989
I was a freshman in college and had just come home from class and turned on the TV to see on every station the same images of mobs of people celebrating and climbing over the Berlin Wall. Every station was replaying Ronald Reagan's speech from two years prior calling on Gorbachev to "Tear down this wall!" I never thought in my lifetime that Germany would be reunited. And here it was taking place before my eyes. My roommates and I stayed glued to the TV for the rest of the night. We were witnessing major changes in world history.



By National Park Service
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Terrorism - September 11, 2001
I was on my way driving from Bountiful, Utah to Logan, Utah to do some consulting work at Utah State University when I heard on the radio the events transpiring on the East Coast. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I woke my my husband by calling him and having him turn on the TV. The 2nd tower had just been hit and soon there were reports from the Pentagon and orders for all planes to be grounded. It was an overwhelming flood of emotions. Massive terrorism and destruction on our own soil. And within seconds of feeling so overwhelmed, I felt complete peace. It was peace from the Comforter letting me know that I was okay and that I did live in a world filled with darkness and that I could choose how to feel that day; that I could choose the light. I arrived at the University and on every screen was news about the attacks. I was able to accomplish my work without distraction. On the way home I was well aware of the contrail-free skies and the nearly empty roads and parking lots. It was good to be home with my husband and to know that all my family near and far were safe.


2002 Winter Olympics - February 2002
By Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres
(http://www.news.navy.mil/list_single.asp?id=794)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I was a volunteer for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Actually my volunteering started the year before as I was a volunteer driver for the 2001 Paralympic World Cup Biathlon at Soldier Hollow. During the 2002 Winter Olympics I served as an Accreditation Associate. I provided Olympic credentials to service providers (police, firemen, Secret Service, FBI, etc). It was great to watch the torch run throughout the city. To see people come together after being in turmoil only months before. To see the love and humanity that exists when people all over the world come together in a positive common purpose. It was nearly magical at times. In the middle of it all, I had an emergency appendectomy. I quickly got right back to finishing my service and enjoying some of the perks of being a volunteer. My husband was also a volunteer and he worked on the Opening and Closing Ceremonies on the Light and Sound Team. He was on the stadium floor as the flag from the World Trade Center came through - so close that he could have reached out and touched it. It was hallowed ground and a time of healing for our country.


See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

RootsTech 2016 Giveaway


I love RootsTech! It is the world's largest family history event. There are many great classes and speakers to choose from and so many wonderful people with which to network.

As an Ambassador for RootsTech 2016, I have the privilege of giving away ONE FREE full conference pass (worth $249).

The RootsTech full conference pass is valid from Wednesday, February 3 through Saturday, February 6, 2016. It includes the registration fee for over 200 classes (including the Getting Started series), all keynotes, general sessions, the expo hall, and evening events.

It does not include Innovator's Summit or the Family Discovery Day or any sponsored lunches or computer labs. It also does not include any accommodations or transportation to or from the event.

The giveaway covers the registration fee only.

This giveaway runs from November 30 to December 12, 2015. Winner will be notified (with registration instructions) no later than December 14, 2015.  The winner's name will be disclosed on the Revealing Roots and Branches blog and associated social media accounts.

If the winner has already paid a registration fee for the 2016 RootsTech event, instructions will be provided to obtain a refund.

This is the first time I have offered a giveway and I have chosen to use Rafflecopter. See below to enter the giveway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Update: 12.14.15
Here is the WINNER.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Family History Blesses the Living


“As you respond in faith to this invitation, your hearts shall turn to the fathers. The promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be implanted in your hearts. Your patriarchal blessing, with its declaration of lineage, will link you to these fathers and be more meaningful to you. Your love and gratitude for your ancestors will increase. Your testimony of and conversion to the Savior will become deep and abiding. And I promise you will be protected against the intensifying influence of the adversary. As you participate in and love this holy work, you will be safeguarded in your youth and throughout your lives.” 
– Elder David A. Bednar, "The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn," October 2011, General Conference.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - November 23

Matthew and Emma - Payson Utah Temple - April 2015
How many children do you have? List their names and share a few memories about each one.

We have two children; Emma Patience and Matthew Thayne. I wrote a post in February 2015 about the meaning behind their names. You can read that post here: What's In A Name?

Since my children are very young we are still making memories every day.

Emma has a great memory! She is almost 8 and can remember things she did at a daycare when she was 2! And we don't have any photos about the things she tells us about. Also, every time we pass the Hill Air Force Base Museum she will mention something about how we should all remember the time that they went there with only Dad because Mom went shopping for Aunt Sarah's wedding dress. Sarah got married more than 3 years ago. Emma was 4 when she went there "without Mom."

When Emma was born she was tiny baby -  4 lb 14 oz. The nurses would come into my room and she would hold up her own head and watch them as they moved about the room. It really freaked out the nurses. They kept telling me that babies can't hold up their own heads like she was doing. She was so attentive; just like she is now.

This is one of my favorite memories so far about Emma. When she was 3 1/2 years old we were getting ready to go to the church for a ward party. When I told her we were going to the church for dinner, she cried and said she didn't want to go because "I don't want to eat just bread and water."

Matthew has an amazing vocabulary! He just turned 5 and uses huge words and long sentences and can talk constantly about anything he is excited about. Right now it is transformers ... I stand corrected by him ... "rescue bots". When he was first starting to talk (at about 1 1/2 years old), Emma would call him "MattQ" and he would correct her and say that his name was "Matt2". And he would talk in 3rd person a lot. Probably because Emma would always say what Matthew would want and he would confirm that she was right, that Matthew did want whatever she said. Also at this age he would give everyone high fives and "muckles" (instead of knuckles).

One night at dinner, when he was 2 years old, he said, "this is goodlicious"! And my most favorite vocabulary memory is a few months after he turned 3 years old. We were visiting with some family friends (distant cousins too) and we were having cake and ice cream for a birthday. He asked for the trapezoid piece of cake! Sure enough we all looked at the cake and there was one shaped like a trapezoid.

See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

Newly-Called Apostle and Wife to Open Free Family Discovery Day - RootsTech 2016


SALT LAKE CITY - November 23, 2015 —RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, announced today that Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Ruth Renlund, will lead its lineup for its free Family Discovery Day event, which will take place on Saturday, February 6, 2016, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. This incredible opportunity is specially designed for families and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ages eight and older.

The free one-day event will feature inspirational messages, instructional classes, interactive activities, and exciting entertainment designed to teach Latter-day Saint families how to find their ancestors, how to prepare names for temple ordinances, and how to teach others to do the same. Attendees will also have access to the Expo Hall, where hundreds of exhibitors will showcase the latest technology and tools.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and FamilySearch International will host the event. Families are encouraged to register online at RootsTech.org.

Before Elder Renlund’s recent call as an Apostle, he served in the First Quorum of the Seventy and in the presidency of the Africa Southeast Area. After receiving B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Utah, Elder Renlund was a professor of medicine and the medical director of a cardiac transplant program.

Sister Renlund graduated from the University of Maryland Law School in 1986 and practiced law with the Utah attorney general’s office. She served as president of the Utah Association for Justice. She also served on the Utah Supreme Court’s advisory committee for professionalism and was a member of the Deseret News board of directors.




In addition to Elder and Sister Renlund, attendees will hear from other Church leaders, including Primary general president Rosemary M. Wixom and Brother Stephen W. Owen of the Young Men general presidency.

Family Discovery Day will also feature additional Latter-day Saint speakers and closing event entertainment, which will be announced soon.

Family Discovery Day is free, but registration is required. Visit RootsTech.org to learn more and to register.


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I am 2016 RootsTech Ambassador and will be sharing these press releases on my blog in preparation for RootsTech in February 2016.

#RootsTech

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Temple and Family History Work are Connected Together

San Diego California Temple  -  © Stuart Gardner
"Temple and family history work is one work divided into two parts. They are connected together like the ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. " 
- Elder Richard G. Scott, "The Joy of Redeeming the Dead," October 2012, General Conference

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Doris Kearns Goodwin to Keynote Saturday February 6 for RootsTech 2016


SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—November 17, 2015—RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, announced Doris Kearns Goodwin has joined its lineup of keynote speakers. Goodwin, a world-renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning author, will speak at the RootsTech general session on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Goodwin will share her insights into the personal and family lives of past presidential leaders and the influence their ancestors had on their personalities, behavior, decisions, and careers. She will also share anecdotes about her own family and experiences which have shaped and influenced her life

Goodwin has been hailed by New York magazine as “America’s historian-in-chief” for her in-depth scrutiny into the lives, actions, and family influences of America’s presidents, and the history of the country.  She provided extensive subject matter expertise for PBS and the History Channel’s documentaries on the Kennedy family, LBJ, Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham and Mary Lincoln, and Ken Burns’ The History of Baseball and The History of The Civil War. She also worked with Steven Spielberg on the movie Lincoln, based in part on Goodwin’s award-winning Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.

Goodwin received the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.  In addition, she has authored biographies of several other U.S. Presidents, including Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream; The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga;  Team of rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (which was awarded the Lincoln Prize),and her most recent book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism.

Goodwin‘s biographies are not limited to presidents and politicians. Wait Till Next Year, her touching, best-selling memoir, draws her readers into life as she knew it in the 1950s in the suburbs of New York. She portrays the post-World War II era New York when the corner store was the gathering place for people to share stories and discuss their baseball differences with neighbors who were equally divided between Dodger, Giant, and Yankee fans.

Goodwin is expected to share memories of the lifelong influence of her parents: her mother, who taught her the joy of books, and her father, who taught her the joy of baseball and the Dodgers. She describes how two events deeply affected her: the Dodgers left Brooklyn in 1957 and the death of her mother.  Both events marked the end of an era and, for her, the end of childhood. 

Goodwin wrote Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream using first-hand insight into President Lyndon B. Johnson’s life. She served as an assistant in LBJ’s last year in the White House, and later assisted him in the preparation of his memoirs. On his 107th birthday, August 27, 2015, Goodwin said in retrospect, “LBJ was surely the most colorful politician I have ever met…. How I wish the LBJ that I knew in private—the colorful, ever fascinating, larger-than-life figure—had been able to project more of that effervescent personality into his public life.”

Goodwin is a frequent guest commentator on most of the major networks. Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios has also purchased film rights to her book, The Bully Pulpit, which chronicles the first 10 years of the Progressive era through the administrations of Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft.

Other keynote speakers for RootsTech 2016 announced previously are New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler, award-winning journalist Paula Williams Madison, and the president and CEO of FamilySearch International, Stephen Rockwood. See the Keynote Page at RootsTech.org for more information about each of these speakers.  

For more information or to register for RootTech 2016, go to RootsTech.org.

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I am 2016 RootsTech Ambassador and will be sharing these press releases on my blog in preparation for RootsTech in February 2016.

#RootsTech

Monday, November 16, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - November 16

National Scout Jamboree - July 1985
Scott is in the 2nd row from the bottom, 5th from the right
Share some stories about your spouse.

When Scott was 14 years old he went to the National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia in July 1985. It was his first time on an airplane and his group flew into Detroit, Michigan and then took a bus. Along their way to Virginia they visited Niagara Falls and a few of the LDS Church history sites; the Sacred Grove, the Hill Cumorah, and the Peter Whitmer farm. They also went to New York City (Manhattan) and went to the top floor and roof of the then World Trade Center. They also were able to attend a New York Mets game and then actually made their way to the Jamboree. At the Jamboree they camped in tents and cooked their own meals (the food was provided). They participated in various scouting activities everyday. Scott called home frequently as it was his first time away from home for that length of time. They were gone for two and a half weeks.

When Scott was a little boy (age 2-3) he took the shampoo bottle from the bathroom and poured it out on the bottom stair step and rubbed it in the carpet really well. His mom has said that she hoped that someday he would have children that would do the same thing; since it was such a big soapy mess for her to clean up. Well, Scott's children haven't used shampoo; they have smashed raspberries and bananas into the family room carpet. I think he wishes they would use shampoo!

See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Family History is Part of Our Personal Worship

Photo from LDS Media Library
“Like partaking of the sacrament, attending meetings, reading the scriptures, and saying personal prayers, doing family history and temple work should be a regular part of our personal worship.” 
– Elder Allan F. Packer, "The Book", October 2014, General Conference

Monday, November 9, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - November 9

What was your courtship like? Describe your marriage day.

Because we met online, we did a lot of our communicating initially online even after meeting in person. That transitioned to phone calls and then visits by Scott to Logan and by me to Bountiful. Back and forth on the freeway from Bountiful to Logan. Dates in Logan and dates in Bountiful and Salt Lake.

On August 17, 2000 I came down from Logan to Ogden to interview for a volunteer position for the 2002 Winter Olympics. After the interview I went to Bountiful to visit Scott. He got off work late that night (11 pm). After he got to his condo, we took a drive up to the Bountiful LDS Temple, where he proposed to me. We walked around the temple and talked about our future life together. I took the next day off of work and we went ring shopping and had a great day telling all our family members; some who didn't believe us because we had just met the month before.

We had a three month engagement and were married on November 17, 2000 in the St. George LDS Temple. We had requested Robert L. Gardner to be our sealer. He had been a high councilor in a young single adult stake where I had served in a family history calling and we had worked together. We had a special friendship and I was grateful that he was our sealer.

Scott and I had put together a list of all those we wanted to be with us in the temple that day. Included in our list was not only our close friends and family, but also those special ancestors of ours who had had a great impact on our lives and also our future family. We shared our special list with our sealer before our session. He indicated that there would be some of those people present that day. We knew they were there with us; especially Scott's deceased father and our future children.

After photos around the temple we went to a lunch at Dixie State College. I had some great college store industry friends who were able to join us there for lunch. That evening we had a reception in Enoch, Utah. Two weeks later we had a second reception in Wellsville, Utah.

See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

You Have Been Prepared For This Day

“My beloved young brothers and sisters, family history is not simply an interesting program or activity sponsored by the Church; rather, it is a vital part of the work of salvation and exaltation. You have been prepared for this day and to build up the kingdom of God. You are here upon the earth now to assist in this glorious work. I testify Elijah returned to the earth and restored the sacred sealing authority. I witness that what is bound on earth can be bound in heaven. And I know the youth of the rising generation have a key role to play in this great endeavor. I so testify in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.” 

- Elder David A. Bednar, The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn, General Conference, October 2011.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - November 2

Scott Archibald
How would you describe your spouse?

Scott is quiet and reserved which makes him a great listener. He has a creative mind and is an inventive hard worker. He is loving, caring, kind, and compassionate. He is brave and strong.

See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Needed Information Will Come To You


“I believe that when you diligently seek after your ancestors – in faith – needed information will come to you, even when no mortal records of their lives are available.” 
- Elder David B. Haight, “Personal Temple Worship,” Ensign, May 1993, p. 25.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

From Hours to Seconds - Time to Find a Record


The FamilySearch Family History Library just turned 30! I remember going to the library as a teenager in the late 1980's. At the time, I didn't know the library was "new" as it was all new to me; family history, microfilm, old books. I remember spending entire days there with my father as we searched and searched through microfilm trying to locate just one document about his family.

Recently I was able to quickly access some of those same records we found nearly 30 years ago right from my home computer. Technology is amazing! I think the above infographic is a great representation of what I have personally experienced.

As I started this post, I felt inspired to share this quote from Elder David B. Haight about technology from 22 years ago:

“The Lord has poured out His Spirit upon His children—which is manifest in new technology, simplified procedures, and expanding resources, which enable us to accelerate our progress in the redemption of the dead.”  
– Elder David B. Haight, “Personal Temple Worship,” Ensign, May 1993, p. 25.

I can't wait to see what technology changes the next 30 years bring!

FamilySearch's Family History Library Celebrates 30th Anniversary


FamilySearch’s Family History Library (FHL) in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, celebrated its 30th anniversary on October 23, 2015. When the new facility was completed in 1985, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was already considered the foremost authority on family history research. During the past three decades, the library has been hailed by genealogists as the top research and collections library in the world—a designation it still maintains—in part, because it has evolved to keep pace with the changing demographics and demands of family researchers and the communities it serves. 

“The Family History Library in Salt Lake City is unique in all the world,” said Diane Loosle, director of the world-renowned library. She explained the focus of the library has always been to increase access to the world’s genealogical records and help patrons make personal family discoveries 

“To the family historian, this library is like Disneyland,” says Loosle, “There’s no place like it. People dream for years of coming. It is the largest facility of its kind and the largest of FamilySearch’s 4883 family history centers globally. Many people begin their journey of discovery at one of our facilities.” 

The Family History Library has been attracting guests and visitors from all corners of the world for three decades due to its expansive collection of resources and knowledgeable staff. “Most mornings before the library opens, people begin to queue up in front of the doors waiting to get in,” Loosle said.  

It appears the masterminds behind its construction had a vision of future demands. Plans that seemed almost grandiose when construction of the edifice was announced in 1983 have not only materialized, but have also led the way through the years to accommodate ever-improving research and information gathering options. It has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1894 as a one- room repository of the Genealogical Society of Utah, just around the corner and up the street in a small building called the Church Historian’s Office at 58 E. South Temple. 

The five-story building in downtown Salt Lake City today continues to serve as a repository and physical point of access for FamilySearch’s now billions of records. Instead of growing numbers of microfilm and microfiche, the influx of new records today continues digitally through online indexing, patron submissions, partner exchanges, donations from various government, religious and private entities and local records preservation and access initiatives world-wide—most of which is made available at FamilySearch.org. 

The library continues to move with digital innovations, benefiting from the latest technology to preserve and provide access to the world’s genealogical records and increase the success of personal discovery. Progress in gathering, copying, and making records available has been dramatic and fast. Over 300 camera teams are digitally preserving historic records worldwide—over 100 million images per year—that are published directly online.  
In this age of 24/7 access to information and growing thirst for digital services, libraries across the nation are evolving to meet the changing demands of the communities and patrons they serve, and the Family History Library is no exception.  

About 25 percent of the 2.4 million rolls of microfilm stored at the Granite Mountain Vault have been digitally published online. The Family History Library itself has about 1.5 million rolls on site. As physical films are digitized, they are removed from the library. Insofar as possible, the records teams plan on digitally publishing all of the microfilm online for 24/7 access. 

In 1985 family history research was a very individual experience requiring each person interested in a specific record to scroll through microfilm or search microfiche. In 1985 over 600 microfilm and fiche readers were housed in the Library. Though microfilms and fiche still play an important, though less frequently used role, a large portion of today’s research is now computer-based. Today the Family History Library boasts 550 Internet-enabled patron computers while still providing access to over 200 film and fiche readers. The Library also offers free access to film, book, and photo scanning equipment to help patrons digitally preserve and share family records.  

The library is the hub of a worldwide genealogical library system—including 4,883 satellite branches in more than 100 countries—called FamilySearch Family History Centers or affiliate libraries.  The library began serving about 2,000 patrons a day or 700,000 a year in 1985, and today, with FamilySearch.org and its satellite branches, it serves over 45 million guests per year.   

“We know that many people will never have the opportunity to visit the Family History Library in person,” said Loosle. So FamilySearch has been expanding its reach. We want everyone who desires to discover their ancestors to be able to do so, no matter where they live. 

Managing the Library Requires a Village 
Visitors to the Family History Library find an amazing collection of resources collected over 120 years and hosts of friendly people with expertise available to help them. The Library delivers with an impressive cadre of 45 full and part-time staff, and perhaps unprecedented for libraries, 550 full- and part-time volunteers or “missionaries.”  The volunteers hail from all over the world, many of them dedicating up to 18 months—at their own expense—to help patrons make successful discoveries. 

The main floor of the library is specifically designed to assist inexperienced patrons in getting started. The floor has been outfitted with computers supported by volunteers trained to assist beginners. Volunteers and expert reference staff are also available for more in-depth research on the other floors dedicated to records from certain areas of the world.   

On its lower level, for example, is found the largest number of Chinese clan genealogies outside Mainland China.  This level is also used for storing family histories, and overflow films, and books available by request.  Requests for digitalization of these and other personal books can be requested here, and is  done at another facility in Salt Lake or at many of the Family History Centers and affiliate libraries.   

“The library is not a repository for original documents as is the case with specialized archives; it is not an archive in that sense,” noted David Rencher, chief genealogy officer for FamilySearch.  “But it accepts donations of published works of genealogical significance.”  Books and serials are continually added to the library’s shelves—over 600,000 in fact—and the library is heading up an initiative with other public libraries to digitally publish historic books of genealogical relevance online—over 225,000 have been digitally published online to-date.  

Future of the Family History Library 
The library is focused on continuing to expand access to the world’s genealogical record collections to satisfy growing consumer demands.  In 1985, the average patron was mostly retirees or professional researchers.  Today, the patron faces are changing.  It is common to see working professionals, families, and even a growing number of youth amidst the stereotypical retirees and serious researchers,” said Loosle 
  
Loosle sees a bright future for the library. “The library is still the best place to do family history research and will continue to serve that purpose. In addition, the library has created a lab for testing discovery concepts called the Discovery Centera family-friendly area where families, and particularly young people, can begin the journey of self and family discovery through fun and engaging activities.  Over time, similar experiences are planned to be incorporated in the Family History Library. We anticipate the exciting additions will attract thousands of new patrons who want to discover their family history. 
  
The library will continue to develop and offer timely, free guest classes broadcasted as webinars.   The schedules, necessary connection links, downloadable handouts, and recordings to past webinars are accessible online through the FamilySearch Wiki. 

The library also hosts a community block party in June.  This year over 3,200 participants came and enjoyed a free family day including bounce houses, face painting, cultural entertainment, family history centric activities and classes.  The 2016 party is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 11.  


Begin your family discovery at the Family History Library, online at FamilySearch.org or through a local FamilySearch Family History Center.