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.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - June 29

2006 Ohms Family Reunion

What are the names of your brothers and sisters? Describe traits and memories that stand out in your mind about each of your siblings.

Jenny (top row 2nd from the right)
The trait that stands out about Jenny is that she is very creative!
One of my favorite memories is watching Jenny, while we were younger, do cross-stitching. She could even use the smallest square fabric and make such detailed designs. And these creations decorate her home today.

Gabe (top row 1st on the right)
The trait that stands out about Gabe is that he is very generous!
One of my favorite memories was from two years ago when I was visiting Gabe's family. Gabe was in the process of testing flavors for his new ice cream store. It was fun to watch him test each flavor in each base and pour in the liquid nitrogen ... and then we got to eat the results. Yum!

Seth (top row 1st on the left)
The trait that stands out about Seth is that he is very resourceful!
One of my favorite memories was watching him design and build a feeding device for our family's chickens. He has since built many other things. He recently took scraps from a building project and built a chicken coop for his own birds.

Sarah (bottom row 1st on the left)
The trait that stands out about Sarah is that she is a wonderful peacekeeper!
One of my favorite memories was watching Sarah and her friends write and perform their own plays and stories. She is also a very creative person. She is kind and patient with her children and encourages me to be patient too.

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

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It Shall Leave Them Neither Root Nor Branch

"Our Father’s plan is about families. Several of our most poignant scriptures use the concept of the tree with its roots and branches as an analogy.

"In the closing chapter of the Old Testament, Malachi, in describing the Second Coming of the Savior, vividly uses this analogy. Speaking of the proud and wicked, he notes that they shall be burned as stubble and 'that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.' Malachi closes this chapter with the Lord’s reassuring promise:

“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.”

"The essential doctrine of uniting families came forth line upon line and precept upon precept. Vicarious ordinances are at the heart of welding together eternal families, connecting roots to branches."

- Elder Quentin L. Cook, "Roots and Branches", LDS General Conference, April 2014.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

My Family's Visit to the FamilySearch Discovery Center

Our family visited the FamilySearch Discovery Center in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 15, 2015. I had previously visited by myself in February as part of a media visit during RootsTech. You can read about my visit and about how to navigate the various stations in the center at this link: 
FamilySearch Discovery Center

Today's post is about my family's visit and my observations with having my young family there.

In the FamilySearch area of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, you can get a free souvenir photo taken as though you are on the dock arriving in New York City. I especially love Matthew's closed eyes in the above photo. It must have been a long and tiring journey for him. Once the photo is taken, you enter your email address and it is immediately sent to you. Anyone visiting Temple Square should go get a free photo; it is separate from the Discovery Center experience.

In the Discovery Center, when you arrive you are given an iPad and you Sign In with your FamilySearch account and then take a picture of yourself for the adventure. FamilySearch accounts are available for anyone over the age of 8 years. My children are not yet that old; my daughter is getting close though.

Here is a picture of my husband for his Discovery adventure.

Children are then given these items: A hat and a bag containing a map, magnifying glass, binoculars, pencil, notebook, and according to my daughter "wooden circles about families". This is my 2nd visit and I still haven't figured out exactly what is in that bag and the activity that goes along with the map. I am too attached to the iPad stations. I know the map matches the iPad stations that the parents and older children are using. I just don't know what the entire activity is about. The next time we visit, I am going to figure this out.

At one of the iPad stations you learn about your name. Here is information about my husband's name. My information is in my February blog post as mentioned above. I was intrigued that it gave Scott information for both his first and middle name.

Not only is his first, middle, and last name Scottish, his heritage is 28% Scottish and he chose this photo in the photo booth. I love the look on his face; I giggle all the time when I see it.

We had our children also take pictures in the photo booth using our logged in iPads. Here is Emma in a German outfit; though her heritage is less than 24% German (my login). It will be fun and interesting for her when she is 8 years old next year to visit the Discovery Center under her own login.
At the photo booth you can also switch to other heritages to see what you would look like. Emma really liked this outfit and had fun becoming "Ukrainian" for just a moment.
I call this photo "The One Eyed Ancient Roman"! It can be really hard for a young child to hold still while the computer takes the picture. In many of the images you have to tilt your head to match the picture and it is hard enough for an adult to do, let alone a young child. Still this photo makes me giggle.
I found this interesting thing when my iPad was docked at the map station. In February the program showed that my first chronological ancestor to convert to the LDS Church was Lucy Simmons on 8 March 1832. During this experience in June the program showed that my first convert ancestor was Elisha Hurd Groves and it shows the same date! Lucy and Elisha later marry on 14 January 1836 in Kirtland, Ohio.
Elisha was living in Indiana when he was baptized on 8 March 1832 by Elder Calvin Beebe. He had been taught about the Book of Mormon in September 1831 by Elder Samuel H. Smith (brother of Joseph) and Elder Reynolds Cahoon. The gospel also came to Lucy's home in the fall of 1831 in New York and she was baptized on 8 March 1832 by Elder Samuel H. Smith (brother of Joseph). It is amazing to me that they were both baptized on the very same day and that Elder Samuel H. Smith had influenced both of their lives and then later on 14 January 1836 they marry by the counsel of the Prophet Joseph.

Here are some photos of my children playing with some of the activities that are just outside the Discovery Center room. They enjoyed this area the most.

Again, I hope you are interested in visiting the FamilySearch Discovery Center on your next trip to Salt Lake City. We chose to schedule our visit with the Discovery Center to guarantee that we would be able to get in at the date and time that worked for us. While we were visiting the center, others were able to walk-in without an appointment as there were openings at the time they arrived. You cannot count on having walk-in time available. The center can accommodate larger groups up to 30 people. Follow this link to schedule your visit and learn more about the FamilySearch Discovery Center:

#DiscoverMyStory     #FamilySearch

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Grandma's Hug

When my grandma Leola Pierce Peterson passed away in 2012, I asked my mother to save my grandma's shirts and sheets for me. My grandmother was very athletic. She golfed, bowled, and pitched horseshoes in leagues, at the Utah Summer Games and in the Huntsman World Senior Games. She had a lot of sports t-shirts. I received a huge box of t-shirts and sheets. From those items I made 9 small wrap quilts which I call "Grandma's Hug". They are just big enough to wrap around an adult and a little bigger for a small child. I made one for each of my grandma's grandchildren - all 9 of us.

Even though I've washed all the t-shirts and sheets, to me they still smell like my grandma. One day when my children were fighting with each other, my daughter came running in the house crying and went into the living room and immediately became silent. I wondered what could possibly have made her stop crying. When I went to find out, I found her wrapped up in my "Grandma's Hug". I asked her how she was doing and she said, that she just needed a hug from grandma (her great-grandma). And the hug made the situation all better. She has since done this same thing multiple times; as has my son.

This is a great way to link the generations. My siblings and my cousins remember my grandma wearing these shirts and now they have a little part of that memory that they can wrap around themselves and their children in a nice warm hug from grandma.
Leola Pierce Peterson
Huntsman World Senior Games Medals

Monday, June 22, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - June 22

Are there any obvious or unusual genetic traits that run in your family line?

I have red hair and blue eyes. My son Matthew also has red hair and blue eyes. My brother has red hair. My father has red highlights in his hair.

My husband has brown hair unless he grows facial hair; which is red. His father had red hair and his sister has red hair.

According to the Huffington Post last year:

"Red hair and blue eyes is the rarest combination in the world
The majority of natural redheads have brown eyes, with others likely to have hazel or green shades.
But like red hair, blue eye colour is a recessive trait, meaning that both parents must carry the gene for a child to be blessed with it. This makes those with red hair and blue eyes the rarest minority in the world, with only 1% having both.
So, each one is about as rare as a four-leaf clover."
See this post for more information about "Memory Jogger Monday": 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Just Ignite That Spark In Them

"Those of you who have worked at your genealogies, who realize the importance of the work and have felt the excitement that comes from tying families together and learning of your noble heritage, need to share that excitement with others. Help them to see the joy and fulfillment you see in the work. We need to proselyte more of our members into this work. There is much to be done, as you all know, and there are many, many members who could do the work and who would enjoy doing the work if some of us—all of you—would just ignite that spark in them through your enthusiasm, example, and devotion."

- Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, Bookcraft, 1988, p. 162.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

UVTAGG June Presentation - Finding the Living

On Saturday, June 13, 2015 I was the main presenter for the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group (UVTAGG) monthly meeting. I presented "Finding the Living Among the Dead: Using the Internet to Find Your Living Cousins" followed by a Q&A session. I hope the group enjoyed the presentation and were able to obtain some ideas to help them find their living cousins.

At the end of the presentation I met a lady named Elaine. She said that in her research she was experiencing some frustration with one of her ancestors in proving where the ancestor is really buried. She said that this ancestor "Diana Livingston" died in Nauvoo, Illinois and is said to be buried there in the Old Nauvoo Burial Grounds; which after the Saints left Nauvoo was turned into a corral for cows and the cemetery was destroyed.

I asked her if Livingston was Diana's maiden name or married name because when she said that name it sparked a memory. She said it was Diana's maiden name and then she told me the men Diana married. When she said "David Ellsworth" it all clicked for me. I then said, "And they had a daughter named Lucinda"? And Elaine looked at me and asked, "How do you know this?"

Lucinda is my 3rd great-grandmother and Elaine's ancestor is Lucinda's brother James.

I guess you never know when having the names and stories of your ancestors memorized will come in handy. And when presenting on "Finding the Living Among the Dead" you should also be prepared to find the living among the living. It was nice to meet you cousin Elaine!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - June 15

What kind of hardships or tragedies did your family experience while you were growing up?

While growing up we didn't experience any tragedies and the only hardship I could remotely consider was that it was probably really hard financially to raise five children on one income. It is hard today to raise just my two children on one income. I remember while growing up that we always had sufficient for our needs and often our wants. I don't remember many family financial discussions when I was young.

I do remember us saving money for family vacations and having discussions about paying our tithing and saving our money. I do remember a financial blessing my parents received. They had faithfully paid to the LDS ward budget fund while I was growing up and I remember what I blessing it was when the announcement came that these contributions were no longer required.

As I struggled to think about what to write in response to this question, I emailed my mother to ask for her thoughts and suggestions. This was her response: "We've been so blessed!" We really have!

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

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Greatest Responsibility That God Has Laid Upon Us

Joseph In The Grove by Archie D. Shaw, From the LDS Media Library
“The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead. The apostle says, They without us cannot be made perfect; for it is necessary that the sealing power should be in our hands to seal our children and our dead for the fullness of the dispensation of times – a dispensation to meet the promises made by Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world for the salvation of man.” 
- Prophet Joseph Smith, History of the Church 6:312-313 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - June 8

Have any of your family members died? If so, what did they die from? What do you remember of their death, and what were the circumstances of their death?

When I was born, I had two living great-grandmothers, two living grandmothers, one living grandfather and one living step-grandfather. All of them have died. 

I have a few memories of my great-grandmother Elizabeth Lavon Finch Peterson. She died in 1983 in California and we lived in Utah; I don't have memories of her death.

I have a lot of memories of my other great-grandmother, Alice Alvey Pierce. She died in 1989 and I remember going to her funeral and burial.

In 1990, I lost both of my grandfathers 11 days apart; Darrel L Peterson and William Thomas Edwards. I remember both of their deaths and the circumstances surrounding them.

In 2003, I lost my grandmother, Helen Arlene Barr Ohms Edwards. I have many memories of her (30+ years of memories) and memories of her death as well.

Today, I want to focus this blog post on my grandmother, Leola Pierce Peterson, who died on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2012. I have 40+ years of memories; which I still need to record. But this Memory Jogger asks about death. As grandma Pete was getting more sick in early 2012, I had the opportunity to visit her in the hospital in St. George, Utah. I knew on that day that it would be my last time to see her alive. I was hard to see her so sick. She was always a healthy active woman. She bowled, golfed, and pitched horseshoes and excelled in each of these sports up until a few months before her death at age 87. She expressed to us her love for us at every visit including this last visit when she was so sick. I knew it wouldn't be much longer. When she died on Easter, I was at peace. I know the Savior Jesus Christ provided a way for all of us to be resurrected. The peace that the resurrection provides brought peace to my soul that day.

We took this special opportunity to teach our young children about death and resurrection. We read to them the children's book, "What Happens When People Die?, written by Timothy Robinson. You can see more information about this book HERE. We prepared our children for the funeral. Our son was just 17 months old and we knew that he wouldn't know much about what was taking place, but our daughter was 4 years old. She had her own personal relationship with her great-grandmother; the only great-grandmother she knew. She understood the story we shared about how all things live and all things die, including people; and yet we will live again someday in families just like we do here on Earth. And she understood that her grandma Pete had died.

On the day of grandma's funeral, April 6, we attended the viewing. At the end of the viewing we participated in a family prayer and then it was time to close the casket. At that moment, my 4 year old Emma cried out, "Why isn't anyone waking her up?" There were audible gasps and more tears shed. Yes Emma, someday she will arise again, but not yet today. She had such great faith!

We moved to the chapel for the funeral program and my sister and cousin teamed up to share the eulogy and story of my grandma's life. There were some things shared that day that were new to me and I asked them later about how they knew that information about grandma. My grandma did something very similar to what I am doing with "Memory Jogger Monday". She was given a book by her daughter, my aunt Janice, and she filled in answers to these similar type questions. What a treasure! I hope that someday my thoughts and my history and my memories will be a treasure to my posterity as my grandmother's are to me.

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

Sunday, June 7, 2015

We Need To Know Where We Came From

“A ‘family’ which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about.” 

– Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander, “Bridges and Eternal Keepsakes”, Ensign, May 1999, p. 84 
– quoting Woodrow Wilson regarding the nation.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Global Family Reunion Block Party - Salt Lake City

Today, we attended the Global Family Reunion Block Party in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library. West Temple Street between North and South Temple Streets was blocked off for this party. It was one of over 40 branch parties of the larger Global Family Reunion that was taking place in Queens, New York at the New York Hall of Science.

We arrived just as the event was starting at 10 am and were each tagged with neon green wrist bands. My children immediately wanted to play on the bounce houses that were lining the street.

After 5 or 6 bounce houses, we got in line for the rock wall. My children are 7 and 4 and have never climbed one before. I was surprised they wanted to. They were both so brave. As we waited in line, I thought about the bounce houses, the rock wall, the carnival games and realized that I need to step up my games for family reunions. This was so much fun for the kids.

While the kids were in line for the rock wall, I was in the group photo in front of the Family History Library. Each of the block parties as well as the main event had a huge group photo taken. Can you find me?

At each of the carnival games (ring toss, bean bag toss, fish pond, and basketball hoop) the kids got little trinkets or toys for participating. We have leis, bracelets, skin stickers (tattoos), pens, magnet clips, and suckers. They loved the carnival games and repeated them. I love this picture with the missionary who was helping at this booth. I wonder if he ever dreamed that when he accepted his call to be a family history missionary that he would one day be hosting a carnival game for part of the world's largest family reunion.

While we were waiting in line for the face painting, we listened and watched the Polynesian Dancers, the Scottish Bagpipers and Storyteller Elaine Brewster.

We went into the Family History Library for other activities. One of the activities was Replace a Face interactive photos. We chose an old photo and then using the camera on the computer took our picture and the program placed it inside of the picture. Here are Emma's and Matthew's pictures. This would be something fun to do at a family reunion using old pictures of our ancestors.

We also put a dot on a large world map indicating an area where one of our ancestors were from. And we had some other pictures taken of us in front of a green screen and we got to pick out different backgrounds.

The library now has an area with children's toys and a table and white board for children to use. My children immediately sat down and colored away. My daughter colored a huge red heart ... turning hearts to our fathers ... very clever. Good teaching moments even with a coloring page.

The library also had three rotating beginner's classes: Find an Ancestor on, Help Me Find a Name, and Beginning Indexing. Also in the library one could watch the live stream from the New York event.

Here is a view of West Temple Street from the 3rd floor of the Family History Library.

I love this banner! It hangs on the front of the Family History Library. I really believe that through family history you can really find your true self. Family History helps me understand who I am, where I came from, and it is the legacy I will leave for my own children.

While we were in the library I was interviewed by a reporter for the Deseret News. You can read that article here:

Deseret News: Salt Lake City joins Global Family Reunion, celebrating family history

KSL: Salt Lake City joins Global Family Reunion, celebrating family history