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, November 30, 2015

Memory Jogger Monday - November 30

By debaird (
[CC 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.

[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
[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

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 to learn more and to register.


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


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 for more information about each of these speakers.  

For more information or to register for RootTech 2016, go to

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


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.