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).

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Lord Is In This Work

George Taft Benson Family
Louise Ballif Benson is seated 2nd from right.
“The Lord is in this work. He wants it to prosper. He wants us to be successful in our efforts. While living with my grandmother, Louise Ballif Benson, in Logan as a student, I knew she had been working very hard on her research. She kept referring to the fact that there was a gap that she couldn’t fill and it worried her. She prayed about it fervently. One day she received a package address just ‘Benson Family, Utah.’ The package contained a printed book which had come from a man in Syracuse, New York, who had done research independently – not as a member of the Church. You can imagine the joy that filled my grandmother’s heart when she found that this not only filled the gap, but did much more than that. Her prayers had been answered. Yes, there are many ways to help get the job done.” 

– Ezra Taft Benson, “Eternal Memories,” Tenth Annual Priesthood Genealogical Research Seminar, 
BYU, Provo, Utah, 31 July 1975.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Consecrate A Portion Of Our Time And Energy

Billings Montana Temple - Photo from LDS Media Library
“It has been my experience that some of the happiest people I know are those who are engaged in family history and temple work. Let us demonstrate our willingness to follow the prophet by consecrating a portion of our time and energy to the Lord’s redemptive work, and let us do it in a spirit of love. As we do so, not only will we bless the lives of those who have gone before us, but we will bless our own lives and the lives of our family members as well.” 

– Mary Ellen Smoot, “Family History: A Work of Love,” Ensign, March 1999.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Love of Bread Making

Alice Alvey Pierce

This post is part of a blog link up - check out the other contributor posts here:

I asked my mother if she would share with me something that she learned from either her mother or grandmother that she passed down to us, her children.

She shared that her grandma, Alice Alvey Pierce, made yummy homemade bread and taught her how good homemade bread can be. When my mother got married she started making her own homemade bread.

As a young child, I remember helping my mother sort through the wheat to remove any bad kernels before she would grind the wheat to make bread. I loved the smell and taste of homemade bread!

Today my sisters and I all make differing variations of homemade bread.

Below is the current recipe that I use for making bread, rolls, and cinnamon rolls for my husband and children (and family, friends, and neighbors). I hope you enjoy it! Can you smell the bread baking now?

Bread Machine Dough/Bread
4 cups Flour
1 ½ tsp Yeast
1/3 cup Sugar
4 TBS Wheat Gluten
3 TBS Powdered Milk
1 ½ tsp Salt
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
13 oz Warm Water

Place all ingredients in bread machine. Push ‘dough’ cycle on machine. Once machine starts going, scrape sides of pan to incorporate all of the flour. After cycle finishes, remove dough. Knead, cut into two equal amounts. Spray bread pans with oil spray. Shape dough into loaves. Let dough rise in bread pans for about 90 minutes (until dough rises above the top of the pan).
Bake 350*F for about 25 minutes for 2 loaves of bread.

Rolls:
Shape dough into 12 balls. Place in oil sprayed 9x13 pan. Let dough rise in pan for 90-120 minutes. Bake 350*F for about 20 minutes.

Cinnamon Rolls:
Filling:
¼ cup Butter, melted
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Sugar
1 ½ TBS Cinnamon

Frosting:
¼ cup Butter, softened
3 cups Powdered Sugar
4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 tsp Vanilla
Milk – to spreading consistency (about 3 TBS)

Roll out dough into rectangle shape. Spread with filling. Roll up lengthwise. Cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in oil sprayed 9x13 pan. Let rise for 90-120 minutes. Bake 350*F for 20 minutes. Spread on frosting while rolls are hot.


#FHforChildren

Sunday, May 7, 2017

More Than a Hobby

Portland Oregon Temple - Photo from LDS Media Library
“Genealogy and temple work—you can’t have one without the other. They are two inseparable parts of one supernal decree the Lord has given us to aid in the redemption of the dead. The process of identifying one’s family should be much more than a hobby to a Latter-day Saint. From an eternal perspective, to consider the word genealogy and not its partner temple work—or to think of temple work and disregard its twin, genealogy—makes no more sense than to try to play a game with only half a ball.” 

– George D. Durrant, “Genealogy and Temple Work: 
‘You Can’t Have One without the Other’”, Ensign, August 1983.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Inspirational to One's Descendants

Photo from LDS Media Library
“Not everything we do is important. Not everything we write is important. Not everything we think is important. But occasionally we are in tune with God. Inspiration sometimes comes to us without our even recognizing it. At such times the Lord whispers things into our minds, and what one then writes can become inspirational to one’s descendants. When we write by the Spirit and they read by the Spirit, there is a godly communication between us and them which makes that which we write become meaningful and a source of inspiration to our descendants”. 

- Elder Theodore M. Burton, “The Inspiration of a Family Record,” Ensign, January 1977.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Grand, Vast, Essential, and Urgent

Taipei Taiwan Temple - Photo from LDS Media Library
“We live and serve in the dispensation of the fulness of times. Recognizing the eternal importance of the distinctive dispensation in which we live should influence all that we do and strive to become. The work of salvation to be accomplished in these last days is grand, vast, essential, and urgent. How grateful each of us should be for the blessings and responsibilities of living in this specific season of the final dispensation. How humble we should be knowing that “unto whom much is given much is required” (D&C 82:3).” 

– Elder David A. Bednar, “Missionary, Family History, and Temple Work,” Ensign, October 2014.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

You Get What You Focus On


This post is part of a blog link up - check out the other contributor posts here:

Family history is part of my daily life; just like brushing my teeth. As I thought about how that came to be, I realized that "you get what you focus on". Which lead me to think of this photo above. This was at the finish line of my 10th half marathon in just 3 years! I walked all of them! And apparently did the last 4 of them with a broken metatarsal; which then has became my excuse for the past 4 years. I started racing when my daughter was 3 years old and my son was 3 months old and I was working full-time. I was a very busy parent.

During the time I was walking races, I prioritized my time for a weekly two hour group class, daily/nightly walks, and long weekend group walks.  In the weeks leading up to the first race each Spring/Summer the intensity and the duration of the walks increased. As I've been healing from breaking and re-breaking my foot that last year of racing, I've thought about how I ever had the time to do all that walking. While healing, other things have filled in that time and walking races was no longer a priority. And that brings me back to this month's topic.

Tip 1: If something is important to you, you have to make it a priority in your life and in your schedule. 
If family history is important to you, then prioritize your time now to include it in your daily/weekly life.

Sometimes it is not about wanting to make it a priority, but about being overwhelmed by all there is to potentially do with family history. Are you overwhelmed by new technology, DNA options, processes to learn, the vast number of ancestors to research or cousins to discover? Is there too much to share with descendants that you don't know where to start? Too may reunions or family gatherings to plan or attend? Are you awake around the clock trying to figure it all out?

Tip 2: Get it all out! Make a "To Do" list or what I like to call a "Brain Dump".

Write it all down. All the ideas of things you'd like to do with family history. Things which have interested you or things you feel you just need to do. Write down what YOU want to do. My first list was 5 pages long! I had items that could be done in 5 minutes and other items that would take years to accomplish.

Tip 3: Organize your list and start ONE thing.

Some ways to organize/categorize your list could include:

  • High, Medium, Low priorities
  • Past, Present, Future
  • People: Deceased or Living
  • Memories: Photos, Stories, Documents, Audio, Video
  • Family Events: Reunions, Birthdays, Anniversaries
  • Education: Technology, Topics, Conferences

I find that if all my thoughts are written down and organized I can then prioritize my time to work on just one "To Do". And then when it is done I move on to something else. This way I am not overwhelmed by everything and I am able to accomplish something.

“We should understand that in the work of redeeming the dead there are many tasks to be performed, and that all members should participate by prayerfully selecting those ways that fit their personal circumstances at a particular time. This should be done under the influence of the Spirit of the Lord … Our effort is not to compel everyone to do everything, but to encourage everyone to do something.”
- Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Family History: ‘In Wisdom and in Order’”, Ensign, June 1989.

As I thought more on this topic, I realized that I know other busy parents who have also prioritized time for family history and temple work. I asked two of them, who are examples to me, to share their tips and ideas on what they do to make it work for them.


Sarah Poe is my younger sister and she has 3 little boys under the age of 4. Here are Sarah's tips:

  • Start with yourself. Save photos, documents and keepsakes about yourself, spouse and kids. Keep a journal for your posterity. Don't we all wish we had more journals of our ancestors?
  • Tell family stories to your kids. I remember how impressed I was when one time a group of us were sleeping out on the trampoline and Seth (our brother) told us (his and Jenny's (our sister) kids and me) about Llewellyn Harris (our 3rd great-grandfather) as we fell asleep.
  • Randomly record your memories of your life or ancestor's lives (or any family member) as you recall them. Some people keep paper, pen and a jar handy, or what I do is write memories to a blog. I use a blog, so that I can tag and organize the posts later and I keep it private, just for my use. I like the feature that allows me to "email a post" to the blog, so I use my phone and quickly "text to the blog email address" when I remember something. JRNL.com is good for that too. They act as memory collection repositories.
  • Prioritize your online time. If you are busy parent, but find you have a chance to get online, use it to scroll through potential records of your ancestors instead of scrolling through social media posts.
  • When you do have time to research your ancestor online, keep a research log (simple spreadsheet or notebook) so you don't retrace your research tracks, in other words, you don't want to do the same research each time because you forgot you already did it. If you only have a chance to research every once in awhile, you don't want to waste time repeating work.
  • Get a babysitter and go on a date to the local Family History Center with your spouse. Or take turns with your spouse watching the kids so your spouse can have a break to do a little family history research.
  • For members of the LDS Church - Never be too busy that you can't go to the temple regularly to perform proxy work for your deceased ancestors.
  • This is one I don't actually do, but I need to do better. Get adequate sleep and don't stay up late working on your family history. If you are well rested you will be healthy and better able to "be there" for your family now and in the future. If you stay up late researching, your brain slows down and you don't work efficiently, so you're actually wasting time. For nursing mothers, getting online in the middle of the night during nursing sessions is a perk!
  • Turn on a movie for your kids every now and then and use that time to research family history.
  • Take your kids to the cemetery with you as you look for headstones for your own research or for FindAGrave. Just be prepared to replace the pinwheels that your children will inevitably pull out of the ground.


Julie Judd is my 3rd cousin and she has 4 now young adult children. Here are Julie's tips:

"Begin with the end in mind." - Stephen Covey
There is no right or wrong end.

  • If the end is to upload family photos in your possession into FamilySearch, take a few minutes every Sunday to scan (as easy as a scanner app) or upload photos into your phone's camera roll. Then they are there waiting throughout the week when you are waiting in line at the grocery store or an appointment to be uploaded into FamilySearch Memories.
  • If the end is to write your personal history, take advantage of implementing the FamilySearch Questions #52Stories into family night. Everyone writes for 5-10 minutes answering the question ... a quick paragraph. In one year, everyone has written 52 paragraphs!
  • If the end is to research an ancestor. Use those moments you find during the day to complete quick Google searches. If you think you don't have a few moments, ask yourself how many times a day you check Facebook, Instagram, etc. Replace one of those times with a Google search. A screenshot of information discovered puts the information in your phone's camera roll to be accessed when you have another moment to add it to FamilySearch.
  • If your end is indexing, slip 10 minutes (or a set number of records) of indexing into your scripture study. When you are finished studying, then index.
  • Utilize Sundays. Spend a little time Sunday setting up your family history project for the rest of the week while you are on the go!
  • I wrote my great grandfather's history (32 pages) using Dropbox to access information when I was away from home and writing it in Notes on my phone. On Sundays, I would take what I had written and add it to the document on my computer.
  • Favorite Apps for Family History
    • Storage and access of docs away from home: Dropbox
    • Scanner: ScannerPro
    • Photo Journaling: Instagram, Collect, Project Life, Chatbooks
      • The Collect app is like a journal. You add a photo and journal it. I love it! I add all my photos for the week on Sunday. You then export cards, which I add those to my Project Life. Keeps my "scrapbooking" of everyday moments up to date in a simple way!
  • With older kids we don't have FHE (Family Home Evening) ... in a traditional sense. We have Family History Evening! Rule: 1 hour at the table doing anything you want that is family history related. This includes journaling the week. We have snacks and visit and make it fun.


I love their tips and ideas! I want to try some of their suggestions. Because family history is important to us, we have found ways to prioritize time for it in our busy days/weeks. I know you too can create time for family history and temple work. It will bless you and your children in untold ways.

#FHforChildren

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Greatness Of This Work

Photo From LDS Media Library

“Sometimes we forget the greatness of this work. It is a glorious thought that you and I, ordinary men, may do work upon earth that will be, is, recognized in heaven; that we may be as saviors to those who have gone before us into the unseen world. The Lord came upon earth and, in our behalf, in behalf of the whole race of God's children, did work which will bring us eternal life and joy and blessings. So, in a humbler manner may we, each one of us, do work for the dead that will bless them eternally, if they accept our service. We, also, may become saviors —"saviors on Mount Zion" (Obad. 1:21). That is a glorious thought that should remain in the minds of Latter-day Saints. It certifies to the claim that mankind are equally the children of God. It extends the doctrine of brotherhood to the whole human race.” 

– Elder John A. Widtsoe, “The Way of Salvation,” Conference Report, April 1943, pp. 37-39.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

This Is The Work Of Our Generation

Washington D.C. Temple - Photo From LDS Media Library
“The youth have caught the vision admirably; now their parents need to catch up. There are now many people who have accepted baptism in the spirit world because of the work done by the youth, and they are waiting for other ordinances that only adults can perform in temples in this world. The work of gathering Heavenly Father’s family is not just for young people, and it is not just for grandparents. It is for everyone. We are all gatherers.

This is the work of our generation, what the Apostle Paul called “the dispensation of the fulness of times,” when he said God would “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him” (Ephesians 1:10). This is made possible through the atoning work of God’s Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Because of Him, our family members, “who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (Ephesians 2:13–14). You have felt this, as I have, when you have experienced an increase of love as you looked at the picture of an ancestor. You have felt it in the temple when the name on a card seemed like more than a name, and you couldn’t help but sense that this person was aware of you and felt your love.

“I testify that God the Father wants His children home again, in families and in glory. The Savior lives. He directs and blesses this work, and He watches over and guides us. He thanks you for your faithful service in gathering His Father’s family, and I promise you the inspired help that you seek and need. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

– President Henry B. Eyring, “Gathering the Family of God,” LDS General Conference, April 2017.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

When We Understand Our Identity

Bountiful Utah Temple - Photo From LDS Media Library
“How can the promises made to the fathers be planted in the hearts of the children? How can the hearts of the children be turned to their fathers? This can happen only when we understand our identity and roles in this work and remain worthy and prepared to enter the temple and act on behalf of those who have gone before.” 

- Elaine S. Dalton, “We Did This For You,” LDS General Conference, October 2004.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

They Pray For You

Photo From LDS Media Library
"When you think that you are chosen to be saviors to the children of men, to stand as a medium through whom salvation shall flow unto unnumbered thousands, what manner of people ought we to be? They pray for you today in the spirit world, as they have been no doubt from the beginning praying for their descendants, that they may be faithful to the truth.” 

- George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, 22:131.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Why I Want My Children To Know

May 2014, Orem City Cemetery, visiting their great-grandma Pete (Leola Peterson)
This post is part of a blog link up - check out the other contributor posts here:

As I was pondering this month's link up topic "Why Share Family History With Children", I kept thinking about why I want my children to know about their family history and their heritage. Why is it so important that they know? And what do I want them to know?

Belonging

I want them to know that they belong to large family organizations full of people who love and care about them. Full of people who have experienced hardship and happiness, struggle and success, and sadness and joy. And that all of these experiences and emotions are part of life and are normal. I want to share with them stories and pictures of family members so they can learn from others experiences and can find their own strengths as they overcome their own challenges.

Love

I want them to know that those family members who have died still love them and are concerned about them. As a mother I know how deeply I love my children and I know I will love all my grandchildren and great-grandchildren throughout the eternities as I know that my grandparents and great-grandparents obviously love and are concerned about me. I want them to know that they are in the middle of generations past and generations yet to be that love them.

Knowledge

I want them to know about their history and the heritage and freedoms given to them by their ancestors. I want them to know about their family members sacrifices. I want them to know how they fit into history, where their family members lived and what they accomplished in their lives.

One day, as a young teen, I was reading a story about my 4th Great-Grandparents, Elisha Hurd and Lucy Simmons Groves. I was amazed to find out that they were called by LDS Church leaders to settle and establish the area in which I was living.  My parents had individually moved to this area to attend college and my mother did not know the story of her ancestors. I promised myself that day that I would know the history of all my ancestors and I would pass those stories, lessons, emotions, and memories to my children. Why? So that my children would know their heritage.

As a parent I have a great responsibility to know the stories and the history so that I can teach values and principles to my children. If I don't know them myself, then how can I teach my children?

Protection

There is an amazing power that fills my life when I am working on my family history. I have literally felt, not only the love, but also the protection of my deceased family members. They care about me! They care that I am interested in learning about them and they have power to protect me in my life. It is not just the principles I learn from their history (frugality, sacrifice, hard work, etc) that provide protection. It is actual physical and spiritual protection directly provided by them. I want my children to have this protection.

“Ministry of Angels” – Kerri Guthrie, used with permission

Prophets have also promised protection when we participate in family history.
“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.
“Do you … want a sure way to eliminate the influence of the adversary in your life? Immerse yourself in searching for your ancestors, prepare their names for the sacred vicarious ordinances available in the temple, and then go to the temple to stand as proxy for them to receive the ordinances … Have you prayed about your own ancestors’ work?  Set aside those things in your life that don’t really matter.  Decide to do something that will have eternal consequences.” – Elder Richard G. Scott, “The Joy of Redeeming the Dead,” General Conference, October 2012.

Why do I want my children to know? I want them to know that they belong to something much larger than themselves, that all the people in their family love them and will love them throughout all eternity. That having knowledge about where their family came from and with what they struggled will provide power. That their ancestors who are in the spirit world can literally provide protection to them throughout their lives.

This is what I want my children to know and this why it is important for me to share family history with them.

#FHforChildren

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Why Should I Spend Time Searching?


“The question may arise in one’s mind, Why should I spend time in searching out my ancestors? How can they contribute anything to me? Why should I evidence more than passing interest in their welfare? We are largely a product of our progenitors, their strength sustains us, their weaknesses, if any, warn us of traits and tendencies to curb and avoid. Their love and devotion bring to fulfillment the Savior’s great law of love with combined loved ones and families joyfully together in time and throughout eternity. We owe them much more than we can every repay. A noble heritage has always been regarded as one of life’s greatest treasures.” 

– Ezra Taft Benson, “Temple Memories,” Ogden Utah Temple Dedication, 18 January 1972.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Do Not Wait For A Convenient Time


“Then we need to gather all the records of our ancestors that we possibly can. I do not mean just a half-hearted attempt. Seek diligently, constantly, and prayerfully. Do not wait for a convenient time—a convenient time may never come. Do not put it off until old age when we are not able to do anything else. We never know what tomorrow will bring, and we must see that the work is done of completing the sealing of each family group. There is no one who can escape the responsibility of this work. We will not be excused because we thought an aunt or some other relative was doing the work.” 

- Elder Eldred G. Smith, “Family Research,” LDS General Conference, October 1975.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

We Need Help


“These are trying days, in which Satan rages, at home and abroad, hard days, evil and ugly days. We stand helpless as it seems before them. We need help. We need strength. We need guidance. Perhaps if we would do our work in behalf of those of the unseen world who hunger and pray for the work we can do for them, the unseen world would in return give us help in this day of our urgent need. There are more in that other world than there are here. There is more power and strength there than we have here upon this earth. We have but a trifle, and that trifle is taken from the immeasurable power of God. We shall make no mistake in becoming collaborators in the Lord's mighty work for human redemption.”

– Elder John A. Widtsoe, “The Way of Salvation,” Conference Report, April 1943, pp. 37-39.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Family History Is More Than ...

Photo From LDS Media Library
“Family history is more than genealogy, rules, names, dates, and places. It is more than a focus on the past. Family history also includes the present as we create our own history. It includes the future as we shape future history through our descendants. A young mother, for example, sharing her family stories and pictures with her children is doing family history work.” 

- Elder Allan F. Packer, "The Book", LDS General Conference, October 2014.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

They Are One Work

Manti Utah Temple - Photo From LDS Media Library
“Family history and temple work are one work. The words family history should probably never be said without attaching the word temple to them. Family history research should be the primary source of names for temple ordinances, and temple ordinances are the primary reason for family history research.” 

- Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander, “Bridges and Eternal Keepsakes”, Ensign, May 1999, p. 84.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Heavens Will Open

Photo From LDS Media Library
“My dear brothers and sisters I entreat you to make a sacrifice of time to the Lord by increasing the time you spend doing temple and family history work and then watch what happens. It is my testimony that when we show the Lord we are serious about helping our ancestors, the heavens will open and we will receive all that we need.” 

– Wendy Watson Nelson, Family Discovery Day General Session, RootsTech 2017.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Blogiversary - 2 years


Today this blog is officially 2 years old! And once again it is time for RootsTech this week.

I have been busy preparing for RootsTech since September 2016 when I was invited to serve as the RootsTech Ambassador Coordinator. I have helped provide communication from the FamilySearch-RootsTech Team with 100 social media ambassadors; many of whom are also speakers, vendors, and entrepreneurs. It has been an amazing ride. Keeping the keynote speaker announcements secret was tough and caused giddy outbursts at times; resulting in strange looks from my family! All the hard work culminates this week! I will be posting all about RootsTech throughout this week and I'm sure into the coming weeks as the volume of information is always so much. It's like trying to drink from a fire hose!

I also have some blog posts I've been thinking about and working on over the last year; yet I haven't shared them. I hope to "catch up" on some older posts and I have some new things to share for this year too.

This past year, I have also been busy in other aspects of my home, family, and personal life and have found that each day is full of "everyday family history". I'm going to share a series of posts around that theme. I hope some of what I've discovered over the past 6-8 months will also help you identify those "everyday family history" moments in your own life.

If there is anything family history related you are interested in learning more about, let me know in the comments or message me through my Facebook page and I'll do what I can to answer your questions either personally or in a future blog post.

I'm excited to share the things I've been learning and all the new things yet to learn.

Thanks for joining me on this ride!

Eternally Linked Beyond The Bounds Of Mortality

London England Temple - Photo From LDS Media Library
“Elijah came not only to stimulate research for ancestors. He also enabled families to be eternally linked beyond the bounds of mortality. Indeed, the opportunity for families to be sealed forever is the real reason for our research. The Lord declared through the Prophet Joseph Smith: 
“These are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, … they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect.”
 – Elder Russell M. Nelson, "A New Harvest Time," LDS General Conference,  April 1998.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Youth Give Life To Genealogy


“I believe the youth are not only willing and able to do genealogical research, but they are a good means of giving life to the whole program. How often have the youth actually been driven away by those who would close the door on genealogy to them, or at the best, insist that they must ‘drink milk’ when they are ready for the ‘meat.’

“I am reminded of a little story told to me of a young girl who was assigned to give a two-and-a-half minute talk for Sunday School. She chose the subject of genealogy. She began her talk by saying, ‘Brothers and sisters, I have chosen to talk on genealogy.’ Then she stood silently at the pulpit, staring at the congregation, for two-and-one-half minutes. At the end of that time she said, ‘I guess you have been really concerned and worried waiting for me to talk about genealogy. How do you think our ancestors feel, waiting for us to do something about their genealogy?’ Then she sat down.”


- Ezra Taft Benson, “Eternal Memories,” Tenth Annual Priesthood Genealogical Research Seminar,
BYU, Provo, Utah, 31 July 1975.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

This Is One Great Work of Salvation

Photo From LDS Media Library
“Some individuals may wonder how both preaching the gospel and seeking after our dead can be simultaneously the greatest duties and responsibilities God has placed upon His children. My purpose is to suggest that these teachings highlight the unity and oneness of the latter-day work of salvation. Missionary work and family history and temple work are complementary and interrelated aspects of one great work, “that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him” (Ephesians 1:10).”

“Preaching the gospel and seeking after our dead are two divinely appointed responsibilities that relate to both our hearts and to priesthood ordinances. The essence of the Lord’s work is changing, turning, and purifying hearts through covenants and ordinances performed by proper priesthood authority.”

“Preaching the gospel and seeking after our dead are complementary parts of one great work—a labor of love intended to change, turn, and purify the hearts of honest seekers of truth. The artificial boundary line we so often place between missionary work and temple and family history work is being erased; this is one great work of salvation.”

- Elder David A. Bednar, “Missionary, Family History, and Temple Work,” Ensign, October 2014.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

RootsTech to Celebrate African Heritage Day


Salt Lake City, Utah, January 19, 2017 - RootsTech, the world’s largest family history conference, sponsored by FamilySearch International, will celebrate Black History Month on Friday, February 10, 2017, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the first ever African Heritage Day celebration. This celebration will feature LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and other well-known African American historians and research specialists. To register or to find out more about RootsTech, visit RootsTech.org.

LeVar Burton
African Heritage Day is a celebration of culture, unity, and history of individuals of African descent from all over the world. With the help of modern technology and the completion of initiatives like the Freedmen’s Bureau Project in 2016, those of African descent have many tools at their disposal to enable them to connect with their ancestors.

A full day of celebration with events is planned from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., starting with a morning keynote session by LeVar Burton. For more than three decades, LeVar Burton has been an inspiring actor, author, and entrepreneur known for his role as Kunta Kinte in the original series Roots, his passion for literature with Reading Rainbow, and for his role as Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Burton will be sharing some of his own journey of family and storytelling, and the influence of African culture on his American experience.

Kenyatta Berry
Melvin Collier
Sherri Camp

In addition to Burton, RootsTech is also pleased to welcome nationally recognized speakers Kenyatta Berry, host of Genealogy Roadshow, Sherri Camp, president of the Afro-American Historical Genealogical Society, and Melvin Collier, author of Mississippi to Africa: A Journey of Discovery. In a combined session, these three will speak about their connection to their African roots and experiences that have kept them close to their ancestors.

Jambo Africa/Heartbeart Burundi Drummers
African Heritage Day attendees will enjoy a variety of genealogy classes, an expo hall with over 250 vendors, and an evening cultural celebration featuring the Jambo Africa/Heartbeat Burundi Drummers, an all-male drumline cultural group formed in 2009 with the goal of spreading awareness of peace from traditional African drum music. Following the morning keynote session, attendees will be treated to the joyful noise and inspirational sounds of the Calvary Baptist Church choir of Salt Lake City.
Calvary Baptist Church choir of Salt Lake City




World-renowned experts in African American genealogy and family history will teach how to unlock the door to your family’s past and make connections with your African heritage. Additional topics related to African family history research will include: how to get started as a novice, tech resources available to help with research, overcoming genealogical challenges, to understanding DNA analysis.

The massive RootsTech expo hall is free to registered attendees and is the place to discover helpful solutions, watch demonstrations, and interact with innovative family history technology. Attendees can see what hundreds of exhibitors from around the globe have to share, including event sponsors like Ancestry, FamilySearch, Findmypast and MyHeritage.

African Heritage Day is an unprecedented event with something for everyone. For more details about classes, prices, and how to register, visit RootsTech.org.

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I am 2017 RootsTech Ambassador and will be sharing these press releases on my blog in preparation for RootsTech in February 2017. I have received a free conference registration from RootsTech.
#RootsTech

Sunday, January 15, 2017

This Calls For A Change In Our Priorities


“Doing the work now is much easier and limited only by the number of members who make this a priority. The work still takes time and sacrifice, but all can do it, and with relative ease compared to just a few years ago.” 

“Even with the dramatic increase in member participation, we find that relatively few members of the Church are regularly involved in finding and doing temple ordinances for their family. This calls for a change in our priorities. Don’t fight the change, embrace it! Change is part of the great plan of happiness.” 

- Elder Allan F. Packer, The Book, LDS General Conference, October 2014.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Not One Soul Was Missing

Logan Utah Temple - Photo From LDS Media Library
“Elder [Melvin J.] Ballard sat at our baptismal font one Saturday while nearly a thousand baptisms were being performed for the dead. As he sat there, he contemplated on how great the temple ceremonies were, and how we are bringing special blessings to the living and the dead. His thoughts turned to the spirit world, and he wondered if the people there would accept the work we were doing for them. Brother Ballard said:
“All at once a vision opened to me, and I beheld a great congregation of people gathered in the east end of the font room. One by one, as each name was baptized for, one of these people climbed a stairway over the font to the west end of the room. Not one soul was missing, but there was a person for every one of the thousand names done that day.”
“Brother Ballard said that he had never seen such happy people in all his life, and the whole congregation rejoiced at what was being done for them.”

- Nolan Porter Olsen, “A Baptism Manifestation”, Logan Temple: The First 100 Years, 1978, pp. 168-169.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

As Though Someone Knew We Would Be Traveling That Way


“When the servants of the Lord determine to do as He commands, we move ahead. As we proceed, we are joined at the crossroads by those who have been prepared to help us. They come with skills and abilities precisely suited to our needs. And we find provisions—information, inventions of various kinds—set along the way waiting for us to take them up. It is as though someone knew we would be traveling that way. We see the invisible hand of the Almighty providing for us.” 

- Boyd K. Packer, “That They May Be Redeemed,” Regional Representatives Seminar, April 1, 1977.