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.

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

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

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.

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.