Genealogy Fun

Family Circa 1900

Why Do Genealogy? Why Do Family History?
The importance of a strong family narrative is highlighted in a New York Times article describing well-researched studies on the vital long-term benefits of family history: “The Stories That Bind Us.” Further, because of our faith tradition, we believe that families can be together forever. To live together as a family unit after this life, we must go to a temple to be sealed as a family by one who has the authority from God to do so. That’s why, across the globe, there are so many temples in the Church of Jesus Christ.

As spouses, Kim and I want to live as husband and wife not only until death; we want to live together for eternity. We want our children to continue in our family relationship forever. This is the doctrine of the family — This is the promise of the temple.

Just as Isaac and Rebekah of the Old Testament put a lot of work into ensuring that their son Jacob and his future wife enjoyed the blessings of an eternal marriage, Kim and I have put a lot of work into our marriage and into raising our kids. As Isaac and Rebekah did, we want to be the man who has the keys and the woman who has the influence (as Julie B. Beck taught us in “Teaching the Doctrine of the Family“), working together to see that we are prepared and to bring about the work that God wants us to do, equally yoked in our responsibilities as spouses and parents.

Salt Lake City TempleIn our family, all of us have learned for ourselves that the temples of God provide the way for this to happen. In the temple, we learn eternal truths and receive sacred ordinances, with the purpose of bringing about the immortality and eternal life of all of us by binding our families together link to link, parent to child, across all generations and through all time.

Find out the closest temple under construction near you, and as it nears completion, there will be an open house for the general public. (Click here and look for “Announced” or “Construction” in column at right.) Anyone who wishes to tour a temple may do so during the open house. We invite all to come see what a Mormon temple is like inside!

So, Where’s the Genealogy Fun??
Explore and find out! The fun comes when you finally discover names you’ve been searching for, allowing you to understand the sacrifices they made so that you might be here, and allowing them to teach you from the life lessons they learned.

Here are some free web resources to explore for genealogy and family history.

Here are additional premium web resources. Note that these organizations charge for their services. You may use the web resources below for free at your local LDS Family History Center. Want to find one near you? Click here.

  • Ready to discover your family story? Ancestry.com.
  • Uncover your family story in US Census records? FindMyPast.com.
  • Original military records? Fold3.com.
  • PERSI Archive and other great resources at the Allen County Library in Ft.Wayne, Indiana? Access these resources through HeritageQuestOnline.com.

Happy Wedding Couple3

A Final Note About Elijah and His Role in Family History
As we said earlier, in the temple, we learn eternal truths and receive sacred ordinances. All of these ordinances, including marriages, are performed without charge by people who freely volunteer their time. Elijah the prophet returned to the earth in April 1836 to restore this sealing power to Joseph Smith, turning the  heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to the their fathers (Old Testament, Malachi 4:5-6). This is why we want to do family history work.

Can a husband and wife be together forever? Most definitely; all my senses tell me this is true. We all seek love and acceptance. Some people are single and fulfilled; some are married and lonely. Independent of our situation, the ideal remains available to us all. Every time I touch my wife’s skin, each time she holds my hand, I know yet again the importance of eternal marriage.

Happy Wedding Couple2I have learned for myself that the voice of Heavenly Father is carefully clear on this topic. It is our job to have ears to hear. The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose. (The Family: A Proclamation to the World.)

I have learned for myself that Pres. Harold B. Lee sees right to the heart of the matter: “The greatest work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.” This is why God asked Elijah to return in 1836. Of all the things on my gratitude list, I am most grateful that the Savior has provided the way for me to be sealed forever to my wife and family.
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Devin, age 19, describes how he discovered that family history is like rock climbing. Watch: “Family History Is Like Rock Climbing”.

Family history is a secure anchor. In today’s difficult world with increasing conflict and alluring temptations, Father in Heaven wants each of us to enjoy peace and happiness. His laws are absolutely secure anchors of protection that dispel fear and insure success in an otherwise dangerous world:

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What do Mormon temples have to do with genealogy and family history? Watch:

2 responses to “Genealogy Fun

  1. Pingback: Let The Storm Rage On — Committing To Fight The Good Fight | MormonPanorama

  2. Pingback: Unthinkable, Impossible, Unfathomable, Unprecedented | MormonPanorama

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