Wednesday, March 30, 2016



Okay, so your whole life you have never had an interest in family history. You wanted nothing to do with any of it. That was a great hobby for your mom or uncle but not for you. You say, "Why do church leaders keep telling me that I need to do this? I am so busy and I don't have the time nor do I wish to take the time to learn how to do it." You kind of know the answers to these questions but you just aren't in a place in this time to act upon what you know is something that you are suppose to do. So why do they keep pressuring you?

Simple answer:  If YOU do nothing, then maybe nothing will be done. Your mom, your uncle, can't tell your story like you can tell it. Your family may not be united if you don't set the example. Your descendants may need your experiences to help them through a crisis or emotional support when they are sad, or validation that they have a purpose in life. You may be the one person that through your story or example, might be that ray of hope. Maybe you need that ray of hope from your ancestor. Or just maybe, you might be in the right place at the right time to receive vital information for an ancestor waiting for their eternal work to be done. If you are not receptive, you may miss this opportunity. Who loses? - that ancestor, YOU, and your descendants.

I have a son who recently told me that he has no interest in genealogy. Yes, I am the "family genealogist" and my children have let it be that way all of their lives. What he doesn't realize is that he actually is doing family history. First of all, he does go to the temple. He teaches his family both by example and by encouraging them to do the same. Before he goes to the temple, he asks me if there are any ancestor names that he can do. He once went to a cemetery with his dad to find an ancestor's grave and realized that it was kind of fun. He is a pilot and has layovers in some places where his ancestors are buried so has volunteered to do a little photo taking of family names in different cemeteries. He accepts challenges through his ward and stake to do Indexing (although he doesn't do it on a regular basis, he does participate in challenges). He holds regular family home evenings where his family is taught gospel and family values. He enforces family traditions. He and his family take lots of pictures. His wife makes sure that they are organized and shared with family. He keeps his family closely in touch with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. No, he may not be doing genealogical research, but he is doing FAMILY HISTORY.

We as genealogist can help those who are not into research by encouraging them to do "Family History" - in other words, expand on the things that makes a family important to each other and to those later generations. Those of you that are not into research, encourage your children to be strong family members, to participate in some family history making projects. Try to encourage them to do something - even it doesn't seem like much, every little bit they do might open an opportunity for something bigger. Keep a journal, write your family history, organize photos into a book and tell a story about them, search a cemetery for ancestors, have family home evenings, be strong in traditions, attend the temple, and most of all, set the example.

Family History is about FAMILY. It's not just researching for ancestors even though that is very important. It's not about taking huge blocks of time. It's about helping family feel connected. To share the love that our ancestors had for their family and the love we have of our family with the love we hope our descendants will have for their family. DO SOMETHING!

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