Heavenly Father has a way of changing us... right at the moment that we need it. That is the beauty of The Gospel, I think. And, that is what has happened to me this weekend.
I have always thought Family History was boring and for "The Oldsters" or those crazy weirdos that don't have any friends. I freely admit it, and you can toss a tomato or two at the computer with my name on it, if you need to.
I have introduced myself to everyone at the conference as the Family History Virgin. And it's totally true. Nary a pedigree chart has crossed these fingers. But they don't care. They have embraced this novice and I have met some amazing people-- non genealogists as well-- and it has been fantastic.
After two days of learning about Family History, talking to people who are not of my faith and from all over the world, I have felt my heart start to change. I have been mesmerized as I watch these people, who are not religiously compelled to find their ancestors, talk with passion about WHY they love it so much. I have felt my heart change as I have learned about the reasons why-- beyond the religious ones-- that we search out our histories. I have felt my heart change as I found a name that belongs in MY tree.
As I sat and interviewed various people today, to try and understand better WHY you would do your family history sans the guilt trip I had an ah-ha moment. It was when I was speaking with the VP of Marketing for Family Search and he talked about how Family History can save families, and lives. Logically that makes sense-- we're saving families and lives by doing temple work. But, that wasn't what he meant. He literally meant it would save families and lives here-- In the Present. That doesn't make any sense, however spiritually? I knew it was true. I felt it right to my core. Finding my history-- doing it with my children and husband will bond us together in a way that can't happen any other way. You talk about the stories of when you were children. You share memories. You bond and your hearts and feeling about one another literally change.
Family History does change lives and that is when the scripture "the hearts of the children will turn to their fathers" came alive for me. I get it now and further I have been given permission from "the big guys" to stop feeling guilty about not chasing down the dates. I am transmitting family history every time I tell my kids "when I was your age . . . " I am passing down the oral story of our lives so that if and when they ever stumble across the written words it will have meaning to them.
My heart is changing. I feel it and I am doing it, My Family History, and it feels oh. so. good.