I have secretly always loved doing family history, but it didn't used to be something I shared publicly. I was afraid if too many people knew how much I enjoyed it, I would be stuck serving in the family history center! Silly how narrow-minded we can be.
Despite my love of doing family history, I have never been truly committed to it. Sometimes I would work hard on it 3 days in a row and then nothing for months. Last year at a Stake Relief Society event, I heard President Kevin Lee share with us how important it is to do family history consistently. He said that if we only do it once in awhile, then once in awhile we can receive the promised blessings (I'm paraphrasing:). We miss out on fully receiving the blessings the Lord has waiting for us. I need lots of blessings! So I started considering that and the Spirit kept working on me. Shortly after I was called to be Stake Young Women's President, our Stake Presidency, issued an assignment to all of the stake leaders and their families to commit to four goals:
1)Work on some aspect of family history each week.
2)At least once a month, search for and find a name to take to the temple.
3) Attend the temple once a month and perform the ordinances of salvation for the names we find.
4)Teach others how to find names and take them to the temple, too.
The Spirit had already been working on me since that Relief Society Conference. So when President Burgoyne approached us with this assignment, I was excited to present it to my family and make a team effort! I had heard the apostles counsel us on doing this work in the recent past and pronounce blessings on our families as we participated in it. But I guess I always felt "too busy" or "too tired" or "not my season" to do it consistently. I do love a good challenge, though, so I prayed about it and asked Heavenly Father to help me know how to invite my family to do it with me and that I would gain a testimony of this work. I also prayed to receive the promised blessings from being engaged in family history.
I decided to present the invitation to my family during Family Home Evening. I believe most of us felt the Spirit as we discussed it and all of them were at least willing to try. We discussed ways to go about it. A few of our kids had gotten on family search and had accounts already, thanks to awesome youth leaders! But they had forgotten most everything about it. We decided Sundays would be our best day to work on it together because it was the only day of the week we were all home. We also talked about a variety of family history ideas, like journaling, entering photos on family search, indexing, finding stories, recording stories and voices, etc...so that it would be fun.
I don't know why it surprises me, but as we've been consistent about doing family history, we really do see some of the blessings coming into our lives that the Stake Presidency promised us! We have seen miracles take place, our testimonies have been strengthened, relationships are being repaired, we feel extra protection from the adversary, and I have gained an even stronger knowledge that Christ is the Redeemer of mankind and Savior of the world. How does it happen?? I don't know. But it does happen. I know our Stake Presidency was inspired to share this with us. We have missed some weeks here and there, but the progress we've made is truly amazing! Some of my children have become better at it than me! I trust the promises of the apostles and our stake presidency that our youth will be blessed with protection from the adversary. In raising my own children, I need to feel the hope this promise brings! I am thankful for this challenge. It has been a most amazing (and surprising!) blessing in my life.