Blessings of Family History

by Andrew Lamont

Recently, I was called as the Temple and Family History Leader in my ward. In the week or so prior, I had been told a calling was on its way. Though I spent a lot of time thinking through what it could be, Family History never occurred to me.

Before that meeting with the Bishop, I’d done a little Family History work - enough to bring some names to the Temple and understand how to find them. Thankfully, my wife is passionate about the work, so taught me to do it. That being said, it wasn’t something I ever spent much time exploring.

Aside from Temple work, and bringing names for proxy ordinances, I didn’t see or understand what the work had to do with me, what blessings I could find in the work. To be honest, I had never attempted to “liken” the activities to myself for my “profit and learning” (1 Nephi 19:23).

When I received the calling and was set apart, I knew it was essential that I find out more about Family History, how to find things out, what resources are out there for our eternal benefit of both us and our

That very same day, as I got more familiar with the Family Search website, and Ancestry, a scripture I had never given much, if any, consideration came alive for me in an unexpected way. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6).

I was receiving revelation of how to find sources and how to check the information therein. What had previously been a list of names which allowed me to participate in ordinances became a list of real people, with real experiences, with real worth in the eyes of God. Their life stories inspired me to work harder as a disciple of Jesus Christ, and be more dedicated in being a peacemaker. After all, it is pleasing to God when we “dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1).

Seeing my relationship links with people on Family Search deepened my desire to keep covenants so I could help them receive the ordinances necessary for salvation and exaltation.

Learning how to do Family History and being conscientious in and dedicated to the high and sacred work is a duty for all of us and will bring special blessings. It will bring us comfort as we learn of the difficulties faced by our kindred dead, and how they overcame them. It will bring us a further developed hope for a brighter future, and an eternity with our family. It will awaken within us a sense of our responsibility to them.

We as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have a knowledge of the truthfulness of the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We owe it to our ancestors to do our due diligence in identifying them, and taking them to the Temple to do their work. What is more, we owe it to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ: They have blessed us with the technology to do this work, and the Spirit to help us do it.

Remember the words of Helaman to his sons: “When you remember [your ancestors] ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good” (Helaman 5:6).

I testify that the work is a privilege and a joy, and invite you all to do it as often as you can. You will be blessed.