Amy Rees Anderson

“To my children, their children, their children, and theirs’…”

That is the inscription on the back cover of my Grandmother’s life history book.   My grandmother passed away back in November of 2007.  She was one of my dearest friends.  And I am forever grateful that she left behind her written life history for me and for my children, and their children, and so on.  I could share many thoughts on why recording your life history is so important to do in this life, but rather than sharing it in my own words, I think it would be much more powerful to share my Grandmother’s words as written on the back cover of her own life history.  It reads as follows:

“To my children, their children, their children, and theirs…  These pages have been written to tell you something about the years of my life.

Four things have been responsible for my recording these things:

1. A beloved husband who has persisted in gentle prodding and encouragement for me to leave a record for the posterity he and I share.  Without this, my story might have remained untold.  As always, he led the way, preparing his own life’s history before asking me to do mine.

2. Living at a time when our prophets have emphasized the importance of leaving to our posterity an account of what has been important to us.

3. Having a knowledge, gained through much ancestral research, of how rewarding it is to know something about our family who have preceded us. And,

4. That desire within each of us, that our posterity know that among their progenitors there was me – that I also once lived upon earth, experienced the richness of life, knew joy and sorrow, had a sure knowledge (born of the Spirit) of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That I also loved – my spouse, my children and grandchildren, my friends, associates, leaders, and all mankind.  When those who knew me have left mortality, I will become only a name, unless there is a written record.”

What an incredible woman she was!  And what powerful words she shared.  “When those who knew me have left mortality, I will become only a name, unless there is a written record.”  What a powerful reminder as to why it is so important to write our own life histories.  To keep a journal of our important experiences and life lessons; a record of our joys and sorrows; a record of how we lived and how we loved.  I am so grateful that my grandmother took the time to write her life history for me to read and share with my children, and their children, and their children, and theirs’….

Don’t leave behind only a name….leave a written record.

Naomi (my Grandmother)



  • Tim says:

    I have been meaning to do this for years. When my wife’s dad passed away I went through my scant journal and wished I could have gone back in time and written more about him. I realized I need to record the important things in my life.

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