I was in a meeting the other day at the Family History Library, which has the largest shared family tree database in the world, when someone giving a presentation surprised the person with me by playing an audio file for her that they’d located in the database. Watching the immediate reaction of her hands shooting up to cover her mouth as she audibly gasped and then seeing her eyes filling with tears caused me to have my own instant reaction of tearing up even though I had no idea yet what had caused her to react that way. “That’s my grandfather’s voice” she explained. She went on to share that her grandfather had passed away a few years back and how important a person he had been in her life. Hearing that made me tear up even more. I felt a little silly tearing up given it wasn’t my relative or even someone I had known…but there was no stopping it. Witnessing her connection to her grandfather and the impact of his remembrance on her was touching beyond words for all of us in that room.
“When our hearts turn to our ancestors, something changes inside us.
We feel part of something greater than ourselves.”
– Russell M. Nelson
There is so much truth in that statement. Remembering our ancestors and making an effort to learn more about them and their story does change us. It helps us to recognize that belong to something much more than just ourselves – we are literally our ancestors living legacy….
If you want to have one of the coolest experiences of a LIFETIME then go to www.familysearch.org . Create a free account. Once you are added to the system you will need to manually type in your father and mother if they are still living – if they have passed away then do not enter them in but rather search the database and select them. Do the same for your grandparents – if they are living you must type them in but if they are passed away then select them, don’t enter them. The reason for doing that is that living people’s records are private and not searchable, but deceased persons are already in the system so you’ll want to select them from the database because when you do the system will automatically show you your pedigree chart with all kinds of info included. Some ancestors have pictures attached, audio files, newspaper articles about them, and some even have their life histories in their profile. It’s absolutely incredible! But I warn you…have some tissue handy because when you see those photos or hear those sound files the waterworks will start flowing from your eyes… and you will quickly find yourself unable to stop reading all about your ancestors because you’ll find that something inside of you is changing as you do…and it’s the best kind of change….
We are the rememberers. Take time to login – trust me…you’ll be so glad you did!
~Amy Rees Anderson