Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

More than guilt

How many of us feel "guilty" because we do not do our "family history." From my perspective, and in my experience talking to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I find that many, many of the members feel that "doing their family history" is just one more burden or just one more program that they will get around to sometime, maybe when they are older and retired. Right now, children, work, callings in the Church and many other responsibilities have a "much higher" priority.

My wife expressed it by saying that genealogy is just "one more brick in our backpack." You can feel guilt when family history is not part of who you are. The same guilt is felt when you are not attending the Temple, keeping the Word of Wisdom or failing to observe any of the other things that make us who we are as members of the Church. We can always find a way to justify our inactivity if we try hard enough. What is different about family history is that so many so-called "active" Temple-attending members of the Church continue to feel guilty and do nothing about it.

Part of the process of putting family history into a more important position in the Church is recognizing these negative feelings and trying to find ways to overcome them. You can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why do I feel the need to do my family history?
  • Do I really have an interest in learning about my family?
  • Do I feel that taking family names to the Temple is important?
  • Have I ever made an effort to learn about my family?
  • Have I spent any time looking at my family on Family Tree?
  • Have I helped with Indexing?

This list of questions could go on and on, but the basic question here is do you feel the need to become involved in family history or do you view it as just another program?

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