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

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Will We Keep Pace?

In a recent article in the Church News of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was quoted as stating the following:
The leaders of the Church, he noted, “have given timely emphasis to the importance of hastening the work of salvation. But I wonder sometimes if we, as servants of the Lord, believe that we primarily and solely must hasten this supernal work.” Faithful and diligent members play a vital role in helping God’s kingdom roll forth across the world, Elder Bednar explained. “But, the Lord hastens His work; we do not. First and foremost, we always should remember that this work is the Lord’s work, and He does the hastening.” 
Elder Bednar identified two “profound implications” that “grow out of the truth that the Lord directs and moves His work forward:” 
• Will we keep pace? 
• Will we learn and teach the Savior’s way? 
Elder Bednar suggested that members ask themselves if they as individuals and as a Church will choose to keep pace with the Lord’s hastening. “Or will we insist on doing things the way they have always been done, or the ways we are accustomed to or comfortable with?” 
Again, he said, each member can choose to learn, repent, change, and teach more effectively in the Savior’s way. “Or will we be so entangled in the traditions and patterns of the past that we will be unable to keep up with the pace of the Lord’s hastening?”
I think this counsel applies directly to not only the missionary work of the Church but also the work of redeeming the dead through our efforts in family history. Too many of the people I come in contact with in the Church make excuses about not being involved in family history because of the rapid pace of the change in the way that the work is done. Others complain about the need to learn new skills, particularly those pertaining to computers and the Internet, in order to do the work. I even talk to researchers who refuse to use computers at all.

In this regard, let me point out some important facts:

  • In order to process ancestral names for Temple ordinances, it is necessary to enter the names into the Family Tree program with only a very few exceptions.
  • FamilySearch, the wholly owned and operated family history entity of the Church has placed billions of family records across almost two thousand collections to enable members around the world to find their ancestors.
  • FamilySearch has entered into beneficial agreements providing free access to all the members of the Church to, and All of the members are being invited over the next few months to be part of this fabulous program.
  • FamilySearch helps maintain over 4,745 FamilySearch Centers around the world.
  • FamilySearch has phone support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • FamilySearch has introduced new features to the Family Tree program that makes it possible to find cousins who have not received the benefits of Temple work.

The list could go on and on. Are we as genealogists and family historians going to find ourselves in the category of those who are "so entangled in the traditions and patterns of the past that we will be unable to keep up with the pace of the Lord’s hastening?”


  1. I found it interesting that this was also the content of my prayer at the end of my family history class yesterday. That we can keep up with the emerging technology and that we can match our efforts to what is coming.

    1. Thanks for that thoughtful comment. Right now, this is one of the major issues in the aging genealogical community.