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

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Joy of Family History Work -- Hold a Family Webinar

The February 2016 Ensign magazine has an important article about family history by Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles entitled, "The Joy of Family History Work." There are several memorable quotes from this article, but I was most impressed with the following quote from President Boyd K. Packer, former President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles,
No work is more of a protection to this Church than temple work and the family history research that supports it. No work is more spiritually refining. No work we do gives us more power. No work requires a higher standard of righteousness. 
“Our labors in the temple cover us with a shield and a protection, both individually and as a people.
Elder Cook counsels members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to hold family tree gatherings. He says.
Family commitments and expectations should be at the top of our list of priorities. They will protect our divine destiny. For families to get started on their family history work, I challenge them to hold what I call a “Family Tree Gathering.” This should be a recurring effort. Everyone could bring to these gatherings existing family histories, stories, and photos, including cherished possessions of grandparents and parents. The My Family booklet could be utilized to help record family information, stories, and photos that could then be uploaded to Family Tree on
However, this cannot be only a one-time effort. It requires a lifetime of diligence. For those who are looking for more fruitful ways to observe the Sabbath day as a family, the hastening of this sacred work is fertile ground.
Our own family is spread across the country and a physical gathering is a rare event. I suggest that these "Family Tree Gatherings" can be accomplished by virtually holding a meeting online. I regularly participate in world-wide webinar broadcasts and talk with people directly over the Internet. This form of communication is popular with many and can be easily extended to encompass an entire family. For years we have been talking about and holding "family reunions." This turns out to be a difficult and somewhat expensive event and subsequently are not held often or even regularly. The cost of one medium sized family reunion would more than pay for an entire year's worth of a subscription to a popular online webinar site and the relatives could meet once a month or even more frequently.

One of the most commonly used and simplest to operate webinar programs is An annual subscription to the program that allows up to 50 participants is around $30 a month paid annually. $360 would not even cover the food, gas and accommodations of 50 people one time and with a virtual webinar, you and your relatives could meet several times a month if needed.

It is true that many of those who are presently involved in family history are not technologically advanced. But there are those who are and they need to be using the technology to advance family interests. Meetings would take planning and preparation, but any valuable family activity can require the same type of coordination. Let's start thinking about ways to make this work.

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