Category Archives: Mormon Church Family History

187th Annual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session

As seems to happen often, I’m at work today. Luckily, I’m able to arrange my schedule so that I can watch the session during an extended lunch. I’ll be home by 3:30 or so, so can watch the next session at home with my family.

For the last couple of weeks we have been down in Florida relaxing physically. It is going to be kind of nice this weekend to “relax” spiritually. I don’t mean to avoid or get away from spiritual things, but to be refreshed and recharged.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang The Morning Breaks

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise

The invocation was offered by Elder Kim B Clark

The choir sang Do What Is Right

President Henry B Eyring (President Thomas S Monson did NOT open the meeting)

  • General Conference is a time of gathering
  • Spoke of the gathering of the Family of God
  • Parental love is the closest thing to Heavenly love
  • Hearts have turned to fathers since Elijah came
  • The Lord always provides a way
  • Technology can never replace revelation

Brother M Joseph Brough

  • Righteous grandparents are a blessing
  • Heavenly Father gives each of us a care package to help us in this life which includes parents and bishops
  • His Son is the greatest part of the care package
  • 3 ways we can be the car package for someone else
    1. Be with the youth
    2. To guide youth, we need to connect them to heaven
    3. Let youth leader
  • Let your covenants be paramount

Elder Weatherford T Clayton

  • Our mortal birth is not the beginning, it is just a milestone
  • The pillars of God’s plan are:
    1. Creation of the Earth
    2. The Fall of Adam of Eve
    3. The Savior and His atonement
  • You can find peace and purpose in this mortal experience

The choir and congregation sang Glory to God on High

Elder Dale G Renlund

  • The Savior’s compassion, love and mercy draws us towards Him
  • God doesn’t want mindless obedient followers
  • He wants us to knowingly and willingly choose to be like Him
  • We can all express our opinion, but we cannot be hateful
  • Follow the Golden Rule
  • If we want respect, we must respect others
  • Our conversion brings meekness, which invites the Holy Ghost which fills us with perfect love for others
  • Our perfect Shepherd feels the same way towards us

Elder Ulisses Soares

  • We can received strength and hope from the Savior
  • We need to press forward in faith
  • We often feel that we are burdened and some leave the Church

Elder Mark A Bragg

  • Take comfort that there is Light available to us
  • There are places where you can always find light
    1. The Light of the Church
    2. The Light of the Gospel
    3. The Light of Christ

The choir sang Teach Me To Walk in the Light

President Russell M Nelson

  • We live in turbulent times
  • How can we draw into our lives the power of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ
  • We cannot be saved in ignorance. We must learn and know about Him
  • We should be careful that the terms we use do not take away from the living reality of our Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ
  • There is no amorphous being called The Atonement. Jesus Christ is the source
  • Those sacred terms describe what the Savior did so that we may live with hope
  • Study “The Living Christ”
  • Our covenants bind us to Him

The choir sang Rejoice, the Lord is King!

The benediction was offered by Elder Jorge F Zeballos


Read the recaps and other notes from the 187th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

LDS Youth Temple Challenge

A few months ago, Elder Neal L Andersen challenged the youth to take their own names to the temple (I first heard about this on LDS Media Talk). Right away an official page was setup, and word started to spread. So far over 20,000 people have signed up to accept the challenge.

Our stake hasn’t set a specific goal, but we certainly endorse the challenge. In one ward I was in recently, the youth Sunday School class (only 3 youth) were in the Family History Centre learning how to index. It’s great to see the youth getting involved like that.

The passing of the Mormon pioneer in our family

I’ve lived in Ontario for my whole life. My parents were born in Ontario, and most of the generations before that are Canadian. We’ve been here for a long time. My ancestors did not know about the Church during the first wave of missionary work to Canada in the 1830s, so it wasn’t until 1961 that someone first joined the Church. That was my grandmother, whom I have written about previously. Well, after 96+ years on this earth, she passed away on May 26, 2013.

(That is why I haven’t been posting much lately… I obviously was busy around the time my grandmother was sick, and then when she passed away, and I just got out of the habit of posting. It has taken longer than expected to get back to it).

I’m not going to take up too much space writing all about someone you don’t know, but I did want to highlight a few things. As mentioned, she joined the Church in 1961. She was a member of the Church for more than 51 years, and never was less-active. My father was a teenager when she joined, and it was another 20 years before my grandfather joined. She knew the Church was true and persevered until my grandfather found that out for himself. I was only 7 years old when my grandfather was baptized, but I vaguely remember how excited everyone was at the time.

My grandmother loved family history work. Even though my grandfather wasn’t a member at the time, he took her all over Canada to find cemeteries and help with her research. By the time I got involved, she had a family tree with around 5,000 names!

She loved her family very much and she was always so proud to see her grandchildren and great-grandchildren progress in the Church. Many of us have moved around, but as often as she could she’d attend a baby blessing or a baptism. She just knew that she started it all and was thrilled to see it continuing.

Since family history work and family were so important to her, you can imagine that she always insisted on having a temple recommend. I have lots of great memories of my grandmother, but I’ll always remember the smile she gave me a few weeks before she passed away when I did her temple recommend interview. It was eternally memorable!

Good-bye Nanny. I will miss you, but I’m sure Poppa is ecstatic to see you. Say “Hi” to him for me and I’d appreciate it if the two of you could continue to watch over me and my family.

October 2012 World Report of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

One of my favourite things about General Conference weekend is seeing The World Report. This is a “news” program that the Church puts together highlighting what has happened in the last 6 months. Normally I watch the broadcast between sessions of conference, but didn’t have a chance to. I just watched it earlier this week. As usual, it had the “standard” items, as well as some items that you sometimes don’t hear about.

The broadcast included segments on:

  • President Monson’s 85th birthday celebration
  • Elder Holland’s visit to Harvard
  • Elder Bednar’s trip to Mexico
  • Elder Oaks’ trip to India to create the first stake
  • Elder Christofferson’s trip to Eastern Europe and the Middle East
  • An update on the construction of the Rome temple including information about the visitors centre that will house the Christus and the apostle statues
  • Information on the dedication of the Kansas City Temple and the associated cultural celebration
  • Information on the Brigham City Temple dedication
  • Elder Holland doing the groundbreaking for the Provo City Center Temple
  • Information on the dedication of the Manaus Brazil Temple and the associated cultural celebration
  • Information on the Pioneer Day concert with Katherine Jenkins
  • Information about a new Family History Centre in Nauvoo
  • Elder Oaks’ visit to Notre Dame
  • Information about the candidacy of Mitt Romney for US President
  • Gail McGovern’s trip (President of the American Red Cross) to Salt Lake City
  • Pocatello Idaho brush fire and Mormon Helping Hands
  • London Olympics and Hyde Park Chapel and Visitors Centre
  • More information on the Christus and the apostle statues that will be in the Rome Temple Visitors Centre. The marble comes from Carrara Italy

The Mormon Newsroom has links to the full video, as well as individual segments. There are also links to other stories that the Newsroom has released about the segments.

Star Wars Family Tree

Some people aren’t that interested in genealogy/family history or they say they don’t have enough time to do it. Well, as you can see, family history really is for everyone!
🙂

Note: This image has a copyright from Lucasfilm, but I can’t find it on their site to link to. I found this recently on my hard drive as I was cleaning up.

Do they even know what genealogy is?

So, I saw this “Jean-e-ology” sign a couple of months ago in a popular clothing store. I immediately asked my wife if any of the regular customers even understood what this play on words was even about.

I’ve since looked it up on the Internet, and it seems to be a fairly common term for “variety of jeans”. However, I still think it’s goofy. If they just wanted a term to talk about studying jeans, why not call it jean-ology? Some marketer somewhere thought jean-e-ology was clever, even though most people probably don’t know what it is referring to. Maybe that marketer was Mormon 🙂

Sealing work at the temple

Last night was our monthly ward temple night. Instead of going through an endowment session, we had arranged for a couple of sealers to be available, and 16 of us did sealings. I’ve attended several sealings, and have done work once before for the deceased, but I had never done sealings for an hour and a half. It’s tough work!

The sealer that was with our group (we divided into two sealing rooms) spoke almost non-stop for the entire time, and only coughed or cleared his throat once. I told him I was impressed, and he just laughed. I had forgotten that the entire ceremony (including the pronouncement of blessings) is repeated, not just the basic initial part. This makes the sealing of spouses kind of long. The sealing of a child to their parents is relatively quick, but even that is about 4x as long as the baptism prayer (I went over it in my head as the sealer was speaking).

As my wife and I finished up the sealings we were doing, the sealer said we could kiss each other. Apparently I made a funny face. It just caught me off guard. It’s not that I don’t like kissing my wife, but I didn’t know we were done, and in my head I was trying to figure out what a kiss had to do with anything, and I didn’t know if he was joking or not. Thankfully my wife has already forgiven me for the look 🙂

Overall, the 16 of us did about 400 sealings. It was a nice evening.

Another family history cartoon…

This is a Frank & Ernest cartoon from Friday:

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View the Genealogy category to see the other cartoons…

Baptisms for the Dead

I know there has been some discussion on various Mormon blogs recently about baptisms for the dead, and how other church’s perceive the practice. I’m not interested in debating that right now, but I figured I’d just share a little about our most recent trip.

My ward is about 120km away from the Toronto Ontario Temple. We try to take the youth there 4 times a year. Last Thursday night was our first trip of 2009. Overall we had 43 people from the ward there that night (I think we had at least two other people there earlier in the day).

  • 16 youth (12 YM, 4 YW)
  • 1 YSA
  • 8 men on “team” (2 bishopric, 2 YM leaders, 1 EQ presidency, 1 ward clerk, 1 WML, 1 seminary teacher)
  • 3 YW leaders
  • 5 members of the ward serving/working
  • 10 other ward members doing some form of temple work

All of the baptisms that were done were family file. The couple “running” the baptistry that night said it was the first time during their time of service (I’m not sure how long that has been) that every baptism was family file. Apparently there were over 250 baptisms and confirmations done.

After going to the temple, the tradition used to be that we’d all end up going to some fast food joint (usually McDonald’s) and get something to eat. A couple of years ago one of my counselors suggested that we use the cafeteria at the temple and bring our own “treats”, so that we can stay together and still feel the spirit of the temple. It has worked out great. It obviously is less expensive than having 20 extra value meals purchased by the members. The ward foots the bill for the food now which is always less than $50 for all of us. The treats are healthier. We usually get away earlier than we would if we had to pack up, drive to a restaurant, and pack up and leave again. But like I said, the best part is we are still in the temple.

The youth love going to the temple. It’s great to see. Hopefully we keep having positive experiences with them so they are strengthened, and have that desire to return often.

The cost of tracing your family tree…

Here is a cute Wizard of Id cartoon/comic from Friday, February 20, 2009 about the cost of tracing your family tree:

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Interestingly enough, on Saturday, February 21, 2009 there was a similar theme for The Other Coast:

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