*Talk on Family History

>> Tuesday, March 24, 2009

*talk-a volunteer speeker
*calling-volunteer leader of a group in the church

Here is a story I would like to share with you about my grandfather. Herschel Lloyd was born on a wintry day, much like today, in 1922. On this day, Babe Ruth signs a 3 year contract with New York Yankees at $52,000.

He grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch. He was the oldest son, who took care of his 5 brothers and sisters. During the 30’s, times were very tough and Herschel was grateful to receive a used pencil or a large marble for Christmas. As he grew older, life brought him to WSU where he received his degree in agriculture.

When He got into his early 20’s he enlisted in the US Army because the freedom of our Country was precious to him. In WW2 he fought and finished his service being present in Okinawa at the time of the signing of the treaty.

During his 28th year he had a life changing moment…He met “the Stinson family from “the Pasco ward”, (which I know very well to this day),liked their beliefs and living standards, and was baptized a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints. As his spirit rapidly grew, Herschel was ordained an elder, called as a stake missionary, and was an outstanding Scout Master always going the extra mile. At one point he acquired a large boat which his troop helped fix up, and then they were able to take trips down the Columbia River and go camping on this island… now named Herschel Island. Other church callings he had included Welfare Services, Stake and ward Clerk, and Temple Ordinance Worker.

What a life to have…it just leaves me feeling peace and hope for my future.
My name is Bethany Vaughn and the person I am talking about is my grandfather on my dads side. I have been given the topic of family history… and through this journey, I feel I have been the student. I now have a different perspective on family history than I did 3 weeks ago.
To start off Another name for family history is Genealogy, Genealogy is The study or investigation of ancestry and family histories.

So, The first question I want to ask is? Can I see a show of hands who has someone doing their geneology for them? Ok, I understand, we all have different things in our lives but I am hopeing I can motivate each one of us to do family history. A couple different motivational reasons would be:

1-You want to know who your relatives are: This May be triggered by when a family member has passed away and because of this, you gain an interest. You can get the most information from a current relative that is alive if you search their attics or just simply ask questions. Or imagine you have a grandmother that has given you a huge suitcase full of papers with information from people in your family. You have no idea who any of these people are but you now have this suitcase.

2.genetic background. This is one thing that got me thinking. Why am I the way I am? I’ll tell ya, everything started falling into place when I started thinking of my family background genetically. There are a lot of traits that I possess that have been passed on from generation to generation. The love for the outdoors, artistic abilities, hard working, and overall healthy. Other families might have great leadership skills or genius minds. There is also another side that is built into a lot of families like addiction, health related issues, alcoholism… its in our past and it will unfortunately be in our future. I have a lot of alcoholism on my moms side of the family, and I know it runs in my blood. I know addiction runs in my blood… and to have this knowledge helps me to better understand myself. I know with the church and scriptures to guide me I have tools that help me to resist. But by educating myself with the family history and teaching my children, I can understand my strengths and my weeknesses.

2- Feeling the Spirit of Elijah. “This is one of the greatest and most important subjects that God has revealed. … “This is the spirit of Elijah, that we redeem our dead, and connect ourselves with our fathers which are in heaven. This is the power of Elijah and the keys of the kingdom of Jehovah.”
The feeling that your own Ancestors are helping and guiding you to find the information. That is a main motivator of members. Once you start, you feel the spirit with you. Then you discover some piece of the puzzle that you never knew and you feel something guiding you. The spirit of Elijah is very special and you could never know what it feels like unless you experience it for yourself. You never know what it feels like to make a 3 point shot if you have never made one. Maybe you have some ancestors that came from Whales or Russia that you never knew. Maybe then you will find that you are 1/16 of Native American or 1/200 of Chock tah tribe. Which brings me to the next motivator.

My Dad and Sister set up a booth for a Local history expo. The church hosted a community event because it is important to know our history.. Their booth was on the Mormon battalion, the Oregon trail, and the Mormon trail. They sat there all day answering questions to anyone interested. Do you know the number one question was:

Why is the church so interested in finding church history and why is it involved?
Why do they have the family history centers?

The church is interested in finding church history because Family history is one of the fundamental basics of our church…that is… families can be together forever.
The reason why we are so interested is because we need to understand who we are as individuals in this world… where we came from before this life ( and understand that we came together)… and we came with a purpose… and we will be a family again. It helps us to understand that The gap is not broken at death.

Stress the fact: So many churches believe in some kind of afterlife, but what they are missing is when someone dies… like a father …and we hear them say that we will “see them again“….how that idea comes together, but don’t know how that is possible.
Jesus Christ died and he rose again. Because he returned again, we know that death is not the end. There is a plan and the revelation of that plan was restored… through Joseph Smith with the sealing power to seal and bind families together for eternity.
And now we see why the church is so involved with understanding who we are, where we came from, and more importantly, where we are going after this life.

The motivator behind all of it: that each individual member find out this information on their own. Not because your great aunt has all that information, its up to each one of us to find out for our selves. With technology right at our fingertips, it allows us the time to do a little…or a lot. I encourage each of you to check out the new family search at newfamilysearch.org.

The church is currently working day and night to make all family records available to all people ,because it so important to access all this information. There is no age limit…there is no end to family history. Where there is a tree, there are many branches.
I am glad that I have a legacy that includes pioneers, members of the church, other backgrounds and that I can know a little about my grandfather. Because with those stories, it builds strenght in my life and inspirational. I have started a web site to record all my family history which will be beneficial to the coming generations.


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