Vachele C. Higbee

Family history is a great blessing in our lives. It can give us perspective on the past, and help us to make a better future.

Many scriptures are the histories of families. We are the children of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Ephraim, so all of the stories in the Bible that are about them are histories of our own ancestors, preserved especially for us. We can learn many lessons from them.

We can learn many things from those who lived before us in more recent times, as well as in ancient times, and benefit greatly from their experiences. For example, in many modern stories the people pray. They show over and over how prayer worked for them, just like the stories in the Bible show the power of prayer. If it worked for them, we can know that it will work for us. Reading their accounts will increase our faith.

What I love the most in working on family histories is that the Holy Ghost attends me, and guides me. I feel his presence as I work on family history books, and I know that the work that I am doing is important.

Family history is a great way to teach children and grandchildren good values. They can learn from the informative stories, and incorporate the teachings and experiences from the previous generations into their own lives. They will know that they belong to a family unit way bigger than that of their own family, and in time they will come to appreciate the sacrifices their forefathers made for them.

Most detailed family history stories start when people joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They all have interesting accounts, which are usually accompanied by opposition. Most of our ancestors gave all they had for the Gospel. Many of them suffered, and some died, because they joined the Church.

Yet, it was worth it to them because they knew that they, and their posterity, would have the gift of the Holy Ghost after baptism, membership in the Church, association with the Saints, the blessings of the priesthood, and the opportunity for celestial marriage and eternal life.

When we are involved in family history work we are strengthened. It is as though we have been studying scriptures. This helps us to deal with the great wickedness in our day, and with the world's calamities. It also gives us power to overcome our trials.

From reading family history stories we can learn that we can receive help from the other side of the veil, if needed. We can also pray and ask for miracles, like many of our ancestors did. Miracles can become a reality for us, too.

We will know that we are loved when we ask for help with our family histories. Heavenly Father is aware of us, and our needs, and He does answer our prayers.

Family history, whether it be gathering histories, genealogy, or doing temple work, can help us to prepare for a better future. Let's take advantage of it.