The 2014 RootsTech family history conference, the largest of its kind in the U.S. begins this week in Salt Lake City, Utah. And if you’re anything like me, lagging in the area of getting on top of your own genealogy, you might want to join me in rethinking the need to step up and make a show on behalf of the tremendous work, about to embark, what it intends to accomplish, and get involved! 

The Mormon Newsroom reports that, cosponsors of the genealogy conference, will present to attendees the exciting details about how bringing together the combined efforts of, findmypast and MyHeritage they intend to accomplish the unprecedented and previously impossible goal of one lifetime: "to make available 5.3 billion historical records from around the world, such as birth, death and census records" in approximately 20-30 years. This is HUGE!

FamilySearch has created an infographic (below) to share the statistics driving this collaborative effort. In my own ward, on Sunday, family history was emphasized in tandem with the work of salvation. As I sat there, listening intently to my bishop, I was struck with the impression of why, perhaps, this emphasis is critical, now!

Today, as social science is presented by liberal progressive to legitimize the deconstruction of marriage, only between man and woman, thus the breakdown of the natural family, we find ourselves in a public debate of eternal significance: the importance of biology and the necessity, or not, of a child being raised by both biological parents; the mother and the father. On the other hand, as members of the LDS Church, we uphold the doctrine of the family, taught in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, in which it states:

THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.

The increasing, global interest in identifying one's family roots, is evidence of the deep importance that individuals have to know who they are. And they do that, by searching to find out who they are biologically related to and where those biological connections lead them. From the LDS perspective, we see this as a fulfillment of, the hearts of the children being turned to their fathers, evidence of the Spirit of Elijah, as prophesied in holy scripture.

For many successful in finding previously, unknown ancestors, blood-related, the discovery, of even one, is often an emotional, and spiritual, experience. If you've had the opportunity to follow along the journey of someone who was adopted, now an adult, in search of finding out who their biological mother and/or father is, you have likely observed a deeply significant journey to discover their "real" identity. And in fact, it can often become an obsessive desire, which must be satisfied, in order to find personal peace, even if the discovery involves emotional pain.

In my own life, one of my grandfathers' was adopted, and after several attempts, I've found no information to lead me to his blood line, leaving an entire branch of who I am missing.  My mother was also adopted, and although I know who her biological mother is, there is no information that I'm aware of, as to the identity of the man who fathered her, my natural grandfather. Again, I have absolutely nothing to go on, not even a name - making two branches of my family tree anonymous, for now.

 In my mother's life, I have been aware since I was a child, that although she had the most wonderful adoptive parents', nevertheless, my mother has suffered the very real affects of being abandoned her entire life; leaving her broken in ways I will never fully understand. Except, for my own disconnect to really knowing who I am, in relation to who my own, unidentified ancestors are to me, and my children, and now my grandchildren. It doesn't take long, when these ties are treated lightly, for families to become broken, in more ways than one.

Such disconnects, biologically, are not part of our Father in Heaven's plan. Sadly, the main reason children are put up for adoption/abandoned is due to the sad reality that sin, in one way or another, is most always involved. We know that during the millennium the bulk of the work to reconnect individuals to their biological origins, will finally be accomplished during that period. The work to reconnect the family of God, and heal untold numbers of broken hearts, cleanse sin, and seal families back to Christ will entail the power of the Atonement to reconcile and properly organize, according to God's will.

Discussing and highlighting the strong interest that people have, globally, for family history, and why, could potentially help to keep relevant the importance of mothers and fathers, to their biological children - and be applied as reasonable and legitimate discussion points as society determines what model of a family is optimal for children -  potentially relatable to many, thus reasonable to place in consideration as a legitimate concern and reason for supporting the traditional family model, which is supported, naturally, in the union of only a man and woman: marriage.  

Let's put the world's historical records online 
in one generation!


Kathryn Skaggs

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