I am one of those people that love the start of a new year. I automatically start thinking about all the ways that I would like to improve myself. What do I want to learn about? What habits do I need to change? Where do I want to be at the end of the year? How can I a be better mom, wife, sister, daughter and disciple.
This year has been no different in feeling the desire to progress but has changed in that I have felt the gentle urgings of the spirit tell me I need to focus on one thing, and one thing only. My Family History. Specifically starting with my personal story. There are so many aspects to Family History, the main one I feel is the work of offering the saving ordinances for those that have passed on. But that is not where I have felt the spirit pushing me. It has been pushing me to sit down and start writing my own story.
As I have pondered over why I should start with my own story, I feel like the spirit has given me some insight as to why.
1. I have been praying and trying to know what I can specifically do to improve my health. I have wanted to loose weight, be healthier and hopefully eliminate the causes of my miscarriages. I have studied and tried various things and have come to some conclusions which are blog posts in and of themselves. But the thing that I have felt very strongly is that my health is stuck because I have been trying to do all the things to fix things physically when the main problem is emotional. I will not be able to solve those problems until I start writing again. Start keeping a regular journal. Start going through all my memories of the past to have the spirit start teaching me where the problems lie. I will begin to see patterns, behaviors, and thoughts that for some reason are keeping me from the health that I so desire. By doing this I can begin to let him heal me.
2. I am living in one of the greatest periods of history. We are in the last days, and the building of the kingdom of God on the earth is happening in preparation for the coming of the Savior. The work is hastening. I am seeing prophesies being fulfilled all around me. I am seeing miracles happen, I am seeing the adversary in full force, and I need to be writing down and recording what I am witnessing and experiencing. For myself, to help me remain strong, but especially for my children and grandchildren. I need to leave them a history and a personal account of what is going on and my involvement in it, as well a testimony of how I know this work to be true.
3. By starting on this I will naturally start wanting to know about my ancestors. I will want to learn of them, teaching my children their stories and helping them develop characteristics of greatness. Giving them stories that they can cling to when life is hard and difficult for them. I want to know the heritage that made me who I am and who they are. How they sacrificed all so that I could have the blessings I now enjoy. Hopefully in that process I will also see my role in developing habits, attitudes, beliefs and patterns in my home that will bless my posterity for generations.
4. By learning of my ancestors, I will desire for them to receive the redeeming power of the saving ordinances. I will take their names to the temple, which means I will be going more often, learning more of his ways, and slowly becoming a little more holy.
5. I need to do as Nephi did. Record those things that are of most worth. My testimony, my spiritual experiences, my trials, heartaches and faith. I have the chance to share them with my children, but not all the time. I don’t know if I personally will be able to share it my grandchildren or great-grandchildren. What do I feel is so important that I want all of them know? I want them to know that I was the same as them. Struggling through similar trials, dealing with life experiences as they are sent my way. But I also want them to know how I made it through them. How I was made strong, and how God was the one that strengthened me, helped me, and provided the way. They won’t know it unless I write it and tell them.
As I have started to recognize these things that the spirit has been prompting me to do and the blessings that will come of it, I have caught the bug. I guess you could call it more the spirit of Elijah. I can not stop thinking about it all day long. I want to just dive in, I have ideas of memories, lessons and experiences I want to record. I have ideas of ways I want to share it with others. I have ideas for involving my children in the work. I have a desire to get my extended family involved. I have been feeling this push (which I’d like to think are lines of ancestors before me) telling me to get started. So I have.
So this is were I’m heading this year. I realized that all of my New Years resolution goals could be met by focusing on this one goal instead. A few months ago my friend emailed me about a 13 week Family History Class that they were starting up again this month and asked if I wanted to take it with her. There was no hesitation. Yes! Sign me up right now. This is what I need to be doing. We had the first class yesterday and it was amazing. It has given me a better understanding of why we need to do this work, the blessings of it, and an even stronger desire to get started.
I’ve been trying to figure out a time that I can consistently do it. In my prayers last night I expressed a desire to do it in the early morning hours, but I have had such a difficult time getting up lately. I’ve been so tired. I expressed a desire to do it then, but asked for help beyond my own in being able to wake up and get going. This morning at 4:20 a.m. I was wide awake. I hadn’t quite anticipated getting up that early… but I knew I had asked specifically for help, so I better act on it. I’ve already gotten so much done, and I still have a good hour before everyone is up for the morning. I could get used to this!
As I get started on this project, I hope to share ideas of how you can get excited and started in it as well. I want to share some thoughts from the class I am taking. She gave us permission to share all of her notes, handouts and information via online, through email, and to anyone that is interested. I am looking forward to doing that, and hoping getting you excited about recording your story as well.