Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause?

Hola! Guess What??????

I have 4 weeks left! Count them! Uno, dos, tres, cautro!!!!


I guess it's time to update how I'm doing on my missionary goals:

Goal #1: Read all four standard works before my mission.

FINISHED!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The scriptures are true! I learned so much and I'm so glad I have the scriptures! They are the word of God and of infinite worth!

Goal #2: Learn Spanish

I'll admit it, I've been slacking! I need to do so much more Spanish! I honestly thought I'd never have to learn Spanish. Boy, was I wrong!

On a side note, you think about how Joseph Smith had to learn Ancient American to translate the plates, but did Moroni have to learn English before he visited Joseph Smith on September 21st, 1823? Would people like Alma, Daniel, Moses, or Aaron have to learn English in order to teach my ancestors in the Spirit World? I mean, I know Spanish will come in handy after my mission, but I really believe that great things await me, greater than I'll ever know.

Goal #3: Go to the temple!

I am now endowed! Yay!

Me after becoming endowed. 
And guess what? The second time I ever went to do a session, I did it in behalf of Filomena Fortannascere, my great great grandmother!!!!! I have no shortage of relatives I can do the work for!

On a side note, I've also done a session in Spanish. It was hard, but AMAZING!

Goal #4: Do More Family History

Yesterday, I was reading 1st Nephi 3. You all know it (or if you don't, I invite you to know it:

Remember when Nephi says "I will go and do the thing the Lord commands?" What was this thing the Lord commands? Backtrack to verses 3 and 4.

For behold, Laban hath the record of the Jews and also a genealogy of my forefathers, and they are engraven upon plates of brass.
Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brothers should go unto the house of Laban, and seek the records, and bring them down hither into the wilderness.
Seek the records! What were these records? The scriptures and his genealogy! The scripture we all love and call upon when we struggle is about being obedient to the call to seek out our genealogy (and the scriptures;)

When my dad joined the church, there were maybe two temples east of the mississippi river in the states at least. Now, temples seem to be popping up left and right! Why? 

Because it's all part of the hastening of the work! 

More people than ever are accepting the gospel on this side of the veil. 

Don't you believe that more people than ever must be accepting the gospel on the other side of the veil too? Those missionaries in the Spirit World are like ours here: their numbers are the greatest they've ever been! They're working tirelessly to bring souls to Christ! When someone accepts, they can't just "be baptized" like our investigators on our side of the veil. They have to wait for their name to reach the temple, and in many cases, they have to wait for their descendants to go and do the work for them! 

In the words of President Kimball, "It is VITAL that we serve them!"

Joseph Smith said the greatest work we could ever do was to preach the gospel. It has also been said in the church that the greatest work is to seek out our dead and bring their names to the temple! How can both of these be the greatest?

In the words of President Boyd K. Packet, "they're the same work!"

If you are despairing that you feel you can't do missionary work, you can! Talk to your friends and neighbors. In the words of Preach My Gospel, talk to everyone!

But more than that, can you imagine if you had a family member in jeopardy? What would you do to rescue them? Would you go to the ends of the earth? Would you lay down your life for them?

I think we can learn from the example of Naaman in the Old Testament. Naaman was a leper who was willing to go the ends of the earth to cleanse his leprosy. But when the prophet sent a messenger to tell him to wash in the river Jordan seven times, he was offended and he wouldn't do it. One of his servants asked him, "Naaman, if you would do something big, why won't you do something little?" Naaman was humbled and went and washed seven times in the river. He was clean.

We would often go to the ends of the earth for our children, can you imagine your ancestor wondering why you won't do a simple google search for them? Don't let them wonder.

Remember, family history work and missionary work both need to be hastened! Family History work is missionary work! There are more temples than ever because we needed to be prepared for all the people who would accept the gospel on the other side of the veil! Take your family to the temple!

Today, I had a conversation with a random stranger. His name was Carl. Carl and I are both descendants of Popke Popma and Pieterje De Beor. I found out that Carl was a convert to the church, he and his wife had served a mission, and his grandson is on a mission right now. How amazing is it that? This is the Lord's work!

Did you know that when Joseph Smith said, "Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause?" he was speaking in reference to baptism for the dead?

That was something I learned whilst reading all four standard works. It all fits together.

Tips From My Own Family History Research:

  1. FamilySearch & vs. Google: FamilySearch and tend to be more general, things like censuses, whereas doing a google search you can find a lot of websites very specific to certain areas. When you do a Google Search, type in the name of the place and "genealogy" or "family history" after it. Here are a few that have really helped me:
  2. Talk to your relatives! They know a lot!
  3. When you can, always try to look at the original document and not the indexed file. Many times, there are things on the original document, such as occupation, cause of death, birthplace of parents, etc, that won't be on the indexed file.
  4. Many records are NOT indexed, sadly, but are online in the form of "browse images" Basically, you have to go page by page. It's tedious, but SO WORTH IT! If you are doing this, go to the back and look for an index first, many of these have some kind of index.
  5. PRAY and have HOPE! Know that when someone accepts the Gospel, God prepares a way for them to receive exaltation. The more ready your ancestor is for baptism, the easier it will be to find them!
I know this Church is True! In the name of Jesus, my Lord and Master, Amen!