Friday, 1 August 2014 was the fourth and final day of the BYU Family History & Genealogy Conference. I didn't take as many pictures today, but I did get a chance to capture all the presenter's pictures from the classes I attended.
There was such a wonderful variety of classes to attend at this conference that it's really hard to recap them all. What I want to leave with you are my personal thoughts.
Elder Paul F. Koelliker in his keynote planted a question that ran through my head all during the conference and afterwards. "What is it going to take to move the body of the saints? What will it take to move the majority of the members of the church from going to the temple to do ordinance work for names at the temple, to them bringing the names to the temple?"
He said "At the heart of change is our love for our family and the desire to do the father's will. It is on our shoulders to do this work. To teach others. We must obtain personal knowledge and share our knowledge with others."
While I attended the conference I saw terrible things happening around the world. Surely we live in trying times. Yet in my safe little corner, trying to learn and do the father's will of redeeming my kindred dead, I found peace. I saw that the Lord is in control. He is hastening his work and providing inspiration. Amazing technological advancements have happened during my life time, and there is so much more to come. As the pace is quickening around the world in the final scenes of our existence, there is an amazing race to gather the records of humankind. It doesn't matter who is providing the records or where we are putting them, what matters is we are doing it.
David Rencher gave an over-view of the role The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has played in family history work. I stand in awe how FamilySearch through its partnerships has quickened the pace of preserving records around the world and making them available to us. FamilySearch understands we don't care where the records are, just that we want access to them.
David Rencher's in his keynote address related how he took a VIP group through the Ogden Temple Open House. It is a beautiful edifice, the craftsmanship is the best that humans can do. He knew there was an unseen element of scrap left over in its construction, but all he saw was a beautiful building. He reminded us that the duplication of ordinances (our scrap) is the price we are paying to produce the beautiful family history of humankind and to see that the work is done.
Using that example he said we need to let beginners get involved. We need to help teach them, but let them learn through trial and error. They will get things wrong, but they will grow and learn to do things right. We need to not worry about the mistakes and duplication that happens. The important thing to remember that even though the goal is to have the most accurate lineage link data of humankind on the planet, time in the temple is never wasted. Rencher said he watched individuals not of our faith during the temple tour sit in the celestial room and openly weep. That just touched my heart.
He said, the brethren are clear on this point, even though we may by accident be performing ordinances for someone that has already had their work done, that time in the temple is not wasted. President Thomas S. Monson's message of Hastening the Work in the June 2014 Ensign said: "We are going to make mistakes, but none of us can become an expert in family history work without first being a novice. Therefore, we must plunge into this work, and we must prepare for some uphill climbing."
Rencher said, "We are here at the conference to continue to climb that upward hill. We come to learn, or see if there is something better, or a better place to climb to find information we so intently desire. We learn the ways to advance this work."
I testify that I did learn ways to advance this work while attending the BYU Family History & Genealogy Conference. The most important thing I came home with was the understanding that its OK if beginners make mistakes. My fear of making sure people "got how to do genealogy right" made me paralyzed in trying to explain what I knew from a lifetime of doing it. It is so hard for me to explain how my heart has turned in this matter. We need to teach to their hearts and then the learning will come through their desire to do it better. The element of scrap while constructing the Family Tree will one day be swept clean. Trust in the Lord he knows what he is doing.
See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!