by Ralph and Linda Miller, Area FH Advisers for the northern part of New England
Young people have the opportunity to complete projects to gain experience with family history and following the spirit. Young men and women can start on potentially life-changing or life-enriching experiences. One of the difficulties is finding interesting, modest projects that won’t take their entire life but will yield significant results. Here are a few thoughts that you could share with YM/YW leaders, families and youth.
- Learn about one of your ancestors. What were they like? What challenges did they face? What blessings do you have because of them? Record a faith-promoting or inspirational experience of one of your relatives (parent, grandparents, uncle, etc.). Write how that experience strengthens you.
- Begin a book of remembrance. Get a binder with divider tabs for pedigree charts, family group sheets, biographies, pictures. Also include your patriarchal blessing and your testimony (date it). Begin your personal history (life story).
- Index for 30 minutes each day for 4 weeks. Record the number of names indexed and describe what you learned during this experience.
- Prepare a talk about an inspirational experience of one of your ancestors (could be parent or further back). Write it neatly and put it in your scriptures for reference as an “instant talk.”
- Interview one of your parents or grandparents about how they received their testimony. Write it down and put it in your Book of Remembrance or scriptures.
- Download Personal Ancestral File (PAF) from the www.familysearch.org website. Create a picture pedigree, starting with yourself. Seek help from your extended family in getting pictures (headshots) of your family going back as many generations as you can. Experiment with several printing formats (PAF helps you do this) – try four generations, five generations, and see what difference it makes when you check the “allow last generation to split.” Print out the picture pedigree you like best and put it in your scriptures and/or your book of remembrance.
- Identify a deceased relative who needs temple ordinances and use New FamilySearch to prepare that person’s name to take to the temple. (Your ward family history consultant can help you do this.) Then go to the temple to be baptized for that person. Have someone take your picture near the temple door holding the temple card. Write your feelings about the experience in your journal