Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August Area Family History Newsletter

Check out this wonderful Family History Newsletter published by our Area Family History Consultants. The newsletter is 10 pages long and has lots of good information and several great links that will you take you to temple videos and other useful family history sites. Below you can view two of the ten pages but to read the full newsletter click here: Family History Newsletter

Friday, July 4, 2014

Capture the Flag & The Spirit of Elijah

Guest contributor - Paul Otto

Recently, I have felt a renewed pull toward family history and temple work. Over the past month, I’ve had several opportunities to testify of the importance of family history work as I shared the June home teaching message. I also felt impressed to review Elder Cook’s General Conference talk “Roots and Branches” during a family home evening lesson. As part of the activity portion of our FHE, we went to the high school football field and played capture the flag. At the end, I drew my family together at the center of the field and explained how the game related to the lesson. We discussed what it felt like to be stuck in “jail” and unable to play.  We also talked about how it felt to be tagged out of jail and to be able to play again. I spoke of our ancestors who are stuck in spirit prison waiting to be “tagged out” by one of us through our family history efforts and performing ordinances in their behalf. I read to them (by the light of my phone) about our opportunity to do for our ancestors what they cannot do for themselves, as Christ has done for us.

As I taught Elder Cook’s message, I felt that there is a greater meaning to the eternal nature of family than I had previously understood. I felt that family on the other side of the veil continues to intervene and petition the Lord for family on this side of the veil. I loved what Elder Nelson said that the Spirit of Elijah is really the Spirit testifying of the divinity of family.

These experiences of reading, testifying, and remembering previous promptings and experiences with family history led me to feel a sense of concern that perhaps my ancestors were currently doing more for me than I have been doing for them. The thought of facing them when I enter the spirit world and perhaps learning of their loving acts in my behalf, while I was here on earth, motivated me to act.

I’ve been spending time most evenings adding ancestors to FamilySearch. Because I was the first to join the church in my family, there is a lot of temple work to be done. Last week I was able to perform 15 initiatory ordinances for male family members. This week I found five family members whose names and information I previously had not known. Janet and I have been spending time with our kids on Sundays helping them find ancestors and hoping they’ll catch the Spirit of Elijah as well.

I continue to feel that there is more to learn about the sacred nature of families. I believe the work of salvation is really hastening. I believe the increase in temples on the earth is not only for the convenience of the living but also due to the pace of the work on the other side of the veil. I believe that miracles are happening in this work!

Paul Otto and his family live and work in St. Johns, Arizona.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Thing Called - PUZZILLA

Not too long ago, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints introduced a new program called Puzzilla. You can access it through FamilySearch but it has it's own address:

Here is a description of what Puzzilla can do for you.
"Looking for new relatives to take to the temple? Is your pedigree picked over? Is there really no work left for you and your family to do? The Descendants Viewer lets you see hundreds of descendants of your ancestors from an aerial view using compact symbols to reveal patterns of incomplete research. You can pick up where prior research left off. Click on a pedigree ancestor and Puzzilla will show you their descendants, revealing holes where research might uncover spouses, children, and generations of relatives waiting for you to find them."
This chart, created by Puzzilla, shows me at the bottom and my 4th great-grandfather, Olaf Olfson Ahlbom at the top of the chart, nine places over from the left.

This chart was created by selecting Olaf Olfson Ahlbom and having Puzzilla create a descendant chart that shows all of his descendants.
Puzzilla - This link will take you to a video that demonstrates what Puzzilla can do for you. Just three minutes long. This is really cool!

Find our Cousins - This link will take you to a talk given by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He gave this address at the Family Discovery Day devotional for youth in conjunction with the RootsTech Family History Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, on February 8, 2014.

Here is a quote from his talk: "These are your days. You were born in a time of temples and technology. These are your days to more fully turn your hearts to your fathers and bring these saving ordinances to millions within our families. These are your days to prepare for the Second Coming of the Savior."

Puzzilla is a great tool for finding missing cousins and linking our families together. I invite you to learn about this new program and give it a try. You just might find a missing cousin for whom you can do their temple work.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Keep Me, Protect Me, Share Me, and I Will Live Forever

This photograph of my great-great grandfather Holmes and his
family has been handed down for several generations. His 
living posterity is numbered in the hundreds. How many of
his posterity would love to view and have copies of this picture?
How important is it for me to keep, protect and share?
"Elder Russell M. Nelson has taught that the Spirit of Elijah is "a manifestation of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the divine nature of the family" ("A New Harvest Time," Ensign, May 1998, 34). This distinctive influence of the Holy Ghost draws people to identify, document, and cherish their ancestors and family members - both past and present.

After General Conference we stayed tuned-in to watch several Mormon Message videos. One that really struck us was titled, Preserve Your Photos And Family Memories. The message is that we need to keep our family photographs, protect our family photographs and probably the most important one; share our family photographs. When we do these things, our loved ones and our ancestors will live forever in our memories. Part of the Work of Salvation includes the formation of binding ties to our ancestors. One way of growing closer to our ancestors is by reading their histories and viewing their photographs. Be involved in this great work by keeping, protecting and sharing photographs and stories or your loved ones. I invite you to consider what you might have hidden in drawers and boxes that could be shared with others. Start making plans for how you can share them now.

This is a wonderful video that can touch our hearts and help us to
 start protecting, keeping and sharing our precious memories.


Click here to view on YouTube: Link to video

THE NEXT STEP - Click here: How to get started saving photographs on FamilySearch

Monday, March 31, 2014

Area Family History Newsletter for April

Follow the link below to read the Temple Dedicatory Prayers of the Mesa Arizona, Snowflake Arizona, Gila Valley and Gilbert Arizona Temples.

Click here: Area Family History Newsletter

Friday, March 28, 2014

Stolen Pictures and Tender Mercies

The Ream Mansion
Facebook Page
 In Dingle, Idaho sits a beautiful old house (the Ream Mansion - that's what we call it) built at the turn of the 19th century. It was built by my great-grandfather William Dewine Ream. In one room, a photograph of William's parents hung on the wall. In another room, pictures of his wife's parents were displayed. In the 1960's and 1970's the home was not occupied. As a result, it was broken into several times over a 20 year period. Many of the family heirlooms, furniture and pictures were stolen. The photograph of William Dewine Ream's parents (Sampson Mitchell Ream and Nancy Elizabeth Murphin) was one of the items lost to thievery. It was a sad loss for the family.

Children & spouses of William Dewine Ream.
The stolen picture and frame on the wall.
One day we were looking through some old photographic slides of my Grandparents, William Wesley Ream and Mary Sirrine's 50th wedding anniversary celebration. Part of the celebration took place in the Ream Mansion. And there it was, the lost stolen picture, hanging on the wall above my grandpa's head. The anniversary photo was taken in 1964, shortly before the picture was stolen. The picture was enlarged, cropped and printed. An important family picture once lost had been restored from a little slide packed away and forgotten.

Nancy Elizabeth Murphin and Sampson Mitchell Ream

Although it would have been far better to have never lost the original picture, we were extremely excited and very blessed to have found the slide containing the picture of Samson and Nancy Ream. We are truly thankful for the tender mercies of the Lord.