Why are we drawn to the past?
What is it that causes us to reflect and want to know more? We savor old photos found; stories from our ancestors' lives build a bridge in our hearts of who we are and where we came from. Candice Stringham, who took these darling photos for us a few years ago, recently said, " I collect vintage photos because I'm always sad that these people have no loved ones to cherish their memory."
I loved her sentiment. Remembering those who lived before us, acknowledging their lives.
I am interested in the simple things of my grandparents and great grandparents, questions I would love to ask them and have no way of knowing. I think this is one of the reasons I blog and keep a journal. I am probably on the other extreme and my children and grandchildren will have more information than they will ever want, but perhaps there will be something small that I say that will touch their hearts, help them feel loved, and buoy them up during a hard time.
Today will be the past and what I do today matters.
Our children are very fortunate to come from families that keep and have kept a written heritage. We have books on our shelves that contain their words and experiences. It makes my heart happy to see them reading about their ancestors and sharing their lives. They find similar traits and strength in their trials.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks in our stake conference said, "We can not let the world define who we are and insist upon it. " (January 2008). I think knowing where we come from helps us understand who we really are. Last year Kim Weistberg, in 2012 at the Story at Home Conference, said, "Our youth are being bombarded with a false sense of identity." She talked about how important it is for us to teach our children the experiences that shaped our ancestors.
This is what drives us as a family to seek out our ancestors; to search microfilm looking for that one person who will link families. This is the reason that 70,000+ missionaries are out preaching the world of God, hoping to help another person feel that connection and link their families into an eternal round.
"Do you young people want a sure way to eliminate the influence of the adversary in your life? Immerse yourself in searching for your ancestors, prepare their names for the sacred vicarious ordinances available in the temple, and then go to the temple to stand as proxy for them to receive the ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. As you grow older, you will be able to participate in receiving the other ordinances as well. I can think of no greater protection from the influence of the adversary in your life." (Elder Richard G. Scott, "The Joy of Redeeming the Dead", General Conference, October 2012)