Loaf is still little and can't read very well. Handing her a copy of The Book of Mormon or any scripture is probably the least effective way I can teach her about the valuable lessons within its pages. In fact, that is not how we teach children in general. We create special classes, whether in school or church, set aside just for them where they can learn at their own pace and understanding. We start with the stories and people within the scriptures. Things they can relate to and learn from to help them in their lives. We show them beautiful art and create simple projects to reinforce the stories and people they hear about. We teach them songs and poems until they have a love and begin their relationship with the Savior.
It's simple and meaningful. Today my profound love of Christ was a result of this kind of teaching. Today I love to pour through the scriptures finding peace and strength within the words. The language and people are dear to me because of someone, many someones, took the time to teach me the stories and instill in me a love and relationship for my Savior and Redeemer.
The same is true with family history. I can hand and have given Loaf a family group sheet. She drew pretty pictures on the paper, but it held no real significance to her. It doesn't for most people. They are just names and dates, although important it's not until we come to know and love the people who are attached to the names that these connections have significance.
She loves to hear the stories, they all love the stories. She loves to see the photos and is slowly learning and building a relationship with her ancestors. I didn't realize this was an essential part of family history until now, perhaps because I never really understood family history. All these years I have been teaching my children about the people that came before them. Simple things that I thought would help them as they had a struggle or because they events were funny. When my girls got older, I started to understand the impact of knowing their ancestors had on them. They have shared with me meaningful and sacred experiences with their forefathers.
Today I reflect on all the thousands of hours my grandmother poured over microfilm and microfiche. Her closet is filled with volumes of group sheets and notebooks containing the names and dates of thousands of our ancestors. Hers was a labor of love, and her example inspires not only me but my children to appreciate all that she has done to build our family tree. Today family history looks different for me than for her. Imagine what she could have done with the resources available to us. With the ease and a click of a button from my home, I can access millions of documents that can help tell our story.
Today family history, our stories, come from our online photo library, Instagram, FamilySearch app, etc. We still gather around and love the physical photos, albums, and books. They are treasured, but I find myself looking for new ways to incorporate those simple stories into our lives. Today I will spend a little more time remembering how important our stories are to record.
Today I learned and gained a love for a person whose face I will never see because of genealogical work I am do searching census records and such, but that only happened because someone taught me the stories first. Today my heart is overflowing with love for the people that came before me and those that will come after for we are connected in a way I am just beginning to understand.