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February 28, 2007

President Monson speaks on Genealogy

I found a wonderful article from President Thomas S. Monson in the February 1994 Ensign. It is called The Key of Faith and he talks about Family History Work, which he says is probably one of the most misunderstood programs in the Church. It has a great message about our duties as Latter-Day Saints. Here is an excerpt:

President Hugh B. Brown declared to a group of us when the Priesthood Genealogy Committee was first organized that missionary work is going forward in the spirit world at an accelerated pace, compared to how it is going forward in our earthly existence. Then he quoted the statement of President Joseph F. Smith, indicating that all those who have not had an opportunity in mortality to hear the everlasting gospel are hearing it now:

“This gospel revealed to the Prophet Joseph is already being preached to the spirits in prison, to those who have passed away from this stage of action into the spirit world without the knowledge of the gospel. Joseph Smith is preaching that gospel to them. So is Hyrum Smith. So is Brigham Young, and so are all the faithful apostles that lived in this dispensation under the administration of the Prophet Joseph.”

And as President Smith indicated in 1916:

“Through our efforts in their behalf their chains of bondage will fall from them, and the darkness surrounding them will clear away, that light may shine upon them and they shall hear in the spirit world of the work that has been done for them by their children here, and will rejoice with you in your performance of these duties.”

I like that word, duty. He did not say “rejoice with you in the fulfillment of an assignment, in response to a calling.” He said, “In your performance of these duties.”

The person who is working on his or her family history fits the description of one who is fulfilling his or her duty. I know the effort, I know the expense, I know the difficulties through which one may go to uncover one name. I know our Heavenly Father is aware of these efforts. And those for whom we perform sacred ordinances are aware of our efforts. Oftentimes, in a miraculous way, there shall appear before us a clear pathway through a field of turbulence.

February 21, 2007

Canada Heritage Day - 3 Free Days at Ancestry

A lot of people have posted about the 3 free days of Ancestry.ca. I signed up for mine this past weekend and have enjoyed it, so I wanted to let others know that you still have some time until the end of February. This offer is a celebration of Heritage Day in Canada. An explanation of this holiday and offer found at Ancestry.ca follows:

Established in 1973, Heritage Day was created to preserve and promote Canada's nationally significant, historic, natural and scenic heritage. Celebrated the third Monday of February, it's an opportunity to reflect on the people, events and places in history that have contributed to who we are as a nation, and who we are as individuals. It's also a great time to think about our ancestors.

An important part of who we are today consists of the traditions, habits, values, and even the genetics of our ancestors. Each one has contributed something to make you who you are today. As part of Heritage Day, we're celebrating all of their contributions - the good, the bad and even the ugly. Enjoy 3 days of free access so you can get to know them... you may be surprised to discover where you come from.

Ancestry's offers tend to last longer than they say. I signed up on Friday and just lost access today on Wednesday. My only Canadian research at the moment is in Prince Edward Island. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't find more information on PEI at Ancestry, but at least I tried. Their 1851 Canadian Census doesn't include PEI, and their other censuses, 1901 and 1911, can be found elsewhere. I use Automated Genealogy to access the indexes for 1901 and 1911 for free.

Well, the offer is good for one more week, so check it out. They seem to have a lot of information in Ontario.

February 20, 2007

Beta 2 Testing Begins for the new Family Search

According to Renee Zamora's blog, the beta 2 testing has begun! Renee said that 3,000 people were chosen out of 19,000 applicants and unfortunately I don't think I was one of them. Renee posted on Sunday evening and had been looking at the new Family Search all day. I haven't received an email either way, but am assuming I'm out of the running.

So check Renee's blog often for updates.

February 14, 2007

Rumors of a new PAF

Anyone who uses PAF software might be interested in a few recent posts by Dan Hanks and Ben Crowder. The church is supposedly working on a new record manager that could take the place of PAF.

Also, Dan Hanks said that a presenter for the church had great confidence the new FamilySearch would be released this year. They've got 10 months left, and counting! Still no news back from the survey I took to see if I would qualify for beta testing 2.

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