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Branching Out on Your Family Tree

There was an excellent article titled, Branching Out on Your Family Tree, in last month's Ensign. It was written by George D. Durrant and gives wonderful insight into family research. I've met many people who only seem to care about their direct ancestors. This article is from a grandparents' perspective on wanting every descendant included. Here is an excerpt:

I remember, as a grandfather, having a picture taken of our family. Like other grandparents, I did not want a single descendant left out. What a task it was to arrange everyone’s schedule so we could all be in the same place at the same time. But it was worth it.

I think that is how most families feel. Grandparents love their children and grandchildren. They want to spend eternity with them. So why wouldn’t our ancestors feel the same way about their posterity? I think they would.

As Latter-day Saints, we have the priesthood power to provide temple ordinances that can seal families together forever. So just as my grandparents didn’t want to leave even one of their children or grandchildren out of the family portrait, they wouldn’t want to leave even one of them out of their eternal family.

Yet as we reach back through time on our pedigree, we sometimes provide the saving ordinances for only one child of each couple on our pedigree chart—the child who is our direct ancestor. We seal that child to his or her parents, but we forget about the rest of the children in that family. We leave our ancestral families like an incomplete family portrait with many empty spaces.

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