Someone Up There Loves You

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Someone Up There Loves You

Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign Jan. 1977 (Excerpts from his article)

There somehow seems to be the feeling that genealogical work is an all-or-nothing responsibility. Genealogical work is another responsibility for every Latter-day Saint. And we may do it successfully along with all the other callings and responsibilities that rest upon us.

The bishop can do it without neglecting his flock. A stake missionary can do it without abandoning his mission. A Sunday School teacher can accomplish it without forgetting his lesson. A Relief Society president can do it without forsaking her sisters.

You can fulfill your obligation to your kindred dead and to the Lord without forsaking your other Church callings. You can do it without abandoning your family responsibilities. You can do this work. You can do it without becoming a so-called “expert” in it. …

Most of us really don’t understand the procedures, but somehow we sense that it is an inspired, spiritual work.

We may never have done any and may not really know how to get started. We just don’t quite know how to take hold of it, or where to begin.  …

There is a way that it can be done. And there is a place to begin. You don’t need to begin with the pedigree charts or the stacks of forms, or the blank spaces, or the numbers, the procedures, or the regulations. You can begin with you, with who you are and with what you have right now.

It is a matter of getting started. You may come to know the principle that Nephi knew when he said, “And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.” (1 Ne. 4:6.)

If you don’t know where to start, start with yourself. If you don’t know what records to get, and how to get them, start with what you’ve got.

If you can start with what you’ve got and with what you know, it’s a little hard to refuse to begin genealogical work. And it may be spiritually dangerous to delay it too long. …

Several years ago Sister Packer and I determined that we should get our records in order. However, Under the pressure of Church responsibilities with my travels about the world, and the obligations with our large family and a home to keep up both indoors and outdoors, there just was not enough time. We were restless and finally determined that we would have to make more time in the day.

So during the Christmas holidays, when we had a little extra time, we started. Then as we moved back to a regular schedule after the holidays, we adopted the practice of getting up an hour or two earlier each day.

We gathered everything we had together and in the course of a few weeks we were amazed at what we were able to accomplish. The thing that was most impressive, however, was the fact that we began to have experiences that told us somehow that we were being guided, that there were those beyond the veil who were interested in what we were doing. Things began to fall into place.

As we have traveled about the Church and paid particular attention to this subject, many testimonies have come to light. Others who assemble their records together are having similar experiences. It was as though the Lord was waiting for us to begin.

We found things we had wondered about for a long time. It seemed as though they came to us almost too easily. More than this, things that we never dreamed existed began to show up. We began to learn by personal experience that this research into our families is an inspired work. We came to know that an inspiration will follow those who move into it. It is just a matter of getting started.

There is an old Chinese proverb which states, “Man who sit with legs crossed and mouth open, waiting for roast duck to fly in, have long hunger!”

Once we started, we found the time. Somehow we were able to carry on all of the other responsibilities. There seemed to be an increased inspiration in our lives because of this work.

But we must decide, and the Lord will not tamper with our agency. If we want a testimony of genealogical and temple work, we must go about doing something about it.

Someone paraphrased the proverb this way. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. But with all thy getting, get going! Here is an example of what happens when you do. …

Things began to emerge once we got to work. We still are not, by any means, experts in genealogical research. We are, however, dedicated to our family. And it is my testimony that if we start where we are, each of us with ourselves, with such records as we have, and begin putting those in order, things will fall into place as they should.

So, go get started now! Find a cardboard box and put it in the way and begin to put things in it, and as the things unfold you will sense something spiritual happening and not be too surprised.

There is an expression common among nonmembers of the Church when some unusual good fortune befalls a person. They respond with, “Someone up there likes me,” and credit to some divine providence the good thing that has come into their lives.

You won’t get very far in putting together your own records and writing your own history until you find things put in your way that could not have been put there by accident, and you are compelled to say, generally to yourself, “Someone over there wants this work done and he is helping me.”

“Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? … Let us, therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple … a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.” (D&C 128:22–23, 24.)

© 2011 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

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