Family History: Valuable Lessons That I Gained

“For we without [our ancestors] cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect” 1Family history is discovering our family members, gathering information and their stories, and preserving that information. This information will be used to perform ordinances for them in temples. Promised blessings will be given to those who engage in temple and family history work.

It is important to know about family history—and the temple ordinances. Because it is an essential part of the work of salvation, it strengthens our faith and commitment to the gospel, helps us resist temptation and draws us closer to our families.

I would like  to emphasise three things in family history work: “find, take, and teach.” By find, we mean use the FamilySearch to find the name of one or more of your ancestors or their descendants.

Then, take these names to the temple or share them with others so they can take them. Finally, teach our family and then teach others to do the same.

God’s plan is about families, symbolised by a great tree. For a tree to live and grow, it needs both roots and branches. Similarly, we need to be connected to our roots—our parents, grandparents, and other ancestors—and to our branches and descendants.

How can we start?

1)Find information

Talking with family members to learn information and stories about your ancestors. After learning and gathering information about the family members (like their names, birth dates and places, death dates and places, and other facts and stories), we must take these names to the temple and receive ordinances on their behalf. By doing Family history, we can also strengthen our relationships with our living family members.

We can establish family bonds and strengthen the love between our family members. In this sense, family history is much more than just researching names, dates, and places.

Bro. Ranjith Abraham from Gandipuram Branch, Coimbatore India District

2)Hold a Family Tree Gathering

Family commitments and expectations should be at the top of our list of priorities. They will protect our divine destiny. However, this cannot be only a one-time effort. It requires a lifetime of diligence for those who are looking for more fruitful ways to observe the Sabbath day as a family.

Family history work is important for me because it helps me identify myself; it is the best way to find who I am, where I came from, and how I came into existence. For many people, researching their family history strengthens them as they learn about their ancestors.

I was not born with a silver spoon. I wonder how my great-grandparents could buy acres of land in 1928 for Rs. 2000. Every penny was hard-earned money, out of no expectation. Everything was for the love of their family. Only a small piece of land is left over today, and I realise how lavishly we spend the amount today.  I was astonished by this, but at the same time, I am very proud of my great-grandparents for their love for family and Hard work.  I am inspired to work hard like them and love my family and posterity.

The first valuable lesson I learned from my grandparents is not to search for the path but to make your own path. Second, start right away and do not spend lavishly. Save the resources for the next generation.

What is the relationship between family history and temples?

Learning about our family history makes our love for our ancestors go beyond this finite life. We want this bond to be blessed by the Church, so Temples are great places for families to be united and sealed together as families across generations.

When Paul was teaching the principles of the resurrection to the Corinthians, he pointed out:

“Else what shall they do which are baptised for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptised for the dead?” 2

This shows that in the days of Paul, there was a practice of baptism for the dead.

The Lord encourages us as members of His Church to preserve our family history, to learn from our ancestors, and to make the necessary arrangements for them to receive the ordinances of the gospel in the temples to help them progress along the covenant path, which will bless us with an eternal family. Whenever I do my family History, I feel happy. There are numerous blessings to us when we do His work diligently.


  1. D&C 128:18
  2. 1 Cor. 15:29.