“That same God who has ordained baptism for the dead, and who has commanded the believers in this generation to be baptized for them, will in due time, when we have done all we can in searching out our genealogies, reveal to us the chain so that we shall find our fathers, no matter how many generations…(Orson Pratt, JD 16:300)
In the Spirit of the Fast, with it being Fast and Testimony day, I thought I would do the same online with regards to my latest manifestation.
Here are two quotes with relation to family history work. Particularly, after you have done your homework and gone to the limit of your capacity, the door will be opened and a little more revealed. Sometimes, the floods even fall into your lap.
“It is your duty now to rise up, all of you, and trace your genealogies, and begin to exercise the powers which belong to saviors of men, and when you do this in earnest, you will begin to comprehend how widespread, how numerous your ancestors are for whom Temple work has to be performed, in order that they may be brought into the fold; and when you get stopped, the Lord will reveal further information to you;” (George Q Cannon, JD 22:130)
While in Virginia, I spent a considerable amount of time in the Family History Library. I taught my classes there, helped people do research, and spent many, many days pouring through books for familiar names and information. Often I would borrow a book from the library for the week and through the week go through the entire book pulling out information on possible relatives. In doing so, I really opened up a number of families for which I found nothing on the internet or anywhere else.
However, in doing so, I ended up with a whole host of what I call floaters. Those individuals who I was pretty sure linked into the families I already had in the file, but I had no real information to tie them in. For example, going through a marriage registry book gives only the names of the couple, and typically the father of the bride who gave bond. I had a whole host of couple’s floating. In about a dozen couples, the bride’s father’s name was Joseph Martin. I had more than 30 Joseph Martin’s in my file and to try and link them to one was nearly impossible without more help.
Since I knew my time was limited in Virginia and the resources of the library, I would often take any individual with a relative’s name. For example, every Graham, Martin, Meredith, and other families I ran across their information went into my file. While this was highly successful with the Meredith line in tying the families together, it was much less so with the Martin’s due to their sheer number. Martinsville, Virginia, obviously founded by Martin’s has at least 3 major Martin families who in all branch throughout Virginia and North Carolina.
Just this past month I was wondering how in the world I was going to connect these floaters in my file. It just happened to be that I received a couple of e-mails that led to my receiving a packet in the mail. The history report for an 8th grader on Revolutionary Soldier and founder of Martinsville, Joseph Martin. Who would have ever known an 8th grader would write such a concise and researched document. I tied my 30+ Joseph Martin’s together in such a way that I am down to 10! All of those floaters whose father’s name was Joseph Martin are gone. In my mind, it is a miracle.
The mere fact that information which so perfectly fit my scenario is in my hands is the work of the Lord. As I connected link after link, that is what was running through my mind. “This is the hand of the Lord which has brought this to pass.”
Surely, the hand of the Lord is over this work. This I surely know, and only witnessed to again through this manifestation. There are an endless host of such experiences. If it were not for the Spirit witnessing this fact to me, just the mere coincidence of so many genealogical research puzzle pieces coming together in my life is near impossible.
I know the work is alive and vibrant. It all depends on how much we wish to be engaged in it. The more engaged, the greater the blessings for us and those who we also serve. It is an endless circle.