Sunday, February 8, 2015

{Guest Post by Whitney} The Blessings of Family History

Hello Blog World! I am so excited to introduce you to my dear friend Whitney from Feel my Sunlight! I love her blog so much and recently did a guest post for her too! I posted about good things to come, keeping your goals, and not giving up.  In return she is doing a post for me about Family History. My ward is doing a Family History Challenge between the Young Men and Young Women, so I thought it would be awesome to have a post from someone who knows a little bit more about it than I do. 
Hi guys!

I’m Whitney and I blog over at and I am so excited that Shelby asked me to guest post on her blog.

Shelby asked me to write about my experience with family history work. This is a topic that two years ago I would have gagged at. If someone had asked me to write about family history I would have face palmed. Nobody wants to hear about family history work… right?! That’s for old people!

I want you to imagine you are a little kid and on your way to soccer practice or dance lessons and instead of continuing along your regular route your mom pulls into the parking lot and tells you to hop out of the car because you are making a quick stop. You grumble because you want to get to practice and don’t want to be late and because you hate running errands with mom, but as you get out of the car you realize you are at a doughnut shop. You walk in and your mom tells you that you can pick out any doughnut you want. You can smell the hot doughnuts as you point to one of your favorites. The nice lady at the cash register pulls it out from behind the counter and places it into your little hands. And at that moment you realize you love running errands with mom.
This my friends, is how I feel about family history work.

About a year ago I was sitting in a Stake Conference as the Stake President stood up and began his talk about family history work. He relayed the importance of it and then began to speak about the spirit of Elijah. The Spirit of Elijah is spoken about in Malachi 4 and states that “he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.”

Now what in the world does that mean?

This scripture, for me means that the children will begin to experience the joys that come from doing family history work, and will begin to work with their parents to accomplish this great work.

My Stake President then told the bishops of the wards to call youth go serve as youth family history consultants and that the youth consultants would do a great work in hastening the work. He also said that if you are a youth and you are interested in participating, to let your bishop know that you are the one for the job.
I must have been compelled by the Holy Ghost, because being a family history consultant was not something I really wanted to do. But for whatever reason I immediately sent my bishop a text saying “I’m the one. Pick me.” He then replied saying “I already had your name on the list.”

I was called as a Youth Family History Consultant for my ward along with seven other youth. With four girls and four boys, my neighbor Spencer and I were put in charge. Me over the girls, and Spencer over the boys. And with little instruction we were told to ignite a desire in the ward to participate in and love family history.

Flash forward to now and I can’t believe how much this calling has blessed my life.

Because of this calling I was able to gain experience in public speaking. Soon after receiving my calling I was asked to teach a fifth Sunday lesson to all the adults in my ward about family history work, and on an even larger level I later asked to speak at Stake Conference. For those of you who are not familiar with the LDS church, a ward consists of a couple hundred people that meet together on a regular basis. A stake consists of several wards, and every six months all of the wards meet together at a Stake Conference. This particular conference was held at the Ogden Tabernacle that is right next to the temple. This tabernacle holds about a thousand people and just about every seat was filled that day, making it the biggest crowd I ever have, and probably ever will speak to.

This calling also taught me how to use my time wisely. Several years ago we were over at my grandma’s house and my mom noticed that my grandma had all of her scrapbooking stuff spread out over the kitchen table. My grandma had decided to create a scrapbook for each of the grandkids. My mom asked her how in the world she planned to accomplish such a huge task. My grandma said something that has stuck with me ever since then. She said that “you can accomplish anything 15 minutes at a time.” This is something I carried with me into this calling. Being a busy high school student it is hard to find time to sit down for hours and work on family history work. But by using the 15 minutes you have in between work, and school, and practice, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

This calling helped me spend less time on social media. Because of the above tactic, I have been able to spend more of my free time accomplishing great things, and less of it scrolling through meaningless tweets on twitter, and pictures of food on Pinterest.

 It has motivated me to attend the temple more often. I have been able to find 137 names of my own family that need temple work done. So subsequently I have been more motivated to set aside time to attend the temple to accomplish this work. Attending the temple has given me greater strength to resist temptation and I have also been able to bring along many friends with me to the temple, and together we have been able to become better friends as we work in serving the Lord.

I have been blessed with an increased desire to do good and to fight for what I believe. I have several ancestors that had to fight for their religion. Including one ancestor named Jacobina Wills Osborne who I like to refer to as Cinderella. She lived in Scotland and was one of the early saints who converted to the church. She badly wanted to join the saints in Utah, but her sisters didn’t want her to so they locked her in a room. She had to outwit them in order to escape. Her story, and others like hers, have inspired me to fight for what I believe in. And knowing their stories make things like speaking in front of a thousand people a little easier.

This calling has taught me that family history work can be fun! As a motivator to the ward to “get cracking on family history work” me and a few of the other consultants cracked eggs on our bishop’s head at a ward party… it can’t get more fun than that!

I have a strong testimony of the blessings that come from doing family history work. I know that as you participate in family history work, and learn about your family, you will see these blessings in your own lives and will come to love it yourself. I now know that family history work isn’t just for old people, and that everyone can benefit from family history work. 

Thanks again Shelby for letting me crash your blog! 

Until next time,
 photo whitney_zpsbenntqnl.png

Thanks for such an awesome post Whitney! 


  1. This is such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing! I just got called as a family history consultant, too! I love what you said about being able to do anything 15 minutes at a time. And 137 names? Way to go!

  2. Whitney did such an awesome job didn't she?!? Good luck, I know you will do awesome!


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