Coco: Family History
When Disney’s Coco came out in November 2017, it was impossible for Latter-day Saints to watch it without thinking of their responsibility to seek out their ancestors. Amidst its bright colors and inspiring music, Coco teaches us that families through the generations truly are forever.
In order for the deceased characters in the movie to visit the Land of the Living on the Day of the Dead, their living descendants must remember them and place a photo of them on their family’s ofrenda. If their descendants forget them altogether, they disappear into nothingness, never to be seen again.
Just as the deceased characters in the movie rely on their descendants to remember them, our ancestors are counting on us to remember them too. When we research the lives of our ancestors, we are able to perform saving ordinances by proxy for them in the temple, allowing them to choose to accept or reject these ordinances. Ultimately, this allows them to be sealed to us as an eternal family linked together through the generations.
At the 2018 RootsTech conference, Elder Bradley D. Foster said,
“When we know who we are in relationship to God and to one another in family connections, we act differently, we think differently, and we treat others differently. And the movie Coco was a beautiful illustration of that. When Miguel discovered who he really was, not who he thought he was, and the connection he had, then he acted differently, and it healed wounds that were deep.”
The connections Miguel makes with his ancestors not only bless them in the afterlife, they also bless Miguel’s relationship with his family back in mortality. Hearts are mended, the past is more clearly understood, and Miguel’s parents are able to support his passion for music in a way they were never able to before.
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In his conference talk, “Family History Work: Sealing and Healing," Elder Dale G. Renlund lists several powerful blessings promised to those who engage in family history work:
“. . . Increased family blessings, no matter our current, past, or future family situation or how imperfect our family tree may be;
“Increased love and appreciation for ancestors and living relatives, so we no longer feel alone;
“Increased power to discern that which needs healing and thus, with the Lord’s help, serve others;
“. . . Increased assistance to mend troubled, broken, or anxious hearts and make the wounded whole.”
As we remember our ancestors, we strengthen and bless all of our family relationships—past, present, and future.