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FHE: Family History

Conference Talk:
For more information on this topic read “Temple Mirrors of Eternity: A Testimony of Family,” by Elder Gerrit W. Gong, Ensign, Nov 2010, 36.

Thought:
An eternal perspective of gospel conversion and temple covenants can help us see rich blessings in each generation of our forever families. (Elder Gerrit W. Gong, “Temple Mirrors of Eternity: A Testimony of Family,” Ensign, Nov 2010, 36.)

Song:
“Families Can Be Together Forever,” Children’s Songbook, p. 188.

Scripture:
And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers—that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect. (Doctrine and Covenants 128:15)

Lesson:
Prior to the lesson, cut out long strips of paper that can serve as chain links. You will also need markers and a stapler or tape.

Invite your family members to take a paper strip and write their name on it. Making a paper chain, have them staple or tape their link to the parents’ links. Then have them make links for their grandparents and great-grandparents as far back as you wish and connect them to the chain. Read Malachi 4:5–6 together and ask:

• What is the “great and dreadful day of the Lord”?
• As you look at our chain, who are the fathers and who are the children?
• Why do our hearts need to turn to each other before the Second Coming?

To help answer this question read together D&C 128:18. Discuss the following questions as you read:

• How is our family chain like the “welding link” the prophet spoke of?
• How does baptism for the dead link our family together? (We can be baptized for our ancestors who did not get the chance when they lived.)
• What are some other ways for our hearts to turn to our ancestors? (Genealogy, family histories, temple work.)
• According to this verse why is it so important that our family be sealed together? (We cannot get to the celestial kingdom (be made perfect) without them.

(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2009], p. 250.)

Story:
For eight years my father, Carl L. Vance, had been working on his family history.

A member of the Show Low 1st Ward, Show Low Arizona Stake, he had found most of what he needed except for the marriage certificate for his parents.

He had looked everywhere. He had even traveled to a courthouse in South Dakota to search for any kind of proof. Relatives and friends had no records either.

Some of the temple work had been done for part of his family, but still my father longed to do the sealings for his parents.

It looked like all hope was lost until July 11, 1991.

On that date, my father traveled to the county dump to unload some yard scraps.

After visiting with some men for a few minutes, my father proceeded to empty his pickup truck. He kicked some scrap lumber out of his way. Underneath one of the boards, he spied an old, dirty envelope with oil smeared across the front.

Out of curiosity, he picked it up and saw a return address of Pierre, S.D., the county in which his parents had lived.

On the envelope there was no address to which the letter might have been sent. The labeling had been torn off, but the postmark date was March 8, 1987.

Excited about finding something from his home state, he opened the envelope, which had already been partially opened, and pulled out its contents.

To my father's disbelief, inside was his parents' certificate for which he had been searching for eight years.

What my father had prayed, hoped for and wished for was right there in his hands at the county landfill.

Amid all the rubbish, he found a treasure that would make it possible for my grandparents to be sealed together and to establish that vital link that would connect our family with generations of ancestors through the eternities.

(Polly Adams, “Family History Moments: Junkyard Treasure,” LDS Church News, June 6, 1992.)

Activity:
Talk about the countries your ancestors come from. Learn something about the geography or culture of one of them.

Refreshment:
Almond Rice Pudding

2 cups milk
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup blanched almonds, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 tablespoons sugar
Dash salt
2 cups whipping cream, whipped
Fruit sauce of your choice

Bring milk to a boil over medium-high heat in a heavy saucepan. Add rice and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, until rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Dissolve gelatin in cold water in a small bowl; stir into rice, along with the chopped almonds, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Cool slightly. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into bowl. Refrigerate. Serve with cold fruit sauce, such as cherry sauce or Danish Dessert made according to package directions. Makes 8 servings.

(Lion House Christmas, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2006], p. 105.)

*For a printable pdf, click here.
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