Bonus: Would You Be Friends with Your Ancestors? (with Lisa Valentine Clark)

Thu Dec 01 14:50:51 EST 2022

Here’s a joke: What did the pickle do when it won the championship? He just stood there to relish the moment. If you’re wondering what a pickle joke has to do with family history, just a wait a minute. Miya and Michelle invited Latter-day Saint comedian and actress Lisa Valentine

Clark to discuss An American Pickle, a movie all about family history. And just like the movie, Miya, Michelle, and Lisa all ask the question, “Would you be friends with your great-great-grandparents?” and discuss how that answer may be more complicated than we think.


Michelle 0:00

All right, I got a really awesome joke but I'm also like embarrassed to tell this joke.

Miya 0:06

No, I want to hear it really

Michelle 0:07

awesome. Okay. What did the pickle do when it won the championship?

Miya 0:13

What did he do?

Michelle 0:14

He just stood there to relish the moment. So I know you're like, What are you talking about? Did you just open your podcast with a pickle joke?

Miya 0:26

A Family History podcast? Yeah, with the pickle joke?

Michelle 0:29

What the heck?

Miya 0:30

Who does that? We do that.

Michelle 0:34

What the heck do pickles have to do with family history? Like, are we insane? Like if we could literally take anything and just relate to family history? Like I think...

Miya 0:43

Well, we've done that so far with every episode.

Michelle 0:46

So we're pushing our limits here. Yeah.

Miya 0:48

Okay. Yeah. And it reminds me of that movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which is one of my favorite rom coms. The father in the show, he always says, give me a word. And I'll tell you how that word has the Greek root in it. And I feel like we're like, Father, right? Don't give me give me a word. Basically. I'll tell you,how that relates to family history.

Michelle 1:09

the family history, family history,

Miya 1:10

Pickles and family history. And we promise pickles do connect to family history.

Michelle 1:14

And if you're if you're doubting us, we don't blame you. But I promise stick with us. We're going to show you how this is all connected.

Miya 1:33

You're listening to the Love Your Lineage podcast by LDS Living a multifaceted shame free your approach to family history. I'm Mia.

Michelle 1:41

And I'm Michelle. And we want to help you find your space and claim your place in your family history story. All right, here we go. We promised that connection. And here it is. There is this movie that I love called American Pickle. And it's not just about pickle. It's actually about a grandson meeting his second great grandfather who has been brined but I can't even tell the theme of the star hotel lobby. It's about a grandson living in New York modern day New York meeting his second great grandfather who is a Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe. And the grandfather gets preserved in pickle brine. I mean, this is total movie magic here. This is not actual science. And because he's been preserved in this pickle water, he is able to meet up with his second great grandson, and it's just about their relationship of what it would be like to meet one of your ancestors that you probably have nothing in common with. How would we navigate that relationship? And I think it needs to be navigated with a lot of humor, which is what I loved about this movie. And so we brought on our friend Lisa Valentine Clark, who knows a little bit about humor and comedy. Our guest today is Lisa. Hi, Lisa.

Miya 2:55

Hi, Lisa. Hi.

Lisa Valentine Clark 2:56

Thanks for having me.

Michelle 2:57

So we might sound a little different this episode, Lisa literally invited us over to her really cool house. We love being here. So, grateful. So thank you so much for having us.

Lisa Valentine Clark 3:08

Oh, it's my pleasure. I love to welcome you into my home.

Miya 3:12

Thank you.

Michelle 3:13

And so Lisa, did you have a chance to watch the movie?

Lisa Valentine Clark 3:16

Oh, yeah. I saw it during the pandemic and

Michelle 3:20

It was one of those like, nice feel. To like roller coaster. Yeah. And jarring. Me on like, the edge of my nerves same. Okay, so to get going, would you mind telling us a little bit about like, your professional background? And then maybe your family history background?

Lisa Valentine Clark 3:37

Yeah, sure. My professional background is sort of all over the place. Yeah, right. Like I had graduated with a degree in English with the intention of being a high school English teacher, which I was for just a hot minute enough to get some really great material. And nice. And then I had a bunch of kids, and primarily stayed home with them. And while I did, I wrote curriculum, and I performed improv with my friends, tuck my little babies into bed and then go and run and do improv and then that actually spurred what is my career now, which is a lot of acting and writing and producing, you know, different things. So my friends and I started at the thrilling areas and improv as theater troupe. And we were able to produce a TV show called Show Offs on BYU TV. And I have also hosted on Random Acts, and I was the Chatbooks lady. Viral Video, basically just playing myself and what it's like to have a bunch of kids and helped write and produce an act in Once I was a Beehive and Once I was Engaged those kinds of movies and now I am the host of The Lisa Show and you can download that wherever you download your podcasts and I really enjoyed it because I feel like it is it is sort of the culmination of my career in this sense of of it. It brings together the things that I love, which is good conversation talking to people writing, producing and, and really, you know, entertaining. So awesome kind of all over the place.

Michelle 5:11

So it's so interesting. Let me tell you something probably like most people don't know about me is that like, I in another life secretly would love to be a comedian. And you did not introduce yourself as a comedian. But I think you are so funny. And you're so quick, especially on the Show Off's just like how quick you would turn something. And I just like was crying laughing. So like, I for sure you need to add like and I'm also a comedian.

Lisa Valentine Clark 5:38

I always think that it to be called a comedian. You have to do stand up. And and I and I like to collaborate, right? So when you do Show Offs, you're you're improvising with your friends, when you're doing a movie and you're riffing, even the podcast, you know, The Lisa Show, I'm talking but I'm having conversations with other people. So that's, that's nice of you to say, I don't know why.

Michelle 5:57

But even like going back to the Chatbooks commercials, those were so hilarious. They were top tier. Yeah, they were top tier because they felt so authentic.

Lisa Valentine Clark 6:06

they were so funny. I walked into that audition. And I said, I know this mom, I have five kids. I do Chatbooks because I don't make scrapbooks. Yeah.

Miya 6:17

Wow. Awesome. Well, we really love your humor, Lisa. And we thought you'd be the greatest fit for this episode, as we talk about what it means to find connections with our ancestors, and maybe approaching some of those situations with a little bit of humor, right? Which can be another facet of family history. And I hope one that all of us learn to embrace maybe a little bit more. So now that we know a little bit about you professionally, Lisa, could you tell us about your family history story a little bit.

Lisa Valentine Clark 6:48

So my full name, I go by Lisa Valentine Clark, mostly because I you know, so proud of my names, you know, and I thought when I got married, I didn't want to give up any names. So just add to them. You know, I know that there's a lot of, you know, the hyphen, whatever. But and, and so it means a lot to me, and so on. I have a Birkin side of the family. And I have a Valentine side of the family. And they're both they both come from Denmark and Sweden. I did the whole DNA test and all of that. And it's real Swedish and, and my late husband and I have five kids and his family from Sweden and Denmark. I mean, it's all weird, right? Because we're all like ninth cousins or something like that. But we need a little bit more diversity in our family line if we are going to survive, and you know what we might not so anyway, it is what it is a good run. It was a good run. We did som stuff. We came over from Denmark, good on us, we try to make a difference. And so it's been fun. I have a family that does family history. And I have a mother and a grandmother who would always talk about it. And I feel connected to them. I really do so. So I love that we're talking about it. I'm into it.

Michelle 8:02

It's hard to find people who are like legitimately passionate about family history. So

Lisa Valentine Clark 8:07

When you start telling stories, and I think people change their mind, then you start digging through those journals. And boy, it means something different.

Miya 8:14

Yeah. Oh, yeah. Amen. Totally the perfect guest. Yes, seriously. Thank you so much.

Michelle 8:22

So to start us off, I have a question that I want all three of us to think about and answer. Would you be friends with your second great grandparents, so not your grandparents, not your great grandparents, but your great great grandparents? Would you be friends with any of them. And here's a fun fact for you that literally any human living today has at least 16 second great grandparents, you might have more if there was like a divorce or remarried or something, but uh, you at least have 16 people to choose from off the top of your head. Can you think of any of those 16 people're pulling out your phone,

Lisa Valentine Clark 8:59

I'm pulling out the family tree?

Miya 9:01

That's right. Me too.

Lisa Valentine Clark 9:03

Because I did this earlier. I think this is such a great question.

Michelle 9:07

This question comes from the show because that's the basis of it is like, automatically people assume that Ben from the show. So the grandson and Herschel, the second great grandfather are going to just connect and be family. They literally look the sames Yeah, they literally look the same, their family. They're both green bombs. They're going to like bond and be friends. And in the movie, as we know, that's not quite what happened. So is there anyone that you would be friends with? Or maybe I should even ask, is there anyone you would be like, No, we're not being friends.

Lisa Valentine Clark 9:40

It's so hard. Cuz here's the thing. I feel like it's a family trait because it has to be because I feel it so strongly that like, I would make them be my friend. Do you know what I mean? Like,

Michelle 9:52

I feel like the old guy who is like, No.

Lisa Valentine Clark 9:55

well, okay, so my great, great. So yeah, we're not talking and your grandparents, not your great grandparents. But you're talking your great, great. Yeah, like my great, great grand father was Valentine Valentine. And he came over from Denmark. And he had the most incredible life. He was sitting around with his friends, drinking playing cards, and they all sat around. They're like, You know what, we could spend our time doing something better. Let's not drink any more. Let's not waste our time. Let's just do good. Like who does that? But like in the middle of, of Denmark, and it's cold and all this stuff. So he's like, you know, has a small family. Okay. And the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Come along, and he's like, yeah, yeah, you guys welcomes them in his neighbor's literally tried to kill the missionaries, and they hide out in his house and beat him up there. They want to get baptized in the dead of winter, they had to get baptized. Well, so they have this like, of, you know, first of all, they have this like town meeting, but this mob comes in, he's like, Oh, this is great. My neighbors want to hear what I have to say how great which, that's how I would be poor Valentine's, we just want to, we just want people to like us, they come and they beat everybody up, he like to an inch of their lives to the missionaries like are almost dead. Fast forward, they get baptized like two in the morning in a frozen river. Some of his friends help them hide they they chase him down the street one day, he hides out into friends business and the friends like listen, this is not looking good. And so Valentine, Valentine, who's this successful, you know, Farmer and makes cheese and does all that kind of stuff. pays for a lot of other members of the church to leave and go to to the states. So he does. And as is the story comes in. It's not easy, and it's hard. And so when I think about his life and the path that he put our whole family on, because of that. I'm like, would we be friends if I'm like, You know what was really hard, because, you know, like, it's really hot outside today. And like, sometimes my air conditioner is like gets too cold. And I get a little chill. And then I'm like, Oh my gosh, do I turn it on? Do I turn it off? Like, what we'll be talking about? Yes. Because just of the modern day, but yeah, so I like to think that I would just be sit down tell me your stories and how you live because, like talk about quality of life totally being different. So they weren't 100% Also, my friends have never tried to kill me. As far as I know.

Miya 12:29

That was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing that for me. I mean, there's several that came to mind. That's why I was like, I'm gonna cheat because I'm Okay, which one I want to talk about. There's 16 out of them many I'm like, okay. Okay, one in particular, William Ohia, is my second great grandfather on my Kanaka Maoli, or native Hawaiian side. And he was, he was in the newspapers for being an actual rebel, in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. So he was trying to protect the kingdom and the sovereignty of the Hawaiian people. And I was fighting against America at the time to let America you know, like, Hey, you illegally overthrew our kingdom, you locked up our queen, you need to get out of here. And so I feel like I have that rebel spirit from him. You know, and I I'd like to believe that I have that now.

I do. And I'm so proud that he did that and that his legacy has lived on especially in my generation. I feel like a lot of me and my siblings and my cousins have been a lot more vocal about how much the illegal overthrow affected our family and our people in general on how much we want to claim sovereignty again, so yeah, it's I never would have considered him maybe being my friend. I've heard stories about him being kind of a rough you know, rough around the edges kind of dude. And I'm a big softy so I don't know if I could sometimes really intense personalities are hard for me to be around you know, but I would try my best like you're saying to still be his friend like Hey, I still you know, I still want to be your buddy maybe it can I just like you know, follow you around and see how your doing.

Lisa Valentine Clark 14:12

Do you wonder how you would talk about things because even vocabulary about how open we are with the things that we talk to our with our parents are different than the things that we feel comfortable talking to our grandparents. So then if you starting adding generational mental health, because on mental about self care, like sometimes you just gotta check out am I right ladies? Yeah, just gotta have some alone time and this is what I do for self care. And sometimes I go for a run and sometimes like I can just imagine my great great grandmother going, excuse me what know what?

Michelle 14:47

What? So, I have this great quote from the creator of American Pickle. His name is Simon Tich and he says, I come from a long line of Eastern European immigrant Jews and they had such difficult lives. filled with such hard work and grit. My life, by contrast, has been extremely coddled and easy. And I always wonder what they would think of me. If they can see me in the present day. My perception was always that they would hate my guts and want to beat me up.

Miya 15:15

Oh, my goodness,

Michelle 15:17

it's vastly different. I was thinking of my second great grandparents, I have Eduardo and he made pasta and was also like, put this year. So like, yeah, pastries and bakery. And I was like, so you'd want to know Him? Ya know? Like, I'm sure like, we'd be besties just because I would eat like maybe we wouldn't even talk because we just always be eating.

Miya 15:38

Sounds amazing. One of the things that came up was we were talking about our second great grandparents, not only would I question, would we be friends, but I've also wondered like, would they have been friends with each other? Because, like, for example, with William Ohia, he was one who was leading the, you know, the rebels to fight against America, in Hawaii. But then at the same time, my second great grandfather, who was a German immigrant to Hawaii, signed a loyalty oath to America saying that I will be loyal to America, and I renounced the Hawaiian throne completely in support of it. So I'm like, oh, surely...

Lisa Valentine Clark 16:22

They're gonna have a reunion someday, and you're gonna probably have to moderate or mediate it.

Miya 16:26

It just blows my mind, like, not only what I'm questioning, would I be friends with them? But would they have even been friends with each other? I feel, especially as a mixed person, mixed ancestry and mixed descent that I almost feel like a living contradiction with these ancestors, like, would they have even gotten along? But I'm a living descendant of both of opposite ends?

Michelle 16:49

Those journals and I know, in my family line, they would not be friends.

Lisa Valentine Clark 16:54

See, it's so hard, because you want to assume the best of the dead, right? Because they're not here to speak for themselves. And there's only so many, like artifacts that you have from them. And there's only so much that like, journals will reveal again, probably because of time, but also what was socially acceptable to write down, you know, like, I write down all my feelings, like every little thing, and and my sad, sad blue journal that I keep all my stuff in. And you know, and I have read other for other ancestors that was their, just like, events, highlights, right. So it's a different. So it's hard to know, because aren't we all a product of the environment in which we grow up? So we have attitudes about like race and gender and religion and politics? Like, it's easy to judge that against our standards of 2022. But that's what I that's what I think is that would be the hardest conversations to have with your great great grandparents.

Michelle 18:00

Well, I'm just going to mix it up just a little bit and make it even harder. Let's bring in the the concept of language. Oh, yeah. Oh, my goodness. I mean, not only would you like, maybe even if you spoke the same language, you're like, oh, yeah, that would be hard. But like, most of my ancestors didn't speak English. And I don't speak Italian or Swedish, or, you know, so I'm like, literally, we would just stare at each other. Like, if I was put in the situation that Ben and Herschel in the movie were in, like, I don't like I love when Herschel comes to Ben's house, and he's like, Oh, here's the music here is the water. And it was just so awkward and kind of like the office, you know, very uncomfortable, awkward. And I'm like, I think that I think he nailed it.

Lisa Valentine Clark 18:50

Oh, yeah, absolutely. There's so much comedy in that. And I think that like anytime that you're, you know, I'm sure that there were a lot of really great charades like to play and that this is my plug for improvisation. People think it has no practical skills are I, I submit that it might be more important than any other skill. And I also think that humor could be a great way. And this is why I love this movie. And especially in thinking about family history, because we always make it so like dry. Like, there's an old lady that's alone with a bunch of spreadsheets, you know, in the classified Special Edition part of the library or whatever. And that's not what it is. It's storytelling, and it's cross generational, and it's young and old, and everybody in between telling stories. And I do feel that like when you have sort of family traditions and things like that, that hopefully that that can connect to like some kinds of generations. So I like to think that if I met my great great grandparents that I would try to find something in common that we all thought was funny, or you know, some family trait or some family we'll do this. Am I right? Why we can talk everyone's ear off and boy we got we can all make our neighbors mad. Am I right Grandpa Valentine? We can laugh about it now right?

That's awesome. I love that.

Michelle 19:45

That reminds me of this other quote from Simon Rich, he said, "I think it is thrilling to imagine that I would have anything in common with my ancestors, because I know on so many levels that we would disagree about everything." laughs Rich. Yes, yes, right. "ut the fantasy of the story in the film is that despite our many, many ideological and clothing differences, we'd still find some overlap", like you were talking about Lisa, even if it's just a couple of prayers and our love of pickles, I love that so much

Lisa Valentine Clark 20:37

I love that. How connecting is that to think the first thing that I would want to do is like to bring, like my Bergen sights of chocolate, I would find my best chocolate and and say, you know, give them a gift of something that they might not have thought or you know, to an ancestor who like loved the Book of Mormon or who loved you know, the Bible to be able to say, I love this book, too. Yeah, some sort of like connecting item with I mean, wouldn't that be so memorable? Isn't that what we want for our kids, too, because I think about it from the other side, too, because I want grandkids really, really badly. And my children are in no, they're not even close. They're not even thinking about it. So disappointed. Don't worry, I tell them all the time. And I also borrow other people's grandkids, it's fine. It's not weird. It's totally appropriate. And, but I think about what I want them to know about me, and because my late husband will never one of the most devastating things about watching him die is to think, Oh, he's never going to meet any of his grandchildren. And he'd be the greatest grandpa. And so he did and wrote down certain things for them, even though they don't exist, right, for that hope. And so that's why I like to give like the benefit of the doubt, to our great, great grandparents, right? To think, Oh, if I'm having this thought, and I love these children that haven't even been born yet. I think of course, they had that those feelings for me, even though I didn't exist in their mind yet. And there's something really beautiful about that that I think a lot of times we don't really talk about.

Michelle 22:11

That's such an interesting point that I've never really thought of, but like with your husband passing away, he has become an ancestor already. You know, I hate it. And you're still in the now. And it's like this weird, like,

Lisa Valentine Clark 22:22

so he wrote the story of his life, right? Just like, this is how I live. This was what I you know, because he had a terminal disease, he had some time that he was able to do that. And it is a treasure. It is the book that I wish I had. Yeah, for my great, great grandparents. If I had one for all 16 You know, I would have read the whole thing. And it's funny inside jokes, and it's all the things. And when I was putting it together, I wrote a foreword. And I was like, This is for my children and our grandchildren who don't exist, who we love. You know, and we want you to know, we want this to be alive in a living like presence in your lives. And, and we can all do that. But we don't. Yeah, we don't do it.

Michelle 23:03

We don't think our lives are that important. So we don't write it down. Like so many of our ancestors come before us. Like I'm just an average person.

Lisa Valentine Clark 23:09

and I'm telling you when those people pass you wish you had Yeah, everything everything.

Michelle 23:14

There's an indigenous saying that when an elder dies, a library burns

Lisa Valentine Clark 23:17

it's I feel that in my bones. Yeah. Yeah.

Michelle 23:21

So cool. Okay, so I have another question for you guys. So we're just being silly and I like it. Okay, have you ever thought about being the same age as your ancestor? Because this was another thing with like, Seth Rogen playing both parts. Like they're literally the same age, same like point in life. And yet, like, so different, you know, Herschel by that time has emigrated he has a baby on the way he's like, had all these jobs abd Ben like just barely graduated has no like, right? No idea.

Lisa Valentine Clark 23:59

Listen, we've got a delayed adolescent problem in America today, especially with men. So let's not let's unpack that. Just kidding.

Michelle 24:10

But have you ever thought about that? I don't think I have

Lisa Valentine Clark 24:12

I you know what I have? I did think about that when I had little kids when I was so overwhelmed. And I just thought, I wonder how my grandma did it without a washing machine or without podcasts to listen to or TV, you know, or I would just say I would think what were they doing? How are they living kind of stuff? Like when they got married? Or you know.

Michelle 24:34

Or even have you ever thought about them being a recent immigrant and not speaking English and how to function in a world where you don't know your neighbor and you don't know that language?

Lisa Valentine Clark 24:43

Yeah. What if you were leaving your your country and you knew you could never go back to visit? You can't just go on the plane and just go back and see your childhood home, your family, your parents, you know, you left and you knew that that was it. You would never see anyone again. And I just think that's so there's something huge and significant about that. It's hard to live in another country that you feel like it's not your own. I only I've only lived in I lived in England for for a little while. It's like the same country like as like of all the countries with the same language. It wasn't even a different language. And it was hard. Yeah.

Michelle 25:22

Because that was like different customs. Yes,

Lisa Valentine Clark 25:24

it was like it just a bizarro world because it was like it was close enough to be the same but different enough that I felt out of place all the time.

Michelle 25:32

And then also being in another country and having to raise children. And the moment that someone just offers a little bit of kindness.

Lisa Valentine Clark 25:42

I can list the names of people who saved me that year. I'm still friends with them because of that field. Yeah.

Miya 25:48

Oh, and kind of going back to your question to Michelle, like, you know, have I thought about my ancestors being the same age as me. I have. But then I've also thought about in the movie, how like you're saying the two characters say, the great second great grandson and the second great grandfather come together and they do look alike, right. But for me, I'm like, I don't like no one looks exactly like me in my family.

Lisa Valentine Clark 26:11

Oh, so what does that feel like?

Miya 26:13

Yeah, it feels interesting, because I see bits and pieces of me and pictures. But like, there's no one. Yeah, that fully looks like being a multiracial, multiracial, that's what it

Michelle 26:24

Being a multiracial person is just like you have ancestors of all different colors, all different sizes. And then if we don't necessarily match.

Miya 26:32

I don't match anybody. So I was thinking about like, Okay, if I saw them, like, I'm thinking about my second great grandmother, who I'm named after Taka, Miyamoto, so that's where I get my first name from. And she was a short, Japanese, like, four foot something lady, hard worker, she was an immigrant from Japan to Hawaii. I imagined like, Okay, if we were the same agent standing in this living room, Lisa's living room, I mean, I would try to talk to in Japanese. So I did start my mission in Japan, so we would kind of have that language. But then I feel like she would be like, you sure we're related? Like, what are you talking about? And then I imagine myself, like grabbing a mirror like, Okay, let's look it up, standing side by side, okay, see the hairline and looking for that connection for those little tidbits. Like, that's what I grabbed for every time I do family history, just the tiniest, even if it's online, you know, like,

Lisa Valentine Clark 27:21

I love that though that is so beautiful.

Miya 27:22

Thank you. And, you know, I, it's, it's, it hasn't been easy trying to do that, but it's very rewarding. When I do find those little tidbits. Like, okay, I didn't just come together out of like, random combustion, you know, I It's like, there was purpose behind everything that brought me to this earth. And I have every little bit of who I am from the inside to the outside, from when I was little to as I'm growing up. All of it comes from somewhere and from somebody's not just one,

Lisa Valentine Clark 27:53

it's a gift, I love that.

Miya 27:54

It's so complex. I do like.

Michelle 27:58

And you never know what those genes are going to do. Like you can have generations where no one looks like anybody and then one child will show up and it will be like the spitting image.

Lisa Valentine Clark 28:06

When my son was born, and we all gasped when we said, I just gave birth to my father. We were like, that looks like Robert Valentine. We all as a newborn. We all like

Miya 28:19

That's so weird, right? Genes are amazing.

Lisa Valentine Clark 28:23

Genes are weird. And my dad kept saying, Why do I think he's so handsome? Probably the most handsom grand I was like all right. All right. All right.

Michelle 28:32

So one of the most interesting parts of this movie I thought when Ben the grandson, him and his great great second great grandfather Herschel they get into a big fight and you'll have to watch the movie to see how that progresses. But then so Ben to get back at his grandpa Herschel, he puts Herschel on Twitter. Oh, man. What do you think? It would be like to have your second great grandparents we're gonna have grandmas and grandpas. What do you think it would be like if they were on Twitter? Like, gosh, are you

Miya 29:07

They would think that is the most on unholy place.

Michelle 29:09

Are you shocked? Ir's striking fear into my heart all of the things they would say,

Lisa Valentine Clark 29:14

Well even like just knowing, like, one generation away, like what my grandparents like, I mean, you know, or my parents are like, listen, I should get off of this. I even I know that. And so I wonder if they would have a little bit more wisdom and be able to, I'd like to think that they would be able to see it outside. Like, why do we do that? Why do you do this? What service does it provide? What does it create? Like? I'd like to think that an outside perspective is maybe we need maybe I'm in too deep.

Michelle 29:40

Yeah. So Ben actually knows, can anticipate what Herschel is going to say he's from this older generation. He's got these ideas around women around Christianity around ableism and Ben really knows that Herschel is going to start digging himself a hole to get buried in, and that actually comes to fruition actually happens. And it's a really funny part of the story. But interesting too, like, awkward. And you know, a lot of you here with family history or history in general, that's just how it was back then. That's just how people thought. And it made me question like, Well, why is it important to understand that our, our ancestors are complex? And I mean, is there? What are the pros and cons of holding our ancestors to our standards? Because I think there's, there are pros and cons.

Lisa Valentine Clark 30:33

That is such a good question, because, you know, we're so arrogant when we say, well, we've got it all figured out. We've figured it all out, when our great great grandkids are gonna have some things to say about us. So I try to remember that and say that lens with that.

Michelle 30:50

I think that's one of the things I really love about the gospel in our, you know, belief in the afterlife that there still is progress after death.

Lisa Valentine Clark 30:59

I believe in it. Yeah, I believe that people can go, oh, you know, on earth, I live like this. Now I know better, I do better.

Michelle 31:05

So we can we can totally be like, yes, our ancestors had these issues with ableism, racism, xenophobia, sexism. And that's really sad. And that's not something that we want to carry on today. But I also believe in that there will be opportunity for them to change their mind.

Lisa Valentine Clark 31:23

Just like when I hope that when I die, I still progress. Yeah, that I'm still like, hey, you know, that thing they never did quite get right. Yeah. You know, you can do it. Yeah. You have a chance. Yeah. And I think, again, not to be arrogant of like, well, they don't know what we know now. But just with that, come up with that humility of all that we have right now, with a great sense of gratitude for what they did to provide for us.

Miya 31:51

And just to add to that, too, I mean, in studying history and and being a genealogist, it's very clear that history is written in Hearthstone, like once it's discovered or uncovered It's like, that's what happened. And that's it kind of thing. It's final. And then after someone dies, who is like, yeah, that's, that's the end of their life. And that's it. But like we talked about the gospel, we believe that there's more to it to the human life to our progression that we don't fully understand yet. And so it reminds me of how important faith is right? Faith is having a gap in your knowledge to and using that gap to understand and trust in things that you may not fully see or understand. So like we're talking about, we haven't seen the full progression of what our ancestors have been doing, or going through after they've passed away. That's those are some things that may not have been revealed yet. But like we've all talked about, like I have hope, I have strong hope and faith that they have changed, they have evolved, and that they're looking to us to keep carrying on the change that maybe they haven't been able to do when they were here. They're looking to us as that hope. Right. We talked about heart changing and heart turning, I fully believe their hope in us isn't just to do ordinances, but to carry on the right things that they would like us to keep carrying on.

Lisa Valentine Clark 33:15

I also feel like when we I learned this, as my husband was dying to because he had a testimony of this. And I and I was very skeptical of it. And I've actually come around and changed my mind on it. I do feel that angels, the presence, the people that come and comfort us in our hard needs are our ancestors. I can't think of I don't think it's some random Angel that's assigned to us as a calling. my grandmother's have have been with me. You can you can feel it. There's a familiar there's a familiarity. There's a remembrance, there's a call. And it's something that I think is really beautiful and is significant. And I think people across different faith traditions will say the same thing that they do, because that makes sense, doesn't it? Doesn't it make sense? Like why would somebody die and then suddenly not care about their wife and children? Or their grandchildren? Like, no, it makes that makes no sense. Our hearts are tied together forever. This is like core doctrine and our faith. So why don't we believe that it works in action? And I do.

Miya 34:31

Amen. Amen. Thank you so much.

Michelle 34:35

I really feel that there Yeah, it's like we said family history is not a line. It's a circle. And as we you know, I think a lot of our ancestors are hoping for even us like we're giving them faith and and hope and a space to improve and get better. We also are hoping that they you know, that if maybe things that they never got to resolve in their life or mistakes that they made that We were able to step in and almost help them repair that you know and like just the circle of giving and loving and connecting. So thank you so much Lisa for for discussing

Lisa Valentine Clark 35:10

Thanks for letting me be a part of this this was this is so fun to talk I love talking about stuff like this.

Michelle 35:16

So now I'm really hungry and I want to go eat some food. Amen

Thank you for joining us for this episode of Love Your Lineage. You can find all the references and full transcripts for this episode in our show notes at LDS and if you love this episode, please please please leave us a review or rating.

Miya 35:44

This episode was hosted by me Mia and the lovely Michelle. It was produced and edited by Erica Free and Katie Lambert and mixed by Mix at Six Studios. Thank you for being with us today and we hope you feel empowered to love your lineage and to embrace your authentic family history story.

Lisa Valentine Clark 36:05

Gus, hi Gus! Who is such a good boy, I have the most social dog and are my new friends. Will you come and love me forever? Yeah, he's gonna come and so will you all like would you like to say hello to me?

Michelle 36:20

I have three so he probably he's my

Lisa Valentine Clark 36:22

my little rescue dogs that I swore I would never get because I hate animals but I love Gus.

Miya 36:29

so you know, this is how pets change your entire life.

Lisa Valentine Clark 36:31

This is when your husband dies during a global pandemic and you and you're just sitting around looking at sad kids you go well, I hate my life anyway. Might as well get a dog and hate it even more. It doesn't matter. Nothing matters anymore. Then you get a rescue dog and then they save you yes you rescue. I didn't know that this would and then you know because he loves me the most and I was the one that didn't want him and the kids are like this is how it is.

Miya 36:57

You can feel how much he loves you

Transcribed by

View More