Yesterday in Relief Society we were in Chapter 10 of our handbook for the year, and the lesson was on Temples and Temple work. We were talking about our responsibilities when it comes to Temple work, and gathering names to bring to the Temple. One young woman was explaining how she was the only one in her family who is a member (like so many of us are) and that it didn't really set in for her that Temple work is so important, especially for her, because she doesn't have anyone else who is doing it with her.
This is the same situation with me. As most of you know, I am a new convert. Not only am I a new convert, but I am the only one in my entire family who is a member. If that weren't enough, I'm black. BAM. All three of those things make it incredibly hard for me to even continue my family history work when I've hit a road block. Right now, I'm at the point with my genealogy where I can't find anything past where I am on my Dad's side. It's so frustrating because people think they know more than me when I know that because of slavery, the records are so hidden, not there, or don't even exist. My family members who know more about my family haven't even gotten farther than where I am, and it really stinks when you have people constantly breathing down your neck telling you that you "just have to do some more digging." HELLO!!!!!? The records aren't there. Okay. Rant over. I'm just a little ticked off at some people's insensitive nature when it comes to family history work.
Although it is tough, it is important. Your family members are waiting for you to do this work for them so that they can have the same blessings that you know to be true. I remember the first time I went to the Temple, and I felt that peace that comes from knowing the truth about the restored Gospel. I know that you want your loved ones who have passed on to have the opportunity to be able to experience those same truths.
The least you need to know:
1. Family history can be HARD, don't let people discourage you. Don't discourage yourself simply because you aren't as far as others are in your research.
2. Every family is different, and will face different challenges.
3. Family history and Temple Work are a blessing that is so important for your family today, as well as your future family.
4. Family history is never really done. You are living it right now!
5. Find a good family history consultant that will be sensitive to your personal situations, it will make things a lot easier.
6. Don't give up when you hit a road block, or you will never accomplish anything.